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!

Things I’m going to have when I’m rich

Things I’m going to have when I’m rich

1.) Someone to shell peanuts for my consumption.

2.) Someone to clean the bathroom after every use.

3.) REALLY fast Internet. Not just “Wow, that’s fast!” but “Huh… you must have already had that page up.”

4.) Rides on vintage airplanes

5.) A factory to build good quality, Logo-less, black hooded, zippered front sweat shirts.

6.) String of restaurants around town that all have reserved tables for myself.

7.) Full scale replica of the U.S.S. Oregon which I will donate to the City of Portland (again) with the cavet that it may not be donated for the war effort.

8.) Old limo like the one from Addams Family.

9.) Pearl Handled six shooter that will be stolen by my Nemesis which I will then need to heroically get back after we battle to the death.

10.) Physical Nemesis, not merely an ideology, but someone real.

11.) A building at the Zoo, filled with live exhibits. The “Richard Hamell Sasquatch Natural Habitatorium and Interpretive Center” has a nice ring to it.

12.) Good quality fedora and hiking boots

13.) A giant Douglas Fir growing through the middle of my house.

14.) Nice view from the bedroom of my house. Waking up to the Pacific Ocean, or Downtown Seattle would be cool

15.) Luxury Dirigible for traveling around the world.

16.) Autographed picture of Jamie Farr

The Tale of Chief Bigfoot

The Tale of Chief Bigfoot

In American history there are two Chief Bigfoots, Chief Big Foot of the Lakodas who was killed by the US Calvary on December 29, 1890, and Chief Bigfoot who led raids against settlers in the Eastern Oregon, Northern Nevada and South Eastern Idaho area during the 1860s.

The western Chief Bigfoot was the leader of the remains of the Paiute, Bannock and Shoshone Indians tribes. This combined tribe of Indians was rogue, having resisted resettlement to reservations. He was known by several names, Nam-Puh, We-ah-we-ha, and Oulux. The town of Nampa Idaho was named after him, Nam-Puh meaning “Big Foot” in the Bannock Language. As you’ll see below, the full extent of Chief Bigfoot and his tribe’s activities is unknown, but they were a real worry to settlers in the area during the Snake Wars. He and his tribe would steal horses, set remote farms on fire, kill sheep, etc.

He was a tall man, described by Idaho pioneer John Hailey in “History of Idaho” as “six foot eight inches tall, and weighing two hundred and eighty pounds.” His foot print in moccasins was seventeen and a half inches long by six inches wide. The size of his foot led many local boys to make “Chief Bigfoot” tracks and then play practical jokes with the Chief to blame.

His story has been stretched quite a bit, not only over the years, but during his own lifetime. It doesn’t help that one of the tertiary sources tries to create a link between Chief Bigfoot and Sasquatch. The author of that book apparently believes that all Bigfoot sightings in the area are actually actually a taller, hairier, and miraculously 180 year old, Chief Bigfoot. The core of his story weaves between these two facts, attempting to blend them together.

Another stretching of the truth was in November 1878. Author William T. Anderson published an account in the “Idaho Statesman,” of Chief Bigfoot’s demise. This story adds a few “facts” that are short on proof of any sort. Of course the original article was published as a serial so truth was probably stretched even more. Like many Western Stories of the day, just enough facts and truth were applied to give the story enough elements of truth to be believable. Unfortunately this story was taken as fact for some time to the point that Pioneer Descendants had a brass plaque erected on the Snake River near Bigfoot Canyon repeating the tale below.

The story, as outlined in the Idaho Statesman, starts with real life figure John Wheeler, a known highwayman and gunman who lived near Silver City, Idaho. Wheeler had successfully held up a stage coach in Oregon, and was killed a few years later while trying to do so again in Arizona.

According to Anderson; “… after lying in wait for three days, Wheeler trapped Bigfoot, challenged him, and the battle was on. The duel took place in what became known as Bigfoot Canyon, a few miles south of Snake River, on the stage route to Silver City. When the shooting ended and the gunsmoke cleared, Bigfoot lay prostrate in the dust, twelve bullets from a Henry rifle in his body. Though both his legs and one of his arms were broken, he still was considered so dangerous that when he asked for a drink of water, Wheeler replied:

‘Hold on till I break the other arm, old rooster; then I’ll give you a drink.’

‘Well, do it quick,” Bigfoot said, ‘and give me a drink and let me die.”

Anderson states that Wheeler did both, and then gave the Chief a swig of whiskey and ammonia “in case of snakebite” at his request. “The Indian drank it, every drop, and then fell back apparently dead. After a few minutes he revived, and said that he was better.”

The Chief then told Wheeler his life story. Note that at this point he had four broken limbs and twelve bullet holes from a .44 in his body. Anyways, he had been born to a half Cherokee half Negro woman, and a white man named Archer Wilkinson. Wilkinson had been hanged for murder but his mother was a good, religious woman. His actual name was Starr Wilkinson, he was six foot eight and a half, 300 pounds and had been called “Bigfoot” as long as he could remember.

He drove a wagon west as part of a emigrant train in 1856 in return for room and board. He fell in love with a young lady on the train, who returned his interest until an artist from New York City joined the train. Suspecting the artist had bad mouthed him, an argument started while the two men were rounding up the stock one morning near Goose Creek Mountains. The artist admitted to having made derogatory references to Wilkinson’s parentage to the young lady.

“This made me mad, and I told him if he called me that again I would kill him. So he drew his gun on me and repeated it. I was unarmed, but started at him. He shot me in the side but did not hurt me much, so I grabbed him and threw him down, and choked him to death, then threw him into Snake River, took his gun, pistol and knife and ran off into the hills.”

Anderson writes that Joe Lewis, of the Whitman Massacre, was his chief aide. As vengeance, they planned and carried out the Ward Massacre (which happened in 1854 – two years before Wilkinson came over on the wagon train,) the Otter Massacre in 1860, and the young lady he had once been interested in along with countless other killings.

Wilkinson found that Wheeler was also part Cherokee and asked him two favors – that none be told of his death and that his body was to be buried where it could never be found. Wheeler agreed, and Chief Bigfoot died content.

General George S. Crook finally ended what became known as the Snake Indian Wars in 1868. He wrote in his memoirs that he had sighted an Indian named Bigfoot who appeared to be a Paiute. He stood over six feet tall, had a moccasin track of fourteen and half inches long, and could run down jackrabbits.