News


Shrieking sound keeps Pleasanton residents awake at night

Couple discover source of loud animal cries after three years of searching

Distressing, unnerving and strange sounds have roused Pleasanton resident Keli Martinez in the middle of the night for several years, but she said she and her family finally solved the mystery while walking the dog earlier this month.

It all started about three years ago, after the first week of the family moving into a townhouse off Vineyard Avenue on Vine Street, she said.

Martinez said she and her husband have been awakened most nights by what she described as loud, blood-curdling shrieks that sounded seemingly painful and similar to a small child wailing.

"My husband and I were so unnerved and worried, we debated calling the police," Martinez said. "We walked onto our balcony and listened to the sound for another few minutes and determined that the sound was coming from the wooded area along the Arroyo del Valle creek."

According to Martinez, the family turned to neighbors for possible explanations. She said that neighbors could not identify the sound either and suggested it was an animal such as a turkey, bird or bobcat.

"This horrible sound has woken us up a few nights a month for the past three years," Martinez said. "It comes and goes, some weeks it's nightly and then it will simply stop."

Then, on July 4, Martinez's husband Brian went to walk the dog in the morning and heard a rustle in the shrubbery behind the townhouse complex, Martinez said. When he looked, he saw a family of foxes, and one made the shrieking sound at him.

Martinez said she thinks that the foxes are dispersed throughout the area and use the sound as a tool for communication, such as a mating or warning call.

The Martinezes said they are relieved to be able to put a face to the sound and think they may be able to get sleep knowing the source of the shriek.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gram-ME
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2014 at 8:12 am

And this is news worthy? HM-m-m, must be slow news day in Pleasanton. 😉


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 22, 2014 at 8:23 am

well...it could have a Bengal Tiger...one never knows...i thought that it might be the ghost of jimmy hoffa...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 22, 2014 at 8:25 am

I live in the same complex and hear it all the time, wakes me up alot. I was wondering if it was the foxes. I have seen them out in the arroyo before. Now we know.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ccwc
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jul 22, 2014 at 8:37 am

It's always a slow news day in Pleasanton - that's why we LOVE it here!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 22, 2014 at 8:43 am

Why are people so negative, its the same people that have a "comment" on every article here. I am sure this is important to all the people who live around there and have to hear it all the time. Feel good news! Hmmm let's talk about the drug sales and constant police activity in the same neighborhood then, would you like that better??


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chfgraegl
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 22, 2014 at 9:44 am

Great story , thanks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joyce M.
a resident of Civic Square
on Jul 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

Our neighbor often plays his Rush albums late at night, Geddy Lee or a wailing screeching Fox...I couldn't tell the difference.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 22, 2014 at 11:11 am

Thank you for this story.....I was awakened before dawn this morning by that same type of alarming sound and I think you've cleared it up for me....thank you thank you


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sally
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 22, 2014 at 11:40 am

Just wondering how people felt about residents parking boats in their driveway or street. I know it's illegal, but if neighbors don't mind, then I guess it's ok. My neighbor directly across the street bought a huge boat and parked in his driveway kind of sideways in a house that is already in need of a lot of work. There are weeds growing and dry rot on part of the front of house, needs paint, etc. One wrecked truck and one junker car also parked in front house. They both run and do move on occasion. But it's an eye sore. I wasn't about to have to stare at the boat now too. So I called the city and he was cited and now has it in a storage place. He is now very upset with me and is taking it out on my family by being belligerant to my son who has nothing to do with it. Was I wrong to complain about the boat? Planning on selling my house within the next year and his house is going to cause the value to decrease. Starting to feel like I live in Hayward in a trailer park. This is Pleasanton.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lance
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jul 22, 2014 at 11:57 am

I always thought it was my right-wing neighbors screaming yet again in response to another tyrannical presidential executive order by Barack Obama. His most recent: Giving workplace rights to LGBT government workers. How depressing! Surely enough to make the righties scream throughout the night.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by James Bond
a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm

"Well, there was this girl in Philadelphia ..." (Never Say Never Again)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Teri
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Jul 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Thank you for sharing. We, too have heard the disturbing sound during the night. Our daughter actually figured it out a couple of weeks ago after the animal was in our backyard and scared her silly around 1:30am. It's nice to know there are still wild animals living near our urban area. Slow news day or not, nature is fascinating!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by caywen
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm

caywen is a registered user.

So THAT's what the fox says. Finally.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stlla
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 22, 2014 at 6:40 pm

think I would rather hear the family of foxes then at 2:30 in the morning the sound of the street sweeper driving up and down my street two times. Yes I said 2:30. I will take the foxes any ol day.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Becky Dennis
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Jul 22, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Here's a link to to a YouTube video so you can see and hear red foxes. Web Link. They do have a unique voice - not dog-like at all. Enjoy!


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Posted by Similar Experience
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jul 22, 2014 at 9:50 pm

I totally agree with you Marie.

I too heard the noises near the creek at the Santa Rita Road crossing. It definitely sounded like someone in distress and we did call the police. They didn't find anyone in distress, but did happen upon some kids lighting fires in the creek. The noise was puzzling, so now I think the mystery has been solved. Thanks for posting.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jtjh
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 22, 2014 at 10:52 pm

For those interested, here's another link to fox calls, to add to the one posted by Becky Dennis. Start listening at about 1:30, to hear a particularly eerie scream:

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jul 23, 2014 at 12:55 am

@Sally

Sally, interesting topic but you should really start a new thread on it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 23, 2014 at 10:41 am

Pet Fox: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2014 at 11:25 am

Animal noises are certainly far more appealing than the leaf blowers every day... The shrieking I often hear in our neighborhood appears to be that of barn owls. Another kind of shrieking occurs when the local raccoons get into a tussle, sounding like fighting parrots. (I'll leave aside any human shrieks...)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PtownPete
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jul 23, 2014 at 11:27 am

PtownPete is a registered user.

I'm happy to see someone has gotten to the bottom of this! We live in the north row of town homes at Birch Creek Terrace, facing the creek (Arroyo Del Valle). I recognize the photo in the article as being from Birch Creek Townhomes, just east of us.

I'd say I only hear the screeching fox noise a few times a year, so maybe I am a deep sleeper! Last Thursday I believe was the last time I heard the fox, around 11 PM, and I recorded it. It sounds like the fox sound you hear 36 seconds into the YouTube video someone shared above.

But when I went out to record the sound, what I saw was much stranger than what I heard, albeit unrelated to the fox. I saw a small UFO in the sky to the northeast. I'm not saying it was an alien spaceship, but it was definitely not a full sized airplane or helicopter. My guess is it was a drone or a remote control airplane. It was dark so I could only see its lights. It had rapidly flashing red and blue lights and I witnessed it slowly descend straight down and then it ascended and then it started making moves and loops like it was on a roller coaster. I tried to video it but in the dark nothing showed up. I am pretty sure I caught a glimpse of it again around 11 PM earlier this week.

I'm curious if anyone else has noticed it? Maybe I'll try and start a separate thread as now that I know the screeching sound is just a fox, and not some alien being calling the mothership in an ET phone home scenario, it's not really related. It appears the drone, remote control airplane, whatever it was, it appeared to me that it was flying above the area north of Stanley and just east of Valley.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PtownPete
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Jul 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

PtownPete is a registered user.

I just did a search on YouTube. I think it's a police drone. It looks like this: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Guest
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm

It looks like people have figured out What Does the Fox Say.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by shhoooot
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Jul 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm

i thought it was somebody being screwed by a wild hyena


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:48 pm

They were so worried it was a child in danger that only 3 years later...


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