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Mountain Devil! The 1924 Ape Canyon Attack and its Aftermath

One man found the place where it all began…The Ape Canyon Attack of 1924!

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Marc Myrsell had never thought much about Bigfoot until one day at the age of nine when he tuned the family television set to to KPTV Channel 13, Portland. Spellbound, the young Myrsell watched in horror as a historic Bigfoot encounter was reenacted in front of his very eyes. 

On the screen, hardworking miners were savagely attacked in the middle of the night by terrifying “ape men”. The wooden frame of the miners’ cabin shook violently, its door rattling, as it was pelted with gigantic rocks. A huge hairy ape arm reached in through the window, grabbing at an axe one of the miners had left on the table and trying to pull it outside. The men took aim...shots rang out!  With their ammunition running low, would the miners survive the night? Fortunately, the miners lived, but their lives would never be the same. Neither would Myrsell’s.

The story that was aired that night planted a seed in Myrsell, one that continued to germinate as he grew up and started working in the family business as a land surveyor. He never stopped thinking about the Ape Canyon Attack of 1924, the one he had seen depicted on the local television station. 

Spirit Lake, Mt. St. Helens, Washington, as it looked in 1923. Photo for illustrative purposes only; not in Mountain Devil zine. Photographer: Asahel Curtis

Had the attack truly happened? Had "ape men" surrounded a cabin near Spirit Lake on Mt. St. Helens, Washington, and thrown heavy rocks at it, terrifying the men inside? Had the miners actually shot Bigfoot with rifles and revolvers? Where were the eyewitness accounts from the miners? Could he find the old newspaper stories? What about the cabin? Where exactly was it? Myrsell determined to find out as much as he could about the attack and from then on, spent most of his free time absorbed in a search for the real history of Ape Canyon. 

Through days and months and years of work, Myrsell was able to locate many primary sources of evidence about the Ape Canyon attack, including newspaper articles from the time, old maps, mining documents, photos and much more.

Image found in Mountain Devil zine: a Bigfoot-like being woven into a Klickitat tribal basket made for gathering huckleberries

He spent weekends on foot, trudging through the basalt canyons and treed hillsides near the area of Spirit Lake, on Mt. St. Helens, Washington. At last, he discovered the site of the cabin, a place lost to history for decades. 

Myrsell then gathered all of his research and created a “zine” or a short book about the attack. Mountain Devil! The 1924 Ape Canyon Attack and its Aftermath is the result: a “zine” that won the Washington State Library Zine Contest in 2019. Although just 30 pages long, this publication is bursting with information, historic facts, photos, eyewitness accounts and more. It is a fascinating and compelling zine that will surely leave readers just as spellbound as Myrsell was when he first discovered the story. 

Example pages from Mountain Devil zine: historic photos, newspaper articles, editorial cartoons and tracks (footprints)

In just a few months, attendees of Forks Sasquatch Days in Forks, Washington, May 26-28 will have the opportunity to hear first-hand from Marc Myrsell. As a featured speaker at this second-annual Bigfoot-themed conference, Myrsell will tell the incredible true story of the attack at Ape Canyon.

Sasquatch The Legend offers exclusive signed and numbered editions of Mountain Devil in our online store. They make a fantastic addition to any Sasquatch-themed personal library. For more information, click here: Mountain Devil. 

Forks Sasquatch Days will take place in Forks, Washington, Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-28, 2023. For tickets, visit Sasquatch Days.

 

by Christina Hebert

 

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