Dr. Melba S. Ketchum of Nacogdoches, Texas, has issued a news release claiming she and her "team of scientists" have deciphered the DNA sequence of the elusive Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot. Her claims are being questioned in the scientific community, with many experts dismissing them as a publicity stunt.
Ketchum and her team said they obtained "Bigfoot DNA," the source of which was never confirmed, that proves homo sapiens are directly related to the beast, thought to be a still-walking ancient human or close relative. The Texan scientists have not let any peer-reviewed journal examine the findings, nor were any reputable brains able to issue their own conclusion.
Any substantiated evidence would surely be fought over for inclusion in peer-reviewed journals.
“A team of scientists can verify that their five-year-long DNA study, currently under peer-review, confirms the existence of a novel hominid hybrid species, commonly called 'Bigfoot' or 'Sasquatch,' living in North America,” the release read. “Researchers' extensive DNA sequencing suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago.”
MSN reported Ketchum has found mitochondrial DNA likened to that of Homo sapiens, making it likely, she thinks, for an ancestor of Bigfoot to have mated with a human woman around 15,000 years ago.
Again, it is unknown what DNA was actually examined. There’s also the possibility that the still-veiled DNA sample - whether it be from Bigfoot, another human, a bear, something similar - was contaminated by being mishandled in Ketchum’s lab, which was previously given an F rating by the Better Business Bureau.
“No one outside of Ketchum's team knows how this alleged Bigfoot DNA was collected, from where or by whom,” wrote Benjamin Radford. “It could have been collected by the world's top forensics experts, or by a pair of amateur Bigfoot buffs with no evidence-gathering training.”
Eric Berger, a science blogger for the Houston Chronicle, agreed, noting the team’s sudden, and highly unorthodox, publication of the results.
“That is a massive red flag. Real research scientists almost never pre-announce their research findings. That is, they don’t go public with big news until it has been vetted by peer reviewers and, at the very least, been accepted for publication,” Berger said. “In this case Ketchum is stating a discovery as scientific fact before other scientists have studied her evidence. In effect she is using the mantle of science to confer credibility on her discovery, without actually deserving the credibility.”
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