USA Hair Samples Used in Sykes’ Study

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 31st, 2013

USA Hair Samples

In May 2012, Professor Bryan Sykes invited institutions and individuals from all over the world to submit organic material thought to belong to ‘Bigfoot’ and other unknown hominids to the Oxford Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project. After carefully reviewing each donation, Professor Sykes selected the 38 best samples and sent them for DNA analysis.

The following DNA test results are from the samples featured in the Sasquatch (USA) film (ep 2).

25106 – Sample provided by Justin Smeja

1. Date of sample collection: October 2010

2. Location of sample collection: ‘Sierra Kill’ Site, Plumas County, California, USA

3. Colour of hair sample: pale brown

4. Length of hair sample: 20-30mm

5. Other physical characteristics: fine thickness. Sample taken from a collection of hairs attached to a 2.5 x 0.5cm segment of skin nicknamed ‘The Steak’. Crystals could be observed under the microscope, collaborating Justin’s account of using salt to preserve the specimen.

6. Details surrounding sample collection: discovered by Justin at the same location he claims to have shot and killed an infant Sasquatch. He originally abandoned the body, and could not immediately return due to poor weather. Several weeks after the incident, ‘The Steak’ was all that remained of the animal.

7. Result: Ursus americanus, American Black Bear

25113 – Sample provided by Marcel Cagey

1. Date of sample collection: March 2013

2. Location of sample collection: Marcel’s Garden, Lummi Tribal Reservation, Washington, USA

3. Colour of hair sample: light brown/red

4. Length of hair sample: c. 700mm

5. Other physical characteristics: Fine/medium thickness and straight in appearance

6. Details surrounding sample collection: Sample collected by Bryan Sykes when visiting Marcel. The hair was attached to a wooden stick found in Marcel’s back garden. Marcel believes it was thrown into his garden by a Sasquatch, possibly in an attempt to alert him of its presence in the area.

7. Result: Canis, wolf or dog

25093 – Sample provided by Derek Randles (donated via Jeffrey Meldrum)

1. Date of sample collection: 2011 (precise date unknown)

2. Location of sample collection: Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA

3. Colour of hair sample: Medium Brown

4. Length of hair sample: c. 100mm

5. Other physical characteristics: Fine thickness and crinkled in appearance

6. Details surrounding sample collection: Collected by Derek from a tree trunk in the Olympic Mountains. The site in question has been investigated by the Bigfoot research group ‘The Olympic Project’. Multiple Sasquatch encounters have been reported in the location, including sightings and acoustic phenomenon such as wood-knockings.

7. Result: Canis, wolf or dog

25104 – Sample provided by Dan Shirley

1. Date of sample collection: March 2013

2. Location of sample collection: Placer County, California, USA

3. Colour of hair sample: Beige/Pale Blonde

4. Length of hair sample: 80-100mm

5. Other physical characteristics: Medium thickness

6. Details surrounding sample collection: Sample found by Dan and his colleague Garland Fields from a location they identify as a Bigfoot hotspot. It was snagged on a barbed wire fence, located close to a ‘bait tree’ designed to attract Sasquatch. Both speculate the Sasquatch may have been disturbed by hikers, and crossed the fence when departing the vicinity. Upon discovery, the sample was carefully collected with tweezers and stored in a cooler.

7. Result: Ursus americanus, American Black Bear

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.

6 Responses to “USA Hair Samples Used in Sykes’ Study”

  1. DWA responds:

    Note that none of these says “pulled off of this animal,” with a picture of a sasquatch. None was even alleged to be pulled from the body of a giant bipedal primate.

    If you find a bear’s skeleton along a trail I walked last week, and you are looking for evidence of me, that isn’t evidence of me.

    This does less for the question of saquatch than the earlier results did for yeti.

  2. semillama responds:

    I agree with DWA. These kinds of secondary samples are problematic for a number of reasons: no control over provenience (except for the samples Sykes collected himself), no control for environmental contamination or degradation from the time the hair leaves the animal and the time it is collected, etc. Get a type specimen first – then do the DNA.

  3. dconstrukt responds:

    doesnt really matter how they got the samples because he CAN tell you what the sample is.

    All of them were known animals (shocking!)

    Bring any sample you want, he’ll decode it.

  4. Goodfoot responds:

    Maybe Sykes should add a proviso that only hair specimens collected from 7 feet above ground would be accepted. That would normally exclude canid fur, but not necessarily bear.

  5. scaryeyes responds:

    Thing is, science can only examine the evidence that actually exists. Sykes asked Bigfooters to produce the evidence and they failed, not only to produce a verifable sample, but – as DWA highlights – to even provide a sample which could definitely be said to come from a Bigfoot, whatever one is. This is in contrast to the Yeti results, where two out of the three samples tested came from an actual alledged Yeti body or hide. This doesn’t prove Bigfoot definitely doesn’t exist, of course, but it should encourage researchers to rethink some of their assumptions and methodology.

    Personally, I’m really enjoying this series, I think it’s great to see some smart and non-sensationalist crypto-TV, and the tone is just right, neither over-credulous nor scornfully debunking. The Yeti results were fascinating and IMHO ought to be seen as vindicating for cryptozoologists, since they demonstrate there is something genuinely unusual and possibly unknown behind the stories. And with the Bigfoot episode, though the negative results were disapppointing, the possibilities of the science itself ought to be exciting – if Bigfoot does exist, then it follows genuine hair samples must also exist, and it’s research like this which might one day verify them and point us in the right direction.

  6. DWA responds:


    It may not matter how they got the samples. That’s not my point. My point is that attempting to confirm a species by testing samples is a “blind men and elephant” approach, and actually precisely backward from the way science usually does it.

    DNA does not prove a species; it is the signature of a species already represented by a type specimen, like my written signature is mine. My signature is useful without me standing there, but only because I, by various means, am known to exist.

    This doesn’t mean that Sykes’s work is worthless. That polar bear result from opposite ends of the Himalaya says clearly to bear biologists: something unusual is going on here and we need to find out what it is. No one, however, knows what that bear looks like; what it eats; how it lives; etc. And that’s what we want to know. Only by getting into the field and finding an actual bear will we know.

    One can walk to the spot where one saw a sasquatch…and collect the bear feces and hair the sasquatch was investigating. Whoops. That won’t give sasquatch. Sykes just tests what is sent to him. The problem with many people attempting to validate their sighting with additional evidence is that the samples are frequently not tested. Or they’re thrown out because “it didn’t match anything we have.” In addition, tests of “primate, unknown” have come back….and here we still are.

    The best Sykes can do for the ape proponents – other than change that – is find a “primate, unknown” from a clean, non-degraded sample. Now we need to find the primate.


    The problem with being specific about collection site is that compelling evidence can be missed that way. I’m sure sasquatch and yeti leave lots of hairs on the ground.

    There will always be wild-card variables that are in the end uncontrollable. It’s a live-with condition, until scientists commit to a search in the field, for the animal.


    Yes, in an ideal world we’d want the field search to procure the specimen first. Where Sykes can be invaluable doing what he’s doing is that when an animal is verified, results he gets may match the results from the type specimen, and start filling in the range maps.

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