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COUNTY: Multnomah County
LOCATION DETAILS: Near Bonneville Dam between Cascade Locks and Dodson just east of Eagle Creek area between Interstate-84 and the Columbia River.
NEAREST TOWN: Cascade Locks
NEAREST ROAD: I-84
OBSERVED: I am a conductor for UPRR working pool freight from Portland OR to Hermiston OR. We were traveling westbound on a train going around curves between Bonneville, Cascade Locks and Dodson. As we came around a curve near milepost 36, I saw something dark between the rails. I said to the engineer, "What is that". He then blew the whistle. Something tall and hairy with long arms got up and ran into the trees and brush. Its arms swung wildly when it ran. We looked into the spot where the animal went into cover, but could not see it. Time was daybreak. We got a good look as we aproached at about 15 rail car lengths.
ALSO NOTICED: 3 months earlier a sighting at Eagle Creek by another engineer; then one sighting after mine in 1995; another late 1999; and two people sighted a large apelike animal in 2000. All are railroad personnel.
OTHER WITNESSES: One witness, engineer running the train
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Day break, dry, just getting daylight
ENVIRONMENT: Columbia River, mountains, fir trees near railroad mile post 36
Follow-up investigation report:
Kyle talked with me for several minutes about a number of sightings near Bonneville by railroad personnel in both Multnomah and Hood River counties.
Kyle additionally described the apelike animal he saw as appearing to be interested in something on the railroad bed. The animal was sitting down between the tracks when first observed, then raised itself up to stand and ran away on two legs with its arms flailing back and forth. The creature appeared to be frightened by the train whistle.
We speculated that the great ape may have been intrigued by rail track sounds/vibrations from the oncoming train or may have been hunting food (perhaps seeds or insects or rodents)?
This report is a first class original sighting.