The DNA Study In A Nutshell



The Sasquatch Genome Project in a Nutshell


How it all began
2009-2010 
The TV show Destination Truth, starring Josh Gates, brought a hair sample back from Bhutan after finding a foot print

The footprint:


The producers chose Dr. Melba Ketchum of DNA Diagnostics to perform DNA analysis.  

The hair sample:




Dr. Ketchum did not believe that a creature known as Bigfoot existed but she agreed to run the analysis anyway. What she found astounded her. The mtDNA tested human but the hair was not human. Dr. Ketchum remarked “The hair, visually, is not human. It’s courser than horse tail hair” When Dr. Ketchum compared the sequence to Genbank she could not find a match, she again remarks “There are literally millions of sequences in this database and we’re really shocked that it didn’t match any of the species exactly in the database”

About the same time David Paulides, executive director of  North American Bigfoot Search, was looking for a lab to test possible Bigfoot hair samples.

David was having a difficult time finding a lab that would test the samples, when the labs found out the samples were possible Bigfoot samples, they would refuse to test the samples. Fate brought David to gather with Melba as the Josh Gates hair sample had her curious and now open minded about the possibility of the Bigfoot being a real living, breathing creature. David approached Melba to test the samples and she agreed.  This began the DNA study.


My involvement

In June of 2010 I began to correspond with David Paulides the Executive Director of North American Bigfoot Search (NABS). I realized that I needed assistance with my research. I was encountering phenomenon and having experiences that were extraordinary. I needed to find a support network that I could partner with in my research. I began researching the different Bigfoot Research organizations and I found NABS to be the most professional, respectful and responsive group. I had read David Paulides’ book “The Hoopa Project” and was already impressed with his logical approach to Bigfoot research, so I introduced myself to the group via email correspondence.

 I began to bounce questions off NABS and relate my experiences to them on a regular basis. I also began to collect hair samples and would forward them to NABS periodically. I also sent NABS videos and photographs of the Bigfoot I was encountering in my research areas. The relationship matured and in February of 2011 David invited me to join the NABS Team as a Field Researcher. I gladly accepted his offer. 

 NABS had already partnered with Dr. Melba Ketchum and had started a ground breaking project to collect Bigfoot DNA specimens from all over the North American continent.
I had started working with NABS on this project in the spring/summer of 2010 even before I became a team member. David and I discussed the matter and the need to humanely collect as much DNA from the Bigfoot as possible. 

Through collaboration we came up with an innovative strategy. I took clear packing tape and placed it sticky side out. When the Bigfoot would lean or rub up against the tree their hair would stick to the tape and be pulled out by the roots. The root of the hair contains the DNA. I placed this “hair trap” around the tree the Bigfoot where hiding behind when I captured them on the trail camera in August of 2010. The trail cameras were still deployed in this area on the same trees. I was hopeful the Bigfoot would hide behind this tree again while observing the trail camera. The effort was successful and I collected a large amount of Bigfoot hair.

The Possible Donors:



Follow-Up - Same location size comparison

To scale comparison in same location




My Samples
In 2010 David Paulides and Melba Ketchum went on the Coast to Coast radio show to make a public plea for Bigfoot hair and other possible samples that could yield DNA. Hundreds of samples came in.

I sent in approximately thirty hair samples. Eleven passed the screening process and were included in the Sasquatch Genome Study.
Below are some of the samples I collected:








The “Hair Trap”

Below is how I deployed the hair trap using "bacon grease" for bait.




Eleven of my hair samples went through the screening process and were tested and determined to be from a Bigfoot.

Below is the list of my samples from the Sasquatch Genome Study.



The Team

There is a common misconception that Dr. Ketchum worked alone with little or no assistance. This is not true. Dr. Ketchum collaborated with at least ten other individuals with expertise in many areas to include forensics, DNA analysis, microbiology, molecular biology, biophysics and biochemistry just to mention a few.

Below is the list of the team, their credentials, and their contribution to the DNA Study.

Dr. Andreas Holzenburg
Director,  Professor, Department of Biology, Professor, Biochemistry and Biophysics
Microscopy and Imaging Center
Texas A&M University
Has published over 30 Papers
Fan Zhang, Ph.D.
Bioinformatician in the Academic and Institutional Resources and Technology (AIRT) at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

Dr.  Pat Wojtkiewicz
Director of the Shreveport Laboratory of the North Louisiana Crime Lab System and the Technical Leader of the DNA section. He has been employed at the crime lab since 1977.
Dr. Thomas M. Prychitko of Wayne State University in Michigan
Molecular biologist with a background that also includes evolutionary biology, microbiology and biochemistry.

 Dr. Douglas G. Toler
Clinical pathologist at Huguley Memorial Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, for the past 30 years. His specialty also includes anatomical pathology. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Ms. Aliece Watts of Integrated Forensic Laboratories in Euless, TX
BS, MS, MT(ASCP), PBT(ASCP), F-ABC is a founding partner and the Quality Director for Integrated Forensic Laboratories, Inc., the nation’s only private, full-service, accredited forensic laboratory. With over 30 years of laboratory experience and three board certifications (Forensic Biology, Medical Technology and Phlebotomy), Ms. Watts has an extensive background in Forensic DNA and Quality Assurance. She is an ASCLD/LAB International (ISO 17025) assessor and has traveled to Malaysia to inspect that country’s laboratory system for accreditation. She is a former member of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, a Governor appointed and Senate approved position. Ms. Watts is an alumna of the University of Texas at Arlington where she also taught Introduction to Forensic Science Laboratory, Forensic Biology (DNA) and Methods in Forensic Biology Laboratory.

David W. Spence - Trace evidence supervisor with the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, Criminal Investigations Laboratory, at Dallas County, Texas.

Sarah Bollinger, Ray Shoulders, and Ryan Smith of DNA Diagnostics.

The following is a list of the Team and some of the areas they contributed to the DNA Study.

Dr. Ketchum, Dr. Pat Wojtkiecicz, David Spence, Dr. Andreas K. Holzenburg, Sarah Bollinger, Ray Shoulders, and Ryan Smith performed experiments.

Dr. Ketchum and Dr. Fan Zhang analyzed the genetic data.

Dr. Ketchum., Aliece Watts, and Dr. Pat Wojtkiecicz wrote and edited the manuscript.

Dr. Andreas K. Holzenburg analyzed and wrote the Electron Microscopy portion of the manuscript.

David Spence analyzed and wrote the hair analysis portion of the manuscript.

Dr. Douglas G. Toler analyzed and wrote the histopathology portion of the manuscript. 

Aliece Watts. also researched pertinent additions to the manuscript and helped with data collection.

Dr. Ketchum distributed samples, collected and combined data from the blind studies.

The Laboratories used in the blind studies.
Again there is a misconception that Dr. Ketchum processed all the samples in her facility. This is not true. Dr. Ketchum realized with the implications of this study blind testing was a must. She contracted the services of the following laboratories to perform blind testing on the samples and return the results. This means the laboratories had no idea what they were testing. They were just given the samples and ask to run a DNA profile.

#
Laboratory
Type of Testing
Paid
Blind Study
Author
ship
1
North Louisiana
Criminalistics Laboratory, Shreveport LA
Forensic DNA
Extraction and DNA quantification
No
No
Yes
2
DNA Diagnostics,
Nacogdoches, Texas
Forensic Extraction,
Species Screening,
Preliminary Species
Sequencing and STR
PP16 genotyping,
mtDNA and nuDNA,
testing known submitter
(human) samples.
No
Yes
No
3
Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, Dallas, TX
Hair Analysis
No
Yes
No
4
Family Tree DNA,
Houston, TX
mtDNA confirmation
and mtDNA whole
genome sequencing and
haplotype assignment,
PP16 STR confirmation
testing and YSTR
testing. Single locus
Amelogenin testing
Yes
No
Yes
5
SeqWright, Houston, TX
mtDNA screening
confirmation, sequenced
various selected
nuDNA loci and
confirmation of mtDNA
species sequencing,
sequencing of various
amelogenin exons
Yes
No
Yes
6
Helix Biological
Laboratory, Department of
Biological Sciences,
Wayne State University,
Detroit, Michigan
Blind parallel mtDNA
testing of certain
submitted samples. This
work was done previous
to our project and only became aware of this
testing after we had
confirmed mtDNA
species ID on the same samples.
No
Yes
No
7
USC, Los Angeles, CA
Whole genome Bead
Array SNP analysis
Yes
No
Yes
8
University of Texas at
Arlington, Wakeland
Laboratory
Next Generation whole
genome sequencing and
bioinformatics
Yes
No
Yes

9
UNT Center for Human
Identification, University
of North Texas Health
Science Center, Fort
Worth, TX
Confirmation of
bioinformatics
Yes
Yes
No

10
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX
Electron Microscopy
confirmation
Yes
Yes
Yes

11
University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill,
North Carolina
Electron Microscopy.
The director was
unhappy about the blind
study and refused
recognition in the ms.
He did give us the data
to use.
No
No
Yes

12
Texas Veterinary Medical
Diagnostic Laboratory,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX
Histopathology
Yes
No
No

13
Huguley Pathology
Consultants, Ft. Worth, TX
Histopathology
confirmation
No
Yes
No














The Samples

The screening and handling of the hair, blood, saliva, and flesh samples.

Screening the hair
Before the hair was considered for testing it was first screened to ensure it was not human or any other known animal.  Below is the documentation from the DNA Study of how the hair was screened.

Hair Analysis:
Hair samples were sent to the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences (Dallas, TX) for analysis. (Mr. David Spence)  The samples were evaluated visually, stereoscopically, and by light microscopy to determine human or animal origin. Hairs that were classified as potential novel hominid were also evaluated for DNA typing potential by examining for root material. Only hairs that were not human in appearance and could not be identified as any other species were utilized in this study15-19.

The hairs were examined for a variety of microscopic features such as: medulla, pigmentation, cortical fusi, ovoid bodies, cuticle, and root and tip characteristics. The hair cuticle patterns of select hairs were cast by embedding the hair shafts in a thin layer of clear fingernail polish. The casts were examined microscopically. Photographs and photomicrographs were taken of select hairs using a Canon G3 digital camera and a camera adapter (model MM3XS) from Martin Microscope.

Bigfoot hair shafts do not yield mtDNA
During the early stages of the study Dr. Ketchum discovered that unlike human and animal hair Bigfoot hair will not yield mtDNA. The hair had to have a skin tag attached. Several thousand dollars were spent on attempting to process hair shafts only. This is why we developed a method of extracting hair that pulled them out by the roots.



Sample Collection



An eye witness observed the subject leave the hair sample and the event was documented.

        David Paulides sample from Northern California (Raven Ulibarri – Hoopa Reservation).
        Mary Green samples from Tennessee.
        Janice Carter samples from Tennessee.
        Paul Freeman sample from Washington State.
        Robert Densford sample from Oklahoma.
        Ericson Project samples from British Columbia, Canada.
        Dr. Webb Sentell sample from Louisiana.
        Jennifer Hilaman sample from Virginia.


The hair sample was collected from a known Bigfoot feeding station or area of activity.

        Scott Carpenter – Hair traps at feeding stations and locations where Bigfoot had been witnesses/recorded on video.
        Erickson Project – Samples gathered from scratching post, blood samples obtain using sand paper on plates. (Under supervision of a wild life biologist)
        Dr. Al Guinn – Multiple hairs found in cast of Bigfoot footprint.
        Dr. Curt Nelson – Blood/Flesh from 18 inch footprint left on nail board, Snelgrove Lake, Ontario.


Integrity Of The Samples


        111 Samples were used in the study to include, blood, tissue, hair, toe nail, tooth enamel.

        17 of the samples were collected from direct sighting locations where a witness or investigator watched Bigfoot leave sample.

        88 of the samples were collected by investigators or formal research projects in and around known areas of activity.

        Only 6 samples were “randomly” found in the woods where Bigfoots were known to have been active.
 

NO CONTAMINATION
The hair samples that were processed were not contaminated. Critics of the study claimed that the hair samples “had to be contaminated”. The critics were also raised questions about of the chain of custody.

The relevancy of the chain of custody is a fallacy. The DNA paper is a research paper, not a criminal investigation. Where the hair came from or who handled it is irrelevant when it concerns contamination.

From Dr. Ketchum’s Face Book Page:

Somebody was told that the lack of chain of custody of our samples negated our scientific findings. This is not the case. First, most of our samples had pretty good chain of custody and some of them were as good as any sample from a crime scene as far as documentation and chain of custody.

Chain of custody is used in forensics to make sure the unknown samples from the crime scene are tracked from their recovery until they are tested and therefore not altered in any way. This insures that nobody tampers with the samples. The samples themselves are often of unknown origin. For example, a blood spatter on a wall could have come from anyone, victim, suspect or even an unknown individual. Of course chain of custody is a must when you are working a crime scene. We had really good chain of custody on a lot of the samples. However, this testing is a little different than a forensic case in that we were simply trying to determine the source of the samples, human, animal, or unknown. It's nice to have chain of custody and eyewitnesses collecting hair, but if you go out to the country and find a strand of hair on a fence, it could be washed and tested to determine what species it came from regardless of where it came from or who handled it because you can't alter the DNA. We're not trying to place an individual at a crime scene. In this type of scientific investigation, there is no crime and it doesn't matter where it's found, only what the DNA shows matters and DNA can't be altered with the kind of testing we did.. Therefore, it is nice but not imperative to have chain of custody since the DNA will tell you what the sample was from.

Decontaminating the hair samples
The DNA study used forensic methods to wash and decontaminate the hair samples. The process is documented in detail in the DNA study. The fact that the samples were not contaminated is apparent in the results of the DNA analysis.

In the Bigfoot Files - Yeti episode Dr. Sykes confirmed and validated the decontamination protocols used by the DNA Study to ensure the hair samples were pure and not contaminated. Below is the statement from Dr. Sykes:
The fact is hair is very resilient. You can clean any suggestion of contamination from the surface of the hair without damaging the DNA that lies within. This is something we have only known in the past couple of years.

Below is the documentation from the DNA Study of the cleaning process.

DNA Isolation
Since the presence of normal human DNA contamination of submitted samples was a primary concern throughout this study, all samples were thoroughly cleaned in a manner consistent with forensic testing procedures. In order to further rule out contamination from human personnel and lab workers, samples from submitters and scientists working with the samples were collected for comparison with the results obtained in the various DNA tests.

Hair samples were then sorted into two groups for extraction at DNA Diagnostics. DNA from those samples containing 5-50 or more single hair roots were selected and the roots clipped into 1.5 mL microcentrifuge tubes. The hair roots were thoroughly cleansed with water and ethanol prior to extraction to remove any extraneous DNA.

Flesh, Blood, Sylvia

Sample 26 -  A piece of flesh, hide, and hair reported to be from Bigfoot that was shot in Northern California.


Sample 31 - Blood collected from a plate that had sand paper on it to cut the tongue when the Bigfoot licked it. This was collected by the Erickson Project under the supervision of a PhD in wildlife biology.


Sample 140 – Blood/Plague/Tatar collected of a down spout that had been bitten into and punctured.



Processing the samples

Sample 26 – Flesh with hair

A small sample of flesh with hair was analyzed by Douglas G. Toler, MD, F.C.A.P. of the Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, Huguley Pathology Consultants, P.A. 11803 S. Freeway Ft. Worth, TX 76115. Dr. Toler determined that the skin was not human and that the tissue was not contaminated with bacteria or fungus.

Several hairs with follicles from Sample 26 and sent it to Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences (Dallas, TX) for analysis. The hairs were processed robotically.

A core sample from the flesh was taken to ensure no contamination. This sample contained a high quality DNA that yielded both mtDNA and nuDNA.

The nuDNA was of a high enough quantity and quality that core samples underwent a structural analysis using electron microscopy.

Sample 31 Blood from food trap.

Sample 31 was collected from a research site using a food trap and forensic techniques to ensure that there was no human contamination.  The DNA extracted from the blood was of high enough quality and quantity for a complete nuDNA genome. Sample 31 was collected and submitted by the Erickson Project. The collect of the DNA via the food traps was supervised by a PhD.

Sample 140 – Fresh dried blood from down spout.

Sample 140 was fresh dried blood from the inside of a vertical downspout that had been chewed and the individual was injured by sharp metal. The inside of the downspout was clean and untouched by humans and the blood sample fresh and pristine. Large bite marks, hair, and fang marks were also evident on the downspout. The pipe was crushed to the point that the metal was torn with force. The DNA extracted from the blood was of high enough quality and quantity for a complete nuDNA genome.

DNA Boot Camp

What is DNA

First let’s define DNA. DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid, it is the molecule that contains the genetic code of all organisms. DNA is in each cell in the organism and tells cells what proteins to make. A cell's proteins determine its function. DNA is inherited by children from their parents. The DNA in a person is a combination of the DNA from each of their parents.

DNA has a double helix shape, which is like a ladder twisted into a spiral. Each step of the ladder is a pair of nucleotides. The four nucleotides in this ladder are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). The nitrogen bases are found in pairs. 'A' only pairs with 'T', and 'C' only pairs with 'G'. The bases are held together by hydrogen bonds. If you unzip the DNA so you only have one side of the ladder you still know what the corresponding nucleotide is because DNA can only pair in this order. This is important to understand for discussions later on in this chapter.

There are two types of DNA, Nuclear and Mitochondrial. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is found in cell mitochondria and is from the mother only. Nuclear DNA (nuDNA) if found in the cell nucleus and is a combination of genetic code from both the father and the mother. mtDNA is more abundant and easier to extract and test. nuDNA is more difficult to extract and test therefor samples in quality and quantity are required for successful extraction nuDNA.

Definition of terms

·       Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is found in cell mitochondria and is from the mother only.
·       Nuclear DNA (nuDNA) is found in the cell nucleus and is a combination of genetic code from both the father and the mother.
·       Genbank is an institution that collects and stores DNA sequences for ALL life forms on the planet. Once a DNA sequence is placed into the database comparative analysis can be run on it using a special software program called BLAST.
·       BLAST is a software engine that compares a DNA sequence against all the DNA sequences stored in the Genbank database and reports any matches from this database. The current number of base pairs stored in the Genbank database is 152,599,230,112.

The above diagram shows the difference in mtDNA and nuDNA and from who it originates.

Now that we have the DNA basics down, how do you perform a DNA test?

DNA is tightly wound together in its natural state. Think of it like a jumbled wad of rubber bands tangled and intertwined. In order to sequence the DNA the strands must be unwound or broken into sections and unzipped. Remember you only need one side of the helix or ladder to decode DNA because as I have previously pointed out,  A/T and C/G are always paired together. So if we have one side of the ladder we know what the other side has to be. 


Special enzymes are used to break down the DNA and unzip them into single strands. Once we have the DNA broken down into strands we need to stack like strands together. There are multiple copies of the DNA in the cell. So when the DNA is broken down we may have thousands of copies of the same sequences. We now need to stack these like threads together one on top of the other so we can see the sequences. DNA testing is like a transparency picture. If you only have one copy of the transparency it is light and difficult to see. But if you have 25 copies of the same transparency and you stack them together one on top of the other then you can see the picture clearly. DNA testing is the same way. The greater the DNA density the better, this will make the DNA easier to see or what is known as “Amplifying”.


In order to “stack” the DNA together scientist use what is known as a primer. The primer’s basic function is to gather like strands of DNA together and stack them so it is easier to see the DNA sequence or amplify the sequence. In the early days of DNA testing primers had to be designed for individual species and even subspecies within a family of organisms. For example primers were developed for humans, bears, dogs, cats, pigs, cattle, etc. If you were trying to identify unknown DNA you would use the primer for the individual species on the sample. If the primer found and stacked the DNA together or amplified the DNA then you knew you had this species. If nothing was amplified then you knew you did not have this particular species. These primers still exist today but as scientific advancements have been made in the field of DNA processing machines were developed that could process the DNA faster and more accurately. Primers were also developed to help speed up the process. What is known as a “Universal Mammal Primer” was developed. 

Scientist with the use of a DNA Sequencer and Universal Primers can now process DNA and get a profile faster and more accurately. Just like with the species specific primers if you use a mammal primer and the DNA does not amplify then your DNA sample is not from mammal. Here is a very important aspect to DNA testing. The test will be affected by the quantity, quality, and purity of the DNA sample. If you have multiple copies of the DNA strands, the strands are not damaged and intact, and the DNA is all from the same organism then the primer will amplify correctly and you will get good clear results. If you have limited amounts that are contaminated the results will not amplify well. To use the transparency analogy again, now you have two transparencies of two different pictures. Some parts of the picture may be alike some different. So when the primers stack them on top of each other the picture is fuzzy and blurred and not easy to recognize. 
Below is a close up of DNA ladders on an agarose gel.


The process I have just described in very simple language is known as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).  This is the method the independent reference labs and Dr. Ketchum used in the DNA Study to sequence the Sasquatch DNA. Since Dr. Ketchum was aware critics and the scientific community would be crying contamination she set up extremely strict processing methods in order to ensure she obtained non-contaminated DNA from a single source. She used forensic laboratories and processes to gather, wash, and then process the DNA. The same processes and standards were used that law enforcement laboratories use when processing DNA.  She also used forensic laboratories in blind studies so the laboratories did not know what kind of DNA samples they were receiving. They received the DNA, forensically processed it, and then returned the results to Dr. Ketchum.
The Testing and Results

Hair samples - Non-Human hair yields HUMAN mitochondrial DNA

Below is the section of the Sasquatch Genome Study Concerning the hair screening results:

The medulla and root were found to be the two most discriminating characteristics of the microscopic examination. Most of the novel hairs had medullary structures and diameter ratios that were clearly distinct from human hairs. Even though a variety of medullary structures were observed, the micrographs in Figure 5B depict those most commonly encountered. Most of the novel hairs had elongated roots with a somewhat “spade” shape, which is a feature of some animal hairs but is typically not seen in human hairs (Figure 5C, left). Human hairs exhibit characteristic uniform imbricate scale patterns of the cuticle. Several different cuticle patterns were observed on the submitted samples. The hairs exhibited wide imbricate scale patterns proximally that transformed to close imbricate patterns distally. These patterns are distinctly non-human in appearance (Figure 5C, right). Most of the submitted hairs were not microscopically consistent with any of the hairs from the reference collection of common animal hairs that included human, cat, dog, cow, horse, deer, elk, antelope, moose, sheep, fox, bear, coyote, wolf, rat, mouse, monkey, beaver, squirrel, llama and others.

The hairs were evaluated for DNA testing by observing the presence or absence of hair roots and adherent tissue material. Hairs with apparent translucent tissue material and/or anagen or catagen phase roots were considered as suitable candidates for nuclear DNA (nuDNA) testing. Hairs with telogen phase roots without tissue or hairs lacking roots or tissue were considered suitable for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing. Hairs that exhibited non-human microscopic characteristics and that did not match any known animal species were recommended for DNA testing.


The “smoking gun”

It is important to note that until the DNA study many hair samples had been tested throughout the years and they kept coming back “human Mitochondrial DNA”. David Paulides noticed this trend and wrote about it on his blog


The first place that NABS turned for information about bigfoot DNA was “The Track Record”, a newsletter produced by Ray Crowe for 17 years. There was not an index for the track record at the time, we reviewed all 174 documents and gleaned the DNA articles and submissions. After reviewing the Track Record documents we turned to the web to see what it had to offer, not much. The year we undertook this review was 2005 and many of the television shows about bigfoot did not exist.

Results
The results of our research found that over 95% of the DNA on purported bigfoot specimens returned as “Human”. NABS found this as an extremely puzzling result considering the “BIG” names in the bigfoot world that consider themselves researchers proclaimed that bigfoot was a type of ape. Many of these “researchers” claimed that the DNA showing “human” was compromised or contaminated and the results should be disregarded. We saw this same discussion time after time, discount the results, they are wrong. Again, almost every moderately famous researcher known for investigating bigfoot issues proclaimed the studies and results were flawed, every one!

Refusing to accept the possibility that the Bigfoot could be closely related to humans the results were always explained away as “human contamination”. In fact these were most likely legitimate Bigfoot samples yielding human DNA. It is statically very improbable that the scores of samples tested over the years were all contaminated. If even one was legitimate then we have some ground breaking findings that validate the finds of the DNA Study.

When Dr. Ketchum analyzed the mtDNA contained in the skin tags of the Bigfoot hair every sample tested human. The point cannot be stressed enough, NON-Human hair yielded HUMAN mtDNA. When you link the eye witness testimony that witnessed a large hairy bipedal hominid leaving the hair you now have empirical evidence that Bigfoot is a human hybrid.

Below is the summary of the hair results from the Sasquatch Genome Study:

One hundred eleven samples of blood, tissue, hair, and other types of specimens were studied, characterized and hypothesized to be obtained from elusive hominins in North America commonly referred to as Sasquatch. DNA was extracted and purified from a subset of these samples that survived rigorous screening for wildlife species identification. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing, specific genetic loci sequencing, forensic short tandem repeat (STR) testing, whole genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) bead array analysis, and next generation whole genome sequencing were conducted on purported Sasquatch DNA samples gathered from various locations in North America. Additionally, histopathologic and electron microscopic examination were performed on a large tissue sample.

The mtDNA whole genome haplotypes obtained were uniformly consistent with modern humans. Of the 20 whole and 10 partial mitochondrial genomes sequenced, 16 diverse haplotypes were found suggesting that these hominins did not originate in a single geographic location.

In summary, our data indicates that the Sasquatch has human mitochondrial DNA but possesses nuclear DNA that is a structural mosaic consisting of human and novel non-human DNA.

Below is Sasquatch hair compared to human hair:


Source: (http://www.human-resonance.org/sasquatch_genome.html )



Species determination - mtDNA

The hair samples were tested using universal mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b primers for species determination.

The results:  All 111 screened samples revealed 100% human cytochrome b. Furthermore no heteroplasmic bases were found that would indicate contamination or a mixture. Heteroplasmy is defined as the presence of more than one mitochondrial genome within a tissue sample from a single individual. No heteroplasmic bases  were found, the mtDNA was from a single source therefor contamination is impossible.

mtDNA complete genome sequencing and HV region (haplotype) sequencing results

In order for one to understand the following results the term haplotype. A haplotype is the group of genes that a child inherits from the mother. Like haplotypes are grouped together and assigned a letter from alphabet. This grouping is called a haplogroup.

HV region sequencing will give the haplotype of the individual.

Thirty hair samples that had ample skin tags were selected for mtDNA complete genome sequencing and for HV region sequencing to determine the haplogroup of the samples.  The samples were sent to Family Tree DNA for sequencing. The source of the samples was withheld from Family Tree DNA.

Results

From the study:

DNA samples were successfully amplified and sequenced across the whole mitochondrial genome and the HV1 locus using both human specific and universal primers. The sequences that were subjected to BLAST searches in GenBank®40 showed consistent homology with human haplotypes. No mitochondrial DNA homology with apes, Neanderthal or Denisova cave sequences were found.

The results showed that the mtDNA was human. The haplotypes were human. Blast searches showed that the sequences did not match Apes, Neanderthal, or Denisovan. Of the thirty samples twenty yielded whole mitochondrial sequences and ten yielded partial mitochondrial genomes. The thirty samples showed sixteen different human haplotypes.

The interesting and unexpected finding is the origin of the haplotypes.  The majority of the haplotypes show origination from Europe, Asia, and Africa. On only four of the haplotypes originated close to where the samples were collected in North America.
 


Source for haplotype stats and map:


The North American haplotypes represented the following Native American Tribes:
Haplotype A6L2c - Inuit and Nivkh peoples
Haplotype C - Evenks and Yakuts peoples
Haplotype D -  Aleuts people


The Asian, African, and Europe haplotypes represented the following peoples:
Haplotypes H and T - European peoples
Haplotype V – Arctic Saami
Haplotype H1a (Sample 26, flesh/hair) - Basque of the Pyrenees mountains
Haplotype L0d2a - South African Khoisan peoples

Nuclear DNA Analysis of the 30 samples

The amelogenin gene was sequenced from the thirty samples. The amelogenin gene is the gene in humans that is related to tooth and enamel development. It is used in humans to determine the sex of unknown human subjects.

Results

The DNA samples yielded four types of results: XX, XY, Y and null. The X chromosome failing to amplify also known as “dropout” was considered by Dr. Ketchum as the “most significant of the findings observed with the STR genotype analysis of amelogenin.”

Below is the result table from the study:


From the chart above seven samples only yielded a Y chromosome. Twelve of the samples that amplified and yielded human haplotypes failed to amplify for sex determination. This is very strange, but in my opinion to be expected from a creature like a Sasquatch.

Some of the samples indicated a normal human X chromosome while others failed completely to amplify.

When the Y chromosome was amplified across Exons (exons are parts of DNA that are converted into mature messenger RNA) 1, 2, 4/5 and 8, varied results were obtained, with no samples successfully amplifying and sequencing across all five exons (except the human controls).

When the nuDNA sequences were compared to Genbank using a BLAST search, none of the nuDNA sequences matched any organism in the database.  Again DNA that had human haplotypes contained sequences that do not match any known organism.

Many sequences failed to amplify with the human primers.

From the DNA study:

The documented anomalies came from DNA samples that yielded long sequences with pristine electropherograms at other loci including at least one AmelY exon. Notably, this indicated that the DNA was of high quality and that degraded DNA was not responsible for the anomalies.

Below is table 4 showing the above described results:

The nuDNA of selected samples were tested for the following human specific genes:

MC1R - human/Neanderthal red-hair color gene

TAP1 SNPs - human antigen gene

MYH16 - This gene is associated with the sagittal crest in apes and was analyzed in an effort to determine if the unknown hominin was related to apes.

MC1R - human/Neanderthal red-hair color gene
Samples 28, 33, 35 and 37 had sufficient DNA extracted and were chosen for MC1R locus sequencing. The primers used for the MC1R gene were for apes, humans, and Neanderthals.

The samples were sequenced at DNA diagnostics and SeqWright lab.

DNA Diagnostic Results: The samples indicated normal human MC1R sequence and carried alleles for red hair color in humans. The samples were not from apes or Neanderthals.

SeqWright Lab Results: Partial human sequences in some DNA samples, while others had unknown sequences that were not human, ape, or Neanderthal, and still others failed to amplify.

All human control DNA amplified and sequenced successfully from both labs.

MYH16 - This gene is associated with the sagittal crest in apes and was analyzed in an effort to determine if the unknown hominin was related to apes.
The primers used were for both ape and human.

The samples were sequenced at DNA diagnostics and SeqWright lab.

DNA Diagnostic Results: All DNA samples that successfully amplified yielded results consistent with humans and aligned with the human reference sequences.

SeqWright Lab Results: All DNA samples consistent with humans.

TAP1- human antigen gene associated with breast cancer, diabetes and several other syndromes.

DNA Diagnostic Results:  Some samples showed human TAP 1 sequences and others failed to amplify. Unknown sequences were found and some amplifications with TAP 1 primers yielded long sequence of unknown origin. Two sets of 2 samples had long unknown sequences that failed to match anything Genbank, but interestingly matched each other. Two of these samples, samples 33 and 44, matched with one another although there were some SNPs that were inconsistent between the two sequences. These two samples were different in hair color and obviously were from different individuals and were retrieved at different times. Samples 33 and 44 were collected from the same general area and the donors are thought to be related. Samples 10 and 43 also matched each other. Samples 33/44 TAP 1 sequences were different than Samples 10/43. Sample 33 and 44 were supposed to be related individuals, while samples 10 and 43 came from different locations. 
Whole Human Genome SNP analysis:

Twenty-four samples were tested on the whole human genome (2.5 million SNPs) Illumina® Bead Array69 platform using the Illumina® iSCAN instrument.  All of the 24 samples failed to meet the human threshold of 95% SNP performance. The results ranged from 53% to 89% SNP performance.

Dr. Ketchum attempted to duplicate these odd results by purposely degrading human blood samples. The samples were degraded with bacteria. Even though the samples were degraded they were successfully sequenced and tested at 97.15% compared to the 89% of the non-degraded Sasquatch samples.

To further rule out contamination and address the possibility that normal human DNA samples could produce such markedly low SNP performance in the Illumina® Bead Array assay, a separate group of human DNA controls was tested. These samples were extracted from buccal swabs obtained from sample handlers and laboratory workers and were also subjected to identical Illumina® Bead Array testing. These human control DNA samples yielded SNP performance above the 99%.

Below is table 8 from the Sasquatch Genome project that shows the scores of the Sasquatch samples compared to the purposely degraded human samples.

Conclusion from the Sasquatch Genome project:

The failures across all 2.5 million SNPs tested in the Illumina® Bead Array when compared with the human threshold designated above 95% SNP detection, even in severely degraded human DNA samples, suggests sequence variation from human in the actual DNA obtained from the unknown hominin samples.

The findings reveal that non-human hair, that  yielded human mtDNA,  failed to yield human results when the nuDNA was tested for human SNPs.


Electron microscopic examination of Sample 26

Sample 26 was selected to be examined by an electron microscope. The sample was selected because of its purity and lack of degradation. The electron microscope analysis was used for the following reasons: (From the Sasquatch Genome Study)

Electron microscopic characterization is considered superior to biochemical techniques when it comes to an accurate topographical analysis of single- and double-stranded DNA such as contour length/width, twisting, backfolding, nucleic acid-protein interactions, DNA-RNA heteroduplex analysis, R-loop mapping, degradation, replication, or packaging into higher order complexes.

The results from the microscopic examination:

·       Long double stranded DNA up to 15-20 kb, but some of the DNA also comprised smaller fragments.
·       Most of the DNA showed clustering of material along the length or at ends and were typical of disordered single-stranded segments.
·       There were also frequent single-stranded gaps and single-stranded ends which were not observed with the degraded human DNA control sample.
·       Occasionally, with the single-stranded ends, a back folding was observed that is typical for unspecific base pairing that can occur in the absence of treatment with formaldehyde glyoxal or elevated temperatures.
·       Single-stranded DNA segments residing within double-stranded .

Summary of the microscopic results:

Electron micrographs of the DNA revealed unusual double strand – single strand – double strand transitions which may have contributed to the failure to amplify during PCR. The high quantities of single stranded DNA, interspersed with double stranded DNA may suggest substantial structural abnormalities of the DNA itself. The DNA was visualized twice by electron microscopy from aliquots of two different extractions from the same sample 26. Both of these extractions not only had yielded successful PCR amplifications previously, but were combined and utilized for whole genome nuclear sequencing at a later time. Alternatively, the abundance of single-stranded loci observed by electronic microscopic could be evidence of genetic manipulation of the Sasquatch genome.


Figure 12-B from the Sasquatch Genome Study showing the unusual double strand – single strand – double strand transitions.



Below is a graphic drawing of the unusual double strand – single strand – double strand transitions.


Next Generation Whole Genome Sequencing

Due to the large number of failures to amplify, failure to meet the human SNP threshold and unusual sequences obtained, Dr. Ketchum selected three samples (26, 31 and 140) with large amounts of high quality DNA were selected for next generation whole genome sequencing.

The DNA from these three samples was sequenced using the next generation Illumina platform at the University of Texas, Southwestern in Dallas, TX, a laboratory that sequences human genomes.

In depth analysis of all three genomic sequences (samples 26, 31 and 140) was performed at the University of Texas, Southwestern and alignment confirmed by the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

Below is a picture of the instrument used to sequence the DNA



Q30 Scores
The run summary generated by the HiSeq 2000 next generation sequencer provides scores called Q30 for run quality and purity of the samples. The Q30 can also be used to determine if there was any contamination (or mixture) found in the samples sequenced. According to Illumina, a pure, single source sample would have an Q30 score of 80 or greater with an average of 85. However, if there was contamination present in the sample sequenced, the sequences would compete against one another prior to sequencing causing a contaminated sample to have a Q30 score of 40 to 50. The Q30 scores for the three genomes sequenced had Q30 scores of 88.6, 88.4 and 88.7 for samples 26, 31 and 140. The Q30 scores conclusively prove that the sequences were from a single source, non-contaminated, and that the qualities of the sequences were far above the average genome (80) sequenced using the Illumina next generation sequencing platform.

Results

The three genomes matched each other and were form the same “unknown” species.

The three genomes were compared to all the genomes in Genbank. The BLAST search did not match any known sequence in the Genbank database.

The mtDNA sequences produced by the Illumina next generation platform matched the mtDNA sequences extracted from the same samples by Family Tree DNA in the early stages of the study.

The genomes from samples 26 and 140 were used to produce a primate “family tree” using a tool provided by Genbank called BLASTn. This produces a graphic representation of where the genome falls in the primate family.

Below is the primate family tree from the Sasquatch Genome Study.

Sasquatch Genome Study Conclusion Summary

·         Over a five-year period more than one hundred samples of hair, tissue, tree bark shavings, saliva, flesh, teeth, fingernails, tooth enamel and blood were submitted by a nationwide team of individuals from 14 US states and two Canadian provinces.

·         All samples were screened prior to DNA analysis to eliminate common wildlife species using a variety of methodologies, including microscopic morphological examination and comparison against a large reference collection of known North American wildlife hair.

·         Over one hundred hair samples passed the initial screen and were determined not to be human or from a known wildlife species.
·         It was discovered during testing that Sasquatch hair alone would not yield mtDNA. This was unusual because both human and animal hair will yield mtDNA. Only hair samples with ample skin tags were selected for the study.

·         To avoid contamination the hair samples were forensically processed and cleaned.

·         The hair samples were sent to multiple labs for blind testing. All the samples were determined to be human, with results consistent with human mtDNA.

·         Nonhuman hair yielded human mtDNA.

·         Results from purported Sasquatch samples tested over the previous two decades had always yielded a result of human mtDNA. These results were always dismissed as “human contamination.” The results of the Sasquatch DNA study support the conclusion that these samples were, in fact, Sasquatch samples.

·         Thirty mtDNA samples were selected for complete genome sequencing and HV region (haplotype) sequencing results. The samples yielded haplotypes that showed the origination of the Sasquatches to be from Asia, Africa, and Europe.  Only four out of the thirty haplotypes originated close to where the hair samples were collected in North America.  Also, none of the samples contained mtDNA from apes, Neanderthals, or Denisovans.

·         The amelogenin gene from the nuDNA of the same thirty samples was sequenced to determine the sex of the subjects. Mixed results were obtained for human chromosomes with some failing to amplify while others would only amplify the Y chromosome. Pure non-contaminated samples that yielded human mtDNA failed at times to amplify when human primers are used for sex determination.

·         The samples were tested for the MC1R - human/Neanderthal red hair color gene, MYH16 - This gene is associated with the sagittal crest in apes and was analyzed in an effort to determine if the unknown hominin was related to apes, and the TAP1- human antigen gene associated with breast cancer, diabetes and several other syndromes. The MC1R results were human, no ape or Neanderthal sequences.  The MYH16 results were human. The TAP1 results showed unknown when compared to the GenBank database, but the samples matched each other.

·         Twenty-four samples were tested on the whole human genome (2.5 million SNPs) Illumina® Bead Array platform using the Illumina® iSCAN instrument.  All of the 24 samples failed to meet the human threshold of 95% SNP performance. The results ranged from 53% to 89% SNP performance.  Attempts were made to duplicate these results with degraded human control DNA. The attempts were unsuccessful. The degraded human DNA scored 97.15% compared to the non-degraded Sasquatch DNA that scored 89% at best. The mtDNA from these samples tested human, but the nuDNA results for the SNPs were non-human.

·         A core sample was taken from the flesh sample number 26 and examined under an electron microscope. The results showed the nuDNA to be very unusual and non-human. Electron micrographs of the DNA revealed unusual double strand – single strand – double strand transitions. This evidence suggests that the Sasquatch nuDNA had some time in the past been genetically manipulated.

·         Three samples that contained ample nuDNA were selected for Next Generation Whole Genome Sequencing. The DNA from these three samples was sequenced using the next generation Illumina platform at the University of Texas, Southwestern in Dallas, TX. In-depth analysis of all three genomic sequences (samples 26, 31 and 140) was performed at the University of Texas, Southwestern, and alignment confirmed by the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The resulting genomes were compared to the complete GenBank database using a BLAST search. The genomes did not match any organism in the GenBank Database. The three genomes were from a completely unknown species yet, the three samples aligned and matched each other.

Summation:

DNA from over one hundred separate samples of hair, tissue, toenail, bark scrapings, saliva and blood obtained from dozens of collection sites throughout North America have been extracted, analyzed, and sequenced. The hair samples were not consistent with human or any known wildlife hairs. Analysis of the DNA found that the mitochondrial DNA was human, but the nuclear DNA was from an unknown source. All known ape and relic hominin species such as Neanderthal and Denisovan were eliminated as being contributors to both the nuclear and mitochondrial sequences. Whole genome analysis showed that the Sasquatch is an unknown human hybrid species with some DNA sequences not matching humans or any known species.

From the Sasquatch Genome Study:  The data clearly supports that these hominins exist as a novel species of primate. The data further suggest that they are human hybrids originating from human females. This hybridization can be likened to humans with Denisovan admixture resulting from Denisovan males mating with human females. The same type of mating potentially occurred with Sasquatch; however, in the case of Sasquatch, the admixture is human. Though preliminary analysis supports the hybridization hypothesis, alternatively, it could also be hypothesized that the Sasquatch are human in origin, having been isolated in closed breeding populations for thousands of years. Nevertheless, the data conclusively proves that the Sasquatch exist as an extant hominin and are a direct maternal descendent of modern humans.


The Sasquatch is a human hybrid species, the mtDNA is human and the nuDNA is unknown.

Zoobank Registration of the Sasquatch
Homo Sapiens Cognatus - Cognatus is from the Latin which essentially means “related by blood.”


External Support for the Sasquatch Genome Study

Given the toxic nature of this subject most mainstream scientist have stayed away from the paper, afraid for their careers. The biased against the study is institutional and wide ranging. Though it is a subject for another book the Sasquatch Genome Study was caught in the crossfire in the war between the evolutionist and the creationist. Darwin’s theory is dying in my opinion but absent any cogent theory the Darwinist (99% of mainstream science) must protect the theory at any cost. Since the Sasquatch Genome Study could call into question many of the tenants of the Darwinist it had to be squashed.

There was also an attitude pervasive in the mainstream that just could not allow “A woman veterinarian from Texas and a bunch of rednecks” to make one of the most profound discoveries of the century. Below is a quote from Dr. Kethcum:

"It seems mainstream science just can’t seem to tolerate something controversial, especially from a group of primarily forensic scientists and not “famous academians” aligned with large universities, even though most of our sequencing and analysis was performed at just such facilities.

We encountered the worst scientific bias in the peer review process in recent history. I am calling it the “Galileo Effect”. Several journals wouldn’t even read our manuscript when we sent them a pre-submission inquiry."

There has been support for the study among a quiet but growing group of scientist and researchers.

One of the supporters is Dr. David Swenson, he is a Biochemist and has over 39 journal publications to his credit. He looked at the paper and the data and made the following statement:

Brien Foerster, Jeff Kart, and other interested parties. I went over the manuscript by Melba Ketchum on Bigfoot genomics. My desktop had difficulty with a blast analysis of the consensus sequences. It helped me understand more about the project. This collaborative venture has done a huge project that taxes me to fully grasp. I see interesting homology with a standard human sequence with 99% match for mitochondria. From my abbreviated study, the nuclear genome seems to have human and nonhuman sequences.

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.

Brien, selection of Melba's lab for your studies is a very good call.

 Researchers/Journalist



Robert Lindsay – Beyond Highbrow Blog

Robert Lindsay is an interesting person. It is not a stretch for me to say Lindsay holds the opinion that Dr. Ketchum is not a nice person. Lindsay had this comment in his blog about Dr. Ketchum:

“Dr. Ketchum’s personality. We get a lot of flak for focusing on this issue, but one of the things that this blog does is report on the personalities of those involved in the Bigfoot scene and the various conflicts that are going on with those on the scene. We noted before that Ketchum has a hard time keeping workers are her business. When I asked why, my source said, “Because she’s such a bitch!”

In the very beginning of the DNA project, many of the top names in the Bigfoot world met with Dr. Ketchum. One of the biggest names in the field, who went on to develop a deep relationship with Ketchum, was not impressed. This person described her as “a piece of work.” They also said, “My God she’s a man-hating bitch!” I do not believe that she hates all men, as she currently has a man in her life. This man is one of the biggest names in the Bigfoot field, but we will not name him.

The takeaway point is that Dr. Ketchum has a rather hostile and combative personality. Or, if you want to look at it another way, she’s a Type A, go-getter, hard-charging, get things done type in the finest American tradition.”


After the release of the study, Lindsay became one its most ardent and active supporters. He read the paper, and even though he was often critical of Dr. Ketchum, found the study credible. Lindsay had this to say after reading the study:

“Dr. Melba Ketchum Bigfoot DNA paper is good. I have now read a bootleg copy of the 63 page paper I obtained a few days ago….

The paper is good. I like it a lot. I thought she did an excellent job on it. It is also very well written. The conclusions are as we discussed earlier on this blog. The MtDNA is human, and the NuDNA is some sort of an archaic hominid in the genus Homo.
Particularly interesting were the extreme measures taken to guard against contamination of the DNA with human DNA by handlers and other animal DNA. There was no DNA from any other known animals present in any of the samples. None of the samples had any human DNA contamination that would explain the results. The samples were very, very pure DNA, purer
than one usually gets from humans….

…I do not feel that this paper is a failure at all. What is occurring is what I predicted would occur. The scientific community refuses to accept the existence of this very real species, and they refuse to accept this DNA evidence for that reason. I have been predicating for a long time now that science would not accept the DNA evidence no matter how good it was.
Is it possible that Melba botched the paper and screwed up her proof of Bigfoot? We all know that she had real Bigfoot samples she was dealing with in the study, so all that remained was for her to successfully isolate the DNA and then prove that it was from Bigfoots and not something else. I feel that she did this, but I am not a geneticist.”

In this same blog post, Lindsay then made an extremely impassioned plea to the Cryptid/Bigfoot research community:

“I think the community should all get behind Melba right now, whatever her moral failings. She has been up there on the cross suffering for all of us, for our entire community, for 16 months now, while the legions of science poked her with their lances and jeered at her. She did it for us. She suffered for all of us. All of the pain we all suffer from skeptics – she took all of our pain and bundled it up for us into one giant mass and took it up there with her on the cross of Bigfootery, where she been slowly dying, being tortured to death, for over a year now. Our pain is her pain. Our torture is her torture. She took our pain and made it hers so we wouldn’t have to suffer it too.

This whole episode has been very hard on Melba. You can see it in her face and hear it in her voice. She says if she had to do it over again, she wouldn’t do it. But she did it. She took it on the chin for us all, falling on the grenade so we might live. And how many of us have her back? Basically, none of us.”
Thom Powell – Bigfoot Research – Blogger - Author

Thom Powell is a well-liked, thorough researcher. He is both humorous and articulate. Below is his bio from his web page:
“Thom Powell is a science educator and author who writes on paranormal or 'fringe science' topics.  One such topic is the bigfoot phenomenon and it's fair to say that, when it comes to bigfoot, Thom Powell's first book, The Locals (Hancock House, 2003) completely changed the thinking. It is a book that is still being read and praised fifteen years after publication.  Then in 2011, Thom tried his hand at fiction, authoring the cleverly-crafted novel, Shady Neighbors, centering on a rural family that is targeted by mysterious beings for equally mysterious reasons.  In 2015, Thom went 'round the bend' again and published Edges of Science, a compendium of paranormal or 'Fortean' investigations that boldly unifies most of what currently falls into that dumpster of scientific disparagement known as 'paranormality…

...Upon completing college with an honors degree in Environmental Education, Thom emigrated to Portland, Oregon where he continued guiding on rivers in California, Oregon and Idaho, while also teaching environmental science at a series of outdoor education centers around Portland. He responded to the lack of local river safety instruction by establishing his own kayaking school about the same time that he was hired as a science teacher for Portland Public Schools. His operation of River City Kayak School led to the acquisition of property along the Clackamas River in rural Clackamas County, Oregon, a place known for rich outdoor recreation opportunities and bigfoot sightings...”


Thom posted an extremely influential and educational blog concerning the Sasquatch Genome Study called “Bigfoot DNA Evidence Redux”. Below are some excerpts supporting both the study and the premise of this book, truth denied:

“The first-ever attempt to thoroughly map the bigfoot genome, authored by Dr. Melba Ketchum, et al. and published in DeNovo Scientific Journal, has been out for a couple months. I eagerly spent the thirty bucks to get my hands on a copy at my very first opportunity. I read every word of it three times. I also sought the opinion of a couple of geneticists for, despite my science background, I did not understand most of the highly technical jargon in paper.

What I really needed was some context. Context is particularly essential since almost no one else in the general public has the ability to grasp the incredibly arcane and specific language of the geneticist. I am capable of understanding most of Ketchum’s explanation of the methodology and of course her conclusions. Beyond that, I recall the advice of a career scientist who once told me that the way to read a study is to first read the abstract (a one or two paragraph summary of the whole report), then the introduction, and then the conclusion. Skip everything else. The academics will pour over that and you can’t understand it anyway…

I was warned ahead of time by prognosticators like my buddy Guy Edwards that a DNA study proving the existence of the sasquatch probably would not rock the world. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is poorly understood by the general public. People want to see a body. I also fully understood that the community of self-anointed ‘bigfoot researchers’ is highly competitive, even back-stabbing. Vocal individuals in that community could be counted on to attack and devour anyone’s claim to scientific progress since it is always seen as a threat to the stature of the other self-important personalities who feel that the media attention is rightfully theirs. Then the ‘group-think’ kicks in. An underappreciated person with a recognizable name becomes critical and launches a blistering attack. The unexamined tribalism of a larger group, who are all in constant contact via the internet and Facebook groups march in lockstep disdain, comfortable in the belief that their collective criticism of the new evidence or new thinking is protected by the umbrella of group consensus, which emboldens the group in the near term but eventually turns out to be based on somebody’s logical fallacy…

… Now, enter Melba Ketchum. She has kept her distance from the ‘bigfoot research community’. She has not attended the conferences, she has not made the requisite pilgrimages to the Bluff Creek film site, to Steven’s museum/bookstore in Willow Creek, and the insufferable forums and chat rooms where a tribe of armchair enthusiasts spend way too much of their free time.

The tribe wasted no time.   Before it was even published, the Ketchum study was faulted on several fronts. The eagerly-awaited publication was repeatedly delayed for unspecified reasons. That was seen as damning.  Ketchum’s personal and business life was thoroughly scrutinized by a platoon of amateur sleuths. The fact that her privately owned genetics lab was not flourishing, and that she had some unhappy customers, was the beginning of the groupthink feeding-frenzy. Then it was discovered by eager-beaver researchers that her paper was rejected by first-tier scientific journals. It was suggested that the paper had so many problems that that we might not ever get to see it in print at all.

During this time, I had some contact with Dr. Ketchum. She confided that she was intensely frustrated by the fact that the peer-reviewers for the journals she was courting kept ‘moving the goal posts’ on her. Initially receptive audiences suddenly became unreceptive. Suggestions for small changes were willingly accommodated by her, only to be followed by further requests for huge changes and revisions….

As soon as the study was made available, the criticism shifted to the fact that, she published the paper by acquiring control of an obscure ‘boutique’ journal, and then making her genetics paper its sole item of content. I would certainly agree that this is not the preferred way to present an important scientific paper. I also know that, as the author of two bigfoot books, ‘bigfoot’ is a topic that very few if any publishers wants to touch, and this is doubly true of scientific publications. Scientists are people too, and they stand in line at the grocery store, reading the tabloid headlines about Elvis’ bigfoot baby or whatever else the tabloids are screaming about that week. Scientists have their prejudices and 'bigfoot' is a big one.

So, hell, yeah, Ketchum is going to have a tough time getting published. I could see that one coming miles away, especially since I had the frustrating experience of trying to get two different books published on the much-maligned bigfoot subject. Maybe it’s just because I’m a lousy writer, but I couldn’t get any publisher to look at my novel, so I, like Ketchum, went ahead and self-published Shady Neighbors. I’d still be sitting on an unpublished manuscript if I had not. Not only do I NOT blame Melba Ketchum for essentially ‘self-publishing’ her paper, I am downright appreciative that she did so…

 … Which brings us to a discussion of the results of her study: half human, half ‘novel’ DNA. This finding is so radical, and the implications are so enormous that it’s a no-brainer that she was going to have a very tough time finding a scientific journal that would publish this finding. Scientific journals get very uncomfortable with radical finding, no matter how good the science is. Bear in mind also that Ketchum, with all her radical conclusions, is not nearly as an established in academia as someone like Dr. Bryan Sykes at Cambridge. She's a veterinarian and the owner a small, privately owned genetics lab in Texas. For whatever reason, she had the willingness to apply her genetics training to the bigfoot mystery. And when she examined the genetic evidence surrounding that mystery, it took her to a conclusion that was way too radical for mainstream science. In fact, it seems her conclusions are even too radical for a most bigfoot researchers to accept, and bigfoot researchers have always seen themselves as outside-the-box thinkers…

…I find her arguments compelling, and it isn’t just because her findings agree with that which I have always said and published in my books. Her conclusions are also perfectly consistent with everything I have experienced in the field and with all the information I have gathered from reliable witnesses over many years. I long ago concluded that the sasquatch are human so it is very easy for me to agree that Ketchum study is correct in its’ conclusions. If that makes me a “Ketchum supporter” then, yes, I guess I drank the Kool-Aid. All I can say is, it was delicious. And, it was much easier to swallow than that, bitter, even toxic Kool-Aid that has been dispensed for decades by the ossified tribal group-thinkers, and I have certainly tasted that Kool-Aid many times.

There is one final doozy of a stone that is still unturned.  It’s sort of the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room that nobody wants to talk about.  Put another way, the Ketchum study, I think, has yielded physical evidence whose implications are so profound that most do not even want to open that can of worms.

I’m referring to the other half of the sasquatch genome that the Ketchum study identified; the part that isn’t human. The sasquatch genome, according to the Ketchum’s work, is human DNA that interspersed with DNA that is absolutely unknown.  It is neither ape, nor human, not lemur.  Ketchum has no idea what it is, nor does anyone else, but the ‘novel’, single strand, haploid DNA is there for anyone to find who knows how to sequence it. Is it some evolutionary offshoot of humanity that we have yet to identify in the fossil record?  Maybe. But the mysterious sequences are single strand, that is haploid DNA, and all terrestrial DNA in somatic cells (blood, hair, tissue, bone) is diploid unless it is in gametes (sex cells).”


I strongly encourage the reader to visit Thom’s blog and read this post in its entirety.

Christopher Noel – Bigfoot Researcher – Author

Christopher wrote a blog post a year after the Sasquatch Genome Study had been published. He was addressing criticism from Todd Disotell, a self-proclaimed “debunker of labels pseudoscience. Dr. Jeff Meldrum was also criticizing the study for claiming Sasquatch was a human hybrid.  Below are excerpts from the Christopher’s blog post:
“Today marks the one-year anniversary of the release of Melba Ketchum’s Sasquatch Genome Study, “Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies.” While some researchers have embraced her findings, many more have dismissed them, based on an insufficient grasp of the data or a neglect of the data altogether. I would like to observe this occasion by exploring several aspects of the case.
1) Month after month, many have threatened to produce evidence of some sort of “data fraud,” but after a year, no such expos√© has materialized, nor has a single shred of credible evidence. The entire Ketchum study, in addition to much supplemental material, can be seen and freely downloaded at SasquatchGenomeProject.org, and Dr. Ketchum has invited scientists worldwide to pore over it and offer responsible feedback. The most high-profile taker thus far has been Dr. Todd Disotell, who has built his brand over the years as a professional debunker of what he labels pseudoscience. “It’s just a joke,” he loudly proclaimed of the study, “junk science. She is a laughing stock.”
But let’s look behind the scenes. Disotell was given the opportunity to test one of the 111 samples used in the Ketchum study, a blood sample obtained by the Erickson Project at its Kentucky habituation site and provided to Disotell directly by Adrian Erickson himself. Disotell proceeded to sequence only the mitochondrial DNA (the vestige of the maternal line only), found it to be a 100% match with modern human, interpreted this result to mean that human “contamination” must be involved, and then summarily disposed of the sample without investigating the far richer territory of the nuclear DNA (which encodes the entire history of maternal and paternal genetic contributions over millennia).
Unfortunately,
a) his results only served to confirm Ketchum’s findings, the entire point of which is that Sasquatch is a surviving hybrid of an ancient pairing of human females and males of an unknown primate species; and
b) the Ketchum paper details at length the rigorous methods employed in the study to rule out contamination.
During an appearance on “The Joe Rogan Show,” Disotell admitted, “I can’t follow ¾ of that paper.” This is because, Ketchum explains, “Disotell specializes in evolution using mitochondrial DNA. He is not qualified to comment on the genomics or other disciplines in this study.”
2) It’s not hard to understand, of course, why so many in the mainstream media and the general public would accept at face value the words of a dynamic, self-assured debunker as he apparently “shoots down” a study whose implications are so profoundly challenging to conventional wisdom, so far outside our collective comfort zone. But why are so many serious Sasquatch researchers also willing to blindly accept this kind of groundless attack? Because it relieves them of having to question their deeply entrenched views on the subject. As Thomas Kuhn famously observed, “During revolutions in science the discovery of anomalies leads to a whole new paradigm that changes the rules of the game and the ‘map’ directing new research.” (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions); however, Kuhn also demonstrated the fierce tenacity with which science will cling to its outmoded paradigms even in the face of fresh, dis-confirming data.
… Now add to this resistance the fact that the insiders’ club of Establishment Science is made up of academics, who naturally look down their noses at one such as Dr. Ketchum, an independent researcher, not part of any recognized institution, a “mere” veterinarian (DVM) rather than a PhD— never mind her twenty years of experience in genetic testing and her scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals (her CV can be seen on the website). Her background in forensics, too, flies in the face of the officially sanctioned approach to evolutionary biology.
Some enjoy piling on further with ad hominem blows, a notoriously weak mode of debate, including insults to her personality and to her accounts of having now seen individual Sasquatch in person. Some also present as damning evidence her willingness to speculate upon supposedly supernatural elements of the subject. (Eclipses and lightning were once considered “supernatural” as well, until natural science expanded to incorporate them.)
Whatever one may think of any of these putative “red flags,” they all have one thing in common—their utter irrelevance to the bothersome issue of the genetic data themselves, in all their richness and consistency.
3) Speaking of which, you will not hear the detractors mentioning the two independent outside laboratories, SeqWright and Family Tree DNA, that the study employed to blindly test samples, and that corroborated Ketchum’s results 100%, even though they had not been told what organism these samples were taken from. Nor will you hear them breathe a word about the study’s nine highly credible co-authors, precisely because not one of them has come forward to repudiate the study’s methodology and results, or even to distance himself from it to the slightest degree, which would naturally be the safest professional move, given that their names and positions are now publicly associated with the study.
This ringing silence speaks volumes as a clear, implicit endorsement. By the same token, of course, none of the co-authors has gone on record in support of the study, though in view of its worldly reception, can you quite blame them? Bigfoot usually still equals professional suicide.”

Sasquatch is real, as proven by genetic analysis.

A study published in the Journal Nature appears to support the general findings of the DNA study. One of the main criticisms of the Sasquatch DNA Paper published in early 2013 was that hybridization between Sasquatch and modern humans was "ludicrous", "impossible", or "wild speculation". But wait, fast forward to December of 2013 and a group of scientist publishes a paper in the Journal Nature that essentially claims that the genome of a Neanderthal skeleton they discovered was actually a hybrid, a mixture of modern humans, Denisovans, Neanderthals, and a "potential unknown hominin".

From the Journal Nature study:

"The new analysis finds that the genomes of Han Chinese and other mainland Asian populations, as well as of Native Americans, contain about 0.2 percent Denisovan genes…..
The genome comparisons also show that Denisovans interbred with a mysterious, fourth group of early humans also living in Eurasia at the time."


The results are extremely similar to Dr. Ketchum's results, a genome that shows hybridization with modern humans and a unknown hominin.
A world renowned genetic scientist Dr. Tom Gilbert, of the University of Copenhangen, recently sequenced hairs from a purported Orang Pendek (A Sasquatch like creature that lives in South East Asia). 
He received hairs that were analyzed and determined not to be human or from a known animal. When he tested the mtDNA from these non-human hairs the results came back human.
Though critics claim contamination, Dr. Gilbert is a world renowned Professor of Genetics and I would assume he would know how to properly process a DNA sample without contaminating it.
Dr. Gilbert has over 125 peer reviewed publications to his credit. He recently was lead author of the paper where the whole genome was sequenced from a 12000 year old Native American child (Anzick-1). 

Gofundme support

From Dr. Ketchum:
Hi all, just wanted everyone to know we do have academics supporting the paper and our research via the Gofundme campaign. These two folks were kind enough to donate to the sequencing project and put their names on their donations. I just thought you would like to see that we do indeed have support from other scientists and these guys actually put their money down to prove it! I've posted them below but you can go to the page here to see for yourself: http://www.gofundme.com/b1f5ak

Libby Rutledge, Ph.D. - $100
Thank you so much for your Sasquatch Genome Project paper. I assign this paper for discussion in my senior molecular biology class at Salish Kootenai College.

Dr. Philip Haseley - $150
This is a challenge to all the wimpy academic types to come forward and support this research likewise.

George Knapp

December 2012
Scores of hair samples were sent to a dozen well-respected DNA labs across the country. The people at the labs weren’t told anything about the samples. They performed DNA analysis in the blind, then sent the remarkable findings back to Ketchum. I’ll put it this way — this is spooky stuff. The results are unequivocal: The hairs are not only from an unknown species, but they show a common link to humans. In other words, whatever these creatures are, they share a common ancestry with humans dating back about 15,000 years. Half of the DNA in the samples is simply unknown. The blind tests conducted by various labs weeded out known species such as bears or wolves. And in the end, they were left with the completely uncomfortable conclusion that the hairs came from a primate species previously unknown to science.

Source: (Knapp, George – Las Vegas City Life, December 2012)


The Contamination Myth

Mainstream scientific critics of the study have been relying on their old standby “the samples were contaminated or not handled properly”. This claim is refuted throughout the paper beginning the forensic washing of the hairs that even Bryan Sykes admits “You can clean any suggestion of contamination from the surface of the hair without damaging the DNA that lies within. This is something we have only known in the past couple of years.” Dr. Ketchum knew before starting the study this would both a concern and a criticism so throughout the study steps were taken to ensure both no contamination and quality samples. The results themselves prove there was no contamination. This is demonstrated by the high Q30 scores to the lack heteroplasmic bases  when the samples were screened for cytochrome b.

Even those who had openly criticized the Sasquatch genome study and made unsubstantiated personal attacks toward Dr. Ketchum and other members of the team admitted there was no contamination. Below is an excerpt from Robert Lindsay’s blog:

"No contamination in Ketchum DNA findings. There is some little-known evidence that there is no contamination in her samples: Ketchum tested the Bigfoot nuDNA for several human genes, the names of which you can find in the manuscript. MC1R (human/Neanderthal red-hair color gene) showed up in the Bigfoot nuDNA as did the human antigen gene TAP1 (most of the time) and the jaw muscle gene MYH16 (which when present showed only a human profile rather than an ape one).

Not discussed in the manuscript are the tests Ketchum did for the TYR gene, which is associated with skin pigmentation, and the HAR1 gene, which is a “human accelerated region” associated with human neurological development. The human skin color gene TYR and human brain gene HAR1 were not found in Bigfoot nuDNA. Now that in and of itself is very interesting.

If the samples really were just bear or coyote or bobcat smeared with human contamination, all of the human genes should show up all over the place. The peer-reviewers for Ketchum’s manuscript only wanted positive, not negative, results included for gene tests, so the TYR and HAR1 data are not discussed in the manuscript. However, you can see the remnants of it in the Supplemental Data 12 appendix. The bottom line is the Bigfoot nuDNA is missing some important human genes that should be there if the nuDNA were in fact simply contaminated with human DNA.

Furthermore, if the samples were simply bears, coyotes or whatever with no human contamination present, the human genes listed above would not be there at all.

The conclusion is that the “contamination” meme bandied about is simply a red herring. Ketchum’s DNA results, whatever they were and whatever they mean, there simply not a result of contamination in any way, shape or form. Critics really need to get over the contamination BS."


Related Studies

A study published in the Journal Nature appears to support the general findings of the DNA study. One of the main criticisms of the Sasquatch  Study published in early 2013 was that hybridization between Sasquatch and modern humans was "ludicrous,” "impossible,” or "wild speculation.” But wait, fast forward to December of 2013 where a group of scientists publish a paper in the Journal Nature that essentially claims that the genome of a “Neanderthal” skeleton they discovered was actually a hybrid, a mixture of modern humans, Denisovians, Neanderthals, and a third "potential unknown hominin.”

From the Journal Nature study:

"The new analysis finds that the genomes of Han Chinese and other mainland Asian populations, as well as of Native Americans, contain about 0.2 percent Denisovan genes...

The genome comparisons also show that Denisovians interbred with a mysterious, fourth group of early humans also living in Eurasia at the time."

In the publication “Nature News” the author remarked:
Reich said at the meeting that as well as interbreeding with the ancestors of Oceanians, they also bred with Neanderthals and the ancestors of modern humans in China and other parts of East Asia. Most surprisingly, Reich said, the genomes indicate that
Denisovans interbred with yet another extinct population of archaic humans that lived in Asia more than 30,000 years ago — one that is neither human nor Neanderthal.


The results are extremely similar to Dr. Ketchum's results, a genome that shows hybridization with modern humans and an unknown hominin. These studies continue to be published showing modern humans interbreeding with a “unknown” hominin species. In one study the scientist actually called this unknown hominin a “ghost species of ancient hominins.” Not to belabor the point, but it cannot be stressed enough, these studies are making the same general findings of the Sasquatch Genome Study. That in the past, there were genetically “unknown hominins” breading with known human species producing hybrids! The Sasquatch Genome Study proved that one of these “unknown hominins” is alive and well in modernity, with exotic, novel (unknown to science), nuDNA.

In an article entitled “Neanderthal Genome Reveals Fourth, Mysterious Human Lineage”, published in the December 18th, 2013 edition of “Science News”, the author cites a study published in the Journal Nature. One of the study’s conclusions was “The genome comparisons also show that Denisovans interbred with a mysterious, fourth group of early humans also living in Eurasia at the time.” (See Exhibit 34)

A more recent article in “Ancient Origins”, published in 2017, entitled “Hominid Hanky Panky Led to 'Ghost' Species of Ancient Human”, cites a study published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. This study makes the following conclusions:

 “As part of this investigation, the team examined the MUC7 gene in more than 2,500 modern human genomes. The analysis yielded a surprise: A group of genomes from Sub-Saharan Africa had a version of the gene that was wildly different from versions found in other modern humans.
The Sub-Saharan variant was so distinctive that Neanderthal and Denisovan MUC7 genes matched more closely with those of other modern humans than the Sub-Saharan outlier did.

"Based on our analysis, the most plausible explanation for this extreme variation is archaic introgression -- the introduction of genetic material from a 'ghost' species of ancient hominins,"  Gokcumen says. "This unknown human relative could be a species that has been discovered, such
as a subspecies of Homo erectus, or an undiscovered hominin. We call it a 'ghost' species because we don't have the fossils." (See Exhibit 35).

The Journal Molecular Biology and Evolution peer reviewed, passed, publishing a scientific study that ONLY had DNA evidence to support the conclusion that a “Ghost Species” interbred with humans?!?! This based on just one gene comparison?!?!

In contrast, the Sasquatch Genome Study was systematically suppressed by mainstream science, with essentially the same findings, that an unknown hominin, with unknown nuDNA (“ghost species”), interbred with humans to produce a human hybrid. The Sasquatch Genome Study consisted of a literal mountain of DNA data, to include blood, flesh and hair samples. Three complete nuDNA Genomes, with over one hundred and ten samples total in the study. Multiple analysis of genes, electron microscopy results that were confirmed by two independent labs and blind studies by over 12 nationally known laboratories. I think the hypocrisy is evident, completely undeniable.

Dr. Tom Gilbert – Orang Pendek

A world renowned genetic scientist Dr. Tom Gilbert, of Copenhagen, recently sequenced hairs from a purported Orang Pendek (A Sasquatch-like creature that lives in South East Asia).
He received hairs that were analyzed and determined to be non-human or from any known animal. When he tested the mtDNA from these non-human hairs the results were human. This supports the Sasquatch Genomes study results of non-human hair yielding human mtDNA. Though critics claim contamination, Dr. Gilbert is a world-renowned Professor of Genetics and I would assume he would know how to properly process a DNA sample without contaminating it.

Dr. Gilbert has over 125 peer-reviewed publications to his credit. He recently was the lead author of the paper where the whole genome was sequenced from a 12,000-year-old Native American child (Anzick-1). YouTube video link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcPrXZyBUfo

The results from my DNA samples

Sample #2 – Collected July 2011 – Brown hair
Haplotype – T2b
Same as samples (1,12,36)
Bigfoot in 1 = Oklahoma, 12 = Oregon, 36 = Washington
Amelogenin – XX (Male)

Sample #3 – Collected July 2011
Amelogenin – XY (Female)
SNP – 62.25

Sample #42 – Collected February 2011 – Reddish brown to brown
Haplotype – T2
Same as samples (39b, 41)
Bigfoot in 39b = Southern Alaska, 41 = North Texas
Amelogenin Seq Results
Only Exon 2 – H

Sample #11 – Collected August 2009 – Brown hair
Haplotype – A6L2c
Amelogenin – XY (Female)

Sample 38 – Collected October 2010 – Curly brown hair
Haplotype – V2
Amelogenin Seq Results
Exon 2,4/5,8 – H
SNP – 64.21

Sample 82 – Collected May 2011 – Light brown to blonde
Amelogenin Seq Results
Amelx, 8 – H

Sample 122 – Collected May 2011 – Mixed color
Amelogenin Seq Results
Amelx=H, 2=H-Chromose 13, 4/5 = H

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