Sasquatch DNA Project Update

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on November 4th, 2011

Melba Ketchum has posted the following information on her Facebook wall.

Ok, for the sake of time (and I hope all of you understand), I will answer everyone publicly here. I keep getting a lot of emails from everyone wanting to know the status of the project. Though I cannot give details or timing, I will assure everyone that all is well and we are continuing to move forward. Good science cannot be forced or quickly completed. If it is not extremely thorough, then it will all be for naught and any paper rejected outright. So, I ask you to be patient and understanding and realize that extreme scientific overkill is required in order to convince a world full of skeptical scientists. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”. This is what we are doing. When we started this, I thought we would be finished in a few weeks, but instead as Sasquatch are known to do, they threw us curve balls even with their DNA which can be as elusive as they are. Thank goodness we are past that! As a result, we have assembled a renowned team, each of us with our own specialties to make this project “extraordinary”. If everyone will hang in there, I promise it will be worth the wait. We have the proof, now just give us the opportunity to present it in a form that will even convince skeptics. Thanks so much for all of your emails and support. Best wishes to all.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.

46 Responses to “Sasquatch DNA Project Update”

  1. hockeybear responds:

    Not to be a pessimist, but this does not sound encouraging.

  2. Loren Coleman responds:

    Whew, at first when I saw Craig posted this I was afraid that Ms. Ketchum was using Facebook to publish the scientific results of the DNA studies. Thank goodness, it is merely her trying to address the question of timing.

  3. Sasquatch Up Close responds:

    I honestly think this is huge. Never before has Dr. Ketchum made anything close to such an unambiguous statement: “We have the proof.” She is the lead researcher on an international DNA analysis project, has brought the results together in final form, and is now announcing to the world that these results finally prove the existence of Sasquatch.

  4. Hapa responds:

    Yes, and I agree that such science takes time and painstaking introspection of the evidence to make sure it is approved. I just with we had a ball park figure as to when this will be done, a possible time frame. I’ve been waiting for the results since this spring when I heard about this project. I hope it does not last another entire year or more before we get those results. But nevertheless, whatever amount of time needed for this is necessary, even if it takes years.

  5. Bipedal_Bill responds:

    This whole project smells as stinky as a sasquatch to me. I lump this into the category that includes Sylvanic and anything related to Tom Biscardi. Speaking of elusive, I believe there is more evidence available on the existance of bigfoot than there is on the validity of these self proclaimed experts with there elusive websites that dribble out tidbits of information, just in the nick of time to keep there website traffic flowing. In the meantime, while the DNA get’s “studied”, they’ve got a little more time to figure out exactly what they’re going to do to perpetuate their story. You’ll never see whats behind the curtain, until one day it is once again proven to be another hoax. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a bigfoot skeptic and I’m waiting, like everyone else, to see some concrete evidence someday. This, however, is not how it’s going to happen. Evidence is evidence, it doesn’t need years of preparation to prove that the evidence is what it is. Evidence also doesn’t need a secret, hidden agenda. If the world of mainstream science rejects it, it’s because there are substantial holes in the evidence. Not because they’ve got a hidden anti-cypto agenda. These groups that try and create a buzz of evidence, but need years to prove their evidence, are really in fact people that need attention…lots of it. They’re addicted to feeling important and attention, like they’re going to change the world. I find blogsquatch videos more least someone is trying to get a laugh and not serve their own self purpose. The only time worth wasting with these self proclaimed projects is the moment they actually reveal anything of substance……which they won’t by way. Here’s the rule of thumb to follow, when the story is too good. When there are a lot of details to the story that seem plausible, but the flow of communication only comes from one direction at their chosen discretion….. it’s a fake. For those Art Bell fans…think of Mel’s Hole… or the Hunter in Texas that shot and buried two bigfoots.. or the Oblisk and the Alien in the Fridge….. – all of this is, or course, entirely my opinion.

  6. bigfoots_broski responds:

    Honestly this scientific study sounds fishy to me. It shouldn’t take this long to figure out the DNA of the samples they supposedly have in their possession. Either the DNA matches something or its inconclusive. Taking this much time makes it seem like they are trying to make the results in their favor.

  7. Demian66 responds:

    “We have the proof, now just give us the opportunity to present it in a form that will even convince skeptics.”

    In February Ketchum announced that her paper will be published in late summer.
    In the summer she then announced that her paper will be published until the end of the year. Now, if I correctly read between the lines, the whole affair (mess??) takes much more time…I would not be surprised if we have to wait until fall 2012..IF her paper will be EVER published at all!!!

  8. Rael responds:

    This does not sound promising.

    A timeframe of any kind would sound a lot better, how long have they been messing around with this without any kind of real update?

    Sorry but I’m not buying.

  9. flame821 responds:

    Evidence is evidence, it doesn’t need years of preparation to prove that the evidence is what it is. Evidence also doesn’t need a secret, hidden agenda.

    That would depend entirely on your definition of evidence. IF, and granted a big ‘if’, Dr Ketchum has acquired DNA of a unknown primate and wants to persuade the scientific world that it is from the creature the public refers to as Bigfoot she will literally need to have all the ‘t’s crossed and ‘i’s dotted.

    This is particularly true if she intends to publish in a peer reviewed journal. Once it is out there every scientist in the field of biology and genetics will attempt to tear it down and poke holes in it, not for any malicious reasons, but because this is how science works. In order for data to be given the title of proof you have to actively try to disprove it first. It is in her (and her team’s) best interest to put forth the best and most detailed information as possible right out of the gate. (see the kerfuffle over H. forensis for an idea of how heated and detail oriented things can get)

    Much like Hapa, I would have preferred at least a general idea of when we can expect further info or publication, but she may not honestly know the answer to that question. Truth is, she may well have a difficult time having the data published due to the stigma associated with cryptozoology as it tends to get grouped in the paranormal category more often than not within skeptic circles.

  10. choppedlow responds:

    I’m with bipedal_bill. A few months back, didn’t they say that lawyers were getting involved in the Erikson Project? That usually means “It’s all BS, and we are going to blame the lawyers for not releasing it”. Sad, because Chris Noell (Impossible Visits) and Facebook Finding Bigfoot have both been betting the farm on it. I’m sure the Facebook guys will stand behind it just like they have with the Standing video regardless, and they will use their yellow pen to draw the outlines of thousands of blurry Sasquatches. Hopefully, Ketchum will break off from everything associated with the Erikson Project, and let it stand on it’s own. One (Ketchum) sounds like they might be on the level, and the other (Erikson) sounds like they are trying to out do Biscardi. Either way, I’m sure in a years time we will have zero new evidence and we will be exactly where we are today.

  11. graybear responds:

    I wish this project could settle all the doubt and skepticism there is surrounding Bigfoot, but it won’t.

    Unless there is a body, living and breathing or dead and rotting, or a significant body part, such as a hand, foot, arm or leg, the very best that DNA can prove is the far-famed “unknown primate, possibly human (or gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, orang-utan).” Because there are no genetic markers or gene sequences that are recognizably Bigfoot, the absolute best that science can deliver from a DNA sample is a rough approximation. We have to find a Bigfoot or significant body part before there can be any agreement about which DNA sequences make up one of the big guys. Even if this sample is everything that everyone has been hoping for and reveals hitherto unknown primate gene sequences that absolutely are not present in any known primate, that still doesn’t make them Bigfoot genes, just unknown primate. DNA simply doesn’t have a roll of crime scene tape wrapped around it that proclaims “This is Bigfoot.” There has to be something to compare the DNA sequences to before a link to Bigfoot can be established. And there simply is not anything there. Yet.

  12. Jerry D. Coleman responds:

    For the most part Bipedal_Bill’s response is right on target ! IMHO.

  13. norman-uk responds:

    Well (Dr) Melba Ketchums statement is most welcome and neatly trims perspections in the present situation to something that makes sense and at the same time gives prospects for optimism!

    Quote ” So, I ask you to be patient and understanding and realize that extreme scientific overkill is required in order to convince a world full of skeptical scientists. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”. ”

    I think what is really needed is more strong evidence that doesnt allow some key scientists to wriggle out of what the evidence shows or prevent justified publication. They have been able to stymie progress so far and they may have a fall back position yet. So I anticipate no plain sailing for the admirable Melba Ketchum! Nothing wrong with being sceptical but plenty wrong with being only sceptical, where does it get you?

    Eyewitness accounts in themselves should be sufficient to pique scientists interest but many are hung up on one of the sceptical sceptics mantras ” eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable ” yes sometimes! It is just as true to say, ”eyewitness accounts are famously accurate and reliable” It all depends, I am interested in the more constructive latter.

    My own guess is homo erectus may be involved!

  14. red_pill_junkie responds:

    As Loren said on his BOA interview, the only evidence that will ever convince the skeptics is a body.

    The bar has been unfairly raised when it comes to Bigfoot, and no amount of peer-reviewed DNA testing will achieve lowering it.

  15. norman-uk responds:

    Bipedal Bill

    The nature of the bigfoot phenomenon is such that it particularly induces some folks to either commit hoaxes, maybe for a laugh, a shallow kind of fame or the hope of profit. Something to do with the drama of bigfoots extraordinary physique its presence and its elusiveness. Something also about the name ‘bigfoot’ which has possibly an undignified resonance about it. These hoaxes are nothing to do with bigfoot and everything to do with human nature. When it is clear they are a hoax they should be forgotten and the real work of bigfoot persued.

    There is good reason to assume that Melba Ketchum is engaged in the real work of research, by rational and expert means into the evidence for bigfoot. She is a rare commodity in that her interest is in bigfoot DNA. and just what has been missing from bigfoot research forever. It is a sign of progress and the best and most constructive thing to do would seem to be to support (Dr) Ketchum in every reasonable way possible. The swirling round this present endeavor, of suppositions, propositions and even possible fabrications should merely be seen as Ketchums wake, as wake at the bow of a ship.

    In fact there is solid evidence for Bigfoot, should you chose to accept it. Wether this is ‘concrete’ evidence that you want is a matter of opinion. I see it as more flexible and complex and needs an open minded effort to appreciate it. It is not scientific to reject evidence ‘because it has holes in it’. It behoves scientists when there is evidence to research it to its proper conclusion.

    Mentioning Biscardi etc and what he got up to manifests as a smear on Ketchum and is totally irrelevant and I cannot see how you are not a sceptic in view of your negative blog not based on evidence.

  16. DWA responds:

    Hate to toss another bucket on after Bipedal’s, but I think he’s right.

    Scientists don’t do this. They don’t talk about “having the proof” until they show you the proof. And they sure don’t talk about “overkill.”

    They don’t say a damn thing ’til YOU see the proof.

    And I’m really curious how DNA can be proof when there is no type specimen against which to compare the sample.

  17. odioustrident responds:

    The fact that we’re getting updates via Facebook has this whole thing come off as less professional than it may or may not be. Ketchum’s informal language is also highly questionable for anyone with her background.

  18. JE_McKellar responds:

    I think the story here is that Dr. Ketchum did her initial tests, and found that the samples were fairly close to human. With DNA analysis like this, you look for a limited number of sequences in your sample, and then you compare which sequences you found with known species. The more sequences the sample has in common with a particular species, the more closely they are related. I don’t know the precise details here, but basically it’s easy to take a sample and compare it to Chimp/Gorilla/Orangutan/Human DNA and see if you get a match. If she did that, and found that she had a primate or great ape that wasn’t a Chimp/Gorilla/Orangutan/Human, then that would be a slam dunk for a new species. If instead she found that the sample was basically Human, then things get complicated. How does the sample compare with known modern human populations? With extinct populations like Neanderthals and Denisovans? Essentially, you have to prove that the sample is so dissimilar to modern, contemporary humans that it belongs in a separate category. Assuming that the Sasquatch is an offshoot of Asian Homo erectus, which Mike Rugg implies above, then the Sasquatch is as dissimilar to chimpanzees as modern humans are, and would have only a million years or so of genetic drift separating it from modern Humans. If the creatures are capable of interbreeding with H. sapiens populations, then the genetic situation gets even murkier.

    Incidentally, human DNA in the sample might look like contamination, which means the tests have to be repeated in better labs, and the results confirmed. Likewise, if the sample seems too human, then you’d need to make a really good case that it isn’t a bit of a cadaver used as a hoax or some unfortunate hirsute hobo. And that requires more expertise, more training, and most of all more time.

  19. Bob K. responds:

    One good thing about getting older and having had a strong curiosity first about the UFO phenomenon, and more recently about the Big Fella, this may be yet ANOTHER example of something I’ve seen countless times over the years: “WE’VE GOT THE PROOF – uh, we’re just not gonna show it to you – not just yet anyway. BUT HANG IN THERE, WE GOT IT……”.

    Or – and wouldn’t this be a hoot – Dr. Ketchum may just have something that is truly ground breaking.

    As always, stay tuned….

  20. norman-uk responds:

    I dont think there are any rules that says anyone cannot state they have proof. Clearly though they should have evidence to show that their view is reasonable to get it officialy accepted. Melba Ketchum is saying she has proof of something and will provide the evidence for scrutiny when she is in a position to properly present it. Implicit in her statement is an appreciation that she is not asking to be believed until she has gone through the scientific hoops.

    Seems good to me god bless her!

    The rules of the club for accepting a new species may be seen as demanding that a specimen ie a body of the candidate must be provided as a type specimen. Not so, there are type specimens on record which are little more than a drawing and a statement and probably much less. It is clear that a body complete with DNA is an ideal but not essential requirement.

    What is neccessary is evidence that can reasonably be considered proof on its merits not just too meet some pedantic insistence. An interesting example is that of Denesova man which arguably has been accepted as a new species on the basis of a few bits of bone and most importantly DNA. The bits of bone would have meant very little without the DNA analysis done by Svante Paabo and team at the prestigious Manx Plank institute.

    Scientists have to amend the rules they use to accomodate what is there in the natural world in its wider sense not what their rule book says is there and if DNA evidence can prove there is a new kid on the block then they have to accept it. It is possible to obstruct this modern process but it is not scientific to do so. In the case of Sasquatch there is not just DNA but a hugh context where DNA analysis would fit. With a constructive approach DNA without the whole body can be studied and placed correctly where it most probaby should be, as is the position with other hominids known from fossils where the understanding is not absolute but open to new insights and evidence.

    Interestingly Dr Bryan Sykes who first analysed ancient DNA and did seminal work on mitochondrial DNA has asked for potential hominid samples for DNA analysis. His teams standing would be on a par with the Svante Paabo team. This is not to take anything away from Melba Ketcham and her team.

  21. diogenes responds:

    Do you think Ketchum has an ethical or moral responsibility to at least submit a complete Genome of one certain sample (whether Sierra Kill, Paulides, EP whatever) and place in the Gen Bank prior to even peer-review of her statistical analysis of the many?

    Wouldn’t she still have first place in this race? But, also putting at a minimum the scientific community and perhaps the BF community (and maybe more) ON NOTICE that Sasquatches are…what? Real? Homo sapien? Homo erectus? what?

    I ask this because of the length of the study. If in 2009 she could identify BF DNA as stated…well, and so on…

    It seems the right scientific spirit for the magnitude of this discovery would be to invite all the minds possible to review the initial genome and to counsel her as she works through her many samples?

    Our collective conscious…our responsibility to respond with appropriate research techniques (say maybe not shoot BF’s or use glass shard baits, or dogs, or baits) if they are a relic human, “lost tribe”,.or even new primate,?

    Does it really matter which given the rabid climate of amateur BF Hunting?

    The TBRC now allows a member who chooses to shoot? It all seems less about concern for the planet, humanity, etc than a desire to bring forth new (if incomplete) knowledge to solve a scientific mystery in a humanitarian way…

    maybe I am just really old school, you know duty and honor…science and law..

    She says she knows something and can show it And Paulides is still saying “human” in his vernacular…

    what’s up?

    It is not clear to me in her response that the paper has been submitted, it seemed it still need to be written

    I think this is one of those things, one BF with good provenance…JC Johnson’s investigation the best with public exposure so far…? Or the Toenail from AZ? Or, a BF “steak”?

    And, if she is confident hold her head up and tell the rest of the genomics minds.. I think this is a Bigfoot.

    Can’t speak to the reality of EP.

    what do you think… no answers in ghost theory LOL

  22. flame821 responds:

    I have to disagree with the commenters stating that DNA from “unknown primate’ would be worthless without a body to compare it to.

    We KNOW there are currently no primates native to the North American continent (save First Nation but we’re not talking human DNA here, after all, humans are known primates) If we have several contributing individuals all coming back to unknown primate that means something. A whole lot of something.

    Is is Bigfoot? Maybe not, but it does mean we have an, as yet, undiscovered/undocumented primate native to North America that has NOT been cataloged by science. If they can prove even that much it will really open the field to truly serious scientific study, which will mean a lot more manpower and money being used to find this primate.

    At this point, proving ‘Bigfoot’ exists may not be the primary goal of the study but it will be the eventual outcome, unless the unknown primate turns out to be under 3 feet tall or something. Because whatever they discover will more than likely be what people have been witnessing and referring to as Bigfoot.

  23. JMcLaren responds:

    I’m a bit surprised at all of these denunciations of Dr. Ketchum as a fraud, hoaxer, and the like. Honestly, we really do not know. She might be, but we haven’t the evidence to know what’s going on until (and unless) she releases her results.

    I try to imagine what would happen it she did have the goods she seems to be claiming, and it would play out much as what we are seeing. First, in the best case imaginable, she would have several samples (I believe she has claimed to have more than a dozen) from different locations and sources, and each would be sequenced by multiple independent labs. In order to be meaningful, the tests would need to confirm that the samples all match each other, that they are all primate, but that none is consistent with the DNA of any known primate. That already is a really complicated proposition, and knowing scientists, there could be a million ways for the journal’s referees to question the way samples were handled, the way data were analyzed, etc., and send the project back for revision over and over. My field is economics, and it is not uncommon for a particularly complex statistical research paper to take two or even three years to get published after being submitted to a journal, because of this sort of scrutiny.

    But in this case…. everything would be really SPECIAL. Any journal that publishes this stuff will be on the front page of every newspaper. They would have to be crazy afraid of the possibility that the study is revealed to be a fraud. I can imagine the editor of Science or Nature sending a team to visit Dr. Ketchum and scrutinize every scrap of tissue personally, and even interview some of the donors of those samples. Just to be sure. And this would add a great deal of delay.

    So who knows if this is the real deal, but if it *is* the real deal, it would have to be a very grueling, slow process, much more than usual, which can be brutal enough.

    By the way, I agree that plenty of scientists will say that nothing is proven without a body, but it surely would be a big deal if this study prove the existence of a new species of primate wandering across a broad swath of North American forests. At the least it would make it respectable to submit grant proposals to the NSF and the like to mount an expedition to find a specimen.


  24. CDC responds:

    Yeah I think skeptics like this Bill guy try and discredit the evidence before it is presented. Tom Biscardi and Matt Moneymaker are more fluff that substance…Dr Ketchum has not done anything so far to be questioned on credibility.

    Skeptic types drag out “pay for play” reviews from the Better Business joke, and now Bill throws out Tom Biscardi in with Dr Ketchum’s paper.

    Bill calls it “Lumps in with”, well I “lump” Bill in with all the other skeptics who practice pseudoskepticism.

    Wait for Dr Ketchum’s Paper, then you can bring up Tom Biscardi if you feel the need after reading it…to do so before is not scientific.

    What’s your rush to judgment Bill? Save your lumps for sugar in your tea

  25. jgood responds:

    I’ve never heard anything about this “groundbreaking dna evidence” on any national news outlets.

    Seems this would be important enough to mention on CNN, NBC, CBS, etc.

    just sayin’

  26. bigfoots responds:

    mark my words.. her “paper” isn’t going to change anything.. so it doesn’t matter if she takes 5 years or 5 days…. the end result will be the same..

    color me no longer interested in melba ketchum or the erickson project..

    this is like the guns & roses album that axl worked on for 20 years trying to get it “perfect”…

    what a joke..

    I will stick to being in the field..documenting via picture and sound..

  27. odioustrident responds:

    It should be mentioned that in a culture of hoaxes, the claims will be become more “professionally based” and more extravagant over the years. This community needs more and more credentials to accept the possibility of a big find… and the pretenders know that very well. I’m sure you all have noticed that the assertions of proof have changed with our developing sense of scientific accuracy. Years ago it was video footage… today its DNA. Everyone should be skeptical until the end.

  28. bigfoots responds:

    The only thing I’m skeptical of is statements like this “If everyone will hang in there, I promise it will be worth the wait.”

    really?? and how is it that she can make such a promise? and how is it that it takes so long? I’m to believe that this wait has nothing to do with her dragging her feet? really?
    cause looking at her track record it looks like nothing is really much of a priority ..??
    I’ve seen, smelled, heard and had things thrown at me by bf so I don’t need anyone to tell me to be to believe or to be skeptical. I know its real. its just annoying to see this lady dinking around making up excuses and making even bigger promises..
    if I was the Erickson project I would consider finding someone who can get things done…
    I’m tired of me results or put a cork in it until you do.

  29. Bob K. responds:

    odioustrident, I agree completely. The CLAIM – “WE’VE GOT THE PROOF” – whether it comes from the most brilliant scientist or from the most humble tradesman, is just that – a claim. Nothing more.

    As I would with anyone on the quest to prove the existence of Bigfoot, I wish Dr. Ketchum well. As I had posted earlier, I’ve been down this road too many times over the decades to be gripping the edge of my chair every time somebody claims to “finally have proof”.

    “I dont think there are any rules that says anyone cannot state they have proof.” You’re right norman-UK, there aren’t – which is why so very MANY people have done so over the years. In other words, talk is cheap. I’m not denigrating Melba Ketchums efforts (any more than I would anyone else’s), but until something truly groundbreaking is produced, I’m not going to hold my breath.

  30. mungofoot responds:

    OK folks, you might want to consider who owns the samples that Dr Ketchum is using. It will be a shame for her to come out with proof positive in her paper, submit it then have it denounced as fraud because the owners of the samples refuse to let them be retested or dispute her findings with their own study.

    I suggest you all reed the update on Mike Rugg’s part of this because judging where they disagree and where the research was when he split form Ketchum, she may be sitting on a legal minefield and my guess is that she is treading very carefully to try and make sure her findings actually see the light of day and are not going to just be swept aside and for that, I applaud her, no matter what her results are

  31. diogenes responds:

    As somewhat of an interloper on this site, I just want to say there are some great comments here on this recent non-development.

    I am paying special attention to mungofoot’s post (I don’t know who that might be and I am obviously using a penname) b/c of a recent interesting discussion in ghosttheory by an IP lawyer.

    I also think, for the most part, those of us speaking up now in public and/or anonymous forums are doing so because we do care deeply.

  32. mungofoot responds:

    thanks diogenes, it’s nice to know someone noticed my post, I am certainly no expert of any sort but I do follow the threads here pretty closely and I made that post mainly because this thread had so many comments while the Mike Rugg article had none and while the info there should be taken with a large dose of salt

  33. mungofoot responds:

    I do feel that there is some very interesting info there and it definitely shows that there is alot more going on behind the scenes than most of us are likely to be privy to, definitely not as black and white as some here would make it out to be

  34. bigfoots responds:

    @ mungofoot

    the only person making it black and white on this site is melba ketchum herself..
    as you may have noticed her statement is quite different than the info you passed along now isn’t it..

    that’s where i have the problem..

  35. diogenes responds:

    Melba’s statement is inconsistent with her prior ones and in some ways more vague.. a Phase 1 term is introduced, no mention of submission or release…contrast with Jan. 2011 and Paulides saying it was submitted and to be published by end of year.. well that stuff worries

    What DOES worry me is this: The Sierra Kills’s 6 months old and none of the players in the DNA study have denounced the story! Even though it is tearing the BF community up in some ways. Certainly TBRC’s recent “ok to kill” stance is relevant here if BFs are homo something?

    Ketchum is a licensed professional….she either received a sample from Justin/OP or didn’t. It was either a BF or not. And she either notified authorities or not.

    So, seems to me it is overdue for Ketchum to respond to this one won’t compromise her paper or work…especially given it appears patents are the goal rather than discovery? See Ghost Theory forum and lawyer talking

    So, for what it is worth.. I personally feel Ketchum has an obligation (in every sense really) to Announce or Denounce the Sierra Kill story.
    The only thing that would change my mind if the appropriate authority told me (or Ketchum with appropriate contact) that they had been notified and are involved.


  36. mungofoot responds:

    this whole statement by Dr Ketchum seems designed to by her more time and she may well need for any obligation she has to the BF community I think she can best keep them by staying true to the scientific method and saying as little as possible until she is absolutely sure she can get her findings out there and has it presented in the most airtight way possible.Concerning the possibility that one or more samples may have come from the “poaching incident” , she is only obligated to report it to the authorities if she has evidence a crime was committed and from the different versions we have seen of that story here those waters are as murky and deep as Loch Ness itself ,I am inclined to do what I do best here ,sit back and wait not beliving there is proof until it is brought forward but neither will I shoot the messenger until we know what the message is and even then I will consider the journey the message and messenger went through to get to me.There are way too few scientists with Dr Ketchum’s credentials willing to take the time and put out the effort to do what she is doing and I look forward to seeing the results.

  37. diogenes responds:

    One more thought –

    What if it is true (Sierra Kill) and Ketchum is in the odd position of having contacted authorities when she received the sample, but has been forbidden to discuss it?

    That scenario doesn’t quite follow thru logically, but it is possible.
    Not logically of the already very public statements by Ketchum. She could have inserted in her “renowned team” a phrase along these lines:
    ” a team of renowned scientists and Government specialists” or such

    which of course would be accepted within an already believing BF community and a clear message she has notified authorities…(and of course the public never believes it remains another vague implied thing to the world?)

    of course if Justin’s story is untrue, she could have simply said so a very long time ago.

  38. diogenes responds:

    Mungofoot – Yes, I tend to agree as you see above, forgive my public thinking.

    It is a troubling situation actually, especially given the long history of so many failed attempts for “disclosure.”

    However, following the “why it doesn’t seem logical” I offer another thought;

    Justin Smeja is still being very public, making many, many statements – if we are to believe reports of interviews with various internet bloggers (again if not true – just say so…spare us the pain of even considering the possibility of giving him exposure).

    Best case Ketchum contacted authorities immediately (regardless of law..something was sent to her..if bear, then again just say so) and has been forbidden by Counsel to speak publicly (likely) then it appears Mr. Smeja remains unrepresented by any legal counsel?

    Surely as “shooter” any lawyer would also be counseling Justin not to talk. And of course any book publisher would also want control of his Public Image image (even if the lawyer thought the defense was a slam dunk, or prosecutors contacted so far said so….no telling what public interest groups may think later, after publcation) .

    It is is still terribly indiscreet for Smeja to be public in such a fashion. But, then again a lawyer cannot make Justin shut up. Perhaps he is who he says he is an unrepentant?

    A Very Sad situation then! And, I don’t mind having a thoughtful opinion, again given the difficult history of BF hoaxes and promises, betrays and BS I see others with knowledge refer to in posts.

    Thanks again for this sounding board.

  39. flame821 responds:

    Diogenes. Please clarify something for me.

    How is it Dr Ketchum’s duty to verify the truthfulness of the poaching story? If the sample was fully human THEN I can see her needed to contact authorities if she suspects foul play and allow law enforcement to investigate as they see fit. However if the sample is non-human how is she to verify how/when it was obtained other than accept the word of the person offering the sample?

    She may or may not have been told the same story (any of the oft changing stories) as we have. I assume the people submitting samples need to sigh an affidavit or something of a similar nature stating when, where and how they obtained the sample, but I doubt Dr. Ketchum has the ability or manpower to follow up on these statements herself and simply takes the person at their word. Not to mention, with all the press and circulation regarding the poaching incident wouldn’t it seem odd that no member of law enforcement has heard about it. In fact, I believe one of the newspaper based articles specifically went to the trouble of discussing the matter with either law enforcement or Park and Wildlife Service officials.

    In this context I’m not honestly sure how Dr. Ketchum could say with any authority what is and is not true about the situation. All she could reasonably do is verify whether or not she’s received a sample from the person in question and perhaps what that sample consisted of (bit of flesh and fur, steak, bone, tooth, etc) but even that may not be permissible if a non-disclosure contract is in effect.

  40. Redrose999 responds:

    Thank you Mungofoot for posting the link. I think it is important for folks to see the politics involved in any kind of scientific investigation. There are legal matters, and, and scientific egos battling it out for credit. I think the vid explains it better than I can here.

    I’ve mentioned before my skepticism on this matter, I still sand on it. Its too much of a drama-train wreck, and horridly unprofessional.

    But, I will also note, the dinosaur wars with Cope and Marsh ran the same way, they battled it out in news papers and professional journals, lying about each others finds (dissing each other credentials), and jockeying for credit the same way as Melba and Justin Smeja are battling it out. Drama has happened in the past, and it is not uncommon between two scientists pioneering in a new field of study.

    In fairness, Melba’s announcing she has something worth the wait is likely because the general enthusiasm of the Bigfoot community. She is likely sympathetic to all those giving her support and feels she needs to say something to make them feel good about supporting her. She could be doing this to string them along of course, or it could be genuine.

    I can’t say either, I don’t know her. But both sides need to be considered.

    We have been hammered by many hoaxes of late, so I think many of us are wary. I am, to be frank, in the bring me the body camp, and I won’t put my eggs in any DNA basket unless they repeat the tests in another lab, than if that comes in as “repeatable” I’ll be a supporter of the evidence. DNA combined with the scat, tracks, and eyewitness sightings, as well as the nests and such is a nail in the coffin to me.

    In the end, I do hope for the folks who really believe in this, she presents something solid and soon because people have bee waiting a very long time.

  41. Opalman responds:

    Dr. Ketchum is acting a little bit too celebrity for my liking. You don’t see Dr. Jeff Meldrum ringing the bell every time he’s found and picked up another piece of the foot physiology puzzle, even when it fits perfectly and directly points to the actual existence of the creature!

    Again as is often the case DWA makes a good point:

    “Scientists don’t do this. They don’t talk about “having the proof” until they show you the proof. And they sure don’t talk about “overkill.”

    Technically speaking—IMO; since there is no type specimen there is very little to be gained by DNA studies. As already pointed to; contamination will always be a bugaboo no matter what lab does the sequencing. With an actual discernible physical sample (an arm, hand even a tooth), again a physical sample of new morphology would make things simpler by far; but here we have indistinguishable samples of who knows what being sequenced and showing a human genome. (Perhaps I missed some viable DNA sample from paleolithic man being found?) We must remember that these base pairs represent only the possibilities available for a particular polymorphism and fail to identify anything by themselves.

    The way I see it, and based on what has been said so far; the most we can hope for is that the sample contains human chromosomes and chromosomes from “something else”. Just as we have footprints of something else, unknown, the footprints fail to shed much light on the creature that made them. DNA is but a genetic footprint.

    I am no geneticist by any means or description but I fail to see what all the roaring is about.

  42. diogenes responds:

    i stumbled into this webpage today: A conference this weekend Dr. Ketchum is schedules to speak….and the subject ois Primal People, with Paulides and Randles also on the speaker list.

    So, even if we aren’t on the invite list the “news” shalll be ours to relish!


    here you go:
    Pacific Northwest Conference on Primal People

    November 10, 2011 by twangg

    Pacific Northwest Conference
    Primal People

    (Sasquatch – – Homo sapiens hirsutii)

    May 4th 5th and 6th, 2012

    Shiloh Inn,
    50 Comstock St

    Richland, Washington

    Conference Only: $40 per person
    Saturday Banquet Only: $35 per person
    Entire Weekend: $70 per person

    Schedule of Events:

    Friday May 4th

    9:00 am to 4:00 pm Field Trip to Mtns

    6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Meet and Greet

    Saturday May 5th

    8:30 am to 12:00 am Morning Session

    12:00 am to 1:30 pm Lunch

    1:30 pm to 4:30 pm Afternoon Session

    6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Banquet and Speakers

    9:00 pm to …. Karaoke ‘n Social

    Sunday May 6th

    8:30 am to 1:00 pm Sunday Session

    1:00 pm Dismissal:

  43. diogenes responds:

    MY BAD… I am way too overeager….BF paranoias…

    it seems to be the webload page date as Nov 11, 2011?
    I can’t figure it out and don’t have my glasses, BUT I have my answer

    and we are notice…they ARE US!

    whoever wins the ulitimate taxonomic designation battle, or if there is more than “one species” of our beloved BIGFOOT, this is a BIG start… I hope

    gee..MAY 2012 is a long time to wait…
    so I must assume the paper due soon!


  44. DWA responds:

    I know this must be a joke:

    (Sasquatch – – Homo sapiens hirsutii)

    One thing that could not be clearer from the evidence: whatever the sasquatch is, it isn’t going to be considered a subspecies of ours.


    Or there is another hairy hominoid – OK, hominin, I guess! – roaming this continent that, um, no one has yet seen.

    All the evidence contrasts so significantly from our own definitions of what we are that the name alone is a way serious scientific misstep, that implies (to me, now) that others have been made.

  45. flame821 responds:


    type in that species into Google and you should see some of the stuff that pops up. hirsutii

    This will be amazing if they can actually prove it, but I have a feeling there will be years of scientific debate before this is actually settled. I’d have to guess (without the availability of a physical specimen) at least a decade. I can’t wait to see the genome typing, I wonder if we’re cousins or step-siblings.

  46. flame821 responds:


    While I admit it is an unlikely development (I’m in the great ape/monkey camp myself). IF they can rule out human contamination and there are still multiple unknown primate DNA that shares H sapien DNA then we need to follow up on that.

    Granted that is a basket full of ‘ifs’ but a good scientist and any open minded skeptic will follow the evidence to see where it leads. Discounting something because it seems unlikely or goes against our preconceived notions is pointless. (As is accepting any and all statements as facts without evidence to back it up) A person might as well join with the ultra skeptics and ultra believers who have no room for any view points but their own if you start dismissing evidence without at least evaluating it first.

    That conference diogenes pointed out is happening this Spring, so it seems one way or the other we’ll have some sort of answers by then. What’s another few months of waiting at this point? Even if it is frustrating on some level it is still interesting to see how many different stories are being leaked here and there. You literally need a score card to keep track at this point. At least on Cryptomundo the stories are in the ‘fairly believable’ range of reporting. That Lindsay (sp?) guy is really out there with a few of his posts (to the point I don’t even read his stuff anymore) and the ruckus in the Bigfoot community is starting to resemble a verbal on-line WWE. I understand why the mods here are so tight with their posts; cause some of the comments on the other sites are brawl inspiring and not in a good way.

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