Douglas county, OR
Nearest town: Tiller
Nearest road: Nfd 400
Location: Even though it was many years ago, I could 30 years later find the very spot where we were camping. It was on the east end of Fish Lake, right where the trail ends at the swamp East/Southeast of the lake. We were camping approx. 200 yards from the lake on a flat, just west of the steep ridge behind us.
Description of event: Back in the early `70's when I was a kid, we loved to go to this lake in Oregon to go fishing. It's called Fish Lake in Douglas County (near Highrock Mountain). One night while we were camping there, we (my dad, mom, sister and me) woke up to a "whoop, whoop" coming from the tree-covered woods behind us. I'm guessing it was about 2 am, but that's pure speculation.
The sound was NOT an owl...in fact, it reminded me of sounds the white-handed gibbons made at the World Wildlife Safari, a drive-through animal park in my hometown of Winston, Oregon. However, the sound was a LOT louder and deeper. My dad was annoyed, but he thought that maybe it was someone lost on the ridge above us that needed help back to the camping area (there were some other campers there that weekend). So, he started whooping back. The noisemaker in the woods responded with more whoops. I estimate the sounds coming from about a quarter of a mile away or less.
However, though dad also called back with yells like, "Hello out there", and "Do you need help?", that was the only responses we received. We could tell that the "whooper" was moving, as we could here the sound work it's way north as the creature went along the ridge. After a time, dad gave up, and soon the sounds faded and went away.
My dad doesn't remember the incident, mostly because he's one of those people who will go to the extreme coming up with a "logical" explanation for something like this, and as such, quickly dismissed it from his mind. However, my mom, sister and myself vividly remember this AND at least me and my sister heard the Whoops at other times as well, mostly from Beaver Swamp, a bog at the east end of the lake.
As part of trying to figure out what the source of the whoops, I've listened to recordings of many owls (particularly Pacific NW species) and heard owls in the wild, and not a one made sounds that even closely matches what we heard in that area.
BTW, the sounds were eerily similar to those at the following website (esp. the last few whoops in the recording): http://www.bigfootsounds.com/whoopx.html
record updated:2004-08-01 00:00:00