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Oregon Coast X-Files: The Beginning

 

Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.

10/15/07

Secrets of the Season

Oregon Coast X-Files: The Beginning

By Andre' Hagestedt

Not only were strange things seen in Neskowin in 1987, but the place is known for oddities like the "ghost forest," seen here

(Oregon Coast) – Let’s be clear on one thing: I don't believe in ghosts. And as for UFO's, I'm like that poster in Mulder's office in the "X-Files" TV series, which reads, "I Want To Believe."

The weird stuff always fascinates me, and between that and my obsession with anything coastal, I've managed to combine the two in some odd ways. Some people collect hubcaps for a hobby. I collect Oregon coast paranormal tales.

A1 Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses – from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces, beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers. Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com.

I'll never forget what sent me down that road. It was 1987 and I was seeing a girl named Christine. It was a Friday the 13th - March to be exact - and a full moon, although it was overcast. And if you do your math, that means that exactly a month before, in February, it was also a Friday the 13th and a full moon: eerie all its own. So that March night, Christine and I headed out to join friends in Neskowin at their beach house. We arrive after midnight, and serendipitously, there was a fire burning on the beach - as if made for us (we were celebrating the fact we'd been together exactly a month, since that previous Friday the 13th).

Neskowin has many esoteric qualities and features, including a legend of being a "spiritual spot"

We're drinking champagne on the beach, enjoying the fire, when I begin to notice something odd over her shoulder, on the pitch-black horizon. There was some vague, undulating, red glow, apparently on the water; and it appeared as if it was far, far out there. It was too dark to tell for sure. Christine and I talked, and for some 10 minutes or so I watched it behind her: changing shape, fading in and out and never getting very bright.

Finally, I mentioned it to her, and she saw it too. So, apparently I wasn't going crazy. We watched and gawked at it, completely puzzled. Was it a reflection from the moon above the clouds? No. It wouldn't be red. Was it a reflection from a boat? Possibly. But over the years I looked closely at every boat at sea I spotted at night and never saw a similar effect at all. It actually, more than anything, looked like it came from beneath the water.

oregon coast lighthouses on dvd

Since then, I was increasingly fascinated by weird coastal tales or strange scientific facts. This experience haunted me, and I began to collect such tales like some people collect hubcaps.

A rare shot of bioluminescent phtyoplankton: the blue dots are the little critters. (photo Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium)

Years later, I would discover some really strange things about Neskowin - stuff both scientific and paranormal.

In the early 90's, I heard about something called "glowing sand" in a secret cove at Road's End in Lincoln City. Some years after that, in 1993, I'm wandering the beaches of Newport at night with some friends, and spotted odd, bluish/green sparks beneath our feet. At first I thought it was all the booze I'd guzzled earlier, but my friends saw it too.

Years later, while researching such coastal oddities, I discover it's bioluminescent phytoplankton that glows. It's slightly rare in these parts, but it does happen.

Glowing phytoplankton can be especially spectacular in places like Nehalem Bay, where moving your hand through the glowing stuff makes it look like a skeleton hand

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Rewind again to the spring of '93: I find myself staring slackjawed at what looks like snow going the wrong direction, drifting upwards to the highway from the Devil's Churn, near Yachats.

I pull over immediately, flipping my wig, and take a few pictures of a tide so foamy that it resembles snow flurries flying at you and then going upwards. (And then who can forget that crazy, super warm December 26 later that year on the coast, with temps in the high 60's? Now that was practically paranormal all its own.)

In the late 90's, I discover the glowing phytoplankton and that freaky, snowy tide have a lot in common. In fact, they're pretty much the same thing. Sea foam, it turns out, is made of the dead skeletons of phytoplankton. That's right, there are so many of them they form all that foam you see.

Cape Perpetua on that strange, foamy day in 1993

Breathtaking high panoramic beach views from oceanfront rooms, spacious family suites & fully equipped cottages.  Known for gracious hospitality, the sparkling clean Sea Horse features a heated indoor pool, dramatic oceanfront spa, great whale watching, free deluxe continental breakfast, conference room, free casino shuttle & HBO.  Fireplaces, private decks and spas are available in select rooms.  Close to shops, golf, fishing & restaurants.  Pets are welcome in select rooms.  Senior discounts.  Kids 18 and under stay free in their parent's room.  Very attractive rates. In the meantime, other weird things or wonders crossed my path. There’s the green flash at sunset - which I’ve eventually seen numerous times over the years. This I wound up researching quite a bit. Then there's that freaky "singing sands" phenomenon, where sand in the National Dunes Recreation Area and near Cannon Beach can make a singing or violin-like noise.

And then there are all those ghost stories I've collected over the years. That process continues.

Oh, and some possible explanation for that weird, red blob in 1987 did finally pop up. I talked to a bioluminescence expert in Florida on the possibility it might've been what's known as "red tide": a form of phytoplankton that glows red. She said that was extremely unlikely, since that species couldn't survive in our cold waters. As she gave up on guessing what it was, her final words on the subject filled me with the same chill and wonder the X-Files TV series did in its heyday: "But there are a lot of things out there we don't know about."

20 gorgeous homes sleep up to 18; doubled that with some side-by-side homes. Some pet friendly. Cottages to massive homes; new oceanfront to renovated historic beach houses. All over central coast w/ Lincoln City, Otter Rock, Boiler Bay and Nye Beach. Long list of features, including barbecues, large decks, antique furnishings, wood stoves, gas fireplaces, hardwood floors, Jacuzzis and hot tubs. Most have movies, music, books. Gift basket w/ goodies in each
Condo-hotel that offers the amenities of a fine hotel, but also includes ownership of a vacation home on the north Oregon coast. It is a unique opportunity, as condo owners have an opportunity to share in the revenues of their unit. All have either spectacular, nearly aerial views of the ocean and city, or they gaze out at the lush forests of the coast range mountains. There are private balconies in all rooms, which come as studios or units with one bedroom or two - as large as 850 square feet. Each is fully furnished. $189,000 to $449,000, (with most in the $300,000 range.) When owners are not using their units, they may be rented out as hotel rooms, and owners may share in those revenues.
17 lavish, beachfront suites feature Jacuzzi or outdoor hot tub, gas fireplace, luxury robes & linens, TV, two-headed showers. Three large suites have kitchens. Private deck w/ BBQ available. No smoking or pets. Perfect for romantic getaway, honeymoon.

Arch Cape Property Services. Dozens of homes in that dreamy, rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the sea.
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces, decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com 866-436-1607.


D Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Free, fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the start. All rooms beachfront and up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach: the D River. Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and balcony or patio. Some w/ gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players; movies to rent come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep from two, four to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates orspecial occasion packages. www.dsandsmotel.com. 171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.


Weiss' Paradise Suites & Vacation Rentals - Seaside

Unique Luxury Accommodations in Seaside. 1BR Suites, 1BR & 2BR Duplex Units and 3BR Houses, units for 2-8 people. Rent entire property for 20-26. Close to beach, river and Broadway St.
Suites are designed for two adults; vacation rental units for families. All units have kitchen and many have fireplace, deck and jetted tub. Comfy robes, slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality linens and more. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691. www.SeasideSuites.com


Lincoln City Vacation Homes Something for everyone: smaller homes with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All are either oceanfront or just a few steps away – all with a low bank access and fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments. Pets allowed in some homes – ask first. Each comes with complete kitchens. Most have seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com. 541-994-8778.


Newly renovated, 30 upscale rooms, on north end of Lincoln City, close to everything. Spa-like feeling, w/ luxury linens & robes, pillow top mattresses, flat screen TV's, granite counters and more all add to pampering. Oceanfront and ocean view units w/ gas fireplace. Hot Tub units. Romance packages. Luxury Room for every budget: meeting and wedding spaces too.
Feed the seals! One of the oldest aquariums in the U.S. is here in Seaside, Oregon, right on the Promenade

Tradewinds Motel, Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck. Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly. 523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com


Inn At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive wedding possibilities. 4009 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com


Inn at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms. Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly. Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.

The Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun (nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies. 888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.theoceanlodge.com


DIVE INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES

THE TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years a favorite of Seaside visitors. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated. Suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bed family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. Oceanview cottages sleep anywhere from two to eight, w/ two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens. Heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds w/ picnic tables - all at quiet southern end of Seaside. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.


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