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.
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
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.
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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
|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
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
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
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
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
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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
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171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
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.
for Freaky, Creepy Mole Crabs on Oregon Coast Beaches The
little critters make the tideline bubble and feel really weird as they
run across your feet
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Found on Oregon Beach May Be 80,000 Years Old - They
are the remnants of a forest apparently 80,000 years old, found at Hug
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports
- Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings,
along with weekly lodging availability reports