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COUNTY: Skamania County
LOCATION DETAILS: Goat mountain trail #217, 6 miles (I don't think it was that far) to Deadman's Lake. Southeast end of lake.
NEAREST TOWN: Cougar, WA
NEAREST ROAD: forest road 26 by the Ryan Lake interpretive site, Mount St. Helens National Volcano Monument
OBSERVED: I had backpacked into Deadman's Lake for a one night stay. It was during the Washington bow season for elk.
As I was heading in I ran into two hunters on the trail hunting down to their vehicle to dry out and stay in their camper. They told me that a group had been hunting in the area but had to leave because there horses were acting up.
As I got to the lake I could tell that the horses had been kept in a small meadow near the campsite area. I pitched my tent in this area. I was at the lake doing a little fishing before dark when I heard a howl way off in the distance. I didn't think much of it, it was miles away. There were also several bull elk bugling in the hills behind the lake and at one point I could hear some cow elk "talking".
Being an elk hunter myself, I am very familiar with the sounds elk make during this time of year. That was one of the reasons I had gone to this area was to try to call in and get pictures of the elk. As night fell I stayed up until approximately 9:00 PM listening to the sounds of the woods. I could hear a couple owls hooting back and forth across the lake as I fell asleep.
At 11:24 PM I was awoken by the same screaming howl I had heard before but it sounded like it was coming from the meadow I was camped next to, about 50 yards away. It sounded like a cross between a wolf and a very loud human. It sounded as if it were a hailing call.
I opened the front flap of the tent and grabbed my light and the only weapon I had, my knife. I also grabbed the camera just in case I could see something. The howl had also scared the two owls I had heard hooting earlier that evening. The owls continued to call back and forth to each other for a time after that but I never heard the howl again.
I stayed awake for hours after that and eventually was able to relax and get some sleep. I woke up that morning to the sound of bugling elk and when it got light enough I went to look for any sign of what I had heard the night before. I found a herd of cow elk by the lake but nothing unusual. The weather started turning about this time so I packed up my stuff and headed back to my car.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing found the next day. I tried to get back into the area but Mount St. Helens became active after this and the area was closed down by the forest service.
OTHER WITNESSES: No witnesses
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 11:24 PM. I looked at my wrist watch when I heard the sound. Clear night, no moon that I saw. There was ice on the tent in the morning.
ENVIRONMENT: Heavy timber with a meadow on the lake.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator John G. Callender:
The witness is 41 years old and is an avid elk hunter, and has been for over twenty years. He also gets out and hikes fairly remote areas. He says in over twenty years in the woods he has never heard anything like what he heard up there.
He said the scream seemed to start just prior to 11:30 P. M. from an open meadow approximately twenty yards from his campsite. The scream was high-pitched and loud enough to wake him from a sound sleep. It reminded him of a sound he's heard gibbons make. It frightened him enough that he nearly left his campsite and went home that night.
The duration of the scream was estimated to be approximately five to ten seconds. After the scream two owls nearby started hooting a lot as if they had been disturbed by the noise. He also mentioned that the scream was predominately a high-pitched scream, but he also noticed a low toned "vibe" that seemed to be part of the scream.
The area in which this scream was heard has had a long history of bigfoot related reports.
About BFRO Investigator John G. Callender:
John Callender hails from Mississippi where he received a BA degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). He now resides south of Seattle, WA and he works as a pilot for a major airline. John has done extensive field work in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Mississippi, and he has attended the following expeditions: WA - Oly Pen (Aug. '04); New Mexico (Jicarilla Apache SEP '04); WA - Oly Pen (October '04); CA - Redwoods (May '05); WA -Oly Pen -3, (AUG '05 ); WA Cascades Expedition (AUG '06); Central Oregon Expedition (JUNE '07), BC, Vancouver Island Expedition (SEPT 2007), WA Cascades Expedition (June '09), 2009 Washington Olympic Peninsula Expedition