Front Page of “The Oregonian” On July 13, 1924
FIGHT WITH BIG APES REPORTED BY MINERS – FABLED BEASTS ARE SAID TO HAVE BOMBARDED CABIN – ONE OF ANIMALS, SAID TO APPEAR LIKE HUGE GORILLA, IS KILLED BY PARTY
KELSO, Wash., July 12. — (Special.) — The strangest story to come from the Cascade Mountains was brought to Kelso today by Marion Smith, his son Roy Smith, Fred Beck, Gabe Lefever and John Peterson, who encountered the fabled “Mountain Devils” or mountain gorillas of Mount St. Helens this week, shooting one of them and being attacked throughout the night by rock bombardments of the beasts.
The men had been prospecting a claim on the Muddy, a branch of the Lewis River about eight miles from Spirit Lake, 46 miles from Castle Rock. They declared that they saw four of the huge animals, which were about 7 feet tall, weighed about 400 pounds and walked erect. Smith and his companions declared that they had seen the tracks of the animals several times in the last six years and Indians have told of the “Mountain Devils” for 60 years, but none of the animals ever has been seen before.
Smith met with one of the animals and fired at it with a revolver, he said. Thursday [7-10-24] Fred Beck, it is said, shot one, the body falling over a precipice. That night the animals bombarded the cabin where the men were sleeping with showers of rocks, many of them large ones, knocking chunks out of the log cabin, according to the prospectors. 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.
The animals were said to have the appearance of huge gorillas. They are covered with long, black hair. Their ears are about four inches long and stick straight up. They have four toes, short and stubby. The tracks are 13 to 14 inches long. These tracks have been seen by Forest Rangers and prospectors for years.
The prospectors built a new cabin this year and it is believed it is close to a cave thought to be occupied by the animals. Mr. Smith believes he knows the location of the cave.