Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mysterious Hominids Genome Decoded

Svante Pääbo is a Swedish biologist specializing in evolutionary genetics
recently has succesfully decoded the Denisovans Genome 
 "German scientists found finger bones from a new species of human ancestor known as Denisova hominin that co-existed with both humans and Neanderthals only 30,000 years ago." -- Jeff Meldrum in a previous post

The Denisova hominin finger used to decode the DNA was discovered near the the Kemerovo Cave. As you remember the Kemerovo cave was part of the Russian Yeti Conference that some (BLC included) considered a publicity stunt for the upcoming ski season. Click the link to catch up on the Kemerovo Yeti Conference.

Another way this impacts Bigfootdom is the Denisovan DNA information has been compared in Ketchum's Study as well. You can read the comparison on our post Bigfoot family Tree Below is an article posted today on redorbit.com
Entire Genome Of Extinct Human Decoded
Researchers have decoded the entire genome of a fossil from an extinct species of human related to Neanderthals.
The team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology sequenced every position in the Denisovan genome about 30 times over.
They used DNA extracted from less than 10 milligrams of the finger bone discovered in Denisova Cave in southern Siberia.
Svante Pääbo and his colleagues presented a draft version of the genome in 2010 that showed this individual came from a previously unknown group of extinct humans.
Denisovans, along with their sister group the Neanderthals, are the closest extinct relatives of modern humans.
During the 2010 research, each position of the genome was determined only twice on average.  This level of resolution was only sufficient enough to establish the relationship between Denisovans to Neanderthals and modern humans.
However, they were unable to study the evolution of specific parts of the genome due to the low resolution.
Now, the team is even able to distinguish the small differences between the copies of genes it received from its mother and father.
“The genome is of very high quality”, Matthias Meyer, who developed the techniques that made this technical feat possible, said in a press release. “We cover all non-repetitive DNA sequences in the Denisovan genome so many times that it has fewer errors than most genomes from present-day humans that have been determined to date”.
This is the first complete genome sequence of an archaic human group, which could lead scientists to a better understanding of the evolutionary steps from this group to modern humans.
“We hope that biologists will be able to use this genome to discover genetic changes that were important for the development of modern human culture and technology, and enabled modern humans to leave Africa and rapidly spread around the world, starting around 100,000 years ago” Pääbo said in a press release.
The group said they plan to present a paper describing the findings later on this year.

Monday, February 13, 2012

First Pictures of 'Bigfoot'! The SyFy movie

Cast of Syfy channel's "Bigfoot!", clockwise starting top left: Sherilyn Fenn, Andre Royo, Barry Williams,
Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Danny Bonaduce, Bruce Davison and  Howard "Johnny Fever" Hesseman. Src: imdb.com
Here is an update to the post about Donny Bonaduce and Barry Williams starring in the SyFy Bigfoot movie. Other familiar faces include Billy Idol, Bruce Davison, from the TV version of Harry and the Hendersons, Howard Hessman, AKA WKRP's Johnny Fever (you younger ones might remember him from "Head of the Class") and Sherilyn Fenn of Twin Peaks.

 Entertainment weekly has released exclusive photos on the set of the movie below.
Presenting the first ever pictures of 'Bigfoot'! (The SyFy movie, that is) -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS 
by Dalton Ross 
Folks who always longed for a Brady Bunch meets Partridge Family bloodbath will finally get their wish…with Bigfoot thrown in the mix for good measure! That’s right, the Syfy creature feature Bigfoot — starring Barry Williams and Danny Bonaduce — will be hitting the small screen later this year. The two former child stars play lifelong rivals (naturally) who both are trying to capture the hairy beast, but for very different reasons. However, if you think Greg Brady, Danny Partridge, and a Sasquatch are the only reasons to check out the telepic, then you are sorely mistaken. This cinematic tour de force (to be directed by Bruce Davison) also stars Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Howard Hesseman (WKRP in Cincinnati), and shock rocker extraordinaire Alice Cooper (School’s Out). So, it’s basically the BEST CASTING EVER is what we’re saying. And to whet your appetite for this epic feast of absurdity, we’ve got your first look photos right here! And yes, that is Sherilyn Fenn playing the cop with the furry hat.
Left to Right: Bonaduce, Williams, Fenn, and Hessman (Image credit: The Asylum)

Florence Henderson is mentioned on the set and Greg--er Barry goes nuts! (Image credit: The Asylum)

Barry Williams and Danny Bonaduce (Image credit: The Asylum)

Finding Bigfoot Virginia Episode: Cliff Notes and Tyler's Statement

Finding Bigfoot co-host Cliff Barackman 

Cliff Barackman posted another great episode debrief, this last episode was based in Virginia and investigated the "Beast of Gum Hill".  He has all the great details that didn't make it to your TV screen. 

Speaking of things that didn't make it to the screen, this is also the episode that created waves in the twitter-verse due to a possible Bigfoot being hit by a car. 

It started started with a tweet from Matt Moneymaker's Twitter account @MattMoneyMaker1

Matt Moneymaker's 140 character press release

In Tyler's own words he describes the incident below :

Tyler Bounds (click to enlarge)
So here is how events of that night (Oct 22/23) played out. For the Virginia episode of 'Finding Bigfoot', the afternoon of Oct. 22 I had to go to an area 90 minutes away from our base, and set up some bait stations. Due to a lack of communication, I had to return to the area later that evening and set up some more bait stations. This kept me out in a remote mountain area until 1:25am (I noted the exact time I left so the show's field coordinator would know how long it would take to go to and from the site, for scheduling purposes.) As I left the gravel road and got onto a two-lane, curvy secondary road, I noted that it was very foggy, due to a large creek adjacent to the road, and because I was down in a hollow (or "holler", as the locals call them). After a few miles, I left the secondary road, and turned onto a two-lane highway, still shrouded in fog. It was now 1:50am. As I was driving the rental Dodge Grand Caravan, I looked down for a moment to set the cruise control and get myself up to 55mph, and was momentarily stymied by the amount of glowing buttons on the steering wheel (remember, I had been hiking all day long, both in the daytime and at night, and had spent a great deal of time sitting on my butt, so I was fairly exhausted). Now, this is where things happened, very quickly.
As I looked up from the steering wheel back to the road, I noticed a large (as tall or taller than the van), upright, all black "figure" stationary, on the centerline (or just to the right of the centerline). I say "noticed" a figure, but, in reality, as I looked up, I was right on top of it. The van shuddered, the drivers' side mirror was forcefully folded into the vehicle, and I felt and heard the object hit the side of the van behind me, like a slapping sound. I stopped the car, after some choice cursing and a lot of "what the f@#k?!?" and tried to look in the side mirror to see behind me, but the mirror had been cranked towards the van. I looked in the rearview, but the brakelights on the fog just obscured anything that may have been in the road. I then drove forward about 40 feet and turned the van around, and returned to the site. Only a handful of seconds had elapsed, maybe 10 to 12. There was nothing in the road, and no sign of anything having been in the road- blood, hair, guts, etc. I drove a bit further, turned around again, and again returned to the site. Parking the van on the shoulder, I immediately grabbed a FLIR that I just happened to have on standby mode, and I thermed the area for 40-45 minutes, while yelling out to whatever, or whoever I had hit. At that point, I was still thinking that I may have hit a person. Nothing answered, and there were no heat signatures anywhere. It was difficult so see anything though, due to the thick fog everywhere, even when I looked for a heat signature on the road. While I was parked on the shoulder, I inspected the vehicle, looking for hair, blood or flesh on the mirror and on the side of the van, but I found nothing by the light of my headlamp. After seeing or hearing nothing, I decided to leave the location. I had to drive about 15 miles before I had cellphone reception, at which time I attempted to call Matt Pruitt first (longtime field partner and one of my closest friends), and, after failing to get through to him, I called Cliff Barackman to share what had happened (according to Cliff, my call came at 2:47am). He suggested that I dictate what had happened into one of my audio recorders for posterity, which is a no-brainer, but I think I may have still been in shock, as I didn't even think of doing that. I pulled over into a nearby well-lit gas station to grab an audio gadget, and also to take a better look at the vehicle. It was then that I noticed the front left side of the van was badly damaged, with a dent running from just behind the headlight into the wheel well. I inspected for more evidence, but again was unsuccessful. There were smears on the dented area and on the side mirror, but it yielded no information as to what I had hit. I resumed driving and I recollected my experience into the audio recorder while it was still fresh in my mind. I returned to my hotel and immediately crawled into bed and slept. 
In the morning everybody has heard the news, and the damaged area was further inspected for evidence, again to no avail. I desperately wanted to go back to the location to look around in the daylight, but our shooting schedule wasn't going to allow it, as I was needed on-site, in the field. But, as we came up on our lunch break, one of the shows' producers insisted that he and I go to the spot and look around. There was a lot of deer sign in the fields on both sides of the road, and a swampy creek meandered through and under the road very close by to where I had the encounter. We walked along both sides of the road for approximately 1/4 mile, but found nothing that would obviously suggest a sasquatch had been recently nearby. There were several deer lays and trails, and several rabbits were flushed out of the thick brush immediately alongside the road, but, again, nothing that would conclusively prove that a sasquatch had been there, and no blood trails were found either. Most importantly, to me anyways, we did not find a person in the brush, dead or alive, so that immense weight was lifted from my shoulders. We returned to the filming location, where in the meantime Cliff and Bobo had swabbed the vehicle in an attempt to retrieve DNA evidence, and those samples will be analyzed.
Until those results are back, we will never know for sure what I hit that night- it doesn't make sense to me that a human would be standing in the middle of a remote, foggy road at around 2am, wearing all black. Perhaps, if it was a sasquatch, it was there because of the abundance of deer in the area, which does make sense, and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to have an extremely close encounter with it. I would also like to make clear that I never said that I DEFINITELY hit a sasquatch, the tweet that was sent by Matt Moneymaker was, in my opinion, very premature, with no verification or substantiation at that time, as I had not even returned to the site, and hadn't expected to be able to. 
Again, I don't know for sure what I hit, and the most likely candidate would be a deer, but I have never before mistaken a deer for a sasquatch, and I am fairly certain it was not a deer, but, again, we won't really ever know what I smacked into that night.
If anyone has any further questions, please feel free to ask, and I will do my best to answer them. Thanks for your patience and understanding everyone. 
SRC: BFRO Forums
 Tyler Wm. Bounds
•BFRO-WA Investigator, Researcher
•Expedition Organizer/Host- OR 2010, WA 2010,2011,2012
•"Finding Bigfoot" film production crew

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