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The Whisperer

//The Whisperer

The Whisperer

Since moving into our new home in April of 2009 I have heard and recorded several unusual vocalizations. To the south of me about one half mile using a remote recorder I recorded what sounds like a growl followed by the dogs barking.

And one half mile to the north of our home I have a neighbor who also has a home in the woods.  He has commented that some animal is coming in close to his pond, makes strange noises and his dog starts barking. Both of these neighbors are having the same type of  occurrence.  I have also noticed lately while standing out in my yard that my neighbors cattle get upset as well as his dogs. This is not every night but about once a week.

So I set up my parabolic microphone and recorder in the woods close to the farm in the hopes of getting a recording of the unknown intruder.

The Telinga parabolic microphone near the edge of the woods.

I allowed the recorder to record for four days continuously until I discontinued it because of the threat of rain. Sounds recorded were the typical, both Barred and Great Horned Owls, squirrels, Blue Jay, a donkey from 1 1/4 miles to the north-east and several lively deer who found my recording gear quite interesting.

The following sound file was recorded the final night, the 22nd of October 2010.  Although the sounds are not close what I hear is the dogs barking, what sounds like a whisper (at the 60 sec mark) and then the dogs whining.

A 2 minute segment with the whisper at the 60 second mark.

Click here to listen to sound clip:  Whisper 1

A 5 second segment of just the whisper.

Click here to listen to sound clip:  Whisper 1  5 second sound clip

Waveform View

Spectral View

I do not know what the source for the “whisper” is but my suspicion is that I recorded the unknown intruder that has been upsetting the neighbor’s dog.

By | 2010-10-23T22:12:46+00:00 October 23rd, 2010|Uncategorized|27 Comments

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  1. Ronald October 25, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Hey Stan, Sounds like it said…I DONT THINK THEY LIKE ME! Could be referring to the dogs :0

  2. Trudie October 25, 2010 at 10:06 am

    It does sound like that's what it's saying. Interesting that there don't appear to be any sounds indicating something had approached the microphone. Stan, did you hear any footsteps on the remainder of the recording?

  3. stancourtney October 25, 2010 at 10:15 am

    It is my estimation that the "whisper" could easily have been 100 to 150 feet away from the microphone. There were no footsteps discernible on the recording. The parabolic microphone is extremely sensitive and can pick up sounds at a great distance. A donkey was heard several times braying during the night, and it lives on a farm 1 1/4 miles to the northeast.

    I aimed the microphone so that it would hopefully pick up any sounds along the edge of the woods and a pasture that adjoins it.

    The microphone and recorder were over the brow of the hill from the farm so the only way it would be spotted was if something came over the hill. The woods is still dense with foliage.

  4. T October 26, 2010 at 2:54 am

    The last syllable to me still sounds as "lee" rather than "me" as the posted comments suggest "Don't think they like me".

    "Until the wife leave"

    "Until the white leave"

    …something more along those lines is what I hear. Again, I'd be more spooked if the "whisperer" was human. My $0.02 worth.

    A vagabond? Hobo?

    If you're close by train tracks, I encountered a group of five Latinos on a hopper car just south of McClean or Atlanta at the Fertiilzer gas shack (FP????) on the west side of I-55. Course, that was 12-13 years ago.

    Whisperer doesn't sound Latino though.

    Very interesting recording, Stan!

    • stancourtney October 27, 2010 at 6:43 pm


      The issue of whispers or voices recorded in the woods always elicits responses of readers about humans. That is only normal. But why would humans sneak up and bark, or whisper, or grumble at the dogs to get them to barking? Odd for sure.

  5. stancourtney October 26, 2010 at 3:00 am

    The closest active rail line is six miles.

    And why would a human travel through the woods and during the night time hide across the pond and make unusual sounds to irritate the farmers dog.

  6. T October 26, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Interesting comments on your website as to what the whisperer is saying.

    Is there any way you can determine the maximum distance the "whisperer" could be to your set-up? I have no clue as to the receptivity your mic is capable of; but, the sound seems very aspirated and close, unable to be carried far using the benefit of sound bouncing off structures other than the dish (walls, broad hardened surfaces, etc) that could amplify the sounds from a distance. And I may be way off base.

    I have to say the whisper seems produced from a subject with vocal chords and mouth capable of speech and enunciation. And I don't think that's a leap in conclusions. I'm thinking human first, though it "don't" talk with a accent.

    Very spooky, too, this time of year. For what it's worth.


    • stancourtney October 26, 2010 at 3:06 am


      Although I will have to do some testing on my equipment I am guessing 150 feet is maximum distance from the whisperer to the microphone. Nothing else specific was heard that night. Yes there are rustling of leaves close the microphone but they could have been from deer or squirrels which are plentiful.

      Fun to listen to anyway.


  7. Marie October 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Stan, I listened to this at work a couple days ago and didn't get half the quality I'm getting at home now. I do wish I had headphones, though.

    One thing I'm hearing throughout is a minor tinkling (for lack of a better word), which I'm guessing is caused by leaves. It is fall, after all. Or, it could even be leaf dust swirling around if your mic is as good as I think it is.

    As for the whisperer, I think Tom is on to something with the sound of the word "white." I think he's saying "they want to fight with me." Or, "they want to bite me." Maybe.

    I listened to your March recordings, and I can't imagine any hobo type person hanging around the area that long. Although the tone sound almost identical. If it is a human, I'd be on the lookout for any loners or eccentrics in the vicinity who talk to themselves. If it's not human, well, I don't know.

    Marie C.

  8. Bipedalist October 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Definitely a grumble in the first file and a rapid whisper in the second file. Have you tried slowing down the whisper to get better discrimination of possible phonemic detail? Both files are consistent with things being picked up in my personal recordings in what I think is an active research area (from an unknown but persistent intruder of the hairy persuasion I think as humans can be ruled out in most if not all scenarios).

    • stancourtney October 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm

      I have slowed it down without any meaningful results.

  9. T October 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    And that's a valid point, as well, Stan.

    I'm actually having a hard time rationalizing that the whisperer is human. For as good a recording of the whisper is, if the whisperer was saying something intelligible, we should be able to understand what it is saying, especially after I played it back over and over. Yet, I still can't understand the "syllables". Rhetorically speaking, if it was human, shouldn't it sound more human, i.e. speaking a language, foreign or otherwise, that can be identified?

    And that's why this recording is very interesting. It doesn't speak human.

    For what it's worth.


  10. T October 30, 2010 at 7:26 am

    …and dovetailing off my last comment, explaining my playing the sound "over and over", I cut only the whisper audio clip and repeated it around 30 times in my audio program so I could hear it constantly repeated to try and get my brain to adjust to the utterances to see if it made more sense as it played.

    I've listened to this revised version over and over making the total times I've listened to the "whisperer" well over 200 times.

    I'm still at a loss as to identify what is actually being said and what it is that would say what is heard. It certainly freaked my wife out who asked me to stop playing the audio file for her after she heard the whisper only five times.


  11. stancourtney October 30, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I don't think it is in English.

  12. T November 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Stan:

    Just a thought. Have you considered that Voice Two is also barking like a dog in the recording after the initial barks? Namely at @1:30 and @1:49.

    The recording might be playing tricks on me, but I do hear the subject at 1:16 clearly.

    I know I may be stretching, but sounds like a post-pubescent pre-adult male? A teen male whatever-it-is.

    For what it's worth.

  13. Mel November 3, 2010 at 6:23 am

    My wife has been doing some research and believes that it is Anighinaabe Indian Tribe languge.

    Waabshki means "white "

    Ikwe means "women" The wisper in the Illinois woods sounded to her like "whatdidshewinkely"

    verysmiliar to "waabshkiikwe.

    Could she be on to something? The wisper is between two people . The dogs stop barking after possable a women stopped the dogs from barking. After that you can hear twigs breaking as they moved on.Just a thought.

  14. B March 12, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I can believe that a humanlike creature that observes people could also pick up their language but I wonder if its vocal cords would be capable of whispering. Possibly.

    I also believe that it would most likely be whispering to "someone" rather than to itself indicating that "it" was not alone.

    There was a full moon on October 22, 2010 which would be a better time to be out & about in the dark whether human or not, if that matters (just an observation).

    I would also like to make a correction to the misspelling of the Indian language that Mel (my husband) made on the November 3, 2010 posting. The Indian language mentioned is not Anighinaabe, but rather Anishinaabe, aka Anishinabe. Below is a site with the language information I found.….

    "WaabSHki IkwE" (White Woman) does sound similar, to me, like what is being whispered, and the meaning makes sense IF someone came out to check on the barking dogs & that is who it was.

    Even if there are no tribes or if the language was never spoken in Illinois, "something" that may have migrated or passed it on to their young could possibly be an explanation. Or not.

    Anyway, it's fun to speculate. Hope it wasn't planning a doggie breakfast!

  15. leon windham June 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I think it's a person responding to a statement about the dogs barking. I think it's a couple thieves. I think that the wisper'er is saying,

    —————-And they frighten me!

    refering to the dogs barking. Meaning it will get them caught. I think it sounds funny cause the wave just got distorted over a good distance. maybe why you didn't pick up the initial statement, that person was facing other direction.?

  16. leon windham June 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Also, as wierd as it may sound, if that is not distortion, it's a Greek or Gypsy accent, not Latino. I live in the central valley of Ca. and here all typs of accents on a daily basis.

  17. j bird June 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    i hear "i think they might be leavin"…

    • stancourtney June 15, 2011 at 2:56 am

      I don't believe it is English.