Sound descriptions of Bigfoot range from whistles, screams, wails, grunts,
moans, whoops, gull-like screeches, and even "an indescribable sound".
Trouble is, we are only left with verbal descriptions, because there are no
credible recordings which can be proven to be from a Bigfoot. Bigfoot
researchers are adamant about carrying audio recorders, but the sounds they
claim to be from a Bigfoot, almost always turn out to be from a common bird,
animal, or mechanical device. Verbally described vocalizations from witnesses
are often not accurate enough to positively identify the source. An unfamiliar
sound may leave the observer shocked or otherwise unprepared to properly analyze
it. The passage of time also deteriorates the memories of critical details in
the sound. Once in a while, a witness does have an accurate description of the
sound they heard, and some of these descriptions can not be easily cataloged to
a known bird or animal. Recording the sounds is important, because the observer
may need to hear the sound several times to identify the source, and the
observer may need to have a bioacoustics specialist listen to the sound for
identification. The biggest problem with recording sound, is that the sound has
to be loud enough and close enough to be picked-up well. Many recordings are so
poor, it may be impossible to properly identify the source, leaving it to the
imaginations of the researcher. Look for our future article on how to make your
own wildlife recordings.
Calling in a Bigfoot
Bigfoot researchers have tried numerous ways to call in a Bigfoot, mostly
without success. Banging branches together, hollering, whistling, or making
other sounds will cause many birds and animals to respond vocally, and advance
towards the caller. Many researchers become fixated on Bigfoot, and become
confused about what is responding to their calls. Coyotes, wolves, dogs,
turkeys, owls, and many other birds and animals will often respond to any loud
noise. The canine family has a tendency to mimic sounds in their environment,
and commonly try to reproduce police and air-raid sirens. Pounding sticks
together or hollering may induce a response from a fisherman or camper nearby as
well. Bigfoot, more than any other animal, probably wouldn't respond to any
unnatural or annoying sounds. By doing so, Bigfoot would make itself vulnerable
to attack by man, something it would have learned over the years.
What we have Found
During our years of research, we have heard some sounds in both Ohio and
Pennsylvania that could not be from any wildlife found in this part of the
country. Unfortunately, we didn't have recording equipment operating at the
time. One of the sounds we heard, in a very active Ohio sighting area in 1978,
could be described as a garbled, bubbly sound almost like human speech. The
sound lasted about 15 seconds, in a vacant area just after dark. Another sound
was heard in Pennsylvania at about 5:00AM, after turning a light on inside the
tent. It was a very loud 6 second "Whooooo", immediately followed
by three "whoop-whoop-whoop" sounds. Each of the series of
"whoop" sounds were shorter and higher pitched than the previous. The
"Whooooo" sound was in the 300-400 Hertz range, and was much louder
than any animal or human would have been. The only explanation we could deduce,
was a gas-line pressure relief valve, but we couldn't find one in the area. A
thorough search revealed no evidence at all. If we ever obtain recordings
of what we believe to be Bigfoot, we will post them on this web site.
All of the below sounds are in MP3 format. MP3 players are widely
available over the Internet, or try http://www.download.com.
Windows Media Player should play MP3 sounds. If you experience problems playing
the MP3 sounds, right click on them and select "save target as" to a
file on your computer to download them and then play the file using a MP3
This recording was taken during a summer night in an area where Bigfoot has
been reported in the past. What you will hear is a whistle-like sound followed
by a tree fall crashing to the ground, then a scream. Listen carefully and see
if you can identify what is making the sounds, could this be Bigfoot related?
The tooting sound is a Saw Whet Owl and there is a oil pump running in the
background. Check back in a while and we will have more information about this
New for 2002 This is the mystery
NEW! 2003 Finally we will release the
suspense. Here is the exact identity of the sounds heard. You hear the Saw Whet
Owl, a few chirps of a bird, that may sound like whistles, as the night
sets in, an old rain soaked, dead tree falling, followed by a Barred Owl scream
in response to the loud noise of the tree falling. There is no mystery here.
This was a tickler, just to see what response we would get. Believe it or not,
some Bigfoot enthusiasts were adamant that we got Bigfoot sounds here and were
confused why we would put this sound up when we claim that these screams were
Barred Owls. The enthusiasts thought that Bigfoot was upon us that night,
communicating with each with whistles, and in aggression pushed a tree over and
screamed. Of course these Bigfoot enthusiasts are convinced that screams like
this are Bigfoot related. Shame is that they are in fact from a common Barred
Owl. We conducted a through search of the area to proof our findings. Imaginations
of enthusiasts can be very insightful. Will may post another mystery sound up in
the future to see what our readers think it might be.
Is This Bigfoot Speech?
On Labor Day 1994, Rich La Monica of Akron, Ohio recorded what he believes is
an adolescent Bigfoot making a vocalization which sounds like some kind of
speech. The recording was made near where he says he had a Bigfoot sighting in
1988 while driving through Guernsey County, Ohio. Guernsey County has had a
history of Bigfoot reports. The area where this recording was made is in a small
rural community of several dozen people near a major waterway. Rich requested
that we post his recording, because he wants as many people as possible to hear
and comment on it. If you have heard anything similar, let both us and Rich
know. For his full story of this recording and more, see Rich's
web site. Until more recordings relating these vocalizations directly to
Bigfoot are obtained, it cannot be proven to be from a Bigfoot. For now, there
is no way to rule out that it not a human. We find the reference of the
"talker" recording being related to Indian language inconclusive, and
doubt any translation from someone who can barely remember the language.
This is the "talker" recording, which has been modified for clarity
with a 300-1700Hz band pass filter.
The pitch of this "talker" recording has been reduced by 40% as a
possible aid to understand it.
Below is a recording accidentally made in April, 2000 of garbled human
speech. There was a creek nearby, and the person was about 20 feet from the
recorder. If something sounds similar to a human, then it must be considered as
such, unless substantial evidence can conclude otherwise.
New for 2001 Human speech recording for
Below are a number of common wildlife sounds that we have found to be
constantly confused with Bigfoot. You can use the below sounds to help describe
a sound you heard or maybe identify the sound. All of these sounds were recorded
in the Ohio/Pennsylvania area with our specially designed equipment. Believe it or not, most of the below sounds were recorded with
a $10 GE mini-cassette recorder using carefully selected microphones, and
preamplifiers of our own design, connected to a jack that was installed as an
external microphone connector. We digitally edit the sounds with professional
audio software. We currently have upgraded to digital recording equipment for
improved dynamic range and lower noise floors. So far, only a few of the below
sounds have been digitally recorded. We tried to pick out the sounds
that have been most misinterpreted. We will be adding to this list as more
samples are recorded.
Wood on wood or gun fire?
In recent years, Bigfoot researchers have been claiming that Bigfoot
communicates by knocking sticks or stones together. Claims have been made that
these sounds can be very loud. One must be very careful about sounds which have
origins behind a few hills, as they will sound surprisingly different due to
lost harmonic content. Below is a clip which sounds like the proverbial
"wood on wood", but was confirmed to be gun fire from .7 of a mile
away in a wooded hollow. Always make an attempt to properly identify the
origin of a suspicious sound to avoid making a fool of yourself.
Bigfoot or another person?
Many times a researcher thinks they are all alone in the wilderness, and the
odd sound couldn't be from another person. Especially in Ohio, chances are, you
are not alone. Here are two examples of some odd sounds that people can make.
This should stress the point- always know who is in the vicinity and who may
know of your location.
is a clip of an Ohio "researcher" making what he thinks is a Bigfoot
call. This was recorded from a 1/4 mile away, and has similarities to a type of
Barred owl call.
clip is a night recording of a hunter trying to locate turkeys before the
Couldn't be a Coyote or Dog could it?
It is amazing, how such a common animal continues to cause identification
problems. Maybe it's because of the variety of sounds a coyote can make, differences
between hybrids, or just the volume the coyote is capable of. Below are some
samples of what could be confusing coyote and dog sounds. These should stress
the point- recognize the full range of calls a species is capable of.
is a sample of a raspy coyote that we heard one night in Ohio. Note the
similarities of this sound to a supposed Bigfoot "howl", located at
this web site Http://bfro.net/AVEVID/MJM/ohsket.htm
is our own field recording, which was simultaneously recorded by an Ohio
"researcher", recording the same sounds. That
"researcher" presented his version of this recording to a 1997
Vancouver BC Sasquatch Symposium. Symposium attendees couldn't define what could
have made the noise, leading people to think that is was a Bigfoot. Maybe the
Ohio "researcher's" recording wasn't very clear, because as you can
hear on our recording, it is nothing more than two coyotes. That other Ohio
"researcher" claims that "this was a Bigfoot call, followed by a
coyote whining in fear of it's life". We have to add that there was over a
dozen researchers at the location separating the two coyotes. We were well away
from the other researchers, who were all apparently under the impression that
the sounds were Bigfoot related. Some probably still think so today. We actually
saw one of the coyotes with the aid of night-vision trying to circle around the
group of people.
Here is a sound similar to many of the supposed recordings of Bigfoot we have
heard. This is nothing more than a poor (too far away) recording of a coyote
pack, but because it is unintelligible, it can be interpreted as almost anything
including a Bigfoot. If a recording is not of sufficient quality, it is useless
for 2001 This is the recording of a dog that was responsible for a
possible Bigfoot report. Some web sites have sounds similar to this
being labeled as Bigfoot related. Believe us that the witness should have know
better, but some how they got caught up in the Bigfoot mystery too much.
Bear are usually silent, therefore their vocalizations are not
well known. With upwards of 10,000 Black Bear in Pa., you may hear one soon.
is a group of Black Bear cubs feeding at close range, you could probably hear
them from 100 yards or so. This recording is primarily to familiarize yourself
with the sounds of bear cubs.
This is a sound you are not likely to ever hear. This is called the Bear
death moan, caused by the sudden collapse of the lungs after death. This
moan is very loud and can last intermittently for up to a minute after the bear
dies. Hunter's, especially archers, use this sound as a signal that it is safe
to approach their quarry. It is said that this death moan occurs in only 40% of
Deer can make a variety of sounds, including a great rendition of a human
whistle. Here are two samples of deer sounds. This should stress the point- many
normally silent animals can make vocalizations.
is a deer's signal of danger. Hunter's are familiar with this call, as a signal
the deer got away. This sound has even been confused for a cougar.
is a helpless adult deer in distress as it was rescued from a frozen lake.
About 600 Elk are now thriving in areas of North Central
Pennsylvania; during the autumn rut the bulls become very vocal. Trails left by
the bulls antlers often reveal broken branches as high as 10 feet, and they
create a frightful sound as they crash through the woods in the dark.
call was recorded from about 300 yards. These calls are typically much louder
than a person yelling, and can give you a good scare at close range. The calls
vary somewhat; this one is similar to descriptions of Bigfoot and could be
misinterpreted by someone unfamiliar with the habits of Elk.
fairly loud scream is a porcupine. They are common in the northern Pa. forests.
Hawks Day or Night
Hawks make a variety of screams either in groups or only uttered once. Hawks
usually scream when you are near the nest or when young are around. Below is a
sample recorded near a hawk's nest at night. This should stress the point- don't
expect birds to sleep at night. In fact, diurnal species often vocalize during
the night, especially when disturbed.
The Great Owl Dilemma
No sounds have caused as much confusion as owl sounds. This is partially due
to some well known researchers' spreading the word that Bigfoot mimics owls.
Owls can make a tremendous variety of surprising sounds. Most people are only
aware of the more common calls. Since most owl call only during darkness, it
can be difficult to obtain positive identifications of the source. This should
stress the point- know your bird sounds, and never underestimate owls. Owls fly
very quietly on their well adapted wings which may lead some researchers to
think that the sound is moving very fast or that there is more than one
"Bigfoot" making the sounds.
Here are clips of some of the more confusing owl sounds.
This is a young Great Horned owl. These calls were heard almost
every night for 7 months in their home territory.
Here are some Saw-Whet owl sounds recorded in Pennsylvania. The Saw-Whet owl is
one of the smallest owls in North America. This owl can have a surprisingly loud
voice for its size, about 1/3 as loud as a human can possibly be.
This is their common call, a rhythmic tooting. This is a call that some Bigfoot
"researchers" have claimed to be the sound of a UFO in the vicinity of
some alleged Bigfoot activity in California.
is a Saw-Whet owl scream. This was about 100 yards away, and about 1/3 as loud
as a human scream, pretty good for a owl that is only 8 inches tall. Note the
similarities of this scream to a supposed Ohio Bigfoot "scream" found
on a web site at Http://bfro.net/AVEVID/MJM/ohsket.htm
is another Saw-Whet owl scream uttered only once during a night of recording. No
other Saw-Whet calls were heard during the night this recording was made.
We have found that the 2' tall Barred owl and their close relative the Spotted
owl (in the Pacific Northwest, plus some areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and
Colorado), have often been mistaken for a Bigfoot. These owls prefer dense forests,
which just happens to be the same supposed habitat of Bigfoot. The Barred owl
has a vast repertoire of sounds including: the common "who-cooks-for-you-all"
call, lengthy contrapuntal duets, sharp ascending whistles, gull-like screeches,
a deep gurgling defense song; an amazing variety of wails, moans, monkey-like
cackles, hisses, laughs, and are capable of long, loud unnervingly humanlike
screams. Many of these vocalizations are suspiciously similar to descriptions of
Bigfoot sounds. Note the below range map of the Barred Owl is almost identical
to suspected Bigfoot habitat. Barred owls are very vocal, and often call during the day.
Barred owls are surprisingly loud, at times rivaling the volume of a human. Keep
in mind, their calls also have local variations. Long ago, some of our members
swore they heard an ape holler in a 500' deep wooded valley in Pa., but when the
source was located, it was just a Barred owl.
Range Map Endangered Spotted Owl
Here are some Barred owl calls, that usually occur at dusk, and are used to
locate other owls. These sounds are quite loud, about the same as a dog bark,
and can be heard for a mile. Once a "researcher" exclaimed,
"those sounds are Bigfoots calling to one another at dusk as they gather to
search for clams down at the river". These are also similar to calls
another well known "researcher" claims he had analyzed by some
so-called "bird expert" to be from an Arctic species. This
"researcher" claims that the sound was a Bigfoot mimicking this
Arctic species. To him, this was all the proof required that Bigfoot has origins
further north, and was intelligent enough to keep this sound in their language.
these Barred owl calls can repeat, at about 10 second intervals, for dozens of
common for two owls to communicate back and forth between hills by using the
above calls, these calls,
calls like this.
Barred owls are quite capable of a variety of screams, either
singularly or in groupings. The screams are rather rare and many people
have never heard them. But, if you travel the night woods, where Barred Owls
inhabit, enough you will hear them too. One of our members once heard a Barred
Owl giving two lengthy, ascending pitch, wavering screams followed by muffled
hoots while walking near a Barred Owl roost after sunset. Unfortunately, no
audio recorders were with them at the time. Here are two samples of their
Compare the above Barred owl and Saw-Whet owl screams to the
supposed Ohio Bigfoot "scream" on a web site at Http://bfro.net/AVEVID/MJM/ohsket.htm
These Bigfoot "screams" are nothing more than a Barred owl. We
have notified the "researchers'' involved many times, and they don't want
to believe the truth. They have yet to provide any proof of why this, documented
Barred owl scream, is from a Bigfoot. We have also heard many other recordings made
in the area, all were also, although less fantastic vocalizations of, Barred
owls and their screams. This hoax has been around since 1994, fooling and
misleading many. Bigfoot reports are now being based on this sound alone, and
even some Bigfoot "researchers" are using the sound - trying to call in
a Bigfoot. Even through we have made this information public back in 1994, we
still hear researchers making new claims of Bigfoot screams that are Barred
Owls. During the year 2000, even after knowing our conclusions, one Texas based
research group has or had on their web site a Barred Owl scream described as a
Bigfoot, while another Texas group made claims of credit for recording the
supposed Bigfoot. Yet again in 2002, a supposed expert in bioacoustics from
Texas said that a Barred Owl is incapable of producing such a sound and that it
was more like a sound from some kind of monkey or ape, after a supposed computer
analysis-- how ridiculous. Anyone who continues to misinterpret Owl vocalizations is
completely discrediting themselves and the Bigfoot
research field. Thankfully, we have been receiving response from others that are
finally realizing we are correct in our identification after they too have
finally seen a Barred Owl scream.
To Sum it Up
The above are examples of how common sounds, in the minds of imaginative
researchers, can become evidence of a creature that may or may not exist. It is
our goal to uncover the truth behind the stories and rumors of Bigfoot in the
OH/PA area. We are not saying, every sound a witness hears is merely a common
animal. People do hear some very odd sounds, including ourselves. When unknown
sounds are heard, there are certain steps that need to be followed. These steps
are often skipped, because it is easier for researchers to use their
imaginations than to follow the sounds into the darkness. We will be covering
the steps of how to define "unknown" sounds in our upcoming "How
to Conduct Proper Research" section. For those of you who feel that Bigfoot
imitates common animal sounds, you have to somehow prove this before stating
that the sound is a Bigfoot. This is an even more difficult task than proving
the existence of Bigfoot, because common animals are numerous, and a
simultaneous audio/video recording may be the only acceptable proof. Any common
animal sound is therefore a common animal sound unless proven otherwise. To
learn more about common animal sounds, you can find many good audio recordings
in libraries, specialty stores, and over the Internet. Some excellent audio
tapes are available from Lang Elliott's Nature Sound
Studio. Some of his tapes are: Know Your Bird Songs and Guide to
Night Sounds. On the Internet, start out with the Guide
to Animal Sounds on the Net, and explore.