Incident Summary:

12/30/1999: Four members of the Earth and Animal Liberation Fronts (ELF and ALF), Jacob Ferguson, Stanislas Meyerhoff, Josephine Overaker, and Chelsea Gerlach, toppled an 80-foot power line tower, owned by the Bonneville Power Administration, about 37 miles southeast of Bend, Oregon, in the United States. The tower was toppled when the perpetrators dismantled support cables and unscrewed bolts that held the tower in place. Though no electricity was lost or interrupted because the current was automatically switched to an alternate power transmission line, the incident caused $126,000 in loss to the company in equipment and services to restore the power line. The perpetrators did not claim the incident. There were no casualties, but the incident caused a small brush fire, which was quickly extinguished. The perpetrators were part of a group calling themselves "The Family," which committed nearly 20 arson and ecotage attacks over a 6 year period.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:


Near Bend

Location Details:
at the Bonneville Power Administration power line tower located about 37 miles southeast of Bend, OR

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Utilities
Name of Entity Bonneville Power Administration
Specific Description 80-foot electrical transmission tower owned by Bonneville Power Administration
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage $126,000.00
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Sabotage Equipment
Weapon Details
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The incident occurred at about 8:53pm. The perpetrators chose to topple the power line specifically on this night, to take advantage of the timing with public fears of "Y2K" attacks. The perpetrators were part of a group calling themselves "The Family," which committed nearly 20 arson and ecotage attacks over a 6 year period. Ferguson became a government witness and in return, was sentenced to 2 years probation for his crimes during this 6 year period. Meyerhoff was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his involvement in the incidents during the 6-year period; Gerlach was sentenced to 9 years; Overtaker remained fugitive.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Group Sub-name Claimed Responsibility
Animal Liberation Front (ALF) The Family No
Earth Liberation Front (ELF) The Family No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 4
Number of Captured Perpetrators 3
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
U.S. Government’s Sentencing Memorandum for CR 06-60069, CR 06-60070, CR 06-60071, CR 06-60078, CR 06-60079, CR 06-60080, CR 06-60120, CR 06-60122, CR 06-60123, CR 06-60124, CR06-60125, and CR 06-60126. U.S. District Court: District of Oregon, Eugene, 2007.
Joseph B. Frazier, "Four indicted in Oregon after ecoterrorism probe," Associated Press State & Local Wire, December 9, 2005.
"Power line sabotaged in Oregon," Associated Press State & Local Wire, December 31, 1999.