Due to the size of this post, we will no longer be adding updates here. Please see new post here.
The university genome center has also agreed to sequence the whole genomes on the Peruvian Mummies. We would like to sequence several. Anyone interested in donating so we can get more of these done asap, contact Brien Foerster or me.
Of course, she must have promised not to use the name of the lab, but we all know how that works; if anyone doesn’t think she’ll figure out a way to trade on the reputation of a legitimate lab, just look at her manuscript, the Sasquatch Genome Project, or Scott Carpenter’s blog. Right, R0bin? I wonder what lab is gonna get burned this time? Baylor? that’s a bunch of faith-based Texas folks that might fill the bill.
Meanwhile in possibly-related other news:
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma -
Rogers County Sheriff’s Department arrested three people in what appears to be an accidental shooting. One of the men told deputies he’d shot his friend while the two were on a Sasquatch hunting expedition.
We assume that these three
upstanding citizens bigfooters will call Dr. Ketchum as an expert to testify that bigfoot exists. We think she must be one of those “credible witnesses” that bigfooters talk about. She saw five bigfoots in one day. And she saw a ten footer sitting in a tree…it was a kind of people, according to her.…a kind of people kind of related to lemurs.
Update 11/1/2013: note: this update is posted separately in slightly altered form here.
Mr. Carpenter posted a fake email document. That is, this purported peer review email is not a communication sent by Scholastica, the publishing platform for JAMEZ, the Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Explorations in Zoology…. we don’t know what it is, but we have the evidence that it isn’t that. And as this document goes into the dumpster, so, seemingly, does Dr. Ketchum’s already very wobbly evidence that her manuscript passed peer review.
Probably wasn’t Carpenter’s fault; he just trusted the wrong people, we think.
Here’s the introduction to the section where Mr. Carpenter published the fake email:
Thanks to some prompting from our faithful and long suffering readers, we took a close look at what has been assumed to be an authentic document, posted at Mr. Carpenter’s “Bigfoot Field Journal” site, purportedly from the journal that Dr. Ketchum says gave her manuscript passing reviews (others disagree). Now, normally we assume that our readers are, well, like us, just trying to see their names in print, but in this case, well, they maybe had something there. We thought, as we looked at it, that the email address was wrong, the capitalization was wrong, the italicization was wrong, the syntax was wrong….it was just WRONG!
So we assigned our callow intern to the job of contacting Scholastica, to check out this purported document. And to our surprise, he accomplished what we asked him to do: he sent along the image from Mr. Carpenter’s blog, and our old screenshot of Scholastica’s peer review form for comparison. Here they are, cropped a bit, side by side (click to enlarge):
You can see as well as we can that they aren’t the same; note the email address on the left, ending in “hp”.
The folks at Scholastica were happy to clarify matters; click to enlarge; note the email address at the end, ending in “hq”:
OTL,S!’s legal, ethical, moral, scientific, journalistic, investigative, technical and Buddhist consultants all agree that the JAMEZ “PUBLIC NOTICE’ posting is legitimate. With all that expertise on one side of the question, who is OTL,S! to question? can the process servers be far behind the internet servers?
Dr. Ketchum has wailed, at her news conference, about how this has wrecked her career, that she can no longer testify in court as a credible expert forensic witness. But what about her forensic co-authors, who are actually trying to feed their families via their forensic work, who were sucked into and professionally stained by this hot mess of contaminated (or worse) samples, and imaginary progenitors, misidentified hairs, joke references, ten foot bigfoots in trees, telepathic communication, and families of uncatalogued primates romping through East Texas. Dr. Ketchum has collected a half million from Wally Hersom…she got the elevator…what have her co-authors gotten? The shaft.
In a despicable move, a yet unknown individual or group appears to have hacked into the website or setup a bogus website in the guise of it being from the journal Dr. Ketchum acquired, The Journal of Advanced Zoological Exploration in Zoologyorginal (JAMEZ). Then they posted slanderous lies about Dr. Ketchum and her acquisition of JAMEZ and her changing the name to DeNovo so she could post the passing peer review. In a brief phone call Dr. Ketchum told me she had all the emails from the original owner of JAMEZ to include him agreeing to allow her to acquire the journal, helping her acquire a ISSN number for the transfer of JAMEZ to DeNovo, advising her that on how to publish the passing peer reviews on the DNA Study, and how he would be assisting Robin with the transfer of the journal and getting it setup. Dr. Ketchum expressed outrage that someone would stoop so low and that she had a complete and full audit trail of the transaction to acquire the JAMEZ. Though Dr. Ketchum did not have to purchase the JAMEZ, monies were paid to the original owner to have the Website changed from JAMEZ to DeNovo and Dr. Ketchum said she has all the documentation for this transaction.
OTL,S! has previously reported that JAMEZ was a creation on the Scholastica platform. Mr. Carpenter himself has posted a copy of one peer review from that site that did NOT show the Ketchum manuscript passed peer review. So that part, at least, of what Ketchum told him is wrong. And really what else even matters?
Ketchum (apparently) now admits that she did not purchase JAMEZ. So there is some progress. We have also reported that Wally Hersom, not Ketchum, paid for the work done to set the DeNovo site….”…monies were paid….” Yes, the money was paid by Wally, not Ketchum, to “Larry” the owner of JAMEZ, as we previously reported; but that was to put up the DeNovo site; as bad as DeNovo is, putting up a website does take time and work, especially when dealing with Ketchum. We are not a law firm but since Ketchum did not pay for the site, as the contract required, and she admits it, she does not have a valid contract with “Larry, ” even for the construction of the DeNovo site. So without a valid contract, and without paying any money to Larry….what does “acquire” mean?
END OF STORY.
We’d suggest that Mr. Carpenter get his Ketchum stories and supposed documents straight and take them to his attorney. Doesn’t sound to us like JAMEZ is just messing with him. Dr. Ketchum’s stories aren’t exactly the gold standard…she says she saw a ten foot bigfoot in as tree. Her stories are more like:
One would think.
Time will tell.
Update 10/30/13:From the comments:
It appears that a legal professional named Jane, on behalf of the editor of JAMEZ, is sending Dr. Ketchum and her various minions a cease and desist with the lies about Denovo type notice. Knowing Dr. Ketchum’s history, she may lay low for a few weeks, but will never retract all the lies, and Scott Carpenter, Robin Lynne, and Troy Hudson will keep repeating them.
Notice by journal to Dr. Ketchum:
For purposes of this statement the Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology – JAMEZ shall be refered to as “The Journal”
1. ”The Journal” is completely independent from and not connected in any way with DeNovo – Journal.
2. ”The Journal” was disbanded (with some future reorganization of which information is private) in early 2013 by the Foundation for Advanced Zoological Exploration – FAZE. Subsequently, FAZE was discontinued as well.
3. ”The Journal” was never transferred, sold or acquired. Furthermore, “The Journal” has not been nor ever was acquired by Melba Ketchum or any associated parties. Furthermore, Melba Ketchum did not acquire, purchase or receive from “The Journal” full peer reviews or “legally acquiring the peer reviews” for some other Journal (i.e. DeNovo Journal) or other purposes.
The owners and operators of JAMEZ have officially provided written notification to Melba Ketchum and Robin Haynes asking them to correct this information where they have erroneously made statements including but not limited to websites, facebook pages, and other media outlets.
4. Though “The Journal” was discontinued; all information regarding editors, peer reviewers, referees, legal counsel, owners, board members or any other associated party remains strictly confidential and sharing any such information is prohibited without express consent from the editor(s), editorial board, and legal counsel representing the aforementioned of which consent has not been granted in any form or fashion.
And a lot more.
8. It is incorrect and inappropriate to elude to the idea that the peer reviews completed from “The Journal” are somehow associated with or connected to or owned by DeNovo Publishing, DeNovo accelerating science, advanced science foundation, DeNovo Journal or any associated party including Melba Ketchum. This is because “The Journal” did not transfer its completed peer reviews to DeNovo or any associated party. Therefore, DeNovo (or its associated parties) does not have the legal rights to the peer reviews conducted by “The Journal”.
9. DeNovo has no legal rights of any kind relating to “The Journal” (The Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology), or its associates. DeNovo and its subsidiaries are fully owned and operated by Melba Ketchum and Robin Haynes.
In case our dear readers don’t understand the significance of the “Erin” posts at Dr. Ketchum’s Facebook page, which we quoted in a previous update, the issue is whether in fact Dr. Ketchum’s “paper” is a proper vehicle for the naming of Sasquatch. That would depend upon, to a large degree, upon whether DeNovo is/was a proper vehicle for the “paper.” That latter question depends upon many of the issues that “Erin” raised. So “Erin” raised them…and not just with Robin and Dr. Ketchum, apparently, but also with the folks who are in charge of the whole naming process. That would, we believe, constitute a “case,” which would be decided in the fullness of time.
If (and, we believe, when) DeNovo is found by the committee to fail to reach the standard of a proper peer reviewed scientific journal and instead simply be a website put up by “Larry” (use your “find” function on this post), then sasquatch may become, once again, just plain old sasquatch/bigfoot/the big guy/etc etc…
Are we clear?
(Robin apparently deleted Erin’s posts from Facebook, by the way. )
In other news,
from a viewer of the television program, we have an unofficial list of the species identified in the DNA of samples tested by Bryan Sykes:
Shirley – black bear – colour variation
Smeja – black bear
Randles – Canine
Cagey – canine
1 black bear
1 white tailed deer
Please, no “partridge in a pear tree” or “and a bag of chips” comments…you WILL be banned.
Update 10/28/2013 b
Over the Line, Smokey! takes note of this from the comments at Ketchum’s Facebook page:
Erin A Pubimed As we have been in contact with the NCBI and zoobank- we do have several questions we’d like verified and validated.
According to the ISSN- your manuscript was published by Advanced Science Foundation Publishing in DeNovo : accelerating Science. We have been unable to verify that DeNovo is an open-access peer reviewed journal. You have provided a reference to peer reviews at a blogger’s website. After extensive investigation- it is clear that these articles are simply peer feedback comments to the author or authors (http://bf-field-journal.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_18.html). This blog or its content in no – way indicates a valid process for peer review at DeNovo. We have been told that DeNovo acquired a journal in order to obtain passing peer reviews. Again, when we questioned about these peer reviews- we were sent to this blog http://bf-field-journal.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_18.html. The blog contains peer feedback commentaries for the author or authors from two journals. This does not indicate in any way that a journal was acquired- if so, we would have to assume you acquired NATURE as well. Therefore, we are assuming DeNovo has a peer review process through which this manuscript was vetted. We’ve noted on your denovojournal.com website that there is some kind of peer review and editorial oversight process. However, we cannot substantiate any more information. We are also not getting responses in private communication with the author.
Hopefully, you will provide us the answers to our questions:
(1) Please provide a list of DeNovo Journal’s Editorial Board, Editors-in-Chief, and academic associations. As you are aware, referee experts in the peer review process often disagree. It is, therefore, the job of the editorial team to make a final publication decision.
(2) We are unable to locate an DeNovo articles or manuscripts, including the article referenced in zoobank archived anywhere in PubMed Central or cited in PubMed.
(3) Please provide your measures of impact and scope for DeNovo journal
(4) Please provide criteria for publication
(5) Please outline DeNovo’s review process
(6) How did DeNovo select reviewers or referees
(7) How does DeNovo ensure integrity against competing Interests
Your prompt reply is very important.
We find this to be quite fascinating. By George…this is curious. Erin A Pubimed…hmm. We certainly hope that Erin continues to probe this abscess of disinformation.
This is Robin…Dr. Ketchum will be busy working on other projects the next few weeks…
Just a note of explanation for Dr. Ketchum’s sudden unavailability: The Sykes study of purported bigfoot DNA announced its findings last night in a televised documentary in the UK: the Smeja “Sierra steak” sample was from a black bear, and all 12 samples yielded common animal DNA.
Meanwhile, Scott “I see bigfoots” Carpenter gives up on the whole Ketchum thing and returns to his perpetual pareidolia pursuits, after posting the following:
If You Believe the Erickson Footage of the Bigfoot “Matilda” is a Person in a “Chewbacca” Mask then You Must Believe the Following:
–4. Adrian Erickson, John Bindernagle, Dennis Prahl [sic], Troy Hudson, and Mary Green are Hoaxers, Liars, and/or completely incompetent.
-6. Adrian Erickson, Dennis Prahl [sic], Troy Hudson, and Dr. Melba Ketchum perpetrated a planned hoaxed to film the subject, collect blood from the hoaxed subject, and falsify DNA results of said hoaxed subject.
-7. That the multiple reports over the last forty years of some Bigfoot “resembling the Chewbacca character from the Star Wars movie” are lies, hoaxes, or misidentifications.
Gee, let OTL,S! consider that for a minute…..you know what? we COULD believe that….we really could….
From the Human Genome Project press conference in Dallas, October 1, 2013.
If that’s a humerus, Dr. Ketchum is holding it upside down, and it certainly didn’t come from “…a kind of people.”
Of course, our crack science consultant and our underpaid intern could both be wrong.
And by the way, why are none of Dr. Ketchum’s co-authors at the press conference? ? ? ….beating a hasty retreat?
What about Dr. S. Webb Santell? He’s a psychologist who lives in Bossier City, LA. Why is he wearing a laboratory coat at a presser in a studio in Dallas? What is up with the costume?
here’s the video; Just start at about 15 minutes, to hear pissed-off Adrian Erickson, then jump to 1:50, you won’t miss much, and you’ll catch a lot of great weirdness per minute….don’t miss Dr. Ketchum telling about how she saw a ten-foot sasquatch sitting in a tree !! Holy cryptology, Batman!
ps: the Denovo site is back up again. Whack-a-Mole!!
Whoops, we spoke too soon. BatMel and Robin are too clever for us to keep up with. Presto change-o, http://www.advancedsciencefoundation.org/ is dead,and we have another new domain name: “denovo-journal”.
BatMel(TM) and Robin are fictional characters. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
ps: our often besotted intern overheard a rumor that Google Merchant never sent to Ketchum the
ill-gotten gains booty spoils loot money they received from online purchases of her paper, and are going to refund the money to the purchasers. We have no idea whether this is true, but we do think that superheroes never accept monetary rewards for their services.
pps: Dr. Ketchum is now claiming/announcing through her new PR person Scott “I see bigfoots” Carpenter, that her website was hacked:
Denovo Journal was hacked and is temporarily down among other things. The haters have been busy. May God bless them and forgive them. I ask prayers for those that have so little to fill their lives that they waste valuable time here on earth doing evil instead of helping others and loving their neighbors.
For our part, OTL,S! asks prayers that Dr. Ketchum would save her sanctimonious prayers and admonitions for herself…she’s headed for the proverbial hot place in the proverbial handbasket, we fear.ppps: Scott Carpenter’s blog says:
This link no longer functions. If you check the owner of the site using who is your get:
Created On:15-Jan-2013 05:45:18 UTC
Last Updated On:17-Mar-2013 03:45:36 UTC
Expiration Date:15-Jan-2014 05:45:18 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:1 & 1 Internet AG (R73-LROR)
Registrant Name:Jessica Jordan
So the site is registered to a Jeccisa Jordon. NOT Dr. Ketchum or any of her supporters. You may not like the sites but given the limited resources she did the best she could and they present the facts. The sites are adequate to present the facts. It is obviously a coordinated effort is underway to again smear and discredit Dr. Ketchum, an effort that you are obviously an unwitting participant.
It appears that DeNovo Scientific Journal or whatever its name was, is dead.
Self – PublishingWe were never able to pass peer review due to scientific basis and potential government cover-ups. This required us to self-publish our work and manuscript.
DeNovo – JournalWe could never afford to purchase an online journal. This forced us to acquire a web-platform through our own efforts and the work of others to create. However, maintaining an online journal was certainly beyond our abilities. We have been betrayed by too many of our skilled team members that we simply could not persist in the online journal business.
Sharon Hill at Doubtful News fleshes out the zoological nomenclature story.
The new activity at Dr. Ketchum’s DeNovo site is hilarious. Let’s start with the blobsketchum; she’s awesome:
Then we have the admission that Ketchum didn’t actually buy the Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Explorations in Zoology:
OTL,S! notes a story that Ketchum’s “scientific name” has just been accepted by ZooBank, but also that it means next to nothing.
Also: here Dr. Ketchum posts correspondence with GenBank over the issue of posting her “genome”.
Dr. Ketchum (the “corresponding author” of the paper), who complains bitterly about the process, never personally contacted them, but rather left the matter to co-author “Dr.” (right!) Aliece Watts, who is the owner of a forensics lab in Euless, TX, and apparently can’t write explanatory emails (and isn’t a “Dr.”).
Over the Line, Smokey!‘s energetic intern noticed some changes in Ketchum’s “DeNovo” website. Click these images to enlarge. The domain name seems to have changed from DeNovo to AdvancedScienceFoundation.org. Robyn Lynne (sans “Forestpeople”) seems to have taken “ownership” of the “publishing company,” as we reported months ago.
There are even “easter eggs”, which you can see if you place your cursor over the changing images. Here’s one of them, and it is hilarious (click to enlarge):
Here is the “Press page”; click to enlarge; you’ve gotta read this victimology.
No credentials needed now, but this page is still wacky, as it says “Press Release, February, 2013.” And of course the message is pretty whack, as well; we won’t go into all the reasons why.
(h/t commenter busic.)
Dr. Ketchum has now shifted into “high gear” in the attempt to ride the coattails of Dr. Bryan Sykes’ news regarding the Yeti legends.
The campaign consists of three fronts: She continues to feed morsels of resentment to Scott Carpenter’s “Pareidolia Paradise” Bigfoot Field Journal blog, where spelling, syntax and logic are apparently viewed as impediments to communication. In this format, she can use Carpenter as her puppet, evading legal constraints on what she can and cannot safely say, claim or invent. For example, the lies about her manuscript passing peer review.
The second front in her campaign is her dusty “Sasquatch Genome Project” which she has now loaded with her awesome interview videos, along with some new scraps, some of which are apparently from her bulging “people I hate” file, and some supposed data. The third front in her new drive to avoid becoming a punch line is her pathetic effort on Facebook, where she periodically posts goofy endorsements from the David Swenson and compares herself to Galileo, to the delight of her few dozen off-kilter fans. Here’s one comment from Pierre:
They are fascinating creatures. The things they can do is beyond belief. They’ve lived amongst humans for hundreds of years. They know how to keep there distance from ones who want to harm them. They can read your thoughts.
Of course they can, Pierre. And yes, it is beyond belief.
New DNA research may have finally solved the mystery of the yeti. Tests on hair samples were found to have a genetic match with an ancient polar bear, with scientists believing there could be a sub species of brown bear in the High Himalayas that has been mistaken for the mythical beast.
Yetis, also known as the “Abominable Snowman” or “Bigfoot”, have been recorded for centuries in the Himalayas, with local people and mountaineers claiming to have come face-to-face with hairy, ape-like creatures.
Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at the Oxford University, set out to collect and test “yeti” hair samples to find out which species they came from. In particular he analysed hairs from two unknown animals, one found in the Western Himalayan region of Ladakh and the other from Bhutan, 800 miles to the east.
After subjecting the hairs to the most advanced DNA tests available and comparing the results to other animals’ genomes stored on the GenBank database, Professor Sykes found that he had a 100 per cent match with a sample from an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway, that dates back at least 40,000 years – and probably around 120,000 years – a time when the polar bear and closely related brown bear were separating as different species.
Professor Sykes believes that the most likely explanation is that the animals are hybrids – crosses between polar bears and brown bears. The species are closely related and are known to interbreed where their territories overlap.
The professor said: “This is an exciting and completely unexpected result that gave us all a surprise. There’s more work to be done on interpreting the results. I don’t think it means there are ancient polar bears wandering around the Himalayas.
“But we can speculate on what the possible explanation might be. It could mean there is a sub species of brown bear in the High Himalayas descended from the bear that was the ancestor of the polar bear. Or it could mean there has been more recent hybridisation between the brown bear and the descendent of the ancient polar bear.”
A photograph of a “yeti’ footprint, taken by British climber Eric Shipton at the base of Everest, sparked global mania after it was taken in 1951.
Legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who became the first man to climb Everest without oxygen, has studied yetis since he had a terrifying encounter with a mysterious creature in Tibet in 1986.
His own research backs up the Prof Sykes’ theory. He uncovered an image in a 300-year-old Tibetan manuscript of a “Chemo” – another local name for the yeti, with text alongside it which was translated to read: “The yeti is a variety of bear living in inhospitable mountainous areas.”
Prof Sykes added: “Bigfootologists and other enthusiasts seem to think that they’ve been rejected by science. Science doesn’t accept or reject anything, all it does is examine the evidence and that is what I’m doing.”
His investigations features in a new three-part Channel 4 documentary series, Bigfoot Files, which starts on Sunday.
A book by Prof Sykes about his research, The Yeti Enigma: A DNA Detective Story, is to be published next spring.
In other words, NOT a kind of people.
Science visionary and Ketchum stalking horse Scott Carpenter today posts what is undoubtedly Dr. Ketchum’s “DNA for Squatchers” talk, subtley spiced with long-since debunked stories about how her results just COULDN’T have been contaminated. After this rancid gruel, he added his own (we think) two cents worth. And it is certainly worth that in entertainment value alone.
It boggles my mind that people in the “Bigfoot World” would expect the Sasquatch that has extraordinary abilities to have “normal” DNA. It just makes no sense to me. Let me be frank for a moment. The big names in the “Bigfoot World” people like Matt Moneymaker, Jeff Meldrum, Derek Randalls, Adrian Erickson, John Green, Bobo, Cliff, and the list could go on. They all have experienced these extraordinary abilities that the Sasquatch have to include Zapping, Infrasound, Mind Speak, Cloaking, Orbs, and eyes glowing with no external source just to name a few. They will NEVER admit it publicly because they do not want to be called kooks or crazy so they keep it to themselves. Trust me folks they know!!! So again how one “in the know” would be shocked that the Sasquatch’s DNA is strange is baffling.
So as Dr. Sykes releases his findings over the next few weeks remember this DNA lesson so when the so called “DNA Experts” attempt to misinform and confuse the ignorant public you will know better. You will be able to look at the evidence and the documentation and judge for yourself.
Because after consuming Mr. Carpenter’s five minute stroll through the field of molecular biology, squatchers are better DNAers than Dr. Sykes.
Speaking of DNA experts, Over the Line, Smokey‘s crack intern was rummaging through old websites in serch of coupons for Popeye’s Chicken, and found this masterpiece of incestory from Ketchum backer and possible one time main squeeze David Paulides, at his bigfoot blog. Mr. Paulides apparently has gone else where to learn his DNA lessons, no pun intended. In discussing a video by “starchild skull” entrepreneur Lloyd Pye, entitled “Everything you Know is Wrong” (seems appropriate given his audience) Mr. Paulides writes:
Blog #185 The Epiphany Video April 8, 2013
….As you near the end of Lloyd’s presentation, he talks about DNA and how human DNA relates to fraternal and maternal ancestors. As you watch this, think about our Bigfoot DNA study and the outstanding work completed by Dr. Ketchum. Think about the statements made about the fraternal side of the DNA equation and bigfoot and listen intently to what Lloyd states about our human DNA. This presentation was made in 1999, Dr. Ketchum’s study was completed in 2013, 14 years after Lloyd’s outstanding lecture.
Now, OTL,S! will leave it our many intelligent readers to verify this apparent theory of inbreeding; we were unable to do so because the link sent us to the old “this is why you can’t have nice things” message. Without the video, we can only hope that Mr. Paulides has simply misunderstood what Mr. Pye says; and that fraternal ancestors are not a prominent part of the bigfoot world.
Update 10/15/2013 b:
The legacy of Melba Ketchum will be the belief among the exploiters and cultists of bigfootery that the finding of human mitochondrial DNA is not enough to rule out a bigfoot. In prior years, the supposedly unexplored, impassable forests of the Pacific Northwest have provided a theoretical physical refuge for bigfoot, where searches are demanded, and have been done, but are somehow never good enough, and where thousands of bigfoots can supposedly exist undetected by man. Now, thanks to the statements by one Melba Ketchum, unsupported by data, facts or qualified scientists, nuclear DNA will provide an analogous refuge: a tangled and largely unexplored “territory” in which bigfoot DNA may be hiding behind the next codon. The bigfooters will demand (but will be unwilling to pay for) nuclear genomes on all specimens which yield human mitochondrial DNA, and scream conspiracy when such tests and subsequent exhaustive analyses are not done. They will seize upon normal human alleles eg hair color, as positive evidence.
Bigfootery will never die. Even as the believers curse and ridicule Ketchum now, for bringing disgrace to their obsession, they will soon be citing her unsupported nonsense, banging on laboratory doors and writing their usual angry letters demanding that uncooperative scientists be fired for not performing Next Generation nuclear genomes.
‘They’re a kind of people.” –Melba Ketchum, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
“I have heard vocalizations, had rocks thrown at me in the woods…” —Don Jeffrey Meldrum, Ph.D., Professor, Idaho State University
“… ppl get hit by rocks thrown by squatches..”. —.Matt Moneymaker, head of the Bigfoot Research Organization and star of Animal Planets’s “Finding Bigfoot”.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. – A naked man talking about Sasquatch used a rock to attack a hunter in rural Washington County on Thursday morning, deputies said.
Investigators said the naked man hit the hunter repeatedly in the head with a rock, but the hunter managed to eventually fight off his attacker. He held the man at bay with his hunting rifle until deputies arrived.
The victim told police that Norgren was making Sasquatch references. Investigators said he was under the influence of something, but they haven’t said what.
McDonald is not an avid hunter, but was out in the woods behind his neighborhood where he often hikes, his daughter, Sierra, said.
She said Norgren was yelling that he came from a long family line of Sasquatches.
In reality, Norgren’s father is a well-known mushroom picker. ..
Well, his father may LOOK like a mushroom picker, but….
Over the Line, Smokey! notes that Peru freakotourism entrepreneur Brien Foerster is associated with the website “Root Race Research”, which has literally hundreds of images of abnormal skulls, along with sketches of what the ancient living persons might have looked like. Foerster describes the effort as “as-yet-unfunded.” Sounds like the fund-raising to pay off Dr. Ketchum’s weird science is about to begin. Foerster is a member of RRR, as are these masters of the alien/nephilim/pseudoscientific enterprise:
Erich von Däniken
Barbara Hand Clow
David Hatcher Childress
Alfredo Gamarra & son Jesus Gamarra
OTL,S! commends these clever folks for devising new ways to relieve the stupid of the burden of their excess money. BTW, is Erich von Daniken still around??? my god, one of the fathers of “ancient astronauts” and pseudoscience.
Our congrats to Dr. Ketchum for reaching the highest levels of her chosen profession.
We’d would recommend some caution, however:
A jury found a Manhattan psychic guilty on Friday of swindling two women out of $138,000 in a case that probed the fine distinction between providing an unusual service and running a confidence scheme.
The fortune teller, Sylvia Mitchell, 39, who plied her trade at the opulent Zena Clairvoyant psychic shop on Seventh Avenue South in Greenwich Village, scowled as the verdict was read, reaching up only once to dab an eye.
“She was clearly robbing these people in a heinous way,” the juror said.
Over the Line, Smokey! notes that Sykes will be appearing on a BBC-Channel 4 television series entitled The Bigfoot Files, starting Sunday, October 20, at 9pm.
Yeti, Bigfoot, Abominable Snowman, Sasquatch and Almasty are just some of the names for mysterious creatures across the globe that have fascinated cryptozoologists and confounded scientists for decades.
Are they an ancient hominid, a member of the human family like Neanderthals? Are they giant apes or some other species? Or are they simply hoaxes? A leading British geneticist believes he has the tools to finally answer the riddle.
Oxford Professor of Human Genetics Bryan Sykes has assembled substantial physical evidence, which he subjects to the most sophisticated DNA tests available, as he and presenter Mark Evans hope to answer scientifically, once and for all, the mystery of Bigfoot.
These are going to be stories. Probably much more about bigfoot believers than about some imaginary animals.
Over the Line, Smokey! intends to pull the curtain closed on this lengthy document, maybe today, maybe in a couple days. Only some really interesting new information might induce us to re-open it. We anticipate that Dr. Sykes will drive a stake into Dr. Ketchum’s work. As if there haven’t been enough stakes already. The idea of writing a summary has occurred to us; we’ll think about it. Speaking of stakes and summaries, today, we post an interview with Dr. Todd Disotell, who is certainly one of the top few primate DNA researchers in the world. His words should be a splash of cold water to the face of “bigfoot researchers,” on a number of subjects.
Dr. Bryan Sykes, well known geneticist, entrepreneur and author, has had his book agent produce some swill in advance of the publication of his next book. It’s an exercise in “read between the lines.”
Bryan Sykes, professor of genetics at Oxford University, is to investigate whether there are genetic traces of species including the Yeti.
Mark Booth, publisher of Hodder & Stoughton’s Coronet imprint, has acquired world rights excluding America in the provisionally titled The Quest for the Yeti, A DNA Detective Story from agent Luigi Bonomi.
The Quest for the Yeti will describe Sykes’ hunt for genetic traces of species whose existence remains scientifically unconfirmed, including the Yeti, the Sasquatch and Big Foot. For the most part the samples he has tracked down for analysis have turned out to be known species such as humans, bears or apes; however two samples taken towards the end of his quest will “change our understanding of human history,” he says.
Previous books by Sykes include The Seven Daughters of Eve, which explored how we can track our genetic ancestors through time via a gene passed through the maternal line and was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.
Bonomi said: “Professor Sykes is a world authority on genetics and what he has to say about Yetis will shock the world”. Meanwhile Booth opined: “An author who is both world-leader in his subject, and can also tell a good story, is as rare as the Yeti”.
Sykes has likely found some heretofore unreported human genetic presence that suggests something new about human history/migration. I hope he is not banking on European genes in Native Americans/First Nations. Eric the Red? Sir Francis Drake? Some “KonTiki” moment? Perhaps he found some reservoir of Neandertal genes. That would be more interesting. The “Search for the Yeti” headlines is just a sales gimmick. “….known species for the most part….? Well, some samples just didn’t yield DNA, most likely. Merchandizing. He’s a book writer. Everyone knows that. Will he say, “I can’t prove Yetis don’t exist?” That would hardly be a shocker. More likely he will trace the entire history of the “Yeti” and conclude it was all a misunderstanding and a bit of hoaxing; that would slightly shock some small parts of the world.
Given Dr. Ketchum’s recent media floppo, Sykes might have been better off to preview his book as a debunking of bigfoot. When Fox News ridicules Ketchum’s antiscience, you know the game is up. But probably the wheels of his PR were already in motion. I wonder why he chose the term “Yeti?”. Was his American sojourn just one leg of a world wide study? or is “Yeti” just the term used in the UK instead of bigfoot/sasquatch? (Sir Edmund Hillary and all that, pip, pip, old chap).
If we don’t see a scientific paper before/simultaneous with the book release, he’s just got stories. Which is fine. But too bad. “Shock the world” is really over the top for a scientific work. Coronet is not an imprint of important scientific books.
Dr. Ketchum, having a better hair day than previously, but still with the bangs in a kind of sad Debbie Harry look, appears on Fox News. TV interviews are often sound bites/traps/pitfalls, and you can’t plan anything except that you need to condense your message down to ten seconds or less.
Dr. Ketchum wasn’t ready. Unfortunately, the hostess was less than sympathetic, suggesting the Erickson footage might be a suit, and interrupting frequently to make the entire interview a rumbling, stumbling, mumbling mess, which ended with “we hope you catch one.”
So do we.
Take a look.
Meanwhile MSN praises Dr. Ketchum for “keeping a straight face” while making her claims.
Last and pathetically least, Mr. Scott Carpenter again posts something that Dr. Ketchum gave him and told him was good. It’s a letter to Dr. Ketchum, from a lab, saying that a 423 base sequence had NO hits. Nothing. No living or dead thing that we know of had a sequence that came close to matching any of that. ProTip: all animlas are similar in their DNA. If there are no similarities then, that sequence wasn’t from a living thing, let alone something that could be related to a human being. It likely came from some DNA that had been “secret sauced” by someone who wanted it to look weird, and “over-succeeded.”
Other odds and ends of reactions to the crockumentary announcement:
We loved this:
It was a scientific conspiracy, Ketchum said. On Tuesday she explained further that scientists could not accept the findings because Bigfoot “doesn’t fit well within the tree of life,” and it not consistent with evolution.
And these people seemed to have the proper perspective on things: :Sweet Baby Jesus in a manger:
Here’s more overt ridicule:
Dr. Ketchum has previously said that Bigfoot creatures are “a type of people” who “have culture,” leading some to ask “what kind of culture?” Do “people” of the Bigfoot persuasion attend the ballet? Do they don themselves in leisure suits and sundresses to attend high tea at 3:00 p.m. sharp in the lobby of the Ritz? Or is the culture they possess more along the lines of wearing tweed jackets with leather elbows and smoking a pipe in the library while sipping sherry?
Those questions are yet to be answered, but what we do know is that biologists have poo-pooed the findings as complete and utter nonsense. Putting aside for a moment the so-called “scientific” research, which Ketchum claims is a five-year long study that yielded DNA evidence of Bigfoot’s existence, let us revert to plain old common sense here. If there are a gaggle of Bigfoot creatures roaming around, why have none of their remains ever been provided by Bigfoot hunters? Surely where there are live Bigfoot (Bigfeet? Is Bigfoot singular or plural?) there are deceased Bigfoot that could be easily obtained and observed in a lab.
If Bigfoot is a type of “human hybrid” as these researchers claim, then they would certainly create dwelling places which would be easily identifiable to the naked eye. They would also most likely not be concerned with remaining invisible. After all, no other ape species is obsessed with hiding in this way. What would be the purpose of it or how would they benefit from doing so?
This preposterous nonsense is a perfect example of how insane people can be brought together by the internet to carry out their ridiculous mockery of science together and then have that travesty recorded and disseminated throughout the world.
The study released yesterday is a whole lot of big silliness and junk science, as Disotell says. When “wackos” are brought together, they sure can waste a lot of money. The study cost $500,000 to complete. Too bad that research money didn’t go toward something that could actually benefit humanity.
BREAKING NEWS ABOUT ELONGATED SKULL DNA:
Sample 2A from the skull bone is very special. I recovered an almost complete sequence of mtDNA from it and presumably a lot of nuclear sequences as well, but I did not analyze this aspect yet. The mtDNA sequence is very interesting. It does match human mtDNA, but has a LOT of unique mutations that are not present in most known haplotypes from A to Y, nor in Denisova or Neanderthal. Many of them are completely unique and not what is normally found in South America.
Over the Line, Smokey! speculates that Mr. Foerster is gonna have to put out an appeal for donations, because further analysis of this “completely unique” mtDNA is gonna cost a lot more money, especially since Dr. Ketchum, though apparently labless, is the discoverer of the proof of bigfoot. Cough, cough. And that accomplishment went for a cool half million. Mr. Foerster has only kicked in 7000 so far.
Chicken feed, right Dr. K?
Over the Line, Smokey! notes that the Huffington Post, which isn’t above dipping into the fringy science stories, has picked up on the crockumentary news conference.
Even they seem pretty fed up with the Ketchum sideshow, but do repeat her false story about getting passing peer reviews and buying JAMEZ to preserve them:
The Sasquatch Genome Project and its “findings” have already been debunked several times.
A previous HuffPost Weird News story detailed how Ketchum, anxious to get her findings out, basically purchased a little-known “journal” in which to publish her research. The research itself was deemed bogus by The Houston Chronicle.
“Rather than spend another five years just trying to find a journal to publish and hoping that decent, open-minded reviewers would be chosen, we acquired the rights to this journal and renamed it so we would not lose the passing peer reviews that are expected by the public and the scientific community,” Ketchum herself wrote on the Sasquatch Genome Project website.
Ketchum has made repeated promises to The Huffington Post that “more scientists” would be interested in substantiating her findings. Those scientists have yet to make contact.
So before you read one of several news stories reporting that Bigfoot is real, look at the counterpoints to The Sasquatch Genome Project’s research. It proves only that Bigfoot’s existence is still in question.
One can never prove a negative ie it can never be proven that bigfoot doesn’t exist. What we can say is that Dr. Ketchum’s evidence is as the Huffington Post , Houston Chronicle and Dr. Todd Disotell describe it (other than the JAMEZ nonsense) . ABC news:
Todd R. Disotell, a professor at the Department of Anthropology at New York University, told ABCNews.com that Ketchum’s research is nonsense.
“It’s just a joke,” he said. “She is a laughing stock of people that are of a community that are already kind of wacko.”
“This was not reported in any scientific way whatsoever. It’s complete junk science, and then she misinterprets it. She hasn’t published in peer-reviewed papers on this stuff. I don’t know how this got put together,” he said.
Disotell says that he has disproven samples from being what they’re claimed to be many times, including debunking a yeti, a chupacabra, and a sasquatch eight times, including once on ScyFy’s “Joe Rogan Questions Everything.”
“You can’t prove something doesn’t exist,” he said. “You can prove that every sample you’re brought isn’t what they’re claiming, But you can’t disprove this. It will go on forever. We’ll always have it.”
Even the Christian Science Monitor is fed up with this crap:
We protect our kids from junk food and with the announcement this week that Bigfoot “evidence” has been compiled by The Sasquatch Genome Project we now need to remember to also limit their intake of junk science. My son Quin, age nine, watched the press conference, saw the video and photo evidence presented, and laid down the scientific law on the subject.
“Just ‘cause it has a ‘sciency’ name doesn’t mean they have an idea of what they’re doing or that it’s real,” said Quin.
I honestly thought Quin would be thrilled to learn that the legendary Bigfoot is being said to actually exist. Thank you Norfolk Public Schools, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Vsauce Channel on YouTube, for giving my son a Bigfoot-sized footing in reality.
Apparently my parental scientific method was flawed when I picked this story to show Quin. I had all my research lined-up: Quin’s nine. He’s a boy. He loves science. Boys love a good monster story.
However, my science and the Sasquatch Genome Project have something in common, neither took into account the volatile properties of logic, science, imagination, big money, grainy video, and credibility when the catalyst is a child’s mind.
Like the Sasquatch Genome Research Project I thought that perhaps the huge amount of money spent on the research would lend credibility, so I told Quin that the project spent half a million dollars on the five year project, according to ABC News.
“OK they’re knuckleheads,” Quin said.
He buried his face in his hands and talked through his fingers. “Seriously? Someone gave science $500,000 and they used it for Bigfoot? I can’t go to NASA’s website ‘cause Congress rage quit and won’t give science any money when they found plastic stuff on Saturn’s moon and these guys are doing Bigfoot?”
Then we watched a news video of the press conference held by the scientists and saw the sketches and “scientific evidence” of DNA samples presented.
At the news conference Tuesday in Dallas, the researchers shared “never before seen HD video” – provided by millionaire businessman Adrian Erickson’s The Erickson Project – of the supposed creature crawling around the Kentucky woods. Erickson also provided the money for the research.
Quin was unmoved.
“They haven’t proven Bigfoot exists. They’ve proven Star Wars exists, because that’s a drawing of Chewbacca,” said Quin of the sketch shown by researchers. “It could be a giant ape. It could be a family of Wookies crash landed on Earth and stranded here. Did they check with NASA? Oh wait, they can’t because NASA’s closed!”
Well, said, Quin~
Over the Line, Smokey! notes that Dr. Ketchum has made some changes to her Sasquatch Genome Project, touting yesterday’s press conference. She now has provided the “paper” there, free of charge. Of course, everyone who cares already has it, and it was costing money to maintain a payment mechanism. More interesting, she re-posts her false story about passing peer review at JAMEZ and then acquiring that non-existent journal.
We did finally pass peer review with a relatively new journal. It took a fresh outlook on the part of the editors and their careful selection of reviewers with knowledge of next generation whole genome sequencing in order to pass. I have no idea who the reviewers were though I have the reviews. That was kept confidential as is the way journals handle peer reviews. That was only part of the delay and problems associated with publication though. After this journal agreed to publish the manuscript, their legal counsel advised them not to publish a manuscript on such a controversial subject as it would destroy the editors’ reputations (as it has already done to mine). I have documentation on all of this drama. So, rather than spend another five years just trying to find a journal to publish and hoping that decent, open minded reviewers would be chosen, we acquired the rights to this journal and renamed it so we would not lose the passing peer reviews that are expected by the public and the scientific community.
On her Facebook page, she says she is glad that the CBC story mentions the peer review. Looking at the CBS site, here is what it says:
The Sasquatch Genome Project published it’s findings in a paper in February. Click here to read the findings.
The findings were also sent to other genomics scientists for peer review. Those reviews were leaked to the public.
The former link is to the Sasquatch Genome Project, the latter is to the gullible Scott Carpenter site, where the “leaked” (probably by Ketchum) purported peer review material actually doesn’t show approval of her manuscript.
The press conference:
Bigfoot crockumentary trailer snooze conference edition!
First, the reporters:
Then, the cast:
Over the line, Smokey! notes a bigfoot “news conference” hosted by WFAA television in Dallas, attended by a half dozen or so bored reporters, in which we think we can identify Dr.Ketchum at the far right of this image.
Next to her we have Adrian Erickson, sometime millionaire. And next is window-washing magnate Dennis Pfohl. Who are the others in this image???? We think the gentleman second from left may be Ketchum minion Troy Hudson, titular head of the esteemed “Global Sasquatch Foundation.” OTL,S! offers a free game of bowling for the first reader to correctly identify everyone. Were any of them in this TV panel?
Or maybe someone from this group?
or this one?
Apparently the occasion for the “news conference” was the release of the “trailer” for something they are calling a documentary. We’d describe it as more like grasping at straws. A crockumentary, perhaps. Some of the footage is supposedly seven or eight years old. As far as we know, some has already been debunked. There is some REAL “news.” NOT.
Too bad these folks weren’t part of the government shutdown.
Here’s a hilarious followup story on ABC news. Don’t give up on it until you get to see the Pennsylvania RV guy.
Interestingly, on this report at least, we don’t hear Dr. Ketchum claiming that her manuscript passed peer review, although she does so on the Sasquatch Genome Project site (she’ll claim someone else did it). Dr. Ketchum does look (and sound) a bit, how shall we say…askew?
Update “welcome to your disunited States of America without a government thank you very much Republicans” day.
Since no one has stepped forward to win a free game of bowling by solving the riddle of the haplotype reported in the Trent University lab report, we will show the solution. In the report, (click the image to enlarge) it is stated that the sequence is identical to a reference sequence, JQ705199.
If you google that, eventually you will get to a chart of the various haplotypes, which will show that it belongs in T2, specifically subgroup T2b3e.
And of course, finally, from the lab report, all of the samples ie the tissue and Smeja, are the same:
Update 9/30/2013b :
Curious George in the comments is still confused.
Since George is an old friend and we know he is quite clever, we must not have explained things very well. Here is our reply to him:
1) First, the only place in the Trent report is where “A” is used is in the one table. Understand that nowhere in the text of the Trent lab report are they giving a the name/scientific designation of the haplotype. If you read the text, you will see that to be the case.
2) Instead of giving the scientific designation, they describe the geographic origin of the haplotype (which is the same for all four specimens, one from the tissue, three from Smeja): Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, and specifically NOT in east Asia, the Pacific or the Americas. That, again, rules out the idea that “A” is being used as the scientific designation of the haplotype, because that is sort of the reverse of the geographic origins of the scientific ‘haplotype A.” It actually fits well with the geographic origins of the scientific haplogroup T2.
Not sayin, just sayin….
3) Yes, it does seem strange that they never give the scientific designation. We don’t know why that was. But they did state in a couple of places that the haplotypes they found were all the same, and they described its origins and they did actually give you all you need to figure out the actual scientific designation. We did so…but we are not in the business of giving out Justin Smeja’s haplotype. You could figure it out yourself, if you wanted to, just by using the other information given in the lab report. Just remember: Google is your friend, and we are your lifeline. I will tell you that the first letter of his haplotype is between “S” and “U” in the alphabet, and the second place in the name is a number between 1 and 3. Give it a try yourself.
(first one to show us how we did it wins a free game of bowling)
4) Finally, you know of course that the other lab that tested the tissue and Smeja was DNA Solutions, Inc, and they found that both yielded haplotype T2. So there’s that.
Update 9/30/2013 :
As a followup to the material obtained by our crack science consultant, OTL,S! provides this from the original Trent lab report (click on image to enlarge):
Update 9/28/2013 b:
Over the line, Smokey!’s crack science consultant has contacted the lab at Trent University which analyzed the specimen sent by Tyler Huggins, and has email affirmation (which he/she then provided to us) that the haplotype they found in the tissue submitted by Tyler Huggins matches the haplotype of Justin Smeja. They further state that the confusion was simply that the sample was labeled “A” in the laboratory; “A” was NOT the haplotype.
These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed. That’s right.
–Jack Ross (Kevin Bacon), “A Few Good Men.”
Now, if the Smejacites want to escalate from howitzers to, say, smart bombs, they could round up a few sworn affidavits regarding the Ketchum “secret sauce” phone call.
The Cutino/Huggins/Smeja forces, through Derek Randles, fire a salvo back at KetchaCarpaulides, by posting a demand for Ketchum to return sample 26 to them, and toss millionaire Wally Hersom’s name into the mix, just to escalate the warfare.
Dear Dr. Melba Ketchum:
I’ve made this request with your personal assistant, and I’ve also asked you directly, but still no response. Ms Ketchum, I want what’s left of my sample back, and quite frankly I’m getting tired of waiting. The sample I’m referring to is sample 26. Just so there’s no confusion, it’s the sample Justin Smeja signed over to me, the sample that I gave you permission to test. I am the owner of the sample and I have the documentation stating so. You have told me repeatedly that there is some sample left. You have also told me you would send it to Wally for me. The least you could do considering Wally funded the majority of your study. The reason I want it back is simple. I want it re-tested. Posting this publicly is not my style, but in light of the fact I’m being ignored about this , and the BS seems to be getting thicker, I decided to post this publicly. I would very much appreciate a response from your “camp”.
OTL,S!, based on our knowledge of Dr. Ketchum’s past, predicts that she will never give it up.
OTL,S! notes that the bigfoot DNA wars are escalating. Mr. Carpenter (for Dr. Ketchum) is re-kindling his/her battle with Mr. Cutino and Mr. Huggins over the infamous sample 26 from Justin Smeja.
And Carpenter/Ketchum are going beta on a conspiracy theory to roll out when Dr. Sykes announces his DNA findings in a few weeks. As part of an apparent “buy 2, get 1 free” sale, Carpenter is also PR’ing for a book (“Missing 411″) written by Dr. Ketchum’s pal, Mr. David Paulides (previously discussed here).
But back to the DNA: Here is what “Ketchenter” wrote:
The human DNA from the two Cutino/Huggans samples had the following haplotypes. DNA Solutions reported the human contamination DNA was a T2 haplotype (Figure 3, results received 1/28/2013). Wildlife Forensics reported the human contamination of the DNA was A haplotype. (Figure 4, results received November 2012). In the Ketchum DNA Study the haplotype of Sample 26 was H1a. (Figure 5) It is IMPOSSIBLE for Sample 26 to be from the same source as the two samples of flesh tested by Cutino/Huggins.
OTL,S! has praised Cutino and Huggins for their initiative, but enough is enough. This is a problem for Cutino and Huggins, who seem to be contending that the confusion is caused by a typo on one of the reports. If that is true, what is the big hold-up in proving it and resolving it?
OTL,S! once again ventured over to the blog of Mr. Carpenter (Dr. Ketchum’s stalking horse), and was amused/appalled to find this post, in which he requests some opinions on whether or not two of his images represent the same or related bigfoots. We are happy to oblige, in red. (click to enlarge, so you can really study the evidence.)
We also think that Mr. Carpenter might have missed some evidence in another image he has on his site:
Are we clear?
OTL,S! notes that Dr. Ketchum’s avid supporter Scott Carpenter at “Bigfoot Field Journal” has posted what he claims are review material from two reviews at JAMEZ, although there is nothing to document that they came from JAMEZ:
-Reviewer A: purported comments only; recommendation not shown
-Reviewer B: purported recommendation and purported comments
(there is often a third reviewer as well… crickets….)
The poster says the source is anonymous. ha ha. David Swenson? Robin Forestpeople? Robert As previously noted, Ketchum knows she can’t make the claim herself without the risk of being sued. Now that someone else has posted it, supposedly not from her (wink wink) she gloats on Facebook, that she has gotten around the prohibition:
So if anyone gets sued, it won’t be me. They can subpoena the blogger’s email trail.
OTL,S! would suggest that everyone with a brain knows the source of this stuff, so claiming the source is anonymous does make him look like a liar or a fool. Hence we do not necessarily take at face value the material he has posted. That’s the price he pays.
But, with that caveat, we will make a few comments:
as we read it, it appears that the only (purported) reviewer recommendation he publishes is the one from reviewer B, which we have reproduced in our previous post: “accept for publication with revisions.” We assume this is the best of the several recommendations, and even this one is not a “pass.” Since the other reviewer recommendations were not published by Dr. Ketchum’s avid supporter, we assume they were either flat rejections, or the same as “reviewer B”‘s. Reading reviewer A’s purported comments, it certainly sounds like a rejection. We would assume that is why (purported) Reviewer A’s recommendation is not given to us by Dr. Ketchum’s avid supporter.
A sampling of Reviewer A’s purported comments:
Major concerns with this manuscript:
1. A difficult two-part thesis is posed that is inadequately substantiated by the analysis presented in the manuscript. Both parts (i.e. Part 1 – previously uncharacterized hominins exist in North America; Part 2 said hominins are the descendants of a putative hybridization event involving an ancient uncharacterized hominin and a modern human). A thesis this complex and counterintuitive requires significantly more in-depth analysis and consideration and should be developed through a series of peer-reviewed publications. Add in the idea that more than one species of hominin may be present in North America and the effort to make a convincing case is multiplied.
“A thesis this complex and counterintuitive requires significantly more in-depth analysis and consideration and should be developed through a series of peer-reviewed publications.”
That is explaining a “Reject,” in our opinion.
Now, it is clear that, however the editor of JAMEZ (purportedly) found this reviewer, he/she is one sharp cookie. Witness:
2. The presentation of the thesis is overburdened in three ways: a) the considerable inclusion of unsubstantiated eyewitness accounts and folkloric/pop-cultural ideations and their presentation as foundational facts that validate the analytical data; b) the presentation of a series of anomalous results generated using routine methodologies resulting in a sub-narrative that is curious and interesting, but unnecessary given the fact that cutting edge technology has been employed to generate sequence data sets that should allow for incredibly detailed analyses yet lead to relatively unambiguous conclusions; and c) the results from Next Generation Sequencing methodologies, especially related to the analysis of the nuclear genome are fairly superficially treated so as to be unclear whether the authors have selectively aggregated sequences to support a favorable placement among primates. As stated in Perleman et al. (2011; PLoS Genet 7(3): e1001342. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001342, “…primate taxonomy is both complex and controversial, with marginal unifying consensus of the evolutionary hierarchy of extant primate species,” and given the expertise of one of the authors in this particular area, it is a bit astonishing that a more in-depth and stepwise treatment is not provided. The decades of work published by the Goodman lab provide an excellent roadmap for a convincing analysis. In summary, this work would achieve a much higher degree of analytical credibility by a) limiting folkloric/cultural references to the minimum necessary, b) moving many of the references to anomalous results to a supplementary role (2nd publication, perhaps), c) fully leveraging the treasure trove of information yielded by the Next Generation Sequencing.
There is so much wisdom in this, so well expressed, it’s hard to think that a comment will add anything. However, regarding the issue of what reviewer A probably recommended: when a reviewer uses the word “astonishing” in a negative sense, your paper is headed under the bus. Ditto, when the reviewer refers you to an anticle on how do something that is “convincing.”
More from “A”:
3. A significant amount of work leading to the generation of the data central to the thesis was outsourced. It is very difficult to manage the quality control and release standards of contract laboratories from the outside. This does not automatically call such data into question. However, when coupled with a significant amount of anomalous and ambiguous data, such concerns must be considered. This would be especially true concerning Next Generation Sequencing of unknowns where heterologous libraries may result from contamination. This technology is much more sensitive to the detection of contaminating gene sequences than others, and the possibility that contaminating sequences may affect the development of a consensus sequence should be given considerable attention. Reference bias should also be given consideration in the development of a consensus sequence. Similar work typified by that of Pruefer et al. (Nature, 2012/06/13/online) could provide good guidance concerning appropriate quality control analysis.
Here “A” comments on the fact that so much of the work was done by outside labs who declined to be participating authors; thus there is no description of their methods. Sorry, they may be good labs, but that claim alone doesn’t fly even when they write their own papers. He also blows up Dr. Ketchum’s claims about Next Gen sequencing and contamination. Then he notes “reference bias”, which refers to asking your software to select those things that look like human chromosome 11. Inevitably, it will tend not to select those things that look like bear or dog. We hope that is clear.
More from “A”:
4. Conflicting statements occur concerning the validation against submitter contamination:”Control DNA was obtained from the majority of the submitters and was profiled using Promega PowerPlex® 16 (20). All submitters yielded complete profiles.”
Hmmm…..now it gets a little dicey.
Here is the purported “Author’s ie Dr. Ketchum’s, Response” to that comment #4 by “A”:
This has been corrected to clarify on line 200: All submitters “tested”
Well, let’s not dance around it; that is in clear conflict with the statement of the submitter of sample 26, Justin Smeja. He says he was never tested.
Then she repeats the statement:
we have them on file.
5. Sample 26 – It is stated in the study that Sample 26 was derived from a shooting incident. The inclusion of such a sample in the study may be inconsistent with contemporary scientific ethics concerning the treatment of both human and animal study subjects and the procurement of research specimens from such. Moreover, this description casts the provenance of such a sample as murky, at best.
Dr. Ketchum’s purported response:
We have removed any references to the alleged shooting incident. Line 481
What, does Dr. Ketchum think she can make the act go away by hiding evidence of it?!
6. The bioinformatics should include gene sequences from expected outlier species that may also be capable of contributing contaminating nucleic acids. For example, a BLASTN search using Sample 26 does turn up some exceptionally strong homology with a gene from Ursus americanus (DQ240386.1). This would support the idea that the consensus sequence may have been affected by contaminant sequences.
Seems pretty clear; he BLASTED her data, and it looks like there is bear there. Same thing others have found. Dr. Ketchum’s response verges on the nonsensical (emphasis added:)
your example of bear contamination can be completely ruled out considering none of the laboratories handling the samples have bear samples.
She makes some other claims, that we will let the specialists rebut. But so far, none of them have been supportive of her claims.
Overall, there is much in this review to suggest that “A” is a very competent reviewer, and much to suggest that he recommended “rejection.” Not to mention the fact that Dr. Ketchum’s avid supporter didn’t post A’s recommendation. Oh, wait, we did mention that…
OTL,S! notes that a peer review from JAMEZ has been posted by Dr. Ketchum’s avid follower, who claims(!!??) that it shows the manuscript passed peer review.
As we have previously stated, the document actually shows that Dr. Ketchum’s manuscript did not pass peer review…or, at least, it didn’t pass that reviewer (there are several reviewers, not just one).
Passing peer review is not parsing three words out of one review. DUH! To put it in terms that the poster might better understand: “You will get fruitcup IF you make your bed. If you don’t make your bed, don’t come around here saying I promised you fruitcup.”
If one reads the review, one can see why the reviewer advised the editor that the manuscript should be revised required before publication. Of course, these ARE NOT necessarily the same comments that were sent to the editor; often the comments to the author (which these are) are toned down a bit, so as to not hurt any feelings.
Had Dr. Ketchum had the patience, the data, and the other skills necessary to make satisfactory revisions to the manuscript, it is certainly possible that it might have passed peer review, and the editor, (“Larry”) might have made the decision to publish it…t certainly seems as though he wanted to. But she didn’t. She had been through that process with Nature Journal, and it didn’t end well. So she blew up. And that was the end of JAMEZ.
OTL,S! wonders if “Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Explorations in Zoology” has been redacted. We would suggest that had Dr. Ketchum actually “bought” or “acquired” the “JAMEZ” , she wouldn’t have had to redact the name. This would seem to confirm the fact that this part of Dr. Ketchum’s story was false, and that she is prevented from making such claims, herself. Instead, “SOMEHOW” the claim gets made, not by her directly, but by her most hardheaded supporter.
Really, how dumb does Dr. Ketchum think we are? black is not white, up is not down. A recommendation to publish with revisions by one reviewer is not passing peer review. Mr. Carpenter, who is posting these things for Dr. Ketchum, might consider at some point whether he is being “set up.”
OTL,S! has no further comment or opinion at this time on the authenticity or content of the material presented as peer review or that presented as Dr. Ketchum’s response to the review(s).
rather than post a fragment, we are hopeful of obtaining an evaluation by OTL,S!’s science consultant.
Today we post a purported (and redacted) communication between Dr. Ketchum’s three (or more) most “enthusiastic” backers. This is supposedly David Paulides’ version of what Dr. Ketchum supposedly told him about what went down in January of this year, regarding peer review at JAMEZ, on the Scholastica platform. Redacting stuff other than names raises huge red flags, as does the fact that the ?email relies on Dr. Ketchum’s version of events.
Some excellent research on this topic has been posted by Jim McCLanahan, not to mention the OTL,S! staff’s yeoman work (which can be found in prior updates).
In brief, OTL,S! believes and has evidence for the idea that the JAMEZ was a fledgling publication, an enterprise, if you will, that hoped to piggyback its way to national attention via the publication of a peer reviewed paper proving the existence of bigfoot. JAMEZ’s “publishers” were, as far as we have been able to determine, total rookies in the publishing game. However, a platform like Scholastica makes publishing seem like a cakewalk. They provide all the steps, the forms, the nice looking pages, everything, supposedly, that you need. However, this is an illusion, and a dangerous one, that potentially appeals to narcissists, fakers, clowns, pretenders and outright frauds. Publishing a proper peer reviewed journal requires extensive knowledge and experience of the field in question, with a network of contacts who have similar backgrounds. It requires judgement, maturity, and a sense of responsibility, and a devotion to the area of endeavor. We could go on and on, but, well, it’s almost lunch time.
Suffice to say that the publishers and/or editor of JAMEZ were not up to the standard that we envision. Of course, we could say the same for Dr. Ketchum. And have said so.
Based on interviews, documents and other communications, OTL,S! has here attempted to put together an approximation of the events that happened around the time of the email we posted above.
At any rate, it would not be an exaggeration to say that JAMEZ, in late 2012, was only a gleam in the eye of these “wet behind the ears” wannabe scientific publishers, until one of them (his name has been leaked previously elsewhere, but we’ll just call him “Larry”) with an interest in bigfoot, was introduced to Dr. Ketchum, who was fresh off the third rejection/ little spat she had with Nature Journal, so well documented in her letter to the board of the parent corporation that owns Nature. Now, Larry pitched the idea to Dr. Ketchum about how he could publish her paper in a peer reviewed journal, and she bit hard. Rebound, I think they call it. At any rate, it was “win/win.” They thought.
So sometime in late December, Larry bent to the task at Scholastica, or rather, Larry and a minion of his named Casey Mullins, went to work, doing the paperwork and rounding up, in some fashion, some supposedly appropriate peer reviewers. Larry created some imaginary “Foundation for Advanced Zoological Exploration” as the publisher, but, by using Mullins as a stalking horse, was able to keep his own name off the internet. Dr. Ketchum was quite interested in the process, and registered herself at Scholastica. After some discussion, they settled on the name Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology (JAMEZ). She submitted the paper according to the normal procedure, and someone coughed up 10 bucks to Scholastica to get the ball rolling. Meanwhile, Casey Mullins tried to create some credibility by writing something for Wikipedia.
Increasingly, however, Dr. Ketchum began to insert herself into the “publishing” decisions, contacting Casey and more or less dictating text and making demands which were not always pleasant or appropriate. Casey submitted a “call for papers” fitting the description of Dr. Ketchum’s paper to the proverbial “T”. Dr. Ketchum demanded expedited reviews. Remarkably, the peer reviewers, such as they were, were rapidly brought on board, and by January 9, their opinions were filtering in. Remarkably, with an expenditure that would buy only a few Happy Meals, a peer-reviewed scientific journal was being born!!!
What happened next, in the second week in January, is a little uncertain but the outlines are pretty clear. The first review came in, with a recommendation “publish with revisions.” Now, to the initiated, this does not mean, “go to press.” Far from it. It means, “incorporate our suggestions and send it back in to us, and we’ll see about it.” And, of course, it is the editor, in the last analysis, who decides what goes in, not the reviewers. Larry was quite aware of these caveats. Dr. Ketchum evidently either was not aware of them, or chose to try to ignore them. At any rate, it seems that Larry notified Dr. Ketchum of the first review. This can be done at Scholastica simply by pushing a button. This sends a “polite” version of the reviewer’s comments to the author, while the editor keeps the “unexpurgated” version of the review to himself. Dr. Ketchum apparently was jubilant. She proceeded to again interfere in the publishing end of things, by registering the journal at GenBank on Jan. 9, and began leaking the news, the info, including the paper itself, with a cover sheet indicating the date of publication (Jan. 11, 2013) and name of the journal, to various friends and/or outlets. It was published on Dr. Ketchum’s Sasquatch Genome Project web site, where it still sits today:
Robert Lindsay, controversial blogger, was one who received it, and he went all in, splashing the news on his blog, and promising that the paper would be out on Jan 11. However, reality interfered. At 5:01pm Pacific, Lindsay admitted he had been misled, and the whole bigfoot world exhaled. What had happened?
None of the reviews said “Publish.” It was just “Publish with revisions.” To Larry, this was probably as good as he had hoped for, realistically. The JAMEZ would, probably, eventually, be able to publish the first proof of bigfoot, in a peer reviewed journal, after Dr. Ketchum made the suggested changes in the paper. Routine stuff, right? But for Ketchum, it was the chair being pulled out from under her at the last moment. She had heard this before, repeatedly, from Nature Journal. Now her new champion, Larry, was pulling the same stuff, and doing so AFTER she had sent the news around the world. If it is possible for a human to go ballistic, she did. Whatever nasty letter she had sent to the parent company of Nature Journal in December, she, figuratively, poured gasoline on it and sent it afire to Larry, Scholastica, and ships at sea. Ketchum wanted the paper published on January 11, and Larry, to his credit, was holding his ground. He may have been an opportunist, but he an opportunist with some backbone. He wasn’t putting up this stuff without peer approval. His prize journal would be a joke. Were there angry words, threats…was there weeping? I don’t doubt it. Were there lawyers involved? you bet there were. Whose lawyer said what to whom, exactly, we can’t tell, but we certainly wouldn’t put a lot of stock in Dr. Ketchum’s version.
The immediate results were two: firstly, the JAMEZ rapidly disappeared from the Scholastica site. Why? Let’s just say that web hosts like Scholastica don’t enjoy getting threatening letters from the “hostees”. Are we clear? and they don’t cry about them, they just boot them. Without Scholastica, and after this experience, Larry’s publishing dreams were shattered. He was battered and bruised and embarrassed. His self image was not a man who failed, but here had failed miserably, in front of friends, family and Melba Ketchum.
What happened next:
Dr. Ketchum was becoming involved with a South American tour company who paid her $7000 to do DNA analysis on human remains, but she sent the Sasquatch paper off to another scientific journal, where it was rejected.
Now the story becomes inexplicably strange. Larry hears about the latest rejection of the paper, and for some reason, offers to help Dr. Ketchum self-publish, by putting up a website, free of charge. As if he had not heard and seen enough of the woman. Well, predictably, things got ugly, as January faded into February. Dr. Ketchum was, well, would “difficult” cover it? probably not. Larry decided he wouldn’t do it for free, and got Ketchum to agree to a contract which would pay him $2000 for his trouble. When the check arrived, however, it was from Wally Hersom, not Ketchum. Whoops. Contract fail. Then, Ketchum suddenly demanded that the partially completed website go live on Feb. 13, because of statements by her psychic(!). Larry caved, put up the site, which was, how can we say it…dismal? half baked? stupid? and claimed to be a an open online peer reviewed journal. The next day, ketchum posted certain claims about having obtained peer approval in a new journal, blah blah, editor refused, blah blah, lawyer blah blah, so she bought the journal, (to “preserve” the supposed positive reviews) and published the paper in the first issue of yet another new supposed journal, “DeNovo Scientific Journal.”
Once again Larry has some bad feelings, but when he sees the post claiming that she had bought JAMEZ and obtained its positive peer reviews, he stood up on his hind legs, so to speak. He and his legal representative had a little talk with Dr. Ketchum, and, as far as we know, she has not made those claims again, regarding JAMEZ. In her latest barrage of Facebook drama, she has come close to making those claims, but close only counts in horseshoes and curling (ask a Canadian). To his credit, Larry tried to cleanse himself of the whole mess by returning the check to Wally Hersom. “out damned spot!”
note: in the aftermath of Dr. Ketchum’s self published paper, a “Casey Mullins” began posting on social media and a website purporting to be that of the Foundation for Advanced Zoological Exploration. OTL,S! could be mistaken, but we are now convinced that these postings were not made by the Casey who was affiliated with “Larry.” The identity and purpose of the maker of these posts are unclear.
The last sentence is hilarious. Actually the whole thing is hilarious.
I am so upset that the reviews got leaked. That means I was once again betrayed by an insider. On the up side, I feel a huge relief about it. Now I don’t have to sit on this horrible secret anymore. The world now knows how unethically the scientific has behaved. It also knows that we DID pass peer review and with reviews that came from geneticists that work with whole genomes. At least that is what I was told.
You were told? by whom? the same “Insider” that “betrayed” you? that person in the mirror?
BigfootsBlog has a purported report from a Harvard scientist, who dared to put his judgment up against that of Scott Carpenter. An excerpt:
The paper by Melba Ketchum and co-workers, published in an online journal Ketchum purchased just to publish her results, appears to be the product of careless work on impure samples and highly improbable conclusions. Here is a list of problems with the work. It is no doubt incomplete, but these are the obvious points
1) The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method for amplifying DNA. Ketchum and her team used it to obtain analyzable amounts of DNA from their samples. Since PCR amplifies DNA exponentially, any contaminating DNA can yield artifacts. This can reveal itself in products of unexpected size and sequence. The most likely interpretation of their observation of unusual products resulting from PCR of the samples is contamination….
4) In addition to the genotyping and sequence analysis, Ketchum and co-workers used electron microscopy to look at the DNA samples and found that some of the DNA would base pair with one complementary strand, but other parts would not base pair with anything at all and remain single stranded or base pair with another DNA molecule. Such DNA, if it originated from a single source, would be very strange. Even if they were, as they claim, looking at DNA from a hybrid of a female human and a non-human hominid male, the DNA would form double helical molecules. (A single or very small related source of maternal inheritance is concluded by Ketchum and her team since the mitochondrial DNA is human and seems to be from one source; mitochondrial DNA, unlike nuclear DNA, is inherited exclusively from the mother.) Ketchum and her team’s assumption that their data support the notion of a single or very limited mating between a female human founder and a male non-human hominid is highly problematic, to say the least. First of all, the DNA would have undergone extensive DNA recombination since the time that the human and non-human hominid mated. Secondly, for successful mating to occur, the non-human hominid would have to be very closely related to humans. In that case, the DNA, even the non-coding regions, would be very similar and hybridization between the two would occur with nucleotide mismatches not going for long stretches of DNA for any given length of DNA; mismatching resulting in looped-out single strands would therefore not be observable by electron microscopy. Thirdly, even if the mating was between a human and a relatively distantly related non-human hominid (so that there was more extensive base mismatching) and was a relatively recent mating (so that much recombination would not have occurred yet), the two complementary strands of DNA from each chromosome from both the human and non-hominid ancestor would base pair with its own perfect complement rather than the other molecule (since that would be the most stable base-pairing pattern).
5) To reiterate and add to some points above related to the way their conclusions were an implausible stretch of the imagination, only relatively related species can mate and have fertile offspring. So the DNA should be very closely related one to the other. Even if they were more distantly related and bore fertile offspring, the sequences would be highly similar due to DNA recombination (and after 13,000 years or many hundreds of generations, there would be extensive recombination). Another weird assumption they make is that, while the hybridization resulted in fertile offspring, the offspring then did not mate with other pure humans or pure non-human hominid. Why did the hybridization occur only once or a limited number of times at the same period and place? Why was the hybridization confined to a human female and male non-human hominid? Why not a female non-human hominid and male human also (which is ruled out, even in their strange paradigm, by their not seeing non-human mitochondrial DNA)? How was an initial population big enough to support a breeding population generated? Obviously, there would have to have then been a lot of inbreeding, but how were enough even generated from a limited hybridization to lead to a non-out-breeding Sasquatch lineage from 13,000 years ago to the present? If the non-human hominid could breed with a human, why did it only breed with a supposed European-derived human in America 13,000 years ago and not also with Asian-derived humans, who obviously came over the ice bridge from Siberia to establish the Native American genome (by the way, there is no evidence of the presumed European ancestor in the Native American genome at all)? Also, why would all of the hybrids go off, live an isolated existence and not leave tangible evidence of this existence? What happened to the presumed non-human hominid that was the male founder of the Sasquatch lineage? It went extinct without leaving any archaeological or anthropological evidence of its existence? One could go on. It’s all so very unlikely. It’s a house of cards made of one flimsy card after another. It defies all evidence, any logic and is the product of pure faith.
It appears almost certain that the team was dealing with mixed samples of DNA, including contamination from team members or other people who may have handled the samples, and that they grasped at the least plausible answers to their results over and over again. They wanted to prove the existence of Sasquatch. Moreover, they were willing to go to very strange “places” in their interpretation of data that again and again most likely reflected contaminated DNA samples. They kept looking at the data and saying how can this prove that Sasquatch exists, reaching the least likely conclusions to support a more and more outlandish Sasquatch. This creature is as unlikely as the proverbial little green men.”
I’m surprised he took the trouble.
Sally Ramey, former PR person for Dr. Ketchum, has made some bold remarks on Facebook, replicated at Bigfoot Evidence. The post is in large degree a response to posts by a Scott Carpenter, who seems to have no formal training in DNA science, but is trying to defend Dr. Ketchum’s work. Keep in mind that most of the people posting are bigfoot believers. Over the Line, Smokey! notes this meaningful exposure of Mr. Carpenter’s basic ignorance of the field:
Scott Carpenter They were full genomes, I have them but do not know how to tell you how many pairs. I have sucessfully used them to run BLAST searches…
John Weeast … There is 1% of the genomes shown. You can’t prove anything with that little information, just as you can’t disprove anything. Speculation isn’t science.
Scott Carpenter The 3 Genomes provided by Dr. Ketcum are COMPLETE, I have them, I have used BLAST with them
John Weeast Were you given different data than everyone else?
Scott Carpenter No, it was the three Genomes included with the paper…
Which are 1% of the size required of a full genome. Dr. Ketchum herself said the data would be too large (3 terabytes) to release. Which it wouldn’t really. a 3 terabyte drive is about $175, and there’s plenty of hosting sites that could handle the bandwidth for free.
A full genome is about 3 BILLION base pairs, fyi.
Thanks for the clarification, I will see if I can get the full file
OTL,S! also notes this statement by Mr. Carpenter:
Hairs were extracted with the skin tags and sent to Patrick W. Wojtkiewicz, he extracted the DNA using a robotic process to ensure no contamination, he got the same results Melba got from the core sample.
OTL,S! will go ahead and state that based on our interview with “Dr. Pat”, Mr. Carpenter’s statement is false. Dr. told us that he was never able to find DNA in the specimens sent to him by Dr. Ketchum. We suspect that Mr. Carpenter is just repeating something that Dr. Ketchum told him.
Later he admits:
The bottom line for me is all about trust and I trust that Melba is telling the truth.
He might want to be more careful.
Here is Ramey’s statement about supporting legal action against Ketchum:
I feel a deep regret for my role in supporting this project, and I am dismayed that my name will forever be tarnished by it. I feel badly for the sample submitters who trusted in this project, and for the other volunteers, who were, in my opinion, unappreciated but who gave much of their time in hopes that this project produced results. I always seek to uphold my profession’s standards of credibility and transparency, but I have no control over the actions of others.
I hope that Wally will pursue civil and/or criminal action. I will gladly provide my documentation and testimony to such efforts, as I would for any investigation into the project.
Ramey also reminds Scott Carpenter of Dr Hart’s findings, previously noted here (he is also a bigfoot believer):
I want to draw attention to Dr. Haskell Hart, who originally supported the project. He also did his own research, and posted his findings on Scott’s blog but they were removed. Fortunately, he has posted them on his Facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/haskell.hart?fref=ts .
Bart Cutino (who obtained independent lab refutation of Ketchum’s findings) chimes in several times with refutation of Caprenter’s earlier charge that the specimen used by Cutino was a “switched” sample.
The truth matters and anybody who knows me knows my passion that Id do anything for these animals to be recognized as it’s been my passion for 33 of my 39 yrs on this planet. Scott’s asinine suggestion that I would be involved in impeding a legit study (which this was a sham from the beginning) is beyond comprehension. Especially because of the relationship developed with Justin (who earned that friendship through actions btw) and getting legit thermal footage in the same meadow as the purported shootings… You think myself or Tyler Huggins, who along with Derek, were the first investigators on this wouldn’t have a vested interest in making sure the circumstantial tissue got a fair assessment? Matter of fact, just in case there was even a 1% chance somehow our two contracted labs got it wrong I even submitted a sliver of the salted piece to Sykes. Believe me my life would be a lot easier (especially Justin’s) if sample 26 wasnt a contaminated piece of Ursus Americanus. But it is what it is and the truth matters. Justin’s actions protecting that tissue at all costs even processing it into smaller pieces and spreading it in safe places are consistent with someone who believed they had something much more valuable then what it turned out to be. He called me devastated after the phone call with Melba (because of the reality of false expectations he was given) in which himself and three other witnesses heard her first try and manipulate him into getting the rest of it, then try and get him to destroy it so it couldnt be independently tested before finally plotting how to scam my friend Wally Hersom (who’s done more for me and this respective field then anyone before him). Justin initiated and pushed for testing because if the tissue wasnt what he was led to believe he wanted people to know about asap and move onto boots. He was for transparency from the beginning with us regardless of the negative perception that people would have not acknowledging the difference between circumstantial and contradictory evidence (had they claimed to take piece off of the body that would be “contradictory”). And no Melba Ketchum never threatened him with prosecution and this was confirmed to me with two of the three other witnesses on the call, she just told everybody she did to impress her minions and give perception she really gives a shit about the well being of these animals. In addition (smart girl) its the only semi rational justification she could give to make it aplear it would make sense Justin would sabotage himself by sending bear to our indep labs….. But….. She forgot about the salted tissue that was out of Justins custody and matched the frozen tissue well prior to her asking him to bleach his sample. In other words even if youre stupid enough to believe what Scott is desperately selling (Justin sabotaging himself to not be prosecuted) that was “out of his hands” essentially in July 2011 and into Wally’s.
This sham is finished and you cant convince every ignorant nut in denial as we always say the cult of Ketchum would justify her being strong-armed by a cover up governmental entity should she make some bold admission tomorrow. Thats ludicrous this whole thing is and thank god most people are sane enough to see exactly what this was….. At the bigfoot community and especially “Wally” a great man’s expense
Scott Carpenter’s response:
Scott Carpenter Wooo Hoo I got the complete “Destroy Melba at All Cost” Team riled up!!! The whole roster Mullings, Bravo, Cutino, Ramey, wheres Justin and Arla??? Great job gentlemen MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, hope your proud of your work…. At least I defend what I believe in and trust, unlike most of the back stabbing, money loving, truth hating,egomaniac bigfoot research community that seeks to destroy anyone that does not toe the party line…
Ever wonder what would have led Dr. Ketchum to do the things that were implied by what Justin Smeja alleges she told him and several witnesses? you remember….that she knew how to treat a sample so it would yield DNA that looked like something it wasn’t? Over the line, Smokey! notes that in the Ketchum “reply to reviewers” linked in our previous update, it is clear that it was only after the the paper had been rejected (possibly twice) that Ketchum obtained and added the next generation nuclear DNA material…the strange stuff that she tried to say was… well, even she didn’t know what it was.
Consider for a moment what that means about her original paper: she had been essentially saying, if you will: “Here we have some bigfoot hairs (never mind how we know that) and the mitochondial DNA from the hairs is human and we have nuclear genes that didn’t come through very well. That means bigfoot is a hybrid of human women and something else.” That is incredibly weak. And, no surprise, Nature Journal turned it down. So Ketchum, by this scenario, needed something else; her “secret sauce,” perhaps, applied to three specimens and sent for next generation sequencing?
Dr. Ketchum has apparently released, through blogger Robert Lindsay, some of her correspondence ( a response to reviewers and a cover letter) with Nature Journal regarding the manuscript that was rejected by that journal. OTL,S! will be commenting on this material.
The “cover letter” is odd. Apparently this is a pathetic, angry attempt by Ketchum to go over the heads of the reviewers and the editor of Nature Journal, to the Executive Board of Nature Publishing Group (NPG), the parent organization.
NPG Executive Board
Re: Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies
Dear Executive Board,
I am the corresponding author for the above mentioned manuscript. We (the authors of this manuscript) are extremely unhappy with the ethics of the reviewers chosen by Nature. Please consider this letter as a formal appeal of your process on the previous manuscript, 2011-09-11671 and 2011-09-11671A-Z. We are resubmitting a revised manuscript in an effort to vindicate our reputations and also to give Nature a chance to rectify the scientific bias and the unethical behavior exhibited by the previous reviewers by giving our manuscript a fair chance at publication. Our manuscript and our reputations were tarnished by the reviewers as follows:
Release to the public of the first peer review as well as the fact that our manuscript was at Nature. One of the reviewers leaked the original peer review to a “celebrity” that is involved with our subject and it was put on the internet. Since it has not been published in Nature, this “celebrity” is now calling our study a “fake” on Twitter and elsewhere. This is highly damaging to our careers and never should have happened. The link states the source of the information as being one of the reviewers. (http://www.cryptomundo.com/bigfoot-report/mm-sasquatch-dna-project/)
Reviewers accused our genomes of having contamination even though we went to great lengths to explain how the samples were extracted and screened to rule out contamination. To tell us, as scientists, especially those of us that are forensic scientists, that our samples are contaminated can be likened to accusing us of hoaxing a scientific study or perjuring ourselves in court. As forensic scientists that testify in court, this can be highly damaging and has caused all of the authors tremendous worry and concern. Since we were not given a chance to defend ourselves on the second peer review and our manuscript refused because of these accusations (since all other revisions were verbiage and extremely minor), we contacted Illumina (manufacturers of the HiSeq 2000 next generation sequencing platform that we used to sequence the genomes) in an effort to prove, once and for all, that the three genomes were single source and not contaminated. We spoke with two supervisors specializing in technical support for next generation sequencing. We asked them if it was possible to prove if there was contamination in a genome or not. They immediately answered “yes”! They told us that the average Q30 score for a genome was 85, but if there was contamination, which would cause the divergent sequences to compete against one another, that a contaminated sample would have a Q30 score of only 40 to 50. A pure, single source sample would have a Q30 score of about 85. When we checked our Q30 scores for the first read, our three genomes had Q30 scores of 92, 88 and 89 respectively. The second read was a little lower 88, 84.25 and 83.66 but still very close to the average of 85. The Q30 is the percent of the reads that have the statistical probability greater than 1:1000 of being correctly sequenced. Therefore, with the help of the scientists at Illumina, it was determined that not only were the sequences from a single source, but the quality of the sequences were far above the average genome sequenced using their platform. I can furnish contact information if you desire it. We attribute the high quality of the genomes to the stringent extraction procedures utilized whereby the DNA was repeatedly purified. This gave us greater than 30X coverage of the three genomes. Furthermore, it supported our original findings of human mitochondrial DNA since the whole genomes yielded human mitochondrial DNA consistent with the original individual mtDNA genome sequencing. The nuDNA findings were also supported in that there was novel primate sequence in the nuDNA. So, the original submission was indeed supported by the next generation sequencing that we included in the revised submission. The three genomes aligned with one another also supporting that all three genomes came from the same species and they were NOT contaminated. Most importantly, the Q30 scores absolutely disproved the reviewers’ assumption that the whole genomes were a mixture of human with animal DNA contaminants. The summary of the next generation sequencing generated by the Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencer is now furnished as Supplementary Data 7 to support this discussion that is now included in our manuscript, Lines 544-558.
The peer reviewers failed to even read the manuscript because we were asked for data or criticized for not having data that was already in the manuscript or supplementary information.
Because of the ethical problems listed above, our group is therefore re-submitting this revised manuscript having addressed all of the concerns raised by the reviewers. We are supplying the authors’ response to each concern the reviewers had as proof of the bias and in defense of the manuscript. We have corrected all of the verbiage concerns and added the definitive proof that the genomes are not contaminated. We are also available for questions and any further requested revision. We also added a conclusion concerning human hybridization likened to Neanderthal and Denisovan hybridization to satisfy Reviewer 3. If it is preferred that the data speak for itself without theory, we will gladly remove the added conclusion.
We want our findings published in Nature since it is perhaps the best journal published and our manuscript is being called the largest scientific find in the last 100 years. If it was not a Nature worthy manuscript, it would not have been given a second chance with revision, revision that we completed beyond what was asked of us. Besides fair review, we are asking for expedient treatment of our groundbreaking discovery since we have provided more proof of existence of these hominins than any manuscripts describing other novel species to date. We also have other scientific groups that are headed by “famous” scientists still trying to beat us to publication even though we have by far the most data. We know our manuscript is worthy of publication because we have had private peer review that was positive as well as your Reviewer #1. We just hope Nature is brave enough to do what we all know is right and that is publishing this manuscript. We would also note that a new monkey was found in Africa and published recently (PLOS One: Lesula paper) with only 6.8Kb of sequence. We have 20 samples with 16.5 Kb of mtDNA and 10 more with partial sequence but enough to obtain haplotypes with most of them coming from non-human hair yielding human sequence. This includes hair from 26, the first whole genome sample. We have three whole genomes comprising millions of reads and greater than 30X coverage. We have 2.7 million bases aligned to human chromosome 11 that are novel primate which is no small feat considering the sequence is novel and therefore difficult to align. That is not counting all of the other disciplines involved in our manuscript including forensic hair analysis, histopathology, forensics and electron microscopy. It has been stated that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. We have provided more than enough extraordinary proof. We even have high definition video of the donor of sample 37 sleeping in the forest and breathing at 6 breaths per minute (Supplementary Video 1). This sample was part of a field research study overseen by a PhD in wildlife biology so we are certain of the source of this sample and the video attached to it. We have a full facial video of her also that will be released after the paper publishes. I could arrange for the Editorial board to view it if they so desire and perhaps a copyright arrangement could be reached so that one frame could be used for the cover of the journal. The face is stunning.
We understand our subject is controversial; however solid scientific methods were used in this study. We are also attaching to this letter an overview of the laboratories utilized in the study to show how the data was produced using blind studies and reproduced and verified by other laboratories (see below).
If there is still any doubt concerning the existence of these hominins, we are also willing to allow a representative from Nature to travel here and see these individuals personally, preferably during a full moon to increase lighting since they are primarily nocturnal. Though there is never 100% guarantee that a sighting will occur, if a few (about 3) days are allowed, we predict that the chances of seeing one of these hominins approach 99%. So far, everyone that we have invited has had an experience, including myself and some of the co-authors. Seeing is believing and that is why we offer this opportunity. We will do whatever is necessary to support our manuscript.
Thank you in advance for fair unbiased treatment of our manuscript and for accepting it in its revised format.
Dr. Melba S. Ketchum
It is dated December 12, 2012. Recall that her big press release was November 24. One would think that there might be a connection ie she may have gone “science by press release” as a response to the rejection. The letter smacks of anger, desperation and the “victim mentality” so characteristic of bigfoot believers. Once again, Dr. Ketchum pegs the irony meter by trying to criticize the ethics of Nature, particularly ironic by citing an internet response by Matt Moneymaker, he of Finding Bigfoot and the Bigfoot tourism scheme.
matt_moneymaker responds: December 4th, 2011 at 12:27 am
Heard from a reliable source connected with an article reviewer for Nature (a major science journal published in the UK) that the Ketchum paper was handed back (i.e. not *rejected*) for several reasons.
One of the reasons: The paper “does not contain a testable hypothesis”.
Not that the paper writers forgot to include something … It’s apparently more an issue of what is, and what is not, “testable” … and it’s a very technical matter that may not be resolved any time soon …
Supposedly that’s just one problem with the paper … There are more: The writers were very obviously “not zoologists” but they needed to be for a paper like this.
Sorry, that’s not good evidence of unethical behavior, or the identity of the supposed leaker. OTL,S! has no solid evidence of who might have leaked that particular info, but if we were her, we might look a bit closer to home for the source of that leak.
The stuff about contamination and Q30 scores is anecdotal and has previously been debunked.
Now that Dr. Ketchum has demonstrated that she can release reviewers comments, OTL,S! suggests she disclose those reviews from JAMEZ that she says show acceptance of her paper (JAMEZ being the Journal of Advanced Explorations in Zoology, the fledgling publication whose reviewers Ketchum once claimed approved her paper (she no longer makes that claim). According to the story that Dr. Ketchum formerly told, the editor of JAMEZ refused to print it, so Ketchum acquired JAMEZ. Over the Line, Smokey! has previously published the fact that Ketchum did no such thing: there was not peer approval, and Ketchum did not acquire the JAMEZ; and Ketchum no longer makes these claims.
Dr. Ketchum makes some rather surprising comments / charges about ethics. Wow.
She should tell the old widow, who owns her now-defunct lab in Timpson, TX, whom she stiffed, about how she knows about ethics. Not to mention the owner of the lab she occupied before that, whom she also stiffed. And the lab employees that she stiffed. Yeah, sure, Dr. Ketchum and ethics, quite the pair. Cough, cough. Judging from our interviews, many people in Timpson could tell a story about Dr. Ketchum’s “ethics.”
And the supposed damage to forensic reputations by a suggestion of contamination? This is delusional. There had been nothing released about that until now, when Dr. Ketchum did it. Hello?
OTL,S! wonders if Dr. Ketchum consulted an attorney before publishing these sorts of charges against the journal. We are not lawyers, but this might get her into hot water. According to Robert Lindsay,
Melba enlisted an attorney to sue Nature for defamation of character…
Regardless, she has certainly committed scientific seppuku with this move. Not unlike Bill Munns.
Brien Foerster on his Facebook page, 9/4:
My interview tonight with Paradigm Unhinged Radio:
Transcript, at around 41:45 (emphasis added):
Q: Has there ever been a DNA comparison done?
Brien Foerster: We’re in the process of that now Some samples have been sent to a laboratory in Texas run by Dr. Melba Ketchum. The samples that were sent were actually molar teeth. sad so hopefully the DNA is intact inside those teeth. she’s already started processing the DNA itself. We’re hoping to get results, at least preliminary quite soon.
later: around 48:45,:
At this point, samples have been sent from the Paracas area and also from the Cuzco area because elongated skulls existed up in this area too. We’re still waiting for those to be processed. And over time, through the correct channels of universites and governments, ongoing, we hope get specimens maybe from Easter Island and other parts of the world where the elongated skull people lived in order to develop a database and compare their DNA with what is in the global data base of modern humans.
There you go, an ongoing revenue stream for Dr. Ketchum.
Peru tourism entrepreneur Brien Foerster gives an interview, in a video posted on his Facebook page for 9/3/13, in which he reiterates his buy-in/involvement with Dr. Ketchum’s Magical Mystery Mess. If you listen, there are many elements, words, phrases, rationales and, yes, even projected results that could have come from Dr. Ketchum’s excellent and profitable adventure with bigfoot DNA:
Some fast quotes:
It’s a very complex process…sent to a DNA lab in Texas…they’re in the process of extracting the DNA…..we need the latest equipment of DNA analysis to try to piece together the broken strands of DNA…I have one of the best labs in the world working on it….we want to the the test performed by different labs. The first test is quite simple, to see if its human DNA. Then the results will be sent to the global genetic database. There is a possibility that there will be segments of DNA which don’t match humans. There is a possibility it may not even match ancient humans and if they that don’t’ match anything involving humanity whatsoever…..comparison with hominids…apes…It’s a backwards process from there….if not in global databases, ……perhaps… something which we can’t explain from a terrestrial point of view. The DNA has been extracted (as far as I know)…depending on funding…Over many months we’re expecting more and more detailed information….Once we have the initial data…blah blah…
Brother. We thought Foerster had figured out Ketchum’s routine. Either he hasn’t, or he has figured it out and he’s on board with it. Either way, seems like mysterious human hybrids are going to appear again, this time in South America.
Seriously, OTL,S! has little expectation of any further significant Ketchum news. We do, however, draw our readers attention to a new thread dealing with a strange misstep on the part of Dr. Jeff Meldrum.
To the latest round of criticism, funny all of the skeptics keep getting different findings. If it was a known species, they should all get the same results. Besides, the mtDNA would not be human if it came from any other species. The last skeptic said it was pig feces and now this one says bear, etc. Can’t be both. When I did random BLASTs, I stopped counting at thirteen different species having similar sequences found in the same sample. A BLAST gives you the sequence closest to your query. If the sequence is new, you get findings like this. It is not consistent. There was a person that was a true geneticist and ran a genome lab that supported our findings. Pity his boss didn’t let him go public. The other thing that gets me is that the critics pick only one portion of the paper and try to refute it. The testing was done with many disciplines that supported one another. You can’t dissect one part out of a picture and expect to see and understand the entire picture. Bottom line, the DNA is unknown and though it can share similar sequences with a variety of species, it is not diagnostic for those species. The mtDNA was clearly and unequivocally human. If there was contamination from any other species, it would have shown. If it was a species other than human, it would not have shown as being human. They are what they are, a type of human with a lot of unknown DNA. On the post by Dr.Swenson below, he mentions a database for genetic data. On that site it has a page on comparative genomics. It compares a lot of species with human. You would be surprised at how much sequence we share with animals.
Melba Ketchum, 8/23/13
OTL,S! wonders who is listening to Dr. Ketchum these days. But more to the point, she doesn’t seem to be paying attention to her critics. She’s just hand-waving. She just lumps the critcisms all together, and lumps all the samples together, and all the results together, and everything in the paper together. Seems like an off-hand, slapdash response, and not at all responsive. Were this a peer review process, her answer would have resulted in an outright “flush.”
OTL,S! would, however, re-emphasize one of Dr. Ketchum’s statements:
The mtDNA was clearly and unequivocally human. If there was contamination from any other species, it would have shown. If it was a species other than human, it would not have shown as being human.
Yes, the 20 or so specimens sent to lab A had human mtDNA. However, the 3 specimens sent to lab B showed nuclear DNA of several different animals. One reasonable conclusion would seem to be: lab A and lab B received different specimens.
For some reason, perhaps a personal relationship or an emotional belief in “bigfoot”, Dr. Haskell V. Hart had initially posted an endorsement of Dr. Ketchum’s findings. Now, having taken the time to actually use the “BLAST” software on the sequences, he repudiates them. After submitting a paper and waiting two months without getting an acceptance from Dr. Ketchum’s online “journal” website “DeNovo,” Dr. Hart has posted the abstract and conclusions of his paper:
ABSTRACT: Three nuclear DNA samples claimed to be of an unknown North American hominin (Sasquatch/Bigfoot) were sequenced recently, and interest in this cryptid has been renewed. These sequences are reinterpreted through extensive database searches with different results, and the conclusions of the original study are found to be in error. The three samples are seen to be from a black bear (Ursus americanus), a human (Homo sapiens), and a domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Sample 26 is from a bear, most likely a black bear, Ursus americanus. This was also the previous conclusion of an independent investigation(2) of a duplicate sample using human and black bear primers. Searches limited to human, other primates, the Canis genus, and all other species, produced poor matches or no matches at all. It is possible, but not likely, that the sample originates from a previously unknown or unreported bear species or black bear hybrid.Sample 31 is genus Homo, most likely Homo sapiens. Matches to other primates, to Canis, and to all other species were extremely poor, or there was no match at all. The possibility that it could be a previously unknown, very closely related species or subspecies of the Homo genus could not be excluded, but is unlikely because the matches to human were so perfect. There is no mosaic of human and primate-like sequences as claimed in the Ketchum conclusion (2).Sample 140 is from a domestic dog, Canis lupus familiaris, or a similar Canis species. Hits over the 15 best sequence ranges for each of human and Canis (18 in all, 12 coincided) favored Canis over human, other primates, and all other species by a wide margin in each case, except two (below the 15 best Canis hits) in which there were no Canis matches. Over each of the sequence ranges of the top 14 Canis hits, the “all other” categories also bested both human and other primates but were not close to the Canis matches, further supporting the conclusion that the sample is not human or even primate.A NCBI database search for Neanderthal and Denisovan nuclear DNA sequences produced none of the latter and only five very short (<90 bp) “environmental” sequences of the former in the NCBI databases. This low and non-existent database coverage is certainly not enough to support the Ketchum conclusion (1) (database principle 1).In summary, none of the three Ketchum conclusions are supported by our nuclear DNA sequence interpretations of Samples 26, 31, and 140, which are from a black bear, a human, and a dog, respectively. No new species of primate could be proven to exist based on this data, and no new phylogeny is suggested.
Over the Line, Smokey! wonders whether Dr. Swenson or the Ph.D in Public Administration (what was her name again?) might take their cue from Dr. Hart. Oh, wait, we forgot about the guy who had a Preacher D., who was supposedly her editor, and that Ph. D. in physics, what was his name? Is that the complete list of “doctorates” who lined up behind Dr. Ketchum, and clearly didn’t really bother to evaluate the paper?
Over the Line, Smokey! notes another chance for DNA analysis. Based on videos seen on the internet, we know that Bart Cutino and Justin Smeja have been in the Eastern Sierras, looking for bigfoot. After a short time at the site where Cutino claims to have captured thermal video of bigfoot(s) last fall, the gang moved on to another site, suggested by a nearby rancher. At the new location, there was some sort of rock throwing episode, plus a lot of coyote howls. Smeja claims that they found a large pile of bigfoot scat, “no question,” “seen it before,” pretty darned certain. However, Cutino seems much less certain. They report having found a number of hairs at the scat site, so, based on their previous practice, OTL,S! would assume they are going to have the hairs analyzed for DNA; we would hope that a stool analysis would also be a part of this study. One can look at the contents of the stool, the remnants of what was ingested, and also identify parasites that are characteristic of various animals. DNA analysis can also be done on stool. Visual identification of stool can be difficult. OTLS! would point to these images of bear scat, which are misleading, as bear scat is often much looser and globular, or it can look almost tubular; this photo looks almost like elk scat. It really depends on what they have been eating.
Justin Smeja seems to feel he is an authority on bigfoot, these days. Strange, given that his purported bigfoot kills haven’t exactly panned out.
We shall see.
calwaterbear reposts Haskell Hart’s “change of Hart” at Bigfoot Field Journal :
Dr. Swenson’s statement that “My desktop had difficulty with a blast analysis of the consensus sequences,” indicates he is unqualified to review this article. I DID run blast analysis of the three sequences published with these results: Sample 26 is a bear, most likely a black bear; sample 31 is human; sample 140 is a dog. My initial results were in error on Samples 26 and 140. Like Dr. Swenson, I learned a lot.I have submitted a paper to Melba Ketchum’s journal, De Nova. Let’s see how SHE treats ME.
Haskell Hart is a retired chemist who worked for Shell Oil. He lives in Texas, and is involved in horse rescue, which is probably where he met Dr. Ketchum. He endorsed her paper, but it looks like Robin Forestpeople has been altering the comments he made at Dr. Ketchum’s Facebook page, and that Robin didn’t like what Dr. Hart had written. Tyler Huggins seems to be saying Dr. Hart has changed his conclusions about Dr. Ketchum’s “paper.” Hmmm.
Over the Line, Smokey! sees the comment on bigfoot believer/”researcher” William Munns’ attempted campaign of retribution, by poster CWB:
Unlike many here, I have read chapters one and two of the book. I have a very different take on those chapters than Bill does.
I thought it was a pretty good annotated short history of the Bigfoot story and major characters involved.
To tell you the truth, I though Loxton did a pretty good job of being as objective as possible. The book is not “Scientific Research” by any stretch of the imagination; it is simply a historical review. Loxton does however adopt the correct scientific point of view:
“Show me the Monkey”. That has to be the starting premise of any scientific researcher.
Until one can do that, all claims beginning with the premise of the existence of Bigfoot are necessarily outside the realm of science, and enter into the realm of religious belief.
Absent of that (actual verifiable proof), science is reduced to examining each piece of evidence, including the history and provenance of each piece, to try and determine if it may be valid! DNA is excellent because it does speak for itself, assuming it is in the hands of qualified individuals.
But in looking at stories, photographs, films etc., the item itself, as well as the background of where that item came from, and by whom, is all part of valid scientific inquiry into that object!
Contrary to Bills posts and letters, I do not see anywhere in the chapter where Loxton says the PGF is fake! Presumably, Bills issue is that Loxton does not say the opposite, that PGF is real! What Loxton states, accurately INHO, is that the film itself cannot (or has not) been able to be verified as actual proof of the existance of BF!
And while Bill often states he is continuing to research and examine the film, it is all done from the context of knowing the film and BF are real. So he is not being objective or scientific in his examination in any way! Bills results precede his investigation! Quite opposite of the tried and true scientific method!
Loxton clearly states (page 44) “no one knows whether the film depicts a real Sasquatch or a man in a gorilla suit” He’s right, and he goes on to Explain why. This clearly infuriates Bill. Bill it’s time you actually make your evidence and logical though processes available to others with expertise to evaluate it on their own – you know – practice actual science on the film analysis, instead of pulling a Melba and saying “I have proof, but you can’t see it”.
Bill, Can you share with us the current paper you have that is coming out? And what scientific peer reviewed journal it will be in? That would go a long way to establishing some credibility here. How would you expect Loxton to comment on your work and data if he has no real access to it? How could you be expected to be included in a historical review, when your information is not available for examination and verification?
You see, Loxton is commenting on and using information that he could verify, and he does a very good job of citing from where and whom that information came from!
And just for the record, calling someone’s Boss because they disagree with your idea, that’s a long time Footer favorite dirty trick! And its pure Chicken S##T. You have a problem with Lox tons work, publically disprove him! Going to his boss – the equivalent of a 7 year old “I’m telling mom!
I react strongly to that tactic because I had the good old faithful over at BF actually call my chancellor and demand I be fired! Based on what? Because I had the temerity to identify a supposed Bigfoot hair as a bear – By DNA!
My chancellor was greatly amused by the ignorant incompetent rant, called me in to say keep up the good work! But the point was – someone (SY) wanted me to lose my career because I correctly identified a supposed sample of BF as actually being bear. In their mind, I needed to be punished by being fired! Really?
Bottom line, I read the same 2 chapters as Bill reads, but I have a completely different interpretation!
Over the Line, Smokey! called in our crack history-of-science expert to review the section of the book “Abominable Science” that caused Mr. Munns to lose control of himself, and launch his quixotic campaign against the book, the authors, and the publisher. (Will Columbia University be his next target?) The section of the book that deals with the Patterson film is about 8 pages.
It would appear that Mr. Munns’ tantrum is likely his response to being ignored by professional writers. Perhaps he believes admittedly erroneous/self-published opinions are of great import. This would easy to believe when one surrounds oneself with credulous bigfoot believers, as Mr. Munns does. But here are the two passages from “Abominable Science” that he may have seized upon, to attempt make his outbursts seem to be based on some legitimate complaint:
This seems to be true. There is, at present, no sign that the issue can be resolved. Mr. Munns has some subjective opinions. So do thousands of other people. If he has some objective, “scientific” proof that can settle the matter, he hasn’t used the expected scientific channels to validate it. Either way, the statement is true.
This passage also seems to be true. Mr. Munns’ (who is just one of many investigators) estimate of the height of the subject seems to vary from year to year and could be, according to his website, between 4 ft 8 inches and something like 6 ft 7 inches. He once thought the height was over 7 feet. Others have estimated 5 ft 5 inches to almost 8 feet tall. Mr. Munns currently indicates that he can’t reconcile the numbers.
OTL,S! notes that Mr. Munns also tries to make much of “hypocrasy’ [sic] on the part of the authors, in that they ask for real science, but then themselves use historical, eyewitness, hearsay or anecdotal accounts. Mr. Munns seems not to read for comprehension. The point is that there is no good science supporting the claim of the existence of bigfoot; only historical, eyewitness, hearsay and anecdotal accounts; in essence, those have been addressed by the authors the only way they can be, “in kind.” There is an accepted way of establishing a biologic entity. Everyone knows what that is…biologic proof. And everyone knows there isn’t any. Mr. Munns’ crank outbursts and attention seeking only contribute to what Sharon Hill of Doubtful News charitably suggests is a sad state of bigfootery.
(That said, there is a substantial majority of the OTL,S! staff that would like to see Mr. Munns confront the counsel of The Columbia University Press. )
Yesterday, OTL,S! commented on the rather odd reaction of Mr. William Munns to the publication of a book (“Abominable Science”) that gave short shrift to Mr. Munns efforts in the area of bigfoot “research”. Much as we hate to dumpster dive further into the greater “bigfoot phenomenon,” we feel we have to give a bit of follow-up: it now appears that Mr. Munns is engaging in some sort of actual campaign against the book. As previously reported, Mr. Munns wrote a lengthy screed, first to the publisher, Columbia University Press, and then to the trustees of Columbia University, and has now posted a somewhat condensed version as a book review at Amazon.
…one of the co-authors, Daniel Loxton, has written a fairly substantial portion of this book practicing the very “abominable science” the book proportedly sets out to expose. In other words, he has demonstrated a journalistic or scientific hypocrisy that is either grossly negligent, grossly incompetent, or so blatantly biased that he humiliates the scientific process and journalistic professionalism alike…..Mr. Loxton does not understand this data and what it can or cannot prove. He has apparently not made any due diligence effort to seek out contemporary authorities who do understand this evidence, but his most unconscionable decision is to deceive the readers and misrepresents the idea to suggest no one else may find scientific merit to the PGF image data, simply because he doesn’t. His portion of this book on the Patterson-Gimlin Film is a travesty in terms of responsible science, critical thinking, academic merit, and journalistic integrity.
The only reason to buy this book is so if the publishers value their own integrity and recall the book, the few copies sold already will be collectable as novelties.
Mr. Munns, of course, brings his version of science to the public on cable television programs, proclaiming the reality of bigfoot:
Another “bigfoot prover” goes “around the bend.” This time it’s Rick Dyer.
It seems that sooner or later those committed to the reality of the folklore “bigfoot” lose their grip, so to speak. Dr. Ketchum was not the first, nor will she be the last. Roger Patterson seemingly believed in Bigfoot, but, perhaps driven by the need for money, by his fatal illness, and by the mental effects of the chemotherapy drug prednisone, later began to be a hoaxer. Rick Dyer was already a proven bigfoot hoaxer when, last year, he claimed to have shot a bigfoot behind a Home Depot in suburban San Antonio. He now is spouting off a ridiculous story that the dead creature that he has kept in secret storage, an 8 foot tall, 800 pound hermaphrodite with two hearts,was pregnant, and….wait for it… Dyer claims the “child” is living.
Bigfoot Queen Melissa Hovey has also had the cheese fall off her cracker, in her quest for bigfoot, fame and fortune. Ms. Hovey copyrighted an image that wasn’t hers,
then tried to sue some other believer for using it. And of course all the time it was a fake anyway, just a photo taken on a movie set.
More on the Hovey madness, here. And she is a paralegal…wtf?
The weird part of this recurrent “march to madness” theme is that these individuals continue to have devoted followings. Indeed, Dyer is seemingly engaged in some sort of “how weird can I go and still have these bigfoot believer people give me credence and even money?”
And don’t get us started on Dr. Matthew “cry me a river” Johnson, who punctuates his bigfoot stories with weeping.
Who’s next? Dr. Meldrum? is his “field guide” to a non-existent animal, or his blimp project, the beginning of the end? How about Mr. William Munns and his stunningly inappropriate breast movies, and outrage over the new book “Abominable Science”?
James D. Jordan, Director
Columbia University Press
61 West Sixty-Second Street
New York, NY 10023
Dear Mr. Jordan:
This letter is in regard to a new publication of yours, a book entitled “Abominable Science” by authors Daniel Loxton and Donald Prothero. It is with deep regret that I inform you that this book is an embarrassment to your publishing integrity and I feel that you deserve to know why that is so. The reason that it is embarrassing to your company is that one of the co-authors, Daniel Loxton, has written a fairly substantial portion of this book practicing the very “abominable science” the book proportedly sets out to expose. In other words, he has demonstrated a journalistic or scientific hypocrisy that is either grossly negligent, grossly incompetent, or so blatantly biased that he humiliates the scientific process and journalistic professionalism alike….
and it goes on and on from there, ending with:
Regarding the ten questions I posed above and suggest you ask your author, Mr. Loxton, if he knows the answers to, if you would like the true answers on hand when he is asked the questions, so you may compare his replies with the truth, I will be pleased to provide those truthful answers directly to your Executive of Legal Affairs of your company’s house counsel (an attorney), with confidence that the person will not allow the author to see the answers before he is asked the questions.
OTL,S!’s readers are likely not surprised by the lack of response; to Mr. Munns, however, this silence is a cue to charge up the ladder:
….I’ve received no response from the President of Columbia University Press (or anyone on his staff), after more than a week, so I sent letters to the nine Board of trustees, each getting a brief cover latter and then the same 7 page letter sent to the Press President.
Not sure if this will shake anything up over there, but I’ll report if anything happens.
The two (Meldrum and Munns) seem to be developing a “folie a deux” relationship. OTL,S! sees more madness ahead in the bigfoot ranks.
5 hours ago
Yay, the film crew will soon be on its way to Brien! Please, everyone, consider supporting the Kickstarter campaign for this documentary – the first of its kind on the skulls!
Would it be wrong to assume that Ms. Ramey has communicated with Mr. Foerster regarding Dr. Ketchum?
Incidentally, for those who are interested in elongated skulls, a link.
qui, possibly the most curious “human” specimen on earth not hidden away in the vaults of the Vatican or Smithsonian. Rob Arnold, Trevor Thompson and Dave Slayer-of Giants will have exclusive access to this being in the coming weeks for their upcoming documentary:
Then, in the comments, someone asks:
Has this specimen had its DNA tested?
To which Mr. Foerster responds:
.Some Russians supposedly took DNA but have not released the results. Future studies will be done in the US by Melba Ketchum.
Seems to me he is saying that he was told that the Russians sent their supposed specimen to Dr. Ketchum. This would fit with her Russian connection. OTL,S!’s intern thinks it was nice of him not to add, “Good luck with that!”
Is there trouble in
River City ? Peru? The Peru freaktourism folks may have changed DNA horses in midstream, and now they need more money to pay for it. Here’s their kickstarter blurb:
Team RWA is filming a documentary about the famed elongated skulls of Peru. DNA will reveal the genetics of these mysterious people.
The Origins of the Elongated Skulls of PeruThis will be the first documentary of its kind – thoroughly reviewing the strange, ancient elongated skulls of Paracas, Peru. Long dismissed by skeptics as the result of head-binding, these skulls have anatomical anomalies that clearly indicate they are different from modern humans.Team RWA not only will provide an in-depth look at the skulls, but their possible relationship with megalithic structures assumed to be left over from the Inca civilization, but which may actually be quite older.A highlight of the documentary will be DNA test results on the skulls, provided by a California-based research initiative – results that may prove the existence of a globally connected civilization in deep antiquity.…Our California-based genetics team will be the first to test and analyze many of the skulls, including the most peculiar of all the specimens collected, to determine the relationship of these people to modern humans. A close friend of Director, Producer and Cinematographer Rob Arnold, will lead the genetic research.
Now, Ketchum is a bit secretive about where she is; no sign of her in Nacogdoches…her “pal” David Paulides USED to be in California but has now moved to Colorado. I’d bet she isn’t in California…regulation is a bit tighter her there than down home in east Texas.
Bottom line, I think Mr. Freakotourism/Foerster realized he’d been conned (he’s a bit of a carnival barker, himself), and looked for someone else, someone in California (?Santa Barbara/LA area?), who would actually perform. For example, for $99 you can get your DNA analyzed by good old California DNA folks 23andme. Looks pretty good vs the $7000 he gave Ketchum, yes? I doubt Mr. Foerster would have any legal recourse against Dr. Ketchum…what jurisdiction are we talking about? Peru? and what sort of contract, if any, did she sign? Live and learn, Mr. Foerster, a cheap lesson. The internet is your friend…USE IT. Of course, most of that $7000 was put up by credulous believers, upon the recommendation of good old Ketchum-endorser David Swenson. I doubt Mr. Foerster is going to raise much money at kickstarter, as this is basically the second go-round on Peruvian elongated skull DNA freakotourism, and what does he have to show for it?
Over the Line, Smokey! notes the publication of “Abominable Science!” by Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero. This book was brought to our attention by Mr. William Munns, who is so incensed at something (?that he isn’t mentioned in the book as an example of abominable science?) that he fired off an angry letter to the publisher. On pages 63-65, Loxton and Prothero make mention of Dr. Ketchum’s “project.” The discussion is good, although they do fall prey to Dr. Ketchum’s false claim that she bought the “journal”.
OTL,S!’s crack literary editor has read some of the book, the part that is available online, and it seems like a solid summary of those major modern folklore animals that are thought by some to be actual living creatures, and the combinations of pranksters, profiteers and gullible folks who keep this nonsense alive and on cable television. Loxton and Prothero discuss some of the many fallacies and pseudoscientific claims cited by the hucksters (Dr. Ketchum, Dr. Meldrum, Mr. Munns, on and on the list goes) in support of their balderdash; for one, the idea that thousands of unsupported reports constitute strong evidence. In fact, the fact that bigfoot has been “reported” everywhere and anywhere around the world for so long argues against the reality of the creature, a concept that even bigfoot believer Professor Grover Krantz understood.
Perhaps Mr. Munns resents Dr. Ketchum’s stunning monetization of bigfoot: our crack intern tells us that Mr. Munns has launched two different crowd-sourcing ventures, and is pitching to “Monsterquest” (does that still exist?) and some other cable entity, as well as a number of corporations for sponsorship. He did appear on television a time or two, several years ago, with some claims that even he now admits turned out to be wrong, though it was profitable…and apparently he did receive some recent money through Dr. Meldrum, which has enabled him to…well, our intern doesn’t know exactly what. Sort of like Dr. Ketchum, he has been working on this nonsense for, oh, maybe 5 years, and has nothing of scientific value to show for it. Oh, wait, he has self-published a number of “papers” on his own website!! Shades of Dr. Melba Ketchum!!
Now he claims that he has a scientific paper or three that will be published in ……wait for it…..an online bigfoot journal!!! No, we are not kidding. He says that his “papers” will be published in “The Relict Hominoid Inquiry.” This “journal” is something put together by wait for it…. Munns’ “sugardaddy”, huckster/Professor Jeff Meldrum! Seemingly Dr. Meldrum has promised Mr. Munns that his work would be published there. Hmm. If Dr. Meldrum is running a “peer-reviewed” “journal” there, how is he promising publication? OTL,S! guesses “the fix is in.”
We fear that Mr. Munns’ day may have passed. A once-upon-a-long-time-ago Hollywood special effects type guy who was fired from his last “special effects job/picture” for bad work, his loudest bigfoot claims seem to be, essentially, that he
1)doesn’t know how to make a costume that would fool people like the one in the old 1967 film made by Roger Patterson.
2)has the world’s biggest collection of digital scans of copies of Patterson’s film, all catalogued and filed and named and numbered.
We suggest that Mr. Munns:
1)contact Dr. Ketchum for tips on publishing in an online “scientific journal”
2)get out in the woods and make some blobsquatch videos
3)claim to have a bigfoot body in a secret location
4)get into thermal detection devices
5)start his own DNA lab. Dr. Ketchum has shown that you really don’t have to have a lab of your own, or a degree in genetics. Just a mailing address (could be a mail drop) is all you need (along with some credulous believers), where you can receive specimens and money. Then you just outsource all the actual lab work).
Dr. Ketchum, having refused to appear on the Joe Rogan show, nonetheless complains bitterly about it on her Facebook page. And she is now defending the laughable “breathing rug” Matilda, seen on a video. Apparently some of this material had been tested before Dr. Ketchum started her project [OTL,S!'s comments in bracketed italic]:
…Her mitochondrial DNA was tested by Disotell with human results like all of our samples [oops, Dr. Ketchum didn't obtain mtDNA sequencing on all her specimens] …. we then tested the nuclear DNA where the differences are in the Sasquatch. First, the DNA was female and we had very few females in the study [how would Dr. Ketchum know that, as only three samples had nuDNA done?] Some of the individual genes we sequenced on this sample were human while others failed even with universal mammalian primers. [so how does a non-mammal breed with a human? ] This sample behaved just like the rest of the samples [wow, all of them, all three???]. To add credibility and link the sample to the videos, we tested the MC1R gene for red hair color. She sequenced human for this gene and had the mutation for red hair. We ran the 2.5 million human SNP array on her sample. Even a degraded human sample will have greater than ninety five percent of the SNPs run successfully and our degraded human control sample ran 97%. [from her description, this "degraded" control specimen of DNA was simply left to decay, not treated with what Justin Smeja and other witnesses tell us was Dr. Ketchum's secret recipe for producing weirdness]. Matilda’s DNA was pristine [?] but only ran at 83%. So, her DNA was obviously not completely human. [we are in potato range here] I also spoke with all three members of the Erickson team and am totally convinced that the videos are legitimate. This is especially true since the DNA findings matched her sex and hair color.
The crux of Dr. Ketchum’s attempts to create something out of nothing is the fact that nuclear-DNA analysis of specimens she handled acts as if it has been contaminated (more than one organism) and/or denatured (treated with a reagent). She simply makes non-specific assertions that this didn’t happen. Her “control” “degraded” (simply leaving it sitting out, without refrigeration) specimen means nothing. Justin Smeja and several other witnesses say that she told them otherwise, and offered Smeja a payoff and the “recipe” to insure weird results. Ketchum’s “story” is further compromised by the biologic fact that anything that could successfully breed with a human would have to be very close genetically to a human, not something that is farther from a human than a potato, which is what she is describing if she is seriously suggesting an 82% match.
Meanwhile, the Peru freakotourism people continue to await what will undoubtedly be similar “freakogenome” results from Dr. Ketchum. Of course, it will take time, and likely more money. OTL,S! is betting that Mr. Foerster has already felt the cost overruns (shall we say) that ended up costing her previous donor-daddy over $400,000 for the hot mess that Ketchum finally gave him. Will Mr. Foerster finally figure out the “sunk cost”, “good money after bad” concept? or will he forge ahead, not wanting to disappoint his many Facebook friends/potential customers, by admitting that he’s been “had?”
Update 7/26/2013, part 2:
OTL,S! was “over the line!” and is chagrined to have had a reliable source turn into a derf. It appears that Reverend Jeff’s report/ Mr. Smeja is correct; the first analysis of the “Sierra boot” was unable to demonstrate DNA; the results of the second labs’ testing are pending. In our previous update, we gave too much weight to this unconfirmed report, and apologize to our readers. If only we could blame this on our grievously underpaid intern, we’d feel better. Maybe we could claim it was just to see if anyone was reading this post. Unfortunately, neither would be true.
A person calling himself Reverend Jeff has posted a video in which he claims to have spoken with Mr. Smeja regarding our recent post, in which we cited a source connected to the Sykes study, regarding the results of DNA testing on Mr. Smeja’s boots. According to Reverend Jeff, Smeja told him that he (Smeja) has been told by someone that one analysis was not able to find DNA, and another is pending. Further, Mr. Smeja is quoted as saying that he knows what bears look like (on that last point, OTL,S! agrees!!).
So there you have it: it’s “he said ‘he said ‘someone said’ ‘ “, vs. “we said, ‘someone said.’ ” OTL,S! will let it sit there for the moment, and await a statement from Dr. Sykes. In the meantime, for what it’s worth, we note that a person calling himself Mr. Michael Greene writes us, saying he has an exclusive contract with Mr. Smeja, and wants our help in publishing a Sasquatch book.
Over the Line, Smokey!, while not particularly interested in the greater field of belief in a giant “cryptid” primate in North America, notes (for those who do have such an interest), this video, which would seem to simulate the hoax perpetuated by Mr. Patterson, Mr. Gimlin, and the principal actor, a Mr. Robert Heironimus, all of Yakima, WA, back in 1967. The so-called Patterson-Gimlin film is the basis for most of the tomfoolery that has followed, including Dr. Ketchum’s spectacular (yet absurdly profitable) flame-out.
Through a confidential source connected to the Sykes study, Over the Line, Smokey! has been told the results of DNA testing on the blood stains on Justin Smeja’s boots. This blood came from the animal Smeja killed in the Sierras in the fall of 2010. This was the so-called “juvenile bigfoot,” which appeared after Smeja fired at a similar but larger animal. According to Smeja, this “juvenile” bled on his boots and died “in his arms.” As has been previously recounted in this post (or watch this video), Smeja left the animals at the scene, but returned several weeks later, and used a dog to find a piece of animal hide in the immediate vicinity. A piece of this specimen was sent to Dr. Ketchum, and reportedly showed human mtDNA with strange nuDNA and became the centerpiece of her claims that bigfoot was a hybrid of a homo sapiens sapiens woman and some other creature, perhaps a lemur, some 13000 or less years ago. Examination of Dr. Ketchum’s data, however, showed bear and some artifact, while retesting of the specimen by two independent labs showed the DNA of a bear contaminated by Smeja’s DNA. Ketchum did not obtain a specimen of Smeja’s DNA for comparison/detection of contamination. Smeja reported that Ketchum made witnessed statements to him about altering the results. (A Texas science writer has supposedly retested one of Ketchum’s other specimens and found opossum and other common DNA.)
However, there was a significant chance that the hide specimen aka “the Sierra steak” was not from either one of the two animals that Smeja encountered. But the blood on his boots was, according to Smeja, certainly that of the smaller of the two. However, it was feared that the passage of time, along with exposure to salt water and perhaps other materials, might prevent successful analysis. Nonetheless, a section of the boot was excised and given to Sykes. The results of his analysis have been obtained by OTL,S!:
Once again: it’s BEAR. The DNA of the blood stain on Smeja’s boot was determined to be BEAR.
The Sierra animals were bears. Whether they were mangy or otherwise strange in appearance, and whether Smeja knew it, we will probably never know for sure. But we can be sure that they were not bigfoots. They were bears.
End of story.
Update 7/19/2013 (this is a long and bizarre story; you may want to scroll all the way back to the beginning):
The Wall Street Journal reports today that a number of flawed forensic procedures are under scrutiny, including hair analysis.
….The FBI said that a sweeping review found its experts used microscopic hair comparison to help identify suspects in at least 2,100 convictions from 1985 through 1999, including 27 death-penalty cases.
In February of this year, Dr. Ketchum released a number of wild claims about evidence for the existence of “bigfoot” on her website “DeNovo” (if you are willing to pay $30 for this “paper.”) Some of those chickens may be coming home to roost for one or more of her several “co-authors”….namely, a Mr. David Spence, over the claims that microscopic hair analysis showed non-human specimens, which were then shown to have human mtDNA. The inescapable conclusion is either bigfoot exists , or the man at the microscope (in this case, Mr. David Spence, Trace Evidence Supervisor at Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences) has a lot of explaining to do. These are not small issues. Whether Mr. Spence (who seems to have no advanced degree or publications) is as expert as he claims to be, is certainly up for serious discussion. This, of course, assumes that Dr. Ketchum has told the truth about his findings. The FBI’s concerns are largely related to claims that certain forensic evidence such as hair, can be relied upon to identify specific persons. In Mr. Spence’s case, although he claims membership in various forensic organizations, it seems he cannot even distinguish human from animal hair. How many times has Mr. Spence testified in criminal trials? His expertise and credibility are issues. Or is this simply a matter of a flawed, over-rated, outdated and subjective method, in anyone’s hands?
Weirdness-touter Joe Rogan meets his match in DNA/primatology expert Todd Disotell, who schools him on tattoos and Dr. Ketchum’s claims (article in July 22 issue of New York Magazine):
…. he’s getting in an interview for the TV show with Todd Disotell, a fiftyish biological anthropologist with a Mohawk, … Disotell has become a go-to talking head for TV producers looking to inject some reality into the Bigfoot “debate.”
Rogan had told me earlier, “I’m trying to go into it with a completely open mind, talk to the believers, kooks, scientists.” … Rogan, 45, is a guy who knows what TV needs—suspense until the very end—but he also comes by his interests honestly. He has long read books and watched documentaries about “stupid shit … weird fringe topics … I have a deep curiosity for things that haven’t been solved yet.” He knows Disotell is going to provide the rigorous, scientific case against Bigfoot; still, Rogan clearly likes the idea of Bigfoot and seems to enjoy having a platform that allows him to get to the bottom of all the mysteries that tantalized him growing up, even if they turn out to be fuckery.
His producers had sent Disotell some alleged Bigfoot scat and hair samples, collected by Bigfoot hunters, to analyze in advance of today’s interview, and after comparing molecular-themed tattoos—Disotell’s, on his upper back, illustrates the chemical structure of three of his favorite stimulants: alcohol, caffeine, and capsaicin; Rogan’s, on his left bicep, depicts DMT, a.k.a. dimethyltryptamine, part of the shamanic brew ayahuasca—Rogan proceeds to lay out the various arcane arguments in defense of Bigfoot, which Disotell then knocks down one by one. … What about the uniformity of sightings? Like angels and alien abductions, “it’s a meme, literally.” What about Melba Ketchum—a Texas Bigfoot-ologist who reported that highly sophisticated analyses of a sample had isolated Bigfoot DNA? The non-peer-reviewed journal it was published in was registered with GoDaddy a week before the article was published, and “the way they analyze, interpret that data is … I want to be polite, I don’t want to say crazy, it’s … heterodox.”
“What is heterodox?” Rogan asks.
“It’s crazy,” Disotell says.
“Ohhh,” Rogan moans to the camera. “Todd Disotell, Bigfoot party pooper, just trashed the whole Bigfoot party. So there’s zero evidence; all the evidence sucks; it’s all crazy and unscientific.” Rogan seems resigned, albeit crestfallen. Afterward, over a lunch of fish and chips at Murphy & Gonzalez across the street, Rogan acknowledges: “You can’t fuck with science. What he said was pretty irrefutable. There’s a lot of fuckery, lots of muddy thinking.” But then he says to Disotell: “You didn’t disprove Bigfoot, you just disproved the evidence.”
The freakotourism guy, Brien Foerster, some 8 months after Dr. Ketchum told him it would be a couple-three months, thinks Dr. Ketchum is going to finally produce something for the $7000:
The Mitochondrial DNA testing of the Paracas Elongated Skulls is about to begin in the United States. Thanks to those that financially contributed to the testing. The results should tell, based on maternal DNA, the blood lines of these people. Stay tuned…
The question is, why did Foerster not send the money and the DNA to a reputable center experienced in the analysis of ancient human DNA? to a real scientist who has previously studied specimens from that very area? from whom he might expect a reliable and meaningful result?
why, instead, would he send the material to a person with no lab (evicted August, 2012) and no experience with ancient human DNA?
Only Mr. Foerster can answer that, but one could speculate… does Mr. Foerster actually WANT “mysterious” results, which seem to be Dr. Ketchum’s stock in trade?
Additional information on the “Berger testing” of Dr. Ketchum’s specimens/data (we still don’t know whether it was a sample or data) seems to be emerging in this piece. Some might have assumed that the sample was the famous “sample 27″ from California, which served as the “centerpiece” of Dr. Ketchum’s claims. But….the sample/data analyzed by Berger’s geneticist was actually one from Michigan:
… Ketchum approached Berger and offered him definitive proof of her findings – she would let his friend, a top Houston geneticist, take a sample of her Big Foot DNA and test it himself.
Ketchum claims the sample came from a family of ten Sasquatches that lives in northern Michigan. She says the sample was taken from the crumbs left behind after the Bigfoots ate blueberry bagels.
This is notable for a couple of reasons: Firstly, this is NOT the most prominent specimen (#27 in her self-web-published claim (aka “paper”), which was from the Sierra Mountains in California. Dr. Ketchum’s claim was that analysis of the Sierra specimen showed nuclear DNA that would resemble that of a theoretical organism that would be somewhere between a bushbaby (lemur) and a human on the phylogenetic tree (!). Two independent analyses of that specimen obtained by the collector (Justin Smeja) showed bear DNA contaminated with the DNA of the human (Smeja) who collected the specimen).
The “Berger testing” specimen, showing predominantly possum DNA, in contrast, we now learn, came from Robin Lynn(e) Pfeifer, the person who became known as Dr. Ketchum’s “public relations” person in November, 2012, when Dr. Ketchum issued her claims in a short press release. Mrs. Pfeifer resides in rural Michigan, and has made many unsubstantiated claims to being (like Dr. Ketchum) a so-called “habituator,” ie a person who has habitual contact with a group of “bigfoots.”
It would still be helpful for Mr. Berger to provide more details on the analysis done by his geneticist, but Dr. Ketchum’s claims continue to come apart like wet tissue paper.
John Timmer at Ars Technica has written a well-reasoned critique of Dr. Ketchum’s self-published claims. The piece is lengthy and detailed. The interested reader would do well to peruse it. Briefly, Timmer shows that the method used by Ketchum’s “team” was non standard, and that even with that technique the results were distinctly non-human, and certainly could not represent any sort of human hybrid.
…the standard way of assembling genomes from short, 100-base-long reads.
For some unfathomable reason, team bigfoot didn’t use it. Instead, they took a single human chromosome and got some software to line up as much as it could to that….the software still couldn’t assemble an entire chromosome. Instead, it ended up matching sequences to three different stretches of the chromosome, each a few hundred thousand base pairs long. Remember, the human genome is over three billion base pairs total. This only represents a tiny fraction of it. Given that the quality score provided for the DNA sequencing run was high, this tells us one of two things: either the software was woefully incapable of assembling a genome, even when given a template; or there was very little human DNA there in the first place. As we’ll see, it might be a little bit of both.
And of course the origins of the mitochondrial DNA requires a preposterous story (of course, this IS bigfootery, so what’s new?) to make its origins anything but a North American human population:
On the face of it, there’s simply no way to make sense of this—the European and African DNA, the recent time frame for its arrival, the fact that there must have been so many interbreedings…. The obvious interpretation is that the samples were all from humans or contaminated with human DNA, which nicely explains the diversity and modernity of the sequences.
But remember, to Ketchum, that possibility had been ruled out. In the absence of the obvious, her team went with a far less obvious suggestion: sometime during the last glacial period, a diverse group of Europeans and Africans got together and wandered across the vast empty spaces of the Greenland ice sheet and found themselves in North America. “Several of the Smithsonian scientists even wrote a book about it, where they’ve gone below the Clovis layer and found artifacts that they feel came from [an] area in France,” she said. But she wasn’t committed to that idea and later suggested that the interbreeding might have taken place in Europe… after which the Sasquatch left to cross the Bering Sea-land bridge before the Ice Age ended. “It’s feasible they could have crossed the world, basically,” she said. “They’re very fast.”
They must be. Can’t find ‘em anywhere.
After repeatedly posting and hyping for the Lloyd Pye-elongated-skull tour, the Peru freakotourism guy cancels it, saying:
Delayed until next year due to overwhelming activity this year.
which would seem to be hype-talk/code for “underwhelming demand.”
Of course, we could be completely mistaken. It could be due to Dr. Ketchum’s failure to deliver the goods.
In response to the Eric Berger posting, noted in a previous update, one Facebook commenter wrote a ‘Say it ain’t so, Joe” message to Dr. Ketchum:
Dr. Ketchum, please confirm whether or not the article posted by Brent is true or false. We all would like to know….and please do not delete my post again. I’m not a hater…I beleive in your work…but I’m also interested in truth.
Dr. Ketchum seems to have come back to life (back from another European vacay, thanks to Mr. Hersom’s generosity?). In addition to getting the DeNovo site back up, she posted on her public facebook site, in an apparent response to the Eric Berger findings. Apparently that post was deleted, and only this is seen at present:
If you don’t agree with somebody’s research, then you should test it yourself before being critical.
It is at first unclear why she posted that, as, apparently, Berger did arrange for a re-testing of Ketchum’s sample by a leading genetics expert. Here is what Berger wrote:
I would hold off writing anything until this geneticist had his lab test the DNA samples obtained by Ketchum that were purportedly a novel and non-human species. If the evidence backed up Ketchum’s claims, I had a blockbuster story. My geneticist source would have a hand in making the scientific discovery of the decade, or perhaps the century. Ketchum would be vindicated….Alas, I met my geneticist friend this past week and I asked about the Bigfoot DNA. It was, he told me, a mix of opossum and other species. No find of the century.
Makes it sound like Dr. Ketchum provided a sample, doesn’t it? but stay tuned…
However, this interpretation(or rather Berger’s statement) seems to be somewhat mistaken. Here’s why:
According to the Bigfoot Evidence site, there was a long screed posted earlier on Dr. Ketchum’s Facebook site, which OTL,S! will not copy in its entirety, but here are some parts of it (OTL,S!‘s comments in italic):
In response to the latest round of criticism. 1. We did give these folks access to the genomes. 2. They only pulled random sequences and did not look at the whole genomes.
Apparently she means she sent data from the sequencing that she had done previously at the University of Texas Southwestern. What little analysis had been done there, was unofficially by a junior tech who was operating above his pay level, and was told to cut it out. This seems to be the reason that Ketchum’s paper contained so little actual analysis of the sequencing data.
What findings they gave were impossible since both of our labs would have had to extract feces to obtain these results. If it had been feces, we would not have been able to obtain the preliminary results that we got prior to the genomes. After all, they were the same extractions. You can’t get feces from tissue, blood and saliva. If we did extract feces, the quality scores would not have been this high. That is in the literature. (not true).
feces?!! really? where did that come from? or was it just a mix of animals treated with the “secret recipe” that Dr. Ketchum described to Justin Smeja?
This leads to a couple of possibilities. One, there is a conspiracy to suppress our findings. Two, they just didn’t care and didn’t believe that there is even the possibility that Sasquatch exists and therefore just wanted to be done with it because they had other projects. Three, they themselves suppressed it for fear that their careers would be damaged.
Same old appeal to conspiracy theories. Surprising that she didn’t mention timber companies.
….If they really had an interest, they would have jumped at the chance to resequence the raw samples. Now here it gets interesting. Ketchum is seemingly saying that she did not send a specimen to Berger or to Berger’s chosen laboratory. Rather, according to Ketchum, she only transmitted a portion of the sequencing data previously obtained by the UTSW. This is entirely different from what Berger seems to be describing.
I also offered several people an opportunity to visit a habituation site including this reporter and his lab people so they could have a sighting. Of course they didn’t want that either. Bottom line, nobody except a few of you here even care about the truth. ….
A free pass to visit Melba’s Scawy Halloween Haunted House? I’d pass too.
So apparently what was done by Berger was simply to arrange for a geneticist to look at some of Ketchum’s sequencing data. This is more or less what happened several months ago, as posted at the Bigfoot Forums website. This present analysis, like those, was anonymous, but vouched for by Berger, even though Berger seemingly didn’t understand what went on.
Regardless, this is still a debunking of Ketchum’s paper, and actually a stronger one than if a new sample had been analyzed, because it uses Ketchum’s own data, and does not admit the possibility of “specimen switching.”
Science blogger Eric Berger has followed the Ketchum story for a long time; he posts the results of a test of a specimen he received from Dr. Ketchum [NB: apparently data was shared, not a specimen] and submitted to a top genetics lab: possum and other animals mixed together.
Possum: that is so 2008/Tom Biscardi/freezer/Georgia boys stuff, isn’t it?
This is certainly the expected sort of result. One would like to know what process/reagents she is using as her secret sauce, the one she mentioned to Justin Smeja and several witnesses….something that disrupts the DNA…but the exact method she used to “combine’ DNA’s is unimportant. What is important is another confirmation (this is at least the third, not to mention Dr. Ketchum’s own presentation/’paper’) all of which suggest a fraud.
In other news, the DeNovo website, where Dr. Ketchum sells her “paper”, is “live” again after being down for several weeks. There seems to be nothing new there.
Elongated skull fans on Facebook are all titillated, just like the bigfoot fans were:
William Shane Nephelim
We assume they aren’t waiting for something from Dr. Ketchum’s old lab, which she got booted out of, for nonpayment, 10 months ago:
OTL,S! has inquired in nearby Nacogdoches regarding a possible new lab there, without success.
DeNovo Journal continues to be down, but Dr. Ketchum’s other four sites, “Sasquatch Genome Project”, and “Melba Ketchum Global Sasquatch Foundation,” her public facebook page, and “DNA Diagnostics,” are still alive, though showing no activity.
The Peru elongated skulls guy is still waiting at the altar, but his intended is playing her usual runaway bride role:
Does that mean Dr. Ketchum is experiencing delays at the airport in Brussels? or that someone who is actually doing the analysis is demanding to be paid before releasing the results?
Yesterday, the “press pass” area of Dr. Ketchum’s “DeNovo Journal” aka “Advanced Science Foundation” site died. Today the entire site is dark. In other news, Dr. Ketchum’s facebook page has been unchanged for nearly two months, and there is no sign of activity/new lab/location at her “DNA Diagnostics” site.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ketchum is up to her familiar tricks, as the months roll by; her freakotourism customer waits:
Jelger Muylaert Hello Brien, do you have more news on your DNA-test. Last information I read, is that it has five differences from human DNA. Any more clarification available?
Any possibility, that the red-haired people have more Orangutang genes then Homo-sapiens, thus giving them a nickname of Pongo-sapiens?
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Over the Line, Smokey! notes that the followers of Brien Foerster (the Peruvian elongated skull tourism promoter) seem to be very much at home with the idea that nephilim (ie fallen angels) are involved in all sorts of mysteries, interbreeding with humans, manipulating their DNA, as suggested by Mr. Foerster’s associates and the publicity for his multi-thousand-dollar “mystery” tours. However, the Lloyd Pye skull tour seems not to be selling very well, as evidenced by the fact that Mr. Foerster keeps pushing it on Facebook. He is undoubtedly pushing Dr. Ketchum for more DNA results, something, anything…. for his marketing campaign. After all, she is into him for at least $7000. And she certainly can deliver “something.” Of course, no one will know what she’s done to it.
The nephilim idea is attractive to many of the bigfoot “faithful”. Here is Ron Morehead, a bigfoot profiteer who sells copies of a 1971 recording that he says is of some bigfoots vocalizing near where he and a bunch of other guys were hunting. He maintains that this was validated by a scientist; but OTL,S!’s reading is that the sense of what the scientist actually wrote was that the recordings could have been made by some guy holding his hands around his mouth like a megaphone, like one would do cheering at a football game. In other words, these were hunting buddies playing camp pranks on each other (or deliberately collaborating on a hoax). Mr. Morehead is a “well-respected’ member of the “bigfoot community” who may be the most popular speaker/vendor at bigfoot conventions. Anyway, here is a statement by Mr. Morehead; OTL,S! invites our readers to evaluate Mr. Morehead’s pattern of thinking.
This Nephilim theory has its base on a compilation of, but not limited to, the Bible (several versions, i.e., the ancient text, Hebrew, Greek), The Book of Enoch, The Book of Giants, and my first book into quantum physics, Quantum Enigma. Beside North America, my research has taken me to the Yucatan, Russia, Siberia, Nepal, and more recently into South America. Peru is where I witnessed enigmatic archeological structures and non-human remains which cemented the Nephilim concept to me.
Bigfoots are self-aware, cognizant, sentient beings with language. In our culture humans are the only ones who are supposed to have those attributes. However, the Bible tells us that corrupt angelic beings mingled with human women and this act made hybrids that were giants, men of renown…the Nephilim (Gen 6:4). Giants returned on the scene in Numbers 13:33, after the flood. The same Hebrew word for giants in Genesis is also used in Numbers and it translates to ‘Nephilim’, ….Bigfoot has an inherit ability to use quantum facets in the macro-world that we live in. They seem to only interact with certain people on certain levels, why? Could those people have a common spiritual makeup, or maybe a mutual brain-wave function that allows this? And, can Bigfoot manipulate or ‘entangle’ with that wave, initiating acceptable scenarios to the unwary person. Could they be manipulating some of us for something devious? Or, as in the days of Enoch, could these unusual beings want us to plead for their soul (1 Enoch, Chapter 15).
OTL,S! sees high strangeness in Mr. Morehead’s statement. More can be found here.
Shifting to another no-so-clear-thinking profiteer: Mr. William Munns’ Indigogo overblown vanity project (previously discussed here) on the Patterson-Gimlin film has ended, well short of the goal, but Mr. Munns collects some $1400 of the believers money, to be used however he wishes. A good day’s haul from the gullible, who hoped to get some face time on an “Academy Award eligible” documentary. OTL,S! hopes they learned a lesson, however unlikely that may be. As noted previously, Mr. Munns claimed to be capable of writing, directing, filming, producing, editing, (not to mention writing his own publicity campaign), but has no record of doing any of this successfully, and judging by his capabilities as a writer, as demonstrated by his project website, he seems unlikely to do so.
One interesting development on Mr. Munns’ claims:
Dr. Jeff Meldrum, (who is, after Dr. Melba Ketchum, probably the most effective long-term economic exploiter of the bigfoot phenomenon), gives an interview in which he makes some new and apparently false claims about the Patterson Gimlin film, and the work done by Mr. Munns. A partial transcript of Dr. Meldrum’s remarks:
The Patterson-Gimlin film is by far the most compelling piece photographic evidence in this whole mystery and its quite amazing to me, how, year after, well not year-after-year, but every once and again there seems to be some event that precipitates a hailstorm around this piece of footage, a claim by a would-be hoaxer or the pretender to be the man in the fur suit, or whatever. And it seems that each time this happens that there is a renewed interest in the film, a renewed curiosity, and the application of more advanced technologies to review and analyze. And there have been some really interesting things done. Most recently I have been working with Bill Munns. We have a funded project to carry out several aspects of reanalysis, including applying state-of-the-art photogrammetric software that has allowed a recreation of the 3-dimensional model of the site and has really helped to nail down the actual location. And the implications of that…one of which is that his photogrammetric reconstruction based on the film is a little distorted by comparison to the actual survey of the film site, and that suggests that a smaller or lower focal length lens was used, a panoramic lens, and the degree of that distortion correlates with the focal length of the lens, and with that information nailed down, by that means, since there was some controversy in what lens was actually used to shoot the film, we can then solve for the height the unknown height of the film subject and it clearly was in excess of seven feet high. So you can’t just say it was just a man in a fur suit, it would have to be just a seven-foot-plus man in a fur suit. Not to mention all the other aspects, so those are other areas that we are getting into. Bill is an expert in the history of cinematography and costume fabrication design, the materials and techniques that have been used over the years what was and wasn’t available in 1967. He’s also a keen observer of the anatomy of the film subject; and that’s where I come in, too, as a human and primate anatomist, looking at features, muscles groups, the action of muscle groups, tendons that are visible, the kinematics of the movements, they way it walks, the way the feet appear as they interact with the substrate and are correlated with the features that are identifiable in the tracks themselves. If I had nothing but the footprints and the feet of that film subject to work with, I would be absolutely convinced.
OTL,S!’s determined (though underpaid) intern, in reading though as much of Mr. Munns postings as one educated woman can stomach, sees no evidence that he is a trained or employed photogrammetrist (other than the fact that he has now purchased some software in the current project), or that he believes, or has ever believed, that a “panoramic” lens was used in filming the episode in question, or that he even believes that sufficient reliable data is available to allow for the “solving” of the height of the subject of the Patterson-Gimlin film, or that he currently believes that the height is over seven feet. Our intern informs us that Mr. Munns has said he needs to return to the site and obtain more data from a seat suspended below a helicopter, in order to make his calculations.
OTL,S! also wonders what Dr. Meldrum meant by that last sentence:
If I had nothing but the footprints and the feet of that film subject to work with, I would be absolutely convinced.
Does he mean the images of the feet of the subject, or the actual feet? if the former, then, he already has those… does he mean he is absolutely convinced of ???? what? the existence of bigfoot as a flesh and blood creature? Well…..! Big news?
Update 6/1/2013: Notable bigfoot analyst now touting search for Amelia Earhart
Over the Line, Smokey! notes a couple of posts at nabigfootsearch.com by Mr. David Paulides, longtime associate and promoter of Dr. Ketchum, in which he
1)expresses his conviction that Dr. Ketchum will be vindicated by history
2)suggests that (judging by an audience reaction), no one, relatively speaking, cares about bigfoot DNA anymore
3)implies that, judging by reader enthusiasm, his “missing” books are much hotter than bigfoot
4)jumps on the alien-skull-guy-Lloyd-Pye bandwagon with both feet (and with Melba Ketchum)
OTL,S! is certainly in agreement with #2 and also #3, although we haven’t read any of the “missing” books, and suspects that Mr. Paulides is mysterifying matters unduly, the subject is, in several ways, more interesting. We congratulate Mr. Paulides on his success in the “missing” field, and hope that something other than alien/bigfoot abduction theories will come from it. Of course, our hope is probably in vain; because….well, #1 and #4. And this recent quote by him:
“This DNA is like nothing else in the world,” Paulides told CBS Denver. He says Bigfoot is about 7 to 8 feet tall, weighs between 800 and 1,000 pounds, and travels in packs.
And the image posted at the beginning of this update has a bit too much “strange” and “unraveling the secrets” for us to see this as a serious endeavor.
OTL,S! sees Mr. Paulides as a member of a rather small group of bigfoot enthusiasts who have ever actually laid eyes on Dr. Ketchum in the flesh, and/or visited her lab or her home in Texas. We see this reclusiveness as an odd feature of the now-collapsed house of cards that Dr. Ketchum and four or five others constructed. Con men are usually thought of as relying on in-person persuasion, yet Dr. Ketchum never appeared in person at any bigfoot convention. She did have a few internet/Coast to Coast radio appearances. Of course, the only persons who really mattered to her were her major funding sources, including Richard Stubstad, Wally Hersom, Adrian Erickson, and one or two others. OTL,S! assumes she dripped her down-home routine on these guys up close and personal. To persuade the public, she used Facebook to good advantage, conveying a benign and friendly persona which was not at all in keeping with the perceptions of many people in Texas who had to actually deal with her.
Over the Line, Smokey! notes with some amusement that the Peru freakotourism folks are taking a page out of Jeff Meldrum’s playbook and are now promoting sales of casts of elongated skulls, for only $225.
OTL,S! would suggest that bobbleheads might also be a big revenue producer.
Over the Line, Smokey! sees that the Peru freakotourism folks have another incentive for the Lloyd Pye/elongated skulls tour (see previous updates to this post), in addition to whatever meaningless DNA results Dr. Ketchum will toss out. Now they are promising that a documentary of the trip will be made and aired on television! Your children will see you, looking all baffled and serious, on cable!!
Over the Line, Smokey! sees this as the natural evolutionary product of the “vanity book” idea. It’s like the “Who’s Who in American _______ ” (fill in the blank with a profession) series; the publishers of these books send out mass mailers to everyone in the professional field of ________ (fill in the blank) and a large number of those professionals will respond with a short biography and a check for $___ (fill in the blank. The publisher rakes in the cash and turns out a book that many libraries actually buy, and of course the subjects purchase for only $99.95 plus shipping and handling. The book contains their unedited biography/self-appraisal, in a tiny font, along with that of literally thousands of other vain individuals. Thus their children will be able to see how famous (?) they are/were. Of course, an elongated-skull documentary in which you are a paying bystander isn’t quite the same; appearing for 3 seconds as a gawker in a “crowd shot” on cable is not exactly a claim to fame; unless of course you have no other. Think of those ever-present people in the background on “Antique Roadshow.” But the tour people make it sound like much more:
For us, needless to say, this is outstanding news! To become a central part of a new documentary film about incredible subjects in a highly mysterious part of the world is flattering indeed! Also, those who join us will become a part of the documentary (everyone going has to sign a release to be in the film). So if you’re on the lam, hiding from authorities, DON’T COME!!!! Your cover will be blown wide open! But if you’d like to leave a terrific legacy for your kids and/or grandkids, this is the kind of investment I’d urge you to make!
Investment? Really? a record of how you spent $5000-10,000 to look like a rube?
OTL,S!, while reluctant to comment on other aspects of “bigfoot culture”, has noticed that a member of the bigfoot “community” is using this “vanity documentary” idea for profit: a Mr. William Munns, a former makeup-costume artist, is proposing to include bigfoot investigators in a two-hour documentary that he, apparently, will produce, write and direct. Never mind that Mr. Munns has apparently never produced, written, or directed a documentary, or that what seems to have been his last job as costume/special effects person ended in his being fired, way back in 1985, according to this site. Nonetheless, on the crowd-sourcing site Indiegogo, Mr. Munns trumpets that his documentary will be of such quality that it will be entered into multiple film festivals and eligible for “Academy Awards”! Mr. Munns seems to have a great quantity of old and new bigfoot films to include in this project, but it is unclear what he is trying to accomplish, as the field is littered with anecdotal accounts, hoaxers, and downright fraud, yet no actual bigfoots. From what is shown at his site, Mr. Munns’ principal argument for the existence of bigfoot seems to us to be that he is unable to create a credible bigfoot costume. OTL,S! appreciates Mr. Munns’ frankness on that issue, but it hardly seems “documentary-worthy.” Nor does OTL,S! see how the inclusion of a number of other bigfoot investigators, all of whom have also failed to prove the reality of “bigfoot”, would make this putative two-hour documentary anything other than a record of failure, an inverse vanity production, if you will. Will Dr. Ketchum be included?
But, of course, by all odds it’s not going to be made. There is the beauty of vanity. Just the thought of being on television is enough to raise money, regardless of the reality.
Mr. Munns says he needs $12,000 to get started. So, of course, that has to be paid by someone, and OTL,S! is guessing that Mr. Munns has contacted the prominent bigfoot investigators, and the “someones” who kick in dollars will hope to be the ones who get 30 seconds of face time describing their bigfoot investigations, in an Academy-Award-eligible documentary. Kind of a “Who’s Who in American Bigfoot Investigation.” OTL,S! is not sure that would turn out to be a good way for your children to remember you, but to each his own. But that is, of course, irrelevant: it seems clear that Mr. Munns isn’t really going to raise $12,000 at Indiegogo. No matter; the site allows Mr. Munns to keep whatever money is pledged, regardless. Buzinga. As of this writing, Mr. Munns is clearing a thousand dollars.
OTL,S! congratulates Mr. Munns for this inventive entrepreneurial vanity offering. And of course, kudos to the freakotourism folks. We were all on local kids’ television shows when we were 6 years old, and it was a big deal to us and our moms…then.
The fundraising strategy being used by Mr. Munns is also, in some ways, similar to the strategy used by Dr. Melba Ketchum. The former seems to invite members of the bigfoot community to participate on a “pay to play” basis. This is similar to what Dr. Ketchum did initially, back in 2010, when she charged $200 per sample and almost immediately ‘confirmed” that most of these samples were from bigfoot (later, the fee was waived because Mr. Wally Hersom provided funding). When her study was self published, she spent considerable time thanking and crediting all the individuals and groups involved in finding and submitting the samples, almost like the credits shown at the end of a film.
Dr. Ketchum seems to be giving the Elongated Skull freakotourist people a familiar story:
I have just heard from our lead geneticist that 3 COMPLETE GENOMES may be tested from 3 of the most intact and most intriguing of the Elongated Skulls of Peru…stay tuned for an update…
We now have 3 separate DNA testing groups helping us get the bottom of who these people were, and soon a fourth group will join in…
and they are using it as a marketing tool:
Attendants [to the Lloyd Pye tour] will get special access to the Paracas skulls, the latest in the DNA results, and could be part of history in the making, on video…
Julie Mortenson Nephilim or Anunnaki/Human hybrids?
I can’t wait to find out what they find when looking at genomes of elongated skull people.
Of course, not only will it be meaningless in terms of explaining elongated skulls, it may be secret-sauced into artifactual alienity. Regardless, odds are it won’t be reviewed by anyone who is qualified; Dr. Ketchum has learned her lesson; it will just be “Melba Ketchum says,” for what that’s worth.
Another whacky individual tries to fit Dr. Ketchum’s bizarre “paper” into his own nutty world view. which includes miraculous transmutation of iron into manganese by fish, through “phonon frequency matching”.
Some samples of his disordered thinking on Ketchum’s statements:
…presenting a series of anomalies that, taken altogether, are highly indicative of a long-term global program of genetic engineering in conjunction with population management.
the troglodytic lifestyle of the Sasquatch species lends support for the existence of parallel subterranean human populations.
The recurring cataclysmic loss of spiritual and material knowledge experienced by terrestrial humanity is effectively prevented by the great depth of ancient subterranean populations with advanced technological capabilities.
The existence of these technologically advanced human and non-human populations dwelling below the Earth’s surface in artificially maintained, illuminated and weather-controlled cavern systems remains largely unknown to most humans now inhabiting the planetary surface, yet the whispers of ancient indigenous wisdom are still audible, echoing within the human collective unconscious.
Underground human populations also account for the distinct genetic material observed of the cave-dwelling Sasquatch maternal lines, apparently derived from an entirely separate human population without any known living terrestrial descendents.
this previously undetected species has also yielded information concerning a co-existing subterran human population whose ova were used in the advanced genetic engineering of the hybrids, perhaps involving artificial insemination of human females and mid-term fetal removal -as described among alien abduction cases.
Nexrad radar installations throughout the US also display an unmistakable alignment with the resonant field of focused infrasound emanating from the pyramids of Giza, Egypt (above).
Colorado Springs (38.92°N 104.82°W) is located 6,861 miles from the Great Pyramid. This distance comprises 27.56% of the Earth’s mean circumference, or 55/200 when expressed as a fraction. Infrasonic induction of intense piezoelectric heating was measured by investigators at 800°F after a small boy suffered burns when his shoes melted on a Rockrimmon neighborhood playground on June 3, 2008. Relative geopositioning of all of these infrasound-related incidents reveals resonant distance intervals.
You can’t make this stuff up. But, based on what OTL,S! has seen in the past, some people will believe anything, and even send money to these crazies, in hopes of sustaining their belief in the reality of this folklore.
The purpose of peer review is to insure that the scientific community and the public are spared the trouble of dealing with halfbaked (and outright wrong) ideas, presented by “press release,” ie a paper which is simply one person’s idea. The idea is that a journal is a filter, and also a credential. Bad ideas don’t get though, and good ideas receive a stamp of approval (if only tentative) from at least two experts in the relevant field, and from the editor, who has a good overview of the field and scientific method. Furthermore, journals have an editorial board which can function as an overseer. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal thus means that a consensus of a number of scientists with relevant experience, expertise, judgment and integrity, vouch for the value of the paper. Once a paper passes this “gauntlet” of criticism, it is now up to the greater scientific community to test the ideas expressed.
That doesn’t mean that all of the journal “staff” would agree with the paper’s conclusions, or that they can vouch for the integrity of the authors or the actual care taken in performing the study. These latter judgments can only come from the evaluation by the greater scientific community, sometimes only after replication or years of study. But without the backing of a peer-approved journal, with its reviewers, editor, and editorial board, the scientific community is not going to go to that trouble. Nor should it.
Dr. Ketchum’s paper has none of that approval.
It’s all just “Melba Ketchum said…”
Not a single other person supports her statements on passing peer review, she provides no documentation, and even she, in her statements, no longer pretends that it passed peer review. Without ANY evidence that the paper passed peer review, the scientific community would be silly to pay any heed to it.
Now, some anonymous interested and apparently-qualified posters (“ridgerunner”, “slowstepper,” and others) at the Bigfoot Forums website have attempted to evaluate what little data her paper provides (and almost no information about her methods), and have found it to not support her conclusions. Some (Bart Cutino, Tyler Huggins) have actually tried to replicate her findings and failed. No qualified person has supported her conclusions; not even any of her co-authors seem to. One co-author (Sarah Bollinger) demanded to have her name removed, and no explanation for this has been given by Dr. Ketchum. In addition, one individual (Justin Smeja; see earlier update of this post) whose sample is a centerpiece of the study has come forward to state that Dr. Ketchum did not obtain a sample of his DNA (to allow for detection of contamination). Importantly, Smeja states that Dr. Ketchum told him (and three witnesses) that she had a way of creating artifact in DNA results, and that she offered him money to destroy his remaining specimen. As Bart Cutino has shown, the data provided by Ketchum shows the contamination, and some “artifact” as shown in this independent analysis.
A recent paper lists accountability and transparency among the most important issues to look for in judging the integrity of research.
When a researcher violates one of these values, that person’s trustworthiness is diminished…
Since it is she and only she who vouches for her work, Dr. Ketchum has, in effect, put her personal and business/professional credibility in the forefront.
OTL,S! and others have looked into these issues, and shown documentation of most if not all of these issues in her business/professional record. These are apparently the tip of the iceberg, according to multiple professional/business contacts and former employees of hers, in and around Texas and particularly in and around Timpson, where she lives, in nearby Carthage and Center, TX, and county records there in Shelby County and Panola County. These records and interviews paint a disturbing picture, one that OTL,S! hesitates to fully publish, because of the implications for innocent persons.
Dr. Ketchum’s attempt to pretend that her paper passed peer review is consistent with her past conduct. It also reflects badly on her and on her professional conduct, and thus on the paper itself (not to mention Dr. Ketchum’s statements regarding repeated in person and psychic contact with bigfoots).
What does Dr. Ketchum have to say now? seemingly nothing. She appeared on some paranormal radio programs. She or her untrained “public relations” former DeNovo “editor” make rare posts on Facebook, without making any direct statements about her paper. The latest Facebook post concerned an April 28 attempt to raise money. On March 22, she wrote:
Furthermore, we do have the entire dataset farmed out for independent evaluation but that takes time. 3 terabytes is a huge amount of data and just scratching the surface can take months.
And on March 30 she gave some further indication of this “independent review”:
We have more support from PhDs coming in all the time as well as some good and honest reviews. We are collecting them for a new press release and will release their names at that time. Maybe the world will start to acknowledge our terrific paper and our Nobel worthy discovery at that time!
Apparently the Ph.D.’s/press release she was referring came three weeks later on April 22: an endorsement by a completely unqualified Dr. Chrisman, a Ph. D. in Public Administration; and supposed endorsement by a unqualified retired Ph. D. chemist for Shell Oil, a Haskell Hart, which endorsement has now been walked back into a statement at the Bigfoot Forums that this gentleman would not have passed the paper had he been a reviewer.
So far no word from Nobel Committee.
At this time, Over the Line, Smokey! sees no reason to publish more of the material in our possession regarding Dr. Ketchum’s ethical and scientific “misadventures.” We understand the disappointment felt by many who have pegged their hopes on her work. But truly, it is past time to move on.
Today is the date that “DeNovo”, Dr. Ketchum’s “quarterly journal” should have published its second issue, if it were a real journal. Sadly, OTL,S! sees only the same old mangled stuff, along with a few cobwebs, crickets and graffiti. We see this as an appropriate moment to clear up some misconceptions about DeNovo.
The site of the Kentucky bigfoot organization of Dr. Chrisman (noted in the previous update) makes this statement (emphasis added):
VII. DNA, A Peer-Reviewed Paper and Amazing Video
On 11-24-12 Dr. Melba Ketchum released the DNA findings after a five-year study based on 109 samples which were submitted throughout the county. Other independent labs participated in this study which included blind testing. The paper is currently under peer review. Here are the amazing results!
“Peer-reviewed” makes it sound like the paper passed peer review. This is not the case.
To backtrack: Ketchum “published” her “paper” on a website called “DeNovo Scientific Journal” on Feb. 13 of this year. She claimed that the paper had passed peer review at another journal, but the editor had refused to publish it. She said that she then acquired the journal to “preserve” the passing peer reviews. Considerable evidence exists that this prior journal was the “Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Explorations in Zoology,” (“(JAMEZ”) which was founded at the Scholastica website on or about January 4 of this year. We have previously discussed much of this information.
OTL,S! has experience with the Scholastica platform, and has obtained information from them concerning JAMEZ, Dr. Ketchum, and related issues, and has obtained information from those familiar with Dr. Ketchum’s financial arrangements/support, and from publishing industry databases.
From our sources, OTL,S! has learned that the paper did not receive peer review approval at Scholastica. It had previously failed at least three times, which is why Dr. Ketchum first issued her ‘results’ as a press release in November of last year. And it failed at Scholastica/JAMEZ. Futhermore, through our contacts in the publishing industry, OTL,S! has learned that the paper failed peer review at another scientific journal (which we cannot disclose at this time) again AFTER it failed at Scholastica/JAMEZ, in January of this year. In all, Ketchum’s paper failed peer review at least five times before she self-published it on a cobbled-together website called DeNovo.
Dr. Ketchum has given the impression that she cannot disclose the version of peer reviews given to authors, that they are confidential. That is NOT true. At Scholastica (as at other journals), the version of the reviewers’ comments which are sent to the author are not confidential, and they do not include the identity of the reviewers. Only the editor of the journal knows the identity of the reviewers and their frank comments. Ketchum can disclose her non-confidential author’s version any time she chooses, to whomever she likes. The reason she doesn’t disclose them, it seems, is that they didn’t approve her paper.
Dr. Ketchum has stated that she “acquired” the journal (JAMEZ) that supposedly peer-approved her paper, at Scholastica. This is also not true. She did not acquire JAMEZ. After failing at Scholastica/JAMEZ, and failing at another scientific journal in January, she simply had the DeNovo website put up and sold the “paper” through that site. The only peer reviews she “preserved” were the non-confidential reviews that JAMEZ sent her, and these were not passing reviews.
Dr. Ketchum has also stated (on a radio program) that she had nothing to do with the publication of DeNovo. This is also not true.
She contracted for the website to be put up and paid for, to the tune of $2000 (though she didn’t use her own funds). Robin Lynne, acknowledged to be Dr. Ketchum’s spokesperson, was listed as the editor when the website went live.
Dr. Ketchum has also not fessed up as to why Sarah Bollinger requested that her name be removed from the list of co-authors of the paper. In fact, Ketchum still hasn’t caused Bollinger’s name to be removed from the DeNovo site. It would appear that Ketchum did not obtain signed endorsements from the “co-authors”. That may cause a legal problem, not to mention the fact that they apparently don’t endorse her conclusions.
If Dr. Ketchum has some issue with these statements of fact, OTL,S!’s crack litigator (“Discovery Dick” we call him) suggests that she present authenticated documentary evidence, which she would certainly be able to do if her stories were true…two peer review approvals of her paper, bill of sale, cancelled checks, sworn affidavits, receipts, contracts etc. We would be most happy to see them (in the very unlikely event that she has them), and submit them to our sources for scrutiny (which could prove VERY interesting) and we would certainly publish them no matter what they purport to show.
Lead investigator of Kentucky Bigfoot Researchers Organization with no apparent relevant experience endorses methods (?) in Ketchum’s paper, even though Ketchum’s paper did not disclose her methods.
This is Robin Lynne with more info Yet another supporter of Dr. Melba Ketchum
I fully support Dr. Ketchum and her research and appreciate having the research and data. I make a point of stating the scientific methodology was very sound and all necessary precautions were taken. Joy Clay Chrisman, Ph.D., PMP
Her bio there includes:
Her interest in bigfoot studies began as a child and she has continued her research which includes several visual encounters of her own. Her goal is to further the knowledgebase to help the public understand the truth about these amazing creatures.
OTL,S! is confident that Dr. Chrisman won’t take offense if we label this endorsement as bullshit. We could have used stronger language.
A new poll suggests that Dr. Ketchum’s move into the ancient aliens field is a smart one, since the bigfoot craze is fading fast:
only 14 percent of those surveyed believe in the existence of Bigfoot, while 29 percent of Americans believe in aliens.
The survey conducted in April 2013 by Public Policy Polling, polled 1,250 registered voters. Whether the results would differ significantly if non-registered voters were polled is unclear.
An earlier Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll conducted in February 2012 revealed that nearly 30 percent of Americans thought Bigfoot was “probably real”, while only 23 percent declared Bigfoot was definitely not real. The poll surveyed 1,016 American adults, says Cryptomundo.
Interestingly a Reuters News poll conducted by Ipsos and released in April revealed that 24 percent of Americans believe that aliens currently walk among us. The poll surveyed over 23,000 people worldwide.
Over the Line, Smokey! notes the full-throated endorsement by Lloyd Pye of the effects of ancient aliens, in his new book “Intervention.” Like Dr. Ketchum, Pye claims he is upsetting the theory of evolution (!). Mr. Pye and Dr. Ketchum may have to reconcile their differences in dating the time frame (900 vs 15,000 yers) of when the aliens did all their litho-engineering, mating, genetic engineering, etc, etc. But they certainly have both latched onto the “DNA not of this world.” “not human” etc etc. And of course Dr. Ketchum seems to have a method for producing such DNA results. Yes, ancient aliens seems to be where the money is nowadays, so OTL,S! expects Dr. Ketchum will jump in with both feet. We don’t really expect that she will claim contact with extra-terrestrials, as she did with bigfoot, as that particular bit of nonsense is not part of the ancient aliens scam. As elongated skulls are found in many locations both in South America and around the world, conceivably many samples could be submitted. Mr. Pye is hooked up with Mr. Foerster to do a tour in August that might set one back much as $8000 by the time you figure in airfare and incidentals.
And of course there are many sheep in each herd. Certainly Dr. Ketchum should be looking to get in on that kind of money. Of course, the question is, who would pay for this nonsense? Tour guides can do perfectly well with very little factual information; sometimes, in fact, less is better, as it implies mysteries and possibilities, the stuff that freakotourism is made of. So OTL,S! thinks that Mr. Foerster will not be anxious to pony up multiple $7000 payments to Dr. Ketchum, who, apparently not having a lab herself, seemingly does nothing more ship the specimens to her pals in this scheme, skimming a bit (or a lot) off the top for her trouble.
Mr. Pye seems to be in some sort of war with Wikipedia to get his version of the Starchild skull before the public eye. In so doing he misrepresents what studies have been done, often by simple manipulations of wording. For example, he wrote
The 2003 test also indicated the Starchild Skull’s paternal DNA was unlike normal human DNA (Eshleman & Malhi, 2003).
But Eshleman & Malhi actually wrote:
The inability to analyze nuclear DNA indicates that such DNA is either not present or present in sufficiently low copy number to prevent PCR analysis using methods available at the present time.
Hardly supports Pye’s statement.
By Pye’s definition, then, any and all DNA which is degraded in some way, by age, the elements, microbial digestion or adverse handling, is “unlike normal human DNA,” and thus compatible with his entrepreneurial scheme to market “ancient alien” “intervention”.
Here is a deception from a 2012 post:
For 13 years we at the Starchild Project have known the Starchild Skull came from a being that was not entirely human, if human at all. First, it shares no physical characteristics with a normal human skull—none!
The issue is not that it is the skull of a normal human; everyone agrees that it isn’t. It is the skull of an abnormal human child. The numbers and variations of congenital abnormalities of the skull are vast. Rarely are two (even with the same genetic anomaly) exactly alike. Thousands of these poor children are born every year, but only a few are written up in the medical literature. But to refer to them as not entirely human or human at all is insulting and ignorant, as well as deceptive.
Mr. Pye tries to make it all sound so mysterious, but the reality is that abnormalities of the human skull occur in 1/2000-3000 births, without any “intervention” from ancient aliens. Some die before birth, some survive for days or years. He makes a profit from his misrepresentations, and undoubtedly laughs at the suckers and at the tragedy of actual birth defects, which affect so many families.
One characteristic of pseudoscience that we see here is cherry-picking quotes and scrapbooking (aka cut and pasting, aka ransom noting) them in such a way as to make them seem to say something not intended by the original speaker/writer.
Dr. Ketchum has apparently delivered some “DNA” results to Brien Foerster, the Peru freakotour guy. Actually the testing may not be from Dr. Ketchum’s lab, because, you know, she apparently doesn’t have a lab. Rather, the work seems to be just a forensic test from her old crony “Dr. Pat” at the North Louisiana Criminalistics Lab in Shreveport. “Identifiler” is the test he reported, a commercial forensic product, a $20 kit, a crimelab kind of DNA testing, not a research method. It is used to match the DNA of crime suspects, with DNA found at the scene of the crime. OTL,S!’s science consultant is not sure how that applies to archeology. Do we think the elongated skull individual stole a llama back in 1539? We’d be pretty sure the statute of limitations has run on that. And the things that show up on this test are not even genes that were selected for physiologic significance. She notes that some alleles weren’t detected; gee, welcome to forensic archeology… the DNA is hundreds of years old and has been in the ground most of that time; hello?
Of course, to the uninformed, Dr. Ketchum can make the mundane sound mysterious, alien, forbidden, and scientific. OTL,S! suspects that Brien Foerster doesn’t know the difference, and might not care if he did know, because the mysterious, alien, forbidden is what his business is selling. If it helps book a couple of tours, the $7000 he gave Dr. Ketchum, for a few cheap DNA tests run by someone else, is worth it. Besides, most of the money was raised online from Mr. Foerster’s credulous clients.
ELONGATED SKULLS DNA TESTING: THE LATEST INFORMATION…
Here is a clip from part of the Identifiler profile from the baby. All of the “green” markers amplified so I am using this as an example. Notice that all peaks are single peaks. This many single peaks (homozygous) is uncommon and can mean one of three things or a combination thereof. First, since the DNA is somewhat low-yield due to its 2000 year age, there could be some dropout in markers that normally have two peaks (heterozygous). Second, the baby could be very inbred. In fact, only one marker out of all of the markers was heterozygous. Third, there could be a lack of amplification due to mutated sequence from either or both parents. In other words, there is sequence that is not found in today’s humans and therefore won’t amplify and is present in the DNA. 5 of the markers didn’t amplify at all, two of which I would have expected to see results from, so that causes some interest also. I am relatively certain that we are the first group to use Identifiler on ancient DNA, much less achieve results with a straight extraction without any type of cloning or using a library built from the extraction. These are preliminary results though so please don’t get excited yet. As far as the teeth, the extractions are well on the way. I can’t wait to see how those samples perform.
You might not want to post the electropherogram so we can use it later.
Yeah, keep something back, so you can do another breathless update in a couple weeks. Make it last, baby….
Over the Line, Smokey! will be doing an important update tonight, but wishes to comment on a release today of remarks by a gentleman who claims to be a minister and a psychologist, making public comments “as a psychologist and a minister” about a person who at one point, at least, SPECIFICALLY demands confidentiality. OTL,S! finds this to be unprofessional “times two,” and reprehensible, and will not provide a link. It is one thing to reveal the messages anonymously; that is highly questionable; but it is quite another (and clearly over the line (s)) to specifically speak of them (and other conversations), on the internet, as a psychologist and minister.
Over the line, Smokey! regrets having linked to the post that linked to that material, and will take down the link, until such time (if ever) as we are convinced that Dr. Ketchum was not aware that she was communicating with either a minister or a psychologist when she wrote to this source person. OTL,S! is also considering taking down that entire update, which never included any of the possibly-privileged messages themselves.
Over the Line, Smokey! gives a shout out to Boston.
There are a few bad people, and there always have been, and always will be. Sometimes they can’t stand the sadness in their hearts and minds, and feel helpless; they strike out blindly at the world. These sad and angry people can take away some of our family, our happiness. We cannot completely put these people (and their monstrous acts) out of our minds. But try remember the overwhelming goodness, the thousands and thousands of great people who were there, those who care, and helped, and the millions here and around the world.
Carry on, Boston.
OTL,S! takes notice of a post by John Weeast [link removed], linking to a PDF of a number of what appear to be Facebook messages from Dr. Ketchum to a close and trusted associate, who is not named or quoted. Only one date is given, 3/12/2012. There are several subjects:
1) the peer review of Dr. Ketchum’s paper by some journal
2) the lack of homology of the nuDNA to human nuDNA, to a degree not admitted to in her recent paper; OTL,S! shares Mr. Weeast’s concern in this area
3) Dr. Ketchum’s bizarre psychic and other experiences with a number of supposed bigfoots at her home,
4) her ideas that these creatures are, in some degree or sense, angels or nephilim.
OTL,S! is struck by these disturbing nature of these messages. Further, given certain information we have previously received, we have no reason to doubt they are authentic.
We do not doubt Dr. Ketchum’s religious convictions, but are uncertain that these messages are, in all ways, candid expressions of Dr. Ketchum’s thinking regarding the explanation for the unusual DNA findings (see previous update on the statement of Justin Smeja for a different alleged Ketchum statement on this subject). OTL,S! also finds the Ketchum comments regarding peer review comments to be both arrogant and stubborn, in apparently refusing to obtain help with her paper (which is, let’s face facts here, truly a hot mess) from qualified scientists in anthropology or other fields. On this basis, OTL,S! feels that Dr. Ketchum’s previously published comments on the subject of how badly her paper was treated in peer review, must be taken a boulder of salt.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, OTL,S! would opine that either Dr. Ketchum was/is being extensively hoaxed on her property, or she was/is suffering from some disorder; either way, she seems to need help…
…or, of course, she’s simply a big liar.
OTL,S! has previously commented on the crucial issue of reliability and credibility in science. Our sharp-eyed intern spotted this:
Facebook, Brien Foerster [Hidden Inca Tours] [caps original]:
September 20, 2012…..
I have JUST SENT TEN SAMPLES to a MAJOR DNA LAB in TEXAS that WILL THOROUGHLY analyze skin, hair and teeth from SEVEN elongated skulls and we WILL get RESULTS of some kind within TWO MONTHS…
…this one WILL go ahead because the DIRECTOR of the lab SAID SO…thanks to Genesis Quest…
September 20, 2012 Grazhopprr Et Al Brien, I suggested Melba a year or so ago. Glad to finally see some progress in her direction.
September 20, 2012 Robert S Thomas, This is wonderful news Brien for all humanity! I have little doubt a reputable lab will be able to clearly identify abnormal (alien) DNA.
Actually, Ketchum’s lab property had been “repossessed” by Ruthie Latin, on August 30, and Ketchum had moved out immediately, with no other physical address posted on the website.
No staff are listed but her, on the DNA Diagnostics Inc website. Dr. Ketchum has stated she is getting out of the “service” business and referred to herself as a “scientist, forensics and hominid research.” She also said last year that she is moving to a bigger town, left an email address, and suggested that lab customers get in touch with her in 2013. On March 30 she posted on Facebook:
I am thinking we can raise the research money for an extention to the lab and if so, we will set up a genomics center with a next gen sequencer, bone robots and a good bioinformaticist (I already have one in mind) and we would solve a lot of history’s mysteries.
This would imply she has a lab. Perhaps it is in her home. Nothing wrong with that. But that wouldn’t exactly “MAJOR”, or be in a bigger town. Maybe plans have changed. OTL,S! would be more than happy to publish updated information from her (and/or from Mr. Foerster). We would like nothing more than for “a lot of history’s mysteries” to be solved, and at this point, a few of them involve the reliability of some of Dr. Ketchum’s statements.
As a somewhat under-certified member of the press corps, Over the Line, Smokey! has been in a bit of a quandary about how to navigate the imaginary “Press Room” of the website of the possibly imaginary “Denovo Scientific Publishing” company, where Dr. Ketchum’s digital paper is stashed, in order to get a free copy. Here’s the problem (at least it was a problem until today): According to that poorly cut-and-pasted press page, one could get in big trouble if one tried to “sneak past the guards” with some sort of fake credentials (there is some irony for you!):
Now, of course, OTL,S! would gladly sacrifice the freedom of its lowly intern in order to obtain a free copy of the $30 virtual “paper”, since it has great curiosity value. So we were ready to fix him up with an altered version of our old Mickey Mouse Club Membership Card, and purchase a striped convict suit for him, in the event of some “legal action up to and including to imprisonment.”
However, a final check of the “press room” revealed that the threat of impending imprisonment had been removed, and replaced by:
In case you can’t read that:
Revoked!? WTF does that mean? Was there some punishable malfeasance perpetrated by DeNovo Scientific Publishing (if that entity actually exists)? Is this a consequence of DeNSP being placed on Beall’s List? Or has the snickering from the scientific community over the paper trickled down to “jotform.com”, who no longer want to associated with DeNSP? Perhaps their lawyer threatened to “drop them” if they didn’t pull out? Perhaps someone said it “would wreck their career?” Was Casey Mullins involved? Surely this couldn’t be the result of failure to simply make the contractually-required payment to “secure.jotform.us?”
Oh, wait…it looks like jotform has a free trial offer kind of deal…free UNTIL you exceed 10 forms submitted. oh. That must be it. No more free lunch. Now, will Dr. Ketchum pony up the $9.95? That is a lot to pay for someone who has only collected a half mill on the project. But the next quarterly issue of “DeNovo: Accelerating Science” will be coming up pretty soon, a month from now, right? Right?
Over the Line, Smokey! anticipates more Nobel Prize material from DeNovo, and the press are going to be all over that press room. So we’d recommend going ahead, damn the expense. Of course, we are informed that Dr. Ketchum kiboshed a sasquatch t-shirt deal because the manufacturer insisted on paying a dollar-something royalty to the artist (?cancer victim Alexis Evans?)…a dollar-something that would have come out of the good doctor’s profits. So who knows whether she’ll come up with the $9.95, just so smirking journalists can get something for free, that they should have to pay for and increase the good doctor’s profits. In fact, they’ve already screwed her out of 10 x $30= $300!! Don’t let ‘em take advantage of you, Dr. K…don’t pay that $9.95!
Over the Line, Smokey! dutifully “Tried Again” anyway, to no avail, and is uncertain as to what to do next to attempt to obtain a free copy of the “paper.” It’s probably too late, anyway, to obtain the very collectible (and valuable) early version which listed Sarah Bollinger as a co-author, before she demanded that her name be removed. And that’s why we wanted it. It’s like a misprinted stamp or dollar bill or Pokemon card.
OTL,S! suggests that Dr. Ketchum run off some copies of the original version and store them out in the barn for about 20 years… that’s some GOLD, right there….
Now, we at OTL,S! have taken a few shots at “DeNovo: Accelerating Science.”… okay, more than a few. But today our crack science consultant asked, “Okay, so, DeNovo is cheap-looking, kind of clunky, got some spelling mistakes, some grammatical mistakes…and there is this other, older, nicer-looking, bigfoot online journal, called the “Relict Hominoid Inquiry,” at Idaho State University, edited by Dr. Jeff Meldrum, an actual scientist. “But really,” asks our science consultant, “what’s the primary substantial difference between DeNovo and the Relict Hominoid Inquiry?
Not being familiar with the “RHI,” we couldn’t dispute his answer: “The one research paper at DeNovo is better than the two research papers at the Relict Hominoid Inquiry.”
Of course, that’s just an opinion. But, after taking a look at the “RHI,” we see what he means.
Oh, the irony…our own post has once again put our intern at risk for imprisonment.
Over the Line, Smokey! notices that someone (probably alerted by our post; you’re welcome) seems to have come up with the $9.95 to restore the DeNovo Press Room credential-checking mechanism to its former glory.
Now all the real journalists will be able to obtain a free copy, even though it won’t have Sarah Bollinger’s name on it.
Update 4/7/2013: transcript of Justin Smeja’s statement regardingthe Ketchum/Smeja telephone conversation.
Over the Line, Smokey! had to find something for our hyperactive intern to do, so we set him to transcribing Justin Smeja’s video statement regarding the Ketchum/Smeja telephone conversation, in January, 2012. Smeja published his statement on Feb. 24, 2013. Many people know of this video statement, but some have not listened to the tape, or had the opportunity to study it.
Background: According to Justin Smeja, in October, 2010, he shot at two strange animals, killing the younger one, in the mountains of California, but did not photograph or collect either animal. Five weeks later, Smeja returned to the spot with his bear-hunting dog, looking for the body of one or the other of these animals. The dog led him to a piece of raw animal hide in the snow. This came to be known as the Sierra Steak.
A piece of the Steak was sent to Dr. Ketchum under Derek Randle’s name, and became sample #26 in her paper, the most-extensively-analyzed specimen. This was the only sample to have histology and electron microscopy done, as well as mtDNA, and genomic nuDNA sequencing. Dr. Ketchum never requested or received a sample of Smeja’s DNA for comparison to DNA in the hide. After a year and multiple miscommunications, Smeja lost faith in Ketchum, and, following this phone call, allowed samples of the hide to be sent by two friends to two other laboratories, and their findings differed from those of Ketchum, et al. As the allegations made by Smeja are potentially serious, OTL,S! will be happy to publish the versions of anyone else who participated in or witnessed this conversation.
(This transcription is limited to the setting and details of the conversation, starting at about 5:25 of the video, and stopping at the end of the Smeja’s reaction to the phone call, at 21 minutes. All this is Smeja speaking; within that I have used quotation marks to indicate that he is quoting himself or others. )
I was contacted by Abe, and JC Johnson and Steve Kulls and a couple other guys. They wanted me to do a podcast with them. And I said sure. So in January, 2012, I sat down with them and talked with them. I ‘d never been so nervous in all my life. I stumbled over my words and all that. So during that interview they asked me what the deal was with Melba, why’s it taking so long?
[Smeja:]“I don’t know.”
[Kulls et al:] “Did it test out to be bigfoot?”
[Smeja:]“Yeah, that’s what I was told. Absolutely.”
[Kulls et al:] “So what’s the story, what’s the hold up?”
[Smeja:] “I don’t know.”
[Kulls et al:]“Well, If she doesn’t come out with the results or a paper soon are you gonna go to another lab and get this tested?”
“Yeah. Absolutely. No shit,” I think is what I said exactly. I said, “Yeah, she’s gotta hurry up on this, ’cause we can send this to any lab, get it tested and we’re good to go.”
So we’re sitting there waiting for the paper to come out , hoping, thinking, that, oh, there’s been some delays, problems with peer review, or something, problems with some testing, they did or didn’t finish the genome that was started on this date or that date. There was different things being communicated from the people who were talking directly to Melba. So at that point I really started to wonder how trustworthy she was. She would make promises and not follow through with them. She would tell us hey, the the paper’s coming on this day; it would come and go and we wouldn’t hear anything…then, “…oh, we had a problem…” So after that podcast, a couple days later my phone rang. I happened to be at a barbeque with the driver, his wife, my kid, his kid and my wife. She calls me. I look I see its Melba Ketchum. Oh, shit, the paper must be out! The shit is gonna hit the fan! I’m excited… my heart is pounding. [Smeja:]“Everybody be quiet, this is Melba.” So I put her on speakerphone and set the phone down.
Almost immediately, she says, “Hey, I wanted to talk to you about some stuff. You’re really hurting this study.” And at that this point, I was like, “How so?”
She says, “Well, you gotta tell people that you trust me and you got confidence in me. I listened to that podcast, and you’re sitting there telling people that if I don’t come out with a paper soon, then you’re gonna go somewhere else? you need to be telling peple that you have confidence in me, that I’m doing a great job, that you know what’s going on behind the scenes and that they can trust me.
I just said “Uh huh, uh huh.”
Well, I was trying to make sense of what she was saying, that she’s worried about her perception to some bigfooters. Because they don’t know that they can trust her and have full confidence in her. I was sitting here like “No. No, you shouldn’t give two shits about what they think. If we’re all gonna be eatin’ crow and this and that, like, no, you shouldn’t be caring what they think if you have something that’s real. Why are you worried about what these people think?”
Again, I didn’t say that, I just said, “All right, I understand,” I need to support her and how I’m hurting the study because of what some bigfooters might think.
And then she goes into this thing about how these things are gentle giants, how they come in and braid her horses’ hair, the bigfoots do, they come in here, these apes, and they like braid their horses’ hair, pet ‘em, hang out with em, and stuff, we are all kind of looking at each other just sitting there; I don’t think a word was said, what the fuck is she talking about? I mean really…. so a bigfoot is coming in and braiding some horses’ hair?! I mean, that’s not ok. That’s weird. But it got worse.
Then she starts talking about how they visit her in dreams. How they, ah…she said that she would wear her latex gloves and she would put my sample in her hand and they would talk to her. Psychically or telepath….I don’t know or something. They’re sitting there talking to her. In her head I guess. Maybe not out loud. And she said she’d have dreams where they visit her. I’m not sure if it’s like a spiritual…. I don’t know. I don’t follow that sort of stuff. So she has dreams, and the samples talk to her.
Then she goes into this really weird story about how, she’s talking about how there’s this place in her pasture where the bigfoots hang out at, this family of five of ‘em. This family of five she gets to interact with and they telepathically talk to her, I guess. And she says she’s opening the gate to her pasture one day, and she wakes up on the ground and she’s sore.
And I said “What do you mean, you were sore? like, what do you mean?”
And she says, “Well, you know.”
[Smeja:] “No, no, I do not know.”
She said, “Well, I woke up and I was sore.”
[Smeja:]“So you walk in, right, you fall and you wake up and you’re sore.”
She said, “No, I was opening the gate and I woke up and I was sore.”
I don’t know what she meant by any of that. She never really got into it. She talked about how they’re really gentle. And how… see, I was wondering if it was a telepathic thing…where like she like wakes up on the ground, she’s sore, they like, visited her….I don’t know what she meant, I don’t know what she was talking about. I really, really don’t. That stuff…all that…. forest people, telepathic, whatever, samples talking to people, family of fives, [unintelligible] sticks, I can get past all that, I really can. That wasn’t even, um, well I was pretty shocked, but that wasn’t the part that made me sick to my stomach. So Melba is telling me that she wants more of the sample. And, ah, I’m a little bit reluctant.
I’m like, “This has been like 14 or 15 months that you’ve had it. I haven’t got anything…stuff’s being communicated that’s not quite accurate. One person’s saying one thing. Another person’s saying another thing. And I know that they are both telling the truth of what they had heard. You, on the other hand, I feel like you’re telling people different things.”
She said, “Well, what I’m most interested in is the boots.”
(Because I [Smeja] have some boots that the juvenile sasquatch had bled on while I was holding it.)
She says “That’s what I’m most interested in. That’s my main reason for this phone call.”
And so I said, “Ok, well, I don’t really think that I want to give them to you.”
She said “All right, well, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll tell you what. So, I’ll give you ten thousand dollars, but you have to tell Wally that I gave you $15,000. And then he’ll be stuck and he’ll have to pay me for months and months to work on the boots, so everybody wins.”
[Smeja:]And I was just sittin’ there, like, what?? so…,”No… that sounds….no. Why would we do that to Wally?”
And she said, “He’s got money.”
[Smeja:] “So? I mean, I don’t understand.”
And she said, “Well, he’s got money. I mean, you should probably just call him up and ask for like $30,000. He’d probably give it to you.”
[Smeja:] “Just call him up, and just hold my hand out? I don’t live off the system. I’m not used to that.”
But she says, “No, he’s very generous man. You should call him up and ask for the 30 grand. Then you know, you can send me the boots, …([Smeja paraphrase:]…this and that…).”
I said “No, I don’t think so; I don’t think that is gonna work. That’s not really what I’m about. “
She said “All right, fine, so money’s not your thing.”
I said, “I would love to get some money but not like how you’re talking about.’
She said “All right, back to the sample. I need some more of that sample.”
I said, “After this phone conversation, I don’t know if I want to give you anything.”
And she said, “All right, well, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll give you $5,000 and you don’t have to send me anything, all you have to do is destroy the sample.”
[Smeja:]“Why would we destroy the sample?”
She says, “Well, Justin, I got special ways of testing stuff. I got special ways of making things seem different than they really are.”
I said “Ooo-kay…so why do I need to destroy the sample?”
She said “Well, if another lab gets that, they’re just gonna get a regular animal. That’s what happens with most of these samples. They send them somewhere else and they just end up getting, you know, like a fox or coyote or bear or something like that. So, you know, they don’t understand how to do it. This is new technology, this is pretty deep shit. So I really need you to destroy that sample.”
And I said “Fuck no! No! hell no! No.”
Then she said, “All right, how about this: you don’t even have to destroy the sample. You can keep the sample. But I’ll teach you how to make that sample read something different than what it is.”
I said, “Why would we want to do that?”
She said, “Because, I just told you, that when another place tests this it comes back as like, a regular animal ’cause they don’t understand how to do it, because like there’s a special way that we test it.”
[Smeja:]“So, OK, you have this way making things different than they are ?”
She said “Yes. This is how we’re going to do it. So you get a mixture of Chlorox bleach and ([Smeja:]I think) formaldehyde or something and some water and let it sit in it. And that way that they can’t get nothing out of the DNA. They can’t get nothing for it, and that way nobody will be able to test it but me. And I’ll be the only one to have the results.” ([Smeja:]“She said this word for word.”)
And I just said, “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Unh uh. No.”
She says “All right, well, think about it, because, you know, I could make this worth your while. I could talk to Wally, and he could probably put you on the payroll. I mean, he could kick you some cash.”
And I said, “That would be great if Wally could kick me some cash, but I’m not like that. I aint’ doin that. I’m a lotta things but…, I ain’t the best guy in the world, but I ain’t doin’ that. Fuck no, I ain’t doin’ that.”
You know in the middle of that conversation with her, where she’s talking about this craziness, actually you know we could live with the craziness. But when it came down to pure fraud, my buddy (I mean we were half way through this conversation, she’s on speakerphone, we were upstairs), and he just said,
“She’s a fraud…this is stupid. I won’t participate.” And he walked off.
I don’t think she heard any of that but that’s what he said to me, he wanted me to know that. And from there he decided he would never get involved with the bigfoot community, because this was what it was about… liars and frauds. Now I’m not saying that as a shot at anybody, but that’s what he saw; he saw everybody waiting on something that wasn’t true, that was a lie.
So why wait 13 months to talk about this? Well, the day after this phone conversation with Melba I called Bart and talked to him about it. We were sick to our stomach.
I told him, I said “I’m gonna go online and I’m gonna tell everything that she just said, all this craziness horse-braiding, family of five, feeling sore (again, I still don’t know what that means), feeling sore and whatnot.”
I said, “I’m gonna go on there and tell everything and they can deal with it.”
But we had this friend, Wally, he walks on water to us; he’s a great guy. He had invested a lot of money into Melba and her study, hoping to prove something, with good intentions. We wanted to respect Wally and to not tear his work apart, and that’s really all it was ever about, is not trying to hurt Wally. Another reason that we waited so long to talk about this is it was all hearsay. It was just me, my buddy, his wife, and my wife that heard this from her. She could say that we made the whole thing up. The reason that we waited for so long is now that we had the evidence, we had the lab results (it took, you know, forever to get, but we had the lab results) that confirmed most of what she said. That was like a prophetic statement by her saying,
“When another lab tests these samples they just get, you know, a regular animal.”
All we really had was hearsay when it came to talking to Melba. The phone call that I had with Melba it was all really just hearsay. It was me, Jack, my wife, and his wife. I remember the next day I called Bart, and I was talking to him. He ended up…he wanted to talk to my wife and hear it from her, too. Then he also talked to Jack, I think that same night…it was the next night he talked to Jack about the whole thing. He interviewed them, talked to them and got their take on it. They actually even remembered some things about the phone call that I hadn’t even told him about at that point.
There is nothing to say that the human like DNA is not from two sources. Given the nature of this sample, it could not have been “decontaminated” by washing as was reported to have been done with the hair samples.
Again, the pure human sequences is only from those regions that have some homology to human. I know this sounds like Catch 22 in some respects, which is why I went back an blasted each piece separately. When it comes back as 99-100% human for 40 sequences, well its human. The remaining 15% or so is likely contamination – given what this sample is, it HAS to have, at minimum, DNA from the many critters that normally live in ones mouth. Not that these other sequences should be present in the contig.
To paraphrase ridgerunner, there is nothing here that proves or even strongly indicates that the principal DNA “donor” of sample 31 isn’t just a person.
Over the Line, Smokey! certainly concurs with the idea that much of what is termed “bigfoot” activity is simply that of ordinary humans going about their business in the woods/dark. Some, of course, is active hoaxing by ordinary humans. And some is just noises, shadows and fleeting impressions created by ordinary animals in the woods/dark going about their business. In the case of “specimen 31″, the evidence is pretty suggestive of a hoax/con: in the first place, the video of the “slow breathing shag carpet” released with Ketchum’s paper came from the same source, and is laughable. Secondly, an apparently-related still of the “face” of one of the alleged “bigfoots” on the property has been called a “Chewbaca” mask by a former Hollywood makeup/costume artist. And thirdly, the background story of the property, and its sale (with accompanying suspicious videos) suggests that the Erickson Project was sold a “salted gold mine.”
To reiterate, Ketchum’s paper contains mtDNA of only 20 samples. Every single one has ordinary human mtDNA, and the distribution of genetic heritages of these mtDNA is apparently just what you’d expect if you collected human samples off the street, just the good ole American melting pot, mostly European. In addition, Ketchum presents tiny fragments (apparently her “best proof”) of Next Generation sequenced nuclear DNA of only three of these 20, ie samples #26, 31 and 140. According to ridgerunner, (and others), one of these three (#26) was found by a bear hunting dog, and represents bear with human contamination; another (#120) is from a chewed up drainpipe, and is dog with human contamination, and the third (# 31) from a dinner plate, is human with the expected contamination from saliva.
Good lord, people…are we clear?
ridgerunner goes into more detail on Ketchum’s sample 31, which supposedly came from a baited plate, in the so-called Erickson Project:
Looking at sample 31, again taking the same approach as before, isolating the sequences that appear to have homology to something, I took about 40 homologous sequences (each about 100bp in length – the equivalent of one read from the illumina sequence). These sequences started at position 141 and ended at 5025 from the Ketchum sequence of sample 31. Blasted against NT_009237.18, in alignment mode, this correspondes to the sequence positions of 85,931 to 983,212bp. As such the Ketchum contig contains 0.54% of the human reference sequences. Furthermore, the “homology” regions constitute about 85% of the sequence over this contig for sample 31 – so about 15% is not highly homologous to Homo sapiens. A sequence from 226 to 536 in this contig has a 95% identity to Leishmania genuses (discontinuous megablast, filter and mask off, excluding Homo/Pan/Gorilla).
Blasting each of these 40 regions against the Homo/Pan/Gorilla portions of the database, all sequences had highest homology to Homo sapiens. The average % identity of these 40 sequences comes out to 99.6% for human. There was one homology sequence from positions 4654-4853, that had an insertion of 19bp in the middle of the sequence (excluding this sequence it was 99.8% identity). Otherwise, there were very few alterations from the human sequences present in GenBank. There were no sequences that had higher homology than human from the Pan or Gorilla genus (but several “hits” had 99% for these genuses).
IF this 5000bp is representative of the contig for 31 (I believe it is, but have not tested the remaining 99%) then I would conclude this sample is effectively modern human Homo sapiens sapiens, with the % identity of 99.6%.
So this could be either:
1) pure contamination,
2) a feral human,
3) or a Bigfoot if it were very highly homologous to Hss (and even Hss).
There is likely more information in the remaining 99% of the homologous segments that may be able to determine which of the above is true, but given the high degree of homology to Hss, it would require statistical analysis well beyond my capabilities (it would be similar to the work required to prove the Neandertal differences from human).
Nothing I have seen so far in these contigs indicates any new species or proof of Bf.
I put this out there NOT for anyone to take this as proof, but to inspire others to evaluate this data and replicate it or refute it, followed by debate.__
Tyler H then provides an important clarification:
it actually may not be contamination, but rather, the source itself could be human – no one would have to have died, or been maimed to provide the sample. (I guess that is likely what you meant by “100% contamination.”)
Over the Line, Smokey! notes the contribution of ridgerunner to the identification of the animals from which came most of the nuDNA that Dr. Ketchum claims to be that of a bigfoot:
I deconvolved some of MKs data, taking the first 10 or so homologous regions from each of the contigs, using human ch11 as a reference. I then took these 10 regions (~100bp each) and individually blasted each with discontinuous megablast. From this I am calling the ids as follows:
sample 26 – Bear (with some human contamination)
sample 31 – Human (with the possibility of being BF)
sample 140 – Canine (with some human contamination)
This is exclusively from the data in the manuscript. The breakdown is
for #26, 6 of 10 sequences had highest % identity with Ailuropoda melanoleuca (97-100% identity) (3 of 10 human, 1 of 10 Ovis)
for #31, 10 of 10 sequences had highest % identity with Homo sapiens
for #140, 6 or 10 sequences had highest % identity with Canis lupus (98-100% identity), (4 of 10 human)
As for what the unknown is in these contigs (~15 to 30% of total sequence), I still don’t know.
And the contigs still only contain about 2% of the data they should if they were meant to represent a whole chromosome. But from what is there, once you sort out the good from the bad, the results are quite clear to me.
OTL,S! conceptualizes the Ketchum DNA claims as analogous to the 2008 “bigfoot in a freezer” fiasco perpetrated by Tom Biscardi and the so-called “Georgia boys”, who cobbled together a bigfoot using parts of various animals. The DNA appears to be what one would get if one just ground up what was in the freezer and did Next Generation DNA sequencing of it.
Brian Brown aka “bipto” had an apt characterization for such a stew:
Ketchum’s DNA work is laughable garbage and should be treated as such…
Ouch! OTL,S! can’t argue too much with Mr. Brown’s assessment but does feel like the modifier “half-million dollar” should be inserted between “laughable” and “garbage.”
In other news,
A story by National Geographic seems to support the economic wisdom of Dr. Ketchum’s recent move into the “Aliens” market (documented by OTL,S! in recent updates):
2. A total of 29 percent of voters believe aliens do exist. Another 21 percent believe the U.S. government covered up a UFO crash near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.
4. The poll revealed that 14 percent believe that Bigfoot is real. Another 14 percent said they were not sure, while 72 percent said they do not believe Bigfoot is real.
Reality Check: Despite several attempts to prove Bigfoot exists, no one has presented evidence that has withstood scientific scrutiny. Indeed, many such “proofs” have turned out to be outright hoaxes. In 2008, two men claimed to have found a seven-foot (two-meter) tall, 500-pound (230-kilogram) Bigfoot corpse in the woods of northern Georgia, but the body was later revealed to be a rubber ape costume.
Last November, another group claimed they had done DNA tests that proved the “North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens.” The researchers touted the fact that their study was published in a scientific journal called DeNovo—but it seems the publication was created especially for that Bigfoot study.
Dr. Ketchum’s description of the mish-mash of nuclear DNA she has is not that of anything on Earth and has been rejected by Earth-oriented scientists. But since there are no bioalienologists, and no peer review in bioalienology, her findings would likely go pretty much unchallenged in that field.
Of course, the “angels” market is closely related, and that is also a sizable one. Christian bookstores outnumber conventional booksellers.
OTL,S! just doesn’t see Dr. K’s projected (last fall) “Forensics and hominid research” operation in Nacogdoches working out at this point in time. Too soon. Way too soon for Wally. Contrast this with her Facebook statement On March 30:
we would solve a lot of history’s mysteries. There are so many…giants, mummies and others (you can use your imagination). These mysteries fascinate me and it is not difficult to do.
OTL,S! doesn’t see Dr. Ketchum pursuing bigfootery much longer.
OTL,S! feels Ketchum should be more careful in publishing identification of animals (and/or documentation/writing). Doesn’t make people want to rely on your statements when you whiff on the easy ones. Even OTL,S! can tell this Peruvian ass
a hole in the grounda llama, which is what Ketchum called it.
OTL,S! notices that Dr. Ketchum seems to have trouble identifying jokes:
Witness her reaction to this April Fool’s joke announcement:
Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is filing a lawsuit against the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, requesting judicial review of the agency’s May 2012 administrative finding that Bigfoot is an indigenous “nongame” species that can therefore be hunted without a permit. The Texas Administrative Procedures Act requires that administrative findings are “reasonably supported by substantial evidence.” The suit alleges that the agency’s designation is arbitrary and capricious due to a lack of credible evidence supporting its conclusion that the elusive primate is indigenous to the state of Texas, and cites a preponderance of evidence that the man-beast is instead native to Northern California
Robin Lynne was all on board:
Posted by Robin Lynne
You should contact Dr. Melba Ketchum. With her DNA studies she would be very helpful. With all the information that she has, she could make a huge difference in this case. She has done a paper that explains what they truley are. A form of people. She also has her own protection groups. combined with your groups a huge difference could be made.
Here’s Dr. Ketchum’s take:
Dr. Melba Ketchum shared a link. 12 hours ago
“This could get interesting really fast!”
“Wow, I wonder if they will subpoena me.”
“Not like I haven’t testified a bunch of times and am admitted as a DNA Expert in the State of Texas!”
“This might get interesting….”
Dr. Melba Ketchum, 11 hours ago: “Hope it is not an April Fool’s prank since the lethal Sasquatch manhunt being carried out by the TBRC is no joke.”
Dr. Melba Ketchum, about an hour ago:
“Sadly, the ALDF suit was just an April Fool’s prank. I am not amused. Things like this just hurt the credibility of our study because it proliferates the belief that Saquatch is just a myth.”
OTL,S! wonders if she’s gonna get subpoena’ed, but not by the Animal Legal Defense people.
Dr. Ketchum’s degrees:
There has been uncertainty expressed in some quarters as to Dr. Melba S. Ketchum’s degrees; Here is what is listed on her resume as of April, 2009, kindly provided to OTL,S! by one of a number of “disenchanted” former “associates”:
Bachelor of Veterinary Science, 1977, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Doctor of Veterinary Science, 1978, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
The Over the Line, Smokey! staff has just unanimously decided to give this year’s Lifetime Achievement in Unintentional Self-Parody to Melba Ketchum, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, for today’s statement:
Congratulations to Dr. Melba Ketchum on winning our award. The check is on the way to Nacogdoches, TX. Oh, wait, we don’t have an actual address for Dr. Ketchum.
OTL,S! notes for the record that many ego-centric folks have had themselves “nominated” for a Nobel Prize by having some acquaintance or associate send a “nominating” letter to the Nobel Committee. OTL,S! in fact offers that service to any of our readers, for a small fee. Of course, that isn’t the way the Nobel thing works. But we do it anyway, just so our readers can say they have been nominated for a Nobel Prize, and don’t want to ask their mom to do it. If Dr. Ketchum hasn’t already been “nominated” by Robin Lynn ForestPeople, and thinks she deserves it, she could utilize our service. OTL,S! would even do it for free.
Regarding Wally Hersom:
Dr. Ketchum posted:
… I cannot expect Wally to fund much more. He has already been so so so generous.
Over the Line, Smokey! is considering giving Dr. Ketchum two more awards, based on these two sentences: for the first, The Understatement of the Year. And for “so so so generous”, The Best Euphemism for “Sucker.” OTL,S! tends to think that Dr. Ketchum did not enjoy being sued by Optigen (just settled in December) and is trying (with all these thank you’s to Mr. Hersom) to avoid a similar experience.
“Endorsements” of Ketchum’s paper:
As far as the “endorsers’ for the paper go, OTL,S! is reminded of Mickey Mantle and cigarette ads in the 1950′s. We have yet to see a single qualified person or even a co-author of the paper endorse its conclusions; some don’t even seem to have read the paper. Virtually all seem to have an economic interest in the success of the paper, and many, unfortunately, fail to disclose their financial/economic/personal stake/ties to Dr. Ketchum and/or her paper. The endorsements we have seen contain elementary factual errors. For details, Over the Line, Smokey! recommends the Ketchum thread at the Bigfoot Forums website for a blow-by-blow deconstructions of these “endorsements,” by neutral and expert posters ridgerunner, leisureclass, and slowstepper.
Peru, and the establishment of a connection between Ketchum and the Merchants of Woo, the circuit-riding, radio-talking, tour-guiding masters of mysterious civilizations and ancient aliens:
The whole Peruvian freakotourism connection thing, first reported by OTL,S! and now confirmed by Ketchum, is interesting. OTL,S! has previously reported on Dr. Ketchum’s arrangement with Brien Foerster and his Hidden Inca Tours (see previous update, or use your search or find function on this post).
Authoring this book with Foerster and apparently participating in some of the tours is
David Hatcher Childress (born 1957) is an American author and publisher of books on topics on alternative history and historical revisionism. His works cover such subjects as pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, Atlantis, Lemuria, Ancient Astronauts, UFOs, Nikola Tesla, the Knights Templar, lost cities and vimana aircraft. Childress claims no academic credentials as a professional archaeologist nor in any other scientific field of study, having left the University of Montana after one year to travel and research subjects about which he would later write.
How did all this get started? OTL,S! doesn’t yet have all the details, but it appears that Foerster became aware of Ketchum’s “stuff,” and asked for an evaluation of her from David Swenson, retired Michigan biochemist, who seems to have been a Foerster follower/supporter (probably had taken one of Foerster’s tours). Foerster was cautious about sending more money (a lot more money) because he had, back in 2012, sent bone specimens and some $700 to Lloyd Pye (of Star Child skull fame) for DNA analysis. This effort failed, supposedly because of “bacterial contamination.” Later, Foerster or Swenson discovered Ketchum, and contacted her, but she wanted much more money to do her thing. Swenson then got in touch with Ketchum, who sent Swenson her bigfoot DNA paper. Swenson looked it over, and thought it looked convincing. He, in turn, sometime in mid 2012, then wrote a letter to Foerster (the letter which Ketchum released around Feb. 18, 2013), endorsing Ketchum’s paper to Foerster (and to Jeff Kart, an environmental writer who lives in Michigan near Swenson). Foerster then launched an internet crowd-sourced fundraiser, collecting some $4500 of the $7000 he eventually gave to Ketchum.
OTL,S! is informed that Foerster brought Ketchum down to Peru in January to see his operation, his “museum”
and a plethora of what we in the US might call grave-robbed skulls (not saying who robbed the graves).
That trip would have a retail value of some $3,000; OTL,S! doesn’t yet know the exact details of the deal they seem to have made, whether he gave her the $4500, or $7000, and/or a free trip. Ten thousand would total the kind of nice round number that Ketchum seems to favor, if one can believe the accounts of her statements to Justin Smeja and three witnesses.
A. L. Marzulli:
Another associated personality in this web of mysterious (actually not mysterious at all) elongated skull exploitation is the noted professional mysteriologist/Bible quoter/spook radio celebrity A. L. Marzulli, (shown here, at right, with Brien Foerster in Peru):
Marzulli apparently brings the Biblical aspect (complete with angels and Nephilim) that Dr. Ketchum seems to favor. His 1999 “Nephilim Trilogy” seems to have been a big seller:
“In a spellbinding trilogy that weaves truth, prophecy, fiction, and the author’s own shocking research, the Nephilim trilogy by L. A. Marzulli opens with the discovery of a giant skeleton in Jerusalem, the ancient remains of the offspring of a fallen angel and a human woman—a Nephilim, and the beginning of a hybrid lineage whose terror is about to be reborn into the modern world.” —from L.A. Marzulli website.
OTL,S! wonders whether Mr. Marzulli was originally a co-author on Dr. Ketchum’s paper (ok, not really; but we do suspect that Mr. Marzulli is one her favorite authors).
He has a busy speaking schedule. This month he was at the Prophesy Forum in Southern California.
OTL,S! doesn’t know much more money there is for Ketchum in the Peruvian feakotourism game, but Foerster seems ready to believe anything:
Astrology & Paranormal newsletter
On July 20, 2012, the Unexplained Phenomena Examiner had the good fortune to speak with Brien Foerster from “Ancient Aliens.” Foerster is an accomplished author and researcher who took time from his busy schedule to provide additional information and answer questions about the recent discovery of elongated skulls found in Peru, which included an elongated baby skull and the elongated skull of an unborn fetus. He provided the following information exclusively to Examiner.com’s readers. This is a follow-up to the article “DNA testing underway on ‘alien hybrid human baby’ found in Peru.”
Examiner: Do you believe these skulls are the remains of aliens from another planet?
Foerster: There is a possibility that these are in fact human/alien hybrids, but only DNA testing can prove that. If there are DNA strands from them that don’t match the international human genome data base, which they will be compared against, then we have real “smoking gun” data showing that aliens once may have visited this planet, and mixed with humans, or protohumans.
Ketchum seems to have several kindred spirits in the world of alien-human-angel-nephilim interbreeding, mysterious cultures, Bible thumping and making money. There are even rumors she wants to form some sort of colony of believers in South America.
OTL,S! appreciates the comment made by Curious regarding another statement by Dr. Ketchum, which seems to relate to her future business ideas.
What people don’t understand if they are not in the field of genomics/bioinformatics, when you have a genome that is novel, new and never sequenced, there is nothing to compare it to (in this case only small amounts of human sequence scattered about). Without anything to compare it to, it is extremely difficult to assemble. The contigs (sequences) we used in the manuscript took literally months to assemble and BLAST.
In the first place, how can there be only small amounts of human sequence? OTL,S! thinks this sounds like contamination.
Secondly, Dr. Ketchum and/or Dr. Zhang should revise the statement in their “paper” so as to accurately describe who did the analysis after the short segment reads were produced by the Illumina machine. It was not UTSW.
Thirdly, Dr. Ketchum has to tell when and why Sarah Bollinger was removed from the list of authors. If, as OTL,S! suspects, Ms. Bollinger pulled out because she had serious issues with the paper, then the public needs to know. Remember, she was an employee of DNA Diagnostics Inc., and may well have inside knowledge of things that went on there.
Over the Line, Smokey! now has confirmation that Dr. Ketchum has a new market niche, “abnormal skull” tourism/promoters/enthusiasts.
OTL,S! has previously observed that, besides cable television, much of the bigfoot hype comes from the the “freakotourist” industry. That is, those who promote, or stand to benefit from, that “fringe-y” brand of tourism which promises a taste of bigfoot or other elements of the mysterious, paranormal or supernatural. Apparently frustrated in her attempts to use television to monetize her “discovery,” Dr. Ketchum has expanded her horizon to these tour promoters. The list of freakotourism guides/promoters is long, from private one-or-two-person cottage industries, to local, state and even national governments around the world.
The exact subjects of these tours vary from bigfoot to ghosts to Mayan prophesies, sometimes in combination. Now OTL,S! can add skull-tourism to the list. Of course, these (and other) “abnormal” skulls have been explained over and over in print and online.
But Brien Foerster and Hidden Inca Tours hype the ‘mystery’ with shades of UFOs, aliens, and the like, that might tempt the naive to journey all the way to Peru to be relieved of their cash. According to a video, Mr. Foerster has assembled some $7000 to purchase, he hopes, nuclear DNA analysis, and has transmitted said considerable sum to an unnamed expert, and as of January 2013, was expecting results in the next month.
OTL,S was immediately suspicious that the “expert” was Dr. Ketchum.
A bit of background: Dr. Ketchum lost her lab some 7 months ago, and despite some cryptic comments about moving to a larger town, she has provided (as of this date) no evidence that she has a new physical address or phone number. Even previous to the closing of her lab in Timpson, she was sending out samples for analysis, in some cases even for extraction. And of course she doesn’t have genome level sequencing capability. So it is evident that if she is, in fact, the “DNA expert” who received the Peruvian extended skull samples and the $7000, and had promised DNA sequencing to Mr. Foerster, she had certainly “farmed out” most of the work to an actual lab.
Over the Line, Smokey! had to chuckle, and shared the story with DNA expert “slowstepper” (as he is known at the Bigfoot Forums). Professor Slow, as OTL,S! refers to him, made a call to a one of the co-authors of Dr. Ketchum’s paper, and inquired as to whether he/she might know anything about the “elongated skull” project. Lo and behold, the co-author was in fact working on that material, sent to him by Dr. Ketchum!! Hilarity ensued.
Lest we be accused of being anti-profit, let us assure our readers that OTL,S! is a great fan of advertising, marketing, hyping, informercials, unchecked capitalism, and, especially, being able to purchase twice as many crappy items by simply paying extra shipping and handling. We hope that Dr. Ketchum, and her shrinking band of collaborators will be successful in marketing this new “niche” market. And OTL,S! also hopes that Mr. Foerster will actually receive results, maybe even “not of this world”, from angels, Nephilim, or even FrankenLemur, and that these results will not smell of bleach or “magic” reagents. Certainly Dr. Ketchum has at least a passing familiarity with DNA and elongated skulls….in her paper, Dr. Ketchum has cited as a reference this paper, which seems to explain the relationship between elongated skulls seen in bigfoot, and those seen in horses.
Lastly, we hope that whatever Darwinian-shattering results Dr. Ketchum obtains will not be protected for some prolonged period by a non-disclosure agreement; it might take Dr. Ketchum a long time before she can self-publish a new ‘paper’, but we know Mr. Foerster not only wants something alien, he wants it now, in time for his scheduled October lollapalooza:
added: Business is great!!! this tour is now full. Instead, you are urged to book the Lloyd Pye tour for only $3715 single:
OTL,S! has an idea for another type skull abnormality that might be investigated by Dr. Ketchum and her team:
After all, as Dr. Ketchum’s publicist writes on Facebook:
All over the globe people have begged to have the answers Dr. Ketchum has given us.
Over the Line, Smokey! can’t resist adding a lighter note today.
Dr. Ketchum on Facebook comes up with an endorser of some part of her paper:
We just heard from some mtDNA geneticists … I am estatic. ….The following was a unsolicited commentary by A. John Marsh on a geaneology DNA page …
However, a little sleuthing by leisureclass at the Bigfoot Forums shows that this “endorsement” was an old post on a genealogy board, and the supposed “mtDNA geneticist” is not a geneticist of any sort, nor even a scientist or a Ph.D. He is actually a New Zealand architect (of the landscape variety) with a genealogy hobby and no grasp of the scientific aspects of Dr. Ketchum’s paper. He tries to make something out of a few of the T2/T2b haplotypes, but Ketchum herself says in the paper:
The mtDNA whole genome haplotypes obtained were uniformly consistent with modern 44 humans. Of the 20 whole and 10 partial mitochondrial genomes sequenced, 16 diverse 45 haplotypes were found suggesting that these hominins did not originate in a single geographic 46 location.
Furthermore, none of the samples that Ketchum shows as haplotype T2/T2b are even among the three that Ketchum can claim to have proven as sasquatches by nuclear DNA. None of his comments relate to whether or not the paper is a hoax.
Over the Line, Smokey! is reminded of “The Marine Biologist” episode of Seinfeld:
Jerry: Now I should tell you that at this point she’s under the impression that you’re… A marine biologist.”
George: Yeah, but what did you have to tell her that for. You put me in a very difficult position, Marine Biologist!
… Why couldn’t you have made me an architect? You know I always wanted to pretend that I was an architect.
George: So I started to walk into the water. I won’t lie to you boys, I was terrified. But I pressed on, and as I made my way past the breakers a strange calm came over me. I don’t know if it was divine intervention or the kinship of all living things, but I tell you Jerry, at that moment I was a marine biologist.”
In fact, Mr. Marsh (like so many others) is backing away from his “endorsement” of the “paper”, according to an email sent to the ironically-named jerrywayne at the James Randi Educational Forum:
If you have been following my thread on the Ketchum DNA, I have just discovered that some of my conclusions were wrong, because with respect to mtDNA haplogroup T2b, the Bigfoots and an alleged Cro Magnon were sequenced using the rCRS standard, and other T2bs I was comparing them to were using a more recent RSRS standard reference sequence. Because the Ketchum papers were delayed being released by peer review issues, it did not realize the sequencing was done under the currency of the old standard, and not the standard used by the test company used at the date of publication. So I have been wrong about some aspects of T2b, and I need to convert sequences to the relevant standards, and review the matter. It is primarily the T2b Bigfoots I have been wrong about. But I will have to go back and review my conclusions after adjusting the results to the same reference sequences.
Update 3/22/2013 (b)
Over the Line, Smokey! is aware of allegations that Dr. Ketchum’s paper has been altered since its publication on Feb. 13. Today we note that in the list of authors for Dr. Ketchum’s paper, after Dr. Zhang’s name, there is an extra comma. So what? …turns out it’s a trace:
Ketchum, M. S., Wojtkiewicz, P. W., Watts, A. B., Spence, D. W., Holzenburg, A. K., Toler, D. G., Prychitko, T. M., Zhang, F.,, Shoulders, R., Smith, R. (2013)
Comparing this list of authors given in the initial press release, and the list still shown today on the DeNovo website, it is apparent that the extra comma marks the spot where Sarah Bollinger’s name has been deleted from an earlier list.
More than a bit irregular; OTL,S! wonders what happened to Ms. Bollinger, and whether the list as it appeared on the paper itself on Feb. 13 has been changed. That would be not only be irregular, it would be, well, extremely irregular. OTL,S! invites our readers to help us out. Who has the paper as it came out on Feb. 13?
Update: Commenter Curious and also John Weeast inform OTL,S! that they have seen an actual published copy or a copy thereof, and that these early versions of the paper shows Ms. Bollinger as an author. It is clear that the author list on the published paper has been recently changed...an author’s name has been deleted, without explanation or even acknowledgment by the author. This is bizarre… in fact, unprecedented… in the experience of the staff of OTL,S!. This is a fundamental change in the paper. Clearly this change should be prominently acknowledged, along with the date and the reasons as given by Ms. Bollinger and Dr. Ketchum. All persons who have purchased the “paper” should be notified directly if possible.
Update 3/22/2013 (a)
Over the Line, Smokey! perceives that Dr. Fan Zhang (Fan.Zhang@unthsc.edu) of the University of North Texas Health Science Center/Center for Human Identification has a central role in the synthesizing of the Frankenlemur shown in the “paper” written and published by Dr. Ketchum et al. Analysis of the nuclear DNA is the central feature and claim of the “paper.”
He seems be the only member of the “team” that claims expertise in assembling the “reads” ie short sequence fragments from Next Generation sequencing, furnished by (supposedly) the University of Texas-Southwestern. Unless, of course, Dr. Ketchum did it herself. Yet, oddly, Dr. Zhang is listed far down the list of co-authors, just ahead of three lab techs who formerly worked for Dr. Ketchum/DNA Diagnostics.
Thus far, attempts by the staff of OTL,S! (and others) to reach Dr. Zhang have been ignored. OTL,S! thinks Dr. Zhang, an employee of the University of North Texas, a public university, has an obligation to the public to answer legitimate questions about the claiming of a novel huge North American primate. Furthermore, Dr. Zhang is part of the Center for Human Identification, seemingly an important institution in whom the public should have confidence. OTL,S! has previously noted the odd educational background claimed by Dr. Zhang. We would hope that Dr. Zhang will respond to OTL,S!‘s inquiries.
Over the Line, Smokey!, journalist John Weeast and others have noted that a number of the co-authors on Dr. Ketchum’s paper have refused to endorse the conclusions of the paper. Dr. Ketchum herself has indicated that several institutions/entities involved in the testing have refused to join the paper. Nonetheless, Dr. Ketchum’s paper attempts to trade on the names of these famous “for hire” laboratories, notably the University of Texas-Southwestern and Texas A&M, saying they did or found a certain thing, without saying exactly what, and then saying that result was “confirmed’ by some other lesser-known lab or individual eg Huguley Pathology Consultants, or Fan Zhang Ph.D.
Here is one such passage from the Ketchum paper (emphasis added):
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. Using CLC Bio Genomic Workbench version 5.1, a subsample of extracted reads were assembled to create a consensus sequence using the human chromosome 11 ….
and this analysis goes on and on for the entire balance of the “Testing and Results” section of the paper. Here is the problem: from reading that, one doesn’t know what was done, exactly, by the prestigious UTSW, versus what was done by Melba Ketchum DVM, and her coauthor Fan Zhang, whose Ph.D seems to be in some sort of aircraft engineering from the Harbin institute in China. Now, Dr. Zhang may have done some postgrad work in bioinformatics, but his credibility as a the synthesizer of a novel North American primate genome certainly wouldn’t approach that of UTSW (nor would Dr. Ketchum’s).
OTL,S has previously stated that the University of Texas-Southwestern did not construct a “Sasquatch” genome for Dr. Ketchum. The Next Generation sequencer in UTSW’s lab provided the “reads” on millions of short segments. That was the data from their lab. They did not assemble them into the genome of a sasquatch or a lemur or anything else. Confirmation of this comes in a letter written by Ward Wakeland to journalist John Weeast, posted at the Bigfoot Forums (emphasis added):
Dear Mr. Weeast,
Thank you for your email concerning the sequencing that we provided to Dr. Ketchum and co-workers. This work was performed as a fee for service. We have not been involved in the analysis of the results. Further, we are not at liberty and have no intention of discussing the laboratory results that we obtained with anyone but Dr. Ketchum or her colleagues. I would suggest that you direct your questions to her. Our core has only provided sequencing service for this study and we are not involved beyond that.
All the best,
Edward K. Wakeland, Ph.D
Edwin L. Cox Distinguished Chair in Immunology and Genetics
Director, Walter M. and Helen D. Bader Center for Research
on Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases
Director, IIMT Genomics Core
Professor and Chairman,
Department of Immunology
So Ketchum et al said UTSW did “in depth analysis,” but UTSW says they just did lab work and no analysis of the results. Who’s telling the truth? Who assembled the Frankenbear?
Over the Line, Smokey! notes (thanks to “Curious” in the comments) that Dr. Ketchum’s journal/publishing entity is now on Beall’s List of potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access journals.
OTL,S! sees several comments related to either the idea that Dr. Ketchum is being picked on, or, conversely, that she isn’t being punished enough, for academic fraud, and feels that some general comments are in order:
For those in academia, success is ultimately connected to getting it right, while playing by certain rules. The fights are waged in academic meetings and journals. There are penalties for getting it wrong, for plagiarism, for hoaxing, and for other forms of scientific misconduct: that is, one can lose employment, salary, status, etc.
In contrast, a business person measures success by sales and profit. The contests are waged in press releases, infomercials, conventions, conferences, profits, and the courts.
The rules for business people are things like copyrights, trademarks, stockholders, corporate rules, actual fraud, theft, taxes, false claims, contracts, and the like. It’s pretty much all measured in dollars.
The common factors in both arenas may be personal integrity and credibility, assets which are assumed initially, but which are subject to “depreciation” ie if integrity is called into serious question, failure in both academic and business arenas are likely. If one shows shady business ethics, or violates the rules of the academic pursuits, one no longer gets the assumption of honesty, or the benefit of the doubt, and is no longer assumed to have done what was stated or promised. This of course strikes at the very heart of science, since a scientific paper is really only the author’s report of happens in the lab or in the field. A few keystrokes here or there, a reagent added but not documented, a few bases changed…can make all the difference. Personal integrity matters. OTL,S! notes an interest in the release of more data. Well, of course, that might be interesting. OTL,S! asks what does any data mean if the source is in question? Dr. Ketchum has stated that DNA can’t be faked. Any data can be faked. Period. As easily as our clumsy OTL,S! intern types “teh” instead of “the”.
Dr. Ketchum operates in the business realm, but attempts to draw on the credibility of the academic side, by showing images of test tubes, and citing academic institutions and Ph.D.’s who seemingly don’t want anything to do with her paper. But she doesn’t play by the academic rules, nor is she subject to the academic sanctions. Were she in academia she might be in hearings and subject to dismissal. However, she isn’t. She is in business. To this point, if we can believe her most visible associate and defender, David Paulides, she has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, the academic side (as witnessed by Beall’s List), and some on the business side (her co-authors) have drawn away. To what extent she succeeds or fails depends not on her science (that seems to be pretty much of a “goner”). Rather, it depends on her recovering her effectiveness in the marketplace (which didn’t like the April Fool’s paper in her references or her psychic communications with bigfoot) and whether or not she has to pay business type penalties for any nefarious actions she might have been involved in.
OTL,S! invites comments on these matters.
Over the Line, Smokey! is wary about posting unsubstantiated accounts. Having said that, OTL,S! feels that the the following material is pretty credible, as it comes from a prominent member of the bigfoot community, and supports substantiated statements previously posted here or elsewhere. There are some other major issues which have not been previously published (or at least not noticed by the crack staff of OTL,S!). The post is by Matt Knapp, who, notably, has discussed the need for mutual respect. Given that stance, OTL,S! would suggest that Mr. Knapp thought long and hard before making these comments, but decided they needed to be said. The reader should make his/her own judgments about the material. Note: this conversation allegedly occurred “many months prior to her information release”:
I had a phone conversation with Dr. Ketchum many months prior to her information release. At that time she requested that I send her any photos and videos I had, as well as previous results from hair analysis some colleagues of mine had done years before. She claimed that the delay in her results being released was due to two things; the fact that they were going to be published in a major newsstand magazine, and they were wanting photo and video stills to go along with the article, and that she had created a business entity with a partner that was connected to Tom Biscardi, in which she was trying to legally remove herself from so they would not have any rights to the profit that was going to be made from book and movie sales once the paper was released.* She told me that the paper itself had undergone several rewrites, and that the peer review of her work had already been completed. According to Ketchum the results were that Bigfoot were a type of human. I had no NDA with her, but I did give her my word that I would not say anything, which I kept. I did not question her about her study, in fact the intent of the phone conversation had nothing to do with her work, which I explained to her at the beginning of the call. She willingly and openly gave me all of this information on her own.
Another set of circumstances surrounding the study that I find problematic is the motivation of an agenda. It is by no coincidence that Melba has aligned herself primarily with the habituator camp. She claims to have entered this study as a skeptic, but according to her own words during our phone conversation, she was far from what one would consider skeptical. She claimed that part of the reward of having done this study was the “I told you so’s” to some of her own peers and colleagues. She told me stories of how Bigfoot would visit her horse ranch and braid their manes and tails. The most telling of all the things she told me was that Bigfoot had been psychically communicating with others, and that they (Bigfoot) had chosen her to do this study and prove their existence to the world so that she could lead the campaign in protecting them. Does that sound skeptical? Does that sound like a person you would want to lead a scientific inquiry?
Of course Dr. Ketchum could easily deny all of this. I have no way of proving the conversation ever took place, and regardless there would still be those who would blindly follow her because they want the results to be true. They want to be vindicated in their personal beliefs of what Bigfoot is or isn’t. If the science was conducted properly, and the results are on the up and up, I have no problem with it. I won’t be back peddling or eating crow. I will still stand firm in my beliefs that things were handled and presented the wrong way, and until this data is checked and the results are repeated by TRUE NON-BIASED SCIENTIFIC entities, I will remain skeptical of the results.
* This “business entity” would appear to refer to Science Alive LLC, a Texas corporation created in 2010 by Ketchum, Robert Schmalzbach (prev. associated with Tom Biscardi) and the late Richard Stubstad; OTL,S! has discussed this in previous updates; use “Schmalzbach” or “Stubstad” in your “search” or “find” function to query this post for details.
Over the Line, Smokey! takes note of the kind mention of our efforts by the Doubtful News. Besides giving well-deserved credit to our crack investigative staff, the DN also attempts to summarize/bring together/encapsulate/sort out/make sense of recent disclosures. But it is a challenge to resolve this steaming mess. Who can even remember all the apparently fake foundations, journals, editors, editorial secretaries, boards, addresses, titles, qualifications, middle names, surnames, corporations, credit card buttons, Mullins, calls for papers, “peer” review, phone numbers and publishers that surround Dr. Ketchum’s excellent adventure of a “paper” (which should probably be referred to as “The Caper” rather than “The Paper”)….not to mention suggestions of fake data.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ketchum claims “bias”, compares herself to Galileo and claims to undo the theory of evolution. What’s next, “Texas Veterinarian Transmutes Lead into Gold?”
Of course, if Dr. Ketchum can prove all of these various assertions, entities and claims were/are real/true, OTL,S! would be more than happy to print her statements, corrections, and, of course, her proof. She supposedly showed documents to George Knapp on his paranormal radio program, why not make them public? Until such time, Dr. Ketchum should understand that she has forfeited the right to be assumed credible, and that extends to her data, in the opinion of OTL,S!.
Meanwhile, our crack science team gets migraines trying to make sense of much of the paper. One of them came crying to the boss, after encountering this bit of nonsense:
Of the unknown samples, there were those that showed human TAP 1 sequences, and those that failed…
What is this, a scientific paper or The Uncle Remus Stories?
In fact, after a week of non-stop eye-rolling over Dr. Ketchum’s tangled web, OTL,S! is giving our crack team of Rubik’s Cube solvers the afternoon off today to untwist their brains and be with their families. With Dr. Ketchum supposedly incommunicado (strangely, while on a “business trip”), there should be no breaking news.
Oops. What’s that? Twitter…? hmmmm …look at that… very interesting lead for tomorrow.
Update 3/15/2013: Continue reading