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This particular article tells the tale of a man by the name of James Lumley. We know little about Lumley, other than the Missouri Democrat seemingly finding him credible, but what we do know was that sometime in September of 1865 he was making his usual living of trapping fur somewhere in the mountains on the upper Missouri River, about 75 to 100 miles above stream of the Great Falls.
Just after sunset, Lumley claims he saw a bright light travelling rapidly through the sky in an easterly direction, where it exploded. Lumley reported that he then heard a rushing sound, felt the ground shake, and smelled sulfur in the air. Normally, one would consider this a classic case of a meteorite, but it gets better. The next day, about two miles from his campsite, Lumley reports that he saw felled trees leading to an object that had partly embedded itself into a mountainside. The object was “rock-like”, and divided into “compartments”, and most notably, it was covered in what appeared to be Egyptian-style hieroglyphs. Liquid leaked from areas of the craft, and glass-like material littered the immediate area.
There is something very modern-sounding about this UFO account. Remember the time period; the 1860’s. UFOlogy of that time was not yet even in its infancy. The concept of men from mars was only just beginning, and was well before talk of Schiaparelli’s canals and Percival Lowell’s advanced Martian civilization, but all this business of their ships crashing into our planet, covered in hieroglyphs and
leaking fluid, would not be discussed until the late 20th century and incidents like Roswell’s mysterious I-Beam and reports about the appearance of the Rendlesham Forest UFO.
- A Messenger from the Celestial Regions
- A Stone Falls to the Ground with Characters Engraved Upon It
Mr. James Lumley, an old Rocky Mountain trapper, who has been stopping at the Everett House for several days, makes a most remarkable statement to us, and one, which if authenticated, will produce the greatest excitement in the scientific world.
Mr. Lumley states that about the middle of last September, he was engaged in trapping in the mountains, about seventy-five or one hundred miles above the great falls of the Upper Missouri, and in the neighborhood of what is known as Cadotte Pass. Just after sunset one evening he beheld a bright, luminous body in the heavens, which was moving with a great rapidity in an easterly direction. It was plainly visible for at least five seconds, when it suddenly separated into particles, resembling, as Mr. Lumley described it, the bursting of a skyrocket in the air. A few minutes later he heard a heavy explosion, which jarred the earth very perceptibly, and this was shortly after followed by a rumbling sound, like a tornado sweeping through the forest. A strong wind sprang up about the same time, but as suddenly subsided. The air was also filled with a peculiar odor of a sulphurous character.
These incidents would have made but slight impression on the mind of Mr. Lumley, but for the fact that on the ensuing day he discovered, at a distance of about two miles from his camping place, that, as far as he could see in either direction, a path had been cut through the forest, several rods wide - giant trees uprooted or broken off near the ground - the tops of hills shaved off, and the earth plowed up in many places. Great and wide-spread havoc was every-where visible. Following up this track of desolation, he soon ascertained the cause of it in the shape of an immense stone that had been driven into the side of a mountain. But now comes the most remarkable part of the story. An examination of this stone, or so much of it as was visible, showed that it had been divided into compartments, and that, in various places, it was carved with curious hieroglyphics. More than this, Mr. Lumley also discovered fragments of a substance resembling glass, and here and there dark stains, as though caused by a liquid. He is confident that the hieroglyphics were the work of human hands, and that the stone itself, although but a fragment of an immense body, must have been used for some purpose by animated beings.
Strange as this story appears, Mr. Lumley relates it with so much sincerity that we are forced to accept it as true. It was evident that the stone which he discovered was a fragment of the meteor which was visible in this section in September last. It will be remembered that it was seen in Leavenworth, in Galena, and in this city by Colonel Bonneville. At Leavenworth, it was seen to separate in particles or explode.
Subject: Cadotte Pass crash inaccuracies.
Date: Mar, 19 Feb 2002
Did a search on Cadotte Pass Crash in google.com. Sure, Rocky Mountain fur trappers told "tall tales" about mountains of glass and hair-raising escapes from wild animals and hostiles, but not of compartmented charred "stones" with hieroglyphics falling out of the sky. This article is up there on my believability scale, however:
Disheartening to note that the actual article has been so frequently interpreted by buffs as stating that this trapper saw the site in Missouri in 1865. On first scanning it, the following struck me right off:
What could have been left for a Rocky Mountain fur trapper to trap in Missouri by the end of the Civil War? (Most of the Rockies themselves were trapped out decades before that, never mind places as far east as Missouri.) Might as well trap the Charles River, in Boston.
"The upper Missouri" is a river is located in western Montana (with many once trapable tributaries such as [I later discovered] the Blackfoot River and Cadotte Creek). See mapquest.com (Cadotte MT) or at least check out www.uppermissouri.com...
But even assuming the vaguest knowledge of geography, how could Lumley get down to Saint Louis so fast if the sighting was in mid-September 1865 and the article was in mid-October, take a charter flight? Nope, pardner. Only way out of that area was by canoe, and they just didn't go that fast. Probably 1864 at the latest that the crash occurred. Reporter misinterpreted, or was doing the usual media bull#, trying to tie the story into the local scene.
I'd hate to think that, because of this, people were crawling through the bushes in northern Missouri looking for a crashed ship, when the whole time it's been stuck in the side of a, probably, quite locatable mountain up near the Blackfoot River in the Lincoln State Park in Montana. Probably the men in black buckskins have gotten to it by now, though... while excitable but undiscerning UFO buffs were missing the pirogue.
But... maybe it's still there. Stranger things have happened.
In response to your page:
I live in Montana and have been on Cadotte Pass and Cadotte creek many, many times.
I would like to comment on the response from the gentleman "()"
> I What could have been left for a Rocky Mountain fur trapper to trap in
> Missouri by the end of the Civil War? (Most of the Rockies themselves were
> trapped out decades before that, never mind places as far east as
> Missouri.) Might as well trap the Charles River, in Boston.
I am not an expert on state history so I will quote from this web site:
"Fur trappers arrived in Montana hard on the heels of Lewis and Clark (1804-06). Although they tramped all of the state?s watersheds, there were only about 150 of them in Montana at any given time. They explored, hunted, trapped, and traded on the Montana stage into the 1860s."
The area is still a rugged, remote part of the state. To think that trappers were there in that time period is quite likely.
> III But even assuming the vaguest knowledge of geography, how could Lumley
> get down to Saint Louis so fast if the sighting was in mid-September 1865
> and the article was in mid-October, take a charter flight?
Reread the article: "Mr. Lumley states that about the middle of last September..." That is one year later. Even if it had not been a year after the event this was about the time the gold rush hit Montana and steamboat travel to the center of the state (Ft Benton) started becoming regular and quick (for the time period.)
I think Mr Lumley's account can't be trashed based on the previous author's comments. Knowing the area (I grew up there!) I would also like to point out the high quantity of UFO and cattle mutilations in that general part of the state. There are many, many accounts. Great Falls, MT is only about 70 miles from Cadotte Pass. Many UFOs were reported in the Great Falls area even before Malmstrom AFB was built.
These incidents would make a slight impression on the mind of Mr. Lumley, but for the fact that on the ensuing day he discovered, at the distance of about two miles from his camping place, he could see in either direction a wide path had been cut through the forest. Giant trees uprooted and broke off near the ground. The tops of hills shaved off and the earth plowed up in many places. Great and widespread havoc is everywhere visible.
Following up this track of desolation, he soon ascertained the cause of it in the shape of an immense stone driven into the side of a mountain. The most remarkable part of the story is an examination of this stone and how it had been divided into compartments. In several places it was carved with hieroglyphics.