Edouard Alfred Martel,
(Pontoise, 1859. – St.Thomas La Garde, 1938.)
Laywer by profession, and a big fan of Jules Verne’s works and travels. Along with his explorer’s spirit, this determined his interest later in life. He explored more than 1500 abysses, caves and underground streams. Martel explored Dragon’s Caves on Majorca, numerous caves and abysses in France, Belgium, Switzerland, England and the USA. In 1893, along with W. Putick, he descended to the end of the Abyss of Pazin, and he made its first sketch. The same year, he travelled through Dalmatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Monte Negro and Greece, exploring abysses, underground rivers and underground streams. He wrote thousands of articles and around twenty books about his explorations. His book Abîmes (1894), which, among other things, comprises the report on the exploration of the Abyss of Pazin, had 10 editions! By establishing Société de Spéléologie (1895) and starting the famous magazine “Spelunca”, E. A. Martel set up foundations of modern speleology. E. A. Martel was the president of the prestigious Société de Géographie and a member of the French Academy.
(Popuvka (Brno), Češka, 1856. – Ljubljana, 1929.).
Studied forestry in Vienna and worked in the State Forestry Administration in Vienna from 1885. In 1893, he was transferred to forestry inspection in Ljubljana, where he worked until his retirement in 1924. As early as 1879, he took an interest in hydrology of karst, meliorations and abyss exploration. He explored more than 110 caves from 1886 to 1899! In 1893, during the exploration of the Abyss of Postojna and the underground Pivka, E. A. Martel joined him. Putick was mostly interested in hydrology of karst fields, problems of floods and their melioration. He is one of the first to have worked on the project of reclaiming the Lake of Ćepić in Istria.
(Ivanec, 1924.- Zagreb, 1990.)
Studied geological sciences in Zagreb. Collaborator in Geologic-paleontological collection and karst laboratory, which under his guidance became the Palaeontology Quaternary Geology Institute. He was a regular member of the Croatian Academy. His significant works comprised fields of paleozoology, paleoanthropology, speleology and Quaternary geology, especially concerning cave layers and fossil people, appearance of ice wedges, development of river terraces and other. The majority of his works was dedicated to faunas of fossil mammals of Pleistocene. He was the founder and the president of the Speleology Association of Croatia. Explored the Pazin Abyss with collaborators in 1967.
Drago Opašić – Billy
(Cerovlje, 1948 – 2000)
Jamar – federal speleology instructor, poet, hermit, ecologist, diver, entertainer, cameraman, pyrotechnist, bohemian and declared anarchist, Drago Opašić – Billy, born at noon sharp, 12 December 1948 in Cerovlje. Curiosity and passion for nature and for Istria made him explore the Istrian underground, so he backpacked all Istria, well-known in every village and at every festivity.
His love for earth, nature and people was expressed in form of poems that tell us about himself as much as about Istria and its people.
Regardless of the fact that he chose to stay out of the system and without a permanent employment, he was the initiator, the founder and long-time president of the Speleology Association “Istra” from Pazin, through which he passed his love of nature on to new generations, as a teacher, a mentor and a role-model. He participated in important international and Croatian speleological expeditions. Billy’s ardour with the Abyss of Pazin culminated in a big exploring action in the Abyss in 1975.