BONNERS FERRY, Idaho - Cartographers the world over will be burning the midnight oil as they chart a newly discovered mountain. Yesterday, in a truly astounding development, Dr. Endevor T. Rockman, geologist and professor, University of Idaho, said that a previously unknown mountain has been discovered and confirmed by him in Boundary County in the far north of Idaho.
Dr. Rockman drove through the night to investigate reports by dozens of local residents who claimed to have seen a 'ghost mountain' in the Selkirk Mountain Range where none had been suspected before. Bonners Ferry is known as the "Jewel of the Gem State" for the beauty of its natural setting.
Dr. Rockman said, "I assure you it is real and while rare this is not without precedent. Denali is hidden from view by clouds for months at a time. I think that is what we have here. Except it has been hidden for decades, even centuries. I think we must admit that modern science is not infallible."
Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, is a destination in Alaska popular with tourists who count themselves lucky to get a clear, cloud-free view of that majestic sight.
"Obviously it is a stratovolcano like Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier", said Dr. Rockman, "but, it poses no danger as it is most assuredly long extinct. I can tell you my preliminary measurements show that it is easily 15,000 ft at the top, one of the highest peaks in the northwest and maybe in all of North America."
Spokesman for the local Tribe was not surprised by the reports and said that the mountain is sacred in their tradition. Though discounted by Europeans, the People have known of it's existance for all time, since the creation of the Earth. At least one shaman takes it's appearance at this time in history as a sign and omen of import. Legend has it that only the pure of heart can see it.
Historian Mrs. Frank "Babs" Horner quoted from her digital copy of David Thompson's 1808 journal: "Many in our party chanced to spy the phantom mt again this morn. Can not be certain. Guide will say nothing." Thompson was an early Canadian explorer and fur trader in the area.
Buzz Geardon, manager of Boundary County Airport, was the first to circumnavigate the mountain. He said that area has long been called the "Burmuda Triangle" of the Inland Northwest because of the many missing aircraft. Geardon claims to have spotted what he thought was a large crashed aluminum plane at about the ten thousand foot level. If confirmed it could prove to be the Spokane Air C-46 reported overdue and lost during WWII.
A local anomaly probably accounts for the fact that clouds have hidden the mountain from view according to Dr. Windham, meteorologist for the State of Idaho. An unprecedented shift in the jet stream that the Department has been tracking for over a week is the likely cause of the change. He declined to give an opinion about how long it would remain cloud-free. Dr. Windham felt certain the ultimate mechanism in play would be found to be Anthropogenic Global Warming.
Long time County resident Honis Bigsby, currently unemployed, was the first to make an official report. He spotted the peak immediately upon exiting the Kootenai River Brewing Company which fronts the Kootenai River and whose parking lot affords a clear view to the west of the Selkirks. Bigsby, startled and fearing he had exceeded his limit, handed his keys to his companion and asked to be driven home during which time he called 911. His was the first of dozens of such calls. As we go to press we regret that the only image available is out of focus and grainy, taken by Bigsby with his iPhone 3G. A segment of the population refuses to accept the existance of the mountain regarding the affair as the result of mass hysteria.
An official of the City of Bonners Ferry, who asked to remain anonymous, said the feasibility of a year round ski resort and a tramway from downtown is being considered by private outside interests. "The Chamber is very excited about the tourism aspect. This could put us on the map!", he said. Boundary County officials could not be reached for comment. The Idaho Board of Geographic Names will be accepting suggestions for a name during the coming months. An informal survey showed support for Mt. Kootenai, Mt. Thompson, Mt. Reagan and one vote for Mt. Rockman.