Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 10th, 2011
I have always had doubt that beating on a tree with a stick is the source of the sound.
Does Bigfoot always carry around his “thumping stick” with him.
I think that there are more likely explanations for the source of these sounds that are heard in the woods.
Cliff Barackman, a personal friend and cast member of Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot, has voiced concerns in the past about wood or tree knocking as the source as well.
I’m calling them knocks, but I do not think these were the sounds of wood on wood. The pitch and timbre of the sounds remained constant the whole time. This would not be true if a sasquatch was beating on trees as it passed: each tree would sound at least a little different than the one before, and at least some of them would sound very different. This simply was not the case. I have often wondered how sasquatches can answer my own knocks so quickly. It takes some time to find an appropriate knocking stick, as well as a suitable tree to hit. So much time that sasquatches are clearly not going through this process.
I think they are clapping. That is not to say that they never hit sticks against trees. I think they do, but many times they are very likely clapping.
I used to hang out with lots of Brazilian folks. The Brazilian culture is very musically oriented, and when they dance and sing, there is generally lots of clapping going on. They have a technique of clapping that uses the cup-shape of their palms to get an amazing popping noise that almost hurts due to the volume. Now imagine a palm that is eight or ten inches across. Imagine some more that you had nothing to do in the woods but get really good at clapping as loud as possible with these gigantic hands. I think it is very likely that our hairy friends are clapping. I definitely think the sasquatch we heard last week was clapping.
Hand clapping in apes is not unheard of. Apes in captivity exhibit this behavior, and there are some observations of swamp gorillas doing the same in the wild. Here is a link to an article documenting hand clapping in a population of wild western lowland gorillas. Once again, seemingly strange sasquatch behavior has a precedent in other apes.Cliff Barackman
As noted in the earlier blogs, there are some issues with the tree knocking hypothesis. If a sasquatch was carrying a stick to pound on trees as it walked by, it should not be producing the same sound over and over. From my own experience, different trees produce different sounds when hit with baseball bats (my method of producing tree knocks). Often they produce dull thuds, and sometimes I can find one that gives me the sound I want of a clear hollow pop.
Another issue with the normal tree knocking hypothesis is how quickly sasquatches answer my own knocks. Normally, most of my knocks go unanswered, but that’s squatching. When I do get answers, they are very often within 30 or 40 seconds of my initial sound. Again, just going from my own experience, it is not that easy to find an appropriate stick, and then find an appropriate tree to hit to produce the clear popping noises I have often observed and even recorded.
So, how are the bigfoots doing it? At first I thought they might be “popping their tongues”. I knew a guy in middle school who could produce amazingly loud pops by using sucking his tongue to the top of his mouth and popping it downwards to create a loud click. I thought perhaps since sasquatches have big mouths to use as resonance chambers, this could be what they are doing. Perhaps some do.
I used to hang out with a lot of Brazilian folks, and they showed me a method of clapping that produces a consistent loud pop. One opens their palms out as far as possible, to the point of the fingers being angled away from the palm to an extent, and clapping the hands together. By opening the palms, it creates a concave “dish” shape on the hand, and clapping the hands together makes a nice hollow popping noise. They use this for participating in music and dance events, such as capoeira. It occurred to me that sasquatches, having much larger hands than us, should be able to produce much louder claps. Perhaps this is how they do it.Cliff Barackman
Another solution for the source of this sound is perhaps chest beating.
Male gorillas use chest beating to communicate, why not Bigfoot?
Watch the below video of the Discovery Life program, “Primates” episode.
Fast forward to the 16:10 mark through 16:53 in the above video and listen to the commentary and audio.
The sound of chest beating travels more than a mile through the tangled understory.
It’s a territorial drumbeat.
Everyone must know who is boss around here.Sir David Attenborough
So what are folks hearing in the woods?
Wood knocks? Chest beating? Hand clapping?
Is a Bigfoot even the source of the sound?
Has anyone ever seen a Bigfoot beat on a tree to make these sounds?