On May 18, 1980, a devastating natural disaster created an entirely new landscape across a specific portion of Washington State. We are talking about the eruption of Mount St. Helens, which killed more than four dozen people, as well as thousands of wild animals. Within the domain of cryptid ape investigations there are longstanding rumors that the calamitous event also took the lives of more than a few Bigfoot, something which, allegedly, elements of the U.S. Government and military sought to keep under wraps. The government's U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says of the Mount St. Helens disaster:
"With no immediate precursors, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake occurred at 8:32 a.m. on May 18, 1980 and was accompanied by a rapid series of events. At the same time as the earthquake, the volcano's northern bulge and summit slid away as a huge landslide—the largest debris avalanche on Earth in recorded history. A small, dark, ash-rich eruption plume rose directly from the base of the debris avalanche scarp, and another from the summit crater rose to about 200 m (650 ft) high. The debris avalanche swept around and up ridges to the north, but most of it turned westward as far as 23 km (14 mi) down the valley of the North Fork Toutle River and formed a hummocky deposit. The total avalanche volume is about 2.5 km3 (3.3 billion cubic yards), equivalent to 1 million Olympic swimming pools."
The landslide removed Mount St. Helens' northern flank, including part of the cryptodome that had grown inside the volcano, notes the USGS, adding that: "The cryptodome was a very hot and highly pressurized body of magma. Its removal resulted in immediate depressurization of the volcano's magmatic system and triggered powerful eruptions that blasted laterally through the sliding debris and removed the upper 300 m (nearly 1,000 ft) of the cone. As this lateral blast of hot material overtook the debris avalanche; it accelerated to at least 480 km per hr (300 mi per hr). Within a few minutes after onset, an eruption cloud of blast tephra began to rise from the former summit crater. Within less than 15 minutes it had reached a height of more than 24 km (15 mi or 80,000 ft).
"The lateral blast devastated an area nearly 30 km (19 mi) from west to east and more than 20 km (12.5 mi) northward from the former summit," the USGS notes. "In an inner zone extending nearly 10 km (6 mi) from the summit, virtually no trees remained of what was once dense forest."
And, demonstrating the incredible and deadly power unleashed that day, the USGS says: "Over the course of the day, prevailing winds blew 520 million tons of ash eastward across the United States and caused complete darkness in Spokane, Washington, 400 km (250 mi) from the volcano. Major ash falls occurred as far away as central Montana, and ash fell visibly as far eastward as the Great Plains of the Central United States, more than 1,500 km (930 mi) away. The ash cloud spread across the U.S. in three days and circled the Earth in 15 days."
So much for the official story; now, it's time to take a look at the unofficial one. In many respects, it parallels the claims of U.S. military retrievals of extraterrestrial bodies in the deserts near Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947. There are stories that the entire operation to recover possibly five or six Bigfoot from the pulverized remains of Mount St. Helens was coordinated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The USACE notes that its role is to: "Deliver vital public and military engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen our Nation’s security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.” In other words, the USACE would, indeed, have been the ideal body to have played a central role in the recoveries.
Several of the bodies, Bigfoot researchers have been told, were reportedly found on the 105-mile-long Cowlitz River, in the Cascade Mountains. Military Chinook helicopters were said to have been flown into the area and later exited with the corpses of several large, hairy, ape-like animals hanging from powerful nets strung beneath the helicopters. Their destination remains unknown. In 2012, a story surfaced from a former National Guardsman who maintained that he was actually on-site when at least some of the Bigfoot recoveries occurred – under cover of extensive secrecy. Incredibly, he claimed that not all of the retrieved Bigfoot were dead – some were burned and injured, and a few critically so. Particularly outrageous is the claim that the military had assistance from one or two unharmed Bigfoot that helped guide military personnel to the site where the injured, hairy giants lay!
There is absolutely no doubt that the stories of the dead and injured Bigfoot of the Mount St. Helens disaster of May 1980 are fascinating. Admittedly very problematic, however, is the glaring fact that none of the alleged, retired or former military personnel that have divulged such fantastic stories have been willing to reveal their names and/or proof of their employment at a military or government level. Unless, or until, such a thing does occur, the story will likely remain as hazy and controversial as it is sensational and potentially groundbreaking.