Submitted to BFRO by witness on Sunday, July 11, 2010.
Strange vocalization heard while calling for a kitten on the Wabash River
COUNTY: Tippecanoe County
LOCATION DETAILS: Going West on 200 South from Lafayette. To the Wabash River. Go to the end of the road and Turn Left down the gated Mud path 2.25 miles South
NEAREST TOWN: West Point
NEAREST ROAD: Just on the other side of the River County road
OBSERVED: July 10, 2010. Four miles South of Lafayette, Indiana and nine miles West. On the East bank of the Wabash river. Approximately 1:30am. Two friends and I heard unfamiliar vocalization coming from within approximately 1000 ft of our campfire. We were looking for a lost 4 week old kitten at the time. This vocalization set off a series of responses from other wildlife up and down the river for the next three or four minutes. We are all familiar with MOST of the wildlife in that area and could not place that deep voice from anything familiar. Apparently whatever it is, it answers to “Kitty Kitty”. We didn’t call kitty kitty anymore that night.
ALSO NOTICED: Two men in a power boat had been searching the river banks with a spotlight but turned it off as they went by our location
OTHER WITNESSES: Three witnesses we were searching for a 4 week old kitten.
OTHER STORIES: none
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 0130 hrs
Clear but just beginning to fog
About65 degrees F
ENVIRONMENT: Next to the Wabash scattered Hardwoods and sandy soil
A & G References: DeLorme’s Indiana Gazetteer page 31 grid G9
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Eric Lester:
I talked to the witness at length about what he heard that night, the following can be added:
– they were on a friend’s riverside property looking for a kitten that had wandered off that night when they heard the vocalization
– the vocalization was described as a powerful scream/howl, lasting about 4-5 seconds, and it came from their side of the river; only one vocalization was heard
– immediately after the vocalization, they heard cows, coyotes and birds sound off
– the witness has spent extensive time in the outdoors and is familiar with wildlife sounds, including cougar and bobcat, and was emphatic that this vocalization was like nothing he is familiar with
The Wabash river begins its course to the east in Ohio, then winds nearly 500 miles before draining into the Ohio River to the southwest. Locations near the river and its tributaries have had a number of reports submitted to the BFRO, including two near Turkey Run State Park.