Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
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John Hollenhorst reporting As far as anyone can remember, cowboys, miners and hermits have reported a mysterious noise in a remote place west of Delta.
It's a sound so strange, it's fueled The Legend of the Drum Mountains.
Reference books disagree about how the Drum Mountains were named. One book we consulted says it's because the mountains LOOK like drums. Another local history says it's because the mountains SOUND like drums. We like that one better.
If you spend as much time in the Drum Mountains as Gale Bennett does…
Gale Bennett, Hinckley Resident: "I don't know if I could make that sound. But it just sounded like a hooooooooooo!"
Sherm Tolbert heard it too, way back in the 1920's.
Sherm Tolbert, Hinckley Resident: "And that thunder come up. And the horses was a eatin'. And it was so loud that they'd stop and kind kinda look, you know, like that." (reporter question: "Well maybe it was just thunder?") Nope. No, it wasn't a cloud in the sky. Uh, huh, hah, hah."
Lynn Fergus started hearing it maybe 15 years ago.
Lynn Fergus, Fillmore Resident: "You know when you hear the kids goin' down the street with their boom box, and all you can hear is the bass? Uh-boom, uh-boom, uh-boom. That's pretty much what it sounded like. "
Gale Bennett, Hinckley Resident: "Nobody ever knew what it was. But it come from the drum mountains."
People have groped for scientific explanations.
Sherm Tolbert, Hinckley Resident: "Well, they thought maybe the two mountains was slidin' back and forth together."
Extremely unlikely, geologists say, and that's putting it mildly. Un-scientific types have wondered about ghosts, monsters, space aliens.
Gale Bennett, Hinckley Resident: "I'd a probably run to town if I’d a thought a stuff like that."
Perhaps for a mystery like this, instead of looking for answers underground or in outer space, maybe a man should look for answers inside himself.
(reporter question:"Could it have been something inside you?") Gale Bennett, Hinckley Resident: "hah, hah, hah, no, i don't think so. Hah. Hah." (reporter question: "I mean, maybe it was beans for lunch.") Bob greenwell: "bad batch of chili." All: "hah, hah, hah."
Lynn Fergus, Fillmore Resident: "Hah. Hah. Not bad chili. Although i've had some bad chili. That would not make that noise. Even in somebody else. Hah, hah, hah."
One day, oddly enough, Fergus was struck by how unimaginably quiet the Drum Mountains are.
Lynn Fergus, Fillmore Resident: "And that's what led me to find out exactly what it was that was making the noise I was hearing. It was my own heartbeat I could hear. And I’m sure that's what it was, because I’ve heard it several times since, when I really listen on purpose. You can't imagine quiet that quiet unless you been in it. Most people never get in a place like that."
But Fergus says he's heard ANOTHER strange sound out there that he still can't explain.
The Legend continues.