Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Cowlitz County > Report # 4353
Submitted by witness D.W. on Tuesday, May 21, 2002.
Young man encounters two large, upright animals near the Columbia River, west of Longview
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COUNTY: Cowlitz County
NEAREST TOWN: Longview
NEAREST ROAD: Ocean Beach Hwy./ hwy. 4
OBSERVED: After all these years I'm not sure just how interesting this account will be to you however it left such a lasting impression on me I have decided to submit this report. I was born in Longview, Washington and spent much of my childhood exploring the surrounding area with my friends and family. From camping out at Spirit Lake to spending time on my Grandparents farm. It was on their farm that the following incident occurred.
The farm was located approximately eight miles west of Longview high on the bluffs overlooking the Columbia River near an area called Oak Point
Although not a true "working farm", as my Grandfather worked for the local lumber company in town,they had a large apple orchard, garden,barn and pasture. Water was provided by a fresh water spring located about 200 yards from the house down a dark almost always moist path cut through the surrounding heavy timber. The spring ran all the time filling a small concrete holding area which was covered by a small shed type structure open on one side. All us Grandkids loved to walk down to the spring and sample it's cold fresh water and explore the area.
On this particular day while the rest of the family was involved with other things I decided to take a walk down to the spring. It was a walk I shall never forget.
The first 150-175 yards of my sojourn were uneventful except that it was very quiet. Complete silence except for my breathing and muffled footsteps. As I neared the spring I began to pick up the smell of a skunk or what I thought was something dead. The path made a turn to the left and went downhill just before it reached the spring. As I made the turn the spring came within view along with what I thought was a bear drinking from it.In no time I realized this was no bear. It was a large hair covered man/ape and because I was above and to an angle of it hadn't seen me yet. I stood very still and for some reason was not at all afraid or feel threatened. It was squatting down with it's upper torso and head bent over the spring. It drank for a while then raised its head and looked directly in my direction then resumed drinking having not seen me as I was still perfectly still. I remember hearing my heart pounding and wondering if it could hear it too and give my position away. This observation lasted perhaps 1-2 minutes when from directly behind meI heard a heeh heeh hee sound with a whistle sound at the end. The drinking animal immediately stood up. It was 6-61/2 feet tall, covered in dark brown to cinnamon colored hair about 3-4 inches long, dark skin on its face and hands, dark eyes set close together, flat nose, large mouth with thin lips with what I would describe an alarmed look on its face.As I turned to see what had made the noise behind me I found my self looking at two huge legs of a larger animal perhaps 8-9 feet in height. I remember I had to look way up to see his face as he was on higher ground and besides I was just a kid. Keep in mind that this all happened at once: the sound behind me;the drinking animal standing up; discovering another animal not 15-20 feet behind me.
TIME TO LEAVE!..........I immediately ran to my left, down hill and through the woods for about 200 feet then back up on the path. I ran as fast as I could turning around only once to see if I was being chased. As far as I know they didn't follow me. I got the feeling they were as surprised as I was.
ALSO NOTICED: When I told my Grandmother what I had seen she acted very interested. She said something to my Grandfather and he became excited. They said I had just seen a couple of local bears that had been hanging around the farm for a while. I'm pretty sure they knew more than they were telling.
OTHER WITNESSES: just me
OTHER STORIES: No.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Mid afternoon.....3-4 PM
warm, hazy, humid
ENVIRONMENT: North American Rain Forest. Large Pines, fern under growth, some hardwoods, dense
Follow-up investigation report:
Interviewed the witness, D.W., at length on May 22, 2002. One item that was left out of this account was the age of the witness, who was about 10 years old at the time of the incident. In addition, the witness added a couple of interesting details during the interview. He noted that the mouth of the animal was very wide, stretching well back on the jaw as opposed to the thinner mouth that is usually noted. The witness also noted that the eyes of the animal that he was looking at were located very close together, much more so than human eye sockets. Although he did not get a very good look at the second animal that was directly behind him, the witness does believe that it was darker in color than the one next to the stream.