What did I hear in the woods?
May 20, 2008 10:02 AM Subscribe
What did I hear in the woods? Was it a human crying in pain or a non-human animal?
posted by PatoPata to Science & Nature (34 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I live in heavily wooded ravines. Think Appalachia but a little north of there. Yesterday in the late morning I heard what sounded a lot like a teenage boy crying out in pain. Repeatedly. For 15 minutes straight. I heard it again this morning, only briefly.
It's very hard to locate sounds among the ridgetops and ravines. The sound might have been coming from a ridge that has a spot where some neighbors shoot off guns, drink beer, etc. So at first I thought someone was beating their kid there and that I should call the sheriff.
But the voice didn't form words, and there was a strange flat quality. If a human had the energy to cry out that loud, you would expect some fervor to it, and maybe some recognizable words, like "Help!" or "No!" So then I thought maybe it was an animal that I hadn't heard yet in 10 years of living here.
I went out on the roads to try to locate the sound and give the sheriff an address, but by then it had stopped. I also went into the woods a bit but didn't see anything unusual.
I'm hesitant to hike over to the suspect ridge, because the only way to that spot is (1) through the woods and (2) trespassing thoroughly. A hasty retreat would be difficult. I will go out into my part of the woods today to check on things.
Summary: Strange crying-out sound from heavily wooded area on fringe of human habitation. Could have been near a home. Not decidedly human. Late morning. Two days in a row. Lowish pitch, like a teenage boy.
Am I freaking out over someone's new dog? Is there some other daytime animal that sounds like a teenage boy crying out wordlessly in slightly robotic pain?
Another thought is that maybe someone with a developmentally disabled teen has moved into the area, and the teen has been upset. With no other voices around. Two days in a row.
It wasn't a female fox, buck in heat, coyote, wounded vulture, or any type of owl that lives here. I know all those sounds. Plus it was 11:30 in the bright, sunny morning.