In their efforts to seek out the truth of Bigfoot, investigators have secured a wealth of material that, while it does not absolutely prove the existence of the creatures, it most assuredly goes a long way towards doing exactly that. Footprints, film-footage, photographs, and witness testimony have all added greatly to what we know about these elusive beasts. And then there is the matter of the voice of Bigfoot. Yes, that's right: a great deal of research has been undertaken into the matter of what have become known as the "vocalizations" of Bigfoot. Do such creatures have their very own, complex language? Maybe so.
A number of recordings have been made of what are purported to be the vocalizations of Bigfoot. While some have been explained away as known animals, there is one set of recording that, more than any other, really stand the test of time. They have become known as the Sierra Sounds. The story of the Sierra Sounds dates back to the 1970s, and is focused around two Bigfoot investigators, Ron Morehead and Alan Berry. On a number of occasions, from the early to mid-1970s, the two men captured astonishing audio recordings of what many believe to have been Bigfoot creatures – in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.
In Berry’s own words: "A number of years ago, I was a newspaper reporter and a freelance journalist, and had the questionably good fortune to encounter Bigfoot, as the phenomenon is called. At a remote deer hunters’ camp in the Sierras, I and several other men were witness to a ‘presence,’ if you like, of several creatures who were crafty enough to avoid observation, but freely vocalized and whistled, several times, without doubt, to us, and left big prints of bare feet around in the snow and pine mat. Things like this happened not once in my presence, but several times, from late September through the first week on November when a heavy snowfall drove us out of the 9,000-foot-high wilderness area.”
Berry and Morehead, very wisely it transpired, decided to hang a microphone in a tree and then hooked it up to a reel to reel recorder in their camp – which was about forty feet away - in the event that they might pick up something of interest. Eventually, they did. It was the beginning of a fascinating series of investigations – and attendant recordings – that offered the Bigfoot research community something new and alternative to get their teeth into, as did the scientific community, too.
Ron Morehead stated: "The Bigfoot Recordings were the focus of a yearlong study at the University of Wyoming. An expert paper was written detailing their examination and analysis. The paper was presented at an academic seminar at the University of British Columbia in 1978, and subsequently published by the University Press in a 1980 anthology, 'Manlike Monsters On Trial.'"
In an excellent and soundly argued paper titled Characteristics of Human Language Evident in the Berry/Morehead Tapes, R. Scott Nelson, a retired U.S. Navy crypto-linguist, said: "Intimidation, as a function of human language, is heard throughout the recordings, specifically on the Berry Tape in what has previously been dubbed ‘samurai chatter’ and which I have come to refer to as ‘Hostility Assertion’. These are vocalized by a drawn out stream of morphemes, often repeated, which are articulated at high volume in a highly hostile tone…Several of these Hostility Assertions are articulated as forceful ululations in which the streamed morphemes may not have specific meaning in the sense of being semantically discrete. These ululations have an extremely intimidating effect on the listener and may be utilized solely for this purpose."