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The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead
Max Brooks | Solanum | Zombies | Outbreaks | Recorded Attacks

Piedmont, Oregon was a small silver mining town owned by the Patterson Mining Company, which also owned the nearby mine. For two months, the town was isolated, cut off from the outside. A relief party which was sent to investigate found the town devastated as if in a war. Many houses were burned, and those that weren't were strangely riddled with bullet holes, which were determined to have been fired from the inside, as if a battle had taken place inside them. An even more bizarre and gruesome discovery was when twenty seven mutilated and partly eaten skeletons were found. Initial guesses about cannibalism was refuted when Piedmont's warehouses were discovered to have more than enough food stockpiled within them for the winter. When the party investigated the mine itself, they made their last and most horrific and baffling discovery. They found that the entry shaft had been blasted shut, sealing the mine from the inside. The remains of fifty eight men, women and children were found inside the mine, all dead from starvation. The rescuers determined that the people took with them inside the mine enough food to last several weeks, indicating that the people were in there longer than that period. After all the bodies were counted, at least thirty two townsfolk were missing. The most widely accepted theory is that, for some reason, a zombie or more than one emerged from the wilderness and attacked Piedmont. After a brief but violent fight, the survivors carried what food they could to the mine, and sealed themselves in, waiting for a rescue that never came. It is suspected that, before it was decided to fall back to the mine, one or more survivors made a attempt to journey through the wilderness to the nearest outpost to get help. Since no record of this exists and no bodies have ever been found, it is likely that the would be messengers either died in the wild, or were killed by zombies. If it was a zombie attack, their remains have never been recovered. No official cover-up followed the Piedmont incident. Speculation on what happened ranged from plague, to avalanche, to infighting, to attacks by “wild Indians” (even though there were no Native Americans anywhere near the town.). The mine itself was never reopened. The Patterson Mining Company paid $20 compensation to each relative of the residents of Piedmont in exchange for their silence. Evidence of this transaction appeared in the company’s accounting logs. These were discovered when the corporation declared bankruptcy in 1931. No subsequent investigation followed.