Mysterious Shrieking Sound Frustrates Oregon Community

Officials haven't been able to identify what's causing the noise.

ByABC News
February 17, 2016, 3:54 PM

— -- A mysterious shrieking sound has left the residents of one Oregon neighborhood seriously perplexed.

Dave Nemeyer, fire marshal of the Forest Grove Fire and Rescue in Forest Grove, Oregon, told ABC News that he first learned of the strange noise after a local resident recorded and shared a video of it on the city's Facebook page.

"It's definitely a horrendous noise," Nemeyer said. "I have no idea what the noise is. [The resident] described to us that it was coming from the middle of the street. To me, it sounds like the sound of train tracks, that metal screeching sound, but there are no train tracks near her home ... so that's obviously ruled out."

Rick Vanderkin, the city's public works superintendent, told ABC News that very few people have heard the sound, making it difficult to locate and even more difficult to make an "educated guess as to what's creating the noise." So far, officials have ruled out a water valve, a gas leak and wildlife as possible culprits.

Forest Grove resident Colleen Ahrens told ABC News affiliate KATU in Portland that she's been woken up three or four times by the sound.

"It almost sounds like someone needs to change their brakes," she said.

Ahrens said her husband is a mechanic and when she described the noise to him, he thought a worn brake pad could be the source. But after she listened to the recording, she's not so sure anymore.

Chester Epperson, who lives across the street from Ahrens, hadn't heard the sound himself, but dismissed it after KATU played the recording for him.

"Maybe 'The X-Files' back on TV again," Epperson joked. "High-pitched, it's got a pause. I'll keep my ears out."