Matt Moneymaker attacks the Sierra Kills story. The leader of the BFRO released a statement on Cryptomundo attacking the entire Sierra Kills story and Justin Smeja and accusing Smeja of lying. He also seemed to imply that Dr. Melba Ketchum was lying in her assessment of the Sierra Kills Bigfoot steak.
BTW, I would bet a whole lot of money that Justin Smeja is lying and did not shoot a bigfoot at all. In my opinion his story is totally ludicrous, if you know the details he initially described.
He claimed he found the pieces of hide after to returning to the area of the “shooting” after a snow storm. He says he didn’t know if the hide was related to what he claimed he shot. To me that sounds like he’s structuring the story so he can remain blameless when the hide is shown to be from a known animal.
On top of that, he mentioned that he’s got a freezer full of dead coyote parts (he hunts those too). I do suspect he cut a piece of hide from one of those dead coyotes and provided that to the people who bought into his shooting story.
Here’s the red flag for that: Some folks I know spent a lot of time questioning the dude in person … One of them says that when he heard Ketchum “confirmed” that his samples came from a sasquatch, he said he thought SHE was a hustler … which seemed strange to the person he said that to.
It doesn’t puzzle me at all. He would have good reason to say that if he knew the hide came from a coyote. And that’s exactly what it looked like. I saw a photo of the hide piece. I was a roughly rectangular piece of fur and skin which looked like it was cut from a larger hide. The piece in question looked like it came from the belly of a coyote. Supposedly Meldrum also said it looked like it could have come from a coyote.
- Matt Moneymaker
These are some interesting comments. Smeja did indeed whip out a piece of the Bigfoot steak when he took a team to the site of the Sierra Kills in Sierra Buttes, California. It was nothing more than a small rectangular strip. One person there said they thought it was from a coyote, and some others apparently agreed.
Smeja acknowledges that the steak resembles a piece of coyote. In his initial description, he said it was the color of a “pale yote.” Meldrum’s view that it resembled a coyote may be related to the hair structure, which is unusual it is true. It is a fact that Smeja has four or five coyotes that he shot chopped up in his freezer right now. But that doesn’t mean that the steak is a piece of coyote.
I do not believe that the steak is a piece of coyote. For one thing, when Ketchum first received it, she said it appeared to be a piece of the thigh of a human cadaver.
Matt Moneymaker’s purported drug problems. Sources have disclosed the following to me about this sensitive issue:
It’s long been known, but never publicly disclosed in Bigfoot circles, that Matt Moneymaker has a drug problem. He reportedly completed a stint in a drug rehab facility not long ago. It is not known what habit he was trying to kick.
It’s long been rumored that he has or had a cocaine habit. A source said, “A lot of Wally Hersom’s seed money for the BFRO went straight up Matt’s nose.” A source close to Moneymaker said that Matt had never used cocaine.
However, he is said to be a heavy marijuana user. Sources told me, “He smokes it every day, all day long.” He is also said to be a heavy pill user. The pills he is using are not known, but narcotics are a good possibility, as they are favorites nowadays. Sources also said in reference to Matt’s drug use: “He stays up for 3 days at a time.” In the context of our modern era, this could possibly mean he is using meth, a very popular drug now.
I asked the source how sure he was of these serious charges, and he said, “Everyone in Matt’s circle of close friends, maybe 20 people or so, knows about this, and they’ve known about it forever. It’s been an open secret in the Bigfoot community for ages.”
Sources told me that Matt’s drug use became quite an issue on the set of Finding Bigfoot, where he was showing up on the set stoned. The filming went on anyway, but the producers were not happy. A source close to Moneymaker said that it is actually another member of the cast who is showing up stoned for every shooting, and this person is attempting to displace blame onto Matt.
However, in Matt’s favor, he recently spent several days with Stephen Seuvert at Willow Creek, and while he was there, no one saw Matt use anything stronger than a single caffeine drink and a single beer. So it looks like they “heavy daily drug user” characterization may be an exaggeration.
Matt is definitely straight from my generation. I’m a bit of a drug fan myself, though I hardly use anymore, so I completely understand where Matt is at. Although I used drugs for decades, I was always a casual user. I’ve known thousands of people in the scene – users and dealers. Many of my friends ended up on the boulevard of broken dreams due to drugs. Some of them are already in the grave, and it is was drugs that put them there.
Matt’s use sounds like it goes beyond recreational to the point where it’s affecting his work, health, etc. If it isn’t, and he’s able to use and function well in life, well, I hope he has lots of fun.
On the other hand, if it’s getting out of control, here’s hoping he gets the help he needs, from one who has known the drug scene inside and out, up and down and up close and personal for decades.
I understand that Matt has long threatened to sue anyone who writes about any of this stuff. I have a Journalism degree. We had to take a law course called Law of Mass Communications, so I am very well trained in Libel Law, and I know it inside and out. 99% of US libel cases are tossed before they even get to court, and the plaintiff has to pay court costs.
The main stickler in US libel law is that the libeler has to know that what he is saying is untrue. In addition, Matt’s a public figure like the movie stars, etc. that you read about in the tabloids. He has about the same protection from libel as other stars do, and look what people write about them. Bottom line is that public figures have much lowered protection under libel law. Further, the charges must be untrue, and there have been rumors swirling around about Matt forever now.
How does Matt Moneymaker support himself? It’s not known. He’s intelligent, and he has graduated from law school. Good for him, that’s not easy to do. He says he’s a lawyer, but that’s not true. He may not have been able to pass the bar – the details are not known. It’s also not known how he’s been supporting himself all of these years. However, in the past year, he has apparently been receiving a salary for acting on the show Finding Bigfoot. He’s a married family man.
Motivation for Moneymaker’s comments about Ketchum and Smeja. In recent days, Matt has made some serious digs at both Ketchum and Smeja. Matt is another guy in on the Bigfoot Gold Rush, and he has to be the first one to find Bigfoot. He’s insecure and feels threatened by Smeja and Ketchum, so he’s trying to destroy the competition.
This is unnecessary. For all of its faults, the BFRO has done a great service to the community. Its investigators are top notch, and the group trail-blazed cutting edge investigation methods. The sightings database is a glorious achievement akin to the Bigfoot Library of Congress. Many of the articles on the site are quite good.
Matt’s comments on wood-knocking and shelters were ahead of their time. The BFRO is very careful about investigating footprints, photos and video, and the evidence that they do confirm in general seems to be good. They have rarely fallen for a hoax.
It was a visit to the BFRO site this spring that got me back into being interested in Bigfoot and spurred all of these columns, so ultimately you can thank the BFRO for my reports.
Along with the bad often comes the good. So it is with the BFRO, and so it is in life.
Results of the nuclear DNA testing for the Bigfoot Steak. Sources have informed me of the following:
The steak was sent out to ~8 different labs to be tested on a blind basis. Nuclear DNA testing was part of the process. The labs were not told what they were getting, and they had no idea what they were testing. Two of the labs were said to have “figured out what it was,” whatever that means, and honestly it doesn’t make sense in the context. The cost was $~11,000 per result, so ~$90,000 was spent on DNA sequencing of the steak. This cost was apparently footed by Wally Hersom.
From all eight labs, the results came back:
1. Not human.
2. Not any known animal.
3. “Unknown primate.”
A lot of the labs made communications to Ketchum along the lines of “What in the Hell is this we are testing anyway?” “WFT?” “WTH?” “Huh?” The labs were dumbfounded and befuddled by the specimen, but they reported the results in official reports as they were paid to do.
#3. is important, because although the DNA matched no known living creature, it is primate DNA. I would go further and suggest that it is hominid DNA.
#1 is extremely important and cannot be emphasized enough. This is because the skeptic blogs keep repeating over and over that Ketchum’s results are “human DNA.” I can emphatically confirm that the results for at least the Bigfoot steak from the Sierra Kills were definitely “100% non human.”
The reason we know it is not human is because the genes are too far apart from human genes.
Say we look at 20,000 nuclear DNA genes. The results will be something like this:
Human Bigfoot Chimpanzee Human 0? 400 1,200
Out of 20,000 nuclear DNA genes, the chimpanzee will differ from the human on ~1,200 genes. The Bigfoot will possibly differ from the human by ~400 genes. It is this distance in genes, and nothing else, that is apparently leading Ketchum to say that Bigfoots exist as a biological entity.
If you have a sample of 20,000 genes in which 400 of them differ from Homo sapiens, there is no way on Earth that we are dealing with “human DNA,” as the skeptics repeat in a near autistic, Tourette’s like fashion. I really wish we could put this to rest, but the skeptics keep banging their heads against this wall, so we have to keep answering it as redundantly as they ask it.
Bigfoot steak still intact. The steak is still intact after all of the testing. It is not destroyed yet.
Driver’s Bigfoot steak also for sale. The driver who went with Smeja on the Sierra Kills trip is also selling his Bigfoot steak. He may have ~2 pounds. Asking price is unknown.
Sequencing of complete Bigfoot nuclear DNA. I believe that the DNA sequences run on the various Bigfoot specimens were probably partial sequences, maybe 30,000 base pairs or so, but I have no idea. Sequencing the complete Bigfoot nuclear genome of 3 billion base pairs is no doubt quite an undertaking. It is rumored that Wally Hersom paid for the complete sequencing of the genome. It is not known what this may have cost, but it may have been a pretty penny.
Ketchum and Bigfoot sample submitters. Ketchum has returned few if any samples to the sample submitters. I feel that in general, she is not going to return any samples to anyone, whether she uses them up or not. This is apparently just the way she operates.
For example, the hand of unknown origin, which has been shown to be a bear paw, has not been returned to its Montana owner. Not only that, but it was never even DNA tested.
Some of the submitters are furious at her for not sending them back whatever is left of their samples.
Ketchum also told at least some of the submitters that they were going to be famous and millionaires as a result of the study. She may have said this to rope them into the study. A number of them believed her. One even quit his job, and he is now quite broke.
The submitters have been sitting around waiting for results for months now, and they’re not forthcoming. Obviously, neither is the fame or fortune, and looking at Ketchum’s nice NDA’s, the submitters are probably not in line for any fame or fortune anyway. So you have a number of submitters who are smoking mad at Ketchum.
Ketchum’s one woman show with her study. We have been saying for a long time now that Ketchum’s paper is a one woman show. That is Richard Stubstad’s characterization, and we agree with that. Her paper stands the best chance of acceptance if she gets a number of other top flight authors on board, including a zoologist as the Nature reviewers suggested. The paper ideally ought to have a few or even several lead authors instead of one lead author. Possibly the lead author should be a geneticist or a zoologist.
A while back, people suggested that Ketchum give the lead author role to a very good geneticist who she had on board. Ketchum’s got very angry in response, and soon the geneticist was fired for no apparent reason.
Interpersonal conflicts are a part of the tapestry of life. But if Ketchum needs to make a zoologist or geneticist author, co-author or top billed author, then that’s what she ought to do. She needs to do whatever will maximize her chance of getting published, ego needs and interpersonal rivalries be damned.
Alex Hearn of the AZCRO. Alex has a very difficult personality, and he is not well liked in the field. Interestingly, only a few years back, he is said to have had a very different and much more pleasant personality. But he got into a bad car accident, and he may have suffered a head injury in the course of the collision. Since then, he has been a very different person – angry, cantankerous and difficult to get along with. A sad story if true.