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COUNTY: Snohomish County
LOCATION DETAILS: Goat Lake off Mt. Loop highway, far end of lake where trail becomes brushy.
NEAREST TOWN: Darrington/Silverton
NEAREST ROAD: Mt. Loop Highway
OBSERVED: Vocalization at close range with no actual sighting. Sunning at end of lake where the trail becomes brushy. Suddenly without any other sign/signal of someone/something being there, there was a loud vocalization starting with a low pitch howl increasing to high pitch howl almost ending in a high pitch hoop sound. Then dead silence. I jumped up and couldn't see anything but from the lakeshore the trail was pretty obscured and the woods thick. Sound was very close- I estimate 50-75 feet at most. I grabbed my belongings and got out of there fast hiking all the way back to my truck without stopping except to look back and listen a few times briefly. Beyond spooky, and puzzling. I have listened to many animal recordings online and nothing native to or not native to WA state sounds even close to this. It does sound strikingly similar to a couple of the recordings I have listened to on the website. I have no doubt I heard something that day that is outside of what species we know to exist in this part of the world. I took me this long because I can't stop thinking of it and when in the woods it has changed the way I view hiking alone, more wary and alert now, sometimes afraid even.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing
OTHER WITNESSES: No, there were some campers at other end of lake who didn't seem to have heard or noticed anything.
OTHER STORIES: Not at this location just other areas in the county.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Mid afternoon
ENVIRONMENT: Right along the lakeshore.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Laura Roeder:
I spoke with the witness over the phone for about 40 minutes. He is a surgical tech by trade and has camped and hiked in the outdoors since early childhood in several regions of the US. Being very experienced, he has historically been a solo backpacker and hiker, but due to this experience, he now opts only to go with a companion.
He stated that the weather was very nice that day, in the high 60’s/low 70’s, as he headed up the trail to a new favorite spot on the lake. He had been to this location twice before. This was on the Upper Trail to Goat Lake, which is an abandoned logging road along a creek.
He noted that he did not encounter anyone coming down the trail as he headed up at midday. He did see a couple of of adults with several kids having lunch near the edge of the lake by the falls as he approached.
He stopped where the trail gets very brushy and made his way off the trail to his familiar spot about 15 feet away on the lakeshore. He had lunch and then decided to strip down to his shorts and lie down and take in some sun on a large downed log. He said that there was a light breeze, but basically pretty silent and very pleasant.
He’d been lying there a while, when suddenly he heard an incredibly loud howl-type noise, about 50 feet to his right. He immediately bolted upright. It started in a low pitch, and then gradually increased to a higher one. It was sustained for approximately 10 seconds. He was so shocked and startled that he immediately threw on the rest of his clothes, shoved his feet in his boots without lacing them, grabbed his pack and walked as fast as he possibly could back down the trail, checking behind himself regularly as he went.
He reached the spot by the waterfall where the people had been having lunch, and they were now pitching a tent. There was no exchange between him and that party to indicate that they’d heard anything. He continued on. He began to run over the scenario in his mind as he made his way back to the trailhead, still checking behind himself every once in a while.
He was pretty certain that no one had passed him going further up the trail, as he had been sitting fairly close to it, only about 15 feet, where the bank slopes down to a little beach. It was about 4:00pm when it had happened. Once he had passed a few more people further down the trail, he finally stopped and laced up his boots, still checking behind him every once in a while.
He realized that the thing that had unnerved him most was the fact that he had not heard any hint of approach or departure either before or after this howl sound. He said that also when he heard the sound, he fully expected to see something as he looked that direction, as it just sounded so powerful, but the brush was very dense. He has read many sighting reports since this experience, trying to make sense of what he’d possibly heard, and he noted to me that he did not experience any kind of sensation when the noise occurred as other people have sometimes reported, but that it was still very loud.
He is not a northwest native, but has spent many years in several other parts of the country in the outdoors, backpacking and hiking. He listened to many recordings of animals and birds native to the northwest, and nothing matched. He indicated that this sound was so out of vocal range that it couldn’t have been a person. He did listen to one purported Sasquatch recording online that sounded almost identical to what he heard, but he didn’t recall the site it was on. I also asked him if he’d smelled anything unusual, and he hadn’t.
He indicated that this experience has changed his thoughts permanently about going solo in the woods and he now goes out with a companion. He expressed relief at being able to finally share it with someone, as he hasn’t told anyone else about the experience.
The witness was very articulate and professional, conveyed a good deal of detail in his account and seemed quite credible. There have been many other accounts and recordings of howls of this type across the country. I have personally heard several howls like this type of “up-whooping” out in the field as well, both on formal expeditions and previous to my participation in this group. In my experience with this particular type of sound, the howl’s range was out of human possibility- even the most experienced vocalist could simply not hit the resonance nor low points of the frequency.
Based on the credibility of the witness, the isolated and densely wooded location, and other reports describing this same ascending type and depth of the howl, I believe that it's likely that this witness encountered a Sasquatch at this location.
About BFRO Investigator Laura Roeder:
Laura Roeder is an IT analyst in the aerospace industry living near Seattle, Washington. She had a Class A sighting while cave hunting near Mt. Adams in 2004 and another on a private group expedition in 2012. She has also had multiple Class B encounters in southwest Washington and various locations around Washington state over a span of approximately 20 years. She attended the 2012 Western Washington BFRO expedition, co-hosted the 2013 WA Cascades Area #1 expedition, and assisted at the 2013 WA Area #2 and 2013 Olympic Peninsula expeditions. She continues to do research and attend expeditions as available.