Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tree knocking 101

"Let's see, where's a good stick for some tree-knocking...?"
Artwork by Paul Smith

    On the Skookum expedition back in 2000, Jim Henick and I sat in the darkened forest on the edge of  Skookum Meadow at 2 a.m. Owl hoots emanated from some timber on the opposite side of the meadow.  We decided to answer with hoots of our own. To our amazement, the next thing we heard was not another owl call, but two loud, sharp knocks, as if a big stick was being hit against a tree.  That was the  first indication that we may have indeed put ourselves in the vicinity of a sasquatch. Of course, other things happened on that Skookum Meadow expedition that got all the attention, but I'll never forget how it all began with a few 'tree knocks.' Such knocking sounds are reported quite often by sasquatch researchers during their nocturnal operations. They call it "tree-knocking."
    And, after a lot of thought and even more testing, I think I just figured out how the sasquatch do it.  It came to me the other night on a woods-walk.
     There is considerable discussion among bigfoot researchers as to what the sounds mean. For a long time now, Joe Beelart and I have debated this and one other question: how exactly the sasquatch make these knocks.  It seems that most, if not all sasquatch field researchers have encountered this sound at one time or another.  Some researchers feel that the number of knocks correspond to the number of humans that are trying to sneak up on the sasquatches.  I usually travel alone but it may just be coincidence that I do hear just a single knock in the rare cases when I do hear the knocking sound.In Skookum meadow, there were two of us listening and we heard two closely spaced knocks.
     In any case, it has always been assumed by most folks, including me, that the noise we hear is being made by whacking a stout limb against a tree trunk, producing a hollow, penetrating sound that reverberates throughout the forest.  The problem with this idea arises only when we began to try to make the same sound ourselves.  Sometimes, we want to respond in-kind, other times we were trying to provoke a response by initiating the  tree whacking sound. 
     The probem both Joe and I were having was we just weren't getting the right noise. Sometimes it was because all the stout branches that were lying on the forest floor were too damp and weak to make good whacking-sticks..  In such cases, the limb would crumble when it was struck against a tree trunk, making a soft, anemic sound as the stick disintegrated. In most damp forest around the Pacific Northwest, it is so difficult to find stout stick that was also hard and dry that we began carrying a our own stick that we made at home.  Then, we found that a hickory or ash baseball bats were an ideal tool, and we began carrying a bat around in the woods taht we would use for signaling purposes.
     Of course, this led us to wonder whether the sasquatch also carry their own, custom tree-knocking stick.  It was assumed that a sasquatch must have the same trouble finding a strong, stout stick when one was needed for tree-whacking.
     Then there was the other problem:  not all trees produce a sharp, crisp noise, even  when whacked with the perfect hard, dry, bark-less stick, or even a Louisville Slugger. Sometimes the bark of the tree is too thick. Sometimes the tree is too skinny. Other times the tree that is too big and one fails to get a great noise.  I have also found, through careful experimentation, that even trees of the same species and the same diameter produce vastly different sounds when struck.  I seems to me that dead or dying trees produce the best noise.  A healthy tree that is growing vigorously is heavy with sap and that extra liquid seems to dampen the hollow sound that makes for a nice, loud, resonating tree-whack.
     And it doesn't end there. It even makes a difference how you hit the tree. There is one spot on a stick or bat that produces the most power and the best noise. Baseball players call it the sweet spot.  On a wood bat, it's the part of the bat that has the "Louisville Slugger" insignia burned into it.  Hitting a tree to produce a loud noise is just like hitting a baseball: if you don't contact the 'sweet spot' on the bat, you don't get the desired results.
      Making a loud, resonating whack requires a bit of trial and error: the right stick, the right tree, and the right point of contact.  Now, you may be starting to see the problem: How do they do it, especially in a dark woods?  The whacks you hear are always perfect on the first try.  Maybe they're just good at it, because the sasquatch have had years of practice. I guess that's what I have always assumed to be the case. But, on one particular occasion in the Mt. Hood National Forest, the source of the loud whacks we were hearing was moving around, from place to place, yet always making a perfect whack.  The creature making the noises, presumably a sasquatch, would have had to be carrying the stick with him or her, and also was somehow able to find the right kind of tree every time and hit it just perfectly.
     For all these reasons, Joe and I supposed  a long time ago that maybe the creatures were not actually whacking trees at all.  There might be another mechanism at work  It did seem all too obvious that if wood-like whacks were coming from a forest, then it was because a tree was being hit.  But maybe there was another way to make the same noise.
     It has been over two years since the last time Joe and I had this conversation, but just the other night, while taking a night time walk in my woods, I came up with another compelling answer.
      It was a clear cold night and I was bundled up to ward off the chill.  I had a knit hat on my head underneath my hood, and ski gloves on my hands.  I was thinking about other ways of making a loud noise that would sound like a tree being whacked, and the answer just came to me in the form of a command:
"Cup both hands hands, and clap them together hard, right in front of your open mouth."  I don't know what made me think of this, but I clapped my cupped hands together right in front of my open mouth, and to my amazement,  the sound I made was a dead ringer for a stick hitting a hollow log. A perfect "tree knock!" 
      I took off the ski gloves and tried it with bare hands. No dice.  It was not nearly as loud or as hollow-sounding.  I put the gloves back on and tried it again.  Sure enough, a loud, hollow knock.  I have experimented a bit since that evening last week when it first dawned on me that there is a way to make a 'tree-knock' sound with out hitting a tree. It seems to work best when one's mouth is held open in the shape of a tall, narrow "O".  It is also important to cup the hands and clap them so that that all the outside edges of both cupped hands meet at the same instant.  Clapping very hard also makes a much louder knock. I got the best results when I clapped my hands hands so close to my open mouth that my thumb nails brushed across my open lips. You can try it with bare hands and get a pretty satisfactory noise, but the  thicker the gloves, the louder louder the noise. Ski gloves worked better than garden gloves, which worked better than bare hands. Imagine how well the massive muscular hands of a sasquatch would work when clapped in front of a much bigger vocal cavity than ours.
     I guess one can never be sure what the sasquatch do unless we witness it ourselves, but I am certain that I happened upon a way of making knocking sounds that will carry very well through the still night air,  without carrying around a bat or searching the woods for the right stick. Now, I can instantly make a knocking noise where ever I am. The more I think about it, the more it seems like a perfect mechanism for the sasquatch as well. Their mouth cavity would be larger, they have bigger, fleshier hands than mine are even when I'm wearing ski gloves, and their stronger arms would produce a bigger shock wave that would produce a much louder knock. 
     Try this with you own bare, cupped  hands, the get a pair of ski gloves and try it again.  You will be surprised at the difference.  It really booms if you clap you hands with a lot of force, while cupping the hands so that all the outside edges of the cupped hands meet at the same instant.  One you get the hang of it, you never need to  hit a tree with a stick again.  This is also good for the trees, because hitting a tree with a stick or a bat also  damages to the cambium layer beneath the bark where all the growth happens.
     One more interesting account comes to us from James "Bobo" Fay, a dedicated Northern California researcher who has gathered a great deal of Indian lore on the subject. Bobo told me of one Indian who was investigating the sound of gunfire coming from a narrow and isolated ravine. The Indian crept toward the sound, expecting to encounter illegal target shooters.  To his amazement, the Indian saw a sasquatch slamming its hands together with tremendous force and producing the sound of a gun shot each time its hands met! 


  1. Great article Thom. Will give it a try when I get some gloves.

  2. Quite an outstanding observation Thom! Simply astute of you to notice and experiment. Kudos and high praise all-around!

  3. Great tips. I've broken more than one bat while whacking trees. After some trial and error, I have also started to put rubber grips on the wooden bats I use. Rubber insulates the joints of the fingers from the terrible abuse that comes from whacking a tree that is big enough to send all of the vibrations up through the bat and into one's hand. This can be quite painful without grips, which can be purchased for a buck or two where bats are sold.

  4. There is nothing like the rush of hearing a response knock from a sasquatch. It is one-on-one communication with the mind of the being. It also opens up psychic channels that can be further developed. Once the being hears you, the distance between the two of you becomes localized, thus allowing for follow-up communication. And after the being(s) stops responding (they will tire of it faster than you, most likely), sit down and reach out mentally to it. Now is your chance! Picture its face. Picture its mode of locomotion, it's stature and way of moving and navigating the physical plane of existence. Then, gradually open your mind to its view of the world.

    Take care! It might be closer at that moment than you think! If you see a view from a hilltop of yourself sitting down in the meadow, you have succeeded. You are seeing through its eyes! This will certainly catch it off guard because you are doing what it is used to doing with you!

    Once it does realize you can play its game, you may need to gently keep it mentally at bay for the next few hours, and even the next few days. It will be naturally curious and eager to eavesdrop on your world. Eventually, however, this will wear off and it will no longer be able to 'pay you back' for your initial act of remote viewing through its mind.

  5. This is what "Horse Whisperers" claim to do with horses. However, when it comes to sasquatch telepathic conversations, be forewarned: YOU are the horse and they are the "whisperer." Especially when they are acting as symbionts for even higher intelligence(s), which can be spooky to be around. In my humble opinion, sasquatches themselves are no more intellectually developed than humans in most respects. They merely possess a radically different skill set. However, the "piggy-backing" intelligence(s) that seem to have physiologically adapted sasquatches to function as the ultimate form of "drones" ARE much more developed than either sasquatches or humans. In short, sasquatches and humans are more similar than either species would care to admit. Humans, however, are not vulnerable or subservient to piggy-backing intelligences due to our lack of telepathy rapport. It is even possible that humans evolved in such a way as to preclude this type of forceful control. Unfortunately, this freedom which we enjoy and sasquatches do not enjoy also carries with it the unpleasant side effect of cutting us off from the universal consciousness of all things, and this can be spiritually tragic and stultifying.

  6. One afterthought: Thom's writings on such things are extraordinarily well informed. After I thoroughly absorbed his writings in The Locals, he became something of a mentor to me, and I will always be incredible grateful to his guidance, which was actually more of a shamanistic camaraderie.

    As Thom is fond of saying, "Sasquatches are ALWAYS better at psychic communication than we humans are!"

    We may catch one off guard once with some psychic interloping, but after that we will never get the chance again unless the sasquatch in question allows us to.

    This brings up a "disclaimer" which is worth mentioning as an after thought:

    If a sasquatch is overly eager to allow one to remote view through its eyes, or to communicate with one on a conscious basis, as opposed to the dream state while sleeping (which is actually more common that most campers realize), then one should use a certain degree of caution in regard to the potential for ulterior motives.

    If one experiences a surprisingly open and direct degree of success in terms of making a psychic connection with any sasquatch, it is always wise to limit one's time remote viewing from mind-to-mind for a few minutes. 5 minutes tops. This is just my two cents, so take it or leave it.

    If one keeps open the link longer than that, one could conceivably suffer from some unexpected side-effects during the remainder of one's time in the woods, and even while driving home, etc. For example, if one is hiking or camping in a questionable area, such as the Abiqua Basin or other (rare) places where sasquatches tend to use violence in order to protect their "turf," one should avoid walking near cliffs, fast moving streams and rivers, etc. If one has come down from the "high" of a direct psychic connection, one should be cautious about driving a car or motorcycle, as well. It's better to let a friend drive afterwards if a friend is with one on the trip, and did not enjoy open rapport with the sasquatch(es) in question.

  7. Why? Well, one could find oneself taking one or two unexpected steps in a different direction other than what one intended. This is when remote viewing can become remote ACTING. It is very rare, but it has been known to happen with disastrous results, particularly if a person happens to stumble upon an area that is jealously guarded by sasquatches such as a cave mouth (often under water), or something they have been charged with guarding.

    I suspect that this ability on the part of sasquatches could be related to the reason that white pioneers and settlers tended to call them "demons." Remote viewing can indeed seem demonic to the uninitiated, and, depending on one's belief system, it might even be demonic literally speaking.

    Who's to say whether the ancient views of "possession" in the Bible, for instance, are recorded cases of schizophrenic or actually the imposition of extended remote viewing on the part of unwelcome ID beings. I am not quick to pass judgment either way. It is certainly more comforting to think of it as a primitive misunderstanding of psychopathology.

    Always take care when remote viewing in the close proximity of sasquatches, especially after making contact on the literal plane through rock or tree knocking. I suggest that one learns to the tell the difference between non-symbionting sasquataches and those that are being controlled at the time by piggy backing ID's. My advice is to NEVER open the channel of remote viewing with a symbionting sasquatch. Ever. It is not safe.

    There is a reason why Native Americans almost categorically avoided opening psychic connections with sasquatches. I personally do not choose to do it. It's just not my thing.

    My life is complicated enough without opening up the whole psychic sasquatch can o' worms. I tend to defer to Native American wisdom in this regard. Indians are very wise about such things, particularly the ones that come from areas with sasquatches. However, even transplanted collective tribal wisdom (moved to reservations) that still remains in certain indian cultures is extremely valuable.

    NEVER TAKE DRUGS OF ANY SORT WHEN SENTIENTLY CAMPING AROUND SASQUATCHES, and this includes pharmaceuticals. Sasquatches and psychic experimentation do NOT mix. This said, alcohol tends to block out psychic connections, especially beer and wine. People who drink regularly at night tend to enjoy much less sensitivity to psychic connections. In some circumstances, this can be a very comforting thing. So if you are feeling uneasy at night, crack open a beer. Chances are, you will begin to feel much better in no time.

  8. It has to be a form of communication the times that I've been out I've tried a wood knock and sometimes get a response, the amount of knocks too like Thom said but maybe something like if you knock twice letting them know your there then they knock three times acknowledging your there and welcoming you or two knocks your not Welcome just a thought

  9. I just read through all responses.
    Very interesting!
    So much to think about.
    Very close proximity “tree knocker” experiencer. Like <20 feet. So I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. It was not done by hitting trees.