I just received an email from a reader on some experiences she had in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada. Here is what she said:
"I was just reading your articles on the Sierra Tahoe sighting and saw your photos of the Ruby Mountains. My ex and I used to camp up in those mountains a lot. And I can tell you from experience, they are VERY active. I used to drum. So I'd take my doumbek with us and play it in the evenings after dinner. Well, this was before I'd heard about tree-knocking. All I know is that every night we stayed there we were woken up consistently with knocking noises, howls and the sounds of something very big walking around our campsite."
I then asked her if she could follow up with a timeframe of when these incidents occured, along with a little more detail.
"It was during the summer months...mainly July and August, sometimes early September depending upon the weather. We used to live in Mariposa, CA so we would drive over Tioga pass to camp on the eastern slopes of the Sierras and explore the dirt roads and canyons of Nevada. We never used a tent. Just spread our bags right on the ground. The time frame on our experiences in the Ruby mountains took place in the early 90s. We'd go over there fairly regularly 1990 thru 93.
In hindsight, now that I've learned about tree-knocking and the like, maybe my drumming in the evenings "notified" them to our presence. Maybe that is what helped bring them in at night. But there was always a lot of activity around us in the dead of night. It was a little "unnerving" a few times. At times, we were hyper-vigilant but not worried enough to pack up and leave. Nothing was ever thrown at us. We would be awakened by howls and a few whoops very similar to some of those in the BFRO archives. And the sound of movement off in the dark."
Lastly, I followed up with a question about the times she spent on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas.
"When you come down Tioga pass road from Yosemite you go down the hill heading towards Nevada and on the right side you'll see a large Pelton wheel that I believe SoCalEd operates. Well, continue all the way down the hill and just before you come to 395 there is a campground on your right side. It's very close to the water, with thick, lush trees. We used to camp in there and got pelted with small rocks. It's a very nice little oasis campground and I've never seen too many other people in there whenever we were there. I think most people just shot by it and went on to Lee Vining or June Lake."
Thank you for sharing your observations with us.
When I read that she was playing her drum before the activity started, it brought a smile to my face. There have been many sighting reports relating to the playing of music.
Knocking could be attributed to Bighorn rams butting heads. That's one possibility that comes to mind. Birds and coyotes can make some unusual sounds to explain the howls and whoops. Then there may come a time, when you hear a "whoop" that makes the hair on your neck stand up, because it is so loud, even from a distance, it really gets the mind racing, because you know it wasn't a bear, deer, bird or canine. It's most definitely primate. I've experienced those kind of whoops, along with guttural type jabber. After an hour of that, it made a believer out of me that something, probably sasquatches, were the only remaining explanation.
Non-believers, think what you may, but until you've gotten off the couch, and slept out in remote wilderness for a few days, and have experienced those sounds and other phenomena for yourself, don't be so quick to judge.