The USS Cyclops and Oregon

The USS Cyclops and Oregon

The USS Cyclops was a US Navy Collier (supply ship,) that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle. It became one of the more famous Bermuda Triangle disappearances for a variety of reasons. Theories range from a crew mutiny since she was carrying three convicted murders from the USS Pittsburgh along with two mutineers, and another 42 men from the Pittsburgh headed home for reassignment. The second major theory is that she sunk under her improperly loaded cargo. And the last major theory is that she was to given over to the Germans.

This later theory is backed up by two facts. The Captain, Lieutenant Commander George W. Worley had been born in Germany as Johann Friedrich Georg Wichmann. He had apparently jumped ship in San Francisco in 1878 and immigrated to the United States. He was known to associate with other German Captains before the war. The other possible support for this theory was that one of the ship’s passengers was US Consul General Alfred L.M. Gottschalk. He was of also German ancestry, and extremely pro-German before the war. He’d boarded the Cyclops to head to the United States and enlist.

Another strange fact is that she was one of four Proteus class colliers built before WWI, and the first of THREE of the ships to disappear in the Bermuda Triangle. She disappeared during World War I, while the Proteus and Nereus both disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in 1941 during World War II.

The USS Cyclops
The USS Cyclops in New York Harbor, October 3rd, 1911

The third one built, the USS Jupiter, had been converted into the USS Langley, the US’s first aircraft carrier in 1920. It was also lost, but this time to Japanese air attacks on February 27, 1942.

The USS Cyclops
The USS Cyclops experimentally refueling the USS South Carolina in an 1914 while both ships were underway.

The Cyclops’ disappearance was originally chalked up to German Submarine activity. But after the war, no evidence was found in German Naval records. But coincidences that made it’s disappearance unusual. A more in depth history of the ship and it’s mysterious disappearance is covered in “The Devil’s Triangle” by Richard Winer, but Bermuda Triangle Central has a great overview of the history.

The interesting fact to me is the number of crew members on the ship at it’s disappearance who were Oregon residents at the time. According to History of Oregon, Volume One by Charles Henry Carey these men were:
Robert Armstrong from Baker, Oregon
Ubert Summer Barton from Portland, Oregon
Earl Leon Jones from Montavilla, Oregon
Eugene Franklin McNelly from North Portland, Oregon
Andrew Benny West from Clatskanie, Oregon
James Alexander West also from Clatskanie, Oregon

Pictures are courtesy the Department of the Navy – Naval Historical center.

Earliest documented Bigfoot Sighting in Pacific Northwest – Part 2

Earliest documented Bigfoot Sighting in Pacific Northwest – Part 2

In part one we learned about a tribe of Pacific Northwest Indians called the Seeahtiks. Described as hairy like a bear, seven to eight feet tall, and attributed supernatural powers such as the ability to turn invisible. They have been known to steal Indian women, be vulgar and obscene, play practical jokes, steal meat and fish from other indians, can imitate all of the northwestern birds, and speak most of the languages of the other Indian Tribes in the area.

I was never able to find the original article of the “attack” by Apemen at Spirit Lake, the same lake practically obliterated when Mount St. Helens erupted almost six decades after these events took place. Below is a recap of the original attack and the aftermath after locals went out to look for these mysterious Apemen.

The news of the Ape-men, or Seeahtiks continued to be front page news for the Oregonian the next day. (July 17. 1924)

Earliest documented Bigfoot Sighting in Pacific Northwest - Part 2


Seeahtiks Said to Roam at Spirit Lake.


Big-Breasted Giants Take Revenge on Tribesmen.


Shaggy Monsters Reputed to Be Strong Enough to Pull Off Heads of Humans

BY JORG TOTSGI, Clallam Tribe. Editor of the Real American.

HQUIAM, Wash., July 16 – (Special.) – That the apeman hunt now being conducted by Kelso people will meet with failure is the foregone conclusion of Indians of the northwest who know the habits and supernatural powers of these Seeahtik Indians or the lower class of Seeahtiks, which the Clallams call the Tyapish to Nung-Nung, the name given them by the lower Chehalis tribe.

Local Indians assert that the Seeahtik tribesmen generally make their appearance around Mount St. Helens the later part of July and as a general rule do not remain there very long. Then they move north to the the Olympic range, where they do their fall fishing in the upper parts of the Quinault and Brinnon river. Then about the first of November or with the first breath of winter they start their southward journey to Vancouver island, there they remains during the entire winter.

Spirit Lake Weird.

Old Indians of the upper Chehalis, the Cowlitz, and the Quinault asset that Spirt lake is a weird lake. Many strange things have happened there and many weird tales and legends abound in the region of the Spirit lake country. It is said of the old Indians that only the strongest among them sought their Tamanaweis, or sou power, in the lake. There were some who came back and became strong medicine men among their tribe, but more often they were never heard from again.

Allen Chenois, a local Indian, told the following story to the writer regarding the Tyapish Indians:

“My uncle, old man Chenois, told me once that he found a party of other Indians while out hunting some years ago and came upon a band of the Tyapish Indians during their evening meal in Baker’s slough on the Willapa bay. The giant Tyapish seemed to be talking to the others in queer animal sounds, which my uncle could not make out. The Tyapish licked his greasy paws, then wiped them on his naked sides. Crouched around him on their hames were several others.

Tribesmen Deep-Chested.

“In appearance they were much the same. They were tall, narrow hipped and had crooked legs, and at the same time were deep-chested with heavy arms and enormous hands. They were covered with thick hair and had large breasts. Their heads were matted with uncut hair and black glittering eyes like the eyes of birds. Their jaws were massive. At one side of them partly devoured lay the carcass of a deer. It was a clear starlight night and we could make them out very plainly, but they were so ferocious looking my uncle said that we did not stay very long.”

Allen Chenois added that the Tyapish had not killed any Indians of the past generation that he knows of, but he had heard that former Chehalis Indians had been murdered at times by the giant Indians. They were so strong it is known they could pull a grown man’s head right off.

L. Peter James of the Lummi tribe related last year to the writer that the Seeahtik always leaves a tiny branch of cedar tree at places they have visited or upon people whom they have killed or played a practical joke on. The Duwamish tribe at one time related that some of their women had been stolen. The Seeahtiks in a rage killed 12 of the Duwamish tribe by ripping them in two. Mr. James’ mother, who is still alive, was a witness to the tragedy. She said; “They took our young men like toys, turning them upside down and ripping them in two like a piece of calico. Never again did the Duwamish tribe seek revenge when their women and babies were stolen by these Snayihum or Indians of the night and brothers to the Noseless one.”

“It was a custom of their to steal dried calm from the Lummi Indians,” said Mr. James. “The Seeahtiks are tall, hairy creatures and are great travelers.”

Tradition of the Pacific coast Indians bears out the fact they they were animals at one time, and during the process of evolution when they were changing from the animal to man the Seeahtiks did not absorb the Tamanaweis or soul power, and they became and anomaly in the process of evolution.


PENDLETON, Or., July 16 – (Special)- That the so-called “mountain devils” of the Cascades, said to have been seen near Spirit lake may be the descendants of a low type Indian that caused officers much trouble at Vancouver 60 years ago, was the belief express here today by Joseph A.. Dupuis. Mr. Dupuis as a child came with his parents across the plains in a wagon train in 1850. They left Illinois in May and arrived in Vancouver in November that fall.

“Vancouver was a tough little place in those days,” he declared. “There were miners, gamblers, soldiers and other rough and ready men who lived according to their own lights. One of the most hardboiled men of the lot was an Indian named Kiki. He was them about 40 years old, was a big man and had lost one eye. He caused much trouble by reason of the drinking and fighting scrapes he got into, and finally the authors ran him and his squaw out of Vancouver and told them never to come back.

“I continued to live in Vancouver until 1880, and nothing more was ever heard of Kiki or his squaw. All this news I have been seeing recently in the papers has made me wonder if these giants in the mountains may not be descendants of Kiki and his squaw.”

No Trace of Gorilla-Like Beasts Yet Found at Spirit Lake.

KELSO, Wash., July 16 -(Special.)- No word had been received today from any of the parities that left Kelso to visit the scene of the encounter with gorilla-like animals reported by Marion Smith and his companions. The latest report from the Spirit Lake district was that rockers were found in the cabin, but no traces of animals were discovered.

Wilson Burdick, old-time resident of Columbia Heights, said today that James Spencer, blacksmith, living on Lewis river, rooted an encounter with strange animals while trapping on upper Lewis river about 25 years ago. Spencer, who had two dogs with him, heard dogs barking on day and rushing up the hillside saw a huge ape-like animal leap into a tree. It tore huge limbs out of the tree and upon leaping back to the ground gave the dogs an unmerciful beating. They ran back to Spencer’s cabin and would not leave it for two days. At the end of that time Spencer decided to take up his traps and while he was making the rounds of his trap line he saw the huge animal carrying a trap, and under it’s arm a bear which had been caught in the trap. He hurriedly left and never would go back into the district again.


The next mention in the Oregonian of this incident is from the October 29th, 1967 edition, and was in response to the recent Patterson Film.

“Back in 1924 this area had its own hairy ape scare. A terrified miner reported in Kelso, Wash., that he had seen great apes which threw rocks at his cabin in the Mt. St. Helens area. An ape-hunting safari, which included our L.H. Gregory, set out for the mountains armed to the teeth. They found giant footprints around the cabin but all of the right foot. The search was called off when it was discovered that a piece of board found at the scene, combined with the knuckles of a man’s hand, made the perfect one-legged ape track.”

In the April 13th, 1969 edition as part of a larger article titled “Skeptics are beginning to think we may have missing link monster in our midst after all,” talks about repeated sighting all over the Pacific Northwest including northern California. “Hoax Admitted – In 1924, the largest ape hunt in history was launched at Mt. St. Helens north of Stevenson when miners reported their cabin was attacked by a band of apes. A posse discovered hundred of huge footprints. Years later, a U.S. Forest Service employe reported he and a fellow prankster faked the prints with wood cutouts strapped to their feet. But many have since reported seeing man-apes in that area.”


While this incident turned out to be fake, it’s interesting to note that the animal was not unknown. The Pranksters had obviously heard of the stories and twisted them to their purposes. Add in the fact that almost every Native American, tribe in the area knows of these creatures. The Nez Perce especially seemed to have been heavily afflicted with these beasts, while modern day sightings continue to pour in across the entire United States. It’s easy to say that all are fakes or mistaken, the Indian legends are merely that… but the sheer number of sights make that hard to fully believe.

What do you say? Have any sightings of Bigfoot you’d like to share? Or is it all bunk and a product of mass delusion? Please comment below!

Earliest documented Bigfoot Sighting in Pacific Northwest

Earliest documented Bigfoot Sighting in Pacific Northwest

The earliest documented Bigfoot sighting in Pacific Northwest that I can find happened July 15th, 1924 near Hoquiam Washington. At least that I’ve been able to find. Before this there are a profusion of stories though. Native American Tribes all over the Pacific Northwest have stories of hairy creatures in the woods. Some are described as benevolent, others as evil or a portents of evil to come, while others are described as terrifying hairy tall men. All are Oral Traditions though. This news story is the earliest one I can find documenting a sighting.

While this story was first page news, it seems that sightings of “Hairy Indians,” were not totally unknown even to early Settlers. So here it is, with headlines like something out of the World Weekly News, the earliest printed news story documenting what we now call “Bigfoot.”

Earliest documented Bigfoot Sighting in Pacific Northwest

Oregonian – July 15th, 1924


Mountain Devils’ Mystery Grows Deeper.


Shaggy Creatures Kill Game by Hypnotism, It is Said.


Redmen’s Editor at Hoquiam Gives Theory of Reported Attack at Spirit Lake.

By Jorg Totsgi, Clallam Tribe – Editor of the Real American

HOQUIAM, Wash., July 15 – (Special.) – The big apes, reported to have bombarded a shack of prospectors at Mount St. Helens are recognized by northwestern Indians as none other then the Seeahtik tribe of Indians. Seeahtik is a Clallam pronunciation. All other tribes of the northwest pronounce it Seeahtkch. Northwestern Indians have long kept the history of the Seeahtik tribe a secret, because the tribe is the skeleton in the northwestern Indian’s closet. Another reason the Indians have never divulged the existence of this tribe is that the northwestern Indians know the white man would not believe the stories regarding the Seeahtik tribe.

These facts are corroborated by Henry Napolean, Callam tribe, J.J. James, Lummi tribe, George Hyasuman, Quinault tribe.

Game Killed by Hypnotism.

Every Indian, especially of the Puget Sound tribes, is familiar with the history of these strange giant Indians, as they are sometimes referred to by local Indians. Shaker Indians of northwester Oregon, who attended the Shakers’ convention on the Skokomish reservation on Hood canal last year, related to the writer their experience with the Seeahtik Indians.

Oregon and Washington Indians agree that the Seeahtik Indians are not less than seven feet tall and some have been seen that were fully eight feet in height. They have hairy bodies like the bear. This is to protect them from the cold as they live entirely in the mountains. They kill their game entirely by hypnotism. They have great supernatural powers. They also have the gift of ventriloquism, and have deceived many ordinary Indians by throwing their voices.

Several Languages Used.
These Indians talk, beside the bear language of the Clallam tribe, the bird language.

The writer was told by Oregon Indians during his research work among them last year that the Seeahtik tribe can imitate any bird of the northwest, especially the bluejay, and that they have a very keen sense of smell. Oregon Indians at times have been greatly humiliated by the Seeahtiks’ vulgar sense of humor. The Seeahtiks play practical jokes upon them and steal their Indian women. Sometimes an Indian woman comes back. More often she does not, and it is even said by some northwestern Indians that they have a strain of the Seeahtik blood in them. Oregon and Washington Indians differ in regard to the Seeahtiks’ home. The Oregon Indians assert they made their home in or near Mount Rainier, while the Pugeot Sound Indians say they live in the heart of the wilderness at Vancouver Island B. C.

“Big Bear” Speaks.

Henry Napoleon of the Clallam tribe came upon one of the members of the Seeahtik tribe while out hunting on Vancouver island. He related this story to the writer:
“I had been visiting relative near Duncan B. C., and while there I had been told man stories of the Seeahtiks by the Cowichan tribe of British Columbia and warned by them not to go too far into the wilderness. However, in following a buck I had wounded, I went in farther than I expected. it was at twilight when I came across and animal that I believed to be a big bear but as I aimed at him with my gun he looked and spoke to me in my own tongue. He was about seven feet tall and his body was very hairy. As he invited me to sit down, he told me that I had come upon him unawares and that his mind had been projected to distant relatives of his, otherwise he (Mr. Napoleon) would never have been seen.

Strange Medicine Used.
“After we talked for some time he invited me to the Seeahtik’s home. Though it was now dark, yet the giant Indian followed the trail very easily; then we began an underground trail and after hours of travel we came to a large cave, which he said was the home of his people, and that they lived during the winter in the different caves on Vancouver Island. He also told me that the reason they were not see very much was because they had a strange medicine that they rubbed over their bodies so made them invisible and that combined

Earliest documented Bigfoot Sighting in Pacific Northwest

with their wha-ktee-nee-sing or hypnotic powers, made them very strong tamanaweis men. They also told me that they could talk almost Indian language of the northwest. The next day they led me out and just at twilight I came out of the underground trail and they accompanied me to within a mile of the Indian Village I was staying at.”

Tribe Held Harmless
The Seeahtik tribe is harmless if left along. However, if one of their members is injured or killed, the generally take 12 lives for the one. This the Indians of the northwest have learned, and even though the Seeahtik tribe steal all their dried meat or salmon, or even steal their women, the Pugeon sound Indians will not try to retaliate, for once the Clallam tribe in righteous indignation captured a young man of the Seeahtik tribe at Seabeck, Wash., and took him across the Hood canal to Brinnon, where other Clallam Indians were camped. Kwainchtun, the writer’s own grandfather, kept telling the Clallams to be careful of the Seeahtik’s supernatural powers, but he was only laughed at. It was later told by Kwaichtun, that while they were still 20 years from the shore the young Seeahtik made a might leap and immediately made for the mountains.

Clallams Are Killed
Kwaichtun warned his people that they should move, but again he was laughed at. That very night the Seeahtik tribe came down and killed every Clallam there but Kwaichtun, who had moved his family across the canal. The Oregon and Washington Indians of the present believed that the Seeahtik tribe was just about extinct, as it was 15 years ago since their tracks were last seen and recognized at Brinnon, Wash., where the giant Indians came every fall to fish for salmon in the Brinnon river. Howerver, Fred Pope, of the Quinault tribe, and George Hyasman were fishing for steelheads about 15 miles up the Quinault river, one day in September four years ago, when the were visited by Seeahtik Indians. Mr. Hyasman said he heard and recognized their peculiar whistling before they approached us and in the morning war found that they had stolen all the steelheads we had caught. Therefore, the Indians of the northwest after reading an account of the “big apes” attacking a prospector’s shack immediately recognized the Indians referred to in the The Oregonian as the Seeahtiks, or giant indians.

Some Indians of the northwest say that during the process of evolution, when the Indian was changed from animal to man that the Seeahtik did not absorb the “tamanaweis” or soul power, and thus he became an anomaly in the Indian’s process of evolution.

Their sense of humor is vulgar and obscene as many ordinary Indians have told the writer, therefore, the northwestern Indian is ashamed of this tribe, which is generally referred to as the skeleton in the northwestern Indian’s closet.


Kelso Police Chief and Others Go to Spirit Lake.

KELSO, Wash., July 15 – (Special.) – George Miller, chief of police and Charles Palmer left this morning for Spirit Lake for an outing and may investigate the story of “apemen” reported by Kelso prospectors, although they do not believe any such animals exist in that territory. Bert Wall, proprietor of White Top cabs; James Foley, James Murphy and Bud Edgar also left this afternoon to investigate the story.

Country Game Warden Leichhartd will also be at Spirit lake this week. No word had been received today from the party that left yesterday for a supposed encounter with the apes.


In Part Two we find out more about the Mysterious Apemen!

Portland’s Freeway Names, Interstate Highway

Portland’s Freeway Names, Interstate Highway

Back to War Veterans Memorial Freeway

Before I-5 was built through Portland, and opened to traffic on December 2, 1964,Interstate Avenue was “the” main Freeway through Portland as part of both the Pacific Highway Route, and the Highway 99W route. This road connected Portland and Vancouver Washington, via the newly built Interstate Bridge over the Columbia River. This bridge is now the east bridge of the I-5 Columbia River Crossing. Future plans will likely remove or replace both existing bridges with a new modern crossing.

Interstate was renamed by then Portland Mayor George L. Baker in 1916 to commemorate the opening of the bridge across the river. From 1909 to 1916, portions of Patton (now Massachusetts) and Maryland Avenue were condemned and repaved to form Interstate which at that time ran through empty land and were essentially dirt roads.

In 1928, Interstate was extended south over the bluff, (Kaiser hospital is at the top of the bluff now,) Delay and Larabee streets were renamed and connected to Interstate.

As the car became more and more a fixture of American Culture, Interstate shifted to serve the need of the driver directly. Gas Stations, Dining and Lodging in the form of Auto Camps popped up along the street. As a designated part of West Side Pacific Highway #3 it became a popular drive for the long distance traveler.

1939 saw a huge change though, as the street was lit with street lights, causing many people to gush about it’s beauty. After WWII Neon lights were added, among these are some of Portland’s most iconic signs such as the Alibi and the Palms Hotel. As part of the plan for the Interstate Urban Renewal Zone, these neon signs are considered public art and are celebrated as such.

May 1, 2004 saw the hugest change to Interstate in decades. The Yellow Line of Trimet’s MAX was opened to the public. The above mentioned Urban Renewal Zone had to be created to allow the light rail train to be built, but doing so also spurned development along the street.

In 2007 a movement started to push to rename Interstate to Caesar Chavez Avenue, but was scrapped because Interstate was already a historic name. According to City of Portland City Code, existing names can not be renamed if the original name is of historical significance. This was eventually dropped in favor of renaming 39th to honor Chavez.

Portland’s Freeway Names, War Veterans Freeway

War Veterans Freeway (I-205):–Washington)

Back to Minnesota Freeway

I-205, or “East Portland Freeway,” now officially named the “War Veterans Memorial Freeway” is Portland’s most controversial highway. The “Interstate 50th Anniversary” project has a really good write up of it’s history.

“This 26.6-mile-long route, which meets I-5 at Tualatin south of Portland, and then continues east through West Linn and Oregon City before heading north, was one of themost delayed and controversial of Oregon’s interstate segments. It was, perhaps not coincidently, one of the first of Oregon’s highways to follow successfully the requirementsof the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). NEPA required that “…roadprojects using federal funds must have an Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] detailing the effects of the proposed work,” a requirement that would have major impacts on Oregon’s interstate program. I-205 was the last of the proposed I-5 connecting loops actually to be constructed, although its final form was not as originally planned. The first contract for construction of any portion of Oregon Highway No. 64, the East Portland Freeway, as I-205 was called, was awarded on Jan. 11, 1968, for the Willamette River Bridge at West Linn. It opened to traffic on May 28, 1970. While some controversy arose during the construction of the road from I-5 east to West Linn and Oregon City, much of the 17.9 miles of this portion, perhaps among the most scenic segments of the interstate in any of Oregon’s urban areas, was completed by mid-1974. As I-205 pushed north to Multnomah County, however, the project ran into new and considerably more virulent controversy than had previously been the case. In 1973, groups opposed to the project filed petitions with Environmental Quality Commission. These environmental concerns, along with new doubts about the social value of freeways in general, put I-205 in the spotlight.

In July 1974, despite the fact that construction was already underway, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners formally retracted its earlier approval of the I-205 route and requested that the Oregon Department of Transportation redesign a nine-mile section of the freeway. ODOT wanted to stay with the proposed eight-lane design; Multnomah County wanted no more than four lanes. The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, who now enjoyed a virtually completed I-205 throughout the county, supported ODOT, as did the West Linn City Council. By the end of 1974, Glenn Jackson, Oregon Transportation Commission Chair, and the Multnomah County Commissioners were working on a compromise plan. Finally, in July 1975, ODOT and the local governments reached a tentative consensus that would keep the right-of-way but allow some dedication for bus only lanes while removing or redesigning several of the originally planned interchanges. But that did not end the controversy. In November 1975, the Federal Highway Administration notified the State that it objected to portions of the compromise plan related to types of interchanges and the bus-way design. By December 1975, following changes to the interchanges and redesign of portions of the bus corridor, FHWA withdrew its opposition to a six-lane I-205 freeway with exclusive buslanes, and so removed the major obstacle to construction of the route between Foster Roadand the Columbia River. By 1978-1979, construction on the remaining 9.2-mile section of I-205 was underway, with the agreement that the bus transit portion would be designed but not constructed concurrently with the route. The Glenn L. Jackson Bridge, which spans the Columbia River and connects I-205 between Oregon and Washington, was formally opened in December 1982. Interstate 205, as a complete interstate link between Tualatin and Vancouver, Wash., was completed in 1983. The controversy surrounding I-205, which questioned the focus on auto transit as opposed to bus systems or other forms of mass transit, represented a turning of the tide for freeway construction in Oregon. It was the last spur or connecting loop of I-5 to be constructed in the state.”

It is interesting to note that since this original article was written, those bus-ways have been taken over by Light Rail.

Next, Interstate Highway