News

Cape Kiwanda Vandalized


‘Duckbill’ rock, a famous attraction to visitors who went into the posted danger zone atop Cape Kiwanda for many decades, is now just a pile of sandstone rubble.

By Brad Mosher
bmosher@countrymedia.net

‘Duckbill’ rock, a famous attraction to visitors who went into the posted danger zone atop Cape Kiwanda for many decades, is now just a pile of sandstone rubble.

duckbill-up
Cape Kiwanda’s sandstone pedestal, locally known as “The Duckbill,” as it once stood. (Courtesy photo/Chelsea Rutherford, KATU News)

It wasn’t time, erosion or an earthquake which destroyed the small formation almost hidden out on Cape Kiwanda’s north side.

It fell at the hands of a group of suspected vandals.

duckbill-down
The remains of the Duckbill on Sept. 4 after the pedestal toppled. (Citizen photo/Brad Mosher)

The sandstone rock formation had survived thousands of years and even survived many years of humans climbing on top of it. It just couldn’t survive a group of vandals who were caught on video pushing and shoving it until it collapsed August 29.

The incident came to light Sunday when a video went public showing three people pulling the sandstone formation down.

Known as the Duckbill, people had to go past posted signs warning of danger to get to the small clearing where it was located along the northern edge of the cape.

Prior to the release of the video, most of the public felt it was destroyed as part of a natural process.

However, David Kalas of Hillsboro captured cellphone video of the people pushing and pulling on the rock before it suddenly collapsed last week. He told a television interviewer that “there was a bunch of screaming so we (Kalas and a friend) went over there. We noticed the rock was actually wobbling. There were eight going after this rock, just pushing and pushing it.

“One of the guys told me it was a safety hazard and one of their friends’ friend broke their leg while on top of the rock.

“I think it was totally bogus when they said it was a safety hazard,” Kalas added. In fact, Kalas said that he thought the group came to Pacific City with plans to topple it.

With the release of the video, the Duckbill became the latest geological oddity to be destroyed by vandals.

In 2013, two Boy Scout leaders intentional destroyed a similar form in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park and were caught on video. The two men claimed they were destroying what is called a “hoodoo” sandstone formation for safety reasons, but were criminally charged for their actions.

Although they faced a possible five-year sentence, the two men pled guilty to a lesser charge and were sentenced to one-year probation, paying court and other fees. The men were removed as scout leaders.