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Bigfoot Sounds

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 player.

 


Mystery Sound?

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 sound.

New for 2002 This is the mystery sound.




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 comparison.




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.

This 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.

 


This clip is a night recording of a hunter trying to locate turkeys before the morning hunt.



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.


This 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




This 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 as evidence.

 

New 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

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.

This 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 the kills.


Deer

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.

Snorting 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.



This is a helpless adult deer in distress as it was rescued from a frozen lake.

 

 

Elk

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.

This 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.


Small Animals

This 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.



This 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

 

This 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.

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.

Sample 1





Sample 2





Sometimes, these Barred owl calls can repeat, at about 10 second intervals, for dozens of times.





It's common for two owls to communicate back and forth between hills by using the above calls, these calls,





or 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 screams.

Sample 1






Sample 2




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.

 

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