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COUNTY: Douglas County
LOCATION DETAILS: Drain Oregon near Laurel Hills Drive.
NEAREST TOWN: Drain
NEAREST ROAD: Laurel Hills
OBSERVED: The incident occurred while my cousin and I were returning from a hike near our family home. The area we lived in at the time was fairly remote and we lived at the end of an old logging road. We often hiked the forest behind our homes.
As we were nearing our home we heard a very unusual "whoop" sound coming from the top of the mountain above us. The sound was loud enough it echoed throughout the canyon. It was a sound unlike anything we had ever heard before and caused us to stop in our tracks.
We were very familiar with the area and the local wildlife new it was not a coyote or cougar. We waited a very short time and heard the "whoop" again. At this point we both broke into a dead run for our home. As we ran for home we continued to hear the "whoop". Once we arrived at my home we immediately informed our parents of what we had heard. My mother, who had lived her whole life in the area, told us we probably heard a cougar but went outside with us to listen.
After hearing the "whoop" herself she called my father out to hear it also. Both adults agreed it was like nothing they ever heard before and I remember telling them it sounded like a monkey or gibbon I had heard once at a zoo. The "sound" continued for two nights and my mother called a county trapper to investigate. The trapper investigated the area but did not find anything.
ALSO NOTICED: The sound recordings of the "whoop" sounds on your website from Puyallup and Snohomish sound like the "whoop" sounds we heard in Oregon. Hearing them again brings back frightening memories of this event
OTHER WITNESSES: yes, (3) My cousin, and parents.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: approximately one hour after sunset
ENVIRONMENT: mountain ridge covered by heavy fir forest ( now mostly deforested)
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Chris Minniear:
I spoke over the phone with the witness, a Deputy Fire Marshal who grew up on a family owned, 360-acre dairy ranch just outside of Drain, Oregon. His childhood was spent with his older cousin roaming the countryside around the family property on which his mother has lived since 1930 and continues to with his father. The witness has been a hunter since boyhood and is familiar with the local fauna and the sounds they make. He has heard cougars vocalize and mentioned how rare that is.
The witness was watching a show about bigfoot on the History Channel when BFRO.net was mentioned, so he visited the web site. He came across the Snohomish recording which struck a nerve and thought instantly, “That’s IT!” The shiver it sent up his spine prompted him to send in the report. Over the years, he has attempted to describe the vocals he and his family heard that night. He shared a quick, funny anecdote about coming within twenty yards of a grizzly without realizing it until the bear announced itself with a growl and a huff. When his girlfriend asked what had made the noise he said, “ A bear: we got to get out of here.” What he was thinking was, “That’s not IT.” I found it amusing that he had an encounter with a big bear and almost instantly thought of the vocalization from all those years ago.
On a summer evening in 1977 the witness (age: 12) and his older cousin (age: 17) were walking home after playing in a hayfield until dusk. The distance between the two is three quarters of a mile. About half way there they were both startled by a loud whooping. They paused to listen and after the second whoop began to run. The quality of the sound, ”made the blood run cold….IT was disturbing…the feeling was instinctual…I’ve never run so fast in my life.” The vocalizing continued until they were inside the house.
There they eventually convinced his “incredulous parents” to step outside to listen to the vocals. Until that point the couple had supplied the young men with every possible explanation for the noise...cougar, elk etc. The witness explained to them that it sounded like a gibbon he had both seen on TV’s Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and heard at the zoo. Once outside, all was quiet. He remembers distinctly his father standing and listening until he said, “I’ve had enough.” Just as he turned to go inside, the whooping began again and continued for some time. “That really disturbed my mother and that isn’t easy; she’s an old farm gal.” She walked inside and while the animal continued to call, an old high school friend and trapper for the county. She told him that “something was out here and he needed to come and check it out.”
After the vocals stopped, his cousin wished to go home but did not care to walk, despite the fact that it was only across the road, so he called his parents for a ride. Because they refused, the witness’ father drove the teenager home in his pickup. The two boys did not venture from the farm for weeks following this event. Nothing was found by the trapper who arrived three days later.
The vocalizations were five to eight seconds long with a pause of ten to fifteen seconds between them. Those on the first night lasted over a half hour, possibly longer. The witness reports that everyone could easily tell where the sound originated and all four were impressed; no one present had heard anything like it, before or since. “It was not from a small animal.” The vocalizations continued the following two nights lasting up to, or over an hour per episode from the same spot on the mountain near some old growth firs that are no longer there. The witness states, “ I got the impression that it was looking for a response and didn't get one and moved on, or that it was announcing its presence.”
I found this witness credible. I believe the vocals’ timbre and volume described are consistent with other alleged sasquatch vocals.
About BFRO Investigator Chris Minniear:
Chris Minniear lives in and enjoys the great outdoors of Oregon and has had an interest in Bigfoot since childhood. He attended the 2008 Oregon and Northern California, 2009 Northern California Expeditions and cast prints of the London Tracks. In 2009 he had a Class B night sighting that will be featured on Animal Planet's-Finding Bigfoot.