Today I read an article on the Huffington Post, in regards to what exactly some of my points have been made on this blog and by others. The article includes quotes from Dr. Jeff Meldrum:

 

hufpo

“News reports last week suggesting that Bigfoot DNA evidence had been analyzed and confirmed through the peer-reviewed DeNovo Scientific Journal raised questions over the legitimacy of the publication.

Questions were also raised — and have still not been fully answered — about Texas veterinarian Melba Ketchum’s involvement with the journal, threatening the credibility of her five-year study of various alleged Bigfoot DNA samples.

Ketchum has felt that the scientific community tried to prevent her work from seeing the light of day.

"We encountered the worst scientific bias in the peer review process in recent history," Ketchum wrote on her Sasquatch Genome Project site.

"Several journals wouldn’t even read our manuscript when we sent them a pre-submission inquiry. We were even mocked by one reviewer in his peer review. We did finally pass peer review with a relatively new journal," she wrote.

Over the past week, some have alleged that Ketchum somehow "purchased" a little-known journal in order to re-register it under a new name — DeNovo Scientific Journal — and then publish her own results of over 111 samples of reported Bigfoot hair, blood, toenail, saliva and skin.

"I’m certainly not ruling out the possibility that there was a conspiracy of sorts, or a concerted effort to not give this a fair shake, given the controversial matter," said Idaho State University anthropologist Jeff Meldrum, a leading academic and recognized scientific authority on Bigfoot.

"To make an end-run around the process by erecting a facade in the form of a so-called new journal and allege that it is edited and reviewed, without providing any of that information on the public web page, it appears that she has undertaken an effort to self-publish, just to get it out there," Meldrum told The Huffington Post. "And, to boot, she’s charging $30 a pop for a copy of the paper."

Meldrum said he doesn’t think any credible scientific journal would shy away from the topic simply because of its controversial nature.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/bigfoot-dna-controversy-science-journal_n_2711676.html

 

Now I move onto a comment, which I am choosing to post here rather than under the comments sections. The commenter submitted some interesting details, but it is earmarked with a few disdainful, angry comments. However I did do some research into a PH.D he threw out there, and sadly it did not come from a geneticist.

I was pleased when I became aware of the ongoing DNA research that was underway and the new groundbreaking efforts that were being made by Dr. Melba Ketchum in Texas. I followed the numerous websites and radio interviews that were commenting about this research, and was very gladdened by the December 24th interview and the new interview on Monday, 2/18/13 Coast to Coast AM by George Knapp with Dr. Ketchum.

I have taken note of the fact that numerous highly opinionated individuals, who are Skeptics, have almost always made derogatory comments to the effect that the DNA findings must necessarily be flawed by some form of contamination for the results of the research to have shown the presence of Human Mitochondrial DNA in the samples that were in the Study

Dr. Ketchum spoke in reply to the matter of sample contamination many times, and detailed the efforts that were being made to forestall that problem. The Skeptics were obviously not listening clearly, because they continued to rail that there absolutely must have been contamination of the DNA Samples that were used in this Study, all 109 of them.

The true facts seem to be that an enormous amount of care had been taken by Dr. Melba Ketchum and her highly skilled associates, who used State of the Art Forensic Techniques to prevent even the remotest possibility of that happening, and my reading of the Study confirmed the rather obvious conclusion that most of the skeptics had unquestionably jumped to their conclusions without any real factual evidence, as usual.

The work done by the University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas has revealed that the three samples that Dr. Ketchum had submitted for Nuclear DNA sequencing were of very high quality, and highly purified, and capable of providing very valid results, using the Illumina Next Generation Sequencing Platform, with a statistical probability greater than 1:1000 of being correctly sequenced.
Obviously these were not “Contaminated Samples” as the Skeptics contended that they must have been.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION, As reported in the PRweb Seattle WA at http://www.seattlepi.com, :


“The team, led by Dr. Melba S. Ketchum, DVM, of DNA Diagnostics in Nacogdoches, TX, submitted a tissue sample, a saliva sample, and a blood sample to the DNA Laboratory at the University of Texas, Southwestern, who then sequenced the Three whole Nuclear Genomes using the Next-Generation Illumina HiSeq 2000 Platform. The University lab reported that the three genomes all attained Q30 quality scores above 88 on the Illumina Platform, which is significantly higher than the Platform average of 85, indicating highly-purified, single-source DNA with no contamination for each sample. The three Sasquatch genomes were reported to align well with one-another and show substantial homology to primate sequences.”

NOTE: The important fact to observe is that the three Q30 Scores of these three Genomes, with over 90 Gb of Raw seqence for each sample, (Comprising greater than 30x coverage), were 88.6, 88.4 and 88.7 respectively. The Q30 is the percent of reads that have the statistical probability greater than 1:1000 of being correctly sequenced. According to Illumina, a pure single source sample would have a Q30 score of 80 or greater, with an average Q30 score of 85. Contaminated or multiple source samples would have Q30 scores of 40 to 50.

Therefore, not only were the three samples that were submitted for sequencing, each determined to be totally UNCONTAMINATED and were from a single source, and the resultant quality of the sequences that were obtained from them was FAR ABOVE the average 85 score of the Genomes sequenced using the Illumina Next Generation Sequencing Platform at the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. A Further comment made about the samples was: “The high quality of the Genomes can be attributed to the STRINGENT EXTRACTION PROCEDURES UTILIZED WHEREBY THE DNA WAS REPEATEDLY PURIFIED”. Dr. Ketchum obviously did a very good job of providing high quality samples that were capable of providing scientifically valid results.


NOTE: It would appear that the University of Texas Southwestern’s DNA Laboratory is rather sure that these are good Genomes, and that they were tested to be of very high quality.

How could you ask for much more than that?

One Genome would be more than adequate to prove the existence of a new species. Three Genomes is gross OVERKILL. It is a NEW Species.
David H. Swenson, PHD, a very well known expert made a very straightforward statement that sums up the situation to wit.
“My opinion of the creature is that it is a hybrid of a human mother and an unknown hominid male, Just as reported. For all practical purposes, it should be treated as human and protected under law.
Sasquatch is real, as proven by genetic analysis.”

My kudos to the Dr. Melba Ketchum and the BRAVE DNA researchers who refused to give up and quit. They will go down in History! The Skeptics will have an eternal meal of CROW PIE. I hope they enjoy it. I would imagine it has a bitter taste!

You will not be able to find any qualified Geneticist who can argue with the spectacular results produced by the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS DNA Laboratory. NOT WITH THOSE HIGH Q30 scores.
New species have been accepted by Science with as little as 16 Kb, with 6800 Base Pairs.

Just a very small number of base pairs. The sample size here was 90 Gb for each of three samples. See the Supplementary Data 7-10 By comparison the Bigfoot DNA data which was sequenced by the DNA Lab of the University of Texas at Dallas comprises as much as 2.7 MILLION Base pairs.

As a result of the data that he reviewed, David H. Swenson, PHD, a very well known expert made a very straightforward statement that sums up the situation as he sees it.

“My opinion of the creature is that it is a hybrid of a human mother and an unknown hominid male, Just as reported. For all practical purposes, it should be treated as human and protected under law.
Sasquatch is real, as proven by genetic analysis.”


I believe that this groundbreaking DNA Study was done with very great care and that the resultant findings are now thoroughly capable of proving to even the most diehard, outspoken Skeptics, that there is incontrovertible PROOF that there is an unclassified Biped roaming North America.

This evidence is backed up by the substantial work that has been done at instituions like The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas A & M University, and several other academic institutions and Professional Laboratories.
Richard Gibbs, one of the key scientists behind the Human Genome Project and director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine, commented “As I read the paper I asked, is the evidence here compelling? I don’t know. Is there clear evidence of fraud? That’s not apparent”.

Dr. Ketchum and her esteemed colleagues are to be heartily commended for the dedication that they have shown in the face of derision from the mass attacks by huge numbers of Naysayers, Skeptics and Fools.
I urge everyone interested, and especially hardcore Skeptics to take the time to read this amazing DNA Study and to become aware of the incredible quality of the Science behind it.

Being a skeptic does not require that you cannot accept valid Scientific studies, that are done with a great deal of care and appropriate attention to detail by highly skilled professionals, at highly accredited institutions of Higher Learning!

On Monday, 2/18/13 I listened to the latest interview of Dr. Melba Ketchum on Coast to Coast Am by George Knapp. Having previously heard her interview on 12/24/12, I can only say that any of the Naysayers must not have ever listened to either interview, because they only need to hear them and if they were to listen with an open mind, they would have much more information to go on. Also, If you have not read the DNA Study Article, you should not comment on it.

                                                                   -Charles Bootjer 2/19/13

Thank you for your detailed response. In summary you make a couple of points which I’d like to address.

  • I have no problem with the study, I have concerns of what the geneticists are saying, which brings up the nagging questions that MUST BE ASKED for science to be satisfied.
  • It has failed because so far in the Science world it has not proven anything, YET. Although unorthodox in the manner in which the study was released, it may have a slight chance, given in speaking with Derek Randles, that other scientists have agreed to take a closer, hands on look. Wonderful…maybe it still has some breath to it, for science to acknowledge it. But understand, it’s a long shot.
  • No one has addressed the primer issue as of yet. I would like to see how the primer was developed and third party research into the viability of the primer. Not to mention we do not see any third party testing of the primer, was it just sent to the labs with instruction to the particular primer. (My understanding, Dr. Ketchum has a patent on it, or is in process, so where does that leave the third party tested lab samples.)
  • Statements like "..because they only need to hear them and if they were to listen with an open mind," is indicative that you do not have an open mind, how can you discount a number of scientists, critics (not skeptics) who have weighed in on the interpretation of data to which they are truly the experts of? You can’t by saying Melba said this or that, saying is one thing, proving to the critics they are wrong. At this point it doesn’t matter what is said, it’s what can be proved in the eyes of science. The critics bring up questions, well the solution is simple; answer them with proof this was done. If the proof satisfies that, then where’s the argument?
  • What could be asked for more? How about submission to Gen Bank, the accepted protocol? They have not been sent to Gen Bank, by one of the study submitters own admission, which would clearly rule on the contamination issue, and most likely the primer issue. If it goes to Gen Bank and comes back as valid, I would feel more comfortable with it.
  • If people are not geneticists, people can comment on it, because there have been qualified people who HAVE read the report and commented on it. Open mindedness is a two sided thing. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, stop being angry at critics and open your ears, you may just be able to learn what may turn them around.
  • I understand the uphill battle Dr. Ketchum and the submitters have conducted, it now a matter of time, whether or not science will accept it or not. That’s not in my hands nor yours.
  • Dr. Swenson is an oncologist not a geneticist. (Education: B. S. (1970) in Biochemistry, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, magna cum laude. Ph.D. (1975) in Experimental Oncology, University of Wisconsin, McArdle Lab. for Cancer Research.)
  • Richard Gibbs, merely states that he’s not sure that the evidence is compelling or not, just that there doesn’t appear to be fraud. Where in this blog do you see me state anything of that ilk?
  • If you are insinuating that I will be eating crow, you are sadly mistaken. I have no "skin in the game." I have warned as early as six months ago, people should not get 100 vested that this will be the "end all, be all." We still run into the argument of, "prove that it was a Sasquatch that left this DNA”  Which to me is the skeptics argument of last resort.
  • Instead of being close minded and belligerent, that we can no longer assist in proving the Sasquatch by DNA methodology other than this study alone, my suggestion is read what I have written in the past.
  • Collection techniques are a lot more than just properly putting a sample of DNA into a bag.,it’s the documentation and investigation into how it got there. which makes the difference. Remember in the scale of the courts, DNA is circumstantial evidence for just that reason.
  • Does anyone think for a second that the lack of answering some of the questions, may have had something to do in it not passing a peer review strong enough to make publication?

See I am not getting into the argument that Ketchum is defrauding us or any of that ilk. I am simply basing it on the facts of the matter. I see the folks in the study, beating their chest, saying "See..see" but the truth of the matter is what was wanted originally, scientific acceptance, was not attained, instead they had to settle for the report being put out there. (I will not say published because of the fine line of pseudo-science we will go if we say Denovo was an established scientific journal) Now the hard core study folks seem content and happy to settle.

And as I have been saying for years, we cannot settle. If the DNA is/was valid, why not go to the mattress with it? (Godfather term)

Why can’t we be just honest with ourselves, and acknowledge there is more to be done?

People going around triumphantly, over something science has not accepted yet?

I thought we got into this thing to prove to science the Sasquatch exists, which in turn would validate witnesses. Dr. Ketchum by her own admission has become a believer with her own experiences, and this maybe viewed by some in the mainstream populace as a desperate attempt to validate something she believes in. When do we move away from accusations like that?

It is compounded by the failure of getting published in an existing scientific journal, and the unorthodox manner in which this scientific study has been revealed, which now the mainstream is seizing upon just this morning by the Huffington Post. Again more validation of my points above.

Again thank you, Charles, for you well thought out, informative comment. Some of the resources and statements will prove valuable as readers make their own determinations.

Like I said in my previous writing on this topic, it was a close try, which may not even be done yet. But let’s stop getting all hard-boiled over it. I’m certainly not.

When are we going to stop realizing it’s not about what it is?

And realize it’s about we need?

Till Next Time,

Squatch-D