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Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Okanogan County > Report # 30459
Report # 30459  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Monday, August 22, 2011.
Campers record strange evening and morning vocalizations near Salmon Meadows

YEAR: 2011

SEASON: Summer

MONTH: August

DATE: 17 & 18

STATE: Washington

COUNTY: Okanogan County

LOCATION DETAILS: Easy to find at the top of the road from Conconully, WA heading west. Campground listed on many maps.

NEAREST TOWN: Conconully

NEAREST ROAD: Salmon Meadows campground

OBSERVED: On Wed. 8/17/11 my family went camping in Okanogan County, Washington near the town of Conconully, WA.
We arrived around 4:00 p.m. at the Salmon Meadows campsite. We checked out serveral sites and picked the one nearest the meadows, we were the only ones at this campsite. We went for a hike and got back to the campsite. There were numerous range cattle in our area. After hanging out at our site we heard a strange howl yell down in the creek bed the sound repeated 2 or 3 times, we were about 40 feet above the creek bed, we went down to take a look, we thought that an animal had injured itself. We found a young cow on the other side of the cattle guard. We opened the barb wire fence and tried to herd it to the other side, but it wouldn't go. We put the fence back up and went back to our camp. That night I woke up many times, thought I heard something and tried to see if anything was there in the full moon light illuminated meadows and forests. Our dog didn't react so I fell back to sleep hoping for morning. We woke up to some howls down in the creek bed below us. We had a video camera and tried to catch some of the howls on tape. We got 5 clips with the howls as they moved further away. I will email the best one after I submit this report. We tried to follow the sound away from us but it moved too fast, and our son was still sleeping in our campervan. We went back to camp and didn't hear or see anything else. We went to a bakery in Okanogan, WA and told of our experience and explained where we camped and all three people working said they had heard of this kind of activity around where we were. I have spent a lot of time in the woods and wild places, don't hunt or fish, and have never heard this kind of sound before. When we got home I sat down and wrote down a more detailed account, feeling like this was something significant.

ALSO NOTICED: There was someone camping about 1 mile away, looked like maybe cowboys tending the range cattle. They had a cabover camper on a pickup and a horse trailer and a couple horses. We were able to film the area with the howls, about five clips. I will email the loudest clip right after submitting this form

OTHER WITNESSES: 8/17/11 3 witnesses hiking and hanging out at our camp. 8/18/11 2 witnesses, sleeping in our campervan.


TIME AND CONDITIONS: 8/17/11 about 4:30 or 5 P.M. mid 70's sunny light winds.
8/18/11 6:30-7:00 A.M. Sunny low 60's light winds.

ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest, mountainous region, with meadows that were fenced off for range cattle. The howls were down in the creek bed of Salmon creek near the cattle guard or grate.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Darrel Verney:

The witnesses were able to record some of the strange evening and morning vocalizations with their “Flip” camcorder and sent their recordings to me. I shared the loudest recording with some other investigators, one of whom analyzed it with audio software. Here is the recording:


He thinks the vocalization is what investigators around the country are calling the “Horn Vocalization,” which is still considered a “head scratcher.” There are a number of similar recordings made in areas with sasquatch activity, but the source is still unknown.

The spectrogram of the recording includes a chord of three different notes produced at the same time, which is difficult to do. This vocalization repeats; other “horn vocalization” recordings are similar, but singular. It is interesting to note that the spectrogram of this vocalization also shows a possible tree knock.

In contrast, an analysis by an engineer concluded the following: “I still think the sounds are cows. I think the multiple notes are either an echo or poor recording. Since it was a video, I would immediately suspect poor recording with a possible echo. The alleged tree knock at the very beginning sounds like an artifact of the recording starting. We hear strange sounds all the time as radios start to transmit until the systems stabilize. It could be something as simple as a finger hitting the camera as the recorder started.”

The witnesses camped in an area I’ve also camped at and have been to a number of times. I’ve heard similar vocalizations which do echo there. On one occasion, some friends who are familiar with cattle, were confident that what we heard was a cow. Other investigators also think the recording is of a bellowing cow, which would be the simplest and most logical explanation for the location and circumstances.

Analyses of cow vocalizations don’t match the “Horn Vocalization,” however. Without witnessing the source at the time of the vocalization, it’s difficult to positively determine what produced it, so we still have a bit of a mystery.

About BFRO Investigator Darrel Verney:

Originally from Alaska, Darrel now lives in north central Washington. He studied Wildlife Biology and Wildlands Recreation, and has worked for the National Park Service and National Forest Service in the past. He feels fortunate in having had several sightings and numerous encounters during expeditions and informal outings. Darrel has attended the Redwoods ’06, North Cascades ’08, ’09 & '16, Olympic ’09 & ’11, and Morton ’12 & ’13 expeditions.