Friday, March 29, 2013

Melba Ketchum Continues Bigfoot DNA Research with Bones

Dr. Melba Kecthum is excited about new DNA extraction techniques
"One is from Dave Paulides since he has put that out publicly and another from Mike Rugg since he has also openly discussed it." --Dr. Melba Kectchum Responding to where did the bone samples come from.

Dr. Melba Ketchum announced she will be working on teeth and bone samples in pursuit of Bigfoot DNA. The technique she will be using is a technique taught to her from a Dr. Pat. According to Dr. Ketchum, Dr. Pat has never failed at getting DNA from bone and has developed the extraction techniques that have identified people for the military, including the soldiers buried in the Tomb of the Unknown.

As a side note, anonymity of the entombed soldier is key to the symbolism of the monument: since the identity is unknown, it could theoretically be the tomb of anyone who fell in service of the nation in question, and therefore serves as a monument to all of their sacrifices. Symbolism is great, but families their fallen identified and post-Vietnam soldiers may never be unknown again. You can read about the last identified soldier in this Washington Post article.

Getting back to Dr. Ketchum, she seems very excited about the techniques and makes a distinction between forensic scientist and academic scientist. Read an excerpt from her announcement on facebook  below.
[Dr. Pat] taught me the technique, but he has the wonderful robots that make extractions more perfect than I could ever do manually. He has never failed to get DNA from bone. Even manually his techniques are SO fantastic that I was able to get usable DNA from cremated remains in two separate cases (one cat and one human) and I never thought we could do that, especially without robots. We recently extracted DNA from some 2000 year old tissue and hair and got good results (DNA profiles) using these extraction methods without having to amplify the DNA (WGA) or make a "library" like they did for the Neandertal and Denisovan hominins prior to sequencing. We have one sample that is highly degraded bone and it will be interesting if this will be the first time this extraction technique fails. I am betting on getting DNA though. The academics could sure learn a few things from forensic scientists about extracting good DNA from minimal samples and also how to determine if there is really contamination other than just assuming that there is... It is so awesome! I gotta love science!!!!

We actually know quite a bit about the tooth from Mike Rugg. It is a fairly large molar, decidedly primate according to Mike and was found in 2002 during a shark tooth dig in Scotts Valley, California. You can watch Mike Rugg talk about the toothe in the video below.

CORRECTION: The initial version of this post claimed Dr. Pat has been responsible for identifying people for the military, more accurately Dr. Pat has been responsible for developing the extraction techniques that have identified people for the military. The post has been changed to reflect the correction.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

This Just In! Neanderthal Human Love Child Found

Hybrid with a Neanderthal mother and Human father may have been found
"The researchers found that, although the hybridization between the two hominid species likely took place, the Neanderthals continued to uphold their own cultural traditions." --Jennifer Viegas, Discover News

We were just talking about hybrids yesterday. It's like Bigfoot Lunch Club is not only on the cutting edge of Bigfoot news, but on the cutting edge of science news too! (Intellectually we know it is coincidence, but let us have this--please.)

In an article that seems to have all the anthropologist buzzing, we may have found the first official Neanderthal/Human hybrid, with DNA to back it up. Or as we crassly put it, the Neanderthal/Human lovechild...Read the article below.

The skeletal remains of an individual living in northern Italy 40,000-30,000 years ago are believed to be that of a human/Neanderthal hybrid, according to a paper in PLoS ONE.

If further analysis proves the theory correct, the remains belonged to the first known such hybrid, providing direct evidence that humans and Neanderthals interbred. Prior genetic research determined the DNA of people with European and Asian ancestry is 1 to 4 percent Neanderthal.

The present study focuses on the individual’s jaw, which was unearthed at a rock-shelter called Riparo di Mezzena in the Monti Lessini region of Italy. Both Neanderthals and modern humans inhabited Europe at the time.

“From the morphology of the lower jaw, the face of the Mezzena individual would have looked somehow intermediate between classic Neanderthals, who had a rather receding lower jaw (no chin), and the modern humans, who present a projecting lower jaw with a strongly developed chin,” co-author Silvana Condemi, an anthropologist, told Discovery News.

Condemi is the CNRS research director at the University of Ai-Marseille. She and her colleagues studied the remains via DNA analysis and 3-D imaging. They then compared those results with the same features from Homo sapiens.

The genetic analysis shows that the individual’s mitochondrial DNA is Neanderthal. Since this DNA is transmitted from a mother to her child, the researchers conclude that it was a “female Neanderthal who mated with male Homo sapiens.”

By the time modern humans arrived in the area, the Neanderthals had already established their own culture, Mousterian, which lasted some 200,000 years. Numerous flint tools, such as axes and spear points, have been associated with the Mousterian. The artifacts are typically found in rock shelters, such as the Riparo di Mezzena, and caves throughout Europe.

The researchers found that, although the hybridization between the two hominid species likely took place, the Neanderthals continued to uphold their own cultural traditions.

That's an intriguing clue, because it suggests that the two populations did not simply meet, mate and merge into a single group.

You can read the rest at

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Two Clear Possibilities for Bigfoot: Hybrid or Mutant

Possible Bigfoot Origins can be summed up in two words: Hybrid or Mutant
 "We used to think that mutations occurred individually and slowly over time, but fossil evidence suggests that new species pop up fast, driven by gene pool isolation, and then stabilize with population increase." -- Anthony Ciani, UIC condensed matter physicist

Bigfoot Lunch Club has been waiting for Dr. Melba Ketchum to contact us to no avail. It is a shame, without Melba Ketchum's input it is hard to provide a balanced take on her research. Today may be as close as we can get.

Anthony Ciani tells us he was introduced to Melba Ketchum earlier this year, January of 2013. When he was asked to be a guest editor for the journal in which her paper would be published.

Mr. Ciani brings up some interesting points based on Melba Ketchum's paper of which I've publish below.
There are two clear possibilities for the origin of bigfoots: hybrid or mutant.  The mtDNA is fully consistent with known human sequences (given a base pair or two).  The maternal lineage is, without a doubt, H. sapiens sapiens.  Even more interesting, is that the oldest mtDNA sequence found was from about 15,000 ybp, while the youngest was only a few thousand years old, if that.  This means that bigfoots have been continuously splitting from or interbreeding with normal humans since about 15,000 ybp until rather recently.  The problem with the hybrid idea is that if bigfoots are a cross between humans and some closely related hominid (Homo X), then they probably would have breed with Homo X, and we should find unknown mtDNA from Homo X; but there is not, at least, not in the bigfoots from which samples were collected.  Some people might think that the Homo X chromosome 11 and human chromosome 11 should still be distinctly identifiable, but chromosomal crossover could have mixed them together, turning a heterogeneous hybrid into a homogeneous race.

The other option is that bigfoots originated as a mutation from H. sapiens sapiens.  We used to think that mutations occurred individually and slowly over time, but fossil evidence suggests that new species pop up fast, driven by gene pool isolation, and then stabilize with population increase.  There was a global disruption about 15,000 ybp, and it is quite possible that bigfoots are cold-adapted humans.  Given their physical features, they do seem to be dark skinned and negroid, which were the predominant human traits until about 6,000 ybp (when human skin color lightened in the north).  Add in the hair and size, and you have a bigfoot.  Throw in a bit of racism, and you have perpetual segregation.  Given the broad range of physical descriptions, bigfoots may still be mutating.  Bigfoots may have been even smarter in the past, and if Gerald Crabtree is correct, both they and us may be getting even less smart.  Intelligence is not the objective of evolution; survival is, and evolution may have us all giant and hairy, running around in the woods.
Of course I ran this past my go-to micro biologist Dr. Tyler Kochjohn and he had this to say:
There are many possible models to explain Bigfoot origins and I feel [Anthony Ciani] has done a great job coming up with some ideas.  Ideas are the easy part and sometimes Nature does not work the way we think it should, making it essential to examine all the possibilities by confronting hypothesis with data.  I also point out that disputes over data and ideas are part and parcel of science, this is certainly not unique to Dr. Ketchum’s paper.  If you ask a scientist whether they have had a paper rejected by a journal in an unwarranted manner, I feel most will admit to that and probably tell you they were furious about it as well.  You move on, seek help if need be and try again.  This is the norm.
You can read Anthony Ciani's entire letter to Bigfoot Lunch Club below.

Dear Editor,

In his post, "Ketchum Paper "Peer Reviewed" by Academic Professor", Guy Edwards stated that Dr. Ketchum had not responded by the time of publication.  Considering there is no follow-up article, it seems she will not responded.  I am familiar with some of her work, including unpublished findings and the drama concerning its publication, so I thought I might take a stab at responding to Tyler Kokjohn's comments.

Kokjohn is quoted as saying, "if it was me who held solid evidence of a new species and a remarkable pattern of origin, I would be breaking down the doors of any mainstream scientists I thought might be able to verify my data."  Knocking on doors is exactly what Ketchum did.  Many skeptics have claimed that the "scientific community" would consider all good evidence seriously, but what Ketchum discovered was an abundant mix of knee-jerk ridicule and institutional cowardice, in both the attempted collaborations and in publishing the paper.  The "scientific community" has been very childish in this endeavor.

To verify parts of her work, Ketchum sent "blind" material to well established laboratories, and frequently received enthusiastic responses concerning the novel nature of the DNA, with researchers begging to be let in on its source; until she mentioned, "suspected bigfoot", at which point those researchers, so eager to collaborate, would run away while venting their anger.  Even some of the reviewers, including ones reviewing for highly influential journals, treated the paper as a joke.  Many of those who did review the paper dismissed it with hand-waving arguments, mostly based on the catch-all claim of contamination.  Ketchum has even had difficulty in posting the sequences to GenBank.  In order to post a sequence, there must be a taxon under which to post it.  New taxons can be created, but must be approved by the NCBI taxonomy group.  According to Ketchum, this group rejected the creation of a taxon for bigfoots, so she has been unable to post the sequences to GenBank.  Perhaps she just talked to the wrong person?

The most controversial part of the paper is Ketchum's speculation (emphasis) that bigfoots are a cross between human females and some unknown hominid.  There is little data to identify the genesis of the bigfoot race, and Ketchum was originally loathe to make any speculation about it.  The speculation was a response to a reviewer, who suggested that including an origin for the species would make the paper publishable.  As Kokjohn notes, there are problems with the hybrid conjecture.  Unfortunately, Dr. Ketchum can be far too stubborn for her own good, and she grew attached to the idea of a hybrid, so she left it in the paper, rather than remove it after the paper was rejected.  She has even gone so far as to misread hear own phylogenetic tree, and has been talking about some possibility that bigfoots are a cross between giant lemurs and humans.  Ketchum is not a geneticist or evolutionary biologist; she is a forensic scientist.

Kokjohn is correct, in that the hybrid hypothesis has problems, but Ketchum's paper was not about proving that bigfoots are hybrids.  The paper was about proving that there is something unique and unrecognized roaming the woods, consistent with itself and nothing else, and the paper does exactly that.  The hair morphology and nuDNA were consistent across samples, and different from human or anything else.  Ketchum's work had the limited focus of establishing how to identify bigfoot evidence from DNA and hair morphology, not identifying what a bigfoot is or how it came about, and her first publication target was a forensics journal (which rejected the paper because it was too genetic and biological).
Ketchum's results can point us toward the origin.

For the nuDNA sequencing, Ketchum looked ONLY at chromosome 11.  The sequencing technique used a universal primer and provided the entire, continuous sequence along the chromosome (junk and genes, straight down the string).  What Ketchum (well, technically a geneticist collaborator) found was a mixture of easily identifiable human genes, slightly mutated human genes and unknown sequences, all on the same chromosome.  The genes that are identifiable as H. sapiens sapiens do not show up at exactly their proper loci, and the junk sequences between them are poorly matched, but it is a hominid chromosome 11.  I am uncertain where Kokjohn got the idea that Ketchum ever said the sequences have no homology, because she wrote, "all three samples showed homology to human chromosome 11."  Most of the genes are there, but many of them are just slightly different, and a few are very different (assuming they are genes and not junk).

There are two clear possibilities for the origin of bigfoots: hybrid or mutant.  The mtDNA is fully consistent with known human sequences (given a base pair or two).  The maternal lineage is, without a doubt, H. sapiens sapiens.  Even more interesting, is that the oldest mtDNA sequence found was from about 15,000 ybp, while the youngest was only a few thousand years old, if that.  This means that bigfoots have been continuously splitting from or interbreeding with normal humans since about 15,000 ybp until rather recently.  The problem with the hybrid idea is that if bigfoots are a cross between humans and some closely related hominid (Homo X), then they probably would have breed with Homo X, and we should find unknown mtDNA from Homo X; but there is not, at least, not in the bigfoots from which samples were collected.  Some people might think that the Homo X chromosome 11 and human chromosome 11 should still be distinctly identifiable, but chromosomal crossover could have mixed them together, turning a heterogeneous hybrid into a homogeneous race.

The other option is that bigfoots originated as a mutation from H. sapiens sapiens.  We used to think that mutations occurred individually and slowly over time, but fossil evidence suggests that new species pop up fast, driven by gene pool isolation, and then stabilize with population increase.  There was a global disruption about 15,000 ybp, and it is quite possible that bigfoots are cold-adapted humans.  Given their physical features, they do seem to be dark skinned and negroid, which were the predominant human traits until about 6,000 ybp (when human skin color lightened in the north).  Add in the hair and size, and you have a bigfoot.  Throw in a bit of racism, and you have perpetual segregation.  Given the broad range of physical descriptions, bigfoots may still be mutating.  Bigfoots may have been even smarter in the past, and if Gerald Crabtree is correct, both they and us may be getting even less smart.  Intelligence is not the objective of evolution; survival is, and evolution may have us all giant and hairy, running around in the woods.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thom Powell Drinks the Ketchum Kool-Aid

Thom offers up a tasting of the Ketchum Kool-Aid
"If that makes me a “Ketchum supporter” then, yes, I guess I drank the Kool-Aid. All I can say is, it was delicious." -- Thom Powell

There is no doubt that Bigfoot Lunch Club is a friend of Bigfoot author, Thom Powell. Heck I even illustrated the cover of his best selling Bigfoot book Shady Neighbors. I am also a huge fan of his previous must-have book The Locals. Click the following link to buy either of his Bigfoot books.

Due to Thom Powell's books he is on record for reporting many of the Bigfoot phenomena before they became mainstream conversations--mainstream among bigfooters anyway. While not everybody "bought" into these topics we still discuss them; topics like infrasound, cover-ups, habituation and yes, even Bigfoot DNA. Thom Powell is no hack when it comes to the topic, he has given a lot of thought to it and clearly has made his own conclusions. 

Thom and I talked about the topic of his recent post, "Bigfoot DNA Evidence Redux" a full week before he posted it. We didn't agree much over the phone, but if I'm honest, his blog post affords him greater ability to make his points. Points of which I still disagree with, but I do have some favorite parts. I loved his synopsis.
OK, so here it is in a nutshell: 109 samples were obtained from all over North America.
(Obviously, the sasquatch phenomenon is more widespread than most people realize.) Most samples were hair, but not all. Blood, saliva, and even a tissue sample was analyzed. Not all of the work was done by a single lab. Some of it was farmed out to university labs that were not initially given any background about the samples they were asked to examine.

The findings were remarkably consistent: mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA), which is indicative of the female component of the genome, came back as human! The nDNA (nuclear DNA from the male progenitor) was found to be ‘novel’, which is geneticist code for “doesn’t match anything previously extracted.”  Also, large sections of the DNA strands appeared as single strand molecules (haploid), as opposed to the uniformly double-stranded DNA of all human DNA that is not found in sex cells (gametes). This might indicate that the DNA being sequenced was highly degraded DNA, but degraded DNA is found to contain lots of bacteria, and no bacteria was found in conjunction with the DNA that showed single strand configuration.  It was not degraded, but it was single strand DNA in about half of the segments that were sequenced. Multiple labs observed this anomaly, an[d] dutifully reported it to Ketchum.
It is the last sentence that I find troublesome. Does it matter that Ketchum was dutiful?

In another paragraph from his post, Thom and I absolutely agree that Ketchum's study can be vindicated if she allowed other scientist to replicate her work.
I suggested to Dr. Ketchum that vindication of her work will only happen when it is replicated by another study, maybe even more than one. She wholeheartedly agreed. We are told that Dr. Bryan Sykes at Cambridge is already on it. Meanwhile, Ketchum has complete confidence that her methodology and her result will withstand the test of time and scientific scrutiny, if scientists will just look objectively at her work.
There are a few parts where the post seems like a Valentine to Ketchum, but I have been known to fawn over personalities myself; namely Cliff Barackman, Sharon Hill and Thom Powell himself. My biggest concern regarding Thom Powell's post is that people will miss his reference to Chapter 10: “No Stone Left Unturned.” of The Locals.

This is where Thom impresses (and inspires) me most, with his own studies and thoughts compiled from many sources.
There is one final doozy of a stone that is still unturned.  It’s sort of the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room that nobody wants to talk about...

I’m referring to the other half of the sasquatch genome that the Ketchum study identified; the part that isn’t human. The sasquatch genome, according to the Ketchum’s work, is human DNA that interspersed with DNA that is absolutely unknown.  It is neither ape, nor human, not lemur.  Ketchum has no idea what it is, nor does anyone else, but the ‘novel’, single strand, haploid DNA is there for anyone to find who knows how to sequence it. Is it some evolutionary offshoot of humanity that we have yet to identify in the fossil record?  Maybe. But the mysterious sequences are single strand, that is haploid DNA, and all terrestrial DNA in somatic cells (blood, hair, tissue, bone) is diploid unless it is in gametes (sex cells).

OK, so what is the origin of this truly novel DNA that Melba Ketchum found in the sasquatch genome? For one possible answer, check out The Locals, Chapter 10: “No Stone Left Unturned.”  What gave me a chill when I read the Ketchum study is the possibility that I may have written down an answer ten years before I even asked this question.

Read Thom's complete post regarding his thoughts on the Ketchum Study at ThomSquatch. While you are there buy his Bigfoot Books too.

Stay tuned. Tomorrow I will publish a thoughtful letter sent to us from a Ketchum advocate!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Do Bigfoot Inbreed? This Complicates Bigfoot DNA Research

human inbreeding may have be more prevalent than we thought 
"...if small, inbred populations did exist, it would invalidate many of the genetic inferences about when humans split off from the tree of life." --Erik Trinkhaus, Anthropologist

It can go two ways, either Bigfoot has a sufficient breeding population, or they are extremely scarce and might resort to inbreeding. Inbreeding, it seems, may have been more common in early humans than we thought. If this is the case according to Erik Trinkhaus, an anthropologist at Washington University says if small, inbred populations did exist, it would invalidate many of the genetic inferences about when humans split off from the tree of life, because these inferences assume large, stable populations.

Why is human inbreeding even being debated? New fossil evidence is changing how anthropologist view the human tree of life.
The evidence comes from fragments of an approximately 100,000-year-old human skull unearthed at a site called Xujiayao, located in the Nihewan Basin of northern China. The skull's owner appears to have had a now-rare congenital deformity that probably arose through inbreeding, researchers report today (March 18) in the journal PLOS ONE.

The fossil, now dubbed Xujiayao 11, is just one of many examples of ancient human remains that display rare or unknown congenital abnormalities, according to the researchers. "These populations were probably relatively isolated, very small and, as a consequence, fairly inbred," study leader Erik Trinkhaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, told LiveScience.

Before I get emails from an offended Sasquatch or an inbred challenging me to a banjo playoff. There may be an argument that primates, especially ones more in tune with their animal nature, have a mechanism against inbreeding.

According Live Science some primates recognize the sound of kin.

Previous studies have found that animals living in complex social groups have no trouble recognizing their own kin's calls, particularly the sounds of maternal relatives. Even goat mamas keep a long-term memory for their baby's calls, according to a study published earlier this year.

But less is known about how animals recognize their father's calls, and the cries of the relatives on dad's side of the family. Likewise, researchers know very little about how solitary-living animals avoid inbreeding with dad's side of the family.

That's where the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) comes in. These cartoonishly cute lemurs are raised by their mothers without help from dad. When they grow up, they head out of the nest to forage on their own. But male lemurs' ranges are large, and they often overlap with that of their daughters', suggesting the primitive primates have evolved some way to avoid accidentally mating with a relative.

The take-away, Kessler and her colleagues wrote, is that recognizing dad's voice requires neither a big brain nor a complex social life. In fact, ability to recognize kin may have preceded complex social structures in evolutionary history.
What is most interesting to us at Bigfoot Lunch Club is how inbreeding messes up how we understand human lineage and how it may have an affect on human DNA research, at least as far as . If the current Bigfoot DNA research being done by Dr. Melba Ketchum or Dr. Bryan Sykes is also based on human lineage, do these need to be rethought as well?

Watch the video below to learn more about how the deformed fossils found in China could change how we think of how humans split off from the tree of life.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

WATCH: Exclusive Preview Video of Finding Bigfoot Cast on Jeff Probst Show

(James "Bobo" Fay, Ranae Holland, and Cliff Barackman on Jeff Probst Show)
Fans, when the mainstream media's industrial entertainment complex needs to get the word out they rely on Bigfoot Lunch Club. Whether it is an upcoming movie, a new Jack Link's commercial or the Jeff Probst show featuring the cast of Finding Bigfoot, they need the Bigfoot bully pulpit known as Bigfoot Lunch Club. And fans, we oblige.

We already mentioned there may be a debate with Ranae and Jeff Probst on one side and Bobo and Cliff on the other regarding Bigfoot proof. (read: Jeff Probst Interviews Finding Bigfoot Cast). It looks like, based on the video preview that they have a lot of fun too!

Enjoy the preview below.

Do you work during the day? Set you DVRs! with this nifty Jeff Probst Show Finder. Select your state and it will tell you where to find the Jeff Probst Show. 

truTV: Top 5 Reasons Bigfoot Will Be Found Soon

Bigfoot doing what Bigfoot does best, tree peaking.
"Which one of these five people will be the one to come up with conclusive proof that Bigfoot exists?" --Norma Lee Jennings, truTV

On the truTV website, Norma Lee Jennings suggests that we are close to finding Bigfoot. So close we can attribute the finders to 5 people/groups. Below are the Top 5 Reasons Bigfoot will be found soon and the reasoning behind the picks--at least according to truTV.

5. Melba Ketchum

What makes Ms. Ketchum’s project unique is the amount of faith she has in her findings. She even submitted her paper to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Unfortunately for the advancement of cryptozoology, “Novel North American Hominins: Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies” was not accepted to any journal.

4. Dr. Jeff Meldrum's Bigfoot Blimp

In order to track the elusive creature and record his actions in his natural environment, Meldrum is looking for $300,000 to fund the purchase of a blimp onto which he intends to attach thermal imaging devices. The blimp will then be launched over the Blue Mountains and other parts of Idaho’s wilderness. Professor Meldrum is eager to find Bigfoot, but won’t believe in its existence until he has conclusive proof.

3. Sharon Lee's Kickstarter Campaign

Lomurno wants to draw attention to the grueling nature of authentic Bigfoot research – when she is in the field, she goes out all day to look for signs of something large in the area. “That [first] night, you do your night surveillance. You can’t get into your tent and go to sleep at 11pm,” she says.


Their website says that one of the best ways to get over the fear of a possible Bigfoot encounter is to look for him in a group. Apparently this strategy has been working, as former participants have testified that they saw footprints or heard calls during their trips. This summer, are some big expeditions is planned for British Columbia that may prove fruitful.

1. Finding Bigfoot

The series Finding Bigfoot has served as a spark for reigniting the popular imagination about Bigfoot’s existence. This show follows the work of renowned BFRO researchers as they travel around the U.S. and across the globe to investigate any cryptid hominid sightings.

It is kind of curious how Norma Lee Jennings came up with this list. As far as we know the Sharon Lee Kickstarter campaign is now defunct. You can read her full explanation at the truTV blog.

Jeff Probst Interviews Finding Bigfoot Cast

(James "Bobo" Fay, Ranae Holland, and Cliff Barackman on Jeff Probst Show)
This Thursday (Mar 21st 2013) you will see 3/4ths of the cast from Finding Bigfoot. According to our sources, the conversation gets a little heated when Jeff Probst pushes back against the cast regarding lack of Bigfoot proof.

A blurb from the Website is below:
James "Bobo" Fay, Cliff Barackman and Ranae Holland, stars of the hit Animal Planet show "Finding Bigfoot," talk to Jeff about their quest to find one of the world's most mysterious creatures. They share some of the greatest adventures they've had looking for Bigfoot around the world, react to criticism from skeptics, and teach Jeff some of their favorite Bigfoot tracking techniques. Plus, special guest Yvette Nicole Brown (NBC's "Community") joins Jeff for a chat.  And, two contestants try to distinguish truth from lies in the game "Who's Right?"
SRC: The Jeff Probst Show

In case you work during the day, you can watch full episodes after they air here.

UPDATE: The Jeff Probst Show provided Bigfoot Lunch Club  with a teaser trailer for Thursday's Finding Bigfoot clip.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Melba Ketchum Creates Thank You Page to Wally and Adrian

Wally Hersom helped fund Melba's DNA study
On a page from her Global Sasquatch Foundation, which has the catchy web address, Melba thanks two of the major funders of her project. The Global Sasquatch Foundation is a non-profit organization founded to protect the indigenous Sasquatch people from threats to their peaceful coexistence alongside us.

Read an excerpt below:

On behalf of its participating research scientists and laboratories, volunteer research groups, individual DNA sample submitters and countless thousands of witnesses now vindicated, the Sasquatch Genome Project wishes to extend our deepest gratitude to Wally Hersom of Henderson, Nevada.

Without his generous financial contributions, this project would not have been successful. His support ensured that the existence of the Sasquatch would not only be proven, but more importantly, they would be recognized as a type of people deserving of our respect and protection from those who would harm them.

This is followed by a short bio of Wally Hersom

The page also thanks Adrian Erickson and a few others:
We also would like to thank Mr. Adrian Erickson of Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada for his generous funding.  The small initial project would not have grown into this study without his generous support. Furthermore, we appreciate the other donors: David Paulides, Robert Densford, Richard Stubstad and Larry Surface. 

WATCH Cody and Joe from Dual Survival Debate Bigfoot

Joseph Teti (left) Cody Lundin (right)
Experts agree there are some very basic and universal rules for surviving in the wild. Find shelter, find water, find food, find help. Beyond that, there is quite a bit of wiggle room. In this grey area of how to survive you get some great debates between Cody Lundin and Joseph Teti.

Sometimes the debates go beyond survival. Thanks to BLC fan Mike Leone we were able to get this clip from Dual Survival. The debate topic? Bigfoot!

Today in Bigfoot History | MAR 14, 2004 | John Green Publishes Thoughts on P/G Film

John Green with White Lady (photo: Steven Streufert of Bigfoot Books)
"The answer has been in plain view all along, the creature on the film holding it, quite literally, in its arms." --John Green

What you read below is a paper written by John Green that was published on the website of Roger Thomas. The website is now defunct and we were only able to access this page through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

John Green, of course, is one of the four horsemen of sasquatchery. Born February 12, 1927, Mr. Green is a retired Canadian journalist and continues to be a leading researcher into the Bigfoot phenomenon. In 2004 he published the paper below, in the paper he advocates for the authenticity of the Patterson/Gimlin film and adds a comment from Dr. Jeff Meldrum using the concept of intermembral index, a measurement used to determine limb proportion.

Thoughts on the Patterson-Gimlin Footage

By John Green, 14 March 2004Almost thirty-seven years ago two young men from Yakima, Washington, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin, emerged from a remote forest in the northwest corner of California with a brief 16-millimeter filmshowing a hairy creature walking along a sand bar on its hind legs, and the debate on whether their film shows an unknown animal or a man wearing a fur suit has gone on ever since.

Now, thanks to a new book on the subject, that debate should be at an end. The answer has been in plain view all along, the creature on the film holding it, quite literally, in its arms. And that answer, ironically, is the opposite of the one in the book.

The creature cannot be a man in a suit.

The writer of the book, of which only review copies are so far available, claims to have cracked the case by finding two key witnesses, the man who wore the suit, a Yakima acquaintance of Patterson and Gimlin named Bob Heironimus, and the man who sold a gorilla suit to Patterson and told him how to modify it, Philip Morris, a costume maker from Charlotte, North Carolina.

The creature in the movie has normal-looking arms. It cannot be a man in a suit.

The Heironimus story is not new. It surfaced several years ago one of the many unsubstantiated claims to have been "the man in the suit" that crop up from time to time. Phillip Morris appears to be a real find, a man who actually was making gorilla costumes in 1967 and who says he remembers selling one to Roger Patterson.

One of the things that Morris is quoted as saying is that the way to make the arms in the suit look longer than human arms is to extend the gloves of the suit on sticks. Many people have noted that the arms of the creature in the film look unusually long, almost as long as its legs. Some, including myself in 1968, have published estimates of their length. No one went on to deal with the question of how human arms could be extended to match the extra length and what such an extension would look like.
There is no way to establish for certain if any of the dimensions estimated for the creature in the film are accurate, but what can be established with reasonably accuracy is the length of the creature's legs and arms in relation to one another. From that ratio, which anatomists call the "intermembral index," it is simple to calculate how many inches must be added to the arms of a man of known size in order to make his arms long enough to fit the supposed suit. In my own case the answer turns out to be about 10 inches.

But in order for the arms to bend at the elbow, which they plainly do in the movie, all of that extra length has to be added to the lower arm. The result, in my case, is about 12 inches of arm above the elbow and 29 inches below it — almost as much of a monstrosity as Edward Scissorhands. The creature in the movie has normal-looking arms. It cannot be a man in a suit.

Many issues in the long debate about the movie remain unresolved — what the film speed was, whether a man could duplicate the creature's unusual bent-kneed walk, whether its behavior was normal for an animal, whether the tracks left on the sandbar could have been faked, and so on — but all of them turn out to have been irrelevant to the main issue.

My measurements of the film, made 36 years ago, gave the creature arms that were 30 inches from the shoulder to the wrist and legs that were 35 inches from the hip to the ground. My own measurements are about 24 inches from shoulder to wrist and 40 inches from hip to ground. Only the ratios of the measurements matter, the actual size of either the human or the creature makes no difference, and the ratios for creature and human are so much different that precise accuracy of the measurements is not significant either. The much ridiculed Patterson-Gimlin film does not show a man in a suit.

What about Roger Patterson buying a gorilla suit? Philip Morris does not claim to have records, only a memory, and neither Mrs. Patterson nor Bob Gimlin remember Roger having any such suit. But Roger was trying to make a Bigfoot documentary at that time and most such documentaries contain re-enactments by someone wearing a fur suit. If he did buy one it has little more significance than an apprentice carpenter buying a hammer.

And the descriptions of the suit by the two key witnesses are totally contradictory. Morris is quoted as having described his suit in precise detail, and how he made it. The suit had six separate pieces: a head a body (arms, torso and legs), two hands and two feet. A knitted cloth material served as a backing to thousands of synthetic nylon strands called dynel, which were driven by a powerful knitting machine with needles through the knitted cloth material and then pulled back through to the other side. It had a 36-inch zipper up the back.

Bob Heironimus is also quoted, saying that Patterson made the suit himself by skinning a dead horse and gluing fur from an old fur coat on the horsehide. It was in three parts, head, torso and legs that felt like bigger rubber boots and that went to his waist. He thought the feet were made of old house slippers. The suit weighted 20 or 25 pounds and he needed help to get in and out of it. It also smelled bad. "It stunk. Roger skinned out a dead, red horse."

A Comment by Jeff Meldrum

It has been obvious to even the casual viewer that the film subject possesses arms that are disproportionately long for its stature. John Green is a veteran researcher into the question of Sasquatch or Bigfoot. He was among the first to view the film captured by Patterson and Gimlin and has studied it intensely in the intervening years. His recognition of the significance of the unhumanly long arms of the film subject is point that has not previously been articulated in such a straightforward manner. It is such a fundamental observation that it is considered a breakthrough in assessing the validity of this extraordinary film. Anthropologists typically express limb proportions as an intermembral index (IM), which is the ratio of combined arm and forearm skeletal length (humerus + radius) to combined thigh and leg skeletal length (femur + tibia) x 100. The human IM averages 72. The intermembral index is a significant measure of a primate's locomotor adaptation  The forelimb-dominated movements of the chimp and gorilla are reflected in their high IM indices of 106 and 117 respectively. Identifying the positions of the joints on the film subject can only be approximate and the limbs are frequently oriented obliquely to the plane of the film, rendering them foreshortened to varying degrees. However, in some frames the limbs are nearly vertical, hence parallel to the filmplane, and indicate an IM index somewhere between 80 and 90, intermediate between humans and African apes. In spite of the imprecision of this preliminary estimate, it is well beyond the mean for humans and effectively rules out a man-in-a-suit explanation for the Patterson-Gimlin film without invoking an elaborate, if not inconceivable, prosthetic contrivance to account for the appropriate positions and actions of wrist and elbow and finger flexion visible on the film. This point deserves further examination and may well rule out the probability of hoaxing.

Jeff Meldrum Ph.D. Associate professor of Anatomy & Anthropology
Idaho State University,
Idaho, 83209-8007.

Dr. Meldrum is an expert in primate anatomy and locomotion. He recently coedited, From Biped to Strider: The Emergence of Modern Human Walking, Running, and Resource Transport. He became interested in the Sasquatch question eight years ago after witnessing 15-inch tracks in southeastern Washington state. He has examined numerous footprints, including those associated with the Patterson-Gimlin footage.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WATCH 4 Exclusive Clips from Psych's Bigfoot Episode

Psych episode "Lassie Jerky" is about Bigfoot and stars WWE's The Big Show
Ahh found footage, it has almost become synonymous with Bigfoot entertainment. If you are unfamiliar with found footage, it is a genre of film-making where most of the movie is made by piecing together footage that is usually left behind by the dead protagonist. Think Blair Witch, Cloverfield or Paranormal Activity. Four recent Bigfoot movies are in the found-footage format; The Lost Coast Tapes, Exists, Bigfoot County, and The Woodsman.

The association of found footage and Bigfoot is so pervasive, the newest Bigfoot movie "Stomping Ground" proudly claims it is NOT a found footage movie.

Tonight (3.13.2013) the newest episode of Psyche, Lassie Jerky, decides to carry the torch of the Bigfoot/Found footage genre. Psych is a detective comedy-drama television series. The series stars James Roday as Shawn Spencer, who solves crimes under the guise of being psychic and he is paired with his reluctant partner Gus played by Dulé Hill.

Carlton "Lassie" Lassiter (Timothy Omundson)
Zap2it is an online watching guide for television and movies, they were able to get the scoop on tonight found footage Bigfoot episode from executive producer Steve Franks.
"It's funny because [found-footage] was one of the ideas I had in between Seasons 6 and 7 ... My first thought was, 'Maybe we'll do an episode that's 25 percent found-footage, or to make it a little more difficult we'll do 50 percent' ... and James immediately said, 'I want to write it' and the first thing he says is 'And it's all found-footage.'" laughs Franks.

"James and I had more discussions about how to pull this of than we have with anything," Franks adds. "It's unbelievable that he managed to do it. It's such a tribute and achievement to James and his skill as a filmmaker. He's going to be a tremendous director for the rest of his life, just based on seeing what he pulled off with the found-footage episode."

The episode sees our intrepid SBPD (Santa Barbara Police Dept) gang deep in the woods. What starts out as a hunt for Bigfoot turns serious when Gus makes a startling discovery at the bottom of a ridge. Cue Lassiter and O'Hara to the rescue -- and boy, does Lassiter take a beating in this episode. 

Watch four clips from tonight's episode of Psych below.

Today in Bigfoot History | MAR 13, 1969 | Patterson screens his film in Portland with additional BBC footage

Roger Patterson making a cast of  a Bigfoot track
"We know enough about Bigfoot's habits and habitats that we should be able to soon lure one into a position where we can capture it..." Roger Patterson, 1969

There is debate whether this actually happened in 1968 or 1969 as the portion of the Oregon Journal article with the date is missing. If anybody wants to go to the University of Oregon, they have the article on microfiche.  

Click picture to enlarge
**UPDATE** Thanks to Bigfoot Lunch Club fan, Chris Fosnight! Chris was able to get a hold of the microfiche and confirm the date of the paper was March 11, 1969. You can click on the picture to the right to see the article in full size.

What we do know is Patterson incorporated the scene of the infamous Sasquatch walking across a river bank into a documentary and he screened his movie at local movie houses across the Northwest. One of the stops was Portland's Memorial Coliseum, where he screened it for two nights March 13th and March 14th.

Read the excerpt from the Oregon Journal article, interestingly it also talks about a BBC documentary, we will get to that after the excerpt.

[Roger Patterson's] film has become the basis for a documentary made by the British Broadcasting Company and subsequent articles in Life Magazine and Reader's Digest, Argosy and the National Wilderness Magazines. The BBC film and additional footage of expeditions into western wilderness will be shown at Portland's Memorial Coliseum on March 13 and 14.

Early next week Patterson and three companions intend to go into the Cascades east of Portland, Oregon on the first of a serious of three "ape hunting trips" he is planning this year. Reports of sightings and footprints in this area from an Estacada logger, who claims to have seen the giant creature on three different occasions, prompted the Oregon expedition. Both Patterson and Rene Dahinden of British Columbia who has spent the last ten years hunting the Sasquatch (Canadian name for the creatures) are convinced the logger is telling the truth. Dahinden visited the area a week ago and inspected piles of rocks supposedly piled up by the mystery creatures as they looked for hibernating rodents.

After the Oregon expeditions, Patterson and the Northwest Research Association, which he heads, plan trips to Mt. St. Helens area in Washington and in the Mt. Shasta country in northern California.

In Portland this week, Patterson said he felt the search for Bigfoot is drawing to a close. "We know enough about Bigfoot's habits and habitats that we should be able to soon lure one into a position where we can capture it," Patterson declared.
The BBC documentary was never made whole and a lot of BBC footage was given back to Patterson. Some of the footage can be seen in the BBC series, "X-Creatures:Shooting Bigfoot."

The first video below is John Green's copy of, "X-Creatures:Shooting Bigfoot." provided by Steven Streufert of Bigfoot Books. Followed by that is entire "X-Creatures:Shooting Bigfoot." episode in three parts.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top 6 Sensational Bigfoot Conspiracies

Bigfoot must be some type of hybrid, right?

The following 6 Bigfoot Conspiracies are from the website mental_floss magazine. Mental_floss promises to be the type of website you can use to impress your friends. They have 11 top conspiracies, we picked our six favorite.

Whether or not you believe in Bigfoot, chances are you live pretty close to somebody who does: Sasquatch sightings have been reported in every state but Hawaii over the course of several centuries. In the process, a number of bizarre theories have been put forth to explain how the mysterious beasts came to be, reproduce, and constantly evade us.


Texas veterinarian Melba S. Ketchum claimed last November to have proved via sasquatch DNA sample that the legendary apes are partially human. She even went so far as to insist that the Government recognize them as “an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights."


Following the disaster, a few witnesses reported seeing federal helicopters carrying off the charred remains of several sasquatches from the area. Prior to the eruption, Mount St. Helens had already been a hot spot for supposed “ape-men” sightings since the 1920s. In fact, so many of these stories were recorded that a nearby gorge was eventually named “Ape Canyon.”


In 2007, Vancouver Island resident Robert Wilson claimed to have seen “what I thought was a bear. I drove down and saw what I could only describe as a large, hairy man who looked cave man-like… with sort of Neanderthal features. As big as a bear, easily.” Expanding on his claim, a 2011 History Channel documentary proposed that “[the] sasquatch might not be a giant ape at all, but could be a species of prehistoric human.” You can see the segment in question at this video’s 55-minute mark.


Two conspiracies for the price of one! In 1973, Pennsylvanian UFO researcher Stan Gordon noticed an increase in sightings of sasquatches entering and exiting the extraterrestrial vessels. Fascinated by the possibility that the mysterious primates may actually hail from another planet, Gordon quickly set up a “UFO-Bigfoot Hotline” which still runs to this day.


While most “experts” believe the sasquatch to be some form of shaggy primate, a few have opined that these beasts are actually surviving giant ground sloths. For more on these fascinating prehistoric mammals, do go here.


Animal-on-animal bestiality is far from uncommon. Accordingly, more than a few farmers claim to have witnessed male Bigfeet (which is the plural of Bigfoot) getting intimate with some unfortunate bovines. (Where’s Gary Larson when you need him?)

Read the other 5 theories list by Mental Floss here:
--brought to you by mental_floss! 

Today in Bigfoot History | MAR 12, 1996 | UPN Snow Walker Video

Still frame of snow walking Bigfoot from UPN TV Show Paranormal Borderlands
"We had some suspicions qualifying our speculations, which were selectively edited out of the documentary interviews." --Dr. Jeff Meldrum

Today, March 12th, in 1996, The United Paramount Network (UPN) needed a huge premier for its new TV show The Paranormal Borderline. They had the perfect video, a Sasquatch regaining it's balance and walking up a snow bank.

Unfortunately the segment producer for The Paranormal Borderline was also behind Alien Autopsy: (Fact or Fiction?). Both films were admitted hoaxes. You can see the footage from the TV show in the two videos below.

It is often reported that Dr. Jeff Meldrum was quoted on the show as saying, "We're talking about an individual somewhere between 8 to 10 feet tall in height..." This may not be the entire story. You Tube user Spiko7 reached out to Dr. Jeff Meldrum, who claims his suspicion of the video were edited out:

"They traveled to Mammoth Ski resort in California and edited in stock footage of the Himalayan panoramas. I was the one who initially analyzed it. We had some suspicions qualifying our speculations, which were selectively edited out of the documentary interviews. In follow up research, the videographer came forward and admitted the prank. The producers needed a hook for the premier episode of Paranormal Borderline and hired the guy to fabricate something. It's a hoax, plain and simple."

Monday, March 11, 2013

You Can Help Finish a Bigfoot Movie

John Bobek andTarah DeSpain in Bigfoot Movie, "Stomping Ground"
"Everyone, regardless of how much of a skeptic you claim to be, has a little bit of love for the Squatch inside them." --Stomping ground Kickstarter page.

Fans, you know when Hollywood wants to promote a Bigfoot movie and spread the message to the greater public, they come to Bigfoot Lunch Club. The truth is, we don't always say yes. It has to be a well-crafted story and a novel approach to Bigfoot. Stomping Ground is exactly the type of movie we say yes to, and they need your help to polish this fine film. Watch the video below from the Stomping Ground KickStarter Page.

While we appreciate that you are still  reading this post, by all means, go to the Stomping Ground KickStarter Page and make a pledge you can afford.

The director, Dan Riesser, is a fan of Bigfoot Lunch Club and a producer on E!'s The Soup. Oh sure you know him from some of The Soup's funniest skits  like the parody trailer for Dolphin Tale. You may have even seen his short film

Tara DeSpain, the leading actress in Stomping Ground

Folks, this is a great time to get Stomping Ground on your radar, they have just recently finished shooting all the scenes and just need to finish up in post-productions. These guys know how to use social media, unlike previous independent films we coveredStomping Ground has website, a Twitter page, A Facebook Page and even a Tumblr Page.

They shot scenes in the same area Michael Green got his thermal video. Dan Riesser cares a great deal about the research community, and after several emails we can vouch for the respect he intends towards Bigfoot research in the film.

Please visit the Stomping Ground KickStarter Page and make a pledge.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Author Kirk Sigurdson on Radio Show Inspired by Bigfoot

Acclaimed author Kirk Sigurdson is currently working on publishing a new Bigfoot  book
"I don't really care for the term conspiracy theory, I prefer something more descriptive like selective history or bernysian-style propaganda" --Kirk Sigurdson

At 5pm/8pm PST/EST Bill Baum of Inspired by Bigfoot Radio show will interview one of the most thought provoking voices in Bigfooting.

Kirk has been involved in two Bigfoot documentaries. One is a 20 minute short about a squatchy area he has coined as Kultus (see video below). The other documentary is available as a bonus feature to the true-to-life Bigfoot movie Letters From The Big Man.

Kirk Sigurdson is also known for his highly acclaimed book, Cowslip, and his much anticipated Bigfoot book titled, Kultus. His writings have also appeared in The Portland Review and Lovecraft Studies. he lives in Portland, Or, where he teaches writing. To top it all off Kirk holds a Master's degree in English literature from NYU.

Listening to Kirk is like chasing the white rabbit in Wonderland. And like Alice, even though you may have never heard or seen what you meet in Wonderland, you will not be able to deny what is revealed in front of your face. Most would consider the topics Kirk speaks to as "conspiracy theories," but as he prefers, a more accurate label would be hidden histories. What will Kirk Sigurdson reveal on Bill Baum's show, you'll have to tune in to find out. Click the following link to listen to Kirk on "Inspired by Bigfoot Radio"

Watch the Kultus documentary below.

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