Index to This Site

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Psychics of Ape Canyon

     Every good bigfooter knows the story of Ape Canyon, close to Mount St Helens, Washington: how it acquired its name in 1924 when a group of prospectors were harassed in their cabin by a party of giant apes. Well, in 1967 ie 43 years after the event, one of the prospectors, Fred Beck decided to set the record straight, and his story was written down by his son, Ronald A. Beck. I don't know where it was originally published, but you can read it all on the excellent Bigfoot Encounters website.
    Parts 1 and 2 deal with the events themselves, and you should read them. It is Part 3 that is of interest here. Although, in my opinion, he does not establish his case that bigfoot is not a flesh and blood animal, he does recount in detail his own psychical experiences in the Canyon. He then branches off into speculations about the nature of reality which need not concern us.
     Normally, I would be reluctant to copy large sections of another's website, but I fear that, in this case, the remarkable story will be lost in the voluminous amount of information present on the Bigfoot Encounters site. (I really would suggest you read it, if you are interested in the subject.) Also, fair's fair. I haven't complained that the site includes a copy of a paper of mine from 1989, even though it represents an opinion I know longer hold. With this in mind, let us see what Mr Beck had to say.

     The events leading up to the ape episode were filled with the psychic element. Since a young man I had always been clairvoyant. When just a boy I was in the pasture playing with my beanshooter. I had bought it with some long earned coins. It had a twisted wire handle. I lost it, and as I was crying, a kindly woman came up to me and put her arms around me. I felt warm all over. "Little boy," she said, "don't cry. Go home, you will find your beanshooter there." I went home and found it, and as far as I knew then it was the same one. But years later I found the one I lost. It was weather beaten and the rubber was rotten.
     I would be sleeping on the hard benches of the Adventist Church my folks used to attend, and I would have my head in a lady's lap, only when I mentioned it to my folks, they said there was no one else there and took it to be a boy's musings. As I grew older, I saw visions and eventually I was holding spiritual meetings. After 1924 I spent many years in healing work.
. . .
     In 1922 we found the location of our mine. A spiritual being, a large Indian dressed in buckskin, appeared to us and talked to us. He was the picture of stateliness itself. He never told us his name, but we always called him the Great Spirit. He replied once, "The Great Spirit is above me. We are all of the Great Spirit, if we listen when the Great Spirit talks."
     There was another spiritual being which appeared to us — more in the role of a comforting friend, and we learned her name. One of our party suggested later that we name our mine after her; and so the mining claim we later filed bore her last name. The big Indian being told us there would be a white arrow go before us. Another man, who was not present during the attack in 1924, could see the arrow easily and clearly at all times. And I could see it nearly as well.
     So we started by the Lewis River, south of Mt. St. Helens, and went up the Muddy River, and in all we followed the white arrow four days. The going was slow, for in those days it was very rugged territory. Hank's temper was growing short as he climbed the hills. He had always been a believer of spiritual things, and afterwards he was a believer. But he lost his temper and cussed. He swore at the spirit leading us. His face was red and we could not stop him: "Just a wild goose chase," he exclaimed, "they lied to us, and got us running all over the hills, and I want nothing more to do with them." He went on and on.
     Then just when he had started to calm down, we all saw the arrow soar up high, change direction and swoop down. We had to follow in the general direction before we could find it again. It hovered near the top of the north cliff of Ape Canyon. That was the site where we later blasted out our shaft. We got a little closer, and we all saw the image of a large door open, and the big Indian appeared in front of it. He spoke: "Because you have cursed the spirit leading you, you will be shown where there is gold, but it is not given to you."
     With those words, he disappeared. Then we saw the door slowly close. There was a huge lock and latch, but as the door shut, the lock did not latch: a closed door but it was not locked! "We just as well pack up and go home," one of the party said.
     And that is just the way our gold mine turned out — closed but not locked. We worked that mine for two years, and one assay showed well over 2,000 dollars a ton. But as it turned out, what we had actually done was to cut the leaders. There is a pocket of gold in that cliff if someone is fortunate enough to find it. We gave up looking for it.
. . .
     For six years all had been peaceful. We were simple men and hard working men, and an aura of good or spiritual power surrounded us. We had seen the tracks, but the makers of them had left us alone. No one was really worried about the tracks as regarding any threat to our safety. But after one of us had lost his temper and denounced the spirit leading us a liar, from that time on, a quiet apprehensiveness settled over us. We continued working our claim, but down deep we felt it would avail to no good end. We had bursts of enthusiasm but no success. And yet we did have success, because we learned. Nothing can replace experience as a teacher.
     I want to tell you a very amazing experience I had in my mining days at Mt. St. Helens. I was walking from Spirit Lake on the trail. It was in the afternoon and I was feeling a little lonely. As I came around a curve in the trail, I met a very pleasant, beautiful young lady.
      She began talking with me just as though she had always known me and had casually met me again. She said her father was hunting and that she was headed back to her camp. She had a jacket with her, and she let me pack it as we walked along the trail together. She told me all about herself and her father stating that she and her father came up every summer for an outing, to hunt, and to enjoy the beauties of nature. She was one of the most pleasant persons I had ever talked to in my life. When we parted, she told me where she and her father were camped, and asked me to visit them that evening.
      I went, and had to walk about a mile. Her camp was east of ours, and quite a distance for a young lady of eighteen, I thought, to wander around in away from her father. When I arrived at her camp, I did not see her father, and never did see him. She had a fire going, and a light colored blanket was spread out and she was sitting on it. It was a warm summer evening, and we held another pleasant conversation. I remember her telling me how she liked the fresh air of the mountains, and how wonderfully she loved nature.
      She would be talking on a subject, then pause and say, "Isn't that right, Dad?" This she said several times. There was no tent, cooking utensils, no food, and certainly no visible father. The most amazing thing was I did not at the time think her different than any other person. When she spoke to her invisible Dad, I felt just like her Dad was there.
      I left her and walked back to camp, but my mind seemed like it was a thousand miles away. I could hear the other men talking, but it seemed like they were below me, and their voices sounded soft and distant.
      I do not know anyone who had seen her but myself.
      One day we needed a pencil to make a description of our claim. We found we had not brought one along with us. Everyone was a little put out. But then it came — a pencil was in my hand. It had tooth marks all over it. When that trip was over and I was home, I showed the pencil to my wife, and she said, "Why, that's a pencil I bought when you were gone. How did you get it?" She said my oldest son, then a young tot, was chewing on it and she took it away from him and had put it in a drawer. She went and looked and she found no pencil.

     That last paragraph, and possibly the first, sounds a bit like the pixilation referred to in an earlier post. As for the rest of the story, what can I say? After describing, in vivid detail, an exorcism he witnessed, Rabbi Jakob Fromer added: "Now that I am committing these thoughts to writing, I can, if I wish, call these men fools. What is there to prevent me? I am sitting alone in my room, I have paper and pen and can think and write what I please. But . . ."
     Likewise, I am sitting safely on the other side of the world, and Mr Beck is safely deceased. If I want to call him a liar, what is to stop me? Just the same, I have to admit that there is no evidence to that effect one way or the other. If he merely wanted to reclaim his fifteen minutes of fame, telling the original story would have been sufficient. Like most of the other events described in this blog, the only thing arguing against it is that it is fantastic. In any case, you can make up your own mind. At least the story has not been allowed to get lost.


  1. If you have never been completely immersed in living in nature for months at a time, this story might sound fantastic. I have lived in the jungle, and I know that you are much closer to all things spiritual there, even if if you come to it an atheist.

    1. Aww, thanks for also acknowledging the spiritual-capacity of non-believers of a personal, allegedly eternal-and-creator-of-all God, although the choice of word "Even if" still renders us somewhat inferior and "less human" to believers of God (which in this case, the use of "whether or not" will do us more justice).

      Indeed, spirituality does not necessitate belief in God as a personal entity. Spirituality does not even necessitate you to believe that you have a soul, whereas what reincarnates into your new "body" is not your "soul", as explained by Buddha in the Anatta Doctrine of soul-less-ness. Praising Buddhism as the only "religion" compatible with modern science, Einstein was also known to generate spirituality-laden scientific statements (in the book Albert Einstein the Human Side, and quotations in spaceandmotiondotcom). Socrates, Spinoza and Hawking also shared the notion that a God is not needed for all the wonders of the ever-changing and eternal universe, since upon further musings, God is also not (supposedly) responsible for all the dis-orders, chaos and other unpleasant, non-joyful states -- whereas religionists refuse to acknowledge that evil comes from, and returns/reports to, their God (and "freewill" is therefore a merely personal illusion towards a "universal reality" of an inevitable grand scenario for the universe). Yet in the context of the physical universe, the bad, chaotic and disorderly things "must" take place so that all the things orderly, pleasant and beautiful can come up, no matter how temporarily...