Liberty County, FL Vocalization
2/24/12 @ 12:45 am
During the last week of February I took a trip to the East Coast to do a newspaper interview. The reporter wanted to get a feel for what a bigfooting trip is really like, so Matt Moneymaker and I, along with a small number of local investigators and bigfooting newbies, took the reporter out for a night in the woods of Liberty County, Florida. The location was just a few miles away from where we did our investigation of the Bridges' property for the Florida episode of Finding Bigfoot.
We chose this particular location because of two recent events. In December, a group of witnesses observed a bigfoot for a few minutes through a thermal imager as it peeked out from behind a tree just a few hundred yards from where we were to camp. The witnesses weren't quite sure what they were looking at until the bigfoot wrapped its arm around the tree it was hiding behind, exposing its shoulders and head in addition to its arm. It played this peek-a-boo game for a few minutes (only looking out from behind the tree when the women were speaking, yet hiding when the men spoke), and then turned and ran with amazing speed up the hill behind it, exposing its full body to the witnesses. The second recent event was only from a week or two before, when a man and his children heard vocalizations from the same gully where the sighting occurred in December, and then encountered a large, heavily breathing creature. They saw eyeshine, but nothing more. Though this latter account is far more ambiguous, it was intriguing, and might have been a bigfoot.
For the night investigation, Matt took the reporter and a couple of network people up on a ridge above the Apalachicola River, while I took another group of participants down into the valley closer to the river itself. We spent several hours making sounds and listening to the dark, when around 12:45 am, we heard a clear “whoop” from a short distance away. The call was close and clear (louder and clearer than the above recording sounds), and the people I was with and I all verified that we heard the same thing from the same direction.
One of the men in my group noted that it came from the direction of the “primitive camps.” Primitive camps are basically another name for walk-in campsites with no bathroom facilities nor running water. These were about three quarters of a mile from the parking area where most campers would leave their vehicles.
Unfortunately, one of the primitive camps was occupied that night by a couple in their late 30's or early 40's. They had walked through our group campsite above the river on their hike down to the primitive camping area. Doubt rained on our parade as we considered the possibility that the vocalization was actually one of the campers messing with us.
As we weighed our thoughts about the source of the vocalization, we realized that there were some compelling things that pointed to it possibly being from a bigfoot rather than the campers. First of all, the vocalization came from a slightly different direction than the exact vector of camp. The camp was closer to the river than where the sound came from. Also, as the campers walked through our campsite earlier in the evening, one of the expedition participants spoke to them. The campers noted that they had never heard of Finding Bigfoot, and in fact didn't even own a television. One of the men with me noted that he thought it was weird that we got a “whoop” vocalization when Matt and I had been doing long howls all night. How would the campers know that bigfoots make whoop noises, especially when they didn't even own a television? Sure, they could have found that out on the internet, but in spite of what many bigfooters think, the vast majority of the population couldn't care in the least about bigfoots and know virtually nothing about them. Most folks don't look for that sort of info. We resolved to speak to the campers the next day as they hiked out through our campsite. It seemed that would be the best way to resolve the question about the source of the vocalization.
One of the expeditioners caught the couple as they hiked out the next day as I watched the interaction from nearby. The hikers were asked if they heard anything last night, and they replied that they didn't hear anything after we ran by camp. They were then asked about hearing us yell and howl, and they said that after we ran by camp they went to bed and didn't hear anything at all. They had already said it twice by that time, so the expeditioner asked, “What do you mean by us running by camp?” The couple replied that they saw two of us run by camp on the trail with our lights off at about 12:15 or 12:30.
When we told them that we didn't run by their camp, they said that they heard us and saw us. We then verified where they were camping, and told them that we were at the crossroads two or three hundred yards away. The campers then told us that we probably just got turned around in the dark and didn't realize where we were. Again, we emphasized that we never even started down the path that led to their camping area, and all of us stayed at the crossroads. Again, the campers said that we probably just got turned around because it's easy to do so in the dark. They didn't bother trying to explain away that there were six or eight of us in our group. Soon, looking slightly puzzled, the campers continued to their car.
Did we hear a bigfoot that night? I think so, but it's uncertain. I guess it's possible that the hikers were lying to us about making the noise, hearing and seeing two of us running by their camp in the dark without lights, not knowing anything about Finding Bigfoot (and thus knowing a bit about bigfoot vocalizations), and not having a television. Perhaps these two campers were in fact the source of the whoop, though based on the conversation I witnessed, and the campers' body language, I doubt it.
It's also possible that we heard one short whoop from one of the local bigfoots in Liberty Couty, FL.
The above recording was modified from the original. Using Adobe Soundbooth CS3, I boosted the gain and eliminated some background noise. Below is the original recording. If you feel you are able to clean up the original better than I have, by all means feel free. Just please email me at NorthAmericanBigfoot@gmail.com, and attach your version so I can hear it.