Oregon April 15, 2018
It’s Impossible To Forget The 8 Weirdest Moments That Have Gone Down In Oregon History
Oregon is rich with natural beauty, fun attractions, and one-of-a-kind sights, but it’s also filled with some pretty colorful history. From exploding whale carcasses to infamous UFO sightings, some downright bizarre events have taken place in the Beaver State over the years. Check out our list of the eight weirdest moments that have gone down in Oregon history.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. An eight-ton whale carcass exploded on the Oregon Coast.
In 1970, a whale carcass washed ashore in Florence, Oregon. No one knew how to get rid of it until someone suggested blowing it up with dynamite. Things didn't go exactly as planned, and the result is one of the weirdest events in Oregon history.
2. The disappearance of D.B. Cooper.
In 1971, a man boarded a plane leaving from Portland. He ended up hijacking the plane, demanding $200,000, and parachuting into the night. His strange disappearance remains unsolved to this day.
3. A guru from India gathered a cult of 2,000 followers in rural Oregon.
In the 1980s, Oregon played host to the Rajneeshees, an intentional community led by Rajneesh, a spiritual guru from India. They settled on a ranch near Antelope, Oregon and attempted to gain political power in the area. They were also responsible for the largest bioterrorism attack in United States history when they contaminated salad bars at ten local restaurants with salmonella.
4. The world's smallest park was created in Portland.
Mill End's Park, otherwise known as the smallest park in the world, was created in Portland in 1948. Measuring in at two feet across, with a total area of 452-square
inches, this park has been declared the smallest in the world by the Guinness Book of Records.
5. The shipwreck of the J.Marhoffer schooner in Boiler Bay.
One of the most spectacular shipwrecks in history happened on the Oregon Coast in Boiler Bay. The J.Marhoffer schooner entered the bay completely lit up, on fire from end to end. The boat's power could not be turned off, so it crashed at full speed into the rocks. Luckily, the whole crew was able to abandon ship and survive.
6. One Oregon town was renamed "Half.com" as part of a publicity stunt.
Halfway, a small Eastern Oregon town, announced that it was changing its name to "Half.com" during the dot.com boom in 2000. The town was paid $110,000 by the start-up company for the name change.
7. Trees in Oregon travelled to the moon.
In 1971, an Oregonian astronaut by the name of Stuart Roosa brought a capsule full of tree seeds on a trip to the moon to see if the trees would grow upon returning. To the amazement of many, the trees did grow, and six of them were planted right here in Oregon.
8. Mysterious UFOs were spotted in McMinnville.
Snapped on a farm near McMinnville, Oregon, the photographs are among the most famous UFO sightings in the world. They were reprinted in LIFE magazine and newspapers across the nation. Skeptics have concluded that the photos are just of a small model hanging by a wire from the power lines, but some die-hard believers still claim this was an alien fly-by.
What weird moments did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!
For more bizarre Beaver State history, check out our previous article:
This Town In Oregon Was One Of The Most Dangerous Places In The Nation In The 1880s.