Lincoln County, Montana Late July 2005
For the last five years, whoever was available as family - we would stay at the rental towers on the U.S.F.S. rental system. This particular 4 day...3 night stay involved July 29th to August 1st 05. This Lookout is on a concrete-block base, with one flight of stairs going up the east side. On this particular visit, my wife Rosemarie, and son Adrian, are with me.
The location of this Fire Lookout is approximately 12 miles from the Canadian border, and about 14 miles S.W. of Eureka, Montana, as the crow flies. (We crossed at the Port of Roosville.) Lake Koocanusa sits below the tower just to the east. It is 'Webb Mountain Lookout.'
This all began on Friday, around 6:00 p.m. Wanting to take an initial picture just west of the tower, I heard a loud single knock on a tree just to the south. Two minutes later, a second single knock came. The sky was clear, the weather hot and excellent, a light breeze coming up from the forest. On my way back to the tower, I began to smell something different. Not like a skunk, but a distant odor of maybe rotten eggs. I see Adrian standing on the catwalk's west side, and before I say anything, he asks me if I smell something funny? I found this interesting, because he was catching the same thing.
A few minutes later, we wanted to explore a ridge west of the tower. It seemed to be an excellent place for a predator, such as a bear or cat to sit. It was shelved somewhat - and the area below we thought, would be a great place for deer to come up. (They did just that - every day.) Adrian was presently near the edge, with myself about 40 feet away - I had my back to him. I hear the tail end of something from the south - he heard the whole thing. When I reached him, he had goose bumps, and tears in his eyes. He asked me if I heard that? I asked him what it sounded like? He told me, it was like a woman's high-pitched scream. We both felt a little nervous, so we went back to the tower. He suggested putting a large metal fire screen in front of the walkway below. We did just that. I figured we didn't need a cat coming up the stairs. And I didn't want to cry Bigfoot.
As every day there, the deer were there the next morning, a Buck keeping an eye on everything. A day in Kalispell, we were back at the Lookout, and went to bed around 12:00 a.m. The conditions were very dark at the time, with a clear sky, and the stars seemed just off the deck outside. A light breeze was present as well.
At approximately 2:10 a.m. - I awoke to my wife's cell phone beeping - the battery was low. I sat up, and was going to tell her to shut it down. Within two minutes time, I heard the padlock on the steel door below us - it was being fiddled with. From what I have gathered, the room below is for storing firewood. You have to walk up 2 concrete stairs on the outside, and stand on a concrete walk. Then reach up and tamper with the lock. I wasn't happy, ruling out a number of things that it couldn't be. Then I could hear something moving around down below on the rocks - this type of material makes quite a racket. Much of the area around this tower is rock.
I immediately woke up Adrian, and asked him quietly...to listen. I had noticed a beer bottle just to the east of the tower during the day. Whatever was out there, then came in contact with the bottle - moving it aside. Then we both heard the visitor wandering around outside on the rock surface. While all this was going on, my wife had been up, and was now sleeping again. I'm sure glad she felt protected, because we didn't. Adrian and I watched the catwalk like a hawk. We were quietly debating what to do about this - we couldn't see anything outside. We actually put something up against the door.
Now to the south side of the tower - something was moving rock, and moving around as well. Very quickly, it seemed to jump from one level of ground to the next - maybe 4 feet in height difference between levels of ground. It bothered both Adrian and I - coming down with a huge thump - we could feel the damn vibration inside the Lookout. It continued to move around outside.
I noticed that Adrian, over time, had just fallen asleep. During this time, I heard what I thought to be a type of gargle from the throat of something. I again woke Adrian up - he had slept for about 5 minutes. The rocks were still being stepped on outside, and around us. And then we received something we couldn't understand. Something whistled on the east side of the lookout, down below. We both looked at each other. Was there more than one outside? At that point, we threw out the window, the idea of going outside on the deck. We didn’t know what we were up against - and I wouldn't risk loved ones. I was actually telling Adrian at that time, that those outside, didn't know how many of us there were. At least hopefully! I didn't think it was men now, because of the sheer weight that had come down during that jump.
A quarter-moon came out during all this - this whole episode lasting almost an hour-and-forty-five-minutes. With a hint of morning light coming, it disappeared into the night. What struck me as funny - whatever it was - seemed to use the rock most of the time to walk on. We found no tracks that morning. No human tracks, other than ours. And no large animal.
That morning, I remembered that my wife had read some of the visitor’s notes and short stories in the logbooks. I left one as well. Some do - most don't I think. I began to read their stories. These 3 could mean a number of things.
7-19-03 to 7-20-03: "The dogs barked in the window in the middle of the night - something was down there - but I didn't see it."
7-31-03: "Went to the outhouse about 12:00 at night. When an animal blew and thumped away. There was a scared woman. Next morning a muley lingered around - so that's probably what it was?"
July 9th/05: "We came souped up for war, yet ran in fear of two shiny eyes in the dark that reflected off our flashlights."
On Sunday, Adrian and I put our heads to the grind - we didn't want another night of this. We fixed eight different locations with pieces of cantaloupe – placing them on raised rock so the little creatures couldn't get them. Three of these places, I gently smoothed dirt areas for possible tracks. Trip spots were set up, and things put up that would slow something down at least.
We timed ourselves in the tower. We could get outside, and look over the deck with light and camera in 3 ½ seconds. The night before, we really knew where little was at the time. We only had hunting knives and bear spray. (Lucky Americans - they get to carry guns.) Five large cut logs were placed at the top of the stairs – the fire screen still blocking below. We did what we could to hinder anything coming back - even trying to cut off a key escape route. We figured something would try using the area just to the south - it was the fastest way out.
Next morning - nothing! One piece of fruit was missing, but there were deer back. Their prints also moved up to one of the other traps. Adrian actually asked me that morning, if something could have watched us set the traps and bait the area. Smart kid - I'll never know!
Getting back to Calgary on Monday, I was still looking for some answers. I went to the BFRO site. I played a number of audio clips for A.J. (Adrian.) The 1973 Puyallup Washington State clip was his answer - it had apiece in there that was close to what he heard.
Then I continued with a possibility of any other sighting in that area in the past. Still with just the BFRO, I came up with the Lincoln County 1978 vocalization encounter near Libby, Montana. It's about 25 miles away from the tower. There was also a note to this witness. In the same area in August of 2004 (they were camping). They heard rocks being banged together most of the night.
I have tried as best I can, to give the reader an idea on what has transpired. We will be going up there again. I think a little more manpower will help ease our worry and tension next time. This was the first Lookout in five years that something could actually reach you on the catwalk. The others we have stayed at had trap doors on the wooden towers, and the other, a big steel door that you had to enter through. I'll remember this!
© Glen Boulier
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