Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Skamania County > Report # 10881|
Submitted by witness on Wednesday, March 9, 2005.
NEW RECORDING - Multiple vocals recorded by campers in Gifford Pinchot National Forest
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COUNTY: Skamania County
LOCATION DETAILS: [Specific location details have been removed from the report. The incident took place in the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest.]
OBSERVED: We went camping on Saturday March 5, 2005. Excited to be able to go up to this area this early in the year. We camped at this same spot last year for a weekend. All of the wood was wet so it was very difficult to get a fire started. Cooked steaks for dinner which did us in so we went to bed probably around 9:30.
We had 3 dogs with us, it was freezing out, and my 2 year old son was all congested and not sleeping very well, so my wife and I were also not sleeping very well or much.
We estimate that between 3 and 4 am I woke up to hearing a loud howl/yell off in the woods to the East, which was to my right. I immediately woke my wife up and told her to turn the video camera on to record the audio.
[The next paragraph refers to the entire unedited recording, which is about 45 minutes in length. The one minute clip on the BFRO site is only a piece of the entire recording.]
In the audio right when the recording starts, if you listen closely, you can hear two yells. Then there was nothing for 1.5 minutes. Then it starts up and [except] for about 30 seconds, it roars and howls for the next 5 minutes. This thing sounds huge and the voice sounds like it carries for a long ways.
During all of this, you can hear on the tape, our oldest dog boofs a little. Our new dog who is nicknamed Big Dummy rolls around on the air mattress wanting to be pet and my Mother in-law's dog boofs a little bit. Luckily we were able to mostly keep them quiet and my son slept thru the whole thing. You can hear his little congested snores on the tape.
On the recording, you can hear this thing really get going. There are 2 or 3 howls where it actually sounds like it roars at the beginning of the howl. Towards the end of the incident it sounds almost like it is grunting between several of the howls.
During this all, we kept our firearms close and there was no way we were going outside. I was scared, but not terrified. I think the fact that I had the camera going alleviated some of that fear and replaced it with excitement.
We left the next day, 1 day early because of my sons cold. For some reason, my wife sure was happy that our son was sick.
I immediately checked the BFRO audio clips because I thought the sounds in the woods were similar to something I've heard before. Sure enough, it sounds just like the Snohomish 1973 audio on your site and the 1978 Puyallup audio. Another match is the 4th audio clip on your site. I have checked many animal websites and listened to all different owls, coyotes, mountain lions, wolves, bears, elk, etc. This recording matches none of these.
I have a copy of the tape that I would like the BFRO to have.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing. I looked around a little in the forest when we got out of the tent in the daylight. Did not thoroughly look as much as I would like to have.
OTHER WITNESSES: My wife. She was sleeping and I woke her up to turn on the video camera to catch the audio. My two year old was there, but he slept thru it.
OTHER STORIES: Have checked other reports and there have been several other howlings, screechings, etc. in the area. Had something bipedal walk thru our camp site 2 1/2 years ago where we could actually feel the ground shake.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Did not have a watch, but think somewhere around 3-4 AM.Very clear night. No moon. Very cold. We were inside the tent sleeping.
ENVIRONMENT: Camp spot is a little open clearing. Road from camp spot continues South into forest. They blocked off with a dirt berm. If you go into the forest to the East, there are some big older trees and the forest is kind of flat and dried up marshy land.The camp spot has been used as a hunting camp based on the 2 deer hanging logs hung up in the tree. There is also some stashed homemade wood tables, shelves under plastic and downed trees to the East of the spot about 80 feet in. There is also a makeshift wood/tarp outhouse.There is a steep ridge on the North side of the site.
Link to recording -- "GP Whoop-Howl"
Follow-up investigation report:
I spoke with both witnesses about this report.
“We had something walk around the camping area while inside the tent, sounded as though it was a bipedal walk and not a four legged animal and it was heavy, could kind of feel the ground vibrate as it walked”. Since that incident, over two years ago, the family has always taken some type of recording device with them. "You never know what is going to happen," they said.
Vocalizations started late in the evening/early in the morning, and lasted for approximately 45 minutes. The recording device was a Sony MiniDV format video camera. They estimated the sound to be around 400-500 yards away, south of them, on the hillside.
“We were located in a valley and the sound it produced was tremendous. It echoed for awhile.”
Also during the recording, snoring can be heard. “Our little one was not feeling well that night and slept during the whole thing”.
They had mentioned that the dogs, three total, slept inside the tent with them. A dog can be heard in the recording as the vocalizations were being recorded. A couple of woofs, not loud, could be heard. They quieted him down.
The wife said she will never go camping again because of the vocalizations she heard. She is not eager to find out what produced the sounds.
“I don’t know how you can do it [i.e. look for these creatures]. I hope your quest in finding this thing works out for you.”
Both stated that there was another couple camping a distance away.
My question to the witness: Did you attempt to approach people in the other spot the next morning?
A: “They had departed the area before we decided to go over and ask them anything.”
My question to the witness: Do you think they heard the sounds?
“Oh yeah, they had to have heard it, it was so loud and echoed throughout the valley.”
My question to the witness: Did you attempt to locate any other types of evidence like tracks or hair?
“I wanted to look for tracks, but our son was not feeling any better, and we left for home.”
As soon as the witnesses arrived home they attempted to compare the sounds to others recorded and found on the internet. They found the BFRO website and submitted a report that same afternoon.
I asked if he could make a digital copy of the recording and send us a copy. He had no way of doing that. I then asked if it was possible to send the original. I assured I would do everything in my power to keep it safe.
We received the original, and made a digitized copy. We then returned the original to the owner, along with a DVD version and an MP3 version of the recording. The owner received everything, and thanked us for the digital versions, and for taking good care of the original.
I thank the family for being so trusting with the original recording.
A one minute piece of the 45 minute recording can be heard in the Audio Clips page. The Audio Clips page can be accessed from the BFRO homepage.