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COUNTY: Umatilla County
LOCATION DETAILS: Mission Highway, between Purchase Lane and Mustanger Lane crossroads
NEAREST TOWN: Pendleton
NEAREST ROAD: Mission Highway/Purchase Lane
OBSERVED: November 2013
We live near the Umatilla River just 2-3 miles outside of Pendleton, OR on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. It is not a remote area. We are surrounded by farm ground and a couple neighbors within a couple thousand yards or so on a dirt road.
We sleep with our bedroom window cracked about 2 inches open so the bedroom stays very cool.
I awakened around 12:30AM and sat straight up in bed because I had heard something. It was very quiet in the house and no unusual noise outside but I had heard "something" that woke me up wide awake.
Listening intently for several minutes, I heard this weird and very loud wailing, screaming, laughing noise that sounded like a cross between a woman hysterically screaming and then quickly changing to hyena-like laughing and almost a "wooping" yell.
I jumped out of bed and ran to the front door that opens to farmland and low rolling hills. It sounded like several hundred yards out. It repeated 3-4 times, each getting quickly farther away like it was running.
I did not awaken my spouse.
A couple weeks later, the same thing occurred late at night. Then, a few days later around Christmas/New Years the local newspaper ran a story about "Bigfoot" scaring tribal members and people at night. There was also a large number of phone recordings of the same crazy maniacal laughter I had heard. The residents started calling it the "Umatilla Screamer".
OTHER WITNESSES: Only myself. I was sleeping both times
OTHER STORIES: Due to the frequency of the "yelling", many neighbors and tribal members recorded the noises. There were a lot of frightened people for several weeks.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 12:30AM. Full moon, very clear and cool temps.
ENVIRONMENT: Stubble wheat fields, in rolling hill farm land with an occasional ravine with trees. Several neighbors within a mile. 1/4 mile from Umatilla River which is moderately wooded with homes dotting the area
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Kevin Llewellyn:
I talked to the witness by phone.
It was the last of October when he heard the first vocalizations and then again a couple weeks later in November, 2012.
The witness was a biologist in fish and wildlife habitat recovery for twenty years. He is a hunter and did some trapping when younger.
He describes the first vocalizations in his report but adds sometimes it was like a woman screaming, then up to one minute later similar to laughter. It varied from high pitched to guttural, almost like talk. It came from a field and at first seemed close, then farther away. It went on for one half hour. He has three neighbors within one half mile and he later casually mentioned if they heard anything and they said no. But the vocalizations would continue for over two months and many heard them.
A couple weeks later, he heard the same vocalizations from the same field but 500 to 700 yards from the first spot. This was sometime between midnight and 3am and also lasted for one half hour. No odor was detected. He has twenty five fruit trees around his house and his neighbors have five to ten apple trees.
More can be read on this by searching the internet for Umatilla Screamer such as Bigfoot or Animals? Strange sounds coming from swamp on Umatilla Indian Reservation
Also, the following compares scream recording with common Gray Fox, Barn Owl, Gray Wolf -
Umatilla Reservation Screams – Is it Bigfoot or Something Else?
And the following compares foxes, coyotes and wolves -
A Comparative Acoustic Analysis of the ‘Umatilla Calls’
But the witness has heard many animals in his professional background. He hears coyotes almost every night. He has a chicken coop and 100 yards away from it is a den that fox have raised young over many years. The witness never hears them. I wonder why would foxes vocalize for two to three months in 2012 to 2013 but then he has never heard them any other time? The witness occasionally sees a cougar and has heard it many times. He said he thought about cougar as a source of the sounds but the vocalizations were too guttural. In summary, he said, "this had a set of lungs that a fox does not have. It was of substantial size, a lot of air behind it."
Considering his professional background and the fact he tried to rule out other animals, I find him very credible.
About BFRO Investigator Kevin Llewellyn:
Kevin has camped, fished and hunted in Eastern Washington all his life. His interest in Sasquatch began when he was 10 years old and saw Roger Patterson present "the" film. He lives in Eastern Washington.
Recently retired, he was a veterinarian since 1984, after graduating from Washington State University.
He attended Washington BFRO expeditions in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019. Oregon in 2015 and 2018, Montana in 2017 and 2018. He was co-leader of N.E. Washington 2019. He will be co-leading the 2020 Washington Expedition and the 2020 Montana Expedition.