Native Bigfoot Lore
The Cascade Moutains of the Pacific Northwest have always been a hotbed of bigfoot sightings. Even before the arrival of European settlers, Native Americans had legends of this ape like primate.
The Yakama Indians of Washington State called it "Qah-lin-me", the Hupa Indians of Northern California called them "Omah", a devil of the wild lands, to the Nisqually of western Washington state they were "Tsiatko", and the Kaska Indians of British Columbia called them "Tenatco" Cree and Algonquins referred to Sasquatch as 'wendigo'. The sasquatch of Native American lore was more aggressive than the shy and elusive giants we have come to know as bigfoot, perhaps they were more numerous and bold 'back in the day'.
Jack Fiddler, a Cree Indian claimed to have killed 14, and possibly more Sasquatches. His final sasquatch killing at the age of 87 landed him in jail. In October 1907, Fiddler along his son, Joe Fiddler, killed a Cree Indian woman. They plead guilty to the crime but defended themselves by claiming that the woman was possessed by the spirit of a Wendigo and was on the verge of transforming into one entirely.
1924 Attack of the Bigfoots
Mt. St. Helens is most famous in our times for its behemoth volcanic belch in 1980, but it had a previous claim to fame. In 1924 it hosted an incident which some say gave rise to modern day sasquatch hysteria.
A group of 6 Gold prospectors claimed they came under seige from a group of Sasquatch on the night of July 12, in a place that has since been dubbed Ape Canyon. They told of 7-foot-tall ape like animals attacking them with boulders.
They claimed to have encountered four sasquatches moving through the forest and walking with man like erect strides. The witnesses, Fred Beck, Gabe Lefever, John Peterson, Marion Smith and Roy Smith estimated each animal weighed about 400 pounds and the descriptions they gave are consistent with modern day descriptions. Roy Smith described them as 'gorilla men' and said he had spotted them near their cabin.
Fred Beck, spooked by the sight of gorilla like animals fired his rifle and shot one of the creatures causing it to fall off a cliff. And it was game on from there on in, the sasquatch sought revenge.
Later the same night, the prospectors were woken as small boulders and large rocks started crashing into their cabin. They described giant bodies ramming against the walls and door of their cabin. The sasquatch were pissed off and seeking revenge. They tore a hole in the roof, and Beck got clobbered with a projectile, the news report states . . . 'Many of the rocks fell through a hole in the roof, and two of the rocks struck Beck, one of them rendering him unconscious for nearly two hours'
As dawn approached the sasquatch klan broke off their attack and retreated into the woods. Once the prospectors were sure the coast clear they retreated like olympic sprinters out of the woods. And so ended the clash.
The story the men told went about as viral as it could in the pre internet era and the U.S. Forest Service launched an investigation which claims to have debunked the story as a hoax. The miners however stuck to their guns up till their dieing days.
In the years and decades that followed, the story would be repeated over and again, and was the possible inspiration for various sasquatch sightings and theories.
Fred Beck , one of the prospectors told his story in a booklet entitled, “I Fought the Apemen of Mt. St. Helens.” The December 2017 issue of Cowlitz Historical Quarterly republished an edited summary. It is also available on the internet at bigfootencounters.com