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DATE: 21 or 22
COUNTY: Coos County
LOCATION DETAILS: Between Seven Devils Road and Highway 101.
NEAREST TOWN: Bandon
NEAREST ROAD: Seven Devils Road
OBSERVED: I entered this part of the Coos County Forest at its western edge, looking for possible hiking trails that I could follow to the top of the hills.
I walked east along an old dirt logging road but it ended at the edge of a steep creek. The brush was very thick and I couldn't get through so I followed the creek in a southerly direction, walking through the "slash" (all the debris left over from clear cutting.) Actually, stumbling is a more apt description of my mode of travel. If you've been in a clear cut you know what I mean.
Anyhow, I came upon a small spot of soft dirt next to a trunk and saw a footprint about an inch deep. It was a bare foot and just slightly bigger than my male size 10 1/2 in combat boots. I could plainly see the toes.
I couldn't imagine how anyone could walk barefooted in that area.
I found I couldn't get where I wanted to go due to some wicked stickers so I left. I kept thinking about that print and decided to go back with a camera. Unfortunately, it rained for about 4 days.
When it cleared up, I went back and stumbled around some more but it was washed pretty clean. However, I found some other prints that were bigger than the original, and some impressions that were smaller than my own foot (a youngster?). I tried taking pictures and can send them, but they aren't very clear. I could sort of see the track they took and I figured the stride to be about 6 feet between prints.
The next day I entered the forest from the north. I followed a dirt road that led to another clearcut. From a high point I could see the area I had been in the day before, so I was sort of north-east of the original spot on the other side of the creek.
I saw a beautiful deer and a snake there and found some more impressions. They appeared to be about 15 inches long with the same 6 foot stride. They were not well defined as the ground was hard and may have been made before the rain. I'm not a tracker, but I stood at the print and looked in the direction of travel and could see
what appeared to be a trail. That's how I figured the stride. 2 of my strides=6 feet.
I'm not a hunter or tracker but once I saw that print, I found it easier to spot others.
ALSO NOTICED: On my second trip to the former dump, as I approached the area near the creek, I heard a series of noises coming from the other side. It was like someone honking one of those airhorns people have at football games crossed with the sound of metal grating on metal. I assumed it was some machinery in the distance because the tones were so flat and alike without any running up or down the scale.
However as I approached the creek the sound receded and I could plainly tell whatever it was, it was heading away from me.
It was usually a series of 3 short "whistles", sometimes 2 or sometimes 1.
As I was walking back out, the noise went back towards the creek again. As I was walking back out, I hid in some bushes and watched the area through binoculars thinking it might be an elk or something and hoped to see it come out. Didn't see anything.
I listened to some recordings on the web and some of the whistles sounded somewhat like what I heard, but I wouldn't bet any money on it.
OTHER WITNESSES: none
OTHER STORIES: Only on this website. I was surprised to see reports in this area as it seems to me that it's too populated around here.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Afternoon, windy, warm, bright sun
ENVIRONMENT: Clear cut area next to a creek. Dirt logging roads. Lots of debris and nasty sticker plants!
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Dr. Wolf H. Fahrenbach:
The witness described the large footprints at about 18" with a 5' to 6' step length, while the smallest prints observed measured 5" to 6" in length. He mentioned the perfection of the first footprint he found and how it sensitized his observational acuity to further finds. The old county dump referred to in the report is completely covered over, but a new dump has been opened nearby. His telling of his experiences has led to another report (unpublished) from a family member and occasioned the excursion of the witness and his brother to the Cascades (see Report #9534).