This was both our first contact with the miners and our first suspicion that something was not quite right with one of them.
From the Mine's Foreman
"The bottom line is I'm happy to be out of there, but that's only partly because it was a nightmarish tunnel hundreds of feet underground and away from everyone I love. I was honestly more terrified about O'Bitchle, to be perfectly frank. When the mine first collapsed, I put a system of rationing in place almost immediately. Our supplies were only supposed to last us for two days, but I found a good routine: Each man would get two spoonfuls of tuna, half a cookie and a half-full glass of milk every 48 hours. I set up a chemical toilet, a makeshift latrine and found a way to get us potable water. It wasn't ideal, but hey, it kept us alive until the surface could send more food down. Those first 17 days, remember, we didn't know if they'd ever find us.
"By the 50th hour, O'Bitchle had consumed nineteen and a half cookies, threw out a pound of tuna fish and power-chugged an entire gallon of milk on a dare he made with himself. He also pooped every- Just everywhere.
Diary entries on first meeting "O'Brien"
The men were encouraged to keep diaries, to document their experiences in the mine. (Unfortunately, O'Brien didn't leave a diary or, impossibly, any fingerprints.) Here are their first impressions of O'Brien.