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COUNTY: Marion County
LOCATION DETAILS: Detroit Lake, Oregon (Hoover Campground)
OBSERVED: A powerful "roaring scream" was heard by Dana and Sharmayne while they were fishing on a dock approximately 150 meters west of the Hoover Campground (located along the south side of Detroit Lake where the Santiam River empties into the lake). The scream emanated from a point along the lake to the west of where the witnesses were fishing. Approximately 30 - 40 seconds later, an unidentified fisherman was seen running away from where the scream had originated. Upon seeing him, the witnesses immediately joined the visibly panicked fisherman on the trail and the three of them continued running until they reached the relative safety of the campground. Once there, they ladies asked, "Did you hear that scream?" The shaken fisherman replied, "Hear it? Whatever that thing is was right next to me!" After their brief conversation, Dana and Sharmayne quickly struck their camp and drove back to Portland.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 8:30 p.m.
Follow-up investigation report:
Primary BFRO investigator: Todd M Neiss
13217 NE. 59th St, #80
Vancouver, WA 98682-5308
Ph. 1-866-349-8333 or (503)201-5382
INVESTIGATION: At approximately 11:00 p.m. I received a voicemail-page and, upon retrieving it, listened to Sharmayne asking me to call her at her brother's saying that there was an "emergency" that required that I call her back "immediately." There was no doubt that she was still traumatized by the ordeal some three hours later. After she relayed the story to me, I asked her if she would be willing to meet me back at the lake the next day so I could do some investigation. She said she would rendezvous with me on the condition that they were out of the area before nightfall. The next day I loaded my car with my camping gear and assorted investigative equipment (video and still cameras, night-vision scope, parabolic microphone, plaster, etc.) and set off to my office to tie up some loose ends before heading out to the lake. I had scheduled to have lunch with Joe B. that day and so when he called to confirm our appointment, I relayed the events of the evening and my plans to follow up on it. Joe asked if I would like some company and I said that I would be more than happy to have him along. We decided to forego lunch and meet at his home in West Linn. There we proceeded to transfer my gear into his truck and shortly thereafter, we were on the road. Upon reaching the lake, we found Sharmayne and Dana waiting for us in the campground as promised. Once introductions were made, we set out to the fishing dock where the event took place a mere 19 hours prior. Once there, the ladies recounted their experience and pointed to where the vocalization had came from.
Joe and I began a methodically canvassing the vicinity; Joe choosing to retrace the trail that the fisherman used as an escape route, while I paralleled him some 50 - 75 feet inland. As we scoured the lakeside forest, my attention was drawn to a large disturbance on the ground ahead of me. Upon closer inspection, there appeared what looked to be a spot where the grass was stripped clean as if something very heavy had skidded or pivoted in the trail leaving a fairly fresh divot measuring over a foot across. Glancing to my left, my eye caught what looked like a fecal stool about five feet from the trail. The stool appeared quite fresh and resembled some of the photos I had seen of other purported bigfoot scat. To the untrained eye, it would have been dismissed as a dark splotch of mud. Using a stick, I carefully dug a sample from it and set it on a boulder for later analysis. Returning to the trail, I almost immediately encountered what was obviously an animal bed in a patch of ferns (less than 15 feet from the scat). The bed was very impressive as the ferns were literally crushed flat to the ground. Unlike a deer or elk bed, this bed had the unique dimensions of approximately nine feet in length and four feet in width. Almost simultaneously, Joe was investigating a point along the shoreline which seemed the most likely location of the hapless unidentified fisherman. His rod-holder was still in place where he had abandoned it the night before. Ironically, the bed was located a mere fifty feet from where he was fishing (dove-tailing nicely with the account given earlier…"Whatever that thing is was right next to me!" I motioned for Joe to join me so he could observe the bed for himself. What impressed us both was the fact that something lying in the four foot tall ferns would be virtually undetectable from just feet away. There also appeared to be a hastily beaten path leading west from the bed and eventually looping south up a steep rocky slope. Joe and I decided we should return to camp to retrieve the cameras and a Zip-Loc baggie to collect the fecal specimen in for later analysis. With the imprint, scat, bed and surrounding area thoroughly documented on both video and still camera formats, we decided to return to camp for the night as daylight was quickly retreating. Once at camp, we fixed dinner and prepared to settle in for the night. We had visited for several hours when I decided to retire around 2 a.m. The night sky was exceptionally clear, so Joe decided to stay up and stargaze for another hour eventually turning in around 3 a.m. At around 3:15 a.m., Joe was jolted awake by a distinct sound of a "pretty startling" series of screams off in the distance. He recalled three powerful screams that started fairly low and ended in a crescendo. The first two were approximately 15 seconds in duration followed by a final scream that tapered off in about five seconds. Joe informed me that he attempted to wake me to no avail. Unfortunately, we didn't have a recording device in place before the "show" was over. The next morning, we packed up and prepared to head back to Portland. As we were pulling out of the campground, we decided to drive to a point along the road which seemed the most likely place where the creature would have crossed after ascending the slope above it's bed. We discovered a well used animal trail which I traversed until it intersected a fairly new gravel road some 100 feet above the main roadway. Unable to locate any further evidence of tracks, I decided to walk the gravel road out to where it met the main road.I had almost reached the gated intersection when my attention fell upon a rather deep impression approximately six feet up in the soft bank that ran along side the gravel road. Making use of a sturdy branch, I ascended the bank for a closer inspection. Upon reaching the impression, it became obvious that what ever had put them down was bipedal and extremely heavy. Glancing left and right, I became aware that it was only one of a series of tracks which were very deep set into the hillside paralleling the road below.
I counted (and filmed) at least a dozen such tracks, each having over a 50" stride between them. Although they fell short of presenting the quintessential perfect human shaped print, it appeared as if they had been planted by an elephant…the downhill edge of each track buckling and cracking the earth. Unfortunately, the steep incline of the embankment was not conducive for casting purposes. Suffice to say, I know of no recognized animal that could have made such imprints.
CONCLUSION: This investigation was ideal in that we were able to get on scene within less than 24 hours.
HISTORY: This area falls within the known habitat of these creatures (the Cascade Mountain Range) and has a history of bigfoot events.
FOLLOW UP: The fecal specimen was stored on ice and transported in a cooler. It is currently undergoing scientific analysis at an appropriate local facility. Those who have analyzed it so far seem quite impressed with it's condition and abundant parasitic activity. It will be inspected for
content (i.e. diet), potential host cells (which can slough off of the intestinal walls) and unique parasites.