Del researches and writes about paranormal and cryptozoological topics from the view of an optimistic skeptic.
Many species employ ultra low-frequency sounds to communicate over long distances in the animal kingdom. Some might even hunt with this unique ability. Could even Sasquatch be capable of this trait? Reported behavior patterns and a small, compelling amount of anecdotal evidence might support the idea of deliberate infrasound use among Sasquatch.
First Things First—Some Acoustic Basics:
Ultrasound: Sounds that are too high to be heard by the human ear, i.e., dog whistles and bat chatter (over 20,00 hz).
Infrasound: Sounds that are too low to be heard by the human ear (under 20 hz).
Hertz: The unit used to measure frequency. One cycle per second equals one hertz. If I hear a drill that emits 1000 hertz (hz), essentially my eardrum vibrates 1000 times/second.
Decibel: The unit used to measure magnitude/loudness/volume of a sound. Also known as sound pressure. Leaves rustle at about 10 dB, while a bulldozer typically emits 107 dB, for example.
What Is Infrasound?
Infrasonic waves are bass-waves with frequencies below the hearing-range of a human ear (20 Hz to 16,000 hz). These waves, while not detectable by the ear, can be felt throughout the body. The rippling effects of infrasound can shake living organisms, quite literally, to the core. To humans, massive organisms comprised of 60% water, a sub-20 Hz sound wave can cause confusion, dizziness, nausea, panic, and terror as it ripples through our swishing and swashing natural body fluid. Infrasonic waves are common in heavy machinery and can penetrate physical barriers, affecting our mind and bodies for miles, regardless of walls. While not regulated across the board, wind and aerospace industries provide their own restrictions for human exposure to high dB infrasonic emissions.
This isn’t as scary as it sounds. Infrasound is found all around us in wildlife, nature, and industry. Clearly not all infrasonic waves will make our body fluid erupt like a shaken up Perrier bottle. Thunder and waterfall sounds are actually soothing at the proper frequency at the proper amplitude for a proper amount of time. Many animal species use infrasound for ‘keeping in touch’ and, presumably, guiding migration patterns over long distances: rhinos, hippos, giraffes, alligator, whales, and elephants.
Other than communication, theories suggest infrasound has more of an actionable function… hunting. Tigers release infrasound in their roars. But do they consciously use infrasound to ground their prey? Many believe so. Wildlife researcher and professor Mel Sunquist and his wife experienced a tiger’s roar front and center in the jungle. The two survived the tiger’s wrath, but felt overwhelmed and paralyzed in place as it happened, "It feels like the sound is actually penetrating you. It's so forceful. My wife said she felt like she couldn't move. She felt like she was sort of frozen." Many tiger researchers believe that these fearsome predators deliberately employ deep infrasonic sound blasts to disorient prey. Is it possible other apex predators use infrasound to hunt?
Sasquatch and Infrasound
Some Bigfoot stories detail deep woods deer herds appearing confused in the presence of a concealed Sasquatch. Some people even swear that they were exposed to infrasonic blasts in the wilderness. Is it possible that these creatures—also large predators—employ infrasound to disorient prey and make the hunt more effective? Or are the deer just doing weird deer moves? And could there be other motives for the use of infrasound?
One Man’s Encounter With Infrasound:
If you listen to enough Bigfoot stories, certain consistencies emerge. One of these traits appears often: deep, powerful growls. On the podcast Sasquatch Chronicles, a Canadian mountain biker tells a story of how he may have been a recipient of a true Sasquatch infrasonic blast.
Gord Olliver rode his mountain bike through a wet, remote stretch of Calgary wilderness with friends. Ever the ambitious speedster, Gord pulled well ahead of his cycling buddies through the trees and down a long, sharp hill. At the bottom, he uncharacteristically hit the brakes. He froze completely. In those few moments at the bottom of the hill next to a dense thicket Gord lost complete sense of time and awareness. He drifted in place, confused and overheating as the sound of a distorted “fountain” filled his head. Gord’s friends caught up several minutes later to find him sitting under a tree removing his clothes, pale as a corpse with bulging eyes.
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Gord snapped back into reality. “Holy crap what am I doing?” he said.
His friends asked what the hell happened to him. Gord explained that he heard a growling to his left at the bottom of the hill.
“It was loud but it just kinda blanked out on me. I started thinking 'water'. That sounds like water to me. But really what I was hearing was swaying, deep, loud, nasty growling. Right to my left. It was about ten feet into the bush. Whatever it was, was in a tree above me swaying back and forth. Or in a tree swaying back and forth, growling. But I just remember going, "it's water."
As the group took some time to gather before continuing the trip, they made an astonishing discovery near the source of the growls: 15” footprints in the mud.
On the Hunt
If Sasquatch is real, let's take a semi-realistic view at how they might hunt and use infrasound.
Let's make some flying assumptions to ground this infrasound theory.
1) Bigfoot are great apes
2) And just like all the other great apes:
- Bigfoot live together in small groups
- Bigfoot are omnivorous
- Bigfoot are highly intelligent
3) Bigfoot are incredibly large: If you were an intelligent species that must satisfy a massive calorie-load every day, what would you do about food? Foraging and gathering grubs, leaves, stems, lizards, bark, small-rodents would be a great option. You will need to conserve your energy all day, no doubt. But what happens when a group of Sasquatch are sitting around, mumbling about the repetitiveness of a leafy, lean dinner? Surely, hunting takes place now and again. I am sure that for them it's the equivalent of going out to a nice restaurant on a Friday night. "There sure seem to be a lot of deer around here." One might say to the other. "We are intelligent blokes. Let's work together to bag a buck, yea?" The other replies.
So they go on a hunt. Sasquatch have a lot of power with massive gaits, so spring-loading upon a dumb deer from the bushes happens frequently. What about a few deer at a time, though? What about cooperative hunting? What if Sasquatch used infrasound to not only startle their prey, but communicate discreetly over long distances? The nature of the waves allows them to pass through barriers, like trees. Sasquatch could push prey down game trails with the infrasonic waves, simultaneously herding & confusing, and alerting the other Sasquatch to get ready.
Sound: the Secret to Sasquatch?
It is a sexy idea that these creatures stun and confuse their prey with concentrated blasts, but I think if this ability truly exists, it would serve them much better for long-distance communication, like with elephants. And like whales, perhaps infrasound could help Sasquatch navigate seasonal migration routes.
Then again, we’re talking about phenomenon upon phenomenon here. Do they even have migration routes? Can only larger Sasquatch blast infrasound, or can smaller "Swamp apes" in the American south or Himalayan Yetis also do it? Can ANY of them do it? I do not know. Neither do you. Neither does Les Stroud or Dr. Jeff Meldrum, arguably the two most trusted Bigfoot sources. As with any Sasquatch topic, this is pure speculation based on a few stories circulating the North American crypto-currents. But sooner or later you start to think about how this massive and intelligent of a creature could perfect their hunting habits as much as their ability to stay concealed. Something sighted this frequently without true proof of existence must either be completely fake or completely optimized for living in their environments. Infrasound could very well be an integral part of that optimization.
BAT on January 28, 2018:
North Idaho. My brother and I were up late out by a fire. We heard first a loud shrill screeching noise. No owl No cugar. Then it moved and screeched again. At us. it was 75 yards away and moving at a moderate pace. The screetch became contstant and a low pulsing noise with it. It was vibrating and shooting through our chest. Like being scanned by noise but it wasnt quite like noise. It was layered in a way. Very hard to explain. Only a big machine with large powerfull speakers could do this. Also felt like radio or micro waves. It was a creature of some sort. Moving through the wood through difficult terrian past us. The waves were intended for us we knew that. The waves died down and stopped. Then another high pitched screetch of normal noise if i can call it that away from the location it was in when it beamed us with whatever it was. It was moving. doing a half circle around us. At this piont me scared shitless yells at it to show itself as I am covinced it was not of this world. It screeched and moved on.