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!