Showing posts with label melba ketchum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label melba ketchum. Show all posts

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Watch How Stuff Works Break Down the Current State of Bigfoot Research

These guys give us the current state of Bigfoot research has a video series called Stuff to Blow Your Mind. This video is somewhat current covering both Bryan Sykes DNA study and Dr. Melba Ketchum's DNA Study.

Watch the video below:

Monday, September 9, 2013

David Paulides Explains the Complexity of Bigfoot DNA

David Paulides tries to add context to the Ketchum Bigfoot DNA Project
"[Dr. Melba Ketchum] has caught much flack from other groups who have no idea of the complexity or the internal protocol develop(ed) by researchers." -- David Paulides

Below is a snippet of Jeffery Pritchett's Interview with David Paulides. Jeffery Pritchett is the host of the radio show The Church Of Mabus at He has a Bachelors in Science Communications. The radio show has often been described as Heavy Metal meets Paranormal. 

Mr. Pritchett does a great job interviewing Paulides asking ten questions ranging from the Hoopa Project to Dr. Melba Ketchum. It is the answer to the tenth question that is interesting to us, where Mr. Paulides explains the complexity of Bigfoot DNA.

[Jeffery Pritchett:] DNA testing has been around for over a decade yet there has never been another bigfoot group to attempt classification, why?

[David Paulides:] When we started the bigfoot DNA project we collected dozens of samples and then solicited specimens from different groups and individuals across North America, eventually collecting over one hundred.

The bigfoot DNA is much more complex than anyone outside the project understands. Dr. Melba Ketchum has been the lead scientific researcher and has caught much flack from other groups who have no idea of the complexity or the internal protocol develops by researchers. There are some outsiders who believe they are entitled to more information then has been released.

Our intentions have always been to submit the results of the bigfoot DNA project to a scientific journal and to have our results peer reviewed. If other scientists of international notoriety give the paper their blessing, there is then no basis for refusing to accept the validity of the results. Protocol in this process is mandated, scientists (participants) can never release results of the testing until the paper is peer reviewed.

People need to understand that the results of the DNA are not Dr. Ketchum’s interpretation or the product of her independent work, they are the cumulative effort of many organizations and institutions who contributed their intellect to the results. Great discoveries sometimes take years of success and failure before enlightenment occurs. The results of this study will change the way the world views the biped.

North America Bigfoot Search (NABS) is a privately funded organization that had its start in Silicon Valley, California. A small group of technology executives had prior incidents in the woods of Northern California and dedicated resources for the research and investigation of the Biped.

One significant difference between NABS and every other Bigfoot organization is our dedication to stay on a regional project until every possible angle of every sighting has been researched, witnesses interviewed, locations and food sources understood, and an extensive list of variables answered. Our organization will stay in a community sometimes for months/Years and thereby develop the trust, integrity and contacts to make our research valuable and enlightening.

The organization is interested in all regions of North America and can have a researcher dispatched to a specific area in your state in hours. We do appreciate information on any Bigfoot sighting anywhere in the world.

Our researchers and investigators have extensive experience in their specific field and may have knowledge about your area that is unique. Our ability to keep a researcher on site to develop that “unique” knowledge has assisted our organization in developing advanced techniques in gathering information.

Our ability to communicate and align with all facets of government, business, academics and various levels of society make our field personnel an unusual commodity in Bigfoot circles. The researchers we field may be from any one of a variety of academic backgrounds, private industry and university adjunct positions. We pride ourselves in being professional, discrete and open to all ideas and feedback.

Jeffery Pritchett is the host of The Church Of Mabus radio show bringing you interviews on the paranormal and high strange and cryptozoology. Saturday nights at 11pm Eastern or come listen for free on our archives at your own leisure. you can read the full initerview at

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.  

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!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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.

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. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ketchum Paper "Peer Reviewed" by Academic Professor

The Melba Ketchum Paper is being reviewed, what do other academics think?
"...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.  I would want that Nobel prize far more than another appearance on Coast-to-Coast AM." -- Dr Tyler A. Kokjohn, Professor of Microbiology at Midwestern University

We've read the Melba Ketchum Sasquatch DNA Study and found it was echoing many of the statements that had already been leaked. It wasn't really new news. To be honest though, how would we know? Fortunately we know people who would know. So we asked our friend Tyler A. Kokjohn, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology at Midwestern University what he thought. You may remember the Dr. Kokjohn from the post, "First Bigfoot DNA "Peer Review" Results are In-- But, Not as Expected"

We pulled out some of Dr. Kokjohn's questions, but also provided the email from Dr. Kokjohn so you can see the questions in context.
  1. What happened to the original founder species?
  2. The Hybrids are abundant, yet the founder species is extinct?
  3. How could a hypothetical species so close to modern humans to interbreed and produce viable, fertile offspring not share homology to the same entities in their extended family?
  4. Where did the sequences not in GenBank originate?

Dr. Kokjohn's Letter:

Guy –

Unfortunately, this pdf does not include supplementary data, so it is really hard to figure out how much of this I wish to deem reliable.  The authors will have to grant reviewers the ability to view the sequences and run their own analyses at some point.  Under the circumstances, I can’t say any of it is convincing evidence of a new species.

The authors proffer quite an interesting story; a male from an unknown species mates with a human female to ultimately establish a new hybrid species.  But, based on the fact that they report finding 16 distinct human mitochondrial haplotypes in North America alone, such events must have occurred rather frequently and freely.  Then I have to ask, what happened to the original founder species?  NONE of them survive, but the hybrids are still extant?  You would still think that out there somewhere would be some individuals harboring maternal mitochondrial DNA from the original species.  That every one of them had only pure human mtDNA suggests a quite unique segregation followed and was maintained after the founding events, a minimum of 16 separate times.   And all that human mtDNA remained unchanged no less.  It is also hard to understand what they are asserting when telling the reader that sequences have no homology to extant apes, Neanderthal or other extinct species.  Human sequences are amazingly close to Neanderthals, so nearly identical it was a challenge to tease them apart.  How can there be no sequence similarity with the putative Sasquatch samples and/or what do they mean by that?  How could a hypothetical species so close to modern humans to interbreed and produce viable, fertile offspring not share homology to the same entities in their extended family?  Where did the sequences not in GenBank  originate?  None of this makes much sense to me and maybe they will see fit to explain it all carefully some day.

I just do not know, Guy.  It is possible my colleague was able to get the ancillary data, so maybe she will have more to add.

So, the good news seems to be that samples are remarkably abundant, suggesting that independent corroboration should be possible soon.  All I can add is that 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.  I would want that Nobel prize far more than another appearance on Coast-to-Coast AM.  So verification should be coming soon, right?

Best wishes.

Dr. Kokjohn added, "I am not impressed with the data I have seen, but from that I draw no conclusions regarding the existence or non-existence of Bigfoot."

It should be noted we reached out to Dr. Melba Ketchum to see if she had any insight to any of these questions; we gave her ample time to respond and she did not have a comment at the time of this post. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

Countdown Top 12 Googled Bigfoot Personalities of 2012

Searching for Bigfoot can go beyond the Big Guy. Some personalities get searched as well.
As a statistical analyst I should preface that these results are the top Googled names that found Bigfoot Lunch Club, otherwise Jane Goodall would top the list with 2 million global searches annually. That is what makes this countdown so informative, we are basically filtering these names by interest in Bigfoot.

There is a slight bias towards coverage as well. So don't be surprised if you don't see names associated with Bigfoots in freezers, Florida cab drivers, or those that have caught a Bigfoot named daisy. There is one exception; Todd Standing. I don't think there is a better resource for Todd Standing than Bigfoot Lunch Club. With all that said, we introduce to you Bigfoot Lunch Club's 2012 countdown of the  top 12 Googled names!

NO. 12 Justin Smeja | The Bigfoot Killer

Justin Smeja claimed to have killed two Bigfoot in October 2010. According Mr. Smeja, 5 weeks later he returned to the scene with bloodhounds and collected a piece of flesh, known by some as "the Bigfoot steak."

In his own words, "Me and my buddy drove into a clearing shielded by trees, so it was much like a blind corner for any game that would be feeding in the meadow, and we saw a strange looking creature. I shot it and 2 others juveniles came out of the thicket. They all ran off and we went after them on foot and eventually I shot another one. We hid the small one and i couldn't find the other. We left immediately after."

Since then, He has passed a lie detector test and the piece of flesh has been tested for DNA by Melba Ketchum (results still pending). More recently the flesh was sent to Trent University in canada and the results came back as a female black bear. Click the following link for the entire coverage of Justin Smeja.

NO. 11 Cliff Barackman | The Cast Nerd

Cliff Barackman is currently a co-host of Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot, he also the ultimate cast nerd. Not only does he have a historical encyclopedic knowledge of casts from Bigfoot history, he also probably has the largest cast collection 2nd only to Professor Jeffery Meldrum of Idaho State University

Trackways, prints and casts are probably the best physical evidence we have about Bigfoot. They tell us more about morphology and behavior than DNA currently can.

If you get a chance check out his research on the London Trackway casts. You can also read our complete coverage of Cliff Barackman.

NO. 10 Melissa Hovey | Bigfoot Feminist

Melissa Hovey is the Bigfoot researcher who was once featured on all-female expedition episode of the History Channel's, "MonsterQuest". She is currently president of the American Bigfoot Society (ABS). She is a member of the Sasquatch Watch of Virginia, and a former member of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy.

She made Bigfoot news this year with the release of what she claimed to be a possible photo of Bigfoot's back. Bigfoot Lunch Club had two Hollywood Special FX artists look at the photo and they were able to identify independently the type of fur that may have been used for the Bigfoot in the photo. Click the following link to read more about Melissa Hovey 

NO. 9 Dr. Jeff meldrum | Professor Bigfoot

Dr. Jeff Meldrum is Professor of Anthropology at Idaho State University. He has had multiple guest appearances on several Bigfoot related specials on The Discovery Channel and History Channel. His most notable is Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, of which he wrote a companion book of the same name.

This year he announced his participation in fundraising $300,000 of the Falcon Project. A Bigfoot blimp that is using the latest in camera technology. He also has a role in the Bigfoot DNA study headed by Bryan Sykes of Oxford University. Click on the following link to get our complete coverage of Professor Jeff Meldrum

NO. 8 Frank Siecienski | Bigfoot Stole His Apples

Frank Siecienski has an apple orchard in Vermont. At one point he believed more than deer were eating his apples.

Mr. Siecienski told WCAX news, "One section of my apple tree, the apples were completely devoured. One whole section. I pointed it out to my wife and she says 'oh God,' the deer must have been hungry. And I said 'no, a deer couldn't have eaten that many apples in one night.'"

On a September evening Mr. Siecienski decided to set a trailcam to find out what could be eating his apples. The trailcam was circulated among the Bigfoot community and was featured on Finding Bigfoot. Click the following link to see the picture and interview of Frank Siecienski.

NO. 7 Jane Goodall | Bigfoot Believer

British primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall spent almost half-a-century studying the wild chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in Tanzania. Her ground-breaking discoveries have contributed much of what we know about the behavior of these primates.

She has gone on record twice about her firm belief that Sasquatch exist.  The first time was September 27th, 2002 on Ira Flatow's Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio's (NPR). Dr. Jane Goodall made a striking comment, ""Well now, you'll be amazed when I tell you that I'm sure that they exist."

Recently she told Huffington Post, ""I'm not going to flat-out deny its existence I'm fascinated and would actually love them to exist." Click the following link to listen and read more about Jane Goodall.

NO. 6 Anna Necaris | Lorisis Lady

Prof Anna Nekaris is a Professor in Anthropology and Primate Conservation studying the unique group of evolutionary distinct primates known as the Asian lorises.

She is most known for her role in the History Channel's documentary Bigfoot: The Definitive Guide. As primatologist, specifically dealing with nocturnal primates, Ms. Necaris brought her unique knowledge of behavior of recognized primates to the show.

On December 9th 2008, she presented Searching for the Yeti. The presentation revealed how you find unknown animals, looking at examples of new species of primate still being discovered today, and exploring the likelihood of the Yeti's existence. Click the following link to see Anna Necaris' Presentation 

NO. 5 James "Bobo" Fay | Fan Favorite

Bobo says that he saw his first Sasquatch while on an investigation with veteran Bigfoot researcher John Freitas in 2001. Since his initial sighting, Bobo claims to have glimpsed Bigfoots on a few other occasions, but it was this first visual sighting that moved him the most.

Today, Bobo makes a living as a commercial fisherman out of Eureka, California. He continues to take odd jobs in unrelated fields, most of which are centered on trying to spot a Bigfoot. His close relationship with the community in which he lives helps him keep his "ear to the ground," and he collects dozens of local Bigfoot sighting reports each year
Bobo is probably the most well-known and recognizable co-host of Finding Bigfoot, his "Gone Squatchin'" hat may be more famous. Click the for more James Bobo Fay.

NO. 4 Matt Moneymaker | BFRO Founder

Although Bobo may be the media darling, Matt Moneymaker's name get's searched more often. He is an active tweeter @MattMoneymaker1 and He is of course the founder of the BFRO.

In 1995 he connected with other Bigfoot researchers on the nascent World Wide Web and formed the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. In 1996 he launched the web site for the BFRO and began investigating and publishing eyewitness reports on the Internet. For the next few years he co-produced a few television projects about Bigfoot before he began organizing field expeditions in different parts of the country, which he still does today.

Read our complete coverage of Matt Moneymaker

NO. 3 Melba Ketchum | Bigfoot DNA Researcher

Melba Ketchum is the founder of DNA Diagnostics. She entered the world of Bigfoot 5 years ago when she started her Bigfoot DNA project. After several delays and missed publication dates, dates she proposed herself, the Bigfoot community is more than anxious.

As you can imagine, she quickly climbed to the top three of this countdown after her press release claiming that the study results suggest Bigfoot is part human.

Click to read our coverage of Melba Ketchum

NO. 2 Ranae Holland | Token Skeptic

Ranae Holland almost tops the chart coming in at #2. Though Ranae is not a member of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) and does not believe in Bigfoot, she is fascinated by the phenomenon, and is excited to have found a way to combine her scientific knowledge, fieldwork skills, and love of the wilderness to investigate alleged sightings.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, where she was selected for and worked with the distinguished Alaska Salmon Program. For over a decade, Ranae has conducted fisheries research throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

The most popular post is the Ranae's San Diego Gay and Lesbian News interview. Click to read our complete coverage of Ranae Holland.

NO. 1 Todd Standing | Oh Canada

Todd Standing tops the list because we have covered him so extensively. He started off strong this year mostly due to the Finding Bigfoot episode, by then we already had quite a history covering him.

Initially we were impressed with his triangulation methodology and his theory about "day watchers," Sasquatches that served as diurnal sentinels while the rest opf the clan slept.

The man even made some progress getting Canadian legislation to recognize and preserve the Sasquatch.

Unfortunately things began to unravel when Todd Standing shared some up-close photos of Sasquatch that looked more like a Muppet than Bigfoot. Another point of contention was the name of the area he was doing research in called "Sylvanic." He claimed it was named by the first nations people but upon further research Sylvanic derives from the latin Sylvan meaning: One that lives in or frequents the woods.

Click to read the wild ride that is Todd Standing.

Well this does it for the top googled names of 2012. At least the ones that were used to find Bigfoot Lunch Club. If you enjoyed this you may also like the Year-in-review posts Part 1 and Part 2

Monday, December 24, 2012

George Knapp is a Ketchum Bigfoot DNA Apologist

George Knapp continues to be a Melba Ketchum Apologist
"The most vehement, the nastiest reaction to the aforementioned [Bigfoot] DNA study has come from those that think of themselves as Bigfoot researchers" -- George Knapp, Coast to Coast AM

Two and a half years ago Dr. Melba Ketchum along with a retired police officer met with George Knapp, a Sunday night host of  radio call-in show Coast to Coast AM (C2C). It was in a Las Vegas restaurant called La Scala. At the dining table George Knapp was asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in order to have access to Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA research.

Last night (12/23/2012) George Knapp interviewed Melba Ketchum on C2C to address any updates with her DNA study. Unfortunately the first two hours were used to establish that Melba Ketchum is well-respected in the international genetics community and tortured by a vicious Bigfoot community.

The biggest frustration, for us, is how the Bigfoot community is characterized as being vicious. Vicious is how Mr. Knapp refers to the community in his DEC 5th piece, "I’m dreaming of a Bigfoot Christmas"
The Bigfoot community has been even more vicious, mostly because so many of the true believers have staked out their own turf and do not want to see a scientific interloper like Ketchum upstage their often ridiculous assertions or to undercut public interest in the 800 or so cable TV shows about the search for Bigfoot.
Notice how Mr. Knapp does not qualify viciousness as coming from a few, it is the entire community that is vicious. A few inarticulate jerks do not make a vicious community. Critical thinkers with questions and concerns do not make a vicious community. After reading Mr. Knapp's Dec. 5th article you could characterize Melba Ketchum as a misunderstood victim due to her heroic dissent of the accepted consensus of bigfooters. We don't believe Melba is a victim, if she is, it is of her own making. More importantly, in our opinion, she is misrepresenting the community.

Last nights interview was an audio version of Mr. Knapp's earlier article with the addition of Melba Ketchum's backup affirmations.

It starts out with Mr. Knapp describing, "the most vehement, the nastiest reaction to the aforementioned [Bigfoot] DNA study has come from those that think of themselves as Bigfoot researchers...those folks have worked themselves into a real tizzy about this DNA study, attacking this study and it's principal coordinator with a has been relentless."
When Melba Ketchum gets a chance to respond to Mr. Knapps intro she characterizes her critics as jealous.

This post is not about the Bigfoot DNA study, we still hope that it sheds light on Bigfoot, or at least increases our understanding of Bigfoot. It is about how Melba Ketchum's narrative and press mis-characterizes the Bigfoot community. 

If you think about it, each one of us probably has a different version of Bigfoot in our minds, and that version has quite a bit of flexibility. Most Bigfoot conversations are like, "Do you think this? or do you think that?" or "I've heard some encounters that support this, but I've also heard encounters that contradict that." In other words, we acknowledge our uncertainty and admit we are curious. Yes we disagree, but we also listen.

Bigfooters disagree, but we also listen and above all learn from each other. This is the Bigfoot community we know, this is the community we are proud to be a part of. The vast majority of us are not jealous or vicious. We are curious and bonded by the same elusive being that the majority of the world refuses to consider. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dr. Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA Study, Peer-Rejected

Dr. Melba Ketchum as Lucy; Charlie brown as the general public
"The problem is that some people absolutize the science. Unfortunately science now is too conservative." --Igor Burtsev on why Dr. Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA research was peer-rejected

This is not the outcome we had hoped for, but one we had hinted at. Dr. Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA study has been rejected for publication. It may not have even made it to the peer review process, meaning it could have been rejected by journal editors before they even assigned a peer-review team.

Igor Burtsev, head of the International Centre of Hominology, is the man who initiated the media frenzy by prematurely "leaking" the study to the public. Dr. Burtsev is also the same man who announced the non-publication of Dr. Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA study.
"Re the paper: the reviewed journals in the US refused to publish the paper. That is why Dr Ketchum has sent it to me to arrange publishing in any Russian reviewd journal. And I showed to our genetisits and understood that it was a serious work. I gave it up to the journal, now it's under reviewing." --Igor Burtsev
UPDATE: Robin Lynn. Dr. Melba Ketchum's spokesperson reacted to Dr. Burtsev's remarks and seems to slightly contradict them:
The REVISIONS HAVE BEEN DONE AND THE JOURNAL HAS THEM NOW. They are now reading the paper. I have read the paper myself it is very indepth. and long. Extremely scientific. This is why it is talking so long...Also this is a topic never been done before. All this adds up to taking alot longer to approve." 
This has been, at least, the fifth time the targeted time line has been pushed back. In fact, in a Yakima Herald article, Dr. Ketchum is quoted on Nov 26th 2012, "(the study might become public in) weeks instead of many months, that’s for sure.”

Lucy and the football comes to mind.

We knew getting a Bigfoot DNA paper published would be a challenge. According to Katrina Kelner, a Science magazine editor, "At Science, we have to reject more than 90% of the papers submitted to us." 

This is why Dr. Melba Ketchum's execution and communication had to be flawless, it had to be held to a higher standard--there were too many expectations and too many personal efforts on the line. In our opinion, if Dr. Melba Ketchum had realized this project was bigger than herself, the outcome would have closer to the one we had hoped for.

Unfortunately it is Not Over.
Like a bad breakup, where on side rejects the other and then the rejected one says they were never interested in the first place. We see a similar analog here. It seems Dr. Burtsev, is almost saying, "Science doesn't like us, we don't think science is worthy." We are paraphrasing so let's use Dr. Burtsev's own words from his Facebook post.
The problem is that some people absolutize the science. Unfortunately science now is too conservative. One third of the population of the USA believes in BFs existing, but academic science even does not want to recognize the problem of their existing or not, just rejecting to dicuss [sic] this question. In such a condition this subject is under discussion of the broad public. We can't wait decades when scientists start to study this problem, forest people need to be protect now, not after half a sentury [sic], when science wakes up. 
Fortunately it is Not Over
There is another camp that is trying to do Bigfoot DNA research. It is the Oxford-Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project headed by Bryan Sykes (read: Everything You Didn't Know About the Bryan Sykes' Bigfoot DNA Research ). 

The Oxford-Lausanne/Sykes project is taking a different approach, instead of hinging the research on a peer-reviewed paper, the results will be distributed in multiple formats. According to Rhettman Mullis, founder of Bigfootology, "do not forget that Sykes is also turning this project into a book and the BBC have stated they are going to film a three hour documentary (one hour segments) on the Sykes' project."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CNN reports Bigfoot DNA Using Footage Mostly from TV Show Finding Bigfoot

CNN Carol Costello reports the Bigfoot DNA study that says Bigfoot is part human
using  mostly footage from Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot
Now you know it is really news. CNN had picked up the Bigfoot DNA study that claims Bigfoot is part human.

The choice of mashing up the Melba Ketchum Bigfoot DNA study and the TV show Finding Bigfoot is ironic (perhaps even amusing) to most Bigfooters. Matt Moneymaker, co-host on Finding Bigfoot,  has been very vocal, most recently on twitter, about his lack of confidence in Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA study that claims Bigfoot is part human.

Below are some choice tweets from BFRO founder and Finding Bigfoot's co-host, Matt Moneymaker.

  I think the DNA study in Texas will be exposed as a hyped up publicity stunt and scam. I've been monitoring it for a while.

Bald-faced mendacity of Melba Ketchum. She told Lee Speigal the DNA samples "came to me. I didn't go after them, that's for sure." Bullsh*t.

More than 5 years ago she pitched her BF DNA testing to the producer of Monsterquest, and later pitched herself to the producers of MY SHOW!

 Yo Greggy, Melba's study won't be taken seriously by any real scientists. It's all fake. Her "team of scientists" doesn't exist

Yes, she received a few legit samples but her "DNA analysis" and documentation was a sham and a scam. She made ridiculous excuses for years.

 When hoaxers and charlatans succeed it getting news media attention, they can use the attn to swindle people who want to help.

 All three of those guys [Paulides/Randles/Carpenter] are dealing w/ Melba because she is telling them exactly what they want to hear about their own samples.

The only silver lining to Melba Ketchum's scam: It helped encourage Dr. Sykes at Oxford (England) to seek BF DNA samples. He is very legit.

Dr. Jeff Meldrum Responds to Melba Ketchum's TV Interview

Dr. Jeff Meldrum holding a possible Bigfoot Cast
"Please don't get me wrong. I truly hope she has the brass ring. I want very much for her study to be legitimate and significant." --Dr. Jeff Meldrum on the Dr. Melba Ketchum Bigfoot DNA study

Dr. Jeff Meldrum is the highest profile scientist and academic when it comes to Bigfoot research, he is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology and Adjunct Associate Professor of the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University. His book, a companion to the Documentary of the same name, "Sasquatch Legend meets Science," is a must have in any serious bigfooters library.

Believers and skeptics alike respect Dr. Meldrum's approach to the Bigfoot phenomena. Notable skeptic Brian Dunning has been quoted as saying, "The work of responsible scientists like Dr. Meldrum is exactly what true skeptics should be asking the Bigfoot community for, not criticizing him for it." 

Due to his credentials and popularity Dr. Meldrum has been showcased on maultiple networks including NatGeo, History Channel, and the Discovery Channel, this also includes TV shows including Monster Quest and the recent Finding Bigfoot

He is also involved in a parallel study of Bigfoot DNA. The study headed by Bryan Sykes of Oxford University.

Recently Melba Ketchum has been in the spotlight due to her press release that claims Bigfoot may be part Human. Two days ago (11/27/2012) Dr. Melba Ketchum was interviewed and Dr. Jeff Meldrum commented on the interview on his Facebook Page. You can read his response right after the video below.

And Dr. Meldrum's response.
Dr. Ketchum provides a much more reasonable interview for a Houston news program. She acknowledges the prematurity of the announcement (I believe she could have stopped short of discussing her unpublished results, however). She does conclude by saying the publication is anticipated in a matter of weeks not months (we've heard that before, but I hope this time it is indeed accurate).
Please don't get me wrong. I truly hope she has the brass ring. I want very much for her study to be legitimate and significant. To that end I want to see her navigate the publication process properly and successfully!

My criticisms stem from the lack of available substantiation of her interpretation of the mtDNA results and the difficulty I have envisioning a scenario that accounts from what is proposed -- a hybridization event 15000 years ago in Eastern Europe that resulted in a population dispersed across North America.

Many people don't seem to understand the role of a null hypothesis (a working hypothesis). The aim is to attempt to falsify or refute it. The hypothesis that whatever is out there is likely a relict ape, or a relict early hominin (e.g. Paranthropus) appears the most reasonable in light of the substantive objective data (personal subjective experiences by some, notwithstanding). Melba even acknowledges this fact in her interview. If evidence, properly interpreted, overwhelmingly negates the null hypothesis, then we set it aside -- simple as that. The notion of "camps" as if they were political parties, has no legitimate place in a scientific endeavor.

I am anxious to see the results -- whatever they are! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Journalist Gets Melba Ketchum to Comment on Bigfoot DNA

Dr. Melba Ketchum working on DNA
"...weeks instead of many months, that’s for sure.” --Melba Ketchum on how soon her Bigfoot DNA results will be public

Apparently earlier this week (Monday November 26th, 2012) Scott Sandsburry of the Yakima Herald contacted Melba Ketchum and got her to comment on the 50-page manuscript that has documented her study and, as she claims, supports the idea that Bigfoot is part human.

The excerpt below contains just the quotes from Melba Ketchum.
Reached on telephone Monday, Ketchum said the 50-page manuscript containing the research and DNA findings is still in peer review at a scientific journal. As for whether the premature announcement would impact that, she said, “I hope not. So far we haven’t heard anything that says it’s going to stop it.” As for when the study might become public, she said, “in weeks instead of many months, that’s for sure.”

Ketchum said the study had sequenced “three complete Sasquatch nuclear genomes” and determined the species is a human hybrid — “the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens.”

Sasquatch nuclear DNA, Ketchum said, “is incredibly novel and not at all what we had expected. While it has human nuclear DNA within its genome, there are also distinctly non-human, non-archaic hominin (member of the genus Homo, including Homo sapiens), and non-ape sequences. We describe it as a mosaic of human and novel non-human sequence.”
The article does contain further quotes from Melba Ketchum's surrogates.  One in particular is a quote from Thom Cantrall.
The release of Ketchum’s findings, Cantrall said, is “igniting a war” among different factions in the Bigfoot-believing community — those adamant that the creature is an ape or gorilla, and those who are convinced it’s more human than not.
We can report that there is no war. The debate Cantrall is referring to is less about Bigfoot and more about whether the Bigfoot community accepts that humans are also apes. In other words, humans are apes and most likely Bigfoots are apes too.

You can read the entire article at the Yakima Herald

There is also a video interview done by a local Texas news station here.
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