by Steve Moon
I study Sasquatch landscapes and soundscapes. With no hard science to base my investigations and analyses on, I am left to my own devices; to draw conclusions based on my observations, and the observations of others. And when I am really doing my job, I rely on only my own observations. And that is what I have done here.
My research is done primarily with audio recorders. I collect and analyze audio captured in the soundscapes that I frequent. The reason that I am in these places is because they have proven to be productive, or have what I consider to be a high probability for productivity; productivity in this case being a presence of Sasquatch.
Since 2016 I have traveled from my home in eastern Iowa to northern Wisconsin, to record and study a population of Sasquatch near Sugar Camp. My Sugar Camp study area is centered on a friend’s property that is about one hundred acres in size. It encompasses a series of black tamarack bogs that have formed on a relatively recent landform known as a glacial outwash plain, the product of the recession of glaciers at the end of the Pleistocene, or the last ice age, a mere ten to twelve thousand years ago.
I have captured audio at Sugar Camp annually over the past seven years, with the exception of the year 2020. In the spring of 2022 I spent a single night camped on the snow on a glacial outwash feature known as an esker. In essence, an esker is a narrow ridge, in this case surrounded by bogs. I planned my visit in advance, and as fate would have it, ended up there during an extreme cold snap. It was late March, and when I broke camp in the morning a nearby game camera recorded a temperature of fourteen degrees below zero, Fahrenheit.
The cold temps did not inhibit the resident Sasquatch population. In fact, they were more active than I have ever before seen them at this location, and their high activity level is the subject of this article.
I recorded audio overnight at my campsite, and at my friend’s cabin, which was four hundred yards away as the crow flies. My analysis of these sound files is presented here, along with a discussion of both these and recordings from previous years. Based on this analysis I will speculate about a few scenarios that may be at play regarding my observations in March of 2022.
The following transcript is of an overnight recording that I captured in April of 2021, from the same location as the cabin recording made in March of 2022. This recording is very typical of all of the recordings that I captured prior to 2022. The activity level evident in this recording is in stark contrast to the elevated activity level that I discovered in 2022.
07LS_70536 7.19 PM cabin rear deck looking south
00.08.58 300 Hz woo coincides with quiet period for peepers
00.13.57 300 Hz ascending descending vocalization
04.11.01 odd vocalization
04.51.55 possible vocalization
07.16.57 low 300 Hz hoo followed by knock with 720 Hz vocalization
08.23.12 super quiet whoop 500 Hz
08.54.17 quiet double knock right channel
09.17.47 as above
10.00.00 end review
The following transcript of my campsite recording from 2022 is remarkable for its level of activity. One of the most interesting sounds captured here are the stick snaps. They are continuous for more than three hours, and are accompanied by a very loud stick break and what sounds like a tongue pop, all apparently emanating from the same location, close enough to my recorder and tent to be very loud in the recording. Had I known about the stick snaps at the time that I was in the study area, I could have easily found the broken pieces of twigs or small branches that were broken to produce the snapping sounds. This stick snapping activity over such a prolonged period of time, I can only attribute to Sasquatch. It is not common enough to be considered typical Sasquatch behavior, but is not completely without precedent, a friend having recorded the same activity during a research expedition in 2009 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Two minutes after I arrived at my campsite I observed a bright white flash of eyeglow emanating from an estimated distance of about one hundred feet from my position.
The wood knocks in both of my recordings are unmistakable, and the brief vocalization captured at my campsite is very typical of Sasquatch. There is also the sound of a tree or large tree branch being pushed down, which was simultaneously captured with the cabin recorder, indicating that the origin of that sound was somewhere between my tent and the cabin, four hundred yards distant. As with the activity captured with the cabin recorder, the wood knocks here are emanating from the left, right and center, indicating a lot of activity by multiple Sasquatch in that general area of the woods.
LS_70611 2022.03.27 4:19 PM Sugar Camp overnight campsite
03.00.00 begin listening review
03.13.19 possible knock right channel may be wind
03.21.15 Steve pulls up on snowmobile
03.21.54 kills engine
03.23.30 approximate time Steve observes a flash of white eyeglow to south of tent
03.27.02 Steve deploys second recorder
04.03.43 tongue pop left channel
04.10.05 quiet knock left channel
04.15.04 brief vocal 320 Hz right channel
04.56.01 distant wood knock left channel
Stick snap sounds are continuous in left channel
05.59.42 distant loud wood knock right channel
06.06.04 as above
06.54.56 distant loud wood knock left channel
06.59.43 very loud stick break left channel - LISTEN HERE
07.00.30 snapping continues
07.01.46 quiet knock center right
07.03.11 as above
07.03.45 loud snap left channel
07.08.25 loud distant knock center
07.09.31 stick break or knock right channel
07.10.00 snapping in left channel is continuous
07.17.09 snap right channel
07.19.45 snaps now continuous right and left channel
07.21.17 loud distant knock right channel
07.15.32 distant wood knock right channel
07.15.46 distant wood knock left channel
07.16.24 distant wood knock right channel
07.21.17 wood knock right channel
07.32.27 stick break right channel
07.39.36 distant wood knock right channel
07.42.51 bipedal walking sound
08.23.12 snap right channel
08.36.41 as above
08.41.26 wood knock right channel
08.45.21 very loud stick break left channel
08.48.35 distant knock center
09.03.32 loud distant knock left channel
09.05.44 possible tree pushed down right channel
09.08.29 loud snap right channel
09.17.08 as above as snaps continue in left channel
09.17.45 loud stick break left channel
09.23.34 loud distant knock center
09.24.31 faint two part vocalization left channel near 700 Hz
09.30.00 pause review
The next transcript is from the cabin recorder, and it also indicates an incredible level of activity. Knocks are on the left, right and in the center, and some of these are loud while others sound distant. It is as though there were Sasquatch here, there and everywhere. This was not the activity of a single Sasquatch, or even a couple of them, but rather a very large group. There are apparently a lot of Sasquatch present, and they seem very active. Note that there are stretches of this sound file where I gave up on listing the times of all of the wood knocks. I have rarely ever done that when analyzing a sound file. I was actually shocked by the high level of activity that was evident at both locations that night.
Deer seem to have hung around the cabin, pawing at the ground, uncovering and munching on vegetation for a long time that night. We had observed several deer moving toward the cabin as darkness approached. This foraging activity is common near the cabin, and it isn’t a stretch to attribute this to the deer recognizing the area immediately surrounding the cabin as a zone that is safe from predators. This has been observed in the past, with one large doe sleeping about ten feet from my tent a few years ago in a very active area in south-central Iowa.
LS_70613 6.23 PM
05.52.21 loud wood knock left channel
05.53.59 hollow knock center
06.00.37 loud wood knock right channel
06.22.27 loud knock right channel
06.23.11 loud distant knock right channel with walking sound nearby
06.26.59 loud knock right channel sounds hollow
06.30.00 deer pawing at ground
06.31.06 wood knock right channel
06.40.07 unknown percussive sound left channel
06.41.13 loud distant knock
06.42.00 deer pawing at ground
06.42.35 wood knock left channel
06.43.30 as above
06.48.23 as above
06.57.35 distant loud knock right channel
06.58.57 distant loud knock left channel
07.12.03 loud distant knock center
07.13.41 as above left channel
07.23.13 tree down 1:00 AM
07.31.50 wood knock left channel
07.51.17 loud percussive sound on deck right channel
07.51.23 double knock left channel
07.52.42 unknown followed by distant knock left channel
07.56.20 loud distant knock
Too many percussive sounds to list
07.59.45 loud distant knock right channel
08.01.01 loud percussion on deck right channel
08.08.26 loud distant knock left channel
08.14.48 knock left channel
08.25.35 loud distant knock right channel
08.27.56 unknown hollow sounds
08.39.03 loud distant knock left channel
08.43.29 loud knock left channel
08.54.36 loud percussion on deck right channel
08.58.00 wood knock left channel
09.04.36 as above
Many distant knocks continue
The recordings from both locations on this night indicate a super high level of activity at and near the high ground in the study area. The cabin is on a large island in the middle of bogs, and my campsite was on an esker which is part of a network of high ground that winds through the bogs, linking up with the largest islands on and in the vicinity of my friend’s property. The eskers are heavily traveled by deer, bear and other predators such as coyote and wolves.
One month prior to my visit, at the end of February of 2022, my friend was in a ground blind on the same esker as the one I camped on, hunting deer late in the afternoon, when he was approached by a very large animal that he identified only as not being a deer or a bear. It was so large that it shook the ground when it walked, dislodging snow from the branches of trees. In retrospect he feels fairly certain that what he encountered was a Sasquatch. The animal acted very aggressively, coming very close to my friend while staying out of site behind heavy fir tree foliage. The animal screamed so loudly that it vibrated in my friend’s chest. The aggressive behavior described is typical of what we refer to as a Sasquatch bluff charge. It was very frightening for my friend, and he is rarely shaken. I chose to camp on the esker because of this incident.
Here is his account of the incident: “…Just a few minutes later off to my NW I then heard lots of crashing in the brush, lots of heavy foot falls, and then a new noise. Best I can describe it is halfway between an elephant trumpet and a raging bull snort. It was loud. So loud you could feel the vibration in your chest. It was not a deer-like sound anything like I’ve ever heard a deer make… but with the previous activity going on that I knew was deer, I was just assuming it was deer related. So this wailing/snorting noise and its accompanying foot falls and brush crashing continued and circled around me from this NW position, to directly west (basically between me and the trail to the garage), it came closer and closer. There was a fresh snow and I could see nothing but dusty snow falling from low tag alder brush as this thing circled and paced back and forth in the thick brush. I think you’ll remember how thick the tag alder is in that area between the scrape island and garage- you can’t see ten feet, even with the leaves mostly down. So this continued for what seemed like an hour, but I know it was only five or ten minutes. It circled almost all the way around behind me like it was going out on the bog, but not quite. When it got to my W/SW position it crossed over my tracks where I had walked in. When it got to this area it went ballistic. It kept screaming, thrashing around in the brush. I could hear the deep panicked breaths as it drew them in. It was that close, less than 10 yards away and getting closer. I’m ashamed to admit I was terrified. Even though I had my crossbow up, safety off, and ready to shoot the first second that thing stepped into the clear I was simultaneously reaching for my pistol which was on the floor of the blind in my bag. I was prepared to defend myself. I know it’s inappropriate to interject human emotions into an observation, but the feelings I got from the sound of its voice in the wailing and panicked deep breaths it was drawing was a feeling of exasperation. It was angry, breathing really heavy, it was pissed off that I was there, it was extra pissed off when it came across the scent of my tracks in, and it sounded frustrated. At the time I thought maybe that giant buck had lost his hot doe and was pacing around looking for her… It was also very deliberate in what it did. It never showed itself completely. It stayed in that thick tag alder and while I could see the brush getting smashed over and the snow flying off the branches I never got a look at whatever it was. It made a few approaches towards me that seemed a lot like either circling or bluff charges, like it wanted to charge right in, but never did. After maybe five or ten minutes it circled around back to the NW and moved on towards the garage and the road.”
About two weeks prior to that incident, his son was driving an Argo amphibious unit through the bog toward the cabin at night, and as he came up onto a small island, had a visual sighting of a Sasquatch as it ran across the Argo path in front of him.
Based on my observations since 2016, I can only say that it seems like my friend’s property is suddenly overrun with Sasquatch. What is going on here? What is causing this sudden upsurge in activity? Why are there seemingly many Sasquatch in the area, where up until now I have captured audio evidence of what I have considered a significant but more typical presence?
One possible scenario at play here is simply a regional shift in the local Sasquatch population. Any number of things could force such a population shift. There does not seem to be a dramatic change in the level of deer activity at Sugar Camp. From what I have observed that activity has remained consistent since I first started visiting the area back in 2016. There are wolves in the area this year, and that is new. The sudden presence of wolves does not seem like something that would attract Sasquatch to the area, but may be driven by the same factors that have led to the increase in the Sasquatch population. There isn’t any significant urban expansion taking place anywhere near the area. In fact there are a number of nature preserves nearby, which would likely have a long term stabilizing affect in the immediate environment.
The first thing that came to mind when I discovered the increase in activity at Sugar Camp is that it may be driven by climate change. The Yale School of the Environment has just published an article in their online magazine Yale Environment 360 entitled Redrawing the Map: How the World’s Climate Zones Are Shifting, which outlines dramatic changes that are taking place in the environments of North America, Africa and Australia. The news from North America is that warming is occurring. They site studies that indicate several changes in the environments of North America.
The tropics are expanding at a rate of 30 miles per decade, pushing northward the boundary between wet climatic conditions and drier conditions.
The transition line between the arid Western plains and the wetter eastern region of the continent, known commonly as the 100th Meridian, has shifted eastward 140 miles since 1980.
Tornado alley has shifted eastward 500 miles in 30 years. These destructive storms once affected an area from South Dakota to Texas, and now include the eastern states of Tennessee and Alabama.
Plant hardiness zones are shifting northward in the United States at a rate of 13 miles per decade.
In parts of Canada the permafrost line has moved 80 miles northward in the past 50 years.
Clearly, these are very dramatic changes in the environments of North America. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to conclude that all flora and fauna would in turn be affected by these changes. I envision, and propose here, that Sasquatch populations are responding to these changes in their environment by shifting northward. There may be a leapfrogging of Sasquatch populations occurring, with southerly populations expanding northward, pressuring Sasquatch populations that they encounter, which in turn are forced further north. My observations at Sugar Camp may be the result of a pulse in the local Sasquatch population as it struggles to absorb an influx of newly migrated Sasquatch from the south. Competition for resources would be a direct effect of such an increase. This may result in future movement in that population northward as the specie achieves a more normalized level. I will continue to monitor the situation at Sugar Camp in the years to come, and this normalization may be evident in my data. We shall see! As for now, this has been a real eye opener for me.
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