DHS Squirrel
Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Cowlitz County > Report # 76065
Report # 76065  (Class B)
Submitted by witness Joshua P. on Saturday, July 1, 2023.
Wood knock heard from Merrill Lake Campground, 3 miles north of Cougar
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YEAR: 2023

SEASON: Spring


DATE: 14

STATE: Washington

COUNTY: Cowlitz County

LOCATION DETAILS: We were camping at Merrill Lake Campground along the east side.



OBSERVED: We were camping at Merrill Lake Campground in Washington, about 10 miles southwest of Mt. St. Helens, when we heard one single tree knock. It occurred around 2230 as we were sitting around the campfire relaxing.

We were camping on the east side of Merrill Lake and the knock sounded like it came from the west side of the lake, approximately .5 to 1 mile away. We did not see any lights on the opposite side of the lake, where the knock came from, nor did we see anyone on that side of the lake earlier. The night was clear, no wind, and during the weekday. The tree knock sounded similar to a baseball bat hitting a tree and did not sound like a limb falling.

OTHER WITNESSES: One other witness, we were sitting around the campfire.

TIME AND CONDITIONS: It occurred around 2230, clear night with no wind. Temp was around 50-60 degrees.

ENVIRONMENT: We were camping along the east side of Merrill Lake, surrounding the lake is forest. On the western side, where the knocked occurred, they had previously logged there, but not while we were camping. No workers were on that side of the lake while we were there.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Nicholas Bell:

I spoke to the witness over the phone. He lives in California. He and his girlfriend were on a several weeks long vacation throughout the Cascades. On May 14th they were sitting around the campfire when they heard the sound.

The Merrill Lake Campground was empty. It was just him, his girlfriend, and another camper in the area who they weren't associated with.

Around 10:30-11PM they had just finished dinner and heard what sounded like a baseball bat hitting a tree from across the lake. The witness and his girlfriend were not making any noise or playing music. They were just sitting quietly chatting with each other. He said it sounded like it came from up on one of the hills on the western side of the lake. It was just one wood knock and they didn't hear anything else that night.

He said he attempted to replicate the noise on trees around the campground but couldn't find any that really mimicked the sound. He remarked how they saw no lights or signs of activity/movement on the west side of the lake. He has never had a similar experience despite frequently going camping and hiking.

About BFRO Investigator Nicholas Bell:

Born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in Western Pennsylvania, Nick now lives with his daughter and Husky in Fife, WA. When he's not spending time with his daughter he can be found reading, hiking, and spending as much time as possible in the woods camping or Squatching.

He has attended numerous BFRO and private expeditions.

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