Famous Ape Canyon Bigfoot Attack
Historical Bigfoot Encounter America
It has long been thought by researchers that the Australian Yowie has striking similarities to the American Bigfoot or Sasquatch. Part of our research into these creatures involves studying and comparing reports of them from both countries and several other countries. One of the most famous Big Foot encounters happened in 1924 in a remote region of Washington State USA. A group of gold miners endures a night long attack from several creatures. We were able to gain a transcript of the actual account of the famous Ape Canyon attack as told by one of the miners involved in it, Fred Beck.
Fred Beck was one of the miners who were mining for gold in what is now known as Ape Canyon after this encounter was publicized and his personal account is below which made 43 years after the incident. To avoid embarrassment to the relatives of the other four men involved in the 1924 incident, Beck did not directly mention their names and the one miner named The Hank, is a pseudonym of one of the main characters in the incident.
The mining party was made up of the following people: Fred Beck, Gabe Lefever, John Peterson, Marion Smith and Smith’s son Roy. The miner's hut where the attack occurred is pictured above.
Ape Canyon gorge along the edge of the Plains of Abraham, on the southeast shoulder of Mount St. Helens in Washington state. The gorge narrows to as close as eight feet (2.5 m) at one point.
Fred Beck's Account
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 Mount St Helens and Louis 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 Vanda White. It was two miles east of Mount 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 woodsmen 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 and the prospect of the gold mine he barely took time to answer me and he replied that god or the devil cannot 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 toothache and little appetite for our evening meal of beans and hot cakes.
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 here in answering was whistling from another ridge. We also heard a sound which I could best describe as a booming dumping sound just like something was hitting himself on his 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 side of the little canyon, standing by a pine tree, it dodged behind the tree and poked his 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'd 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 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 he wouldn't be unsound to be caught by darkness on the way out. Nightfall found us in our pine log cabin. We had built a cabin ourselves and had made it very sturdy. It stood for years afterwards and was visited by many sightseers 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 seem 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 to his crude, but welcome 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 Hanks 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 nearby. It was a Remington automatic. My gun being a thirty thirty one Chester, 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 account, 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's papers throughout 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, but it is true that many smaller ones were hurled at the cabin, but they did not break 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 a 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 huge log 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 impossible. 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 possession. The others cluster rifles they seem, 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 their 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’s shots, 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 will remember was Hank singing “if you leave us alone will 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 saying under the impression that the mountain devil 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 wasn’t long before I saw one of the ape-like creatures standing out 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 after all he said it's better to lose them than lose our lives. We were all only too glad to agree. We brought out only that which we can get in our pack sacks. We left about two hundred dollars in supplies powder and drilling equipment behind. I tried to persuade everyone not to relate to 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 into 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 at home and Kelso Washington, he told some of his friends, and somehow the story leaked out to the papers and the great 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 Mount St Helens area looking for the great hairy apes or mountain devil's. I myself went back with two reporters and a detective from Portland Oregon. We found large tracts and they photographed them. We did not see any of the ape-men then, nor could we find the ones we had shot. Some 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 the book. That was a great ape hunt in 1924. In the last few years, more and more and more people have reported seeing them. There is an ape hunt of 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 snowman of america do exist. A wealthy person has offered a large sum of money for anyone that can capture one alive. Sightings have been reported in Canada, Washington, Oregon and northern California, but the purpose of this book is not only to relay my experiences but also to bring to light my knowledge about the abominable snowman. I do not wish to embark upon an expedition but I wish to tell what these things are.
A fascinating account by Fred Beck!!
As a postscript to this transcript, we were also made aware of some additional perception of the event from Mr Beck and we believe others along the lines of some supernatural events in the lead up to the group arriving at the site and a reported quote that they thought "these creatures were not of this world". We haven't gone into this for several reasons which we won't go into detail here. There are certainly many reported strange occurrences that happen when these creatures are around including with the Yowie. It would be great to be able to say that these creatures are simply another humanoid species and they may well be but for now our minds are still open as to what they are, perplexing as this is.
We hope you liked the story from 1924 and remember If You See Something, Say Something.