Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bigfoot DNA Evidence Redux

The first-ever attempt to thoroughly map the bigfoot genome, authored by Dr. Melba Ketchum, et al. and published in DeNovo Scientific Journal, has been out for a couple months. I eagerly spent the thirty bucks to get my hands on a copy at my very first opportunity. I read every word of it three times. I also sought the opinion of a couple of geneticists for, despite my science background, I did not understand most of the highly technical jargon in paper.

What I really needed was some context. Context is particularly essential since almost no one else in the general public has the ability to grasp the incredibly arcane and specific language of the geneticist. I am capable of understanding most of Ketchum’s explanation of the methodology and of course her conclusions. Beyond that, I recall the advice of a career scientist who once told me that the way to read a study is to first read the abstract (a one or two paragraph summary of the whole report), then the introduction, and then the conclusion. Skip everything else. The academics will pour over that and you can’t understand it anyway.

OK, so here it is in a nutshell: 109 samples were obtained from all over North America.
(Obviously, the sasquatch phenomenon is more widespread than most people realize.) Most samples were hair, but not all. Blood, saliva, and even a tissue sample was analyzed. Not all of the work was done by a single lab. Some of it was farmed out to university labs that were not initially given any background about the samples they were asked to examine.

The findings were remarkably consistent: mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA), which is indicative of the female component of the genome, came back as human! The nDNA (nuclear DNA from the male progenitor) was found to be ‘novel’, which is geneticist code for “doesn’t match anything previously extracted.”  Also, large sections of the DNA strands appeared as single strand molecules (haploid), as opposed to the uniformly double-stranded DNA of all human DNA that is not found in sex cells (gametes). This might indicate that the DNA being sequenced was highly degraded DNA, but degraded DNA is found to contain lots of bacteria, and no bacteria was found in conjunction with the DNA that showed single strand configuration.  It was not degraded, but it was single strand DNA in about half of the segments that were sequenced. Multiple labs observed this anomaly, an dutifully reported it to Ketchum.

I was warned ahead of time by prognosticators like my buddy Guy Edwards that a DNA study proving the existence of the sasquatch probably would not rock the world. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is poorly understood by the general public. People want to see a body. I also fully understood that the community of self-anointed ‘bigfoot researchers’ is highly competitive, even back-stabbing. Vocal individuals in that community could be counted on to attack and devour anyone’s claim to scientific progress since it is always seen as a threat to the stature of the other self-important personalities who feel that the media attention is rightfully theirs. Then the ‘group-think’ kicks in. An underappreciated person with a recognizable name becomes critical and launches a blistering attack. The unexamined tribalism of a larger group, who are all in constant contact via the internet and Facebook groups march in lockstep disdain, comfortable in the belief that their collective criticism of the new evidence or new thinking is protected by the umbrella of group consensus, which emboldens the group in the near term but eventually turns out to be based on somebody’s logical fallacy.

Meanwhile, anyone who attempts to challenge the groupthink by endorsing the new idea or new evidence is roundly dismissed with pat turns-of-phrase like: ‘They drank the Kool-aid’ (a crass reference to the members of James Jones’ cult who committed mass suicide in Guyana). In truth, the groupthinkers are the cult, consisting of the vocal critics who will not examine the ideas on the basis of their merits, and those who fall in line behind them for fear of becoming outcasts from the 'bigfoot researcher tribe.

There is a long tradition of dogmatic tribal groupthink in bigfoot research. Peter Byrne and Rene Dahinden, two early luminaries, absolutely vilified anyone who claimed to have more than one bigfoot sighting. They strenuously argued for years that anyone who was claiming more than a single sighting was a liar. "Rubbish," was Peter's dismissive, single word reply. Paul Freeman’s groundbreaking field work was dismissed in his lifetime by these na├»ve purveyors of the ‘my-way-or the highway’ groupthink, who have now, I think, been thoroughly discredited.

Early attempts to collect and isolate sasquatch DNA were met with similar hostility. The sophistication of the early efforts was nowhere near what it is today, so the DNA sequences were always incomplete. Still, attempts were made and the reaction of  bigfoot researchers and mainstream scientists was always the same: The samples were obviously contaminated by the handler because the hair was found to be HUMAN! The researcher who collected the hair was discredited even ridiculed by the vocal skeptics in and outside of the bigfoot researcher community.  Still worse, these views  always managed to get printed or broadcast in a news media that has always favored simple, groupthink answers to complicated questions.

Paul Freeman was one of the most frequent recipients of this abuse. He submitted hair samples he collected under credible circumstances and in his case, no prominent lab anywhere in academia would consider giving his evidence a serious look. It finally ended up being handled by a private cosmetics lab, who stalled on it for months and months, then confidently declared that his sample consisted of artificial fibers, probably from a sofa cushion. As if Paul Freeman couldn’t distinguish between a real hair and the stuffing of a sofa cushion! What about Paul Freeman’s fairly impressive video clip? No one has ever been able to duplicate it or show that costuming was involved, but it was never able to penetrate the opposing mindset which a local Portland environmental writer, Brenda Scearcy so precisely describes as the “ossified tribal mindset”.

Now, enter Melba Ketchum. She has kept her distance from the ‘bigfoot research community’. She has not attended the conferences, she has not made the requisite pilgrimages to the Bluff Creek film site, to Steven’s museum/bookstore in Willow Creek, and the insufferable forums and chat rooms where a tribe of armchair enthusiasts spend way too much of their free time.

The tribe wasted no time.   Before it was even published, the Ketchum study was faulted on several fronts. The eagerly-awaited publication was repeatedly delayed for unspecified reasons. That was seen as damning.  Ketchum’s personal and business life was thoroughly scrutinized by a platoon of amateur sleuths. The fact that her privately owned genetics lab was not flourishing, and that she had some unhappy customers, was the beginning of the groupthink feeding-frenzy. Then it was discovered by eager-beaver researchers that her paper was rejected by first-tier scientific journals. It was suggested that the paper had so many problems that that we might not ever get to see it in print at all.

During this time, I had some contact with Dr. Ketchum. She confided that she was intensely frustrated by the fact that the peer-reviewers for the journals she was courting kept ‘moving the goal posts’ on her. Initially receptive audiences suddenly became unreceptive. Suggestions for small changes were willingly accommodated by her, only to be followed by further requests for huge changes and revisions. All this was taking place while she was trying to maintain her animal genetics testing business and while the hyperactive bigfoot research community poured over her every move and publicized every questionable business decision she ever made on the internet. Meanwhile, she was scrambling to satisfy the demands a highly skeptical group of peer-review scientists. Small wonder her business struggled and her customers were unhappy. I cannot believe she was able to function at all while living under such a microscope. This doesn’t even begin to address the fiscal problems with trying to privately fund such an unprecedented genetics effort, even as she was still struggling to rebuild her business in an area of Texas that had suffered severe impacts from Hurricane Rita.  

Based on information I got from a local lab in Portland, I estimate that Dr. Ketchum had to have spent around two hundred thousand dollars on equipment and materials alone, in order to process the 109 samples she collected from all over North America. In the acknowledgement section of her paper, Ketchum states that she was able to secure the funding for the equipment and materials from a few generous philanthropists like Wally Hersom, Adrian Erickson, Larry Surface, and others. It’s a good bet that this funding source covered only a fraction of the true costs of this enormous effort. Ketchum donated all of her own lab time and probably benefited from the generosity of many other dedicated souls. The labor costs on such a project, I am told, would raise her total costs for the project to something like two million dollars if she had billed all of her time, which she did not. Would one expect her business to suffer while she is pouring her heart and soul into this effort? As the kids say these days, “Duh!”

As soon as the study was made available, the criticism shifted to the fact that, she published the paper by acquiring control of an obscure ‘boutique’ journal, and then making her genetics paper its sole item of content. I would certainly agree that this is not the preferred way to present an important scientific paper. I also know that, as the author of two bigfoot books, ‘bigfoot’ is a topic that very few if any publishers wants to touch, and this is doubly true of scientific publications. Scientists are people too, and they stand in line at the grocery store, reading the tabloid headlines about Elvis’ bigfoot baby or whatever else the tabloids are screaming about that week. Scientists have their prejudices and 'bigfoot' is a big one.

So, hell, yeah, Ketchum is going to have a tough time getting published. I could see that one coming miles away, especially since I had the frustrating experience of trying to get two different books published on the much-maligned bigfoot subject. Maybe it’s just because I’m a lousy writer, but I couldn’t get any publisher to look at my novel, so I, like Ketchum, went ahead and self-published Shady Neighbors. I’d still be sitting on an unpublished manuscript if I had not. Not only do I NOT blame Melba Ketchum for essentially ‘self-publishing’ her paper, I am downright appreciative that she did so. I have no idea whether it required still more money from Wally or Adrian to acquire the rights to the DeNovo masthead, but I do know that, if she had not ‘gone to the well’ one more time for publication money, we would still be waiting to read her paper. I feel nothing but gratitude for the effort and money expended so that us ungrateful bigfoot dweebs could finally read the scientific treatment that we have long-argued that the subject deserved. If I knew of a way to send Melba Ketchum some genetics business to support her lab's bottom line, I most definitely would. I feel nothing but gratitude for the Herculean feat that she willingly, and perhaps foolishly, took on.

Which brings us to a discussion of the results of her study: half human, half ‘novel’ DNA. This finding is so radical, and the implications are so enormous that it’s a no-brainer that she was going to have a very tough time finding a scientific journal that would publish this finding. Scientific journals get very uncomfortable with radical finding, no matter how good the science is. Bear in mind also that Ketchum, with all her radical conclusions, is not nearly as an established in academia as someone like Dr. Bryan Sykes at Cambridge. She's a veterinarian and the owner a small, privately owned genetics lab in Texas. For whatever reason, she had the willingness to apply her genetics training to the bigfoot mystery. And when she examined the genetic evidence surrounding that mystery, it took her to a conclusion that was way too radical for mainstream science. In fact, it seems her conclusions are even too radical for a most bigfoot researchers to accept, and bigfoot researchers have always seen themselves as outside-the-box thinkers.

Truth is, once again, the ossified groupthink in bigfootville does not allow the researcher tribe to consider the possibility that bigfoot is not the ape that John Green, Peter Byrne, and Rene Dahinden always said it was. I believe it was Rene Dahinden’s quotation that lives in infamy, “It’s nothing but a damn, dirty ape!” Sadly that phrase still echoes in the halls of bigfootville and it has done lasting damage to the intellectual integrity with which the competing hypotheses have been considered by bigfoot researchers to this day.

Full disclosure: It is difficult for me to discuss the Ketchum study’s conclusions without wanting to stand up and shouting, “I told ya so!” Indeed, when I first got my hands on the study, it gave me a chill when I read it. Bear in mind the fact that, every time I had the chance to stand up in front of a group and speak on the bigfoot subject over the last fifteen years, every time I published a book or article, I strenuously made the unpopular point that they (the sasquatches) are actually PEOPLE. The First Nation people (Indians) have always said they’re a tribe. My own field work, my experiments with cameras, baiting, habituating, and communication always pointed in the direction of a very wily, avery intelligent, and a very sensitive group of entities that knew much more about us humans than the Dahinden-poisoned groupthinkers were ever prepared to consider.

The very title of my 2003 book “The Locals” says it all. In the first chapter of that book, I discussed early efforts to morphologically identify hair samples as well as the early DNA extractions that had been attempted. In both cases, the few scientific results that were available when I published tentatively concluded that the hair looked human, and the DNA was also of human origin. Of course, the ‘Damned Dirty Ape’ concept still dominated the groupthink and so it was easy to dismiss such  unexpected scientific findings, not to mention a middle school science teacher like me. The ossified groupthink was justified as being 'appropriately skeptical' and I was mostly OK with that, even though it still troubled me that the groupthink was being shaped by people whose ‘field work’ often involved large caliber weapons.

Now that my true colors as a “Ketchum-supporter” are plainly evident, I try to acknowledge the points raised by Ketchum's critics. The paper has flaws, they say, even down to spelling errors. I read the paper three times. I saw no errors in spelling. I do not know the genetics lingo well enough to spot mistakes when it comes to genetics terminology, but I think that finding fault with minor spelling errors is ridiculously nit-picky. I did see two places where the author refers to the “Sasquatch samples” that were being processed. She should have said “the putative Sasquatch samples” or some other wording that implied that the samples were just ‘unknown’ until such time as the study was complete. This too, is a bit nit-picky. I can see how some empirically-minded peer reviewer might object to that wording, but stuff like that does not seem like a reason to reject out-of-hand such a serious and expensive effort as the one she undertook.

Beyond the semantics, there is the much-discussed question of the tissue sample submitted by Justin Smeja, which was ostensibly the product of a hunting accident. The story is being circulated that Smeja’s sample was found to be a combination of bear and human DNA, with Smeja himself being the probable source of the human DNA. I had the chance to ask Ketchum about this. She stated that all the samples she tested, including the ones she sent out to other labs for verification, were remarkably consistent in their result, and one of those consistencies was that in every sample, the human element of the DNA contained mutations that no human, not even Justin Smeja, is known to possess.  Specifically, long sections of the DNA strands that were sequenced by multiple labs showed single strand DNA. Further, Ketchum knows how to take a sample from the center of a piece of tissue when that opportunity exists, and the tissue sample provided by Smeja was substantial enough to allow for a pure sample to be taken from the center of the tissue where contamination is not possible.  Ketchum is completely confident in her methodology and its’ inherent conclusion.

She is not confident of any sample that was not processed by her, Ketchum stated that the alleged bear/human DNA results came from samples that were not part of her study.  Rather, they were independently by someone other than Ketchum. ( Correction: In the first draft of this essay I mentioned an old friend, Bart Cutino as being involved in the resubmitting of theses samples on Justin's behalf. Bart got in touch with me and corrected me on this.  My apologies to Bart Cutino.) In any event, samples were evidently resubmitted after the initial work was done, and they claimed a different result: human contaminated bear DNA. These results surface after the study was published and Ketchum emphatically calimed that whatever was being posted on somebody's Facebook group was not any kind of genetic data from her study.  Interestingly,  the time this happened, Justin, as well as many others in the world were made aware of the fact that the sample he provided to Ketchum was showing indication of human DNA.  This brings us to one of the more peculiar ironies of this whole story: Justin Smeja appears to have unwittingly provided the tissue sample to Ketchum that, assuming her  DNA sequencing work is correct, may ultimately show that accidentally killed a human being!

Bear in mind too, that by this point, Justin Smeja had submitted to and passed a lie detector test in which he insisted that he did indeed shoot at least one bigfoot creature. When the samples came back as human, it had to be a terrifying realization for Smeja, and one that would certainly provide more than enough motivation to put a different spin his story, and maybe even get busy and submit a second sample for testing that would show a more confusing, contaminated result.  Meanwhile, Justin Smeja, or somebody else using his name begins circulating a new story on Facebook group pages: that he was told by Ketchum to destroy his remaining samples. Ketchum calls this a pure fabrication.

If Justin Smeja actually shot and killed one, and maybe two, sasquatches, is Justin Smeja really guilty of a capital crime? I really don't think so.  His defense would simply be that he was completely unaware that these hair-covered human-hybrid creatures even existed. He thought it was a bear. And as long as our trusted government continues to keep the public in the dark about the existence of these sasquatch creatures, neither Justin Smeja nor anyone else, can be prosecuted for shooting such a human variant that doesn’t officially exist.  This is precisely why the focus of Ketchum’s current effort is to gain official recognition of the creatures’ existence before uninformed hunters shoot any more of them!

Smeja’s sample just is one of many. Even if he succeeds in muddying the waters in hopes of reducing his legal vulnerability, where does that leave us? With 107 other samples that all say essentially the same thing: human-hybrid creatures are leaving DNA evidence all around North America.

I suggested to Dr. Ketchum that vindication of her work will only happen when it is replicated by another study, maybe even more than one. She wholeheartedly agreed. We are told that Dr. Bryan Sykes at Cambridge is already on it. Meanwhile, Ketchum has complete confidence that her methodology and her result will withstand the test of time and scientific scrutiny, if scientists will just look objectively at her work.

If there is one pattern in the sasquatch groupthink culture, it’s that right after any new line of evidence, whether it be the Freeman footage, the Skookum cast, or a new track way surfaces, the initial reaction is always very loud and very critical. Then, after vitriol has run its course, the discourse shifts to something quieter, more balanced, and more reasoned. I think I’m seeing that evolution taking place in the case of the Ketchum study, and I am optimistic that Ketchum’s groundbreaking work will be verified by future DNA sequencing efforts.

I find her arguments compelling, and it isn’t just because her findings agree with that which I have always said and published in my books. Her conclusions are also perfectly consistent with everything I have experienced in the field and with all the information I have gathered from reliable witnesses over many years. I long ago concluded that the sasquatch are human so it is very easy for me to agree that Ketchum study is correct in its’ conclusions. If that makes me a “Ketchum supporter” then, yes, I guess I drank the Kool-Aid. All I can say is, it was delicious. And, it was much easier to swallow than that, bitter, even toxic Kool-Aid that has been dispensed for decades by the ossified tribal group-thinkers, and I have certainly tasted that Kool-Aid many times.

There is one final doozy of a stone that is still unturned.  It’s sort of the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room that nobody wants to talk about.  Put another way, the Ketchum study, I think, has yielded physical evidence whose implications are so profound that most do not even want to open that can of worms.

I’m referring to the other half of the sasquatch genome that the Ketchum study identified; the part that isn’t human. The sasquatch genome, according to the Ketchum’s work, is human DNA that interspersed with DNA that is absolutely unknown.  It is neither ape, nor human, not lemur.  Ketchum has no idea what it is, nor does anyone else, but the ‘novel’, single strand, haploid DNA is there for anyone to find who knows how to sequence it. Is it some evolutionary offshoot of humanity that we have yet to identify in the fossil record?  Maybe. But the mysterious sequences are single strand, that is haploid DNA, and all terrestrial DNA in somatic cells (blood, hair, tissue, bone) is diploid unless it is in gametes (sex cells).  

OK, so what is the origin of this truly novel DNA that Melba Ketchum found in the sasquatch genome? For one possible answer, check out The Locals, Chapter 10: “No Stone Left Unturned.”  What gave me a chill when I read the Ketchum study is the possibility that I may have written down an answer ten years before I even asked this question.


  1. Thank you for that, Thom, you were very thorough and painstakingly addressed, point-by-point, the talking points of the trolls.

  2. Excellent blog, Please contact me @

  3. Very well done. Love how everyone is screaming 'contamination' like Dr. Ketchum wouldn't have thought of this herself. I think that once the science is finally confirmed this honestly could blow the lid off of long held delusions of where, how and why, humanity originated from.

  4. The best review i have seen regarding the topic (period). Thx for your enlightening thoughts!

  5. Thom,
    Great write up.
    I think what others also miss in that they don't do much research into the possibility.
    I have done some looking into the concept that Melba came up with that the Bigfoot DNA leans to the Primate line of Lemurs as well as human. Well Doing some research I discovered that a Line of Primates New World Monkey and Lemurs grow 3 sets of teeth. Apes and Chimps do not. Now what is even more curious many reports of bigfoots with 2 rows of Molars or Giant bones found with 2 rows. So if you think about it this way. If an animals jaw is wide enough the 3rd set of molars will grow beside a set not pushing out the older set. Now Look at this. Humans have been documented to have grown 3 sets of Molars. Why would we have this "ability" if APES and Chimps do not? Something in our base DNA along out history of evolution would have placed this in us. So this is where I believe Melba's research makes sense. That modern humans and this "Unkown Lemur like Primate" were at one point allowed to "breed". We also have the genetic trait in us for Giantism why? It seems many do not look at this objectively and ask now WHY do we have these things when other apes do not? If we evolved from Apes then apes should have had these defects as well no? Sure Melba's website and journal was slapped together fast. But I don't blame her I await more information. I believe she is on the right track. But this is just a laywomans opinion.

  6. Excellent review of Dr. Ketchum's work!! I'm impressed, Thom, and will continue to read your blog.

  7. If you want a good example of group think go to Ketchum's Facebook page and see all of the group thinkers at work.

    Ketchum was given a huge level of support over the years so you can't possibly lay any of this on group think. People that have supported her over the years are now seeing how badly she has mislead them.

    Her study is a badly handled mess and her data does not support her claims.

    Darren Naish one of the peer reviewers already came out and explained that her paper was rejected for no other reason than it was a badly written paper whose data did not support her conclusions.


    Her claims that the Q-scores support her data as not being contamination. Claims that are directly repudiated by the Illumina website itself.

    Three geneticists on Bigfoot Forums are doing a very good and even handed job of explaining the issues with her claims.

    The people who are not listening are the one's engaged in group think.

    1. Her paper was rejected for being "...a bady written paper whose data did not support her conclusions." Seriously? Badly written? What kind of scientific analysis is "badly written"? What does that even mean? Not enough adjectives? More character development needed? Every scientific paper is badly written in that thet're certain to put you right to sleep. Is that the best the guy can do? You're proving my point, not your counterpoint.
      What is her conclusion, anyway? Sasquatches exist.They carry human DNA. She's claiming 109 samples that point to that. . How can her data not support that? Throw out half of them for whatever nit-picky reason you want. Whaddaya got left. Strong evidence that the sasquatch exist. Does her study prove that they are human? Don't ask me to evaluate the genetics but I think she did it right and I think her work will hold water when it is replicated. There's no way 109 samples were all contaminated. She knows how to do the work. Other labs produced the same results. Please share the work of these 'even-handed geneticists' at BFF, and please do it using a real name, not some silly club name like 'Squatchmaster'. Good god, We're all grownups here, right? Fake names get zero credibility.
      Thank you for writing in. We look forward to the informed words of the 'even handed geneticists'.

    2. I have to pitch in and say that firstly academic journals are WAY too demanding of writing. Not in the spelling - grammar sense, but in the way science is supposedly meant to be 'written'.
      BUT, whether a group of authors (some previously published if i'm correct) really couldn't manage to get it into the 'correct' format, then why didn't the scientists reviewing it say "you have something amazing here, let us HELP YOU to get it up to scratch and get it out.? Two reasons as i see it. They wanted to get the jump on Ketchum etal., or the study really is fundamentally flawed.
      From reading papers all the time i can tell when there's something to it even when there's a flaw or error. So the reviewers certainly could too. Which is why i like to think it was all political.
      Having said that though, "publishing" the article the way they have is like smearing feces on your face and running through the town naked. And i have to doubt my own opinions that might otherwise have made me sympathetic to Ketchum.

  8. Why don't you engage the guy who was a peer reviewer who said that the reason it failed in review was not because of a conspiracy or that the experts were biased but rather that the paper did not meet the criteria for the bold claims it made. He said the paper is very odd and that her phylogenetic tree diagram doesn't even make sense.

    Here is his Twitter. Have at it !

    Why not engage Leonid Kruglyak Professor of Genomics and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton who read the paper?

    Here is his Twitter. Have at it !

    The 3 anonymous geneticists on Bigfoot Forums for good reason don't want their name associated with the Bigfoot community but they had interesting things to say about your post. Specifically that "It is very clear that Mr. Powell does not have a grasp of the basics of biology."


    I am sure they would be more than willing to engage you in discussion if you joined the forum.

    And why don't your geneticist friends speak up in Ketchum's favor?

    And here is the $100,000 question.

    Why has Ketchum herself not engaged her detractors? If her data is so solid and great then it should be a slam dunk. Why instead does she go on Coast to Coast and catch journalistic softballs.

  9. Well done Thom! Thank you for your paper, it is well written and I enjoyed the read. In my opinion, the naysayers are nothing more than gossip mongering cyberbullies. But, that's only my opinion. Once again, thank you for taking the time to analyse Dr. Ketchum's study and for sharing what you learned.

    With gratitude,
    J Doiron

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Is that you Tara Baker Hauki? I thought that you were done with squatching after Beckford lured you onto an expedition to test whether psychotic people attract Bigfoot. And you went all schizo on him. Wow! Small world. Seems just like yesturday.

  11. Very nice article Thom. I just wanted to add though that the great apes are certainly not dumb animals, they are quite intelligent. I am personally leaning more towards the Paranthropus theory myself, and I have suspicions that Ketchum may have had the answer but either read the data wrong or fell to her own prejudice. Early rumors were saying relict hominin, and I do wonder if either contamination or Melba's own prejudice towards these animals being humans had fell into play with this. Once again, very nice article!

  12. I was wondering when somebody was going to bring up the B word as in 'Beckjord'.

    Chapter Ten in your book suggests, in summation, that BF has ET origins.

    I tend to agree, but now I must ask you to extrapolate from there and tell us how ET is involved, to state a hypothesis that may help bolster this position. I'm the guy that is favoring the Law Of One explanation, which may be a serious reach, but at least it's an attempt.

  13. Wow. Thank you Sir for this. I do not know much about DNA and all the wonderful things that coexist in that world,so your redux really helped me.

  14. I'm with Robbie on this. Also, I would like to comment that I have always suspected ET has been involved with our evolution as well. Thank you for even suggesting that possibility.

  15. Thom, thank you for such a cogent presentation of the facts surrounding Ketchum's study. I admit that I was previously having a hard time sifting through all the discussion that the study has inspired elsewhere. As usual, you've brought a level head to a set of facts and circumstances that desperately calls for it.

  16. Interesting about Bart, since he accused me of being a "liar" and "misleading my readers" when I posted the exact same theory of why Smeja would have switched the samples. I have even shown documentation using Cutino's own lab results showing the Halpotypes do not match so it is impossible for the two samples Bart had tested to be the same as the sample sent to Dr. Ketchum. Yet in this article poor old Bart gets a pass. Id watch out Thom, Bart going to sling it your way, oh I forgot your buddies...

    Oh and the unknown people spreading the rumors about Ketchum asking Smeja to destroy the samples uh THAT WAS BART! Below is a direct quote from a comment he left on my blog:

    "In addition, you dance around Justin's words as let me quote what she said for you since I heard it 30 minutes after and from 2 other witnesses to the call. This is what she said after he refused to give her the rest of his sample --likely so no one else can ever test it like you insinuate on your blog a week and a half ago as if it's justified telling him to destroy it in some competition in her head with Sykes. Here it is Scott:

    "Justin, if you ever test your sample elsewhere at a "regular" lab you will get a regular animal with contamination. So I need you to destroy the rest of your sample (proceeds to give clorox bleach recipe you tried to justify Scott). If it's money you need I can get Wally to buy the "cleansed" sample and tack on a percentage for myself."

    That's what was said and told to me from day one."

    Seems Bart is doing all the misleading and it appears that now that the gig is up he is distancing himself from Smeja, WOW!!!

    And in the interest of full disclosure here Bart's rant when I accused Smeja of switching the samples to protect himself against possible prosecution just like you did Thom:

    "You accuse Justin of sabotaging himself to make himself appear like a hoaxer because he's worried about something prosecution) he's never mentioned to anyone but it gives Ketchum a way out. If he's so worried about prosecution than why not say it was a hoax to escape it fully. Instead he integrates himself into the community and this research. You guys expect people to believe Justin told the truth about the shootings but he's lying about switching pieces? unbelievable. In addition, you think all three of us wouldn't love for her to be right, personal feelings aside? I got thermal footage 250 yds from purported shootings and almost 23 months later, the guy has become a close friend, you think life wouldn't be easier for everybody if sample 26 is in fact from a bigfoot?

    I can go on but you're brainwashed and obviously so emotionally invested that you're willing to lie to your own readers. I challenge you and David to prove one thing I've said is untrue. Thank god her paper is a disaster based on what she's released or she would've poisoned this subject even more including the legitimate idea of bigfoot dna (fake journal and peer review, charging 30$ and pocketing the monies, no lab reports, less then 1% of the data, no support or substantiaton, no support from her own so called co-authors,fake people (Casey Mullins)etc...

    This isn't science, science is about a hypothesis and that's proven through replication. She tried to make the dna fit into her hypothesis and now she's allowing no opportunity for replication to prove her hypothesis. It's the opposite of science.

    Shame on you"


    I Am Very Truly Yours
    Scott Carpenter

  17. Thom, you comment that you were advised by a scientific friend to 'skip over the details, and just read the abstracts and conslusions and synopsis'... while that may be good for you and I as laymen... the SCIENTISTS DO read the SCIENCE... the details. I can make nice conclusions too. In fact, I can do it in the complete absence of any data. The data HAS to support the conclusions. The Scientists that have looked at her RAW DATA comment very clearly on the issues with it. I don't discredit, or discount her 'conclusions'per se. I'm happy to find out one day that they may be very close to homo sapiens sapiens... but to date, no one has data to support this, least of all Melba Ketchum. The flaws in her work are many and deep. Many of her claims are PATENTLY false. If she would just allow an independent lab to test her remaining Smeja samples against my remaining Smeja samples, much of this debate can be put to bed. Why are Justin and I willing to do that, and MK is not?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. FACTS:
      1. Three complete genomes have been sequenced and are avaliavble to download in PDF Format and in the FASTA File format. Scientist can download and examine.
      2. The Ketchum DNA Study IS under indepenent scientific review.
      3. The review of the mtDNA supports Ketchums findings
      From Dr. Ketchum FaceBook Page - "We just heard from some mtDNA geneticists and they have found uniqueness in our mtDNA findings that prove that 1. The data is real and couldn't have been hoaxed 2. That it shows relatedness amongst a large percentage of the samples 3. Supports our hybridization theory 4. Supports our timeline. I am estatic. We are asking permission to make these findings public. As soon as we have it, we will post them.

      We just received permission to post. There will most likely be a new paper come from this so we will not post the new findings but you will see enough of the proof to validate the paper. I am SO excited!!!!!"

      4. The paper is extremely detailed, has extensive DATA, over 12 supplements, detailed analysis, ETC. Mr Huggins has no clue what he is talking about!

      5.Peer Reviewers ask Dr. Ketchum to add frivolous history to the study and remove very pertinent results that prove that the Bigfoot have similar DNA to humans but ARE NOT HUMAN. Test were done for the TYR gene, which is associated with skin pigmentation, and the HAR1 gene, which is a “human accelerated region” associated with human neurological development. The human skin color gene TYR and human brain gene HAR1 were not found in Bigfoot nuDNA .ALL HUMANS have these genes! The 3 complete genomes Dr Ketchum had did not. So by process of elimination it was demonstrated that a new hominin existed we call BIGFOOT. She was ask by the reviews to remove this! WHY?

      6. The Q30 Scores prove the DNA was NOT CONTAMINATED. Tyler maintains that the Q30 scores are not indicative of a pure, single source DNA sample. I guess Tyler knows more about the HiSeq 2000 next generation sequencer than the manufacuer???? Here is a statment FROM THE MANUFACUTER OF THE DNA SEQUENCER: "According to Illumina, a pure, single source sample would have an Q30 score of 80 or greater with an average of 85. However, if there was contamination present in the sample sequenced, the divergent sequences would compete against one another prior to sequencing causing a contaminated sample to have a Q30 score of 40 to 50."
      Exert from the KETCHUM DNA STUDY:
      "The Q30 scores for the three genomes sequenced had Q30 scores of 88.6, 88.4 and 88.7 respectively for samples 26, 31 and 140. The Q30 is the percent of the reads that have the statistical probability greater than 1:1000 of being correctly sequenced. Therefore, not only were the sequences from a single source, but the quality of the sequences were far above the average genome sequenced using the Illumina next generation sequencing platform. The high quality of the genomes can be attributed to the stringent extraction procedures utilized whereby the DNA was repeatedly purified. This ultra-purified DNA also allowed for greater than 30X coverage of the three genomes. The summary and of the next generation sequencing generated by the HiSeq 2000 Illumina sequencer is furnished as Supplementary Data 7-10."
      Oh I forgot there is lack of data....NOT
      7. A. John Marsh supports the studies findings
      8. David H. Swenson, PhD biochemist with extensive and impeccable credentials supports the KETCHUM DNA PAPER.


      What scientist have looked at the RAW DATA and have issues with it or lack thereof?

      What specific areas of the study do the scientist have issues with?

      Where are the detailed critical reviews of these scientist?

      What data or lack of data do they have issues with?

      Have you even read the paper?

      Have these scientist requested the "RAW DATA" from Dr. Ketchum?

    3. You forgot....

      9. None of the authors cited in her paper support her data or her conclusions nor will they even publicly discuss it.

      Obviously the worst example of collaboration in science journal history.

  18. PS - their is a reason as to why the groups you mention all gravitate to the same talking points... thorough investigation, logic and deductive reasoning tend to lead people to shared conclusions.

    1. Or maybe the have a SHARED AGENDA to discredit Dr. Ketchum

  19. I can answer every question you posted Scott/Joe
    However, I have beat this horse to death for literally months now. All of your questions have been asked and answered before. Read the BFF thread, if you like. I don't have to keep wasting my time on this. It's been done. People have contacted the scietntists cited in her paper - they have denied providing analysis - merely processed the sample as requested. Q30 scores are a comment on the accuracy of the given sequences, not the conatmination factor. In this case, we have accurate sequences for bear, and accurate sequences for human - her interpretation of them as something else, is flawed. The Q30 scores don't mean there is only a single source. Yes, I have the paper, and have had no less than 5 PhD's in biology and related fields, point out all the flaws.
    The assertion that these three samples are closely related is PATENTLY false - there is almost no homology. Her proposed creature is less related to us than a turtle is, and they are less related to eachother than dogs and cats.

    PS - who is John Marsh? Are you referring to the landscaper on Family Tree's blog or something? Or is it the minister posing as a Dr? hmmm - landscaper or minister, or real scientists... tough choice who to defer to in matters of genetics.

    Now, nothing I say holds any water with any of the Melba defenders. So... unless you can convince her to share her left-over samples with a lab that She and I can agree on, as an independent testing source, (and I can share mine with the same lab), then we have nothing further to discuss. I am willing to put up, or shut up (actually, I'm willing to do BOTH) - now it's time for people in her camp to do the same.

    1. Have Melba find an independent lab that I can agree with (I'm not picky).
    2. Have her submit some of the remaining tissue she has from Smeja.
    3. I will do the same.
    4. Let's see if the results identify them as coming from the same source.
    5. Let's see if they identify it as coming from a novel animal - I'll be ecstatic, and eat crow if they do!

    Until then, I'm minimizing my wasted time on this. Ball is in her court, she continues to try to hold all the cards, and obfuscate and delay.

    Your move MK and camp.

  20. Scott-

    I’m not distancing myself from Justin, Thom was clarifying that I didn’t submit samples to the labs on behalf of Justin and he’s absolutely correct as the only sample I sent anywhere personally was the salted piece I got from Wally. You know… the other half of Ketchum’s piece that looks identical to the picture of her piece in the lab and was out of Justin’s custody in July 2011, 6 months before Dr. Ketchum told him to destroy the rest of the sample and scam Wally, and also lied to her supporters about telling Justin on that call that he would be prosecuted……that piece. BTW, obviously Thom interviewed Dr. Ketchum (confirmed with me) and just like every FB update you linger on every word without any third party substantiation whatsoever.

    If you will Scott, I would love for you to answer these questions as we have nothing to hide and been 100% transparent, I will debate you on the FACTS any time, any place Scott.

    Why is Melba deliberately delaying (been almost 2 weeks) sending the remaining Sample 26 back to its rightful owner (Derek Randles) per research testing agreement she presented, signed and is currently in violation of?

    Scott, if so many indep PHD’s are on board, why does the Ketchum camp, you in particular, post every positive response and hype credentials without performing any due diligence on the person, while ignoring ever dissenting opinion, including every PHD who’s responded critically?

    Why did Dr. Ketchum refuse third party testing (we have emails from her) of Justin’s sample in her possession to settle any discrepancy in results PRIOR to Tyler and I releasing the Trent report?

    Where are the lab reports for Sample 26 and the rest of the samples and why were they not attached as appendices to Dr. Ketchum's manuscript?

    How do you explain the remarkable visual similarities in hair (length, color)in the picture comparison “you” provided showing sample 26 in Ketchum’s lab and the salted tissue I sent to Oklah for indep testing I received from Wally (out of Justin’s custody since the day I met him in July 2011)?

    Have you seen absolute proof of a "successful" (not failed) peer review for Dr. Ketchum's manuscript and would you stake your credibility on it?

    Scott, did Dr. Ketchum ever tell you that she personally told Justin Smeja she was going to see to it that he was prosecuted? If so when did this supposed conversation take place to the best for your knowledge?

    Scott on 2/21/13 (2 days prior to Justin releasing his monologue regarding the unethical suggestions he claimed by Dr. Ketchum) why did you write supportive statements preemptively for Dr. Ketchum essentially saying that paranoia about a legitimate and highly respected geneticist (Sykes) makes it OK to suggest "contaminating" samples (your words)?

    Scott- Is Dr. Ketchum telling the truth that it’s a fabrication, lies and rumors about her believing the DNA in her paper is “alien/angel” in nature? If it is a lie, would you stake your reputation on it?

    Last one Scott, if tomorrow the accusations you’ve made are proven wrong, surprising as that may be for you, will you be man enough to publicly apologize for falsely accusing all of us of malfeasance?

    Scott, thank you in advance, much appreciated.

  21. Scott - You say Melba says: "3. Supports our hybridization theory"
    When her results clearly align with humans even less than Chickens do.... how on earth can we hybridize with them? Chickens have %5 alignment with human, and Melba's results have 3%. We just can't reproduce with things that have that little homology with us. Clearly her data does not support her conclusions.

  22. BTW Scott, almost everything you state as FACT is merely hearsay and promises from Dr. Ketchum. Dr Ketchum says this and Dr. Ketchum says that. Based on Dr. Ketchum's track record she's the last person (maybe other then yourself) I'd rely on for facts. Zero substance, zero substantiation.

    Just to remind you Scott, as of right now, this is where Dr. Ketchum's paper stands with respect to the scientific community (yeah I'm sure it's all a conspiracy to discredit her right) and these are FACTS that you cannot dance around:

    Based on the "limited" data she's provided and made available for comparative analysis, the three genomes DO NOT match

    She's released about 1% of the data in the supplemental portion of her manuscript. Not "extensive" data as you've stated

    There is NO evidence of a "successful" peer review...none

    As of right now, not one Co-author has stood up and defended her work (not one)and their association with the paper, only one has responded to inquiries by people and was unaware they were part of her paper based on limited work they did

    No lab reports accompanied her manuscript and are still unavailable...None

    Dr. Ketchum refused to test her sample independently to clear up any conflict in results after SHE initiated concern. Now the question remains, is she going to send back the rest of her sample to the rightful owner (been two weeks) so comparative testing can be initiated? We're not afraid Scott

    As of today, about the only thing Dr. Ketchum has proven with her paper is that "hope" is a very powerful thing,and with this kind of hope, there's surely blanket denial.

  23. Excellent write up! I knew a very long time ago the scientific peer group was very bias. I support Ketchum whole heartedly. Thank you for the article.

    Jerry Kraynyk,
    Winnipeg River Sasquatch Association Director

  24. It seems like there is too much religion in science. Credible and consistent results in a scientific study that show that these creatures exist will understandably be scrutinized, but I know it has so much to do with most people being taught that humans were created by God, in his likeness and that we are so above animals, its this view, a cultural view, that is to blame for our being out of touch with the natural world. We are animals and we created god. Nature and natural selection created us. I have heard way too many nut jobs tell me that they didn't evolve, they were created. We like to forget, when it is convenient, that we are apes too. There were times in our evolutionary history that were so dire and dangerous, times that modern people cannot fathom. At one time we banded together with other humanesque hominids and yes mated with them, hunted with them and survived because of them. It wasn't long ago that races of men were thought to be different species, due to skin pigment and yet people of all colors shapes and sizes mate and create viable young. It won't be long before we have an understanding that Sasquatches are people too, it is just a matter of time. The world is not flat, the moon is not made of cheese and the Bigfoot creatures are not only real, but are our closest living relatives. Melba keep up the good work. Thom thanks for such an impressive post.

  25. We are still in the age of we are not part of the biosphere. It is we can survive without it or the biosphere can go on without us. It is this world of freakdom that we have enslaved ourselfs until we acknowledge our being part of nature and the world whether through creation or evolution we will whallow in a sea of denial.

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