Tag Archive: Melba Ketchum


“The Reboot”

Something else is needed other than a reboot

Several have come forth with a theory that Bigfoot research needs a reboot, but in reality what it needs is a boot in the ass, maybe even out the door.

In this convoluted world we have a lot of different view points that Bigfoot is flesh and blood or something else. I have been content to let that argument lay by itself.

But when enough people hear these things without being placed in check, it becomes the new “normal.” 

Without evidence… well I have a hard  time of that.

Now people can argue the semantics of the evidence of Bigfoot as a whole, but there is evidence, just none that is accepted by the scientific community.

But just who the hell is the scientific community anyway?

Are they not just people with fancy schooling and opinions anyway?

Are they “super-human” not fallible to the common things that the average layman are?

BULLSHIT!

Here’s just a few hoaxes in  the last 100 years or so pulled on the scientific community, well…by the scientific community for some sort of gain or game.

Piltdown Man

The whole thing started in 1912 when Charles Dawson claimed to find some interesting bones in a gravel pit.

A paleontologist at the British Museum assembled the bones and believed that they represented the "missing link" between humans and apes.

40 years later scientists proved that the Piltdown man was a deliberate attempt at paleontological fraud.

 Archaeoraptor

In 1999 National Geographic described this creature as the "missing link" between dinosaurs and birds.

Yeah, not so much.

Turns out this "fossil" found in China was actually a forgery constructed from rearranged pieces of real fossils from different species.

Disappearing Blonde Gene

Every generation or so, an alarm is sounded over the belief that natural blonds will soon go the way of the dodo.

The most hoax happened in 2002 when news organizations from the BBC to CNN quoted what they believed to be a World Health Organization report that blonds would disappear within 200 years, because blondness was caused by a recessive gene that was dying out.

Turns out the WHO had never done such a study.

The Nacirema Tribe

The Nacirema were supposedly a tribe of people living in North America, as described by Horace Miner in his anthropological paper, published in 1956.

The tribe Miner described had many odd rituals including "scraping and lacerating the surface of the face with a sharp instrument" and another ritual that "consists of inserting a small bundle of hog hairs into the mouth, along with certain magical powders, and then moving the bundle in a highly formalized series of gestures."

It was actually a satire of everyday American life. "Nacirema" is "American" spelled backward.

The Rum Island Hoax

Heslop Harrison, an established academic and Fellow of the Royal Society, was in 1948 accused by John Raven, a University of Cambridge classics tutor, of making false claims to have discovered certain plant species on the Isle of Rum on the west coast of Scotland. Whether or not such grasses were on Rum is pivotal to a theory that the islands escaped the last ice age.

*Various sources.

Motive theories by the scientist aside, already we’ve seen one Bigfoot DNA study, being prepared for history to be included in this type of citation, if not for the scientist involved sloshing over belief versus fact… out of eleven “Bigfoot conspiracy theories,” this on was at the top.

A DNA TEST PROVED THAT BIGFOOT IS A PART-HUMAN HYBRID… AND DESERVES U.S. CITIZENSHIP!

Texas veterinarian Melba S. Ketchum claimed last November to have proved via sasquatch DNA sample that the legendary apes are partially human. She even went so far as to insist that the Government recognize them as “an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights."

Source: http://mentalfloss.com/article/48870/11-crazy-bigfoot-conspiracy-theories

Take away that last sentence, it doesn’t sound all that crazy does it? But add it, and we wonder why Bigfoot research gets laughed at.

You know we see a couple of our much respected scientists, much admired by followers of this field for years, now laying support to a hoaxer. One just glancing but the other much more in depth. We’ve seen this before as outlined here before, (Kranz and Cook in support of some of Ivan Marx’s works.)

But today one scientist chose to ignore in place of what “he saw” and a “visceral reaction,” rather than what can be proved or the empirical evidence before his eyes. Or the ugly proven backstory about the man he now sits on the bench next to. So just diminish or claim ignorance to the back story.

When you do a show with someone, you do some homework. At least due diligence dictates such for a person in such a position.

Maybe it’s a case of being polite to a person he is co-hosting a radio show with. Maybe he doesn’t want to see it, because he’s been vested with him in a popular television show. I just don’t know. The TV show is one thing, but continuing to co-host a radio show, implies acceptance no matter what is said after the fact.

What I say about the skeptic scientists, touting opinion rather than fact is applicable here.

What is standards for them is standards for us too. Opinions without evidence, regardless of what ever title comes before or after your name is, unless you are not human, it is just OPINION.

I laugh at some people (a guy by the name Terry comes to mind)  trying to make a name for themselves with claims people are faking the stuff debunking Standing’s garbage.

Fact is the photo came from Standing himself further proving the huckster he is. And we’ve outlined all the steps people can take on their own here to duplicate our results. So ignore the truth Terry. Hence the term ignorant.

The fact remains, that Standing made entirely up the area Sylvanic, and was planning a Blair Witch (Released in 1999) type movie. But some Bigfoot researchers took this online game (Blair Witch too had a website touting the authenticity of their movie as well). Hmm …

“The Blair Witch Project is thought to be the first widely released movie marketed primarily by internet. The movie’s official website featured fake police reports and "newsreel-style" interviews. Due to this, some people initially thought it was an actual documentary about the ‘missing’ teenagers. These augmented the movie’s found footage style to spark debates across the internet over whether the movie was a real-life documentary or a work of fiction.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blair_Witch_Project

Included was a movie in Blair Witch style, featuring what is thought to be Standing’s sister, doing the voice and filming, and was known as Sylvanic Film 1, which has disappeared from any Standing owned site, for good reason.

But people like this Terry, that make such unsupported claims, with unwarranted malice, not only have no place in the spectrum of investigation, or research, but are ignorant. I call them the source of a lot of our troubles in the Bigfoot community. But now even respected folks are beginning to emulate that type of behavior.

It is so sad that some people want to have evidence of the existence of Bigfoot so badly, that they would rather live in fantasy land, and accept the non-scientific and live in their own bubble and say what it ever it takes to stay in that bubble. (And unfortunately no matter what you talk about, politics, religion, sports, it is the extreme ends of these, that folks fall into this trap.)

Didn’t we just see that in the last couple of years with an uneducated buffoon.

See that’s the difference hoaxers don’t get. When you are a buffoon, and have bad PR such as “Jake and the Fat Man,” scientists do not find you palatable.

When you are nice, soft spoken, and caring such as a Marx and Standing…there’s your ingredient.

Standing can state very intelligently and eloquently that Sasquatch bury their dead. But archaeologically, bones that are buried are more likely to be preserved and thus found. So there is Standing sounding scientific, why no bones are found, yet in complete adverse to science.

Remember a con game is an abbreviation for “confidence game.”

That’s why at first people were taken by “Jake and the Fat Man” at first.

“They were so nice and congenial,” was a comment when a group of Crypto-folks went to visit “Jake” in Texas.

You don’t get people to believe in you by being an asshole.

Back to the scientists…

Fact is these fine folks (and I do mean that sincerely) in science have been trained in science.

 What they haven’t been trained in is public relations.

When they go out on the cuff, and don’t do their due diligence, and later are proved wrong or their theory sounds kind of out there, even for Bigfoot research, they embarrass us all.

Some who have been proven wrong or have no evidence to back their claims, have taken on the new program of…Ignore it, deny it, chose to diminish it with the least amount of noise.

Well something is wrong… and I am no longer quiet, nor am I choosing to ignore it.

“Scientists are not Gods, Prophets, Presidents, nor Kings. They are human beings, subject to all the fallacies a human is capable of being vulnerable to.”

                                                        -Steve  Kulls, June 2014

 

Airing laundry…a traitor in my midst

Sadly, that’s not the only problem. See I have problems with people being two faced. If people keep close eye on what I do, there has been a person replaced a while ago.

And folks know, that I have dealt with this kind of thing before, but I need to get this off my chest so please grant me the liberty of doing such.

First by destroying a 25 year friendship with someone, by feeding both sides bullshit. Stirring the pot. Took me a while to figure out my friend’s anger, and why a knee jerk reaction angered him more. I realized how this jackass I let in, operates. And I feel the guilt of such.

I miss my best friend, but I think thanks to this ass feeding BS to both sides, it is probably irreparably destroyed.

Then later this Jackass insinuates, that I stole a logo design off of him I had designed for a paranormal group I co-founded. Mind you this is over a single symbol in the design. And the design and color of the symbol are much different them his.

I asked numerous people if they could see any similarities…bupkis. Apparently he felt he has a monopoly on this symbol which we found at least five other groups across the country using.

But he wanted to hear none of it, because it wasn’t about the design, it was the anger of starting our own paranormal group, instead of being a branch of his.

I hear he’s coming over 200 miles to go back into the areas, I showed him.

The group I had coexisted with prior to that, despite our philosophical differences, earned the use of that area.

The old team

As far as the other team, I can co-exist with them, although I think they have a hard time dealing with being dumped and sometimes a quirky remark, very much unnecessary is thrown out there.

They got a little unnerved when I co-founded a paranormal group, but prior to my departure, they did create a Bigfoot organization, which was a direct conflict of what I was told a couple of years earlier their intentions were.

Moreover I saw information there that was in direct conflict with my own theories and were more to the fringe. It was becoming time to move on regardless of any other drama.

As for the Paranormal group it wasn’t a competition thing, it was a continuance of doing something I love to do, as well as supporting my significant other.

Were they riding coattails? Although they have much different philosophies than I now, I believe some out of spite, I considered it them earning their right of passage.

The old team put in blood, sweat and tears consistently for several years. We had many good times, laughs, excitement and a lot of good results.

I was called a mentor on many different occasions by them pertaining to the Crypto-field.

Much to as I indebted to them for cutting my teeth in the paranormal world.

There are other reasons as well, but those are not for public consumption, because it had nothing to do with the evidence they were putting forth, their integrity in evidentiary matters, up until I left, is without question. 

(Up until I left is said, because I cannot vouch for their evidence today as I am not associated with them so I cannot verify. Such is not meant as a derogatory remark.)

I have let bygones be bygones.

Back to the traitor in my midst…

Three months of being in my research area didn’t give him that right to steal it, or corrupt it.

But he does not care. He was riding coattails. He wanted to be noticed. He wanted to be in control. Fortunately, he blanked himself out of any good favor. Expecting me to cave on his latest whim.

Nonetheless I still tried to remain his friend.

But the final straw was when I hear insinuations, because I went on my own for thirty-five minutes during the day time in a public park. I’ve been going there on my own for thirteen years. I think I’ve earned that.

He thinks people don’t talk especially when he’s talking behind my back about me. Then he wonders why I unfriended him. Really? Naïve young man. 

I have three words for him…

Now I won’t name names, because the people in the know, already know about all of this, for some time. Funny thing is he perceives these people as being ignorant but they all know what he’s about.

And mark my words… he’s gonna be calling people telling them I got this all wrong.

Lastly…

So if you’ve been wondering why I have been so quiet, it’s been all just holding in for quite some time.

This isn’t for condolences, nor was it for advice. Sometimes I can be wise beyond my years.

Sometimes.

This is the airing of my feelings and should certain people cross this blog once in a while like I think they do…they now see where exactly I stand.

Time for my ‘’Reboot.”

 

Till Next Time,

Squatch-D

Being steeped in reality is what we all need to be sometimes. Sometimes we need to listen to the “old timers,” and put ego aside, self included.

In other cases we need to stop becoming “dreamers.”

Sometimes we even stop being fair, or nice and become investigators. Verify.


Sierra Kills and Dr. Brian Sykes

This week we’ve had some major developments in Bigfoot body cases, the first via Dr. Brian Sykes, NatGeo Channel concerning the alleged Sierra Kills shooter Justin Smeja.

JS

Justin Smeja…DNA all bear.  

Turns out everything is bear or nothing…the steak (which we knew from other DNA tests) and of course now the bloody boot which turned up no useable DNA. Hence no Squatch.

All we have is a video via a FLIR device by veteran researcher Bart Cutino that may or may not substantiate Sasquatch activity in the area the kill had allegedly occurred.

Still I must say that at least in those cases physical evidence was turned over to scientists for analysis, giving me the leeway to at least stay on the fence and have some hope.

But, as a friend said to me the other day, “Hope is for suckers.” Show me something concrete.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the Sierra Kills now becomes that of Bigfoot Legend and Lore and much debate for the future generations of those who want to mix it up and fight over the topic, the same as the Ketchum Study, the PG Film, The Massacre Debate and so on and so forth.


MiB’s and Rick Dyer… AGAIN! 

It should come as no surprise that a person so angered over the Sierra Kill has been one Rick Dyer.

See many folks think that the major motivation was money. Wrong, not at first. It is no coincidence that He really started making the rounds again right after the announcement of the Sierra Kill. He publicly called Smeja a hoaxer, but claimed himself to be truthful.

                 idiotmib

Rick Dyer…”MiB’s took my Bigfoot…AGAIN!”

I mean how can you be the “Best Bigfoot Tracker in the World,” if someone else brought one down or in before you?

Let’s not forget, just how angry Dyer was with the old Team Tazer. He bought all the domain names he could with the name Team Tazer.

Then he tries to call out his enemies, when one or more (me) calls him out and actually goes to Los Angeles, he tries in vain to hurt me by attempting me to spend hundreds of dollars on a cab ride, which he claimed he would pay. Luckily it did not work out that way. Click here to read about the LA trip.

 

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(From Left to Right) Plane Tic to LAX, LAX and the “No Show Party!” with Bugs Mitchell.

Then doesn’t show. Claims a great victory, leaving many of his followers stunned and saying, “What the ^&#*@?” The next day all but a small handful of his followers are left. In following weeks, more jump ship.

Little obsessed? You bet!!!

The Ketchum Study build up was at it’s peak as well. That became a bust for most over the course of the last year, as it has not been accepted by science.

Now that the Sierra Kill DNA is bear, and the Syke’s Study has made no significant Bigfoot breakthrough, it does not surprise me, in the least, that Dyer has bowed out and has been leading up to this since coincidentally with the announcement of the NatGeo show that would reveal the samples authenticity or not.

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(Left) HotDocs in Toronto in April..decent turnout. (Right: Courtesy of Joe Mastroianni) the NY showing in November and post the calling Dyer’s bluff in LA in August… theater very empty.

 

MiB’s took his Bigfoot. Zero for originality, as he used that excuse in 2011 already. Sounds like someone is “selling their cabbages twice,” as my father used to say.

However, I don’t think for one second, this is the last of seeing Rick Dyer.

Unless the Feds get him this time.

Dyer’s website as of this morning has this message. Gone are the memberships, he was once selling.

MoreBSJPG

Message on Dyer’s web site this morning, blog has been silent since Nov. 17th, 2013

But if there is someone claiming to bring one in or has bagged one, be certain Dyer will be there with another “Hank.”

If Dyer has any more supporters, then they need a severe reality check, as most did in August after I and some others called Dyer’s bluff in California. That sent a full house


The Aftermath

Why can’t some of us let this go…

well there is something teachable in everything here.

1. The No-Brainer: Some people are just liars…

                      hotairdownloaddownload (1)

(Left to Right) Famous Fibbers: Tom Biscardi (I saw it, I touched it, I smelled it), Allen (Musky Allen) Issleb (It was partially embalmed), Ricky Dyer (I am the best Bigfoot Tracker in the world), Linda Newton-Perry (If the photo of “Big Clyde” is a fake I will shut down Bigfoot Ballyhoo.)

Especially when they have a track record of it, making grandiose claims not attempting to support it with any evidence. Or the evidence upon closer inspection is doctored or misrepresented.

All, in my opinion seem to suffer some sort of defect, making up lies about people to further their cause or make them sound like the victim.

There is a commonality about all of them.

2. The Unfortunate Part: Some people are naïve, even if they are super intelligent. And sometimes play into the hoaxer’s plan.

Consequences

Some of the more notable willing victims, Vermont researcher Chris Noel, and the Facebook FindBigfoot Team, who still had trouble coming to grips with the truth even after L.A.

Doesn’t make them evil, just makes them unreliable if they don’t change their methodology and trains of thought. I hope for their sake they do. I don’t like seeing anyone fail that had only good intentions and their mistake was believing in Dyer.

We are only human.

Unfortunately one of those human qualities is pride and ego.

Facebook FindBigfoot did make the statement of getting out of the game if this turned sour. And it did. So it is hard to say what the future holds for them. If they back out on it, will the world hold them to their feet to the fire like I did Linda Newton-Perry two years ago?

Difference there is Perry wasn’t a victim, she was the source of all the hoaxes on her site. FB/FB were approached by Dyer and believed him. The Issleb involvement cemented  their belief. So can we forgive them? I think so, but only if their work going forward is a little more objective.

They need to learn to listen to those who are in the know.

Example: I wrote a book on this Dyer guy as well as a few of his co-conspirators from 2008 since I was at ground zero…and they ignored everything I said for a majority of the time about the truth of this man… they were his victims.

And as true to life, some victims start off by being willing victims.

Too important of a lesson should be learned here by the the majority of the researchers that were naïve to believe in Dyer’s lies, were that they were only in research post Body Hoax 2008.

They wanted to give Dyer a pass on his previous actions. For some reason they forgot all his other lies between then and now, like another body, oh and the how the MiB’s got that one too.

But for the Naïve: Don’t want to believe me? Proceed at your own risk.


In Summary

We can let go of the parties responsible and ignore them.

But we should never forget them.

To forget them, we would end up forgetting the lesson.

And we as a race, do that all too often.

So it actually looks like we might start off 2014 with new business instead of all this unresolved stuff like Ketchum, Sykes, Smeja, Dyer, Smith… etc.

Till Next Time,

Squatch-D

The Bigfoot Paradigm

People wonder why I’ve been very selective in posts the better part of this year. Well truthfully, I wanted to focus on the field research and getting boots on the ground rather than getting into the middle of the incessant quarrels within the Bigfoot Research Community.

But it is time to let people exactly know where I stand. This is how I feel, some of this not based on any fact, but rather opinion and gut feeling but some is too.

So let’s look at some of the classic or more philosophic debates:


rifle

Kill versus No-Kill: I have always been on the side of peacefully obtaining the evidence to prove the creatures existence. But I also know the absolute way of proving the existence of a Sasquatch is with a specimen. Science may actually demand it. The folks on the side of Kill, included the late Dr. Grover Krantz.

Still I won’t be the one to bring in a dead specimen.


ghosts

Flesh and Blood versus Paranormal: Okay probably the argument that gets the most people heated. Listen I stand in the corner of, if it leaves tracks, hair, amongst other alleged things, and it’s naked, I would say flesh and blood. Not wormholes, UFO’s or telepathic, telekinetic, cloaking, transplanted people. If so, where’s the evidence?

Nope… I’m a show me guy. Rene Dahinden once said of James “Kewanee” Lapseritis, “He had 250 encounters with Bigfoot in his mind… that’s like saying you’ve had 250 sexual encounters but never got laid.”


29-Gigantopithecus-model_lg

Hominid versus Pongid: This is one of those categories where I really am not decided… could be either or something completely different. Gigantopithicus, Australiopithicus, Heidlebergensis, who knows? But we are talking primate.

So where on the primate tree it fits? I will wait for discovery and not venture a guess. But being a primate, that can tell us a lot as well.


Now for some of the newer arguments…


buck

Profit versus Non-Profit: There sometimes is an outcry by some in protest of conferences and people who charge for trips with them or their organization into the forests in search of our favorite cryptid. I see this in several different ways.

First, nobody is forcing anyone to pay anything for anything unless it’s under the title of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Truth is people pay for entertainment and experiences.  It’s also very common and accepted practice in the paranormal community.

I say to each to his own. (Personally as I have stated before I would never charge for folks to go on expedition with me, it would be my honor to have them along.)

Second, I feel if you pay me for something, you get something in return that’s tangible. A DVD, a book, something.

Lastly, if you do things legitimately, and above board I could care less, good luck and God speed.

Finally on this topic I would just like to say…Caveat Emptor!


Smalfut

The MK Davis/John L. Johnsen Massacre Theory: I include Johnsen in this because he was the first who went public about the theory, and at the time was working on a film with MK.

Now for those playing “catch-up,”

The theory states, based on some miniscule, split second coloration on the Patterson/Gimlin film that allegedly lends credence to Patterson and Gimlin alleged killing several if not more Sasquatch. Bottom line to me, sounds pretty thin, considering the evidence.

Sounds more conspiracy theory than fact. 


The Justin Smeja/Sierra Kills Saga: Justin Smeja kills a baby Sasquatch but gets guilt ridden and leaves it behind. Sounds crazy right? Well this one I’m on the fence on. There are things that intrinsically bug me about this.

I pucker every time someone says they’ve killed one but, oops don’t have the body.  100 percent of the time in the past it turned out to be BS… so the odds are not in favor here.

But on the same token, Smeja has showed moxie, passing a lie detector test, and has stuck to his story and has been doing everything and anything to get his boot sample tested. The people on the investigation side of this are tops.

On the fence, I won’t condemn someone for something I can’t prove. Like any other witness, “trust but verify.”

The verification, hopefully will be with the Sykes DNA study. If not we may never know.


The Melba Ketchum Study: Dr. Ketchum states the Sasquatch are a hybrid human. Not accepted by any of the scientific community. Ketchum cries foul, buys her own journal, publishes it when it’s been rejected.

Again the step out of the normal process, and some of the anthropological facts not meshing with her peer rejected study, leads me to conclude, I don’t feel good about it at all and sorry I can’t accept it as factual, at least at this time.


To sum it up

Yes I am sure I’ve missed some of the smaller arguments. Perhaps even a big one that has never crossed my path.

See the thing is, I feel no malice towards those whom are on the other side of the spectrum on these issues with me, because the bottom line is we are all in this for one goal, to prove the Sasquatch’s existence. We all have opinions and different beliefs and even reasons as to why we are in the search.

There are no experts amongst colleagues.

In fact some of the nicest people I’ve met, have been opposed in some beliefs that I have.

I encourage diversity, but also sanity as well. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

Till Next Time,

Squatch-D

Well here goes a blog, I’ve had to think out a while. Last week I highlighted an article in this blog where Houston Chronicle science reporter, Eric Berger, belittles Dr. Ketchum using an anonymous geneticist who wishes to remain out of the fray for the sake of ridicule. 

 

 

Berger

Houston Chronicle science reporter Eric Berger.

 

Some have criticized the fact that the source was from an anonymous source. I won’t hold that against the scientist, because how many times have we kept a witness confidential?

Would it be fair to discount the encounter reports by witnesses wishing to remain anonymous?

Obviously no.

But on the other hand, was it fair for this reporter to just state the results were this without any factual basis to back it up to be verified by the public?

Absolutely not.

(Why am I maintaining my source’s anonymity? Because some of his peers would question his engagement on such a topic, believing it unworthy of valuable research time. But make no mistake, he is a top-notch scientist at the top of his field.)

                                                                                             -Eric Berger, 7/1/13

What the journalist is asking us is to trust him, rather than trust Melba. He said she said…

Sorry, I call shenanigans.

More matter of fact, we reached out to Berger for him to come on the radio show and explain how his test came about, how the samples were provided what types of testing were done, insuring the anonymity of his source, and answer other questions. Of course our inquiries were not answered at all.

What does Mr. Berger have to hide? Why the professional discourtesy? A week is enough time to at least answer the request.

In my opinion an ethical journalist would find a source that would go on record and test the sample data, and provide some documentation in the article that condemns another scientist’s work. Not a “trust me” demeanor.

Even as a “mere little blogger and podcaster,” my ethics would have only allowed information with that standard to be allowed on my media outlets.

Since Berger’s article lacks that, is mere here say.

However…

Does the Ketchum Study reveal all the scientists and labs that worked on the samples? Could there be some equal ethical consideration on that side as well?

If not, it’s shenanigans as well. What’s good for the goose IS good for the gander as well. And I say to the proponents of the study, you can’t have it both ways.

There was one scientist more recently, who took to task the Ketchum study, not testing a sample from the project but rather reading the report itself and finding flaw with it.

Perhaps if Dr. Ketchum feels this scientist is in error she can send him a sample.

Thanks to Matt Knapp over at Bigfoot Crossroads, in this blog he highlights the Ars Technica website and a scientist who has written a rather lengthy article, technical, yet enough in layman’s terms to be understood, as he breaks down everything for us.

To me it is the best breakdown to date, why myself and many of my colleagues feel the study went askew.

The scientist, is Ph.D in Molecular and Cell Biology, Dr. John Timmer, not just a science reporter like Berger.

His bio is rather quite impressive, from his online bio:

John-TimmerJohn (Timmer) is Ars Technica’s science editor. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. John has done over a decade’s worth of research in genetics and developmental biology at places like Cornell Medical College and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He’s been a speaker at the annual meeting of the National Association of Science Writers and the Science Online meetings, and he’s one of the organizers of the Science Online NYC discussion series. In addition to being Ars’ science content wrangler, John still teaches at Cornell and does freelance writing, editing, and programming.

What we have is a breakdown by a science writer. who is credentialed, perhaps even more so in genetics than Dr. Ketchum, who’s doctorate is in veterinarian medicine. 

Here is one such sample from the article condemning the study to turning a blind eye to the truth, for a more romantic idea, which is the summation (not that we’ve seen that in the Bigfoot community over the years..ha..ha) :

If the DNA was human and had not degraded much during its time in the environment, then most of these reactions should produce a clear, human-like signal. The same would be true if, as Ketchum concluded, the samples contained DNA from a close relative of humans (remember, chimps’ DNA is over 95 percent identical to ours). If the animal were more distantly related, you might expect some reactions to work and some to fail, with the percentage of failures going up as the degree of relatedness fell. In some cases, you might expect the reactions to produce a PCR product that was the wrong size due to changes in DNA content that occur during evolution.

But you can’t necessarily expect the DNA to sit outdoors and remain intact. DNA tends to break into fragments, with the size of the fragments shrinking over time. Depending on how degraded the sample is, you might see more or fewer reactions failing.

What they saw was a chaotic mix of things. As Ketchum herself put it, "We would get these crazy different variants of sequence. We would get these things that were novel in genbank. We would get a lot of failure, and we’d get some that would have regular human sequence," Ketchum said. "We could not account for this, and it was repeatable."

All of which suggested that there was likely to be DNA present that was only distantly related to humans; anything that was from a human or close relative was probably seriously degraded…

…So all the initial data suggested that the DNA was badly preserved and probably contaminated. Which in turn suggests that whatever techniques they used to get DNA from a single, uncontaminated source just wasn’t sufficient for the samples they were working with. But instead of reaching that conclusion, the bigfoot team had an alternative: their technique worked perfectly fine. It was the sample that was unusual.

                                                                                                      Ars Technica, 7/7/13

Too often, as we’ve seen in the field, people get romantic about the existence of the Sasquatch and alleged evidence they have found. And they get dead set on it without stepping out of the area and looking at it without bias.

Bottom line, nobody except a few of you here even care about the truth. Most would rather perpetuate that BF is a myth or an ape.”

                                                                                        – Dr. Melba Ketchum statement

And that is the usual blanket excuse (as well as untrue) of those committed to an opinion rather than to the science and review of such.

Coming from a scientist, who needs to look at their own results without bias, I find the statement disappointing and typical of the same type of witness who insists there blobsquatch is a Bigfoot no matter what inconsistencies you point out.

Usually when the conversation devolves to a statement as such, any debate and constructivism is lost upon the statement maker.

Read Dr. Timmer’s article.

I will let the audience and time to be the judge.

Till next time,

Squatch-D

This just in…

A reporter from The Houston Chronicle states he spoke with Melba for an hour and was allowed for a geneticist friend of his double check one or more of the samples from the Ketchum project which were from a “Novel and Non-Human Species.”

The results were that of an opossum and other mixed species, dealing yet another blow to the long waited for and revered “Ketchum Study.”

The article can be read here:

Back in February I savaged the release of a research paper that claimed to prove the existence of Bigfoot by providing a DNA sequence from the species.

The paper contained details of DNA from the “Sasquatch genomes,” which the authors characterized as novel and non-human.

Following the paper’s publication I solicited the views of several geneticists on the work. From their reading of the scientific paper — published in a journal that had been started just the week before — they said at best the evidence was inconclusive.

Ketchum

Ketchum

In summarizing my views of the work, led by Nacogdoches geneticist Melba Ketchum, I was blunt and brutal:

If Ketchum really had the goods she would have co-authored the paper with reputable scientists and gotten the work published in a reputable scientific journal. Instead she’s playing to an audience that doesn’t understand how science works, that wants to believe Bigfoot exists and is willing to send her some cash to further their delusions.

A funny thing happened later that week — Ketchum called me. We spoke for nearly an hour, and after the bad things I had written about her research, I was impressed that she bore  no grudge and wanted to nonetheless engage with me. It was a good and constructive conversation.

I am first and foremost a journalist, and I figured if there was even a 1 percent chance that the Bigfoot evidence was real, it was worth my time to check the story out.

So I agreed to be an intermediary between Ketchum and a highly reputable geneticist in Texas, whom I trusted and knew personally. I also knew that this geneticist was first and foremost a scientist, and if there was even a 1 percent chance the Bigfoot evidence was real, he’d want check out the story. I asked, and he was willing to approach the evidence with an open mind.

(Why am I maintaining my source’s anonymity? Because some of his peers would question his engagement on such a topic, believing it unworthy of valuable research time. But make no mistake, he is a top-notch scientist at the top of his field.)

The deal was this: I would hold off writing anything until this geneticist had his lab test the DNA samples obtained by Ketchum that were purportedly a novel and non-human species. If the evidence backed up Ketchum’s claims, I had a blockbuster story. My geneticist source would have a hand in making the scientific discovery of the decade, or perhaps the century. Ketchum would be vindicated.

In short, we would all have been winners.

Alas, I met my geneticist friend this past week and I asked about the Bigfoot DNA. It was, he told me, a mix of opossum and other species. No find of the century.

Source: http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2013/07/i-had-the-bigfoot-dna-tested-in-a-highly-reputable-lab-heres-what-i-found/

Till Next Time,

Squatch-D

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