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article imageAudio: Bloodcurdling shrieks from Oregon swamp — Bigfoot, coyote?

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jan 26, 2013 in Odd News
Pendleton - Residents of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon have had their night sleep repeatedly interrupted by eerie screeches, shrieks. The sounds come from a marshy area. The rumor is spreading among the residents that there is a Bigfoot in the swamp.
The remote Umatilla Indian Reservation has a population of about 1,500 people and covers 178,000 acres that extends into Oregon's Blue Mountains, the Daily Mail reports.
According to The Oregonian, the late night sounds from the swamp began in November. Residents say the sounds are high-pitched screams, sometimes "basso profundo roars."
Sylvia Minthorn, a resident, once considered going out to investigate. She said: "I used to play back there when I was a kid. But then I thought, '€˜What if I do find something? Then what am I going to do?'" She added that the night commotion is "causing an uproar around here."
She said she has seen adult men's hair stand on end when the shrieks come in the night.
Colleen Chance, an employee of the housing authority has recorded several instances of the noise on her iPhone (audio recording above). She said: "It's kind of spooky. Some say it's foxes, some say it's a female coyote and some say it's Sasquatch. I don't know what it is."
The night sounds have caused so much concern among residents that nobody goes out into the wetland after dark.
The community is debating the source of the noise. Some ascribe the sounds to foxes and coyotes, while others believe the legendary Sasquatch or Bigfoot could be in the swamp. The Bigfoot theory comes from the fact that Oregon's Blue Mountains area is notorious for frequent claims of Bigfoot sightings.
The Daily Mail reports that since the sounds were first heard, local housing authority officials have received several calls from concerned residents
According to Josh Franken, interim director of the housing authority, many of the residents in the reservation are living in fear. A man said his dog has refused to leave the house. Franken said the man was also afraid.
After official investigation of the noise failed to yield conclusive answers about the source of the noise, rumors began spreading that the nightly noise was from a young Sasquatch separated from its family.
The Bigfoot or Sasquatch is a legendary large two-footed humanoid animal believed to roam the wild in some areas of North America, especially the Pacific Northwest region of North America, the Daily Mail reports.
According to The Oregonian, the Blue Mountains of Oregon in the vicinity of the Umatilla Indian Reservation became a favorite area for Bigfoot hunters after a Native American Pete Luther, reported 19-inch footprints along Tiger Canyon Road, close to the reservation in 1966.
The area's Bigfoot tradition survived the confession by the family of 84-year-old prankster Ray L. Wallace of Centralia, Washington that before his death Wallace used strap-on wooden feet to create "Bigfoot" tracks in the area for decades. The family claimed that Wallace was the source of the Northwest's Bigfoot legend.
The Daily Mail notes that in spite of the story by Wallace's family, the Bigfoot tradition remains particularly strong among Native American groups of the Confederated Umatilla, Walla Walla and Cayuse tribes of the Pacific Northwest.
According to The Oregonian, Luke, a longhouse drummer, singer and follower of the native Seven Drums religion (Washat), said Bigfoot is part of the tribal culture, and beliefs, which explains why the Bigfoot theory of the swamp noise is causing concern in the Native Indian community.
Carl Sheeler, wildlife program manager for the tribes, said that beside Bigfoot and coyotes, several other animals, including cougars and foxes, are able to make eerie night sounds. He said: "When they are breeding, it is absolutely hair-raising... And the first time a person hears a fox calling in the night, kind of echoing around the canyons, it raises the hair on the back of your neck... That wetland is a perfect place to have an echoing call sound eerie."
But some members of the community, who have lived long in the area and are familiar with its night sounds say they have never heard such cries from the swamp before.
Sylvia Minthorn said: "Foxes do sound creepy, but it's not the same sound, not even close."
Denise Minthorn believes there may be more than one creature in the swamp making the sound. She said she has heard the noise from more than one direction at once. She said: "It was like barroom brawls and laughter."
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