DHS Squirrel
Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Mason County > Report # 28487
Report # 28487  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Monday, November 8, 2010.
Possible vocalization heard near Lake Cushman and Dow Mountain
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YEAR: 2008

SEASON: Summer

MONTH: August

STATE: Washington

COUNTY: Mason County

LOCATION DETAILS: Approximately 300 feet from Highway 119, and approximately 1.5 miles northwest of the Foothills Park area.


NEAREST ROAD: Highway 119

OBSERVED: One summer night in 2008, I was sitting on the back deck with our dog Icy at about 1 in the morning, because it was too hot to sleep. It was totally silent -- which it normally is around here at night -- and as I sat there on the wooden steps, with Icy sitting on the deck about 3 feet away from me, I heard what at first sounded like a distant siren, seemingly from the north-north-east. (The only thing in that direction from our house is Dow Mountain, with no roads except for dirt logging roads).
Icy's response to sirens is invariably the same: he lifts up his head, pricks his ears, listens intently, and then begins howling, usually in the moment just after the siren becomes inaudible to my human ears. That night, though, his response was completely different. He came quickly to my side and pressed himself against me, sort of hunching himself into an extension of my body. As I listened, I viscerally "knew" that what I was hearing was NOT a siren, although it did seem very, very similar to a siren sound.  I remember I was holding my breath -- and my impression was that I didn't start breathing again until the sound had completely stopped -- and I can only hold my breath for about 50 seconds, so that's the amount of time I would guess the sound went on.
The same instinct that told me that I was not listening to a siren also told me that I had never heard this sound before.  Another -- to me -- validating aspect was that my own response to it was out of character, just as Icy's was. Normally I would have sat there for another hour or so, hoping to hear it again. It was so amazing -- and I usually can't get enough of that kind of interesting mysterious stuff. But when the howling ended and I started breathing again, my first impulse was to get inside the house, quietly and fast.
I went online and Googled every kind of indigenous Pacific Northwest animal I could think of: elk, fox, coyote, deer, bear, rabbit, moose, cougar, various owls, other birds -- even wolf, which we purportedly do not have in this area -- and couldn't find any WAV file that even came close. On a chance, I looked up Sasquatch WAV files, and listened to the ones that I could find -- I think there were five -- and one of them, the "Ohio Howl", was a dead ringer. When I heard it coming through the headphones, chills started running up my back. That was the sound I'd heard.

ALSO NOTICED: Nothing other than the stillness of the air, and the unusual warmth for that time of night. Just before I heard the howling, I had noticed how completely silent it was.

OTHER WITNESSES: No other witnesses.

OTHER STORIES: Report # 16053  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Tuesday, October 03, 2006.
Possible daytime sighting on Lake Cushman

Report # 16416  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Sunday, October 29, 2006.
Possible vocalizations heard near Lake Cushman
LOCATION DETAILS: It was off of 119 near the foot hills park wilderness area. 4 miles west of foot hills park.

TIME AND CONDITIONS: Approximately 1 a.m. The lighting was virtually complete darkness, perhaps some starlight. The air was warm and still.

ENVIRONMENT: Our house is located about 1/8 mile from Dow Creek, near Lake Cushman and Lake Kokanee. The Dow Mountain area comprises hills and ravines, with many creeks, heavily forested with second- and third-growth Douglas Fir, cedar, alder, and vine-maple. The understory is thick, in places impenetrable, and consists primarily of ferns, salal, and other low-growing shrubs and berry-producing plants. There are quite a few old logging roads meandering through the area; some of these are still used occasionally; many are not used much at all.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jim Von Lossow:

I have interviewed the witness by telephone and find her a reliable witness with keen observational skills. She and her husband have lived in this area for years and are aware and knowledgeable of all forest sounds.

The long moaning howl she describes hearing is one other researchers are familiar with. You can go to the BFRO main page and look it up under the Sounds section. It was recorded by Matt Moneymaker [founder] and Jamie Watson in Columbiana County Ohio, 1994, here is the link: "1994 Ohio - Moaning Howl"

The witness described the howl as starting off low, then rising in pitch and volume, into a long drawn out mournful cry. The length of which she stated was approximately 50 seconds. It was heard only once before she decided to go inside and lock the doors. As he report states her normally fearless dog, was not inclined to investigate, but rather wanted nothing to do with it and came to her side. This type of reaction from a normally territorial dog has been reported before.

This area has had an upturn in reports over the past few years. To read these reports you can click on:
Report #28207
Report #16053
Report #16416

About BFRO Investigator Jim Von Lossow:

Small Business Owner
Special Interest in Field Sound Recording
Attended the Washington (Oly Pen -2) expedition.

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