Backpackers hear unexplainable howling file# 01956


Date:September , 1980
Deschutes county, OR
Nearest town:
Nearest road:
Hwy 46
Three Sisters Wilderness, outlet stream of Horse Lake, approx 4 miles west of Elk Lake and Hwy 46.


Description of event: In early Fall of 1980, my buddy and I were backpacking in the Three Sisters Wilderness and camped at Horse Lake. The outlet stream emptied into a ravine on the opposite side of the lake, 200 yd away. No other campers on the lake that night. At approx 11:30pm, we were awakened by a howling, which we estimated to be about 1/4 mile down the ravine, lasting about 3 to 5 seconds, then silence. We jumped out of the tent and heard the howling repeated every couple minutes, closer to the lake each time. The only thing I can compare the sound to is the metallic screeching of a freight train's brakes applied at full speed, complete with doppler shift from higher frequency to lower. (The nearest train tracks are in LaPine, 25 miles distant.) The howling stopped at the lake outlet for perhaps 5 to 10 minutes. We shined our flashlights across the lake but caught nothing. Finally, the howling occurred in the same pattern as before, this time receeding back down the ravine. We detected no unusual smell. I have spent years hiking, camping, and backpacking in the Pacific Northwest forests and know the calls of elk, coyotes, owls, cats, etc., and this howling sounded like nothing I had ever heard.

record updated:0000-00-00 00:00:00