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

Monday, November 26, 2012

First Bigfoot DNA "Peer Review" Results are In-- But, Not as Expected

Bigfoot DNA Causes More Questions Among the Scientific Community
The word peer review is in quotes in the title, because we are using it ironically and with reservation. We do not mean peer review in the scientific publication sense. We do mean, however, that scientific peers are interested in Dr. Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA Press release. We have reactions from an invertebrate neuroethologist, a genome informatic expert, a DNA lab owner, and a professor of microbiology. There is a great consensus among these academics, they seem to have two reactions.
  1. While intriguing, the press release seems pre-mature and the timing seems odd since the manuscript has not been published and the peer review has not been completed.
  2.  Dr. Melba Ketchum does have credentials, let's hope it is legit.
NeuroDojo, run by Zen Faulkes, is a popular award-winning neuroscience blog has this to say. 
It’s not just the subject matter of the press release that is strange, though. There’s the little fact that it’s for a paper that is in review, not one that has been published. Usually, papers in review don’t get press releases, because goodness knows Reviewer Number 2 has taken a lot of manuscripts out of contention and they never see the light of day.

In fact, I have to admit: I am so pulling for Reviewer Number 2 to take this manuscript down. Preferably with sniper-style precision and finality. As one Twitter commenter said, this is something that most journal editors would not even send out for review.
NeuroDojo, seems to also be rooting for Dr. Melba ketchum.
That Ketchum is a published author on DNA techniques makes me think this is not a hoax. And I've smelled sasquatch hoaxes before...This feels much more like... overly enthusiastic interpretation, if I’m being charitable about it.
Dr. Mary Mangan of, has experience in the private and academic sectors of Genome Informatics, has this reaction:
It was irresistible. I had to read the release, and all I could think about was finding the Sasquatch Genome Browser. It eludes me right now.

Oh, I can’t wait to see this paper. For a laugh I searched PubMed to see what kind of Bigfoot data there is already, and to my surprise he’s in there.  Of course, the paper is about the psychology of monster hunters. And also about the tension between “amateur naturalists and professional scientists”.
Roberta Estes founder of DNAeXplain was in yesterday's post, "DNA Consulting Company is Intrigued by Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA." Her enthusiasm and caution for the the project is clear.
There has been no smoking gun.  If this research is valid and passes peer review, it not only confirms that Sasquatch is real, it vindicates many of the people who have had “sightings” over the years.  It becomes the smoking gun.  But as with much science, it raises more  questions than it answers.

Indeed, I look forward to seeing this published paper and I hope it is legitimate and not pseudo-science of some sort.
And finally we got an email from Tyler A. Kokjohn, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology atMidwestern University.
It seems that we may have to wait for definitive information on the sequences.  Clearly, many people are quite interested in the outcome and it is a bit frustrating to be teased...Please note that these questions can be answered without compromising the research paper now under peer review.  Since the scientists elected to communicate with the public, they should be willing to offer clarifications and answer questions.  
Dr. Kokjohn had a series of fascinating questions that I would hope the Melba camp could answer.
What method was employed to sequence the DNA?  Some have interesting quirks.

Which gene(s) were sequenced, i.e., which genes did you use to decide the Bigfoot relationship to humans?

The statement was made that the mitochondrial genome is identical to human, but the nuclear DNA is distinct.  Moreover, a 15,000 year divergence point is estimated.  This is quite contrary to expectations.  Usually, the genes in a mitochondrion will yield a ‘faster’ evolutionary clock than the nuclear genes (higher mutation rate), that is partially why mitochondrial genes are used for the rapid identification of species.  It seems odd that the mitochondria sequence would be invariant.  This requires an explanation.

How deep was the sequencing of the genes in question?  To get at infrequent mutations, one must have gone over the same DNA multiple times to reach an accurate consensus.  A single pass sequence will have many errors in it and comparisons based on it may inflate the apparent evolutionary distances.  This is vital because Bigfoot and human sequences will be (apparently) VERY closely related.  To get a feel for the challenges of working with closely-related species, search the work of Svante Paabo with Neanderthal DNA on PubMed.

Are the gene(s) you used for the Bigfoot-human comparisons protein coding?  Would the sequence changes you found in the homologous genes yield amino acid codons that are synonymous (no amino acid change), substitutions (new amino acids) or nonsense (protein chain terminated)?  This can help one decide whether or not the new sequence makes sense or contains deletions/insertions and other errors.

What was the nature of the sample from which DNA was obtained?  Had it been exposed to the elements?  How do you know it is from Bigfoot? If the sample is degraded, DNA sequences will likely exhibit alterations.

How did they avoid contamination with authentic human DNA?
So, in a manner of speaking, this is as close to a peer review for now. These are the initial reactions and questions of well-respected authorities;  an invertebrate neuroethologist, a genome informatic expert, a DNA lab owner, and a professor of microbiology.

More questions then answers? What did the late Richard Stubstad know? Richard Stubstad claims to have worked on the first four of the 20 sequences Melba mentions in her press release.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Author Whitley Strieber Explains Bigfoot

Whitley Strieber offers his perspective on Bigfoot
"Sasquatch is. Man does. This does not mean that they are better or we are better. It only means that we are different. The aim of Sasquatch is to be together. The aim of Mankind is to do together, and thus to understand one another." --Whitley Strieber

Whitley Strieber is most famous for his book, "Communion," a #1 New York Times best seller about aliens (Greys) visiting him. This was eventually made in to a movie starring Christopher Walken. He also hosts a radio show called Dreamland and his wife, Anne Strieber, runs his website Unknown Country. Due to the Dr. Melba Ketchum Bigfoot DNA press release, Mr. Strieber has offered his own perspective of Sasquatch.

If you have followed this blog within the last few days, you may be at risk of Bigfoot DNA fatique. Don't worry we wouldn't do that to you. While Mr. Strieber takes the opportunity to use Melba Ketchum's presser as a jumping point, his article is more about what makes Sasquatch different from man, and in our opinion, it is at least a great philosophical point. He begins this point and then expands on his long-time interest of Sasquatch.
We are as different as we can be. In fact, polar opposites. Sasquatch is here to be; Man is here to do. These are two opposite poles of consciousness, and if we can find balance, we can, each of us, find ourselves in a completely new way. This possibility has never existed before, not in all the long years that the two species have spent living on Earth together.

I've had a lifelong interest in the Yeti and Sasquatch. When I was a boy, an acquaintance of my parents, Tom Slick, led the first scientific expedition in search of the Himalayan Yeti. In 2001 his niece, my close friend Catherine Nixon Cooke, retraced his steps. Because of my interest, I have done many interviews on Dreamland with Bigfoot researchers, and I have never doubted that something was out there. For example, Dreamland this week will cover Bigfoot Sounds and will mark my 7th show on the subject since 2007. (All of these shows are available in the Dreamland Archive. Search on Bigfoot and Sasquatch.)
Mr. Strieber wanders in and out of Melba Ketchum's press release, but it is his effort to define the distinction between man and Squatch that we find most fascinating, and so he carries on.
They are not like us and were not meant to be like us. We are naked and must make our own shelter or die. Nature has clothed them in hair and given them, in their powerful senses, all that they need to thrive. We must make our technology. They are born with theirs. 

In fact, they have remained even more primitive than we were fifteen thousand years ago. They are a pre-stone age species, still, in effect, living entirely off the physical assets that nature granted them. We have not been like that for a very long time. Fifteen thousand years ago, we were already working stone and using animal skins to cover ourselves. Gobekli Tepi dates from a time when Sasquatch was a new species, so we were already builders then. Thirty thousand years ago, we were creating art at a high skill level in the caves of France and Spain. Fifty thousand years ago, we were using fire and stone tools, and creating edges in flint.

We have only highlighted the parts of Mr. Strieber's notes on what defines the distinction of Sasquatch and Man, he continues on to incorporate other aspects, like the left-hand path and other Esoteric traditions. You can read the original source in it's entirety at Whitley's Notes on Unknown Country.

DNA Consulting Company is Intrigued by Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA

Roberta Estes formed DNAeXplain to offer
individual analysis of DNA results and genealogical assistance 

Thanks to Thom Cantrall for bringing this to our attention. is a blogging channel for DNAeXplain, a DNA genetics consulting company that offers individual written analysis of DNA results. While we have had opinions from Ketchum proponents and Ketchum detractors, Bigfooters and non-bigfooters. We haven't had an independent DNA expert react to the Melba Ketchum Bigfoot DNA press release.

Roberta Estes asks some very interesting questions and shed some insight to what Melba Ketchum may be saying between the lines.Her first questions are in the excerpt below.
This begs several questions.  Is all of the mitochondrial DNA the same, inferring a single maternal ancestor?  They have sequenced 20 different mitochondrial samples.  Given that the mitochondrial DNA is reportedly identical to that of modern humans, we can presume, one would think, that the mitochondrial DNA is Native American, so a member of haplogroup A, B, C, D or X.  Hopefully the forthcoming paper will be more specific.
She continues on to read what she deems subtle and non-subtle messages,
There are subtle and not so subtle messages buried here as well.  Obviously, for the team to acquire 20 samples to process, there has to be a population of these creatures living in North America.  Of course, everyone has heard of Sasquatch and seen photos and videos, but until this, nothing has been terribly convincing.  There has been no smoking gun.  If this research is valid and passes peer review, it not only confirms that Sasquatch is real, it vindicates many of the people who have had “sightings” over the years.  It becomes the smoking gun.  But as with much science, it raises more  questions than it answers.

For example, are there any non-admixed Sasquatch progenitors left, meaning the males that founded the Sasquatch line with the human female?  How would we tell the difference?  This of course implies that some sort of pre-hominid species existed on this continent before Native Americans arrived from Asia and had existed separate from hominids for a long time.  Is there other evidence of this creature in North America?

You can read the entire post by Roberta Estes here.

Doubtful News Reacts to Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA

"To make such an extraordinary claim is to put yourself out on such a long, unstable limb! It is not how science is done, it’s how pseudoscience is done." --Sharon Hill of Doubtful News reacting to Melba Ketchum's Press Release

Sharon Hill is the editor of, it would not hurt our feelings one bit, if you jumped directly to her post titled, "Melba Ketchum announces Bigfoot DNA results. Without the data".

For the rest of you, let us tell you why Doubtful News is an important blog for bigfooters to follow. Unlike some of the other skeptics, Sharon Hill is extremely consistent in her critical thinking and arguments. Also unlike other skeptics, she does not pick low-hanging fruit to mock Bigfooters. The best reason to read Doubtful News is to get a fresh perspective, we have been challenged by Sharon Hill and feel we have been the better for it.

You can get a taste of her style from the excerpt below lifted from yesterday's (11.25.2012)  post, "Melba Ketchum announces Bigfoot DNA results. Without the data"
To make such an extraordinary claim is to put yourself out on such a long, unstable limb! It is not how science is done, it’s how pseudoscience is done. But, let’s just say that Dr. K has results and is confident in them. She sure is in a pickle now because there is still NO paper and no hint of when or where it will be published. Much is going on behind the scenes that the interested public is not privy to. To be practical, this announcement gets us absolutely NO further to a Bigfoot discovery than yesterday or the day before. It’s still vaporware. No paper, no data, no body, no Bigfoot.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Who is Melba Ketchum's Spokesperson? And who said what about Angel DNA?

Melba Ketchum's Spokeperson has been feeding Bigfoot Blueberry  Bagels for years
Robert Lindsay, no stranger to provocation, but also well-sourced, expands on Melba Ketchum's spokesperson. In case you haven't heard Melba Ketchum has written a press release about Bigfoot DNA, due to some info that spilled a day before. He also claims the first draft of the Bigfoot DNA study manuscript by Dr. Melba Ketchum contained a references to "angel DNA"

Melba Ketchum's Spokesperson Feeds About Ten Bigfoots on Her Property
Robert Lindsay points out that, "Ketchum’s apparent spokesman seems to be Robin Lynne, a longtime Bigfoot habituator who lives in rural Michigan. She claims that there are up to 10 Bigfoots living around her property and every day, she feeds them a variety of foods including Blueberry muffins, which they are particularly fond of. A lot of people have ridiculed her story, but according to information I have, there may indeed be Bigfoots on the property assuming some of the things she is relating are actually occurring."

This has definitely been documented. On October 13th of 2011, Robin Lynne is quoted in Discovery News
"They get fish every day, a bucket of fruit, a bucket of dry dog food," said Robin Lynn Pfeifer, a 47-year-old resident of Newaygo County, north of Grand Rapids. "Their favorite thing is blueberry bagels.
Later that same year in October 25th, 2011, Robin Lynne is quoted in the Wall Street Journal. rural Michigan, where Robin Lynne, 48, says she has been feeding a family of Bigfoots outside her home for two years.

Hosted by the regional government, Ms. Lynne flew to Siberia for the conference this month, where a tour bus with police escort drove participants to a hunting lodge in the piney outback. There, Ms. Lynne described how the Bigfoots bang on her door, bring her sticks as presents and drink water from a bucket in the yard when the weather is warm. "They love the bucket," she told the group.
Original Ketchum Paper Mentioned “angel DNA.” 
Robert Lindsay continues to mention how one of his sources told him that the original research manuscript referenced "angel DNA'

Original Ketchum paper mentioned “angel DNA.” A source tells me that Wally Hersom has discussed the initial version of Ketchum’s paper. According to Hersom, the paper is very well written, but its conclusions are hard to take.

Ketchum writes that there are aspects of the Bigfoot nuclear subhuman DNA that she cannot find in any DNA database, and according to her, this means that the DNA is not of this Earth. In the paper, she reportedly refers to this as “angel DNA.” Whether she is trying to say that it is from angels literally or whether this is her way of saying that it’s from outer space, I do not know.

Hersom was reportedly disappointed in the paper and averred that while this may be true, no scientific journal on Earth is going to publish anything about “angel DNA.” I would certainly agree with that statement. Sure, maybe there is “angel DNA” in the Bigfoots. For all I know, this may be true. But on the other hand, of course no journal will touch this with a 10-foot pole.

I do not know whether or not she has rewritten her paper to take out the reference to “angel DNA” but I would certainly hope so.
You can read Robert Lindsay's entire post  titled, "Bigfoot News Thanksgiving Edition, 2012"

Bigfoot DNA Sequenced, Bigfoot is Part Human

Dr. Melba Ketchum head one of the two major Bigfoot DNA projects.

“Genetically, the Sasquatch are a human hybrid with unambiguously modern human maternal ancestry. Government at all levels must recognize them as an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights" --Dr. Melba Ketchum

Most likely due to yesterday's events. Today (11.24.2012), on her official Facebook page, Dr. Melba Ketchum posted a press release based on the Bigfoot DNA project she has been working on for the better half of the last decade.

In the release Dr. Melba Ketchum announces the sequencing of Bigfoot DNA, she notes that the nuclear DNA is human, there are also NON-human and NON-apes in the DNA. Read the whole thing below.

In fairness, this information HAS NOT been peer reviewed, and even if the results are as they claim, the response does not reflect the majority of Bigfooters.  There is also a  parallel Bigfoot DNA study being done by Bryan Sykes of Oxford University that will have published peer-reviewed results early next year.

Also to be fair, at Bigfoot Lunch Club, we have been fairly critical of Dr. Melba Ketchum's approach read "Melba is a no show, then Literally Phones it in" and "Melba Ketchum Has a History of Failing to Deliver DNA Results". None the less, we still look forward to her results AFTER they have been peer-reviewed. 



Five-Year Genome Study Yields Evidence of Homo sapiens/Unknown Hominin Hybrid Species in North America

Contact: Robin Lynne,, 231.622.5362

DALLAS, Nov. 24--A team of scientists can verify that their 5-year long DNA study, currently under peer-review, confirms the existence of a novel hominin hybrid species, commonly called “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch,” living in North America. Researchers’ extensive DNA sequencing suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an unknown primate species.

The study was conducted by a team of experts in genetics, forensics, imaging and pathology, led by Dr. Melba S. Ketchum of Nacogdoches, TX. In response to recent interest in the study, Dr. Ketchum can confirm that her team has sequenced 3 complete Sasquatch nuclear genomes and determined the species is a human hybrid:

“Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain 3 whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples. The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species. Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens.

Hominins are members of the taxonomic grouping Hominini, which includes all members of the genus Homo. Genetic testing has already ruled out Homo neanderthalis and the Denisova hominin as contributors to Sasquatch mtDNA or nuDNA. “The male progenitor that contributed the unknown sequence to this hybrid is unique as its DNA is more distantly removed from humans than other recently discovered hominins like the Denisovan individual,” explains Ketchum.

“Sasquatch nuclear DNA 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, and non-ape sequences. We describe it as a mosaic of human and novel non-human sequence. Further study is needed and is ongoing to better characterize and understand Sasquatch nuclear DNA.”

Ketchum is a veterinarian whose professional experience includes 27 years of research in genetics, including forensics. Early in her career she also practiced veterinary medicine, and she has previously been published as a participant in mapping the equine genome. She began testing the DNA of purported Sasquatch hair samples 5 years ago.

Ketchum calls on public officials and law enforcement to immediately recognize the Sasquatch as an indigenous people:

“Genetically, the Sasquatch are a human hybrid with unambiguously modern human maternal ancestry. Government at all levels must recognize them as an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights against those who would see in their physical and cultural differences a ‘license’ to hunt, trap, or kill them.”

Full details of the study will be presented in the near future when the study manuscript publishes.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Bigfoot DNA Update!! Igor Burtsev releases info, Ketchum Responds and Paulides Piles On!

Bryan Sykes and Melba Ketchum

Thanks to Jefferey Kelly for passing this on to us.

Here is a quick update in the world of Bigfoot DNA research. Initially Dr. Melba Ketchum, an animal DNA expert, was working on sequencing the Bigfoot DNA. Many people in the Bigfoot community offered possible DNA samples and others offered to help analyze the results. Since then, there has been a parallel Bigfoot DNA project lead by Bryan Sykes of Oxford University. Igor Burtsev, Head of International Center of Hominology, was close to the initial Dr. Melba Ketchum project and released the following:
URGENT announcement from Igor Burtsev ...
"International Center of Hominology (Russia)

The DNA analysis of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch specimen conducted by Dr. Melba Ketchum the head of DNA Diagnostics, Timpson, TX, USA has been over!

Team of American scientists led by Dr. Melba Ketchum for five years has analyzed 109 purported samples of such creatures. The study has sequenced DNA of a novel North American hominin, commonly called Bigfoot or Sasquatch.

There were a large number of laboratories associated with this study including academic, private and government laboratories in which blind testing was utilized to avoid prejudice in testing. Great time and care was taken in the forensic laboratories to assure no contamination occurred with any of the samples utilized in this study.

After 5 years of this study the scientists can finally answer the question of what sasquatch really is. It is human like us only different, a hybrid of a human with unknown species. Early field research shows that the Bigfoot/Sasquatches are massively intelligent which has enabled them to avoid detection to a large extent. They are different than us, however human nonetheless.

The hybridization event could not have occurred more than 15000 years ago according to the mitochondrial data in some samples. Origin of this hominin was probably Middle Eastern/Eastern Europe and Europe originally though other geographic areas are not excluded.

The manuscript associated with this study has been submitted to a scientific reviewed magazine.

For years people have refused to believe they exist. Now that we know that they are real, it is up to us to protect them from those that would hunt or try to capture them for research or for sport. They should be left alone to live as they live now. After all, they are our relatives.

At this time, analysis of the Sasquatch genomes is still ongoing. Further data will be presented in the future following this original study. Additionally, analysis of various hair samples purportedly from Siberian Wildman are being tested in an effort to determine if relatedness exists between the Sasquatch and Russian Wildman.

Dr. Igor Burtsev,
Head of International Center of Hominology,
Moscow, Russia +7(916)812-6253 "

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

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

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

Is any of this news? Steven Streufert does not think so. His reaction on his Facebook Group is as follows:
Sure, but really, NOTHING HAS CHANGED. All that happened was that Igor said something, and forced a response from the otherwise clammed-up Ketchum, and Paulides wrote his first blog entry since March 2012. The news? NOTHING.
Click the following link to learn more about Bryan Sykes Oxford University Bigfoot DNA Study
Click the following link to learn more about Melba Ketchums' Bigfoot DNA Study

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Melba is a no show, then Literally Phones it in

Cover Photo for Melba's Public Facebook Page
After initially scheduled for the Richland WA Bigfoot conference, Dr Melba Ketchum has ended up being a no-show. As of Yesterday there was still the possibility she was going to Skype in.

As of 20 minutes ago and confirming with event organizer, Thom Cantrell, Dr Ketchum will be phoning it in. She has emailed her Power Point presentation to Thom and unfortunately will do the sideshow remotely over the phone.

Since there will be no pictures and video we will update you with Ketchum's "presentation" as soon as it is completed this afternoon

UPDATE: The presentation is over. She did not cover very much of the Sasquatch DNA project she is working on, but mostly gave a DNA 101 type of presentation.

She started with her credentials, mentioning she is a veterinarian that became allergic to animals and had to find a way to continue animal studies without the up-close interaction. This lead to her path towards DNA.

The PowerPoint presentation was one she had been previously presented to showcase ways to amplify DNA. We will have more presentation details after we wathc the rest of the presentations.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Melba Ketchum Has a History of Failing to Deliver DNA Results

Dr. Melba Ketchum's DNA Diagnostics Better Business rating is an "F"
Disappointed by the delay in the Bigfoot DNA results? Get in line. A Post by Michael Merchant, of the Team Tazer Bigfoot Fanpage, linked to the Better Business Bureau® rating for Dr. Melba Ketchum's business DNA Diagnostics, Inc. Unfortunately on a scale from A-F, Melba's company gets an F. Why? Failure to deliver DNA Results. In these cases it is horse, cat and dog DNA results.

Under the additional complaint information header on the BBB page was this paragraph.
DNA Diagnostics has developed a pattern of complaints and has failed to correct the underlying reasons for complaints. Consumers claim have paid for services that have not been delivered or have not been delivered within a reasonable time. Further, they have not received a refund when services were not provided.
To be fair, we do not know the percentage of unhappy DNA Diagnostics consumers, we do know there have been 19 complaints submitted to the BBB and 18 are due to "delivery issues". 7 of the complaints were resolved with the aid of BBB, 8 did not get resolved, 3 have not even been responded to by DNA Diagnostics and 1 was determined as a good faith effort to resolve. Click the following link to read the entire details of every BBB DNA Diagnostic Complaint.

Here is a brief of each of the 19 complaints

  1. 04/19/2011 - Extremely poor custstomer service and communication. [Resolved]
  2. 09/01/2010 - Missing Feline DNA results. Pre-Paid. No results   [Resolved]
  3. 08/23/2010 -  I ordered 5 tests from Catgenes (Dna Diagnostics) and none of them were ever completed.   [Resolved]
  4. 08/04/2010 - Service not done. I purchased testing and sent in samples, which were received, and never got results.  [Resolved]
  5. 07/23/2010 -  I ordered DNA tests to be completed in the beginning of March, and have not recieved my results or had any phone calls/emails returned.  [Resolved]
  6. 04/14/2010 - I paid for a service (feline DNA testing) and never received the results.  [Resolved]
  7. 03/12/2010 - Provided a sample to be worked, they have not worked it and will not provide a refund or assistance.  [Resolved]
  8. 12/16/2010 - I submitted hair for a DNA test with Shelterwood Lab. almost a month ago and they have cashed my check but they have not returned calls or emails.  [UNResolved]
  9. 09/03/2010 - I ordered $320 worth of DNA tests in Dec., 2009. Results were promised in 3 weeks. In March, 2010: received incorrect results.  [UNResolved]
  10. 08/20/2010 - I sent samples to be analyzed & included full payment. Have received no results and almost no response to my inquiries over the past 12 months.  [UNResolved]
  11. 08/02/2010 - I submitted a request for an equine paternal test at the end of March 2010. It is now July 1, 2010. I still have not recieved test restults. [UNResolved]
  12. 08/02/2010 - Paid for a service in Feb 2010, and have not received test results.  [UNResolved]
  13. 07/30/2010 - Sent DNA in on two horses last week of March. Still no report on these. Have called numorus times . No responce.  [UNResolved]
  14. 05/17/2010 - I paid for services they did not give me.  [UNResolved]
  15. 05/13/2010 - For 2 1/2 months have been told at least 10 times I would recieve results of DNA test in 1 -3 days.I ask for a refund today and they say no refunds.  [UNResolved]
  16. 11/01/2010 - Sent samples with full payment in April 2010. I have recieved no results to date and have tried repeatedly to contact them for a refund. [Biz did not Respond]
  17. 06/25/2010 - Sent dog DNA in for testing 1/23/10 no results...  [Biz did not Respond]
  18. 07/20/2010 - Delivery Issues  [Biz did not Respond]
  19. 03/31/2010 - They have not provided me the diagnostic service as promised from June of 2009. [BBB Determined Biz made good faith effort]

We are not blind to the irony of the complaints. Most of them categorized as failing to deliver DNA results on time. Bigfooters have been waiting for Melba's DNA test results for a while too.

Again to be fair, some of the complications arose when Cat Fanciers Association.(CFA) stopped using DNA Diagnostics and continued to test with another DNA testing contractor. Why CFA decided to go with a different lab is unknown to us.

To put this in some further context. According to the BBB there are 19 other businesses in the BBB category of  "Laboratories - Medical" serving the Tyler & Longview TX area. None of them has had complaints within the last 36 months.

Another independent source also expressed frustration with Dr. Melba Ketchum. A company called International Genetics has this on their page.
April thru July 2008     Melba Ketchum became very tardy in extracting PinPoint’s DNA samples. This was the first period of delays that caused severe customer service problems. We then came to an agreement with Texas A&M to handle this process as well as the PID testing.
April 2009     The 2nd lawsuit was filed and this was the final straw between Dr. Ketchum and InGen. Due to Dr. Ketchum’s failure to properly research certain tests that are allegedly protected by patent, InGen was drawn into another lawsuit which eventually led to the early termination of the contract between InGen and Texas A&M. InGen severed its relationship with Dr. Ketchum which was the best thing that has come from that suit.
We attempted to reach out to Dr. Melba Ketchum for a response regarding the BBB rating and have not yet heard back from Dr. Ketchum. If she responds we will update this post.

We truly hope for the best, there is a good portion of people who sent samples to Ketchum that have good standing in the community. We would love to have all of our concerns proven to be baseless.

A final thought: when the press release comes out before the evidence, that press release might as well be a red flag.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Richard Stubstad: Sasquatch Proof Requires 100% Certainty, I'm at 97%

Richard Stubstad continues to use statistical mathematics to understand Bigfoot DNA
In case you missed it, Richard Stubstad is quite an active commentor on this blog. Especially on posts that are about him and his research. You can read our previous coverage of Richard Stubstad.

Recently we have become more familiar with his role and perhaps his opinion on the ongoing Bigfoot DNA research; Melba Ketchum's and his own parallel research.

Richard has taken the opportunity to clarify his support for Dr Melba Ketchum and further explain his statistical approach to the DNA data. Below are his own words:

1) Actually, I worked with Ms. Ketchum for almost a year. I did not make any "genetic" conclusions whatsoever; essentially, I connected the dots (the first four samples) and examined, statistically, the relationships between these using GenBank.
2) No, I do support Ms. Ketchum's work 100%. I hope she gets her paper published sooner rather than later. My point was and still is: at least two parallel studies (regardless of who is first) will be needed due to the highly controversial nature of the subject matter.
3) Really, the only thing I don't like about how she works is her secrecy throughout. I think this secrecy hurts our "industry" as it were. In fact, since she has 20-some fresh samples (relics are not yet included in her work), of course she knows a whole lot more than I do about results.
4) Secrecy to that degree, I maintain, is detrimental to our search for both the existence and nature of sasquatch.
5) I worked with Melba through the first four of her 20-some samples.
6) In the event, Sample 1's mito dna (all 16,569 pairs) came out within modern human ranges.
7) Melba and I, while being somewhat disappointed in this result agreed to test Sample 2 as well (whole mito genome again), and lo and behold Samples 1 and 2 both indicated that their mitochondrial "Eve" lived in the sub-glacial region of Europe some 15,000 or more years ago.
8) The odds of this happening using the modern human population in GenBank were less than 2%. Meaning the odds of us happening to identify a new hominid were some 98% or better. Ms Ketchum didn't notice this connection, but rather she took each sample on its own and surmised they could have been hoaxes or misidentifications.
9) Both Adrian Erickson and I pointed out to her that by connecting the dots between Samples 1 and 2 (mito only), it was definitely worth pursuing further, so Sample 3 was tested for the mito genome (full loop) next.
10) This sample indicated a sub-Saharan mito Eve from perhaps 50,000 years ago more or less; totally at the opposite ends of the human family tree, although still within modern human ranges.
11) THe number of differences between Samples 1 & 2 vs Sample 3 was about 90 pairs (almost the maximum that exist in the modern human database).
12) Still, the statistics changed by virtue of having three mito sequences instead of two, so the odds of a hoax or misidentification changed from less than 2% to 3 or 4%.
13) Erickson then funded a nuclear DNA study, which began in earnest. The first gene tested was MC1R, and the results were equally or even more astounding. Samples 1, 2 and 4 all showed the MC1R sequences to be outside of human ranges (in the database), with two of three (2 and 4) as 100% identical.
14) Sample 1 was also not within modern human ranges, but it differed from 2 and 4 by two pairs (out of 950 or so).
15) Bottom line: I am 97% certain that SASQUATCH EXISTS. I am not at all certain what its genesis is, but IT EXISTS. I am not positive of this conclusion, only 97% certain. This is evidence but not proof. Proof requires 100% certainty.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sasquatch Science Peer Review Worth Paying Attention To

Is the Bigfoot Community, Charlie Brown and Melba, Lucy?
Scientific peer review on Sasquacth? We are not talking about Melba Ketchum. We have gone on record as not being too excited about Melba Ketchum and her potential research. We definitely have not covered it as mush as the other Bigfoot sites. For us, there have been too many red flags. The in-fighting, the fractioning of the original group, the moving of the goal posts of release date, the challenge of a peer group being able to duplicate the source DNA themselves. To us, there are many factors that contribute to our lack of confidence in the research.

We would be happy to be wrong. We would also welcome any contrary opinions. 

Logo for The Journal of Cryptozoology

That being said, we are excited about a new journal promising peer review research in the field of Cryptozoology. It is simply titled, Journal of Cryptozoology. Loren Coleman has announced it at Cryptomundo. Go check it out to get the details. Below is an excerpt describing the journal itself.

Dr Karl P.N. Shuker [of Shuker Nature] , the Editor, of the new Journal of Cryptozoology has announced this fresh peer-reviewed publication. Since the journal is planned to be a scientific one devoted to a specific subdiscipline of zoology, i.e. cryptozoology, it must adhere to the same structure and procedures that scientific journals devoted to mainstream subdisciplines of zoology adhere to, which involves submitted papers being assessed by academically-qualified zoologists with specialized knowledge in that particular subdiscipline.
Those involved in the Journal of Cryptozoology have established scientific credentials. You can read more details from Loren Coleman at his post titled, "Journal of Cryptozoology". We are very excited about this new peer reviewed journal.

Please send us your thoughts about Melba Ketchum, tell us why we are wrong, or why you feel the same way.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Melba Ketchum's Movie Copyright Application: Sasquatch: The Tribe Revealed

Melba Ketchum has filed a copyright for her movie and book titled "Bigfoot:The Tribe Revealed" 

Melba Ketchum is currently the highest profile person working to define Bigfoot DNA. Click the following link to read our  previous coverage of Melba Ketchum. She studied at Texas A&M University where she received her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. In 1985 she founded DNA Diagnostics, a self-described leader in all types of DNA testing including: human and animal forensics, human and animal paternity and parentage testing, disease diagnostics, trait tests, animal and human identity testing, species identification and sex determination.

In recent news Melba Ketchum, the current queen of Sasquatch DNA research, has announced that the presentation of her research has taken longer than expected and has "assembled a renowned team, each of us with our own specialties."

Looks like Melba has filed for a copyright for her book and potential movie. As you may know Melba Ketchum is spearheading Bigfoot DNA research. You can see the application yourself at this link or read everything in the application below.

Sasquatch: The Tribe Revealed
Type of Work: Entry not found.
Type of Work Preregistered: Motion Picture
Literary Work in Book Form
Advertising or Marketing Photograph
Preregistration Number / Date: PRE000003852 / 2010-09-16
Application Title: Sasquatch: The Tribe Revealed
Title: Sasquatch: The Tribe Revealed
Copyright Claimant: Melba Stinnett Ketchum. Address: P O Box 455, Timpson, TX, 75975, United States.
Creation of Work Began: 2008-04-07 (Approximate)
Date of Anticipated Completion: 2011-06-22 (Approximate)
Projected Date of Publication: 2012-02-15 (Approximate)
Authorship on Application: Melba Stinnett Ketchum.
Description of Work: A film and/or documentary, narration or audio book, supporting photos and literary paper/document/book that will follow the The Sasquatch Project, the scientist and the scientific testing and proof for the existence of Sasquatch/ Bigfoot. Information will include discussion of results including A New Tribe of Living Humans, the complete Sasquatch mitochondrial genome sequence and nuclear DNA variations and text will show complete mitochondrial (mt) genome sequences were identified from DNA, analysis of the assembled sequence unequivocally establishes that the Sasquatch mtDNA falls inside the range of modern human mtDNAs and discussions of the origins thereof. The proof that the Sasquatch is not only the closest living human relative but is actually a contemporary living human. Also discussed is nuclear DNA testing performed on the same samples and the variations found in various genes including MC1R gene RUNX2 and FOXP2 as well as other targets genes involved in the perception of sound, transmission of nerve signals, the production of sperm and the lactase gene. Also discussed is how testing has ruled out ape cross and any ancient contributor and that Sasquatch is indeed a modern human with some genetic mutations accounting for their physical appearance. Also included are discussion of the history of samples and circumstances surrounding the acquisition, their testing, the circumstances surrounding the entire Sasquatch DNA Project. Documentary stars Melba Ketchum, et al
Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.
Names: Ketchum, Melba Stinnett

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Hydra of Bigfoot DNA research

In Greek Mythology the Hydra was a creature that had multiple heads, each of which, if cut off, grew back as two. We couldn't think of a better fitting analogy for the recent Bigfoot DNA research.

Many folks have tried to define Bigfoot DNA via hair samples, saliva, scat, etc. The DNA research was mostly being done by universities and other facilities that were presented with the evidence, but not really interested in the saquatch phenomena as a whole.

The Erickson Project was a means to get serious about Bigfoot evidence and DNA in particular. Melba Ketchum, a DNA expert, joined the team and eventually a statistician named Richard Stubstad. At one point they were working for the same team, but now they seem to be going in different directions like the many haeads of a hydra. recently there have been a few updates to what Melba and Richard have been up to.

Melba Ketchum is currently the highest profile person working to define Bigfoot DNA. She studied at Texas A&M University where she received her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. In 1985 she founded DNA Diagnostics, a self-described leader in all types of DNA testing including: human and animal forensics, human and animal paternity and parentage testing, disease diagnostics, trait tests, animal and human identity testing, species identification and sex determination.

In recent news Melba Ketchum, the current queen of Sasquatch DNA research, has announced that the presentation of her research has taken longer than expected and has "assembled a renowned team, each of us with our own specialties."

You can read her full statement below:
Ok, for the sake of time ( and I hope all of you understand), I will answer everyone publicly here. I keep getting a lot of emails from everyone wanting to know the status of the project. Though I cannot give details or timing, I will assure everyone that all is well and we are continuing to move forward.

Good science cannot be forced or quickly completed. If it is not extremely thorough, then it will all be for naught and any paper rejected outright. So, I ask you to be patient and understanding and realize that extreme scientific overkill is required in order to convince a world full of skeptical scientists. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof". This is what we are doing. When we started this, I thought we would be finished in a few weeks, but instead as Sasquatch are known to do, they threw us curve balls even with their DNA which can be as elusive as they are. Thank goodness we are past that! As a result, we have assembled a renowned team, each of us with our own specialties to make this project "extraordinary".

If everyone will hang in there, I promise it will be worth the wait. We have the proof, now just give us the opportunity to present it in a form that will even convince skeptics. Thanks so much for all of your emails and support. Best wishes to all.

Richard Stubstad is a Registered Civil Engineer and Statistician who graduated from U.C. Berkeley (MSCE) in 1969.Within a few months, Richard made contact with Adrian Erikson, Robert Schmalzbach (“Java Bob”), Shannon Sylvia and Dr. Melba Ketchum, among others, and initiated the mitochondrial sequencing of several purported sasquatch samples through Dr. Ketchum’s DNA diagnostics laboratory in Texas.

According to Mike Rugg, owner of the Bigfoot Discovery Museum in the video below Richard Stubstad has begun his own independent Bigfoot DNA research.

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