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Sep-14-2011 20:45printcomments

Skeletal Remains of Strange Creature Found at HempStalk Festival

Visitors to Kelley Point Park were bewildered by a strange creature-like skeleton.

sea creature
Is this skeleton that washed up from the river a product of nuclear influence? Photos by Austin King.
Copyright 2011 Salem-News.com

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - UPDATE: OK, we have just completed a conversation with Barbara Lagerquist, a Research Assistant at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport (South Beach) Oregon. She says the photo was sent to the main university and also was evaluated by several staff members at the Marine Science Center.

It looks like the majority of the comments suggesting this is a white sturgeon, are probably correct. We have been asked to see if there is another photo and there may be, we will publish it if so. I have not personally seen it, but I am curious and we look forward to getting that out.

Lagerquist says they can not conclude for sure.

And...

"Looks like a rotting sea lion. Pretty sure that’s what it is based on size of eye orbits, fin location, spinal column. The long thin “tail” is somewhat confusing but could just be a chunk of flesh hanging off end of pelvic fins." – John North, ODFW Columbia River Fisheries Manager

The skeletal remains of this mysterious creature were found at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers in the wild and fairly untamed waters on the edge of Portland.

What creature is this?

Tens of thousands of visitors to the park last weekend enjoyed the live music and entertainment that the HempStalk Festival has provided for seven years. The annual event has been held at Kelley Point Park for three years, and has gained in popularity year after year.

Now attracting up to 50,000 people, the one thing they didn't expect to show up this weekend was dead, ugly, and lying on the beach.

Austin King of Salem-News.com shot these photos of the unknown animal, which was estimated to be 8' long. Un-scientifically speaking, it looks to most like a sea monster, an alligator, or possibly a weird sort of eel. Do you see a dragon? Okay, that may be going too far, but we know this is not a normal sighting on the beach. Any beach.

As there are two sites along the Columbia where nuclear production has taken place, the idea must be considered that the creature's remains are the product of toxic influence. For decades, Plutonium for nuclear weapons was produced at the Hanford Site, which is now known to be the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States.

The environment of the Columbia River has been greatly impacted by this, as well as industrial pollution and barriers to fish migration, so it is not at all difficult to see this creature for what it may be- a nuclear malady.

The Willamette River is a major tributary of the Columbia, about 101 miles from the Columbia's mouth on the Pacific Ocean.

It was created about 35 million years ago by plate tectonics, innumerable volcanoes and erosion, and then modified by the Missoula Floods at the end of the most recent ice age. Animals that we've never seen or heard of could have existed before and during that time. Humans didn't even live in the area until 10,000 years ago. Maybe this animal was leftover from the past, a dinosaur?

So, where did this skeleton come from? Is it a natural occurrence or something beyond the norm, and outside the typical? You just never know what's going to wash up next.

If you know the answer to this mystery or have your own theory, or photos to share, we would like to hear from you. Please email the Salem-News newsroom at Newsroom@Salem-News.com.



Bonnie King has been with Salem-News.com since August '04, when she became Publisher. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers.

View articles written by Bonnie King




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DrDano November 6, 2011 9:38 pm (Pacific time)

Right out of a movie, O my God, it must be nuclear waste- waste!!! This will be the new line, everytime an anthropologist finds a new bone. Good god and they let you on television. And correct grammer is not as important as getting the idea across. The previous commentor used language correctly it seems. You do know you flushed your eyewitness credibility right down the drain with the Neclear comment.


Anonymous September 29, 2011 6:10 am (Pacific time)

Yeah those nuclear waste facilities are so dangerous. I mean look at all those deformed people living in the Tri-Cities area that eat fish out of those waters too.


Ted September 24, 2011 10:29 am (Pacific time)

Ok so mystery solved, but why is the sensationalism regarding nuclear waste either left in the story or included in the update as just that sensationalism?

Editor: Ted, do you have any idea how dangerous nuclear energy facilities are?  I think any responsible group remembers such things.


Billy The Kid September 23, 2011 11:36 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for the factual article, Bonnie King! A+ "reporting"


News Editor September 20, 2011 2:03 pm (Pacific time)

OK, we have just completed a conversation with Barbara Lagerquist, a Research Assistant at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport (South Beach) Oregon. She says the photo was sent to the main university and also was evaluated by several staff members at the Marine Science Center.

It looks like the majority of the comments suggesting this is a white sturgeon, are probably correct. We have been asked to see if there is another photo and there may be, we will publish it if so. I have not personally seen it, but I am curious and we look forward to getting that out.

Lagerquist says they can not conclude for sure.

This also came in today...

"Looks like a rotting sea lion. Pretty sure that’s what it is based on size of eye orbits, fin location, spinal column. The long thin “tail” is somewhat confusing but could just be a chunk of flesh hanging off end of pelvic fins." – John North, ODFW Columbia River Fisheries Manager


Brenda September 20, 2011 10:08 am (Pacific time)

Well? What is it? did anyone ever find out?????


Brad Paisley September 20, 2011 9:17 am (Pacific time)

It is a sturgeon. Check out head anatomy here...

http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/14300/14395/sturgeonskul_14395.htm


Captain Obvious September 20, 2011 8:58 am (Pacific time)

What do you mean it looks nothing like a sturgeon? It looks exactly like a sturgeon. Kelly point is a huge sturgeon fishery, the confluence of the rivers concentrate food.


genius September 20, 2011 8:53 am (Pacific time)

LOL someone posted this in a forum and I have to say it's hilarious. First off it's clearly a sturgeon. Second off, you're hilarious for bringing up the nuclear waste bs. In that area, that water from the Columbia is tidally influenced, also show me pictures of these "deformed" fish from the Hanford area. I've never once caught a "deformed" fish by there. Also, didn't you know that babies are born everyday with deformaties? Are you going to say a baby born in England that is deformed is caused by nuclear waste? You should really look up info on what you're going to write about, the head of that fish is exactly like a sturgeon and they grow up to 15-20 feet long.


Scott September 20, 2011 8:14 am (Pacific time)

When ODFW confirms it's a Sturgeon I hope you let everyone know.

Editor: Absolutely, and based on the comments that is probably what it is, I will let everyone know.


Ted September 20, 2011 6:50 am (Pacific time)

Sturgeon. The whip tail is the spinal cord, most of the fish has either been eaten or rotted and floated off IMO. It also doesn't look anything like the animal the Russians found. Not saying the fish came from the Keppy Point area, but it is a frequent spot that many fish for Sturgeon. Check the Sturgeon pool at Bonneville, they get really big.


Todd September 20, 2011 5:41 am (Pacific time)

Sturgeon.....end of story.


Art Martin September 20, 2011 4:33 am (Pacific time)

It sure looks like a partially decayed dead over-sized white sturgeon. Perhaps some scavenger chewed on the left side of its head a little. I've seen them before along the Columbia River.


Fish guy September 19, 2011 11:46 pm (Pacific time)

Not sure how you CAN'T tell its a sturgeon. Caught many in that same area, and have seen many decomposing fish. It's not anything to get this worked up about.. Instead of Area 51, we can call it the Bouy 51 Area... haha!


Clifford Pepper September 19, 2011 11:05 pm (Pacific time)

It's just an oversize sturgeon carcass. The head and eye sockets, and tail are the telling features. Some good creative writing, but in the end, it's just a sturgeon.


Brett September 19, 2011 10:24 pm (Pacific time)

Large sea loin for sure


Mike Hunt September 19, 2011 9:41 pm (Pacific time)

That is no sturgeon however I am a dumbshit


B.T. September 19, 2011 9:38 pm (Pacific time)

I do biology work for ODFW. Thats a White Sturgeon...


Anonymous September 19, 2011 8:56 pm (Pacific time)

Clearly a sturgeon. Nice try on the sensationalism though.


Cody September 19, 2011 8:50 pm (Pacific time)

Wow Bonnie King, you seem like a really pleasant, intelligent woman...not. It's clearly a sturgeon. Nice try with the sensationalism though. Maybe now you can get a couple more sheeple to follow you.


Josh September 19, 2011 8:33 pm (Pacific time)

Its a sturgeon caught many of them ! Nope I'm not as smart as you but how many have you caught ! even still has the blue skin on the head,and they are mostly cartilage not bone ! they live to be a hundred or so and are a very very hard fish to kill ! witch would explain why you don't see them on the beach much !we have cut their gills bleed them completely dry of blood and still had them kicking in the box 8 hours later ! Oh and you should work on your people skills your kinda rude for a reporter !

Tim King: Josh, I don't respond well to the demeaning stuff, been around for a few years too many I guess, but see I'm not rude to your or anyone else who can communicate without implying that we are 'stupid' or whatever.  Perhaps you are right, however I have compared it to many images of the fish you refer to, none of which I have ever caught, and perhaps that is the whole thing, even if I convinced myself it is not correct, from a layman's view..  Austin says it was like cartilage and not bone, so maybe this is it. 


sam m September 19, 2011 8:23 pm (Pacific time)

sturgeon


Anonymous September 19, 2011 8:20 pm (Pacific time)

Its a rotting sturgeon, not uncommon in that area. You are looking at a rotting corpse, not a skeleton.

Quit the dope...

Tim King: Right Mr. expert man, glad to see you here getting your jollies with your reefer madness comment.  Clearly if it is so damned obvious the people at ODFW or the three other agencies looking into it would have at least suggested the possibility, but they are just highly educated scientists, probably nobody you would respect, I mean for God's sake they might be liberal, look out!


RockyMissouri September 19, 2011 4:35 pm (Pacific time)

Could it be an Oarfish?? They live really deep in the ocean...and look just like the dragons in Asian festivals...and the only time we see them, is when they float to the surface...They have reddish, frilly gills that resemble hair.

Editor: Thanks so much, I am not sure but we look forward to finding out.  At this point we have asked the Oregon Zoo, Oregon Fish and Wildlife, the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center.  They all have experts examining the photos in the story, it is one of the more interesting things we've had, thanks!

 Also, I just saw this from August 28, 2006: Unknown Creature was Found by Soldiers.    I absolutely think at least one of the photos looks very similar to this creature, it was found 5000 miles from Moscow by Russian soldiers.


RockyMissouri September 19, 2011 4:36 pm (Pacific time)

Could it be an Oarfish?? They live really deep in the ocean...and look just like the dragons in Asian festivals...and the only time we see them, is when they float to the surface...They have reddish, frilly gills that resemble hair.


Heather September 18, 2011 10:58 am (Pacific time)

A product of nuclear/radioactive contamination, really? My husband and I both work on Hanford and never once have I seen a deformed animal on the site let alone 215 miles away. And by the way nuclear mutations don't work like that (because there is no such thing)...ask a nuclear physicist and get your head out of science fiction and comic books. I'd say before opening your mouth and trying to scare people about nuclear/radioactive issues let the experts come in and see if they can figure out what it is. There are so many creatures that lived millions of years ago that look alien to us all, so quit trying to scare people about nuclear contamination and find out from someone who knows about zoology and creatures from the past!

Editor: Geez  Heather, lighten up, if that is your actual name.  Go tell the babies in Fukushima that there is no such thing as a nuclear mutation.  Tell those two recently born deformed babies in that radioactive city.  Your nuclear cheer makes me sick, imagine suggesting nothing to sinister is possible, that makes you the suspect.  Another nuclear apologist, just what we need.... not. 


dude September 16, 2011 11:57 pm (Pacific time)

I tried to tell you guys how phoney Obama (and obviously McCain) was back in 07. Glad to see you're finally seeing the truth. Along with that charleton Paul Krugman. Are you ready for Ron Paul yet? The man is an absolute genius and he's solid, not to mention the only one who's actually a vet and a doctor. He seems to be the only candidate that is sane.


Martina Baker September 16, 2011 10:24 pm (Pacific time)

Maybe someone should send this to ODFW. When my anthropologist/faunal expert-husband doesn't know what this is and can't stop talking about it, you may want to get some opinions! Either ODFW or Loren Coleman (Cryptozoologist). Get some press for this one guys!!

Tim King: Thanks for the advice, will do Martina!


Anonymous September 16, 2011 3:02 pm (Pacific time)

I think it is an alien from outer space, that came here and died from all the depleted uranuim, flouride, GMO food and government lies, invading countries etc. ..The poor guy never had a chance.. I dont think we will be seeing anymore space aliens coming here. Its too toxic for them. :-) And they, along with all the trees and plants, kinda need C02 to survive, and al gore wants to end CO2. Not sure what the plants will breath, but who cares.
Its interesting how salem-news is not supporting obama anymore by the way.

Editor: We went in open-minded, wanted it to be great, like always, and I can't speak for all of the writers, but the man in spite of the intentions we all believed, has shown us that he is a corporate president incapable of making good decisions.  I do wish it was different. 


Gene September 16, 2011 12:46 pm (Pacific time)

Lets hear from the zoologists first before we get all worked up about nothing.


tinder September 16, 2011 7:10 am (Pacific time)

I would say sea lion but the tail looks like an otter. Otters are not 8 feet long, so either the length measurement is wrong or....I don't know what the pic is. What do zoologists say?


Oren September 15, 2011 4:09 pm (Pacific time)

It's a sturgeon you dopes. Jesus. Your all sheeple

Editor: It's sad that people are so eager to be insulting. First, 'Oren', we know it is not a sturgeon. A simple check of Google Images shows that a sturgeon skeleton looks absolutely unlike this thing. The worst thing is being berated by a moron who can't punctuate a sentence.


Jane September 15, 2011 9:45 am (Pacific time)

Big Fish?


Margie lovell September 15, 2011 5:32 am (Pacific time)

I think it's a sturgeon


Teresa September 15, 2011 4:04 am (Pacific time)

Nessy escaped!


Matt Johnson September 15, 2011 1:52 am (Pacific time)

That just doesn't line up or correlate with anything I can find, in terms of skeletal design, nothing even close so far. I will keep watching, thanks for the fascination, nice photos Austin King.


Anita September 15, 2011 12:46 am (Pacific time)

I think its a dinosaur from deep underwater where no one can see. It's not a seal or otter!


Michael Barton September 14, 2011 10:23 pm (Pacific time)

It's a sea lion skeleton I believe, which do come up into the Willamette.


Anonymous September 14, 2011 9:23 pm (Pacific time)

Holy moly that is weird. Gross!

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