The most common theory is that Colonel Qaddafi is nestled underground. Former confidantes say he has bunkers underneath the Bab al-Aziziya compound that are connected to the city via an extensive network of tunnels, the Associated Press reports. The tunnels may reach beyond the city limits, giving him an easy escape hatch if Tripoli falls completely.
Few have seen the tunnels and it's not certain they exist. But the reported "underground city" fits in with the aura that Qaddafi cultivated, a mix of subterfuge, rumor and myth that kept Libya's people guessing and his opponents confused. That aura — plus a healthy dose of brutal retaliation — helped him survive dozens of assassination attempts and would-be coups during his decades in power.