Melba Ketchum Rebuttal

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 2nd, 2013

Melba Ketchum counters Eric Berger’s comments regarding her DNA results published in his Houston Chronicle SciGuy column.

In response to the latest round of criticism. 1. We did give these folks access to the genomes. 2. They only pulled random sequences and did not look at the whole genomes. The person from UT that did our analysis told me that he never got all of the raw data uploaded to the second lab due to computer problems on the receiving lab’s end. 2. I offered raw DNA to this lab so they could extract and sequence themselves. They would not even give the courtesy of a reply. 3. They refused to even speak with me on the phone. The entire thing was completely and totally unprofessional. 4. They never tried to check the analysis done at the University of Texas even though the bioinformatics person put himself at their disposal.

What findings they gave were impossible since both of our labs would have had to extract feces to obtain these results. If it had been feces, we would not have been able to obtain the preliminary results that we got prior to the genomes. After all, they were the same extractions. You can’t get feces from tissue, blood and saliva. If we did extract feces, the quality scores would not have been this high. That is in the literature. This leads to a couple of possibilities. One, there is a conspiracy to suppress our findings. Two, they just didn’t care and didn’t believe that there is even the possibility that Sasquatch exists and therefore just wanted to be done with it because they had other projects. Three, they themselves suppressed it for fear that their careers would be damaged. The things that I know for sure are that it was not an adequate analysis, they did not even try to double check or recreate our findings. If they really had an interest, they would have jumped at the chance to resequence the raw samples. Funny thing, I offered the samples to three other places also and nobody was willing to test. Something is just not right. I also offered several people an opportunity to visit a habituation site including this reporter and his lab people so they could have a sighting. Of course they didn’t want that either. Bottom line, nobody except a few of you here even care about the truth. Most would rather perpetuate that BF is a myth or an ape.Melba Ketchum posted via facebook

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.

12 Responses to “Melba Ketchum Rebuttal”

  1. chewbaccalacca responds:

    I’m not convinced by Ketchum’s findings, but I’m just as wary of the debunkers piling on her, too. Something’s fishy on all sides of this thing.

  2. Scopi responds:

    “Habituation site”? There’s a place where Bigfoots build up a tolerance to being Bigfoots?

  3. springheeledjack responds:

    ketchum burned herself with me with the website and charging money for her answers. She has done pretty much everything to keep from publishing reliable findings. Even if she were right, it would have to come from someone else before I’d buy in. There’s been too much hokum and chicanery.

  4. Iceman responds:

    I smell a conspiracy (theory).

  5. Goodfoot responds:


    I feel much the same. When mainstream scientists have so much they feel they have to protect, well, science takes a back seat all too often.

    This is not the end of the world. And it is not the end of Bigfoot. This, I betcha, would be a huge laugh to them.

  6. SirWilhelm responds:


    ha·bit·u·a·tion (h-bch-shn)
    1. The process of habituating or the state of being habituated.

    a. Physiological tolerance to a drug resulting from repeated use.

    b. Psychological dependence on a drug.

    3. Psychology The decline of a conditioned response following repeated exposure to the conditioned stimulus.

    She was using the number 1 definition.

    I would prefer the word “habitation” as being more accurate. Not sure why she chose that word.

  7. Peltboy25 responds:

    Um…. if Ketchum has access to a “habituation site” where she can pretty much guarantee a sighting…. why not scrap the test tubes and centrifuges and just take some really reliable video?

  8. Iceman responds:

    Peltboy25: Or better yet, tranquilize one and bring it in for study. As to releasing it, my answer would be determined by whether there’s testing (which would be necessary, in order to preserve the species), that cannot be done, without first having to destroy it. I certainly wouldn’t want to see it waste away in captivity.

  9. Krezz responds:

    I’m with chewbaccalacca (love your user name BTW) on this one. Melba has adequately responded to the criticism. Unless I misread the article, the guy who performed the retest knew it was alleged Bigfoot DNA going in. Too easy to end up with a biased result. Why not a blind study? I work in the medical field. I’ve seen many a doctor fall into the trap of judging things from face value. That may work in 80% of cases, but there’s that 20% where you need to dig a little deeper and look a little closer to find the answer. Not saying that Berger’s guy is a slacker but, Ketchum’s work has caused so much controversy. How do you give an honest opinion when your career is on the line? I imagine it would be the death knell for any well-known scientist to even get involved. What happens if the data bears out? Do you support Ketchum and risk your livelihood? I will agree that the website thing and the “habituation” site are a bit sketchy on her part. That word annoys me as well, but it is regularly used in Bigfootery. I picture a rather bland bit of forest where the Squatchy junkies can get their fix, and a clean needle exchange program set up by the Forestry Service, on the down low, of course.

  10. PoeticsOfBigfoot responds:

    A sighting wouldn’t be as conclusive as lab results. She is right to avoid visual documentation. It would compromise her work.

  11. Ploughboy responds:

    Meh, nothing monumental (in the eyes of SCIENCE!) is likely to be salvaged from the mini-drama that is Ketchum’s study. If it has any value, it will only be when/if future studies confirm the findings. Duplication is all that matters. Duplication means “do again what was done previously, and get the same results.” I’m at least suspicious that the subsequent studies did not fulfill this requirement. If Mr. Sykes comes up with any findings remotely similar to Ketchums? Oh yeah, that is gonna ring a few bells around here.

    Just to take up Ketchum’s brief for a second though, photos from an habituation sight, as suggested, are never going to be given credibility, and she well knows it. I’ve often thought, the failing of most putative Sasquatch photos/film is they are either too bad, or too good. If they are blurry, they are blobsquatches. If they are clear, they are hoaxes. At least that is my impression of the repeated reactions to both kinds. And, there is no “just right” in this continuum. Photos don’t convince anyone, and that problem is only getting more acute as photo manipulation technology gets better.

  12. NMRNG responds:

    Tough call here.

    I find Ketchum’s claim that sasquatch is the product of a female human mating with an unknown large bipedal ape 15,000 ago to be implausible to the point of being nearly ridiculous.

    On the other hand, this Berger fellow seems biased and partial to the point that it impacts his credibility – one can call out a potential phony (at least one with more credibility than Rick Dyer) without the inflammatory language. Not to mention his supposedly world-renowned expert’s alleged request to remain anonymous seems a bit convenient. What damage could there be to his reputation? If his tests reveal a genuine new species, he gets a significant portion of the credit. If his tests reveal misidentification or a hoax, how does that negatively impact him for revealing the truth? He could shrug his shoulders, smile, say “I’ve always found the cryptozoology thing to be interesting but lacking in proof. When I heard of what has been described as the first real proof of bigfoot, I was intrigued and I did the test as a bit of a hobby-like study. Sadly, my cynic’s perspective continues to be the sound position to hold.” No reasonable person in the scientific community would think less of him.

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