Bigfoot DNA study: Sasquatch is real - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Bigfoot DNA study: Sasquatch is real

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Forgive us if we’ve made a little fun of Bigfoot in a series of articles on Baltimore Post-Examiner. I know we got some serious Sasquatch hunters, scientists and researchers a little upset.

So it’s time to give a little respect to those Bigfoot researchers.

An explosive study may finally settle this whole half-man, half-ape or whatever. And the early findings of this scientific study suggest maybe we should take it a little more seriously. So if you are paddling on a river in Ontario, Wisconsin known as the Kickapoo where someone recently claimed to have seen Sasquatch, listen up. It might not be Wisconsin beer that is playing mind tricks on the witnesses.

Maybe what they saw really is Bigfoot.

Dr. Melba Ketchum says DNA evidence shows Bigfoot is a hybrid – cross between human and animal.

In fact, a five-year Sasquatch DNA study is about to be released by scientist Melba Ketchum, a former veterinarian who operates DNA Diagnostics Inc. in Texas. What does her research conclude?

Bigfoot is real.

The study says the creature is not exactly human and not exactly not human. Call it a hybrid species. In most cases research is announced in a peer-reviewed scientific journal but Ketchum’s work apparently was leaked out and reported recently on the website of the Russia-based International Center of Hominology.

Igor Burtsev from the Russian website said that Ketchum’s findings prove Sasquatch or Bigfoot “is human like us only different, a hybrid of a human with unknown species.”

Ketchum said her research and DNA findings is still in peer review and may take months before it becomes official. That has some doubters claiming she is doing a publicity stunt to promote a documentary she is working on about Bigfoot. Doing press interviews and issuing statements prior to getting work peer-reviewed is something that is frowned upon in the scientific world.

Houston Chronicle blogger Eric Berger slams Ketchum’s DNA claim, noting her DNA company is an F-rated company with more than two dozen complaints with the Better Business Bureau. And he wonders where did she get the DNA samples.  Apparently, Berger said  it’s from Ketchum’s spokesman Robin Lynne, a longtime Bigfoot habituator who lives in rural Michigan. Lynne claimed that there are up to 10 Bigfoots living around her property, and every day, she feeds them a variety of foods including Blueberry bagels.

To which Ketchum recently tweeted: “Correction request: we analyzed DNA from 109 samples including hair, blood, and tissue–no saliva-covered bagels.”

Nevertheless, she is sticking to her story.

She said the study was based on three Bigfoot nuclear genomes and her findings show Sasquatch as a human hybrid or as she put it “the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens.”

She released a statement about the study – saying her findings confirm 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 “sequenced twenty whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain three whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples. “The genome sequencing showed 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,” according to Ketchum’s statement.  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.”

Most Bigfoot sightings are just grainy photos and no real detail. Skeptics of Ketchum’s research say there is a reason for that – and that’s because the mythical creature is just that – not real.

“Sasquatch nuclear DNA is incredibly novel and not at all what we had expected,” she said in the statement released to the public.  “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.”

She has called on public officials and law enforcement to 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,” she said.

Other Bigfoot researchers say her finding shows one important fact – certainly to upset some hunters – Sasquatch is not an ape. That certainly will not sit well with those who devoted a lifetime of research trying to convince the public that Bigfoot is part ape.

Those questioning the lab’s findings should know that her lab didn’t do all the testing. In all, 13 university labs and several private facilities were involved. Ketchum said. None of the universities were named but she said the conclusions were the same. Not human; not non-human.

The only question now is will her documentary come out before the study.

Any takers?

PLEASE READ THE UPDATE AND CLICK HERE.

 


About the author

Timothy W. Maier

Timothy W. Maier started out writing music, fiction and poetry and then turned to news writing where he spent the past three decades at news organizations in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C. More recently he was the managing editor at the Baltimore Examiner. He now spends time with his family, dogs, trains for marathons and works as a media consultant. Contact the author.
COMMENT POLICY
  • zack

    pay every hunter $200 to look for it, whoever finds it, kills it, and brings it to a lab to be studied gets rewarded 1 million $

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500494571 Amanda Shetrone

    I KNOW that it is a reality that creatures exist, even in our “hyper-developed” world, that are unrecognized by the scientific community.

    I have high difficulty believing that that creatures more massive than humans could escape recognition, however.

    Namely, where are the skeltons?

  • Cigano

    Anyone who thinks that Bigfoot could not possibly exist needs to take a look at this (analysis of the Patterson Gimlin film):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKUwdHex1Zs

    Bill Munns determined that there is a very, very low chance that the creature in the film was human. Standing at 7’6.5″, that alone means that there is a 1 in 100,000,000 chance that it was a man in a suit. The proportions of the limbs are also much closer to ape than human (long upper leg, short lower leg), and that kind of thing can’t be faked with a costume. If it’s not a man in a suit, what else would it be than a sasquatch? It’s certainly not a bear.

    Also, I don’t like the whole “we have never found a carcass” thing that gets said so often about bigfoot. Do you know how unlikely it is to stumble upon ANY large carcass in the forest? They get picked clean by scavengers, and the bones don’t last long given how acidic the soil is. This would also explain the lack of fossil evidence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ratt.mann.10 Ratt Mann

    If we have samples of the DNA could we clone it, grow an embryo inside a primate or human surrogate and then study the results?

  • ..1_

    If “Bigfoot” is a hybrid between human and an unkown speceis doesn’t that mean ( I may be wrong but) The particular DNA she was provided with was a hybrid of human and sasquatch? Because if a bigfoot is the hybrid, that would mean that there is another creature out there who “helped create bigfoot”.

    Just for fun… Here is my opinion… Bigfoot is a Gigantopithicus or simialar prehistorique creature that has survived thousands of years undetected by science OR it is a new speceis yet to be discovered (like the giant panda). There are tribes around the world that have lived undetected by humans for years, and I don’t see any reason why a creature who is careful about being secretive could go on unknown to the human race.

  • TeamCropDusters

    Maybe they are just smarter than us….

  • Bill Butler

    The “Bigfoot” plot thickens. (2nd comment by Bill Butler)

    “Science blogger calls out viral ‘Bigfoot DNA’ claim as bogus”
    http://now.msn.com/bigfoot-dna-sequence-claim-by-melba-ketchum-debunked
    As quoted from Eric Burger’s blog (SciGuy) at
    http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2012/11/like-omg-scientists-have-sequenced-bigfoot-dna/
    “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.”
    “angel DNA”?
    “And what’s very likely happening here is that Ketchum is making a documentary and looking to cash in on the third of America that believes in Bigfoot.”
    It looks like Eric Burger has analyzed this publicity stunt pretty well. Now all we need is hordes of “believers” anteing up their money to see the (pseudo)documentary – and the newspaper/Internet community has been suckered right into Melba Ketchum’s plans.
    Finally, in regard to the Baltimore Post-Examiner’s question: “Any takers?” It’s a pretty good bet that no reputable journal will EVER publish Melba’s “study”. Count me in for a “Yes”. (Hint: “UFO Digest” would not qualify as a reputable journal.)

  • mick

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “BIG FOOT”.
    There is a ten million dollar reward for real proof of there existence.
    Big foot would leave some kind of physical evidence and no one has ever found anything to prove there existence.
    Please find a big foot or stfu.

  • Nox

    I would have to agree with the sceptics… Bigfoot is something in which we grow up with, similar to the Easter Bunny and the likes. Am I however the only one who noticed that the study was done in Texas, and the findings are published in of all places Russia? Not knocking the country, but thats a bit of distance to have accurate information shared and documented. This fact alone discredits the whole story in my personal opinion.

  • Matteb

    The “woodsy” people around here say there are creatures that are half monkey half cat climbing around in their trees. Lots of “anectdotol” evidence.
    They get very upset if you don’t believe the stories their grandparents told them ;)

  • http://twitter.com/ajaxlovr Josh

    She’s making a Big Foot documentary. I think it’s pretty obvious this is a publicity stunt. It’s a shame as I’d love something like this to be true

    • Amateur_Scientician

      Kudos to you, sir. If I had to right a rule #1 for critical thinking, I’d say: be most doubtful of claims that you want to be true. If more people aspired to follow that advice, the world would be a much better place.

    • Amateur_Scientician

      Kudos to you, sir. If I had to right a rule #1 for critical thinking, I’d say: be most doubtful of claims that you want to be true. If more people aspired to follow that advice, the world would be a much better place.

  • 1nameme

    “the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens.”

    Sounds like her own erotic fantasy. This is just the same BS that came out of Russia earlier this year about proof of a yeti. What is wrong with people? Isn’t all the amazing truth about the natural world enough that you don’t have to make up or believe in this idiotic nonsense?

    • cvc

      wow you are very narrow minded won’t you be surprise when is proven real

      • Amateur_Scientician

        Here is the best definition I can devise for open mindedness: the willingness to accept a claim based solely on the merits of the evidence provided. I’ll add that the rigor of the evidence should be proportional to the likelihood of the claim.

        In other words, if I tell you that I can stand on one foot, it would be reasonable of you to take that statement at face value– almost every healthy adult can stand on one foot. However, if I told you I could stand on one foot for twenty four hours straight, my word wouldn’t be sufficient evidence. But, there are probably some people that really can perform such a feat and, while unlikely, I could be one of them. So, perhaps, a newspaper clipping that mentions me or a reliable eyewitness may be enough to persuade you– though, without an actual demonstration, you should maintain some doubt. Finally, what if I told you I could levitate? Not only have you never seen anyone levitate, but the idea would violate extremely well tested physical laws. Thus, it is exceedingly unlikely. No amount of eye witness testimony would be sufficient. Not even witnessing it yourself would be sufficient, as I could be using trickery or you may be mistaken in what you see. A truly open-minded individual would accept only repeatable, controlled testing conducted by experts.

        Now, is Bigfoot as unlikely as levitation? Not quite, but some rather basic biology suggests that it is nearly impossible for such a creature to exist in North America. Therefore, no amount of eyewitness testimony is sufficient to accept the claim. Not even a personal sighting should convince you, since human perception and memory are so flawed that it is more likely that you are mistaken. Also, never underestimate the talents of mischief makers who enjoy perpetuating the Bigfoot myth.

        I submit that you, in fact, are narrow minded in your refusal to accept the unlikeliness of bigfoot’s existence.

        • David Kaplan

          I understand your view to a certain extent. However we must always allow for the possibility. Please see my entry above (David J. Kaplan, Ph.D).
          There was a primate biologist who supports your view that the Northwest would be wasteland for a primate (the ones she has already studied, however). Now there have been reports that Big Foot has hunted deer, a food source, no doubt needed for it’s existence during the cold months. I believe (if Big Foot exists ) that it is very cunning creature, able to survive by a variety of techniques the various seasons, with spring and summer being less stressfull as it may be a gatherer so to speak. .When I get up in the morning my view is the same as yours, and I say they can’t exist. However when I check some ( a small fraction) of eye witness reports by what I believe to be competent observers (police, military, professional people) I give it a better than outside chance that this species exists.
          I will say this: I won’t be surprised if Ketchum’s work does not pass the scientific panels. However you will be surprised if it did. If it does it will not be 100 % definitive proof, but awfully close to having a body so to speak. Thanks for your entry as it throws light on some people who readily accept everything.

          David J. Kaplan, Ph.D. Biochemistry. Expertise in Nucleic Acid Research.

          • Amateur_Scientician

            I do leave open the possibility that something like Bigfoot exists; I’m merely asserting that it is extremely unlikely. I must make a very strong objection to the idea that there is such a thing as a “competent observer.” To the best of my knowledge, all police and military personnel are equipped with a normal human brain. True, law enforcement may be better trained in coping with their cognitive limitations (e.g. paying attention to specific characteristics on a person, writing an account immediately following an incident). However, there is no reason to think that anyone is immune from hallucinations or pareidolia; as well as confabulation and even false memories. Given the total lack of physical evidence, it is a far simpler explanation to attribute all eyewitness accounts to misperceptions and distorted memory (and, of course, the occasional liar).

            It is simply inane for a primatologist to make an absolute statement about the ability of primates to survive in North America since, obviously, there are over half a billion primates living here right now called Homo sapiens. And, if humans could evolve to survive here, why not some other hominid? Yet, simply because something is possible does not mean it is true or even likely. There are so many sightings of Bigfoot over such a large area. If we accept that even one percent of these sighting are real, then we must also accept that this creature has managed to evolve into a large, geographically diverse area without leaving any physical record of its existence– a notion that strains credulity, I think.

            And, of course, the attributes of the creature are certainly questionable. They are bipedal, but live solely in the forest. They are also often claimed to be eight feet tall or more. Wouldn’t we expect a population of forest-dwelling hunters who, apparently cannot cook or build tools (surely we would have spotted a fire-pit or discarded spearhead somewhere, by now), and who are clearly not thriving; to be smaller.

            The Bigfoot has so much going against it and so little evidence (all of it eyewitness testimony), that I think a reasonably fair-minded assessment leads us to the conclusion that it almost certainly doesn’t exist.

            As for Ketchum’s claim to have Bigfoot DNA, I suggest you read her press releases for a better idea of just how much of an “expert” she is. The whole idea of a pre-publication press release alone would smear the credibility of even the most respected scientist. Combine that with her laboratory’s terrible reputation and some of the absurd details included in her announcement (100% human mtDNA would mean, if I’m not mistaken, that every female in this specimens lineage was a human) and I would say she does not deserve anyone’s attention.

    • David Kaplan

      I can’t blame for for your opinion as there has a ton of false Big Stuff in the years past. On the other hand we have to keep an open mind. It is natural for people to reject with prejudice something that sounds fantastic and out of their paradigm of every day reality. People tend to be prejudice. Just over a hundred years ago you would hear “Man Can’t Fly!!!” Now we send space vehicles to mars!!! For you to understand the Bigfoot story you have to understand that this a a species (if it exists) that is probably very low in number, is nocturnal, avoids humans for the most part, is very quick afoot and inhabits regions of relatively thick forests. I was told by a very good scientist that Sasquatch is not real since we would have not found this animal by now. Pardon me ,but there have been found 300 new mammalian species in the last decade!!!!!!!!!!! (see Smithsonian magazine) As per evidence supporting the existence of this species, a well known forensic fingerpint-footprint investigator ( Jim Chilcutt, Conroe Police department, Texas) has put his reputation on the line by stating from his extensive work on said BigFoot footprints that there exists a North American Primate not discovered before. Furthermore R SCott Nelson former Naval Intelligence and Linguistics Expert has further supported the probable existence of this animal (part-human ?) by extensive acoustical investigation of recorded Big Foot sounds. Add on to this an abundance of police as well as military personnel sightings of this animal. I say therefore that Dr. Ketchum may have the real genomic sequence of this entity. Of course it may not pan out. All I am saying no one should just blindly call off her 5 year study as Hocus Pocus before the data has been refereed by a Scientific panel.

      David J. Kaplan, Ph.D

  • joel bohrer

    this is the 2nd time in 5 years theyve made these claims, always a way to sell, sell ,sell

  • Bill Butler

    I find the gullibility of human beings to be fascinating.
    Here’s a hint as to the “credibility” of this particular publicity stunt. Melba
    Ketchum “is the founder of DNA Diagnostics”. The “Staff” consists of just Melba
    Ketchum. http://www.dnadiagnostics.com/staff.html

    However, if you check the BBB rating for DNA Diagnostics, it gets an “F” on their scale of A to F.
    “25 complaints filed against business”
    “Failure to respond to 4 complaints filed against business.”
    “13 complaints filed against business that were not resolved.”
    “10 serious complaints filed against business.”
    http://www.bbb.org/east-texas/business-reviews/laboratories-medical/dna-diagnostics-in-timpson-tx-24003140

    Hint # 2:
    “Bigfoot” (Sasquatch) is a myth. The only place that Bigfoot exists is in the minds of people who like to believe in myths, conspiracies, etc.

  • educate1

    Bigfoot = a remnant of the neanderthal?

    • Amateur_Scientician

      Not a chance. First of all, Neanderthals weren’t covered in hair and eight feet tall. Second of all, they would leave evidence, i.e. tools, fire pits, gravesites. There’s no record of Neanderthals or any other homids in the Americas. It’s like saying there’s still an untouched tribe of native Americans. If they were out there, we’d have seen them by now.

      • http://twitter.com/Brunstucky Chris Kinney

        Amateur – safe to say you are an athiest??? Like most people, you didn’t see it therefore it does not exsist. believe in the paranormal? can’t DNA test a ghost, they don’t leave droppings… The nay sayers will always say hoax. the believers will always believe. You say I didn’t see what I saw, I say you don’t see what I’m saying….

        • Amateur_Scientician

          I’m not sure how it’s relevant, but, yes, I am an atheist. I find your assessment of me quite insulting; I do not wish to be either a nay-sayer or a believer. I prefer to think of myself as a skeptic– I expect that the less likely a claim is to be true, the more compelling the evidence should be. It’s not so much that I don’t believe in things like god or the paranormal. Rather, there is no evidence for them.

          I wouldn’t say Bigfoot’s existence is as unlikely as something like God or ghosts, but it is still quite unlikely. The comment you responded to was specifically a dismissal of the idea that bigfoots are Neanderthals– that is a ridiculous assertion that runs counter to some very well supported biological history. As for the idea that there is a very tall, hairy hominid still surviving somewhere in North America, that’s really, really unlikely. But it’s not impossible– if I was provided with some reasonable evidence, I would happily accept its existence.

          As for your claim that you saw Bigfoot, I really believe that you did see Bigfoot. But, you and I and every other human are slaves to the fallibility of our brains. What we see does not necessarily reflect reality and can be highly distorted. Combine that with our shockingly flawed memories, and there is little reason to consider eyewitness accounts as compelling, even our own personal accounts. It is unfortunate how much faith people put in their own perceptive abilities and memories. I recommend you read some of the popular science books on the topic of neuroscience– it’s a truly eye-opening subject.

          • http://www.facebook.com/sean.davies.9484 Sean Davies

            Evidence that can or cannot be percieved is relative to the ability of the observer to observe. This includes the apparatus or medium used to do so. We’ve advanced to being able to analyze DNA only within the last century, which would otherwise present know known source of evidence the last 2000 years prior.
            You forget, as you said yourself we a flawed creatures. We do not see everything and chances are we will never be capable of doing so.

            The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.

          • Amateur_Scientician

            That is a false analogy. First of all, I’m not making an absolute statement about the existence of Bigfoot, I’m merely saying its extremely unlikely. Secondly, there is no advanced technology required to find evidence of Bigfoot.

            The more we look for Bigfoot without finding them, the less likely they are to really exist. And, since there is no evidence to begin with, it is far simpler to assume that they don’t.

  • Taylor Thruelsen

    I would love to be skeptical because of all the half-arsh pictures and video research, but to me and probably to the most common minded human, I look at the votes. NOT EVERYONE IS LYING ABOUT THEIR PERSONAL SIGHTINGS AND ENCOUNTERS. Lets just say out of the 10,000 plus sightings recorded, that 99 out of 100 people are lying, then that means we have an approximate 100 sightings that are true. I personally would think that if 100 people saw Bigfoot, then Bigfoot is real. And I guarantee about 2 in 10 are telling a fib. So on that note, tip your hat to reasoning and follow through with fantasy. Cheers. Taylor

    • Amateur_Scientician

      You are employing a very common logical fallacy. The idea that weak evidence becomes credible in multiples is simply nonsense. And make no mistake, anecdotal evidence is as weak as it gets. I’m sure many, probably most, witnesses sincerely believe they saw Bigfoot. But, there is a far simpler explanation; they have simply been tricked by the myriad perceptual flaws that human’s possess. Cryptozoology fans need to learn what psychologists have known for decades; we experience reality only thought the interpretation of our imperfect brains. Our memories are not recordings, but rather recreations of past events that often contain distorted and even completely false information.

      Check out a great web site: rationalwiki[dot]org

      • http://www.facebook.com/sean.davies.9484 Sean Davies

        I’ve seen you make this point three times now. While I respect your unbiased opinion, the gall you have to condemn the masses of humanity as delusional is making me shake my head. It seems to be your only bias forcing you to lean to the skeptic side. I’m not saying I’m not skeptical, but simplifying an explaination does not make it better. What your doing is called “stereo typing.”
        Generalizing masses. It serves as a resusable ad hoc.

        • Amateur_Scientician

          The term “delusional” has derogatory connotations, so I prefer not to use it except in extreme cases. However, the idea that there exists any human being whose perception and memories are a perfect representation of reality is absurd. The only stereotype I’m using is the fairly reliable assumption that every human being has a human brain. There are many wonderful popular science books on the topic: I recommend “Paranormality” by Richard Wiseman or one of Michael Shermer’s books.

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