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The Myth of the Otter People

When the coastal glaciers retreated, the Tlingit followed the great rivers from the interior and laid claim to the salmon runs on the Inside Passage.  Across Frederick Sound from banner-hung Petersburg lays Thomas Bay.  Long ago a Tlingit clan settled at Point Agassi, a long wide peninsula separating Thomas Bay  from Frederick Sound.  Legend says the cliffs at the back of Thomas Bay collapsed one day sending a tidal wave over the shallow peninsula and washing away the Tlingit village there.

The people struggled in the water fearing the worst.  When the Tlingit canoes arrived to rescue them. Suddenly there was a brother-in-law offering a hand, a distant cousin in a grand canoe, a long lost brother suddenly there to save his siblings.  The rescuers were in fact the Sea Otter People of legend.  And when the desperate mortals took their rescuers hand they found themselves bewitched.  These magical sea otter people settled in higher unflooded lands of Thomas Bay.  They grew plentiful and rich based on the hard work of their mortal slaves.  (I avoid the taboo here of saying their Tlingit name.)

Time passed, the human slaves passed, and the sea otter people dwindled. A few miners ran across solitary “monkey-men.”  (As documented in “The Strangest Story Ever Told” .)  Forest crews rushed to the helispot at the end of the day freaked out by the dark forest. Their boss confirmed their concerns.  The F/V Lady Helene was harassed by them and then they left and the brown bears returned .

Author - William Moulton