Illinois Barker

Once in awhile something very odd happens when I am recording.  This past Thursday, the 29th of November, 2012 my wife and I were awakened at 12:30 a.m. I heard my dog whining on the back deck. I first thought she had been attacked by one of the dogs that travels occasionally past our home.

[The now dry cove behind our home]

I immediately jumped up and raced for the door not knowing what the problem was. By the time I got outside my dog, Belle, had moved to the side yard and was barking towards something down by the cove, behind our house. Belle stopped and came back into the house and we all went to bed.

When I got up in the morning I listened to my nightly recordings and immediately found this dog barking. At first I was convinced that it was just a stray and I isolated the clip and put in my files for dog barks. I was going to keep it for future reference of dog sounds.

Later I started thinking about the strangeness of that night.

The barking went on for a full five minutes before Belle went outside. Belle normally spends the night going in and out and checking every couple of hours. I am just wondering if the lower tones on these barks did not awaken her as quickly as the  normal higher barks. When Belle went out onto the back deck she did not bark, she instead whined, which is odd. This whining is what woke my wife and I.

I am not saying dogmatically that this is not a stray dog barking, but because of the strangeness behind the recording it will require more sound analysis.

Recorded the 29th of November, 2012.

Click here to listen to sound clip:    Illinois Barker

Waveform view and spectral view of the Illinois Barker

37 Responses to “Illinois Barker”

  1. Trudie says:

    Stan, this sounds like one big dog. There is so much power and depth to the voice. Having had dogs for so many years, this barking sounds as if he is trying to get attention, if that makes any sense. I played this recording for my dogs. Two of them responded by barking. One of them, who ALWAYS barks at the sight or sound of another dog, simply sat and stared at the speakers which I found odd. Thanks so much for sharing this.


  2. jeff says:

    One nite 1:30am Oct.18th,2011 In my area that a go

    squatching. Myself, and another person, where in my research area. We where looking at two large, glowing, yellow eyes spaced far apart. Then an owl hooted 20 or so, feet up. In one of the trees above the eye shine we where seeing, they where bright. Two seconds or so, later another owl hooted. This owl sound came from the ground. I asked the guy with me. Did that come from ground. He says yep. after a few moments. I then said that baby owl sure has a deep voice. Thats what the Il. Barker sound clip reminds me of.

  3. jeff says:

    Stan would you say that pattern of barking, is like Belle’s barking pattern.? I think it was trying to get Belle to bark?

  4. stancourtney says:

    No, it was not Belle's pattern.

  5. Michael Constantin says:

    I think the barking was predatory deception. Belle didn’t fall for it or she would have been eaten. Very skillful mimicry by the predator. Squatches have a long history of killing dogs because dogs bust them when they don’t want to get busted. Humans have been eating dogs forever. Bark like a dog, get a territorial response from a dog. Dog comes out to defend or investigate, gets its neck snapped, thrown over a shoulder and taken home for dinner.

  6. Alan Francis says:

    I played the recording at home with my two dogs and one became very upset and barked and the other looked scared and sat by my laptop computer and listened silently to the deep barking sounds.

    I think both dogs knew this was not another dog barking sound. They know more about dog barking/language than we will ever know and they knew that this was a fake or a hoax and something to be feared and upset about.

    I would recommend keeping an eye on your dog after dark and keeping her safe.

  7. G. de La Hoya says:

    Stan, I admire the tremendous amount of time and effort that you have put into this site. However, some of us being skeptics that want to believe should steer clear of commenting.

  8. stancourtney says:

    I have always been very careful not to state that anything is Sasquatch related, whether that is footprints, sightings or vocalizations. You can not find anywhere that I have written any sounds are Sasquatch as there are no videos available publicly that show a Sasquatch vocalizing. I only label my Bigfoot Sounds page so that Google will pick it up.

  9. Matt E says:

    Very compelling!

    First thing that came to mind was the Colorado Howl. I know it was a different pitch but the tone sounded very similar. Am I way off?

    Honestly when I listened to the recording I didn’t think it was a dog. It actually sounded like something imitating a bark, which kind of blows my mind!

    Awesome Stan!

  10. stancourtney says:


    As the sound quality is so good on the recording and it does sound to my ears like a dog, all I can go on is the behavior. This does not appear typical dog behavior. Bark and disappear is odd.

  11. Jim Stoddard says:

    Stan, what would you do if this occurred again in the dead of night and you rush outside only to be met by something large, hairy and bipedal facing you?

  12. stancourtney says:

    Well, I hope a learned a lesson from this little episode.

  13. Barry Cullen says:

    Way too much timbre to be a dog unless it weighs several hundred lbs or more. Also, dog bark’s taper off as they proceed in a group whereas these remain at the same volume. IMHO – doesn’t sound like any dog I’ve heard!

  14. stancourtney says:

    Thanks for the input Barry. The confusing part for me and my wife was the behavior of this animal. It was not doglike in the way it approached our home and the way it took off as soon as our dog went outside. Belle certainly does not sound anywhere as large as this animal.

  15. Matt says:

    There is a “wrongness” to the barking. There are no idiosyncratic characteristics. What I mean is that dogs, like people, use inflection, they work themselves up and run out of breath or get too excited and get their bark “wrong”. A dog’s barking reflects its personality and mood or intent. This barking reflects — barking. The only way I can think of to describe it is sterile. An outstanding recording and thanks for posting it. Thanks also for the BF act of kindness response on the other site. -Maddog

  16. stancourtney says:

    Thanks Matt. I know there is something strange about this recording but I couldn't quite put it into words. Stan

  17. All Down Hill says:

    Stan, nice recording. It sounds to me that huge animal with powerful set lungs is trying to imitate the higher pitched bark of a toy poodle or some other small lap dog. At the end of “some” of the barks it sounds more like a primate than an dog. Of course, it could just be acoustic dynamics of that particular dried up cove. If the former is the case, is the animal in woods trying to lure your house/outdoor dog to the wood line as a hunting tactic? Just a thought. If that’s what’s happening here this could be a really important recording. Hard to tell for sure. Who knows.

  18. stancourtney says:

    Very difficult to figure out the purpose of the animal was. I don't think it was trying to lure Belle out to the woods. As soon as Belle went outside it left through the woods.

  19. Defrost Indoors says:

    Agreed, it sounds fake and rather eerie, especially since real dog barks rarely sound so much like “woof woof”.

  20. nate says:

    I study bigfoot from my computer. I live in Chatham and those barks are loud and I think a sound that is fishy is leaves in the background that are rustling, it might be bigfoot.

    True believer,


  21. Erich M says:
    I live in this area. This story terrifies me. There are loads of uncharted forestry around here and something just seems off at times when I’m out there.

  22. stancourtney says:

    Illinois has lots of great areas.

  23. Tmara says:

    It does sound phony and sterile, has an unrealistic “sound effect quality” to it…interesting to find out that others use their own dogs as test subjects for possible bf recordings. I always have. My dogs will ignore some and behave very curiously when listening to others. This clip left them very unsettled. I would not let Belle out at night.

  24. waggs says:

    Doesn’t sound like any dog I’ve ever heard

  25. JAW says:

    Stumbled on your recording and couldn’t resist playing it for my Rottie. She’s a well adjusted 100lb animal that is not afraid of much. She reacted curiously – head bent ears up – for a few seconds and then retreated to the door of my closed office. She was not interested in being in the room any more. I’d say Belle may have been on the menu and you’re awakening is what scared the barker away. BTW – My Rot’s bark is about as deep as they come, but nothing like that…

  26. Trudie says:

    Stan, the more I listen to this recording, the more I’m inclined to think it most definitely was not a dog. I realize I initially said it sounded like “one big dog”. Now, after reading the other posts (which included some from those who played the recording for their dogs like I did), I have to say the “barking” sounded contrived and almost too “perfect” to be a true canine. That being said, the only source of this barking is either a human or a Sasquatch. Just my opinion.

  27. stancourtney says:


    That morning when I reviewed my previous nights audio I initially thought it sounded like a dog. It still does to me, but I agree with a lot of commentors. The behavior was not doglike. Whatever this animal was it came from the woods and took off back into the woods as soon as Belle went out the doggie door. Not very canine-like behavior.

  28. Chris says:

    Stan, whatever it was, it was NOT a dog.

    I have a keen ear for sounds/music, and that barking had a subtle difference to it from a dog’s barking. It also has an evil feel to it – if that makes sense.

    Could I ask you for a copy of that recording, for my personal database.

  29. stancourtney says:

    All sound files and pictures at are copyrighted. Thanks.

  30. John Rowlands says:

    Mr. Courtney, fasinating recording, it does not sound like a dog at all. It sounds like some sort of intimidation or territorial sound from a primate. A loose dog cruising the area is gonna bark and move on. Your dog was whinning, hence he knew it wasn’t another dog. My father back in the forties in North Easten Pennsylvania had Bigfoots on ocasion walk by his mountain home, He would then put a leash on a couple of his hunting dogs and try to get them to follow the trail. The dogs allways whinned and refused to follow the Bigfoot trails. If I may suggest, if this occurres again wait for daylight put a leash on your dog and attempt to find where the thing was located and try to perform a track with your dog. Again Sir, thanks for your time and great job on such an impressive site. John

  31. Daniel Fernandes - Brazil says:

    While I cannot rule out the possibility of it being a very large dog, as some of the readers said, the noise has a very deep “bass”, and it also has a “mischievous” feel. This being said, supposing it wasn’t a dog, but instead a *much larger animal* imitating one, it doesnt makes sense to me for that to bail out as soon your dog got out of the house. As a reader above mentioned it, I would favor the theory it wanted to bait your dog out of the house to kill it. I´d be careful with your dog, from now on, and I´d be very careful myself. A primate capable of mimicing a dog like this is quite a dangerous animal.

  32. Dave says:

    I have no doubt the barking could have been a Bigfoot as we often hear different kinds of howls as well as chatter that sounds like people talking but not one understandable word. I believe they are great imitations of whatever the Bigfoot hears much like people making calls, we can sound like the animals we hear but we have no real knowledge of what we are saying when we make the calls; example duck calls, turkey, bigfoot and many more.

  33. femmeflashpoint says:

    It sounds like something trying to sound like a dog. Not long ago, I was in the Wabash River bottoms with my sister, and we heard a pack of coyotes. One of them wasn't like the others, and it covered some ground in an amazingly fast fashion.

    It sounded like a really big male trying to imitate a coyote. This recording reminds me of that.

  34. thatsnodawg says:

    I read many the comments.

    I have owned small dogs rottweiler and a black bitch she demon looking animal that stood as high as your waste at the shoulder.

    I heard these barking at the beach, chasing animals hunting and in the dead of night when its the only thing you can hear and when chasing and losing the plot nutting out.

    That my friend was no dog. It is mimickery by something with a large chest. BF have not uncommonly been recorded with coyote or similar sounds, perhaps they even co-ordinate to like pets to hunt at night. Heck if wild dolphins will herd shoals of fish to nets for part the share of fish, why not this.

    Or it maybe old BF got a taste for dog meat or finds domesticated animals easy prey especially if they chained up out-side.

    Perhaps this one was sizing up your pet for dinner. Yikes!

    There are a number of cases where people vanish, see “the missing 411”. One common thread, of these often bizarre not a trace found of these experienced mountaineers or campers, is they are often accompanied by a dog at the time.

    Time to get a motion sensitive light…

  35. stancourtney says:

    Not quite sure what purpose a motion sensitive light would serve. Anyone who has read this blog should know that my goal is to obtain recordings not to scare animals away.

  36. Margo Moore says:

    I am a singer and a dog owner and I listened very carefully toots of the recording. After hearing the first bark, I said, that’s a really big dog barking. As I continued to listen, I became uncomfortable listening to it. It took me awhile to figure out why: it was a good imitation of a bark, but it was NOT a good imitation of a dog’s behavior. Dogs don’t just continue to make repetitive sounds, they express their emotions, such as fear, anger, hostility. They bark to warn their human or any nearest human, and if no human responds, they get upset and their bark becomes edgy, loud, even panicky. They become frantic to get a response from someone who can help. My memories of the monkey house at the Milwaukee zoo are too long-ago to be sure, but I can see those sounds being made by a smart ape as audio “camo”, trying to pass, if not silently but as something familiar, but not yet smart enough to imitate dog behavior–maybe next time! The only other observation I can make is that the repetitive quality could be a loop, made by an audio engineer. Oh, I would swear that no human throat could emit that kind of vocalization; it would quickly damage the vocal cords. Only a creature who already makes a barking-type sound could bark like that.

  37. stancourtney says:

    Yes, you make some good points. The non-emotional repetitiveness is definitely not canine-like.


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