by Craig Adams
I’ve discovered some very interesting articles written in “The Oregonian” 88 years ago on the subject of Bigfoot. Most articles of the time made light of Sasquatch sightings. The articles below reveal information about the creature we’re just beginning to understand. You’ll find in reading, be wary of these huge beasts. They can kill you.
These articles were inspired days after the famous account of a group of prospectors that were attacked by Sasquatches near Mount St. Helens. One of the miners had shot and killed one of the “Mountain Devils.” This happened July 10, 1924 at their claim on the Muddy River, about 8 miles Southeast of Spirit Lake. The account was the beginning of what would become Bigfoot lore. Who better to enlighten us about these elusive creatures than Native Americans who interacted with them, passing down their stories.
Front Page of “The Oregonian” On July 16, 1924
BIG HAIRY INDIANS BACK OF APE TALE – MOUNTAIN DEVILS’ MYSTERY GROWS DEEPER – GIANTS SAID TO ROAM HILLS – SHAGGY CREATURES KILL GAME BY HYPNOTISM, IT IS SAID – VENTRILOQUISM IS USED – REDMEN’S EDITOR AT HOQUIAM GIVES THEORY OF REPORTED ATTACK AT SPIRIT LAKE
BY JORG TOTSGI, CLALLAM TRIBE, Editor of the Real American, Hoquiam Washington.
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 than the Seeahtik Tribe of Indians. Seeahtik is a Clallam pronunciation. All other tribes of the Northwest pronounce it Seeahtkeh. Northwestern Indians have long kept the history of the Seeahtik Tribe a secret, because the tribe is the skeleton in the Northwestern Indians’ 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 Napoleon, Clallam Tribe; L.J. James, Lummi Tribe; George Hyasman, 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 Northwestern 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 a 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 and 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 Puget 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 visting relatives near Duncan, B.C. and while there I had been told many 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 an 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 unaware and that his mind had been projected to distant relatives of his, otherwise he (Mr. Napolean) 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 seen very much was because they had a strange medicine that they rubbed over their bodies so that it made them invisible and that combined with their wha-ktee-nee-sing or hypnotic powers, made them very strong Tamanaweis men. They also told me that they could talk almost any 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 alone. However, if one of their members is injured or killed they 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 Puget 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 Kwainchtun, that while they were still 20 yards from the shore the young Seeahtik made a mighty leap and immediately made for the mountains.
CLALLAMS ARE KILLED
Kwainchtun 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 Kwainchtun, 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.
However, 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 they were visited by Seeahtik Indians. Mr. Hyasman said he heard and recognized their peculiar whistling before they approached us and in the morning we 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 Oregonian as the Seeahtiks, or giant Indians.
Some Indians of the Northwest say that during the process of evolution, when the Indian was changing from animal to man that the Seeahilk did not absorb the “Tamanaweis” or soul power, and thus he became an anomaly in the Indian’s process of evolution.
Their sence 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.
Follow up article revealing even more on what Native Americans know about Bigfoot.
Front Page of “The Oregonian” On July 17, 1924
APE HUNT TO FAIL, INDIANS PREDICT – SEEAHTIKS SAID TO ROAM AT SPIRIT LAKE – STRANGE EVENTS RELATED – BIG BREASTED GIANTS TAKE REVENGE ON TRIBESMEN – CEDAR IS LEFT ON DEAD – SHAGGY MONSTERS REPUTED TO BE STRONG ENOUGH TO PULL OFF HEADS OF HUMANS
BY JORG TOTSGI, CLALLAM TRIBE, Editor of the Real American.
HOQUIAM, 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 or 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 latter part of July and as a general rule do not remain there very long. Then they move North to the Olympic Range, where they do their Fall fishing in the upper parts of the Quinault and the Brinnon River. Then about the first of November or with the first breath of Winter they continue their Northward journey to Vancouver Island, where they remain during the entire Winter.
SPIRIT LAKE WEIRD
Old Indians of the upper Chehalis, the Cowlitz and the Quinault assert that Spirit 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 soul 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 hams [thighs] were several others.”
“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 Chenols 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 these 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 the 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 Seeahtik 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 theirs to steal dried salmon 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 that 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 thus they became an anomaly in the process of evolution.
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