Bigfoot DNA Update: The Fallout and Summary

Posted by: Guy Edwards on November 24th, 2012

Bigfoot Lunch Club

Bigfoot DNA is being studied by Dr. Bryan Sykes and Dr. Melba Ketchum (above)

For some of those entrenched in the Bigfoot community this is non-news. For those that loosely call ourselves journalists, like moi, we believe it is worth reporting–in other words this is news.

The following is the Reader’s Digest version of what happened on November 23rd 2012:

Reported earlier here at Cryptomundo, Igor Burtsev, Head of International Center of Hominology, announced the completion of Dr. Melba Ketchum’s project to sequence Bigfoot DNA. Dr. Burtsev continued on to say, “It is human like us only different, a hybrid of a human with unknown species…The hybridization event could not have occurred more than 15,000 years ago according to the mitochondrial data in some samples. Origin of this Hominin was probably Middle Eastern/Eastern Europe and Europe originally though other geographic areas are not excluded.”

Almost immediately Dr. Melba Ketchum  responded on her Facebook page, “It is unfortunate that the partial summary of our data was released in this manner, however, I will be making a formal response in the next few days. Even though Igor Burtsev released this, it was not Dr. Burtsev’s fault.”

Another player in the Melba Ketchum project is David Paulides, who seems to want to position the Ketchum project in front of the Bryan Sykes Oxford University DNA study and any interest the TV Show Finding Bigfoot may have.

David Paulides writes on his website,,  “In the last twelve months you have seen a variety of groups suddenly take interest in bigfoot DNA. Where was that interest four years ago when we started our DNA Project? Dr. Jeff Meldrum has gone to Europe with his interest and utilized the resources of Oxford University in an attempt to develop a DNA sequence on Bigfoot. A weekly show about bigfoot also has just recently found an interest in bigfoot DNA and is trying to exploit this avenue, and there are others.”

At the risk of editorializing, and we should acknowledge these may not be the opinions of Cryptomundo, or of any of the other Cryptomundo contributors here, David Paulides’ post seems to be an effort to  reassert ownership over any other Bigfoot DNA results.  I also want to say, if I may speak for the community, we have ALL been interested in Bigfoot DNA. We have been interested in Bigfoot DNA before the technology was even mature enough to benefit us.

Finally, there are those in the community, myself included, that acknowledge DNA does not inform us details on population, ecological niche, physical morphology, behavior, diet. There is still a grand journey ahead of us, there is still room for all of us to help piece together the mystery of Bigfoot.

You can read reactions to Dr. Igor Burtsev’s update at Bigfoot Lunch Club.

Guy Edwards About Guy Edwards
Psychology reduces to biology, all biology to chemistry, chemistry to physics, and finally physics to mathematical logic. Guy Edwards is host of the Portland, OR event

35 Responses to “Bigfoot DNA Update: The Fallout and Summary”

  1. dconstrukt responds:

    what does this all mean in english?

    it sounds like the one dude is getting pissy, other ppl are interested in something he’s been doing for a while, seems too concerned others will take credit.

    only thing i got from this was: “It is human like us only different, a hybrid of a human with unknown species”

    is this true?

    whats baffling is they can get dna, but they cant get a real photo or video?

  2. Alamo responds:

    Now watch the mainstream big names try and play catch up here to “scoop” the ones that have been working on this all along. We’re getting close, the physical evidence is there already… the establishment just hasn’t caught up yet. When it does… everybody will be saying they’ve been working on this as well.

  3. shill responds:

    They can announce and proclaim all they want. Until the results are released and reviewed by other experts, it’s not worth getting hyped about. How many times have we seen promises of “the real deal” and been left disappointed? ALL the time.

    The way this DNA project has been handled by all involved has been unprofessional and ridiculous.

  4. Igor Burtsev responds:

    I have received a question:

    I have one question, what motivated you to share what you did today?
    … and that you simply didn’t understand that you weren’t supposed to release the information until the American Journal first published the results.

    I’m answering.

    We waited a couple of years the scientific publication by Dr. Melba Ketchum. But scientific magazines refuse to publish her manuscript which deserves to be published. And I want to remind some facts of the destiny of scolars in our field.

    Before the First World War our zoologist Vitaly Khahlov described the creature, named it Primihomo asiaticus. He send his scientific peport very circumstantial, thorough to the Russian Academy of Sciences. And what? The report was put into the box, and had stayed there till 1959, about half of century. Until Dr. Porshnev found it and published…

    Dr. Porshnev himself had written a monograph “The present State of the Question of Relict Hominoids”. It was issued in 1963 by the Academy of Sciences in some 180 copies only, for a special use. Only after a half of century (again!) it was publishe 1n 2012 in 2500 copies…

    In 1960s Mongolian Academician Rinchen had sent the skull of supposed almas to Poland, becaus our anthropologists refused to study it. Poland’s anthropologist made a sculptural portrait of that creature, Rinchen called it Homo sapiens almas in 1960s. But – it has been forgotten till last years… Again half a century!

    I don’t want the new discovery (not the first one, but the next one) to wait for another half a century to be recognized by haughty official scientific establishment!

    That is why I broke the tradition, did not let this acheavement to wayt for next half a century to be recognized. No matter of the publication in the scientific magazine, people should know NOW, what bigfoot/sasquatch is.

    As I know, one third of population of the USA believe in exuiosting of these creatures. And they deserve to know WHAT THEY ARE.

  5. bigfoots responds:

    Thank You Igor

  6. JE_McKellar responds:

    This actually seems plausible to me. People like to think DNA will tell us everything, but the fact is, we can only use DNA to compare one sample with another. A result of “unknown” is about as close as you can get to “Sasquatch” in this case.

    The interesting result here is how she compared the samples to human mitochondrial DNA, and came up with a match, and a recent match at that. “Hybrid” might sounds too sensational for my tastes, but basically it means that we’re talking about a population of hominins that interbred with human (females) about 12k years ago. That means that the original Sasquatch was a close cousin of modern humans, maybe a derived Homo erectus. This original population, though, suffered some sort of bottleneck or catastrophe right around the onset of the Holocene, right when many other large mammals were suffering catastrophic population declines. The survivors, though, interbred with human women and their descendents grew and spread into the modern Sasquatch population.

    Old World Sasquatch/Almas/Yeti populations might have gone through a similar bottleneck and interbreeding with modern humans, or they might have been a single population of Sasquatch that spread out from the Bering land bridge. DNA testing of Eurasian samples should help us figure that out, so I assume that Burtsev is eager to get funding for that next stage of the project, and grew impatient with the delays from the scientific press.

    Of course, Melba’s findings need to be replicated, but further testing needs to be done comparing the Sasquatch DNA with Neandertal and Denisovan samples, and the experts need to start looking for known human gene variants within the Sasquatch pool. In short, even if this report about Melba’s work proves true, it’s only the first step in a very long process.

  7. Redrose999 responds:

    Problem is, and I understand your personal reasons, Igor, but the scientific community will never accept any finding from the bigfoot community unless it is formally done, paying mind to all the political and bureaucratic poppycock the scientific culture created.

    There is also a ego issue here as well. According to science, man is the only intelligent creature on the planet, this is why existing animals like dolphins are not seen as intelligent, even though there are studies in the field insisting they have names, cultures and self awareness.

    Sadly the scientific community is narrow, and love to hide its mistakes by pretending they don’t exist. A great example of this is in paleontology. For over 100 years, the wrong head sat on the diplodocus at the Carnegie Museum. Everyone knew it was wrong, but no one wanted to change it because they’d be the “laughing stock” of paleo-bureaucracy. After all Cope put it there, and he couldn’t be wrong.

    This is likely the reason why various people in the past have been shunned or ignored by mainstream science when they present something that breaks with their how “the world works” paradigm. I think folks in science have lost their pioneering spirit and have taking this “can’t prove a negative” attitude to mean “by god it is not worth investing time and money in to explore the very concept” .

    Now with that aside. If this is all legit, I do hope they can get this done formally. Sadly I fear all of the scandals of the past, and everyone here I’m sure remembers all the insanity connected to this study, have made it impossible for a serious scientific journal to risk publishing it. They like nice clean research with no stings attached to them for publication.

    Science is very unforgiving.

  8. darthstinger responds:

    You don’t just post the results of a 5 year study on Facebook before it’s undergone peer review. Doesn’t matter if the study is on Bigfoot DNA or on the analysis of flake tools. It needs the peer review, and potentially more importantly, it needs the context of the rest of the study. The peer review is a review of the methodology to make sure it’s good science, and to check if there is anything the researcher(s) may not have considered. It takes time to do that, and it needs to happen before being published in a journal. Yes, there is the risk that it may be rejected just because your study is on Bigfoot, but at least wait for the notification that the paper has been rejected. Putting the results on Facebook may create some technical loophole to allow them to reject the work by saying “the results of this study has already been published elsewhere.”

    But the context of the rest of the study is important. What was the methodology? How was the data collected, what types of data were collected, how was the data analyzed? These questions are (or should be) answered in the paper, and are necessary to show why and how you came the your conclusions. Why is it a hybrid and not a subspecies, or how did you eliminate it from being a distinct species? How did you identify geographic areas?

    Which comes around to the results. Saying Bigfoot is a human hybrid with an unknown species doesn’t entirely answer what Bigfoot is, as you’re answering an unknown with an unknown. But what’s really throwing me off (and so is a great topic for future research) is the limitation of 15,000 ya. Monte Verde is one of the oldest agreed upon sites in the Americas, and is around 14500 BP. While possible, it doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot of time for Bigfoot to migrate across Asia and into the Americas. And it certainly limits the potential hybrid candidates, as Neanderthals were long extinct by then (and apparently did interbreed with Homo sapiens sapiens) so they can’t be Bigfoot, and the same probably applies to the recently discovered Denisova hominin. As of yet, there are no other known hominins besides Homo sapiens sapiens around 15000ya.

    But what we can use from these results is eliminate some of the current ideas. Assuming the results are accurate and not contaminated, it would seriously make it unlikely Bigfoot is a type of Gigantopithicus. Like said above, probably not a Neanderthal.

    So, overall, not “non-news”, but still needs the full paper to be published.

  9. DWA responds:

    Not too often I agree with everyone that’s posted on a controversial topic. And I generally do here.

    Type specimen still required. Science won’t sit up and take notice until the specimen tested comes, directly, from the target species. In other words, until we have either a body or bone/dental material that says primate, but not one we recognize.

    Speculation is wind until a type specimen is obtained. Entertaining wind to be sure, but wind nonetheless.

  10. red_pill_junkie responds:

    The other problem of publishing ‘scientific results’ (even updates) on Facebook: that legally speaking Facebook now owns that information –those pesky little details one never bothers to read before clicking ‘I accept’…

  11. squatchman responds:

    I’m glad they found the DNA, but bigfoot has nothing to do with humans! It is a totally different creature.

  12. Goodfoot responds:

    Squatchman: What does that even MEAN? Without defining what “totally different creature” means, your post, with all respect, is gibberish.

    Was something lost in translation?

  13. dconstrukt responds:

    so this mating happened 15,000 years ago and bigfoots still survive till this day?

    there would have to have been a LOT of mating between these primates and humans… no?

    i mean you’d need a population of bigfoots to survive that long, if this is correct.

    i’m sure scientists/dr’s will come out saying you cant mate primates with humans… so that’s gonna be interesting.

  14. austin_whittall responds:

    What if… the human mtDNA is from homo sapiens who were in the Americas 15 Kya and the other comes from homo erectus who was already in America at that time?

    Old World Neanderthal were gone by then, and also the other denisovans and H. erectus.

    But, what if they had somehow got into America long ago +200 kya?

    This could account for “ancient” hominid DNA mixing with modern H. sapiens DNA in America only 15,000 years ago.

  15. cryptokellie responds:

    I have questions;

    1. What kind of samples are we talking about? Hair is generally not a very good sequencing venue and it is easily contaminated.

    2. The samples were collected off an actual specimen…we know this how?

    3. Human but different…does the different sequence in one sample match the different sequence in all the human/hybrid conclusions?

    4. Interbred with humans 15,000 years ago? At that time, humans were already humans and could not have interbred with anything but other humans – which they apparently did but that cannot explain a Bigfoot population.

    As always…DWA is right on the money. Think Jerry Maguire and “Show me the body”. Hopefully one that died of natural causes.

  16. mike_noodles responds:

    It is possible for humans to interbreed with another of their family. For example; grizzly bears and polar bears are two distinct species but have been found to interbreed with polar bears in the wild, lions and tigers can also interbreed. So it is possible to interbreed two distinct species from the same family.

  17. cryptokellie responds:


    Yes that’s right. Some members of the same family are capable of inter-breeding, although in the wild they seldom do. But they can.

    My point is that 15,000 years ago, the only families of humans available for inter-breeding had already done so and were well on the way to a “modern man”. They inhabited Eurasia and Oceana up to 40,000 thousand years ago and came to the Americas maybe 15,000 thousand years ago. So humans were inter-breeding with humans and not some “unknown” which might lead to a Bigfoot.

  18. ConQuest responds:

    “So humans were inter-breeding with humans and not some ‘unknown’ which might lead to a Bigfoot.”

    @cryptokellie: Just fyi, native American Indian tribes have told of their women being taken by the “hairy man” for “marriage”?/breeding for decades at least, if not a century/centuries or more. Sometimes the men were supposedly taken by female bigfoot/sasquatch as well. The latest of these accounts (which apparently have even produced offspring) have been reported as recently as only 30-40 years ago.

    Just hearsay at this point, I know, but I’m just sayin’. 🙂

  19. red_pill_junkie responds:

    ‘Hearsay’? I think you mean… hairsay 😛

  20. Alamo responds:

    Raiding other tribes to abduct subjects for reproductive purposes is a time honored tradition among humans… why not Sasquatch as well? Maybe that’s what the Sasquatch family wanted with Albert Ostman… the girl needed a date to the “Bigfoot Prom”.

    This could be a new method to attract Sasquatch. Like when Bugs Bunny dresses up like a female Tasmanian Devil… Bobo could get all dolled up and tromp around the woods at night vocalizing, “Yoooooohooooo… Mr. Biiiiigfooooooot!”. Then Bigfoot would come and find HIM…

  21. cryptokellie responds:

    OK…we are getting off the point. My problem is with the time frame – not the inter-breeding idea. 10 to 15 thousand years ago, long before Native American Tribes were organizing, the humans that migrated into North America were totally human.

    They were perhaps indistinguishable from “modern” humans. That implies that all over the planet, wherever humans traveled, if they did meet other groups with which they interbred they would have to be human…period. Any primate that was human 10 to 15 thousand years ago could only have interbred with a human because all the supposed sub-human groups had already morphed by interbreeding into fully human groups. Colorful tribal legends aside, humans can only interbreed with humans. The Soviets tried it with apes…didn’t work.

    Now if you want to say that 2.5 million years ago some prehuman form may have interbred with an “unknown” form and gave rise to a possible Bigfoot explaination, than that is possible. Although the fossil record dosen’t support this at this time, that dosen’t mean that it was impossible. It just couldn’t have happened a mere 15 thousand years ago when all humans had long interbred into one species – us… Homo sapiens, color and culture notwithstanding.

  22. ConQuest responds:

    @red_pill_junkie: HA! Good one!

    We need to get to the bottom of all this in order to … * drumroll please * … “sasQUASH” … all these rumors. * rimshot *

  23. cryptokellie responds:

    “Sasquash”…I love it.

    We need a cover-name for all the foolishness and buffoonery that goes on the bigger world of Bigfoot. From now on I propose that all the hoaxers, manipulators,
    fame seekers and pseudo-intellectual pontificaters be lumped under one descriptive moniker…”Sasoon”. As in – perpetrator of video showing a bad Bigfoot suit doing a silly walk…”What a Sasoon.” Or “We know that Bigfoots swim under ducks and pull them under”…”He’s a Sasoon”. Or “I’ve been interacting with a Bigfoot family near my cabin for years and I’m dating the teenaged female”…You got it -“Big Sasoon”.

    Finally, anyone who calls anything, anywhere “Squatchy”…”A Total Sasoon”.

    Might catch on…

  24. cryptokellie responds:

    You hit the nail right on the head. Lets just say that he’s a…”Sasoon”.

  25. ConQuest responds:

    “Now if you want to say that 2.5 million years ago some prehuman form may have interbred with an “unknown” form and gave rise to a possible Bigfoot explanation, than that is possible.”

    That’s exactly the possibility I’m contemplating. However I’m not talking about millions of years or “a mere 15 thousand years ago”. I’m curious about what reportedly has been going on only a century or few centuries ago, although I’m far more skeptical regarding the more recent accounts of only a few decades.

    So basically I don’t know, but I’m open to everything. I think it’s in our best interest to throw the dirty biased and preconceived notion bath water out on this one so that we can take a fresh look and thoroughly research and investigate the (not so) newborn baby that’s been left behind… baby sasquatch, that is. 😉

    As genuinely intrigued as I am with this revelation and have always been with the possibility of an unknown species, I admittedly am getting way too much guilty pleasure from letting my imagination run wild right about now.

    That said… what about ANNUNAKI AND NIBIRU/PLANET X?!!! =P

    Could sasquatch be one of the supposedly many failed genetic experiments they created to do their manual gold mining labor before they created us? Wrap your mind around that!!! 😉


    Just kidding… (or am I???) … again I say unto you: * nervous laughter * MWAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAA

  26. Alamo responds:

    Hah! Nice one Kellie… the field is definitely full of Sasoons, maroons, gulla-bulls and ignoranimuses.

    “The hybridization event could not have occurred more than 15,000 years ago according to the mitochondrial data in some samples.” This seems to indicate that the mitochondrial “Eve” was 15,000 years old only for some samples… I think it entirely possible for a single branch of the Bigfoot tribe (for lack of a better word – a catch all for similar creatures: Alma, Yeti, Skunk Ape, Yowie, etc…) to be crossbreeds originating from a single antecedent 15,000 years ago… though the vast geographical distribution of the entire tribe would necessitate a common ancestor much farther back than that.

    Here’s a interesting thought: what if we too are members of the Bigfoot tribe, what if we are all human? We know (due to fossil records) that there were several branches of the human tree all existing together at one time and that these branches were able to interbreed to a certain extent.

    Other posters here have spoken of the “Uncanny Valley” as it relates to Bigfoot. Think of it like this: There is a great range of physical and behavioral differences in dogs. A Chihuahua and a St Bernard do not even look like the same animal, yet they can (theoretically) interbreed. It’s as if German Shepherds were the most successful canine… and not only that… decided that only they were true dogs and proceeded to wipe out any doggy creatures that weren’t exactly like them. The current human morphology is only the most dominant one, the one that killed off all the rest. There may well have been dozens of different “breeds” of humans existing together at some time in the distant past.

  27. cryptokellie responds:

    You get it. It is the common ancestor that would have to be over a million years ago that gave rise to the Bigfoot clan who along with Homo sapiens migrated out into the world but was different enough to not be able to intergrate with actual humans and compete. Think dogs (wolves & coyotes) and foxes…the same family, very closely related, could interbreed but don’t. They are in fact, natural enemies.
    Also remember that all domestic dogs are the same species…they are the definition of inbreeding. But your theory is possible in that a wolf can be bred with a dog or coyote, we have coywolves in my area. They are all members of the same family, Canis and genetically so similar that they can – and do interbreed. For an unknown form to interbreed with humans and produce a Bigfoot, that
    would have to have happened long eons past. To me, your idea is more likely – an off shoot human species that is hanging on here and there as conditions permit. They certainly seem more human in many respects than gorillas and chimpanzees
    which are very closely related to humans.
    If they exist and are actually some kind of human being, the person that finally shoots one will have some legal issues to answer for.
    Of course to extrapolate further, I risk becoming a…Sasoon.

  28. ConQuest responds:

    Oh, I see what’s going on here… the silent treatment from Alamo and cryptokellie.

    One little mention of space aliens and the 12th planet and all of a sudden I’m the wierd guy that gets kicked out of the conversation.

    We must learn to tolerate one another, fellow lizard people decendants! (I’m talking to you too sasquatch… maybe.)



  29. Alamo responds:

    In reading the eyewitness testimonies of people that have had them in their gun sights, the impression comes up again and again, “I couldn’t pull the trigger because it looked human.”.

    Do we really need to commit murder in the name of science? (not like we haven’t before) … but do we even need to in this case? We certainly don’t need to produce a body in order to prove murder. I submit that biological samples which are multiple and varied (hair, skin, flesh, scat, blood, etc…) yet are also congruent, constitute a de facto body. DNA is fractal in nature, the entire blueprint for the whole creature is contained in each minute part. We can already extrapolate basic morphology based on DNA. Our understanding is not quite there yet, but it is not out of the realm of possibility to be able to reconstruct an animal physically (a computer model not Jurassic Park) based on a sample of its DNA.

  30. cryptokellie responds:

    To ConQuest…

    No silent treatment from me. I’ll listen to or read any comments you care to make.

    I feel they might be a little fanciful and your writing style implies tongue-in-cheek but humor is a wonderful thing…it allows people to exchange thoughts more easily.

    Please remember, I saw a very well witnessed and documented UFO back in the early 1960’s which started my life-long interest in the unexplained.

  31. Alamo responds:

    Hey Conquest,

    Naw, we’re not ignoring you… I’ll do you one better…

    I have a pet theory that what we know as flying saucers are piloted, not by space aliens… but by humans, from a time when technology far surpassed what we have today (I won’t go into it, but there’s significant support for this: ancient artifacts, writings and depictions, etc…). These survivors of an extinction level event (natural or man-made, take your pick) kept a high level of technology while the remaining few went back to the stone age… an event corresponding to our own mitochondrial Eve some 200,000 years ago. This population would be the original relict hominids. Like all the other tribes we’ve discussed here, even more so… they would need to abduct subjects for reproductive purposes.

    The unanswered question to the whole DNA fiasco… fittingly enough, we are talking about DNA testing here after all… is, “Who’s your daddy?”. If mama’s human… who’s the daddy? I have a flight of fancy on top of a daydream (please don’t Sasoon me Kellie)… what if the source is the original relict hominid population I mentioned above? I never really considered what form this ancient race would take… but it gladdens the heart to think that perhaps… somewhere out there… are space ships being piloted very fast (after much fiddling, some banging and a lot of screaming) by large, hairy humanoids.

  32. ConQuest responds:

    @cryptokellie: tongue-in-cheek yes, but not dismissive and definitely open to all possibilities, as you seem to be.

    Btw, I know of the 1960’s ufo incident of which you speak… I was waving at you from inside the craft! 😉

    @Alamo: “it gladdens the heart to think that perhaps… somewhere out there… are space ships being piloted very fast (after much fiddling, some banging and a lot of screaming) by large, hairy humanoids.”

    One of those ships is called the Millennium Falcon and the pilot is called Chewbacca.

    Wookies… I knew it!

  33. cryptokellie responds:

    Wo gibt es nichts zu gewinnen…nichts angeboten werden.

  34. ConQuest responds:

    ich bin ein berliner! – JFK

    (I am a jelly donut)

  35. Alamo responds:

    Wer nicht wagt, der nicht gewinnt.

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