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DATE: Late September / Early October 1996.
COUNTY: Clinton County
LOCATION DETAILS: Located near the town of Hamersly Fork in the direction of Alvin Bush Dam. The location is off the road ( not able to recall exact name but leads directly to Alvin Bush Dam and opposite way goes into Cross Forks) at Beaver Dam Road.
Dirt road leads to my cabin near the fire warden's house. This dirt road travels back to several cabins of which mine is the 1'st left past the first visible cabin.
This is not to be confused with the roads leading to the top of the pipeline or the gas wells. One must travel approximately 3 miles along the bottom of the Beaver Dam Hollow before reaching the area of my report. The name of my Camp is " Camp Hit or Miss ".
OBSERVED: I was in the company of a male friend. We were both Police Officers at the time and neither had consumed any intoxicants.
My friend was the Chief of Police at the time and has since retired into security work. I am still a full time patrolman for a small sized South Central Pennsylvania Borough.
At the time of the event we were in need of some rest and decided to go to my cabin.We planned on a relaxing weekend and packed accordingly.We took along several firearms to do some extensive target shooting.This was not a hunting trip so making a lot of noise was not of concern to me.
Upon arrival I noticed nothing out of the ordinary.The cabin is owned by our hunting club with several members owning shares of the camp.The cabin rarely gets used which holds true for the vast majority of camps in the Beacer Dam Hollow.The only time the hollow sees a large influx of activity is during Bear Season and Deer Season.The rest of the year human presence is sparse at best.
We arrived mid morning without incident and noisily went about setting up camp.We made a fire, ate lunch, and fired off a large quantity of ammunition at tin cans.To be quite honest we made the entire mountain rock! This is one of the reasons I found the incident to be so unusual and unnerving.
I prepared our supper and began to plan the restful events to come. It was getting dark and I remember that there was quite a chill in the air. A bit more than is normal for that time of the year.
We ate and went outside to sit on the porch at approximately 8 pm. We were talking when we heard a very unusual vocalization.
The sound came from accross the hollow on the opposite mountain. It was loud, completely different than any other noise I ever heard, and persistant.
I can only say that we each looked at each other and said what the hell is that! The origination point of the sound was definitely on the move and seemed to move behind the camp over the course of 15 - 20 minutes.
I noticed that whatever it was seemed to stay away from the camp so that we never heard movement or other distinguishable characteristics. I felt with the movement and rather unnerving nature of the event I would rather retire for the evening!
We went to bed and had no further incident. I explored the next day and was unable to locate tracks of any sort or other proof of what it was. I just dismissed it at perhaps a very noisy critter of some sort. This changed when I came accross Matt M.'s vocalizations from Ohio.
I will say based on my best memory that the noise I heard in the woods that night had a shockingly similar sound. I have hunted all my life as well as been in the mountains and I never have heard somthing like that before or since! I simply do not know what the source of the noise was.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing. The cabin, terain, and circumstances were as they always are.
OTHER WITNESSES: We just finished eating and were outside relaxing. Our voices were a normal conversation level. A few hours beforehand we were shooting and making noises that would normally spook off animals.
ENVIRONMENT: The area of the incident is as diverse as it is vast. A common term for this part of PA is the North Central Teir. The mountains are 2 to 4 times larger and much steeper than the ones of my native Lebanon County.
I found that the only way to climb these mountains without half killing yourself is up the hollows.
The terain is very diverse ranging from Laurel 15 feet high and extremely dense, to pine stands on entire hillsides with 10' visibility, to mature open growth with visibility of hundreds of yards.
The food availability is sparse at best. The lack of clear cuts to support browse and extreme hunting pressure in the 60's and 70's has all but turned the area of the incident into a " mountain desert."
There is a fair abundance of water in the creeks, sporadic crops of beechnuts, acorns and rare fruit producing shrubs.
The hill along my cabin is the more open terain, the hollow is a small stand of pines and the origination point of the noise is from a heavily grown Combo of Laurel and Hardwoods with huge rocks around. There are also many blowbowns that I notice seem to attract feeding deer.