What noise does a Bigfoot make?
Tell five Montanans to close their eyes and picture a Bigfoot and I reckon all five of them will picture a tall, hairy, broad-shouldered ape man that probably looks like the titular Harry of "Harry and the Hendersons." But what do Bigfoots (the plural of Bigfoot is Bigfoots; never say Bigfeet or your Bigfoot devotee friends will slap the word out of your mouth) sound like? Do they sound like samurais in old movies?
Take these recording, made in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California way back in 1971 by Al Berry, a skeptical reporter investigating the Bigfoot phenomenon, and his buddy Ron Moorehead. They were setting up camp for the night somewhere between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. One night they woke up to hear some genuinely bizarre cries. Here is Morehead discussing the audio on a radio show appearance from April.
In Berry's words:
"As dusk became dark night, something approached camp from a ridge above, rapping on wood or rocks as it came, and when it arrived, two voices that I could discern, it vocalized, and the sounds carried through the trees as I have never heard human voices carry every before or since. And it whistled, a clear, beautiful whistle like a bird might make, between its kind, and at one point back and forth with us."
According to Berry, this went one for some time: "This encounter went on for nearly an hour and a half, and another followed on the second night, and there were other encounters I can attest to later that season. I was able to get reasonably good tape recordings of the sounds and interaction, and we cast several of the foot impressions, both in pine mat and snow. I looked high and low for evidence of the joke, including searching the others' belongings while they were away hunting. I wasn't a novice investigator of facts, but I came home stumped, basically with nothing to write about until the story unraveled by itself or I helped in with further research and investigation."
The strange vocalizations became known to some as the "samurai sounds," due to an almost uncanny resemblance to the expressive style favored in old samurai films like those by Kurosawa.
Watch this scene from Kurosawa's classic "Yojimbo" and compare.
Experts have studied the audio, and many claim that human vocal cords could not produce the noises. Last year, Scott Nelson, a retired crytpolinguist formerly in the employ of the Navy, told the Hastings Tribune that when he heard the recording his "whole world changed.... it took my out of my paradigm." In fact, he says that he has since become confident that they represent an intelligent language, probably being "spoken" by a family of intelligent, humanoid beings."
Here's a possibility that so far no one has considered: could there be a lost colony of samurai roving West of the Continental Divide?
You decide, fair reader.