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COUNTY: Hood River County
LOCATION DETAILS: The event occurred at my grandparents' former orchard residence in the small town of Dee, Oregon. My mom was born and raised in Dee, later moving to California as an adult. My grandparents have been gone for over ten years now, and the orchard is now in possession of another owner (not known). There is still someone living in this location, although the actual home has been replaced by a new structure. The orchard still looks about the same. The property is about an acre in area.
NEAREST TOWN: Dee, Oregon
NEAREST ROAD: Lost Lake Road
OBSERVED: We were up late at night in a second-story bedroom of my grandparents’ Dee, Oregon, home, at about 2:00 AM in the summer of 1980. There was a full moon. My brother was practicing taking photographs of the moon. He was taking pictures from our south-facing window (no screen) that looks out over a beautiful orchard landscape in the Hood River Valley that leads up to the foot of Mount Hood. The window is above a long, straight, east-to-west gravel driveway that leads up to a detached garage. The property is approximately 1 acre.
Everyone else was already asleep in adjacent rooms. My brother and I were up late talking while he took pictures. He probably had the window open for about 30 minutes. The bed was to the side of the window. He would get up from the bed, move toward the window, prop his elbows on the windowsill, and steady the camera for some photos. Then he would sit back down on the bed and use his flashlight to adjust the settings on the camera and replace spent film. We kept the lights off in the room so he could get good shots of the moon.
My brother was at the bed when we suddenly heard a very loud, strange, human-like vocalization that sounded like a slowly rising, low-pitched moan. As the pitch rose, it seemed to get louder like whatever was making the sound was approaching closer. Everything else was silent. It really sounded very close to the house, like it was nearing the window, which seemed strange and scary because we were on the second story. The sound seemed very focused in our direction. This eerie moan made us both freeze!
After about ten seconds of being petrified, my brother shot up out of bed and slammed the vertically-opening window shut. He later said that he quickly looked toward the source of the sound before shutting the window. The moan seemed to come from the line of orchard trees in the shadows about 20 feet from the house along the south edge of the driveway. But he did not see anything unusual. We nervously muttered to each other, “What was that!?” We listened for more, but the moan had stopped. We were too afraid to open the window again. My brother waited a few minutes, and then shined his flashlight from the closed window into the orchard. But we saw and heard nothing the rest of that night. We went into the orchard the next morning but found nothing unusual in the area of the sound.
We told our family about what had happened, but they said that they had been asleep. They brushed off the story because we were just teenagers at the time. We have been trying to explain that night ever since. We thought that it might have been someone playing a weird prank on us. But we were only summer visitors to the area and had never met any of the neighbors, the nearest home being about a half-mile away. We considered that it might have been some strange animal. But it sounded semi-human, and unlike any sound we had ever heard. Of course, there has always been the ghost theory.
We never thought that it might have been a Bigfoot until recently, when we found out about www.bfro.net and heard the 1994 Ohio Field Recordings from Columbiana County (WAV Format, 1350 KB). It is the same sound we heard! I got chills the first time I listened to the recording (I still do). I was immediately transported back to that night in Dee, Oregon. If we would have known about the possibility of it being a Bigfoot, we would have searched for more evidence, or perhaps we would have been more bold during the encounter—easy to say in hindsight though. This story has been in our family ever since that night. Now we have a good explanation!
ALSO NOTICED: The only unusual thing was the eerie quality of the moan: human-like, low-pitched (more male-like), slowly rising in tone, and as if it was coming right up to the window (which seemed weird at the time because we were on the second story). This quality made us panic, and my brother quickly slammed the window shut.
OTHER WITNESSES: Yes. There was my older brother and myself. We were both teenagers at the time. We were talking late at night. My brother was taking pictures of the moon from a second-story, south-facing window. I was in bed.
OTHER STORIES: We have not heard of any stories specifically in Dee. But we will ask our extended family members who grew up in the area. We really never made a big telling of our story because it was like a ghost story, and adults in the family would think that we were just teenagers at the time making things up. My grandparents are no longer alive. I have one acquaintance who was raised in nearby Dufur, who said that she grew up hearing many stories of Bigfoot (she was not specific about any details of those stories).
TIME AND CONDITIONS: We were up late at night in a second-story bedroom of my grandparents’ Dee, Oregon home, at about 2:00 AM in the summer (July-August) of 1980. There was a full moon.
ENVIRONMENT: It occurred in a Hood River Valley orchard of mixed, mature apple and pear trees. The orchard is about 1 mile east of a small, thickly-vegetated ravine where the Hood River flows, and where the forest begins.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Dr. Wolf H. Fahrenbach:
The witness emphasized in conversation the eerie, near human quality of the sound, yet its simultaneously non-human character. The sound started deep enough to be referred to as a growl. The perception of the two boys was that the sound was deliberately directed at them. A possibility is that the sasquatch was feeding on apples in the orchard and was surprised/annoyed by motion in the nearby window. The vocalization was about 10 seconds long.
Full moon occurred on the 27th of July and the event presumably near midnight. The West Fork of the Hood River is about 1,000' from this location.