The Dr. Melba Ketchum Project – what do we know and how do we know it? People keep asking me to “put up or shut up” about my claims that some Bigfoot samples have been DNA proven Ketchum’s DNA project. What exactly are the rumors, and what are my sources for those rumors? At the moment, all we have are rumors, because there is no published paper. There will be nothing but rumors until there is a published paper.
At first Ketchum was only testing the MtDNA, and it kept coming back human, so she thought there was nothing there. Then Richard Stubstad ran a few of the MtDNA sequences in GenBank and got an interesting result that spurred her on because it was so unusual. Stubstad showed her it was unusual and encouraged her to explore things further because she was ready to quit at that point. At this point she had some very strange MtDNA that was, to be honest, modern human, but just barely.
This was when she was theorizing Bigfoots were a tribe of “feral humans.”
Then at some point she ran the Nuclear DNA, but this was a very long process because the human primers did not work, so they had to keep making their own primers, and they had to keep making them over and over because they only worked for a while and then they had to make new ones. It was a great big mess. Finally they got some primers that worked well, and that is what they are using now, but it was a long involved mess of a journey to get there.
Apparently at some point she finished a lot of the NuDNA, and she got a result that it was outside the human range, anywhere from 10-37% of the way from a human to a chimp. She kept running NuDNA, and they all started coming back the same.
She figured this was “presumptive for Bigfoot” because it was coming back no known animal, unknown primate, and basically an unknown hominid somewhere between a human and a chimp. Out of 200 submissions, she now has almost 100 of these sequences, and she thinks she can prove the Bigfoots exist by DNA. The other 100+ submissions were apparently all known animals.
In addition, in November 2011 she got permission to sequence the entire nuclear genome of the Bigfoot steak. It took about three weeks to do that. After that, she sequenced two other entire genomes, for a total of three so far. Other than the steak, I don’t know which other samples had their genomes sequenced.
So that’s what she means by DNA proven – more like DNA proven “presumptive for Bigfoot” because there is no type specimen.
But she has to prove it all in her paper, and before that, she has to get the paper published in the first place, a huge hurdle.
A lot the information above comes from Richard Stubstad, and he had access to more information than just the early days of the project. The rest of it comes from submitters or people who talked to submitters, who I cannot name, but it includes some big names who you would recognize. They were all quoting Ketchum herself. The nuclear genome sequencing information comes from Bigfoot Forums, especially “Jodie.”
As far as genetic markers, all I know about is the MC1R gene. They ran four copies of that gene. Two came back exactly the same, and two others came back different. Each one was off by one polymorphism out of ~400-500.
So these Bigfoots are off from humans by say four polymorphisms or so, according to the preliminary data from the MC1R gene. None of those polymorphisms was within the human range (not found in humans). This means that the Bigfoot MC1R gene is essentially outside the human range.
The source for MC1R gene information is Richard Stubstad. But he won’t give out the exact coding for the gene.
Ketchum sent the samples out to various different labs, including some of the top private and university labs in the country. For instance, the Bigfoot steak from the Sierra Kills was sent out to eight different labs because they wanted to make sure what it was. The samples were all sent out blindly. It kept coming back “no known animal, unknown primate.” And the primate was close to hominid if you looked closely.
A lot of the labs were intrigued by the results, and their attitude was, “What the heck!? What the heck is this anyway!?” They thought the results were very strange.
Some of the labs supposedly somehow figured out what they might be looking at. How they figured this out and if it effects results, I am not sure. But they just did their job, took the money and handed the results back in.
So far out of 200 submissions, Ketchum has almost 100 presumptive for Bigfoot, and out of those, she has 20-28 discreet individuals. There are photos of many of the successful samples on Shawn’s Bigfoot Evidence site.
Sources for information are people who know submitters, submitters and people on Bigfoot Forums, especially Jodie.
Rundown of samples in the Ketchum study.
Bigfoot samples submitted: Over 200
Presumptive for Bigfoot: Almost 100
# of Bigfoot individuals represented: 20-28
Details of successful Bigfoot samples:
5 hair samples from Golden Ears Provincial Park in British Colombia, representing 3 separate creatures, a male, a female and a juvenile from a family unit, gathered by Randy Brisson of the Erickson Project.
1 toenail from Larry Jenkins in the Grand Canyon area of Arizona.
1 blood sample from JC Johnson in the Four Corners area of New Mexico (skunk in a drainpipe sample).
1 blood sample from Crittenden, Kentucky, gathered by the Dennis Pfohl and Lelia Hadj-Chikh of the Erickson Project. Sample was obtained by gluing glass shards on a feeding plate.
1 hair sample from David Paulides’ NABS known as the Ulibarri sample from Hoopa Valley, California.
1 hair sample from Larry Surface in Southern Ohio. Surface shot the controversial nighttime Bigfoot video that was pulled from the web recently.
1 hair sample from Joe Black in the Great Smoky Mountains, Eastern Tennessee.
1 tissue sample in the form of a slice of Bigfoot flesh from Mount Haskell, California from the adult male Bigfoot shot dead by Justin Smeja in the Sierra Kills incident.
1 large sample of saliva from the Olympic Project obtained via a Bigfoot licking a camera.
1 hair sample from SE Oklahoma collected by TEXLA Cryptozoological Research.
1 blood, tissue and hair sample from a nailboard trap at Snelgrove Lake, Ontario, Canada (presumably successful).
1 Yeti sample from Josh Gates in Bhutan*
That is only 15 of nearly 100 successful Bigfoot samples. I have no idea about the rest.
Best Bigfoot samples: Smeja’s Bigfoot steak and JC Johnson’s skunk in a drainpipe Bigfoot sample.
*The Yeti sample was tested only on a quick and dirty male-female peaks test, and the result was suggestive of a non-human hominid similar to Bigfoot. She used up the whole sample in the testing, and this sample will not be included in the paper.
The Crypto Crew thinks that the Idaho video we showed the other day is of a mother bear and two cubs. However, later those who shot the video later released video footprint evidence that indicates it was a Bigfoot. Decide for yourself.
Facebook Find Bigfoot releases photo of possible Bigfoot from an Ontario video. The photo is from a video of a guy investigating stick structures in Ontario. As he was investigating, a Bigfoot was apparently watching him from the top of a rocky outcropping. Looks pretty real in my opinion, but you never know. That is definitely what these things look like. Especially the deep set eyes looks like the Pennsylvania White Bigfoot.