And it is the relationships between vocals that allows us to extend the potential content of the sasquatch vocabulary. It begins with a single instance of one form of communication captured in association with another, which creates a potential connection between the two (for instance, the moaning howls and possible response howl in the "Ohio Howl"). And then, with time and additional data, we find evidence to support or refute that hypothetical association. This activity of mapping and substantiating vocal relationships is a key technique enabling this type of study.
The Kentucky Vocalizations were inadvertently captured by the late Billy Arndell and a group of paranormal investigators known as the Scottsville Ghost Hunters. During the evening of April 10, 2010, the group visited an abandoned house in a large wooded tract in Allen County, Kentucky. Billy placed his audio recorder inside the house, near a broken-out window, and stepped back outside to converse with his friends. While they talked, the recorder captured an impressive series of vocalizations. Unfortunately their conversation steps on much of the recording, but careful filtering and amplification has salvaged many interesting features, including:
Whoop modified with trailing utterances - At the two second mark of the spectrogram playback, and again at the 15 second mark, a subdued "whoop" vocal is heard. These two whoops are unique with regard to the vocal notes that follow immediately after them. These trailing notes are, to date, not seen in any other potential sasquatch recording. And as a possible first occurrence, this recording takes on added value. This type of call will be listened for in future recordings of possible sasquatch vocalizations.
Moaning howl - At 20 through 29 seconds of the audio playback, a loud vocalizer (louder than the initial two whoops) emits two long moaning howls. These are very similar in construct to the moaning howls heard in the Ohio Howl (1994), Mississippi Howl (2004) and the Florida Howl (2006).
Integrated wood knock - Not a vocalization, but wood knocks are a frequently described signal in suspected sasquatch communications. From 21 to 23 seconds, during the beginning of the first moaning howl, three heavy wood knocks are made. They are difficult to hear in the original audio recording, but show up faintly in the spectrogram as light vertical bars intersecting the howl. With amplification, they are easier to hear in the filtered audio playback. Wood knocks are often integrated into sasquatch vocalizations and can be seen in both the Mississippi and Florida Howl recordings.
Woot vocal - The name of this vocal is an onomatopoeia, or a name that sounds like the thing it describes. This vocal type is not commonly heard, but it has been captured in other audio recordings. In this clip, three possible woots are uttered in rapid succession, at the 31 second mark in the spectrogram playback. They could be mistaken for wood knocks, but the lack of a broadband, woody note suggests these are indeed vocals.
Yell - This vocal type is often long in duration, similar to a moan howl, but it is executed at a higher frequency. The resulting change in tone and timber creates a vocal that sounds very much like a human male yelling in the distance. Heard on its own, it would be completely indistinguishable from a human calling out. But in many instances, the yell vocal is captured in association with other suspected sasquatch vocals. In this recording, an ascending yell vocal begins just before the 32 second mark and climbs steadily in pitch for 3 seconds. Then it breaks to a higher pitched tone, briefly, before breaking again and descending in pitch to the call's conclusion. There are two additional short segments of "yell" in this clip, at the 38 and 42 second marks. But these are integrated into a unique call, discussed below in "pitch changes".
Whistle - From 37 to 38 seconds in the clip, four short notes are emitted, sounding very much like whistles. They could in fact be vocals, but the airy note they contain suggests a whistle. Other examples of this vocal type exist, but more need to be captured before a conclusion might be reached. The first three whistle notes climb rapidly in pitch, and the fourth drops to a lower pitch, below the third. Of interest is the fact that the fourth whistle is emitted during a second, shorter yell vocal from the vocalizer. This suggests a second sasquatch could be uttering the whistles in response.
Falsetto Shriek - This vocal type was probably first captured in the 2004 Mississippi howl recording. It rounds out the sasquatch vocal range, with moan howls at the low end, yell vocals mid range, and the falsetto shriek at the high end, or in the falsetto register (if compared to a human vocal range). This clip contains two falsetto shrieks, the first at the 39 second mark, and the next at the 45 second mark. As the second shriek plays out it drops out and in again at 52 and 55 seconds.
Pitch Changes - The vocals in this recording include abrupt breaks in pitch, to both higher and lower notes. These pitch changes have been observed in other sasquatch vocals with enough regularity to become something of an identifier in themselves. A future blog post will deal more specifically with pitch changes and what's been observed to date. But for this clip the reader should note the minor pitch changes at 35 and 36 seconds, and the significant pitch changes at 39, 42 and 45 seconds. These latter mark the transition from a yell vocal into and out of a falsetto shriek, as described above.
To our great fortune, the Scottsville Ghost Hunters knew they had something interesting with this clip, so they contacted Charlie Raymond of the Kentucky Bigfoot Research Group (www.kentuckybigfoot.com). Charlie and I know each other from a chance meeting during the 2010 BFRO expedition to Tennessee where he learned of my interest in the study of sasquatch vocalizations. Thankfully Charlie contacted me with this clip for closer scrutiny, and I am grateful to Billy Arndell and the Scottsville Ghost Hunters for sharing this great audio evidence with the sasquatch research community.