Dr. Anna Nekaris on Ketchum Sasquatch DNA Study

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on March 1st, 2013

Dr. Anna Nekaris, an editorial board member of Dr. Jeff Meldrum’s The Relict Hominoid Inquiry, has offered her thoughts on the Ketchum Sasquatch DNA Study on facebook.

Hi All – this is Anna Nekaris – I don’t post here often but this is an important video about the Melba Ketchum paper – I have said I would write a statement about all that is wrong with the paper, as there is not much that is right, but this nice bearded guy from New Zealand says it all. If you ignore the irritating people laughing and taking the piss, he is spot on with EVERYTHING…it is very thoughtful in fact. It is a shame they are actually so frivolous…as it might put you off. I actually fast forwarded to ten minutes in. He speaks relatively laymen. If you still have any questions about what BLAST or GenBank or over-representation of a chromosome or why it is relevant that we only have ever sequenced the genome of a panda, you can ask, as they are all certainly relevant aspects…and easy to explain….and the bearded chappy helps you along to explain why Melba and colleagues have got it is oh-so-wrong…Dr. Anna Nekaris
Oxford, United Kingdom
Oxford Brookes University
Nocturnal Primate Research Group
Team Bigfootology Academic and Scientific Researcher


The video she is referencing is the Breaking Bio podcast:

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.

20 Responses to “Dr. Anna Nekaris on Ketchum Sasquatch DNA Study”

  1. RWRidley responds:

    Can we really blame them for laughing?

  2. shill responds:

    I wrote this original story and spoke to David Winter who was the bearded chappy in the paper. I also noted the tone and he replies to that in the comments on my post.

  3. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Sharon, I quoted and linked your article in my original post on the Breaking Bio podcast here: Biologists’ Podcast Discussing Ketchum Sasquatch DNA Study.

  4. Degnostik responds:

    Oh, no, not again!

    “Posted by Melba Ketchum
    There are so many arm chair scientists out there criticizing everything so I thought I would address one of the more serious accusations….that of other species contaminating our samples. With a novel species, random sequence will sometimes be obtained with primers meant to amplify a certain locus in a known species (since that locus may not have the same flanking sequences in the novel species). This can either yield “junk DNA” or a coding sequence elsewhere in the unknown species’ genome. When you then BLAST this novel sequence, it can BLAST as similar to some known species, especially if what you have ended up amplifying is not a coding region. This is also true when it comes to human whole genomes. If you just take a random sequence from the raw sequences obtained by next generation sequencing, that very well may be “junk DNA” rather than a coding region and you can get all kinds of other species coming up in the BLAST. Folks should learn their genomics prior to criticizing.”

    Sound like an answer. Any comments?

  5. bigfootbuster responds:

    Re: the Doubtful News link – a comment agreed to by the author by a guy named Phil – “bigfoot is good fun, but the damage being done to science is real”

    So no, Mr. Woolheater, I will not aplogize for criticizing Dr. Ketchum. You may remove my comments if you like – this is your site, but something tells me I might be getting a little too close to home?

    And I stand by my challenge to Loren Coleman, Jeff Meldrum, Dr. Bindernagel and any other purveyor of bigfoot mythology or publicly funded scientist who insists that the plausibility for the existence of bigfoot is worthy (meaning there is real science behind the so-called evidence) of public institutions actually paying for such research.

  6. slappy responds:

    “Folks should learn their genomics prior to criticizing.”????

    i think folks should learn their genomics prior to attempting to write a research paper on it

  7. Craig Woolheater responds:


    I’m not asking you to apologize for criticizing Ketchum.

    I’m just stating that the site’s terms of use will be upheld.

    It’s one thing to say she is practicing bad science.

    It’s an entirely different matter to call her a fraud.

    No personal attacks means just that.

    Are we clear?

  8. Goodfoot responds:

    bigfootbuster: “And I stand by my challenge to Loren Coleman, Jeff Meldrum, Dr. Bindernagel and any other purveyor of bigfoot mythology or publicly funded scientist who insists that the plausibility for the existence of bigfoot is worthy”

    Yeppers…. you’re a challenging sorta guy, all right!.

  9. DWA responds:

    Craig: you’re right.

    And as somebody who I believe used just that term in agreeing, I’ll double down. Bad science can be called. (Has to be.) Fraud – as a name – is, well, libel unless proven, actually.

    Slappy: so funny it hurts, and unfortunately, probably true. (In bounds.)

    RW Ridley: can’t blame anyone for laughing, actually. Unfortunate, that.

    bigfootbuster: The Home of Bad Science among the commenters so far. And I am definitely doubling down on that. Startin’ to sound hostile, too. and…

    You win the argument of facts and logic, when your opponent resorts to name calling. – Steve Kulls, 2010

  10. bobhelferstay responds:

    With everything going back and forth, I really don’t know what to think. Ketchum has done a peer reviewed study and found evidence of a new species. I have no clue why there is so much doubt.

  11. Bill Moss responds:

    It’s a shame the whole thing is turning out to be an embarassment for true Bigfooters everywhere.

  12. bigfootbuster responds:


    “Are we clear”

    Yes, I see your technical distinction. And I will abide by that.

    However, I wonder how we should properly refer to someone who charges money for a product that is not what it claims to be?

    And that is what she has done, as others have clearly documented in several places but particularly well done here and here.

    I find Websters valuable:

    a : deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right
    b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick
    a : a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : impostor; also : one who defrauds : cheat

    By charging money for the “peer reviewed scientific paper” Webster’s helps us be succinct. In one word, we can accurately describe a person who does these kinds of things. Definition 1a above, seems oh, so, fitting. Does it not? I suppose 1b and 2a could also apply. You figure out the word. 🙂

  13. springheeledjack responds:

    Either way, however you want to call her out, Ketchum is taking huge liberties with info that may in fact be contaminated and it’s just further damaging any credibilty she may or may not have had.

    And partnering with the Erickson project with the six or so seconds of vague video did nothing to enhance or bolster her rep. It only made it worse.

    Now, I’ve been talking from the perspective that she is trying to be legitimate. The other side is that this is nothing more than a Biscardi attempt at flim flam and huckstering.

    Either way, I’ve lost all hope that this is legitmate

  14. DWA responds:

    When lemurs entered the mix, I had to start holding my head.

  15. Bigfoot DNA Believer responds:

    I would like to address the following comments to the previous comments written heretofore.

    As to the statement “Melba and colleagues have got it is oh-so-wrong…
    by Dr. Anna Nekaris, I fail to see the documentation of any errors.

    The gentleman inferred that he believed that there were errors, but has not provided any proof. The University of Texas DNA Laboratory, using the Illumina Platform, successfully sequenced three genomes that displayed consistent homology. That is an important fact that must not be overlooked. This result is scientific proof that a species is extant. One Genome might be considered less than adequate proof of the existence of a new species, but three Nuclear Genomes that possess consistent homology is rather obvious proof that at the very least, three of the creatures that are the souce of the DNA samples that produced these three Genomes must be in actual physical existence. Or else someone had better accuse the University of Texas DNA laboratory of at least being complicit in the perpetration of a Hoax on the Scientific Community.

    I do not believe that I am aware of any such assertion in existence as of today. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    As to the statement by bobhelferstay who wrote, on March 1st, 2013 at 4:34 pm.

    “With everything going back and forth, I really don’t know what to think. Ketchum has done a peer reviewed study and found evidence of a new species. I have no clue why there is so much doubt.”

    I applaud a voice of sanity. I also have no clue. There has never been any serious contention of the existence of any other new species that has been discovered. Just wait. They will discover a lot more in the future. For now, the facts are in. University of Texas DNA Lab sequences Three Genomes. Nuff Said!

  16. bobhelferstay responds:

    The fact is, all of the people who are bashing this study as bad science should open their minds. Especially if they are NOT trained in DNA analysis. Dr. Ketchum has answered ALL challenges to her paper. It’s not like she is sitting quietly. I’ve seen an answer to every challenge.

    Like I said, I don’t know enough about DNA sequencing. But if they found an unknown homminds DNA, then right there that tells me that there IS something unknown out there.

  17. Goodfoot responds:


    I agree. I think it’s best to withhold judgement for a while more. But if she doesn’t give up the goods withing four more months, I’m filing her in the Bull File.

    Some folks here have made some rather rude, unsubstantiated statements about her work that I think would be better spent on Tom Biscardi.

  18. bobhelferstay responds:

    I agree Dr. Ketchum seems to be holding things back, and I don’t agree with some of the things that she has been doing. The picture is clearly a mask, and the sleeping Sasquatch is BS too. But DNA does not lie. There is an unknown hominid out there. Even if the half human is contamination, there is still the father’s side being unknown.

    Unless someone can prove all of the research wrong, they really should give it a chance.

  19. DWA responds:

    Well, I’m giving it a chance. I’m not leading a commando team to burst into Ketchum’s lab and stop this abomination!

    But I know which way to bet. History is pretty good on this sort of thing.

  20. bobhelferstay responds:

    History is a good indication. But times change, DNA sequencing has gotten a lot more advanced over the last few years. If they are finding unknown hominid DNA out there, even if the human part of the DNA IS contamination it still shows there is something unknown out there.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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