Sasquatch Coffee

Dr. Melba Ketchum’s DNA Diagnostics Gets an F?

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 10th, 2011

There has been much discussion as of late concerning Dr. Melba Ketchum’s DNA analysis of purported Bigfoot flesh here on Cryptomundo.

Cryptomundians have commented both in favor and against Dr. Ketchum.

This Dr. Ketchum is the same person who analyzed Gates’ supposed clump of yeti fur. Got exactly the same results. She’s not a DNA specialist, she’s a veterinarian and a fan.Dave Wall

Ah yes, Dr. Ketchum is a veterinarian and a “fan”, of course Dave Wall.

That’s the curriculum vitae of a simple fan and a naive bigfoot believer, with no deeper knowledge about genetics:

Dr. Ketchum has also established a research program ranging from gene mapping to developing the VeriSNP™ (patent pending) platform for universal genetic evaluation in multiple species of animals. Other research includes genetics of disease, population genetics and other genetically important traits such as coat color in animals. Dr. Ketchum is a past three-term Chairperson of the International Society for Animal Genetics Equine Genetics Standing Committee. She has also been Dog Map Chairperson and a Committee member on the Dog and Cat Parentage Committee. She is currently the Treasurer for AFDAA, The Association of DNA Analysts and Administrators. Dr. Ketchum has a daughter and a son and lives on her Attoyac Valley Ranch in East Texas.

Really sounds like a simple fan….Demian66

The fact that Dr. Ketchum is on board lends this enormous credibility. If this is a hoax, it is very elaborate, and frankly would be a huge risk on the part of hoaxers.

Dr Ketchum is the only legitimate source in this story, the rest I would immediately throw out as BS.Particle Noun

This story is easy to verify by just asking Dr Ketchum’s office. I called TX a little while ago, and no comment was given. Check for yourselves, DNA Diagnostics Incorporated, Timpson Texas.CDC

And, according to her (Ketchum), the reason the announcements are taking so long is because the peer review process, especially for something so controversial and potentially ground breaking, is lengthy and rigorous. She and her team are, apparently, dotting all their I’s and crossing all their T’s, basically, to produce an outstanding scientific paper, which takes time, and further evidence won’t be discussed, presented or any claims made until that lengthy process is completed and the paper is published in a reputable scientific journal.Massachusetts

So, either Ketchum is a liar, or made a big mistake with the science, or she has discovered something very interesting and relevant to this field. I certainly hope for the latter. But as always, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, so for now we must all wait and see.Massachusetts

So we have a DNA study that folks have been awaiting the results for some time.

Looks like we aren’t the only ones.

I found the following information on the Better Business Bureau of East Texas’ website regarding one DNA Diagnostics, Inc.

BBB file opened: 01/19/2006
Licensing

This company is in an industry that may require licensing, bonding or registration in order to lawfully do business. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

BBB records show a license number of for this company.

Contact Information
Primary Contact: Dr. M. S. Ketchum (Director)
Business Category

Laboratories – Medical

Rating F

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that lowered DNA Diagnostics, Inc.’s rating include:

19 complaints filed against business
Failure to respond to 3 complaints filed against business.
8 complaints filed against business that were not resolved.
10 serious complaints filed against business.
BBB does not have sufficient information to determine how long this business has been operating. BBB made two or more requests for background information from the business. BBB has not received a response from this business and/or has not been able to verify information received from this business.
BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business. BBB made two or more requests for background information from the business. BBB has not received a response from this business and/or has not been able to verify information received from this business.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: They have not provided me the diagnostic service as promised from June of 2009. No contact has ever been attempted from them, even after many from me.

I contacted DNA Diagnostics, dba Shelterwood Laboratories, analyst in early June 2009. The diagnostic was to be done on a blood sample that was on a leaf brought back from a hunting safari I did in South Africa. I sent the leaf witht eh sample to DNA Diagnostics on June 16th 2009 via UPS tracking number 1ZA0024F0291036081. Along with the sample was my contact information and the payment via Check of $200. The check was cashed in June 2009 as well. The e-mail from them advised to allow 4 weeks for processing. I called DNA Diagnostics in August 2009 because I had not heard from them, and was advised that they had not yet been able to get to the sample yet but would get to it by the end of that week. In September when I called them, still with no attempt from them to reach me, I was told they were having problems doing the test but would let me know something by the end of that week. I never received a call back. In December I called again, this time I requested a refund because of the time that had passed as I was begining to get upset that nothing had happened. Up to this point I had only been speaking to the personnel dedicated to answering the phones as the analysts was always too busy, but this time I spoke to the analyst who explained the processing was completed and she would get the write up to me in the next 2 weeks, she was just really slammed and busy. I called again to tehm in late January and did not get to speak to her but the person I did speak too advised that they were still really busy and could not get the information to me. I advised I had set up a time sensitive meeting for which I needed that information for in early Febuary and needed the information, he assured me that I would get it. It is now March 15th, 2010 8 months after they received the sample to process that was too only take 4 weeks to do and I still do not have any writeen documentation for the analsis done. I called today and again soke to the front office gentleman who told me it would be in the mail today. I do not have great confidence of that.

Business response: Contact Name and Title: Ruben Soto office Manger

We did receive his samples and it did take longer than we had planned. However he was informed that the sample he sent in had low dna. We had to run the sample many times through the process to get results. We have in fact mailed them to him. I have talked to him myself and let him know so. There is no way to return a sample once it is extracted. The tests were run He does have his results. I can not do anything else.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)

I have not yet received the documented results, nor did I speak directly with the analyst to inform me the results had been sent. I called and spoke to the front desk person who informed they would be sent approximately a week ago. Either way the length of time being nine months as opposed to 4 weeks should constitute a minnimum partial refund.

Final business response: We can not get the results to bbb unless told to by the owner. Because these was a forensics type case we do not give a turn around time sometimes it takes a long time depending on the sample. We in fact lost money on the case trying to get what we have from the sample. We do not garantee any results on this type of case. We do everything we can but somtimes its not what the owner wants to hear. My apologies for this matter. Many thanks for your time.

Complaint Resolution: BBB determined the company provided proper verification that indicated there was no obligation to resolve the issues of the complaint.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: Sent samples with full payment in April 2010. I have recieved no results to date and have tried repeatedly to contact them for a refund.
I sent in goat samples with full payment of $80. in early April 2010. They said it would take about a week to process. May 9th I contacted them and they said they had it and it was “sitting on their desk” and they needed 2 more weeks to get it finished. The check was already cashed. I have repeatedly day after day without reply. I have left multiple messages to request a refund and no one has ever returned my calls. I have only got an answering machine message.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to respond to BBB to resolve or address the complaint issues.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: Sent dog DNA in for testing 1/23/10 no results or approximate completion date as of 5/6/10
I sent 3 dogs dna in for testing 1/23/10 and still have not received the results as of 5/6/10. I have made numerous phone calls, emailed once, and still cannot get anyone to give me a time frame as to when the genetic testing will be complete. I have two friends that have had the same testing done on their animals and the testing was done within three months this has been almost five months. If they do not have enough resources to complete the job, at the very least they need to notify their customers so they can take their dna elsewhere.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to respond to BBB to resolve or address the complaint issues.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: I submitted hair for a DNA test with Shelterwood Lab. almost a month ago and they have cashed my check but they have not returned calls or emails.
I sent hair samples to Shelterwood Labs at the end of September for DNA processing. I have called and left messages several times as well as leaving an email. I called again today and so far have not received a return call from the company. Their phone messages says that they will get back to me but they never have. They cashed the check I sent them. I would just like to know how much longer this will take but no one there seems to care.

Business response: We have customer’s results. She can call to get them. We will also attempt to contact her at the numbers she has provided for her home and work.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I had to send samples to another lab and got results in less than 7 days, unforturnately due to the extended wait I lost the sale of my horse. I would prefer to have my money refunded. It’s been almost 2 months since I sent the samples off. I work in a univeristy research lab and know there is no reason for this delay. Plus they never contacted me after several requests to them for information which is very poor business.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: I ordered $320 worth of DNA tests in Dec., 2009. Results were promised in 3 weeks. In March, 2010: received incorrect results. July: refused a refund
I ordered $320 worth of DNA tests on my Persian cats on 11/29/09 via the CFA alliance for DNA tests on purebred cats. They received the samples on 12/9/09. The turn around time for tests was supposed to be three weeks. I called in early January, 2010 for test results and they hadn’t been done. I called again in February and again they weren’t ready. My initial phone calls were received by someone who in turn asked me to email another tech. In March, I spoke with a new person who assured me it would be taken care of ASAP. He admitted to me that the previous person had been told to lie to clients, telling them that their tests would be done right away. He also said that a tech had messed up the results during the time frame my samples had been received and wasn’t putting the assigned number with the corresponding tests when they were put into the computer. He said they were trying to catch up on retesting these, but were taking care of new orders first. Then on 3/19/10 he sent DNA results that were genetic impossibilities based upon the colors and patterns of the cats in question. I had apparently been sent someone’s else’s results. I emailed him with all the incompatibilities for each of the tests. He said they would redo them immediately. He soonafter left their employment. In the meantime, I had bought a new breeding cat based on the incorrect color point gene status on the results I had been sent of my two males. That was a $1500 expense that was subsequently found to be unnecessary, as I had the two males in question retested for that gene at another lab for the cost of $120 to find out that they do possess the gene I needed, contrary to the results I received from DNA Diagnostics. That cost only included color and color point testing, not disease testing as in the original tests provided by DNA Diagnostics. In June, I spoke with the representative from the CFA who originally forged the diagnostic relationship for breeders with this company, and spoke with him again today and even he is not getting his calls returned by the owner of the company. His understanding is that the ownership has now changed and the CFA is trying to get the DNA database back from DNA Diagnostics and is not getting their cooperation. Because DNA Diagnostics took so long in getting me results (incorrect ones at that) I had to forfeit a sale of $1500 because I had no reliable DNA results for the prospective breeder buyer. That kitten ended up selling as a pet for $500. So I lost a $1000 profit. At this point, I am out $320 for testing with DNA Diagnostics, $120 to retest only two of the original eight cats for partial results with another lab, and $1500 for purchase of a cat that I learned was unnecessary once I received results from the other lab. I cannot resell or return that cat by contract. The purchase was made while waiting from March until June because I could only get a kitten as opposed to an adult. It was already breeding season, and I would lose too much time continuing to wait on results from DNA Diagnostics. So I was essentially breeding blindly, based upon faulty results. I finally relented to retesting because I wasn’t getting any satisfaction. There is a new office manager now who said I could resubmit the original samples. I asked for compensation by asking to resubmit six of the original eight and three new ones for the trouble I have endured. And I was told that I would have to get a refund from the CFA. I called the man with CFA who dissolved the alliance with DNA Diagnostics and he said that they had paid DNA Diagnostics for those tests. So that was another lie from this company. Since I have lost all confidence in DNA Diagnostics’ ability to provide accurate DNA testing, I will only accept a refund and may even pursue further legal compensation.

Business response: Customer did not pay DNA Diagnostics. She paid CFA. we do not have any cat samples anymore as the ex-contractor (CFA) demanded that all results and DNA samples be sent to their new contract lab. So, per CFA’s request, we cannot help anyone at this point. They will need to contact Cat Fancier’s Assn. about their samples. The other lab will deal with the people and they will be sending out any results.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I was told the same thing on one of my more recent phone calls to DNA Diagnostics: that CFA had been paid for the tests, not them. I then called and spoke directly with a doctor of the CFA who said that DNA Diagnostics had been paid for all the tests that I ordered back in October of 2009. I called DNA Diagnostics back to tell them this and they said they would redo the tests but needed new samples because they no longer had adequate samples. I asked what happened to the ones I sent and received no other explanation. Even their web site said that they would honor any tests sent to them before April 15th, 2010. Why would they do this if they hadn’t been paid for the tests? This was before they admitted to boxing and sending samples back to CFA. My samples were corrupted. They sent me erroneous results, likely because they got the samples switched with someone else’s when giving them their ID numbers. Sending incorrectly identified samples back to CFA will not get me results. They made the mistake and were even paid for it. They did not refund the CFA for my tests. I will only accept a refund from DNA Diagnostics for the $320 it has cost me, even though the cost to me overall has been much greater than that. Neither the CFA nor the new lab should be held responsible for bearing the cost for DNA Diagnostics’ costly mistakes. If DNA Diagnostics still refuses to refund my money within one week of receiving this response, my next step will be to file a complaint with the veterinary board.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: I sent samples to be analyzed & included full payment. Have received no results and almost no response to my inquiries over the past 12 months.
Enclosed is a copy of my cancelled check number 1092, payable to DNA Diagnostics in the amount of $200.00 dated June 15, 2009. It was included in a package that also contained fur and mucus samples from my cat, Buddy, and the rear leg bone of a feline found in the woods near my home, with some fur and desiccated flesh still attached. In sending it to DNA Diagnostics I was hoping to determine if it belonged to my missing cat. The person I contacted at the time estimated that I should have some results in 4-6 weeks upon receipt of the samples. When six weeks had passed without hearing anything, I sent several emails inquiring about the progress of the testing. The first few received no response whatever. While continuing my pursuit for information, I discovered that although receipt of my package had been acknowledged the day after I used an overnight service to send my samples, my check had not yet cleared the bank. Further contact with business indicated that whoever was responsible for processing my request had overlooked the fact that payment had been included with the samples. After my check was finally cashed, my repeated emails about test results got no response. Finally, last January, I called DNA Diagnostics and was told that my contact person was no longer employed by the lab. I was connected to a technician and she told me that the tests needed to process my samples were run only infrequently, were ongoing and had so far produced no results.

To say that I am frustrated and disappointed by the services of DNA Diagnostics doesn’t begin to express how I feel. The investment of $200.00, plus the $40.00 charge for overnight delivery of the samples was not something I undertook lightly. For me, it was a major outlay of funds. Several questions come to mind as I try to sort out this unhappy situation. Because my payment was overlooked for almost two months were the samples simply discarded? Were they improperly stored and therefore compromised? Is the lack of response from DNA Diagnostics an indication that you hope I will just forget the whole thing and go away? It’s been over a year since I, in good faith, contacted your laboratory. The least I deserve is the courtesy of a truthful response to my inquiries, and whatever test results there may be. If the samples were lost, compromised due to improper storage, or discarded, much as I would prefer answers, I feel a refund would be in order.

Thank you for your assistance in resolving this issue.

Business response: Have no record of this person.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)

Here are 2 emails I received from DNA Lab.

“I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back you, however I had to speak to one of our analysts about the matter. Yes, we can compare
the dna from the bone and the hair samples to determine if they are from the same cat. The cost of this would be $200 since we would
need to test the mitochondrial dna. If you have any further questions feel free to contact me.

Please send both hair and mucus known samples. As for the leg bone, you did the right thing, storing it in the freezer actually will
preserve anything within or on the bone(if anything was there when you found it). You can find our address at the bottom of this e-mail
for shipping. With sample such as this we recommend using overnight service for shipping the samples please put icepacks with it.”

I also have a copy of my cancelled check, but can’t seem to attach it.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint: I submitted a request for an equine paternal test at the end of March 2010. It is now July 1, 2010. I still have not recieved test restults.
I still have not recieved results from an equine paternity test submitted at the end of March 2010. I was continually promised dates when the test would be done along with excuses why it had not been done yet. Finally in May I felt like I may be getting somewhere, I spoke with the new office mgr. 1st she said results had been sent but could not tell me where, then said it was the wrong test because our # was 9420 and this one began w/a 7. She then assured me she would find out what happened and call me back with the results and she was working all weekend to get this done. Furthermore, since I had been waiting so long she was going to make this her priority. I have continued to be put off. Also I have left several messages with my house phone and my cell phone numbers and still have not recieved a call back nor have I recieved any emails or anything in the regular mail. I explained to the people I have spoken with that this was very important as I had a pregnant mare stolen and I believed the filly in this test to be the offspring of the mare and my stallion and the gal that has (or possibly had) by now agreed to not sell the filly until we recieved test results. I’m not even sure if she still has the filly as I cannot reach her anymore either. I explained to all parties concerned how important this was to me and was assured by the new office manager I would have the test results in a timely manner . This has all been very upsetting to me.

Business response: In process of running test case.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
They have been in the process of running this test since they recieved it. I have been told on several occasions they are running the test and given several different times when it will be completed, ie: we’re running it today, we will have it completed for you tomorrow. I am working this weekend I will make sure it’s done by Monday. I have been given this excuse on several different occasions and every time I call back for the results at the day or time I’m told, I am put off with yet another excuse. I have dealt with this lab in the past and have never encountered such problems. The is especially stressful for me as I am not even sure the girl that had this filly still has her. This has gone on for so long she doesn’t even return my emails anymore. This test was extremely important to me as this may be the offspring of a mare, bred to my stallion, that was stoled from me 2 years ago. I explained this to the staff at DNA Diagnostics and kept being reassured this would be done. I then couldn’t get ahold of anyone for awhile. I then go ahold of the new office manager and she explained she was the new office mgr and had quite a mess to clean up, but she would be working through the weekend and have the results for me at the first part of the week. This was back in May. I have tried on several occasions to call only to get the answering machine. I left several messages. A lady did answer once, I explained it all to her and if I didn’t get a call back I would be contacting the BBB. She said she would pass along the message. This was in June. I have left several messages since then. I have been trying to be patient and understanding, but come on! I don’t like to complain or cause problems, but I am not getting anywhere, even after telling them and leaving messages of dissatisfation and that if this was not resolved I would contact the BBB.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: Paid for a service in Feb 2010, and have not received test results. Told to office on Five different time and was made promises of test results. Requested DNA test on two cats. Paid in full in Feb 2010. Test results was to be finished in 6 weeks. Called after 12 weeks and test not finished. Was told going through office problems and results will be finished on one week. Called back two weeks later, still no results. Talked to office manager. Sent email with my address. Promised results in one week. It now two weeks later an still no results. Left messages on answering machine with all details. No response.

Business response: Have no record of this person.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The company does have our records. They have our name. The number to the test are 9419 BlueBerry, and 9418 Bountry. Cat referance number 2112-8048-5995.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: Sent DNA in on two horses last week of March. Still no report on these. Have called numorus times . No responce.
I have delt with this lab since 2006 and hadn’t really a complaint until this year when I sent in DNA on two of my horses.Starting latter of April I tried to contact them for results over the phone. There seemed to be one excuse after another for the results not being ready.First it was they were overly busy, then they were having to run the tests two,three or four times more to get the results. Then they told me the chips they needed to use were no good and they had to order more. By then my husband was angry and asked if we could get a refund and they were suppose to call us back. Noone ever called. Then I called to find out what was going on and they said that there would be no refund because they had run the tests, so I asked for the results and once again I was told they were still working on them but they would be done in a day or so. So they took my number once again and said they would call with the results. No phone call,so I called and there was no answer.I called and called a number of times, then finally someone answered and I asked for the results and she told me that the doctor wasn’t in but as soon as she came in the girl would call me back with the results. No phone call, so once again I called and called for two weeks with noone answering the phone.I got my horses tested through another lab in Florida and received my results within a week and two of the horses I had tested with Shelterwood I had retested at this other lab and found out that the results were totally wrong. It was upsetting and scary, because one of the horses was a stud that we were going to use on outside mares and if we had advertised him a certain way and that was not the way it was, we could have had a very bad business mess on our hands. A lot of what horse owners do with there horses has a lot to do with the results on these tests,such as the way a horse is advertised for breeding and if a colt is gelded or not.Plus if you are taking the time,money and energy into raising a stud foal that you think poscesses certain genes and he doesn’t, then you wasted time and money and you can’r run a business that way. I’m very sure I wasn’t the only person affected by this lab in this way. I know that I probably will not get my money back for inaccurate testing or the money that we put in to these two horses for the past two years on one and four years on the other one, including feed,hay, worm medicine,vaccinations, and advertising.Please do something to stop these people so that someone doesn’t really get hurt by it again.

Business response: Have requested additional samples as they were placed in plastic (not paper as instructed).

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I do not except their response because there has been no communication so there could not have been any request on their part. They would never answer the phone and when they did they would put you on hold forever while they went to find out the answer and then when they did come back on they would have one excuse after another about why the results were not ready yet.They would say call back tomorrow afternoon and they would have an answer but then when you did try to call the same old game, either noone would answer the phone or if they did answer then another excuse as to why the results were not ready. This is no way to run a business and no way to treat the public and these people need to be stopped. Plus the other matter they did not address and that was the wrong results on the tests. Not only one but two horses were wrong. I could see maybe one wrong result, but not three out of four on two horses. Please help me and the other people that wer wronged by this lab! I have to stop now because I’m getting madder by their response. It looks like they are trying to cover their but with a very stupid excuse for bad business!!

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: Paid for genitic services in Dec check cash in Dec 2009, Feb 2010 received email stating services are done and will be mailed out 2nd wk of Feb 2010,
I paid for services they did not give me

Business response: Contact Name and Title: Ruben Soto office manger

I have looked at this case. It has been here too long; however on horses we have to have so many in order to run a chip. This time it took. We have run them and I am putting the results in the computer now. However it will be 1-2 more days before they get out. We are sending out results all this week so they will be there within the week.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
As stated before on 2 different email and or phone calls they have stated that the test were DONE and in this responce they state that they are done again a 3rd time. This company is not consumer reliable, they have NOT told the truth on several conversations. I wish for this complaint to be visiable on the BBB web-site so no other consumer can be misled.
Thank You

Final business response: I am going to resend the results today. Some times the email will go into a spam folder or junk folder. If they do not receive it today I will need to get a fax number to send it to them.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: For 2 1/2 months have been told at least 10 times I would recieve results of DNA test in 1 -3 days.I ask for a refund today and they say no refunds.
They recieved 5 (dog) DNA tests from me on the 15th of Jan. Before I sent the tests I talked to them on the phone and was told it would take a maximum of 6 weeks to get results back.
At 2 weeks I called to see if it would cost extra to have the results sent to my email address…at this time they told me your tests are ready and there is no extra charge to send them to your email. You should get them within a week.
After 10 days I called to see if perhaps they sent them by mail and I was told that Dr. Ketchum(not sure if I spelled her name correctly) was behind and it shouldn’t take more than another week. I waited 2 weeks to call back at which time they told me the tests were not done and should be done in the next week then it would not take any time to get results. I then waited about 10 days and called and they said the tests were done…waiting again on Dr. K. since this time I have called 1 time per week and am told she is behind on work….I ask that they return my money or send the results each time they say 3 days….of course it has now been 2 1/2 months since the first time they told me the tests were finished…..I have not been rude or ugly with the company but I do not belive anything they tell me. I am not sure I can trust the results. Today I told them I just want my money back and they said they do not do refunds and of course I would get the results of the tests within 3 days.

Business response: Contact Name and Title: Ruben Soto

This is a case of us just being behind I will see to it that her test results get sent out today. My apologies for this. There are just so many to send out that we have falling behind. As I said though I will be sure her’s gets sent today. Many thanks for your time.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I have not recieved the results as of yet.
Their response was great if they had followed through it would have been fine.
I was also told by the receptionist that they are phasing out the dog dna tests because the test is unreliable…is this true?…..can I trust the results?if and when I get them.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Failure to respond to phone calls or written requests for assistance or support

Complaint: extremely poor custstomer service and communication.
I sent an equine hair sample to DNA Diagnstics/Shelterwood Labs in Timpson, TX.
for HYPP testing. The following is about my experience.

I sent them a hair sample for testing and payment of $35.00 by personal check which they received on Jan 31, 2011. I had USPS confirmation of them receiving the sample and was led to believe it would take 3-4 days to complete the testing and 3-4 days to receive the results. I called them on Thursday of the same week to verify that they had the sample and was told it was received and was being prepared for testing. I called on the following Friday, Feb 11, to see if the test was completed and got no answer. So I left a voice mail with my phone number and asked for a return phone call. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the next week I tried to make contact again, several times a day and still got no answer. But each time I left a message and return phone number. On Feb 16, 2011, I sent an e-mail to the address on the website but never received a response by phone or e-mail.

After 3 weeks (Feb 18) my wife sent them a fax and finally got them on the phone. Their response was “We didn’t get the sample when he thinks we did and it will be processed tomorrow and results will be mailed as soon as they print.” I called them to verify this information and asked why I never received a return call or e-mail. I was told they were having problems with their phone lines and that e-mails sent to the address on the website usually get filtered as spam and they don’t get them. WHAT?!

On Feb 24th my wife called and was told “there was a problem with the sample and it would have to be re-tested”. On the 4th of March my wife called again and was also told that “sometimes it depends on how the hair reacts to the chemicals, or, IT DEPENDS ON HOW YOU HOLD YOUR MOUTH WHEN RUNNING THE TEST”. Then it was “the technician wasn’t working out so we hired a new one that seems to be working out pretty good, so we are going to run it again tomorrow. But we may have to have another sample.” We were told that this testing is done on fridays. So they had 5 fridays to complete the tests or inform me that a new sample needed to be submitted.

I understand that they are busy on a daily basis, but a customer with a question or concern should be taken care of regardless of the their work load. Below is a copy of the last email I sent to them:

This is your notice that I am requesting a refund.

I sent you a hair sample for HYPP testing that you received and SIGNED for on the 31st of January 2011. I have made repeated attempts to contact you about the progress and have been told “we didn’t receive it when you think we did, the test will be done this week and results mailed to you, the email address you sent the email to doesn’t come to me (then why have the email address?), there was a problem with the test and it has to be rerun on Friday (March 4th, 2011) and I take the results and put them in the mail that day or the next. It took you 2 days to deposit my check but has taken over 30 days to get my test results.

I am not satisfied with your service, or lack there of. I had made repeated attempts to contact you. I left messages on your answering machine and never got a reply. When I did finally get a live person, I was assured that action would be taken. I have been patient, I have tried to take weather, a busy lab, and other unforeseen circumstances into consideration. But I have lost two sales because I don’t have test results, regardless of the status.

I will not openly go about talking bad about your company. But if someone does specifically ask about your services, I will be very matter-of-fact about my experience.

Please return my money to my home address.

Business response: On our information sheet it plainly states, “pluck 20-30 horse hairs and place them in a paper envelope”. Mrs. Customer DID inform us that the samples were in fact cut.She didn’t inform us of such until after the sample had been ran the first time.About that time the Mrs. Customer called demanding answers. The phrase “it depends on how you hold your mouth” was used completely out of context. When that statement was made it was explaining to them that when the hair is cut and not plucked you have to hold your mouth just right to get a result.Being as the hair was cut it yielded no results, but the sample was ran twice more and the third time the samples yielded a negative test result.Mr. Customer was not happy with the results that were given. This particular sample has been ran five times with only one result.We also informed Mrs. Customer that we did need another sample submitted. We are not at fault if they fail to communicate. With the fact that we had results and they didn’t like them, and by running them twice more free of charge, we have already lost more money and decline sending the customers money back.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

There are more complaints, all generally saying the same thing.

Are we detecting a pattern here?

Will we ever see the Sasquatch DNA test results?

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.


47 Responses to “Dr. Melba Ketchum’s DNA Diagnostics Gets an F?”

  1. Paul78 responds:

    I know this is DNA analysis but were told when we do send off samples for radio carbon dating that there are only a handful of reputable ones and to keep an eye for the dodgy ones. So if this lab can’t get results out to people therefore you have to question their ability to run the test too and so if we did get Bigfoot DNA results from this lab they with be highly questionable and would explain why they got 100% female DNA as the sample was likely contaminated.

  2. slappy responds:

    just because you run a lab that does DNA testing for horses and the odd paternity test does not mean that you are a researcher. research requires a completely different level of rigor and analysis. i doubt dr. ketchum and her “who’s my daddy?” DNA testers have ever accomplished anything on any academic level.

    and the claim that her lab does work for for law enforcement does not give her any more credibility, especially with the dubious forensic records of texas criminal investigations.

    dr. ketchum is NOT the sort of person from who you should trust this sort of result.

    this story still sounds like BS.

  3. shownuff responds:

    I am surprised that there is not more comments on this matter. By reading this, I feel that Dr. Ketchum’s business is nothing but a dirty business that basically steals money from people? I do not think so. She is not a politician. She is sticking her neck out for the masses trying to get to the bottom of this Sasquatch subject. All we can do is wait. From understanding how DNA analysis works, I guess she has at least almost one more year to print up this paper. After that then I guess we can bury her sort to say.

    I only ask this question. Can we see how many have been satisfied with their business instead of the negative. No business is perfect. None at all. Its called business. Its so easy to sit here and smash people or business behind a keyboard by google searching everything. As if google knows what is going on in their lives everyday. Check this out. I used to run an ebay company selling electronics. I had a 99% customer service rate and not one complaint. All was well. Then these so called keyboard haters just decided to buy something cheap from me which was tv and dvd connectors, say they were not the ones they ordered. Which I had all of the documentation proving it was. They still decided to poop all over me. Over a measly 4.95. From there I got hammered with bad comments. Got to a point I just quit. Closed the account up. The point I am making here, is that it was a business. And like every business you will have people or what I call robots also trying to run their business. So they will do anything to smash your business to the ground. If it happened to me it will happen to us all. Next time send in better samples as requested. And if Dr. Ketchum’s team says there is not much they can do with the limited samples then maybe these people should have done their business elsewhere. The only thing I do not agree with is the cashing of the checks.

    Thanks Craig for posting this.

  4. Greg102 responds:

    If someone truly had Bigfoot DNA they wouldn’t waste their time with someone like Dr. Ketchum. Why not send off to very reputable Dr. Todd Disotell who would give you credibility and has expressed his interest on testing any type of crypto DNA samples you send him. The point is, don’t get your hopes up on the Erickson Project and Dr. Ketchum. Mito DNA is 100% human female on the one reported bigfoot sample. Hmmm, we better check Ketchum’s DNA in comparison to that “bigfoot mito dna” and see if there is a match as in contamination…

    Some story will come out, her lab will get broken into, all the samples were destroyed, or some lame story, and it will be “mysterious” and that’s how this whole Erickson DNA circus is going to end. I have 100% certainty that there is not going to be some major dna breakthrough announcement to the world. You can all call me out if i’m wrong, but the logical thinking person would say this is total BS…..

  5. semillama responds:

    All this supports my earlier post calling for a second DNA test by a different lab. If there are issues with the DNA, then comparisons between two separately analyized samples will illustrate the problem; conversely, if the two come back with similar results indicating unknown primate, then that would be the best evidence yet for the existence of Sasquatch.

  6. bigfoots responds:

    lol…I would not put any faith in a bbb rating as they are a complete sham..
    she could have an A+ rating with them tomorrow if she paid the 400$ a year to be accredited… their so called rating system is ridiculous.. they have no business giving a rating since all they do is catalog complaints.. they have no way of seeing customer volume etc.. so its utterly ridiculous..this has been on the news …and i can tell you first hand

  7. Kahil Nettleton responds:

    That is why you ALWAYS have multiple tests done by separate labs. Oh, and if these people feel like citing costs, then that is just lame. If someone had a legitimate sample, there are people and labs that would cover those costs or do so for free in lieu of being apart of a huge scientific discovery.

  8. RWRidley responds:

    A few of thoughts;

    1. Having worked for a couple of good companies registered with the BBB, you have to take customer complaints with a grain of salt. A pissed-off customer tends to unintentionally distort the situation. That’s not to say they don’t have a legitimate complaint, but most of the complaints I’ve seen have more to do with the customer’s misperception of the service they purchased. Blame it on the company. Blame it on the consumer. Blame it on both. I’ve personally read complaints about companies I have worked for and the complaints were about services we didn’t even offer. Emails prior to purchase proved their complaints were unfounded. The complaint remained open because the consumer was unhappy with the answer. I really lost faith in the BBB after that.

    2. The only way Dr. Ketchum’s study will be accepted is if tests are conducted by third party labs. I agree that Dr. Disotell would be a good choice.

    3. This is why leaks can sink a boat. Nerves are frayed and people not even involved in the study are getting anxious and starting to panic. We’re all (me included) weighing in on something we know nothing about. As much as we all hate to admit it and as hard as we are fighting against it, we are all resting at least some of our hopes on this being the evidence that will finally restore our reputations as perfectly sane members of society. Those of you who think BF is invisible and from another dimension may get left behind, but the rest of us will finally get that “Wow, I guess you weren’t so crazy after all,” from our brother-in-law that we’ve been so desperately waiting for.

    4. I would love to have the power to outlaw NDAs. I’m a transparency guy and as long as NDAs exist fiction has a way of becoming fact. But you know what they say, you can’t spell Bigfoot DNA without an NDA.

  9. Craig Woolheater responds:

    RWRidley & bigfoots,

    I too am aware of the reports that BBB ratings are scams to generate income from businesses.

    The reports showed that businesses that paid dues and accreditation fees, had higher ratings.

    While there may be truth to that, I am sure that it is not the case with all of the bureaus.

    Another thing the report tells you, is how a business responds to customer complaints.

    I agree that some people will complain when there is no legitimate reason.

    But a legitimate business should make a valid attempt to deal with it.

    DNA Diagnostics had multiple complaints where they failed to even respond to the BBB, much less the customer!

    As a small business owner myself, outside of the confines of Cryptomundo, I can assure you that this is no way to run a business, not if you are wanting to stay in business.

    As for the paying for a rating biz, here are the BBB listings for my company, one of which I am a dues paying member, one of which i am not.

    My company’s rating for the Dallas BBB where we are an accredited business and a dues paying member? A+

    Our rating for the Fort Worth BBB where we are NOT an accredited business and are NOT a dues paying member? A+ as well…

    Here are the links to prove what I am saying:

    Innerline Plumbing on Dallas BBB.
    Innerline Plumbing on Fort Worth BBB.

    So what it all boils down to is who do you want to have perform your DNA tests?

    Do you want a company that has multiple complaints over the last three years and in some cases, didn’t even respond to the BBB regarding those complaints?

  10. CDC responds:

    @ Greg102

    No one should send anything Bigfoot related to Tod Disotell.

    Disotell has a soild background in Anthropology, with Harvard and Cornell on his resume.

    Unfortunately he is a skeptic, and to get an completely unbiased assessment of any sample you would need to take to a unbiased laboratory.

    Todd Disotell joined a Skeptics Society Forum in 2009, and on episodes of different shows, he has expressed his skeptic viewpoint on many subjects.

    To be a skeptic is great, but not when you want an unbiased opinion. As a person of science, he needs to come in with no set opinion on evidence before he examines it. By that same criteria, Dr Ketchum would be disqualified by her pro Bigfoot belief. A non biased lab would be best.

    To be fair to Dr Ketchum, she claimed to not be a Bigfoot believer prior to her examination of the samples sent in.

    In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claiment, and the more extraodinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded.

    When Todd Disotell makes claims about Bigfoot or Ancient Aliens not existing, as he claims, “no matter how many pints” he is in, he is making a cliam and therefore also has to bear the burden of proof…he has not. He is a practicing pseudoskepticism.

    I would hope whatever DNA analysis we get, it will come from a source no one can dispute, and both with Ketchum and Disotell, there will be a dispute no matter what results are found.

  11. odioustrident responds:

    Sounds like they didn’t have much of a screening process for the samples and this led to problems. A little unprofessional but there are far better reasons to discredit this whole operation.

  12. Redrose999 responds:

    I have to sadly say, from what Craig has described, I doubt we will ever see any results. They’ll drag it on, with drama, as long as they can, but there won’t be any results. To be honest, I suspected something when they were keeping the results to themselves rather than sharing samples with other labs so that they prove their results were consistent.

  13. norman-uk responds:

    I think it fair to assume scientists like everyone else have their bias and predjudices. They also have the ability and obligation to overcome them and being a sceptic or otherwise on a particular issue should generally not be an insolvable problem. There is so much evidence for the reality of bigfoot now its getting to look rather determined to be totally sceptical on the issue or even that the pros only match the cons rather than exceed them. In theory the sceptic has to prove that all the evidence for bigfoot fails whereas those in favour only have to prove it sometimes doesn’t. For example all footcasts to not have to be good evidence, only some.

    The point is that if bigfoot is real which I am sure it is then samples provided for DNA tests should have been showing results for many years and in quantity. In view of the tremendous ability of DNA to survive for thousands of years in the natural environment it is not good enough now to constantly state there is no DNA in the sample or it is contaminated bearing in mind neanderthal samples were successfully analysed with over 90% bacterial contamination and the rest of the sample degraded.

    The main lab doing DNA tests for nat geographic has been the NY lab run by Tod Disotell who has come out as a jeering sneering sceptic. He has made clear he regards the whole exercise as a bit of a joke, a bit of fun. This clearly effects the manner and methods he employs and makes sure nothing will be found or has been found. He has gained reputation by finding nothing year after year, about 16 in all! So when it is suggested his lab does the DNA tests, I reckon there is no need, take it as a negative nothing would be found!

    Regarding Dr Ketchum the BBB stuff looks rather worrying but I think its not half as bad as painted and all setups have hiccups. She has shown a proper interest in bigfoot samples and appears to be well qualified deserving full support. I am sure she will run into a lot of flack when results are published but this is to be expected and I admire and appreciate her for what she is doing.

  14. RWRidley responds:

    Don’t get me wrong, if she’s neglecting her customers then she’s got some issues to deal as far as her business is concerned. I just know that BBB doesn’t always give credit to businesses that do address complaints, especially if the customer does not feel they got what they wanted. I’ve seen the management I’ve worked for beating their heads against the wall trying to get the BBB to see the light.

    It sounds like most of the issues have to do with on time delivery of results and customer service. Horrible as a business practice, but I submit it’s probably not uncommon for a lab geek who is spending a lot of time on bigfoot DNA.

  15. Nny responds:

    This was disheartening to say the least.

    But, it’s better to have hopes smashed with the possibility of rebuilding than just living on false-hope.

    Anyway, I’m not expecting anything groundbreaking on bigfoot for the remainder of the year then…

    Poo.

  16. Greg102 responds:

    @CDC
    I respectfully disagree. It doesn’t matter if Disotell is a skeptic of Bigfoot’s existence. That is a good thing especially if Real bigfoot dna is being tested. You can’t be “biased” with dna results. Its either a new animal not in the known dna database or a known animal in the database. He can’t be biased with the results. He is from a reputable university with great credentials. He has gone on record on tv of saying he would love to be the one to test authentic dna. Any scientist would love to be the one who scientifically documented the existence of an unknown hominin. This would be the greatest discovery of humankind. Now on the other side, if you’re biased and believe in bigfoot it might make you over analyze results and try to make mixed dna results fit into your bias. One that comes to mind is the monsterquest attack dna results. I believe that was Dr. Nelson who supposedly found results that were only one base pair off from humans. On the show it seemed like it was a huge discovery but notice you’ve never read about it in the news and it never went anywhere. If they were truly results that were replicable by other labs this bigfoot mystery wouldve been solved. Of course that didnt happen, cause it obviously wasn’t the results they wanted the tv viewer to think they were. If Disotell scientifically had truly dna results for bigfoot, it would be done by a reputable university and have credibility and would be news globally and change the history of human evolution etc. Now back to Ketchum, she is biased, she runs a terrible business (according to bbb) and her results will come with much skepticism. If Erickson truly believes he has real bigfoot dna, he would be submitting to multiple labs and well credentialed universities and scientists, not some veterinarian in Texas who runs a small business and has bad business ethics. Just my two cents…..

  17. CDC responds:

    @Greg102

    Hey Greg, are you really Todd Disotell? I can’t believe that guy has a fan anywhere, so maybe it is you Todd :)

    I respect your opinion, I simply look at it as an ethics call.

    If a Judge lost millions to an investor, and that investor came before him in court in a case, then an honest judge would ask for recusal from that case on the grounds that he may have a biased opinion, having lost money personally from that same investor and believing that the investor was dishonest. Ethics.

    If you do not believe a Bigfoot type creature exists, then when a potential Bigfoot sample comes to your lab, you should hand it over to some one who has no opinion and will only look at the sample. Ethics.

    You stated that with bias in being a Bigfoot believer a DNA expert might “over analyze” samples trying to find the results they want. Then to be consistent, you would have to be ethical and say that any Bigfoot skeptics may, “under analyze” samples sent in because in their opinion it can’t be Bigfoot DNA because Bigfoot does not exist…in fact, that’s what many people believe Todd Disotell did, which led to Dr Nelson trying himself.

    Now Greg, you made a claim that Dr Ketchum is “biased”, and that she runs a “terrible business”. By making those claims Craig, you have the burden of proof to prove it.

    DNA Diagnostics Inc has been around since 1985 when it began as Shelterwood Laboratories. Can you show proof how a “terrible business” can stay in business for 26 years?

    DNA Diagnostics is not a member of the Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau is being accused by business owners of running a “pay for play” scheme in which A plus ratings are awarded to those who pay membership fees, and F ratings used to punish those who don’t.

    Look up all the complaints and potential lawsuits against the Better Business Bureau, and see for yourself…maybe you should have done that before taking their word against Dr Ketchum. It’s called examining the evidence.

    You also claim Dr Ketchum is biased, well, I would suggest you look at maybe some old youtube videos where she states up front that she did not believe a Bigfoot type animal did exist…until she examined the DNA results from samples sent in to her. If she has actual scientific proof, then she is not being biased, she is stating scientific fact.

    Todd Disotell falls into that Matt Moneymaker category where he’s just a annoying guy and you don’t want to see him win. I am truly hoping for Bigfoot being proved to exist just to see the look on Todd Disotel’s face when he gets the news he was wrong.

    Ethically, I am hoping any Bigfoot samples be taken to neutral lab for any results. But science is science Greg, if Dr Ketchum finds anything, she will have to prove it.

    It is actually a win/win situation if Dr Ketchum has actual DNA evidence of a Bigfoot type creature…a great discovery for science, and Todd Disotell will be proven wrong.

  18. wolfatrest responds:

    You should WANT a skeptic to be testing your evidence. If you have someone doing it that is an avowed believer then their and your credibility is severely compromised. Unless you think Disotell would deliberately sabotage the results then he would definitely be one of the people to do so. Personally I’d suggest someone out of the country with no interest one way or the other.

  19. L Surface responds:

    It’s very hard to understand why CW would launch a one-sided dirt digging campaign against one of the very few scientists who are willing to help.

  20. Craig Woolheater responds:

    L Surface,

    I didn’t launch anything. I checked her BBB report, just as any person is able to do.

    I then simply asked:

    There are more complaints, all generally saying the same thing.

    Are we detecting a pattern here.

    Will we ever see the Sasquatch DNA test results?

  21. RWRidley responds:

    I posit the theory that she’s neglecting her other clients because she’s spending all her time trying to identify and sequence Bigfoot DNA. According to Dave Paulides she’s tested 100s of samples.

    BTW – My theory is totally unfounded.

  22. shownuff responds:

    Craig,

    I can see how many people would take this article as you bashing Dr. Ketchum’s business because of how you worded the title and backed it up with negative BBB reports. People sending in bad DNA samples sent in from across the world, then demand results when they were told the samples were going to be hard to extract. Then these people make complaints? Comparing a small business to a DNA lab which I do not consider a small business is not the same. I do not think I can run a DNA lab out of my garage. BBB is a useful tool but like all alphabetical agencies you have to take there info with a grain a salt. All can be manipulated to work with you or against you. Depending what your services are. And bringing up what school people are from means nothing to me anymore. Plenty of people come from Harvard or Yale or whatever college. Does not mean they can be trusted. I do want to add this though. I am really getting the feeling that Bigfoot/Sasquatch/NAPES is a subject that will probably never get proven to exist. Because even if someone brings forth DNA or a paper or Body, they will be ridiculed. It is like becoming a waste of time to talk Bigfoot anything these days. I have seen documentaries which I would have to look for again, stating that they have a undiscovered species of ape. That is it. Not saying it is a Bigfoot. Just a undiscovered ape. I wonder why papers were not written up on these DNA samples. It is almost like people have to trick DNA labs by saying they need to know what Dog breed does this or that DNA sample come from? Then they will send back a result saying it is not a Dog it is a relative of a APE. Can someone try this technique. Or has been tried already and labs are aware. It seems we cant trust anything these days.

  23. Craig Woolheater responds:

    shownuff,

    The title of my post ends with a question mark, thus it means I am asking a question, not making a statement.

    The BBB has given her a rating of F based on her company’s ability to deal with consumer complaints, nothing more.

    I am asking if people believe that has any influence on the Bigfoot DNA work she is doing.

  24. Paul78 responds:

    It seems that a lot of people want Dr Ketchum to be a great hope and are trying their best to defend the complaints against her, whether BBB has has complaints to, this does not diguise the fact that Ketchum’s lab has had these complaints which do affect her reputation and ability to be trusted to run any tests securely.

    Also i noticed that its a business she is running, personally if i wanted samples tested i’d be going to a reputable academic lab where i didn’t have to worry about it being business dominated. Again everyone has overlooked with these complaints you have the comments on 100% female DNA which if was read in a journal i know the academics i know would say contamination straight away.

  25. j stewart responds:

    Anyone with an ax to grind can make any report they want to the BBB. I can make bad reports on any business just because im mad or whatever. When your in the spot light there will always be those who wish to soil your reputation. Just seems odd that those with clearly tarnished reputations get weekly stories and are often defended by the admins while those attempting to do actual scientific research and with no PROVEN discredits get slammed. Remember unless you have actual proof that any one of the people who reported to the BBB was telling the truth then its just HEARSAY. I looked it up and almost every report was from the same group of cat breeders who were unhappy with the time frame. its not as simple as looking at a slide under a microscope and saying there it is. Its a double blind study if you know what that is. Then you have a ton of legal issues you must weed through before the Bigfoot DNA reports can be released. I live 10 miles from Dr Ketchum and can tell you first hand she has a rock solid reputation with anyone I know who has done business with her or knows her including myself. Maybe we should all make some reports to the BBB on everyone we dont like and see if they get slammed on a forum.

  26. Paul78 responds:

    j stewart:

    So what your saying is that all the people who have made a complaint are liars out to ruin her? That’s one hell of a conspiracy?

    Also if you know her and have many friends who have done business with her, can’t you get in touch with her and see whats going on?

  27. Greg102 responds:

    @CDC
    you figured me out. my user name is greg102 but my name is Todd lol. seriously no I’m not Todd, mainly because I don’t have a mohawk. But seriously i don’t see what your beef is with Todd Disotell? He hasn’t shown any type of unethical behavior, and he is with a very prestigious university. This guy isn’t going to “sabotage” a real bigfoot DNA sample, so that he can keep the world from this major discovery some day. He has admittedly said that he hopes the real deal comes in someday. This guy is a professor as well, you think he’s going to jeopardize his research and tenure to somehow make sure the world isn’t aware of bigfoot DNA if it comes into his lab? Are you mad because he hasn’t been able to extract DNA from the one monsterquest episode? Dr. Nelson got some vague sample, claiming one base pair off of human, but it was obviously bogus or contamination because it never went anywhere….So was Disotell right in this case? obviously he was, otherwise you would’ve seen Dr. Nelson on the front page of the newspaper with the biggest discovery of human kind.

    Or are you upset that on Nat Geo is it real episode he proved the skull that Igor Burtsev had was 100% human, and not some human/bigfoot hybrid child from Russia?

    Basically if I was in possession of bigfoot DNA, it would be sent to prestigious universities and credible labs, not a vet who opened up her own dna business who has a bad track record with the BBB. If you got the real deal dna, you go with the best scientists, and you have credibility and there are none of these typical crypto games when it comes to evidence. At the end of the day, I’m afraid that the dna results Ketchum gets is going to be very vague, mysterious, or like the 100% female like the leaked sample. She isn’t going to make world news that’s for sure. I’m hoping for the best obviously, but my common sense tells me this isn’t going to pan out.

  28. norman-uk responds:

    Not to have bias, prejudice or preferences is to be robotic and to have them is to be human. There is no good reason however why Dr Melba or Dr Tod, or anyone else, cannot deal with their particular perspectives, be objective and get right results.

    Unfortunately, from his own mouth Tod Disotell has made it clear that he is a scoffing sceptic and this has compromised his procedures and methods to such an extent that he is not likely to get any meaningful imformation from potential cryptid DNA samples. Nor has he done so. Therefore in my opinion he is the last person to ask to do the bigfoot tests.

    Dr Ketchum is plainly not the reverse, an extreme advocate blindly turning out results that many want. She appears much more balanced and particularly well qualified and civil with it. Its fortunate that she has undertaken to do the DNA analysis and we should not heed those who get instant cold feet and antipathy at the thought of somebody actually getting a result. This is a breathe of fresh air for cryptozoology.

  29. georgem responds:

    J Stewart, I understand your comments and where you a coming from. I hope Ketchum runs a good DNA lab that produces accurate reports. This Bigfoot DNA is a big deal and an important science endeavor.

    So what happened? You say all of the people in the cat group ganged up on her lab just to push her to an F rating.
    If true then out of the 16 complaints how many are from the cat group?

    I think the BBB would figure this type of gang attack. Let’s hope her testing record is an A, and she just needs some business classes.

  30. georgem responds:

    Greg102 is Todd Disotell the DNA researcher with a mohawk?

  31. Nominay responds:

    Getting bogged down in Bigfoot dna and body parts is like opening up an Egyptian tomb – you’ll get hexed.

  32. AZCRO_ALEX responds:

    @ Paul78 You say; “Also if you know her and have many friends who have done business with her, can’t you get in touch with her and see whats going on?”

    Isn’t that the job of any good journalist that writes an article like this? To get the view of the person they are making judgments and claims against, and at least giving them a fair chance to answer your questions. If you do anything but the same, isn’t this just a biased one sided attack and basically a form of Yellow Journalism.

    I’m not attacking Craig either I’m just asking the question. Craig knows I have a relationship with Dr Ketchum, and I believe he knows others that are working with her also. I don’t see anywhere where he says he tried to get her side of the story or asked one of us to get in touch with her for him. That seems to me to make this more of a slam then a real story. Come on where’s that real research and honest journalism that this place is known for?

    Alex

    I believe the Dr answers the questions about the Cat study

  33. AZCRO_ALEX responds:

    BTW, I recently asked Todd what he thought of Melba Ketchum, I think his response was something to the effect of “I would love to work with her”! Todd, if I am wrong feel free to correct me?

    I think Todd’s Credentials speak for themselves, even if he is a skeptic. If he thinks highly of her and her science, I think that speaks volumes.

  34. j stewart responds:

    I’m not saying every complaint is a lie but if you read them carefully you can already weed out the ones with little merit. Many of those whose results were held up were due to them not sending in a good sample or the sample they sent was so degraded that it took quite a long time to extract a viable testing sample. Next I know one of the complainers personally and he is less than credible. I will not say which one but one is a convicted felon who is known for shady dealings here in East Texas and has sold more than one horse that wasn’t what he claimed. So if the word of a convicted felon carries more weight than Dr Ketchum, it’s a strange world in deed. I could contact Dr Ketchum and I just may in order for her to have a chance to respond. But she is a very busy woman.

  35. JC JOHNSON responds:

    I too find it hard to believe that a “bad” business could be in operation since 1985? For the most part here, it appears that DNA Diagnostics got in a “Cat” fight, with the “Cat” club, or in some cases the people were not satisfied with the results, or getting them back in their own perceived timely matter. There are no guarantees you will will get the results you had hoped for, just the facts.

    It would seem in this final hour, there are those of you who would like to reinvent the circumstances and people involved in this study? Too late. The i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. The hundreds of samples have been sent out for a double blind engagement, and it comes back good.

    There are indeed other cryptids out there to discover. Start small, maybe get your hands on some Chupacabra DNA? Then from there those of you who will, can appoint your own experts, scientists, and PHD’s.

  36. norman-uk responds:

    I can’t see it is that relevant if someone thinks that Dr Ketchum has not got everything quite right on the business side. It is a red herring and one needs to focus on the her work, which has a good pedigree and how it relates to resolving the magic and mystery of Bigfoot. The work is I understand ongoing and promises a long awaited breakthrough. I hope nothing rocks the boat such as to sink it !

    When results are published Dr Ketchum will no doubt will be attacked even villified which seems to be part of the course. Probably there will be flaws and many questions as there are bound to be until maybe in say 10 years a lot more of the details have been worked out. I am sure she will see this through.

    This is a link to Todd Distotell’s appearance on monstertalk which if listened to thoughtfully should demonstrate why it would be a mistake to get him to do analysis on cryptid samples. That is until its all been worked out by others.

    Its worth putting yourself momentarily in the boots of those who get the bigfoot samples. They scour North America and the world at great expense and often at significant personal risk for these samples, Adam Davies for example. Why would they want them to go to a lab where only negative results have ever been found and where demonstrably their efforts and samples can be disrespected without any worthwhile result. They now have the opportunity to take them elsewhere and now get interesting outcomes with appreciation?

    The important background to this situation is that there is powerful evidence for bigfoot being a real manimal and being so DNA is available and in human terms almost everlasting. So the DNA is there and it can be analysed and its long overdue! A body part would be valuable but within the DNA is everything we need to know even if we cannot access it all at present

  37. wildphotographer responds:

    What astounds me is that this so called research community, instead of rallying behind those who seek truth in matters such as DNA, regularly kills and eats those who dare to differ with them. You have met the enemy, “bigfooters” and it is you.

  38. AZCRO_ALEX responds:

    Ay! It’s great to see the tide turning here with the great Cryptomundians.

    Great posts guys!

    Dr Ketchum explained to me what happened in these situations. Basically it was almost as Jeff suggested. The situations are not up for discussion due to legal reasons.

    What happened was just something that happens when certain parties don’t understand what they are asking for, and what is capable with DNA testing.

    However like JC says if these are the only complaints about her in the 1000’s of business dealings since 1985, I would think it’s not a bad record. What she deals in is not as cut and dry as fixing a new Faucet, or even setting up the plumbing in a whole house.

    You have a goal and a end point, but you can’t always get there, that is the nature of DNA or more so, the samples that Science tries to get the DNA from. It doesn’t always happen, and it doesn’t always say what you want it to say. When people don’t get what they want, they sometimes get mad.

    The study is moving along… Come on guys, some of the delay may be my fault and not hers. The sample that I represent and have on and off since the start of the study, we had difficulty getting signed in. We all know that is the sample that came through those men that have been talking allot. Larry the property owner, where the sample came from, got disenchanted with all involved. Because of some dealings with JB, RS and AE… He didn’t know who to trust, including DR K. When we got him secure again in all of us. He agreed to let his sample be involved.

    Now, lets let Melba do her work. There may be other samples in the same situation, I won’t speak for anything but mine/Larry’s. However it seems to me she can’t come out with her study, until she knows what samples are going to be in the study. As I have said in the past until you have signed into the study. Your samples can’t be included. I have offered to help in many ways and will continue to do so as needed. Right now, it’s just time to let her do her thing.

    What we all are doing is distracting her from her goal, she can’t watch us and complete what she’s doing at the same time.

    Let’s let her finish, let’s help her finish, then afterwards we can have the biggest most glorious debate ever thought out… We can do it right her or on BFF or my little AZCRO FORUM, and all of the above.

    We can debate if her study is credible! We can debate if her study is done with good science. We can debate if she is a good scientist and if she picked the most highly sought after institutions to get on board and help with the testing and peer review. I think you will all be very impressed!

    The best minds in the country are involved with this and those that aren’t want to be! (See my post on Todd’s Comment about Melba, made to me personally).

    This is something she is doing for all of us. If you (and I mean any of us/you) had a sample and wanted it included this would be done for you too. So isn’t this study really and truly for all of us? I think it is! This is a good lady who’s trying very hard to be everything for everybody, lets let her work!

    Best Wishes

  39. SB responds:

    The BBB is a joke and I don’t know anyone who takes it seriously.

    What is happening is that individuals who didn’t get on board with this study, for whatever reason and in whatever manner, now realize that they missed the boat. The boat has left the dock without them. NOW these bitter, jealous people are trying desperately to sink the boat with false arguments and rumor, but the boat is already far out to sea.

    Bon voyage.

  40. wildphotographer responds:

    To Alex: I admire your approach from the high road, but be advised that there are may here that would push you off, letting you fall on the rocks below. As another person explained to me; “…the DNA findings bring out the Bigfoot Magpies who will rally to suppress the information. Yet they cannot stop it…it is coming.” As JC put it, “…the train has left the station.” Disagreeing with that doesn’t give anyone here the right to defame anyone. Dr. Ketchum told me that she is extremely hurt and upset by what Woolheater said, and that the incident grew out of a case involving a cat, a case in which the clients didn’t pay. So, she refused to spend her time on something she wasn’t getting paid for. The BBB is an organized, quasi-legal form of the old protection racket, “pay me and I’ll see to it that your business doesn’t burn down. Don’t pay me, well…” Woolheater’s use of this information, which should be private as it is NOT under any government mandate or “sunshine law” and is not public record, is reprehensible and should be retracted and an apology issued to Ketchum. Generating hits on Cryptomundo’s counter on the backs of honest people is underhanded at best. Yet, it is done all the time. I will stand behind Ketchum and I urge ALL here to do the same.

  41. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Mr. Johnsen,

    You say:

    Woolheater’s use of this information, which should be private as it is NOT under any government mandate or “sunshine law” and is not public record, is reprehensible and should be retracted and an apology issued to Ketchum. Generating hits on Cryptomundo’s counter on the backs of honest people is underhanded at best. Yet, it is done all the time. I will stand behind Ketchum and I urge ALL here to do the same.wildphotographer

    You are kidding me, right?

    A company’s BBB rating is public information.

    Don’t think so? Pull up the BBB website and do a search for DNA Diagnostics in Timpson, TX.

    What I posted is there for any and all to see.

    As far as my comments, here is what I said:

    So we have a DNA study that folks have been awaiting the results for some time.

    Looks like we aren’t the only ones.

    and

    There are more complaints, all generally saying the same thing.

    Are we detecting a pattern here?

    Will we ever see the Sasquatch DNA test results?

    I merely reposted public information and asked people’s thoughts.

    That hardly warrants a retraction or an apology.

    As far as this statement of yours:

    Dr. Ketchum told me that she is extremely hurt and upset by what Woolheater said, and that the incident grew out of a case involving a cat, a case in which the clients didn’t pay.wildphotographer

    If Dr. Ketchum was extremely hurt and upset and wanted a retraction and/or apology, she knows how to reach me, she’s a facebook friend.

    It won’t be at your request or demand, of that, you can be assured.

  42. wildphotographer responds:

    There is a difference between public information and information that should be made public, Woolheater. These are private dealings with the client in BBB files. You and your gang of henchmen here make a regular practice of defaming by innuendo and it smells. I have asked Coleman for the owners’ contact info for this miserable blog…he has yet to reply. So, in public, I am asking you. If I am banned, or the information isn’t provided then the rest will, I promise, be history.

    Site Owner Commentary:

    Normally a comment of this sort would not be posted.

    Normally it would be deleted and the user would be banned.

    I just want to let folks know what kind of character John L. Johnsen of Grendel Films is.

    He will not be commenting further and any mention of his name will be stricken from your comment, or will cause your comment to be deleted.

  43. wildphotographer responds:

    So, if public information is public, here is another public record:
    Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
    Domain Name: CRYPTOMUNDO.COM
    Created on: 07-Apr-05
    Expires on: 07-Apr-12
    Last Updated on: 08-Apr-11

    Administrative Contact:
    Woolheater, Craig craig@cryptomundo.com
    Cryptomundo, Inc.
    1906 Lone Star Rd.
    Suite A
    Mansfield, Texas 76063
    United States
    +1.8174775202 Fax — +1.8174772414

    Technical Contact:
    Woolheater, Craig craig@cryptomundo.com
    Cryptomundo, Inc.
    1906 Lone Star Rd.
    Suite A
    Mansfield, Texas 76063
    United States
    +1.8174775202 Fax — +1.8174772414

    Domain servers in listed order:
    NS1.CRYPTOMUNDO.COM
    NS2.CRYPTOMUNDO.COM

    Registry Status: clientDeleteProhibited
    Registry Status: clientRenewProhibited
    Registry Status: clientTransferProhibited
    Registry Status: clientUpdateProhibited

    Site Owner Commentary:

    Normally a comment of this sort would not be posted.

    Normally it would be deleted and the user would be banned.

    I just want to let folks know what kind of character John L. Johnsen of Grendel Films is.

    He will not be commenting further and any mention of his name will be stricken from your comment, or will cause your comment to be deleted.

  44. bigfoots responds:

    @ Craig

    well while all bbb franchises may not be the same they all use the same flawed rating system.
    it is EXTREMELY misleading and inaccurate…

    How do they have any business giving a rating when all they do is catalog complaints?..
    it doesn’t even matter if the person complaining is a customer..or the complaint holds any water..it is still cataloged.
    they also do not factor in customer volume..

    so if your not tracking customer volume and you just count complaints whether they are valid or not you have no business assigning a rating..period..

    Wasn’t it the Ritz Carlton Hotels who had an F rating for 2 complaints?
    2 complaints out of literally millions of customers…

    And as I also point it if they pay for accreditation that is wiped and they will start with an A Rating..

    So many things wrong with how the BBB does things..
    My point and opinion was and still is that the BBB is not to be respected…
    I Give the BBB an F-

  45. Red Earth White Lies responds:

    Particular media outlets are understood as vetted by the CIA, so nothing is going to be aired that doesn’t toe the party line (more or less)… and we KNOW what the party line is for the “peons”

    Moving along elsewhere, perhaps the Lab in question does have its priorities in order sorta, as any complaint appears to coincide within the time interval for hundreds of incoming NAPE samples requiring more thorough testing?

    For all anybody here knows someone could have insisted the results say pangolian, while the sender insisted ankylosaurus.

    Who knows about such complaints?

  46. flame821 responds:

    Looks like MOST of those complaints were from 09-10 (save the one from Jan ’11 regarding the horse and I believe this fellow was alluded to as a less than upstanding fellow).

    From working in the medical field I can tell you straight out one bad tech, or receptionist, or mail clerk can translate into heaps of trouble for the unit as a whole. If they had ONE person who was not logging in samples correctly it could put a huge monkey wrench into the system.

    I don’t know Dr Ketchum either professionally or personally but I’m willing to wait until the paper comes out to render my decision, whether that paper comes out this year or 5 years from now. Until the facts are presented its nothing but guesses on our parts anyway.

    But I do give a ‘here, here’ for having any DNA results verified by at least two other labs. Its fairly standard to have questionable or unusual results verified by blind studies, just to be certain no mistakes or contamination has occurred.

    Oh and a PS to Mr Soto who appears to be answering for the DNA lab. A better grasp of the English language would be helpful. The grammar and spelling in some of those replies were not ‘professional grade’ in the least.

  47. AZCRO_ALEX responds:

    Craig, Dr Ketchum also told me she is hurt by all the bashing and criticism. She can’t comment on the individual cases due to legal issues as I said. but any negative talk is extremely painful to her. I have spoke to her often where she has been upset.

    That is the truth!

    She usually doesn’t contact anyone, unless they contact her first. I asked her if you tried to contact her before you wrote this article and she said you didn’t?

    As I said; I believe any time you write this kind of article, that is the approach that should be taking. Usually if you’re story holds any water the person or business will refuse to talk to you anyways, and make your story even better.

    If they feel they are right, they will talk to you (as much as they can), and that will also enhance your story. It will also make you look more professional and truthful.

    Best Wishes to all,



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