Man's 2-Year Quest Leads Him to Face in Cliffside

Tough environment makes inspecting the face difficult
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2015 8:05 AM CDT
Updated Jun 28, 2015 7:00 PM CDT
Man's 2-Year Quest Leads Him to Face in Cliffside
The face in the rock.   (Facebook)

Searching for a face in a crowd is hard enough. Searching for a face etched in a Canadian cliff is apparently a two-year endeavor. After a kayaker from Washington state reported seeing a face on a cliff while exploring the Broken Group Islands in British Columbia in 2008, Parks Canada sent an archaeologist to investigate. Denis St. Claire says he found the face on Reeks Island but the rugged shoreline made a close examination nearly impossible, so Parks Canada alerted the local aboriginal group, Tseshaht First Nation. Intrigued, Tseshaht beachkeeper Hank Gus began searching for the mysterious "face in the rocks" two years ago and finally found it on June 3, reports Ha-Shilth-Sa. Some 40 feet up an inaccessible rock cliff, a 7-foot face gazes out at passersby. "We went out to see it recently, and it's remarkable," Parks Canada rep Matthew Payne tells ABC News. "It really is a face staring back at you."

Parks Canada and Tseshaht First Nation now hope to determine if the face is manmade or natural. "We are working with the First Nations to find out if there are any oral histories the face could link back to," Payne says. "In my years of working with many elders during the 1970s and 1980s none of them ever referred to a rock face carving," Gus says. However, he suggests the face bears a similarity to a carving by Tseshaht artist Gordon Dick. His carving of a blowing face, named Ubi, represents "sharing the history of our ancestors and keeping it alive," Gus tells CTV News. "It's something really similar to this face in the rock." The archaeologist who first saw the face notes "it certainly looks purposefully made, but nature can play tricks on us." He adds a "close-up viewing is necessary to see if there were tell-tale signs of rock modification." Until such an inspection is possible, Gus says he's happy just sharing the mystery with others. (More discoveries stories.)

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