Leila Hadj-Chikh Addresses Todd Disotell With Ketchum

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 24th, 2013

Leila Hadj-Chikh, PhD in Evolutionary Biology, was hired by Adrian Erickson and was a member of The Erickson Project living onsite for years where the Matilda footage was obtained in rural Kentucky.

The following exchange is from Dr. Melba Ketchum’s public Facebook page:

Hi, Melba. A friend informed me that an email I’d written to Todd Disotell had been posted on your Facebook page, and that some bad things were being said about him. I just want to correct the record:

1) Todd didn’t destroy any of Adrian’s samples. I went to NYU personally and picked up the remaining samples from his lab on Thursday, April 1, 2010. These consisted of two extractions and a glass shard. I kept them in a freezer over the weekend because you were not going to be in the lab the next day (Good Friday), but I sent them to you via FedEx Overnight on the following Monday (April 5).

2) Todd never told me that the sample was hoaxed; he just said it was human.

3) With regard to the timeline of analyses, I sent Todd’s lab and the PaleoDNA Lab separate samples on the same day, and we got results from PaleoDNA Lab first, not second.

4) With regard to Adrian being upset at Todd because he “destroyed the sample,” I think this was with respect to a sample collected by Owen Caddy in 2003, which Todd had also analyzed. Adrian had hoped that some of this sample was still remaining and could be reanalyzed, but Todd’s lab didn’t seem to have any of it remaining in 2010 when I was there. His postdoc very kindly helped me look for it among their samples, but we couldn’t find it, so it might have been used up in the original analysis.

Todd’s behavior was aboveboard in every way, and I’m grateful for his willingness to analyze such samples to begin with. As you know, many scientists are not so open-minded.

I hope this clears things up!Leila Hadj-Chikh

Hi, Leila. I never received a glass shard nor extractions from New York University. I only received extractions directly from PaleoLabs. When I asked Adrian, what I wrote is what he told me transpired. So you need to take it up with Adrian. The fact remains that Disotell got human results from Matilda’s blood, and it was the same haplogroup we got, as per your email Adrian sent me.

If I had those extractions and the shard, we would have had enough DNA to do a full genome on Matilda, so not having them is very disappointing.Melba Ketchum

Check your email records for this period (March 25 to April 5, 2010) and you should find our correspondence about the samples I was picking up from NYU, along with the other samples I sent you. I have copies of these emails if you need them.Leila Hadj-Chikh

I found your emails so I do apologize but I also checked our log of samples received and there is no record of receipt of those samples. If you sent them, they never arrived. I also would have remembered having them because I definitely remember the Paleo Labs extractions that they sent me directly. As far as your conversation with Adrian that he repeated to me, then you need to take it up with him.

What were the results of the other sample that Adrian submitted? Human?

I will ask Adrian also although I believe I remember his answer was also human.

Disotell may have been ok with you but he dismissed the study out of hand before he ever read it, I have the printed quotes. Then he called the study “crazy” on Joe Rogan. I hardly call that professional. That means he is calling about a dozen accredi…See More

If you have any other questions or want to discuss this further, please email me since obviously you still have my email address or you can call me, either one.Melba Ketchum

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.

5 Responses to “Leila Hadj-Chikh Addresses Todd Disotell With Ketchum”

  1. Hapa responds:

    Sounds almost like they are having a little trouble in paradise. Ketchum saying “You obviously have my email” in that last section hints as such.

    I hope this Erickson Project and DNA study does not damage Dr. Hadj-Chikh’s career. There is a lot of red flags raised over this project, enough to damage reputations. Maybe, just maybe, there is something to the whole thing, but it seems unlikely.

  2. DWA responds:

    Well nothing here is making sasquatch more real to me, that’s for sure.

  3. DWA responds:


    if I’d only known I’d be screaming LEILA: STAY AWAY FROM THIS SCIENTIFIC TAR PIT!

    Read her Foreword to Bindernagel’s The Discovery of the Sasquatch.

    That’s the Leila I prefer.

  4. mick responds:

    I keep hearing about how much money folks like the Melba and the Erickson project invest in their “research”. Can anybody give a reasonable explanation of why they can’t afford a cameraman who can take a video that’s even 20% as clear as the pictures that we see on every nature oriented program on television on a daily basis? Seriously, the folks from the Erickson project can’t produce a clear video from ten feet away, even though Melba tells us that she could lead anybody who is interested in finding a bigfoot in about three days.

    Sorry guys, but when you buy this kind of nonsense year after year, you forfeit the right to demand that anybody, from Oxford to middle school take you seriously. I know that this doesn’t apply to everybody here, but the fact of the matter is, people like (fill in the names yourself, bigfoot conmen are notoriously litigious) are doing more to harm the possibility that the scientific community will ever take the possibility of a huge unknown primate inhabiting most of North America seriously.

  5. AreWeThereYeti responds:

    Re: mick’s comment:

    Hey, Sasquatch Ontario guys! You paying attention…?

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