In the course of my research on the powerful emotional reactions witnesses have to cryptid encounters, some things have a way of revealing themselves from time to time. The possibility of Sasquatch utilizing infrasound is one of those factors. Witnesses reports are teeming with descriptions of thoughts and sensations that are difficult for them or anyone else to explain.
Infrasound is classified as low frequency sound in the range below 20 Hertz which is below human auditory capacity. This low frequency sound is of little consequence to humans until it reaches the 90-100 decibel range. If you think of sound as toothpaste in a tube, Hertz represents how thick the paste is and decibels represent how hard the tube is squeezed to create the pressure to force the paste out. Human auditory range is comfortable around 500 Hertz, so none of us have actually “heard” infrasound, but people certainly feel it.
Infrasound occurs naturally in phenomena like thunderstorms and earthquakes. Man-made sources can be found in heavy industry factory equipment and throughout the aeronautical industry. Animals like elephants and whales are known to utilize infrasound for long-range communication. Pachyderms have been confirmed to send messages several miles to each other. But the animal that uses infrasound in a way that piques the interests of those of us in cryptozoology is a deadly and terrifying predator.
Tigers are known to utilize infrasound to communicate and to disorient prey animals. Scientists have measured the big cats’ infrasonic ability at work presumably to compel their intended prey to freeze in fear. All of these experiments have been conducted in captivity, so there is no real data on what range their infrasonic assault can be effective, but the low-frequency waves have been measured between 8-10 Hertz. This is the factor that squatchers that know anything about infrasound point to in order to explain some of the terrifying and surreal effects witnesses report as part of their experiences.
Reported encounters with Sasquatch are shocking enough to just think about. Individuals that have not had the experience cannot really appreciate what encountering a creature that is nine feet tall and carries 600-700 pounds is truly like. Those of us that have cannot find words that accurately explain the enormity of the creature. But another, more numerous kind of encounter is when the creature isn’t seen, but sensed. There are thousands and thousands of reports where witnesses describe feeling as though they’re being watched or say the hair on the back of their necks stand on end. These sensations are among similar occurrences reported by infrasound test subjects.
The list of reported infrasonic effects is headed by annoyance and when you come to understand where in the human body infrasound is sensed, a connection is easily made. The bones of the inner ear, or auditory ossicles, are very tiny and extremely sensitive in order to provide as many auditory impulses as possible. Those tiny bones shift and vibrate when struck by sound waves and subjected to changes in physical momentum. As a result of their sensitive structuring, the auditory ossicles are particularly vulnerable and the first to detect infrasonic waves. Test subjects and those exposed to prolonged doses of infrasound often identify the uncomfortable or intolerable sensations they feel as “annoying”. Here is where it’s important to understand the psychological connecting of a physical sensation to a description of it. A great many factors have to be considered when when identifying reported effects. Variances in pain tolerance, concentration ability, hydration levels and many more factors can determine how a physical sensation is perceived. So the documented infrasonic effects of vertigo, disorientation, cognition interference, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), apathy and even depression could be reported as “annoyed”. However, no matter the description of the sensation, the fact remains that infrasonic waves generate psychological effects in human beings.
But wait, there’s more. Infrasound can be significantly more invasive than just an assault on the auditory ossicles. Other, more concerning, physiological effects have been documented. A University of Vienna study collected actual physical changes in test subjects and studies by the US Air Force and aeronautics industry added some of their own. Test subjects described physical effects ranging from mild to incapacitating in many forms. More common results were nausea, vomiting and headaches. Others were resonances (vibrations) in inner organs, bowel spasms, pressure in the middle ear and fatigue. On the alarming end of the spectrum, subjects experienced raising of diastolic blood pressure while simultaneously demonstrating decreases in systolic blood pressure and pulse rate determined to be caused by a reduction in heart muscle contraction capability. In other words, some subjects’ heart muscles moved more slowly and inconsistently. A reduction of blood flow in the brain was reported in several subjects along with a lowering of respiration rate. Much like the psychological effects, physiological effects varied for a number of reasons.
We all have a tendency to think that all human bodies are exactly the same. However, while anatomy may be the same, physiology is not. Thickness and density of bones, tendons and other tissues differ from person-to-person. Hydration has a great deal to do with how the human body receives outside energies. Most of all overall health, both known and unknown, can be a tremendous variance to consider. In other words, the overall physiology at the moment of testing on the body in question can be affected by a huge range of factors and that all plays into how outside energies, infrasound included, influences bodily function.
Cryptid witnesses I’ve interviewed have reported many of these effects, psychological and physical alike. There are others, however, that witnesses are reluctant to report due to the unsettling nature connected to them. Reports of loss of cognitive ability, alteration of hearing capacity and loss of time perception represent a loss of control that witnesses can only describe as terrifying. Feeling sick or having a headache are easy to overcome, but not being able to think or hear or even realize time is passing are experiences that detach an individual from their reality. These sensations have shaken witnesses to points of incapacitation of all kinds. And, I’m sorry to report, all three are effects documented in infrasonic exposure experiments.
Just how Sasquatch would generate infrasound is not known. Longer or thicker vocal chords? Maybe. Extra tissues in the throat? Possibly. An ability learned from observing other animals, practiced and perfected over eons? Intriguing. However, until we have the ability to study the phenomena in a calculated and controlled manner, we can never be certain. Until then, we are left to add up all the factors and data available to us. The evidence we have now is circumstantial and subjective on one side yet very similar in results to accepted data produced by science. As always in matters related to cryptozoology, each of us has to decide where the line of our belief is drawn.
Rich Daniels is a researcher that has presented his findings at the Marinette/Menominee Bigfoot Convention in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and is the founder of the Crypto Encounter Group, a support group for individuals who have had traumatic experiences with animals undocumented by current science.
Further information concerning infrasound
- How Stuff Works: When Sound Makes You Sick
- Cliff Barackman: A case for Infrasound
- Mysterious Universe: Sasquatch, Sound and Strange Effects
- Sasquatch Chonicles: Infrasound: The Fear Frequency
- Neuro Research Project: Infrasound Can Mess with Your HeadInfrasound Can Mess with Your Head
- Oregon Bigfoot Blog: NVCODE Part Eight: Infrasound
- Reddit: Discussion on Infrasound on r/bigfoot
- Cryptomundo: Bigfoot Infrasound: Likely or Long Shot?
- Phys.org: Scientists Research the Effects of Infrasonic Vibrations on Humans
- Inverse: 4 Scientific Explanations for the ‘Ghost’ You Think You See (infrasound reference)