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Ape Canyon incident 1924


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#1 jayjeti

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 04:29 AM

I fought the Apemen of Mt. St. Helens

 

http://www.bigfoot-l...ot_history.html

 

Told by Fred Beck of Kelso, Washington; written September 27, 1967 by his son R.A. Beck

 

What are Abominable Snowmen? Fred Beck is qualified to tell what they are. He was one of a party of five miners attacked by them in 1924, the most famous of such incidents in North America. The incident has become a legend in the Northwest. He tells the real facts after 43 years of silence.

 

Fred Beck with the gun he used to shoot

at the Sasquatch.                             

   

Fred Beck     beck.jpg

               

 The Attack

 

            

First of all, I wish to give an account of the attack and tell of the famous incident of July, 1924, when the "Hairy Apes" attacked our cabin. We had been prospecting for six years in the Mt. St. Helens and Lewis River area in Southwest Washington. We had, from time to time, come across large tracks by creek beds and springs. In 1924 I and four other miners were working our gold claim, the Vander White. It was two miles east of Mt. St. Helens near a deep canyon now named "Ape Canyon" — which was so named after an account of the incident reached the newspapers.

 

                           

Hank, a great hunter and good woodsman, was always a little apprehensive after seeing the tracks. The tracks were large and we knew that no known animal could have made them: the largest measured nineteen inches long.

 

It was in the middle of July, and we had received a good assay on our claim, and everyone was excited. I remember I had a tooth that was aching, and I suggested to Hank that he should take me to town to see a dentist; but he was so enthused in the prospects of the gold mine, he barely took time to answer me. He replied that "God or the Devil" could not get him away from there. We had all come up in his Ford, and I had no way to get to town unless he took me. So when we went back to our cabin, on the north side of the canyon, I had a nagging tooth ache and little appetite for our evening meal of beans and hotcakes.

 

Hank, though apprehensive, was still determined. We had been hearing noises in the evening for about a week. We heard a shrill, peculiar whistling each evening. We would hear it coming from one ridge, and then hear an answering whistling from another ridge. We also heard a sound which I could best describe as a booming, thumping sound — just like something was hitting its self on its chest.

 

Hank asked me to accompany him to the spring, about a hundred yards from our cabin, to get some water, and suggested we take our rifles — to be on the safe side. We walked to the spring, and then, Hank yelled and raised his rifle, and at that instant, I saw it. It was a hairy creature, and he was about a hundred yards away, on the other

 

                                               

Ape_Canyon           Ape_Canyon.jpg

The Top end of Ape Canyon.

It widens out further down the

mountain           

               

side of a little canyon, standing by a pine tree. It dodged behind the tree, and poked its head out from the side of the tree. And at the same time, Hank shot. I could see the bark fly out from the tree from each of his three shots. Someone may say that that was quite a distance to see the bark fly, but I saw it. The creature I judged to have been about seven feet tall with blackish-brown hair. It disappeared from our view for a short time, but then we saw it, running fast and upright, about two hundred yards down the little canyon. I shot three times before it disappeared from view.

              

We took the water back to the cabin, and explained the affair to the rest of the party; and we all agreed, including Hank, to go home the next morning as it would be dark before we could get to the car. We agreed it would be unsound to be caught by darkness on the way out.

 

Nightfall found us in our pine-log cabin. We had built the cabin ourselves, and had made it very sturdy. It stood for years afterward, and was visited by many sight seers until a few years ago when it was burned to the ground — the circumstances of the fire, I do not recall.

 

In the cabin, we had a long bunk bed in which two could sleep, feet to feet — the rest of us sleeping on pine boughs on the floor. At one end of the cabin, we had a fireplace, fashioned out of rocks. There were no windows in the cabin. So darkness found all of us in the cabin, more calm now (and my tooth was better, somehow the excitement seemed to work a temporary cure on it). We were sitting around, puffing on pipes, and talking about the trip home the next day.

                                        

Each of us settled down in his crude, but welcomed bed, and soon fell asleep. About midnight, we were all awakened. Hank, who was sleeping on the floor was yelling and kicking. But the noise that had awakened us was a tremendous thud against the cabin wall. Some of the chinking had been knocked loose from between the logs and had fell across Hank's chest. He had his rifle in his hand and was waving it back and forth as he kicked and yelled. (Hank always slept with his gun near by — it was a Remington automatic, my gun being a 30-30 Winchester, which I still have).

 

I helped to get the chinking off him, and he jumped to his feet. Then, we heard a great commotion outside: it sounded like a great number of feet trampling and rattling over a pile of our unused shakes. We grabbed our guns. Hank squinted through the space left by the chinking. By actual count, we saw only three of the creatures together at one time, but it sounded like there were many more.

              

This was the start of the famous attack, of which so much has been written in Washington and Oregon papers through out the years. Most accounts tell of giant boulders being hurled against the cabin, and say some even fell through the roof, but this was not quite the case. There were very few large rocks around in that area. It is true that many smaller ones were hurled at the cabin, but they did not break through the roof, but hit with a bang, and rolled off. Some did fall through the chimney of the fireplace. Some accounts state I was hit in the head by a rock and knocked unconscious. This is not true.

 

The only time we shot our guns that night was when the creatures were attacking our cabin. When they would quiet down for a few minutes, we would quit shooting. I told the rest of the party, that maybe if they saw we were only shooting when they attacked, they might realize we were only defending ourselves. We could have had clear shots at them through the opening left by the chinking had we chosen to shoot. We did shoot, however, when they climbed up on our roof. We shot round after round through the roof. We had to brace the hewed-logged door with a long pole taken from the bunk bed. The creatures were pushing against it and the whole door vibrated from the impact. We responded by firing many more rounds through the door. They pushed against the walls of the cabin as if trying to push the cabin over, but this was pretty much an impossibility, as previously stated the cabin was a sturdy made building. Hank and I did most of the shooting — the rest of the party crowded to the far end of the cabin, guns in their hands. One had a pistol, which still is in my family's possession, the others clutched their rifles. They seemed stunned and incredulous.

 

The attack continued the remainder of the night, with only short intervals between. A most profound and frightening experience occurred when one of the creatures, being close to the cabin, reached an arm through the chinking space and seized one of our axes by the handle (a much written about incident and a true one). Before the thing could pull the axe out, I swiftly turned the head of the axe upright, so that it caught on the logs; and at the same time Hank shot, barely missing my hand.

 

The creature let go, and I pulled the handle back in, and put the axe in a safe place.

 

A humorous thing I well remember was Hank singing: "If you leave us alone, we'll leave you alone, and we'll all go home in the morning." He did not mean it to be humorous, for Hank was dead serious, and sang under the impression that the "Mountain Devils" as he called them, might understand and go away.

 

The attack ended just before daylight. Just as soon as we were sure it was light enough to see, we came cautiously out of the cabin.

 

 It was not long before I saw one of the apelike creatures, standing about eighty yards away near the edge of Ape Canyon. I shot three times, and it toppled over the cliff, down into the gorge, some four hundred feet below.

 

Then Hank said that we should get out of there as soon as possible; and not bother to pack our supplies or equipment out; "After all," he said, "it's better to lose them, than our lives." We were all only too glad to agree. We brought out only that which we could get in our packsacks. We left about two hundred dollars in supplies, powder, and drilling equipment behind.

 

 I tried to persuade everyone not to relate the happenings to anyone, and they agreed, but Hank soon let the cat out of the bag. We made our way to Spirit Lake, and Hank went in to the ranger station. He had told the ranger earlier about the tracks, and the ranger had replied, "Let me know if you find out what they are." That was just what Hank did, to the puzzlement of the ranger.

 

 When we were back home in Kelso, Washington, he told some of his friends, and somehow the story leaked out to the papers, and the Great Hairy Ape Hunt of 1924 was on.

 

Local reporters interviewed us. They came from Portland and Seattle — even a big game hunter from England came asking questions, and he had a large gun with him that must have been an elephant gun. Many people flocked to the Mt. St. Helen's area looking for the "Great Hairy Apes", or "Mountain Devils." I, myself, went back with two reporters and a detective from Portland, Oregon. We found large tracks, and they photographed them. We did not see any of the Apemen then, nor could we find the ones we had shot.

 

 So people were asking questions: Was it true? Or was it just a wild tale? I can assure you it is true. Are they human? animal? or devils? I will answer that question in this book. That was a great "Apehunt" in 1924, and the last few years, more and more people have reported seeing them. There is an Apehunt being revived again, and another man has written a book on the subject and has formed a club whose purpose is to find evidence to prove what they already believe: that abominable snowmen of America do exist.

 

 

apecanyon.jpg

#2 HairyWildMan

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 09:10 AM

One of my favorite accounts! 



#3 jayjeti

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 01:22 PM

Yes, it is one of the more famous accounts due to the attention it received in the media at the time.  Unfortunately, there are a number of different versions of this event that include injuries and deaths to the miners that didn't happen; so, I posted the most accurate account there is, submitted by one of the men who was present at the event.  

 

The miners instigated the incident.  Many times men in those days were quick to shoot any animal they wanted to.  After two of the men shot at (and possibly hit) one of the sasquatches we read this statement, "We took the water back to the cabin, and explained the affair to the rest of the party; and we all agreed, including Hank, to go home the next morning as it would be dark before we could get to the car. We agreed it would be unsound to be caught by darkness on the way out."

 

It probably saved some of their lives to not travel back at night because sasquatches own the night.  The beasts waited until about midnight to attack the cabin where the men were.  It could be that the sasquatch they tried to shoot was wounded or even died, and its compatriots sought vengeance.  An important facet of this account is they never tried to attack the men during the daylight, but under cover of darkness they were emboldened.



#4 SRA-Todd

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 01:27 PM

Interesting timing of the story.  Coming out about a month before the Patterson/Gimlin film being shot.  Lots of stories came out after that, but coming out before lends a bit more credibility.



#5 jayjeti

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 01:25 AM

Good point.  That makes it less likely they were capitalizing on a new craze.  Stories about the episode were in a number of papers at the time of the incident too; so, its seems very authentic.  

 

261731_246862608659469_5422338_n.jpg

 

 

 

Notice how quick they were to shoot at it.  It was trying to hide behind a tree and the man was plugging away with his rifle -- whom I believe the man in the photo to the right.  Fred Beck is the man in the photo to the left.  In the first post at the start of this thread Fred Beck uses an alias for this other man (Roy Smith), calling him Hank.  When the sasquatch was running away Fred Beck got off three shots with his rifle at its back.  I don't think people so readily shoot things they've never seen before quite as easily as people did back then.

 

The U.S. calvary attempted to use camels at one time, but abandoned the idea and released them into the Mojave Desert, and the camels (I think 35) were thriving in the desert.  But whenever frontiersmen saw this strange animal they had never seen before they shot and killed it and they eradicated all the camels.  Its that mentality that got some people in trouble with sasquatches.



#6 HairyWildMan

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 12:04 PM

^^       It's that mentality that got many creatures in trouble with...existence/people



#7 jayjeti

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 05:45 PM

The cabin burned down many years ago, but this year it was believed the location was rediscovered.  The below article talks about that rediscovery.  They found nails and other items that were believed to have part of the cabin that burned down.

 

http://www.cryptozoo....com/1924-2013/

 

 

Beck.jpg

 

Marc Myrsell of Westport, Washington State, has been working for nearly five years researching the 1924 Ape Canyon story. In that time, he came to the conclusion that physical evidence of the site may have survived the Mt St. Helens eruptions.

 

On his 5th excursion of field work at the location, Myrsell’s group stayed up on the mountain for three days. On the second day, he found physical evidence of the cabin in the site that fits all the clues left behind within the Fred Beck accounts and in the newspaper report.

 

 Myrsell writes that his group refound

…the cabin site of the famed Venderwhite mine…89 years later, almost to the week when the Smith/Beck group fended off the attack with song, yelling and a lot of ammunition. SO WHAT’S THERE??


All surface evidence of the cabin is gone. A 1936 trail map told us that one could see the cabin from the trail. But that was only 12 years after the incident. In 1968, Fred Beck had heard that the cabin had burnt to the ground. In 1972, hikers told Peter Byrne that they had visited the cabin. Today, it’s rock, steep slope and trees, LIKE REALLY STEEP SLOPE…. LIKE DON’T TELL YOUR WIFE AND MOM WHAT YOU’RE DOING STEEP SLOPE.
The nature of the site carries a high probability of very little human impact. The area has never been commercially logged
as there are so few trees and these are very difficult to get out. The danger of traversing the area makes a high rate of human camp sites unlikely.
When you have this bag of clues, it’s a lot of hunting and pecking. Well, it could be this…. Well, it could be that….


But when you have the site down. It’s just the classic DUH!. Because all the clues start cascading in to place and it all makes sense.
So if one can put the clues on the ground and can solidify your suspected location with physical evidence, you’ve got it.

WE’VE GOT IT.


Due to the sensitive nature of this historic site, I’m really, really, really sorry. But WE CAN’T GO INTO SPECIFIC DETAILS ABOUT THE SITE’S LOCATION. PLEASE DON’T ASK.


But the excitement began with the discovery of the wire, about 16″ long with a coiled loop at one end, like for a bailing or a handle, sticking vertically in the ground. But a raptor could have been building a nest, grabbed it from Woodland and dropped it here.
The excitement grew with a nail, a shank nail about 4 inches long.


But, okay. okay. Keep it together. Someone dropped a nail out of their pocket.


However, jumping up and down and yelling and vigorous hand shaking ensued with the spoon. A single spoon. Just an old spoon. About 6″ underground. Yes someone could have dropped a spoon. Like MARION SMITH!


But this was the clincher. We started finding more and more nails and finally got to a rotten horizontal log, again about 6″ underground WITH THE NAILS DRIVEN IN TO IT.


As best we can tell, we probably found the long, 20 foot side of the cabin, guessing the uphill side.



#8 HairyWildMan

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:30 AM

great stuff!



#9 SRA Kris

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 04:32 PM

Very interesting account.


SRA Kris
Don't Believe, Know.




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