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“No Serious Scientist” Treats “Yeti As A Worthy Research Project”: Really?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 25th, 2012

It was a huge week with hope anew that a serious DNA study might display good results in the forthcoming months for the quest for hairy hominoids.

However, with the good, there is always the bad, usually comments from people not connected to the discussed study, who have hardly researched the matter.

Eastern Canadian Sasquatch, as drawn by Harry Trumbore, for The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates.

One of the worst was a highlight in an article entitled, “Scientists on hunt for Bigfoot to test DNA in hair samples.”

In that news item, the media ended with the following, which they summarized in the subheadline, “Critic says ‘no serious scientist’ would undertake such research”:

David Frayer, a professor of biological anthropology at Kansas University, told The Associated Press in an email that “No serious scientist [would] treat Yeti as a worthy research project.”

He said previous tests on supposed Yeti hairs have already been done — “and they turned out to be from a bison.”

Frayer’s reference to the bison hair is about only ONE event, the Teslin hair sample found on a doorframe after a Sasquatch was seen in a yard on an Alberta native homestead, in 2005. (See here.) Personally, I consider this to have been an honest mistake after someone shook a buffalo rug, while cleaning their home. The hair sample is now housed in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

The best rebuttal directly to Frayer said it well here:

++++++
Resologist
2012/05/24
at 8:55 AM ET

Why does the Associated Press, (and CBC News which published this news article), find it necessary to include a criticism that “no serious scientist” would research the Yeti?
Professor Frayer should know this isn’t true.
Any physical anthropologist or zoologist should know about, (even if they haven’t bothered to read it), Ivan T. Sanderson’s book, Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life.
Professor Frayer, himself, did comparative studies of ancient teeth, (American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 39: 413-426), and came to the conclusion that the Gigantopithecus, was more like humans than apes:
Giganotpithecus blacki, on the other hand, can best be explained as an Asiatic hominoid (an aberrant hominid) which did not use tools, but rather continued to increase in body size as it adapted to the forest conditions. From the number of teeth found in China, it would seem that this specific adaptation (size vs tools) was quite adequate. Survival into the mid-Pleistocene attests to this… The late existence of these large primates proves their effective adaptation through size.”
If Homo erectus hunters did not kill off the Gigantopithecus, (reputed to stand 3 meters tall and weigh 540 kilograms), something might still be found in the mountainous forests that resembles the legendary Yeti and Sasquatch. One of the arguments that Gigantipithecus could not be a Yeti is its identification as an “ape” with a different gait than a “hominid”, (resembling Yeti and Sasquatch sightings), however Professor Frayer’s early research suggests that was wrong.
It’s okay to research ancient teeth and say that those species are extinct, but “no serious scientist” would bother to do an analysis of DNA samples to see if there might be unknown species to be discovered?
Read the book.

+++++++

Meanwhile, Jeff Meldrum has shared some insights, in the wake of the week’s big news:

On Saturday, April 28, [2012] I had lunch with Dr. Bryan Sykes and his lovely wife Ulla, in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Professor Sykes is the author of The Seven Daughters of Eve (2002), which traces the descent of Europeans back to seven women, who lived tens of thousands of years ago. His stop-off in Salt Lake City was part of a book tour for his latest popular title, DNA USA: A Genetic Biography of America. Sykes is a former Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford and a current Fellow of Wolfson College. He is founder of Oxford Ancestors, a genealogical DNA testing firm.
Sykes published the first report on retrieving DNA from ancient bone in Nature, in 1989. He since has been involved in a number of high-profile cases dealing with ancient DNA, including those of Ötzi the Iceman, a natural mummy over 5,000 years old, discovered in the Alps between Austria and Italy, and the Cheddar Man, Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton, nearly 10,000 years old.
Sykes also analyzed hair samples from Bhutan attributed to the Yeti, which seemed to defy DNA identification. Interestingly, during our conversation I learned that further efforts were subsequently successful in determining that the hair originated from bear.
We also discussed the relict hominoid question and the potential for addressing the genetics of the issue. I was pleased to learn of his interest and intentions, first from RHI editorial board member Dr. Anna Nekaris, Reader in Biological Anthropology and Primate Conservation at Oxford Brooks University, who will be collaborating with Sykes on the production of a related television documentary project to include the results of the study. Nekaris’ field research into nocturnal prosimians of southern Asia has brought her into contact with local accounts of, e.g., the Orang Pendek and Mande Barung, two distinct potential relict hominoids. The “Oxford –Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project” is a welcome development.Jeff Meldrum

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


6 Responses to ““No Serious Scientist” Treats “Yeti As A Worthy Research Project”: Really?”

  1. Simon Anglim via Facebook responds:

    Professors Bernard Heuvelmans and John Napier (latter of Imperial College, University of London, a very serious scientific institution), Brigadier Sir John Hunt, etc, etc?

  2. Hapa responds:

    “No serious scientist [would] treat Yeti as a worthy research project.”

    This is so obvious a display of arrogance, ignorance, and (considering his own research into Giganto) hypocrisy that it isn’t funny. Its comparable to some of the words used on both MSNBC and Fox News. This is just as faulty a dismissal of Yeti as Bill Maher’s usual diatribe dismissals against religion (The only differences: Bill Maher does it more often, adds humor, and made a LIEumentary called “Religulous” about his views).

    The statement alone about Yeti hairs turning out to be Bison hairs is dangerously ignorant: Its on par with the News Media criticizing Sarah Palin for saying that the Vice President is the President of the Senate (article 1 section 3 of the US constitution clearly states (in one part of it) that the Vice President IS the president of the senate, and Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11 confirms it by stating that Al Gore, as Vice President, was also “President of the Senate”). Yeti hairs have never been confused with Bison hairs for the simple fact that BISON DO NOT LIVE IN THE HIMALAYAS! Wisents, the Old World Bison, lives in Poland and (I think) Ukraine, but never central Asia! Some DNA samples have proven to be bear, others human, and if i remember correctly, some have proven unknown. Never ever Bison! ARRRGH

    Do people think that we are brainless? That we don’t read? That we don’t think for ourselves?

  3. flame821 responds:

    I preferred the article on Discover. Sykes is quoted as saying, “We won’t know what is there if we don’t bother to look.” All he is suggesting (and, thankfully, doing) is that we take a look at what evidence people have gathered. He wants them to send in descriptions and photos first, after the preliminary descriptions have been gone through he will contact those that seem most promising and ask them to collect DNA via a kit he will send to them. (Actually I do have an issue with having a non-trained person collect DNA, I would prefer someone who understands technique and chain-of-custody to do the collecting)

    But still, between Sykes and Ketchum one of them should pan out sooner or later. Even if all they find is a new species of bear at least we have ‘legitimate’ scientists taking a hard look at the evidence, and isn’t that what we always said we wanted?

    @Hapa

    While I am no fan of Bill Maher in general, (mostly due to his ‘stretching the facts’ to make a more obvious point) I think LIEumentary is going a bit far. (if you want to nail him for a bad movie use Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death).

    If someone wants to belief in something with no need of proof in the ‘real’ world that is entirely their prerogative, but please remember not everyone shares the same version of ‘faith’ and many of us do feel that religion (as opposed to faith) is a con game played against good people by the few who want power and money. This is exactly why I am so happy to see scientist finally say to Crypotozoology “show us what you got” and let the evidence speak for itself.

  4. cryptokellie responds:

    Perhaps some the more “serious” scientists are too busy sniffing out and procuring government grants for their serious = safe, mainstream research. Rocking the boat in research dosen’t payoff until after the wave hits the shore. Can’t live on future discoveries-
    for that, you also need a private sector job.

  5. DWA responds:

    No serious scientist should say what this one did.

    I have said, about 58,945 times on this site alone, that when most scientists open their mouths on hairy hominoids, their utter ignorance is the first thing out.

    Here’s another one.

    Science is about curiosity. When yours is where this guy’s is, you have added but little value to your degree since the day you got it.

    When a scientist scoffs, the public should consider it dereliction of duty. The world will be a better place when that happens.

  6. Hapa responds:

    Flame821:

    Hey man :)

    I used Lieumentary because Bill Maher, like David Frayer, based a lot of his data on mis-information: The Horus-Christ link was the biggest example in the former doc.

    1. Horus was not crucified: crucifixion had not been invented when the Egyptian Book of the Dead was written, and it was invented in Persia.

    2. He wasn’t baptized by Anup the Baptizer (who himself is not found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, though a similar named individual is found in the text who is neither a baptizer nor baptizes Horus),

    3. Horus was not virgin born (Isis slept with Osiris, Horus’ physical daddy, when he was a corpse, he had a fake wooden tallywacker instead of his original, but was otherwise fully biological when the conception happened. Odd for sure, but not virgin. There are virgin births in other myths (Roman Mars for example)

    4. He did not have 12 “disciples”,

    5. the death and resurrection of Horus was not physical like Christ’s (he died physically, the body rotted, he was pure God in the Heavens. No physical resurrection. Plus dying/resurrection for a Sun God (such as Horus) fits Pagan sun religions (which won’t make Horus really exceptional: RA was also a sun god in Egypt, the Supreme God when combined with Amun, but is a far cry from that of Christ in the New Testament.),

    6. Horus never walked on Water (Orion, the giant hunter of Greek Mythology, did, because he was the son of Poseidon), etc.

    here are some links:

    The Leading Religion Writer in Canada … Does He Know What He’s Talking About?

    All About Horus

    Jesus Christ in comparative mythology (Ancient Egypt)

    He based his arguments on flawed research which has never held water with mainstream egyptology. Much like Pseudoskeptics use tactics against some Cryptids that likewise don’t hold water, such as the Yeti-Hairs-All-Proved-To-Be-Bison-Hairs statement.



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