Texas DNA specialist writes that Sasquatch is a modern human being. UPDATED 11/1/2013. That was 2010; now she says it’s a hybrid. Or something.

Our work is copyright protected.

Update 11/25/2013:

Due to the size of this post, we will no longer be adding updates here.  Please see new post here.


Update 11/4/2013:

Play+With+Fire+Get+BurnedOver the Line, Smokey! notes that, as predicted, Ketchum is angling for more moolah from whatever dumbells still haven’t figured it all out (emphasis ours):

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 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.

bush baby

bush baby


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:


The evidence:

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”:


Somebody’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.
We are particularly interested in who pulled a switcheroo, and also how, perhaps, “revise and resubmit” may have gotten transformed into “Publish with revisions”…Mr. Carpenter, perhaps you could “lead off”….

Update 11/1/2013:


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?

Moving on:

00-bush-i-screwed-you-allDr. 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.

Moving on,

reality-checkSpeaking of what is real and what isn’t, OTL,S! has reason to question the authenticity of this document posted by Scott Carpenter:

bfketchJAMEZrevAny last words, Mr. Carpenter, before the hammer falls?



Update 10/31/2013 b:
Dr. Ketchum’s mouthpiece/stalking horse/fall guy Scott Carpenter rightfully reaches out to her, and gets what he thinks is reassurance. he posts (my emphasis):

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?

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:

We mean, what clown died and left it to Carpenter to be Ketchum’s mouthpiece?

Update 10/31/2013:
In a follow-up to yesterday’s update, one would think that a similar missive was sent to ZooBank and its affiliated scientific bodies, regarding Ketchum’s “name claim”.

not in MY ZooBank !

not in MY ZooBank !

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.

coldcut stop this crazy 3inch

Update 10/29/2013:

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


2 cows
1 black bear
1 white tailed deer
1 horse
1 raccoon
1 porcupine

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.
Thank you

Erin A Pubimed One other question- Someone by the name of Robin Haynes is registered as the ISSN applicant for:
DeNovo : accelerating science
ISSN 2326-2869 (online)
Is this individual on the editorial board? Please provide the credentials for this individual.

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.

Btw, we suspect that the “board” of DeNovo looks like this:ouija


Update 10/28/2013:

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.

What projects will be occupying Dr. Ketchum for the next few weeks? is she just lying low ot of embarrassment?
or perhaps…


maybe she’ll find solace in Italy:

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….


Update 10/26/2013:
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!!

Update 10/25/2013:

note: Dr. Ketchum has contended that her site was hacked. OTL,S! believes that is possible. Take this with a grain of salt.

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”.

Now they are referring to their “blood brother” as “cognatus”…we at OTL,S! sense another superhero in the making…SQUATCHMAN !! (he is a kind of people).
This is an exciting time to be alive!

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.shameppps: Scott Carpenter’s blog says:

This link no longer functions. If you check the owner of the site using who is your get:
Domain ID:D167596106-LROR
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 ID:SPAG-43520684
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.

But Scott Carpenter didn’t do his homework:
seems Jessica Jordon is pretty tight with Robin. In fact, Jessica is Robin’s daughter.
Update 10/24/2013:


It appears that DeNovo Scientific Journal or whatever its name was, is dead.

The DeNovo site is dead.
So by letting the DeNovo site go dead, and posting the sad messages here on the weirdo Advanced Science Foundation.org web site, it appears that Ketchum has bowed out of the online journal publishing business after her one and only issue, which contained only one article: Ketchum’s.

Self – Publishing

We 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 – Journal

We 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.


Update 10/24/2013:

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:

bfKetchDeNoSElfPuband finally the admission that the paper didn’t pass peer review:

bfKetchDenovSelfPubI’m not sure Robin cleared all those with Melba…..

youre-fired-211oh, another item:

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.”).

Aliece Watts, trying to master emails?

Aliece Watts, trying to master emails?


Update 10/22/2013b:

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.
bfKetchNewNovoNo 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.)


Update 1022/2013:
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.

Update 10/16/2013b:

No fruit cup for bigfoot


From the Independent H/T Jim M in the comments:

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.


Update 10/16/2013:
strange days copy
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.

Update 10/15/2013:

‘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….


Update 10/11/2013:

Erich von Daniken sighting !!

Erich von Daniken sighting !!

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:

Graham Hancock
Michael Cremo
Lloyd Pye
Erich von Däniken
Klaus Dona
Zecharia Sitchin
Barbara Hand Clow
Brien Foerster,
David Hatcher Childress
Chris Dunn
Nassim Haramein
Alfredo Gamarra & son Jesus Gamarra
Jonathan Gray

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.


Update 10/10/2013:
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.


Update 10/9/2013:

readDr. 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.

Update 10/7/2013:

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.”



Update 10/4/2013b:
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.

Well, OK.

And these people seemed to have the proper perspective on things: :Sweet Baby Jesus in a manger:

bflaughHere’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.


Update 10/4/2013:
Peru freakotourism entrepreneur Brien Foerster makes a big announcement, the day after the crockumentary is announced by Dr. Ketchum:

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?

Update 10/3/2013:
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~


Update 10/2/2013: explos

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:

the captive audience

the captive audience

Then, the cast:

is there even one actual working scientist with a lab?

right to left: Ketchum, Erickson, Pfohl, ……???

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.

Dr. Meldrum even appears, looking like he knows it’s all a joke:

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?

OBTW, it’s been over a year since Ketchum had to move out of her lab because she didn’t make the payments. She then put this up on her website: bfKetchuOrder
So we ask again: Got lab?

Update “welcome to your disunited States of America without a government thank you very much Republicans” day.

Republicans wrecking the country

Republicans wrecking the country

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):

trentin other words, the tissue sample and Smeja have the same haplotype.

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.

Just sayin…


Update 9/28/2013:


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.



Update 9/27/2013:


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?

Update 9/24/2013:.
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.)

just our opinions

just our opinions

We also think that Mr. Carpenter might have missed some evidence in another image he has on his site:


Are we clear?


Update 9/20/2013:
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.

“Major concerns?”
When a reviewer writes “major concerns”, you know the game is up.  But reading on,  he/she then says,

“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.

Dr. Ketchum is in an untenable position when she contradicts her star submitter. Not to mention the fact that he has said she confessed to altering samples.

More “A”:

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.

Again, dicey:
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?!

Again, “A”:

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…


Update 9/19/2013:

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).

bfKetchReviewPassing 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.

Update 9/18/2013:
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.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

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.


Update 9/17/2013:
Dr. Ketchum posts some not very convincing “gee golly” stuff at Facebook. She’s so upset, except, actually, if you read it, she isn’t. Hmmm.

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?

Update 9/15/2013:
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.

Update 9/14/2013:
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…

John Weeast
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.

Sally Ramey
A full genome is about 3 BILLION base pairs, fyi.

Scott Carpenter
Thanks for the clarification, I will see if I can get the full file

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…

Ah, bigfootery…


Update 9/12/13:

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?

Update 9/9/13:
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.

“Cover letter”

“Response to reviewers”

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
London, England

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.

Kind regards,
Dr. Melba S. Ketchum
Corresponding author

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…

Again, delusional.

Regardless, she has certainly committed scientific seppuku with this move. Not unlike Bill Munns.


Update 9/5/2013:

Dr. Ketchum runs a laboratory?

Dr. Ketchum runs a laboratory?

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.


Update 9/4/2013:
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.

Update 8/26/2013

Dr. Meldrum spreads some misinformation.

Dr. Meldrum spreads some misinformation.

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.


Update 8/23/2013:
Just as Over the Line, Smokey! was about to declare this thread “expired,” Dr. Ketchum pipes up again, on her Facebook page:

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.



Update 8/20/2013:

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?



Update 8/20/2013:


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.



Update 8/12/2013b:


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

Do we detect a Lebowski/Walter-like sentiment here?
"This is what happens when you..."

“This is what happens when you…”

So these results would appear to agree with those obtained by independent labs hired by Tyler Huggins and Bart Cutino, and by the science writer Eric Berger.

Update 8/12/2013:

From Dr. Ketchum's Facebook page.

From Dr. Ketchum’s Facebook page.

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.


Update 8/11/2013:


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!




Update 8/10/2013:

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.


also 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. )

He lost us at "Hypocracy"

He lost us at “Hypocracy”

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:

Mr. Munns does science

Mr. Munns does science


Update 8/7-8/2013:
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.

the title character/suit from the film "Clawed: the Legend of Sasquatch."

the title character/suit from the film “Clawed: the Legend of Sasquatch.”

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.

Update 8/4/2013:
OTL,S! notes this item at Mr. Freakotourism Foerster’s Facebook page, posted by fired Ketchum PR person Sally Ramey, regarding raising more money for another try at DNA analysis,

Sally Ramey
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.


Mr. Foerster makes a post regarding another specimen he has lined up for testing:

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 Peru

This 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?


Update 7/31/2013:


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).


Update 7/28/2013:

seriously, we're talking about THIS?

seriously, we’re talking about THIS? and is it closer to a potato than to a human? seriously?

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:

yes, we're embarrassed.

yes, we’re embarrassed.

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.

Update 7/26/2013:

who's got the right story?

who’s got the right story?

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.



Update 7/25/2013:

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.


Update 7/23/2013:

Dr.  Sykes has analyzed the DNA in the bloodstain on Justin Smeja's boots.

Dr. Sykes has reportedly analyzed the DNA in the bloodstain on Justin Smeja’s boots.

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.

forensic tech David Spence apparently can't tell human from animal hair

forensic tech David Spence apparently can’t tell human from animal hair

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?


Update 7/18/2013:

Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan

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.”

okaaayy…….what are we left with?

update 7/15/2013:

Why send these specimens to Dr. Ketchum?

Why send these specimens to Dr. Ketchum?

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?

Reputable scientists have studied DNA from this region

Reputable scientists have studied DNA from this region

why, instead, would he send the material to a person with no lab (evicted August, 2012) and no experience with ancient human DNA?

Ketchum was booted out of her lab in August, 2012

Ketchum was booted out of her lab in August, 2012

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?

It's all about boggling the rubes

Seems like it’s all about boggling the rubes

Update 7/8/2013:

The source of the Berger Test specimen is a woman who claims to feed blueberry bagels to a group of "bigfoots."

The source of the Berger Test specimen is a woman who claims to feed blueberry bagels to a group of “bigfoots.”

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).

possum, caught in the act of impersonating a "bigfoot."

possum, caught in the act of impersonating a “bigfoot.”

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.

update 7/7/2013:

"They're very fast."--Melba Ketchum, DVM

“They’re very fast.”–Melba Ketchum, DVM

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.
Update 7/3/2013:

Dear Lloyd Pye, Don't call us, we'll call you.

Dear Lloyd Pye,
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

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.

Update 7/2/2013:

"Say it ain't so, Joe!": the plaintive request of a schoolboy to corrupt baseball star Shoeless Joe Jackson

“Say it ain’t so, Joe!”: the plaintive request of a schoolboy to corrupt baseball star Shoeless Joe Jackson

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.”

Update 7/1/2013:

Shades of the Biscardi freezer "bigfoot"

Shades of the Biscardi freezer “bigfoot”

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.
Updated 6/24/2013:
Elongated skull fans on Facebook are all titillated, just like the bigfoot fans were:

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:

This notice was posted in the fall of 2012, after it was discovered that the property had been repo'ed.

This notice, on Dr. Ketchum’s lab site is still up. It was posted by Dr. Ketchum in the fall of 2012, after it became publicly known that her lab property had been repo’ed on August 30.

OTL,S! has inquired in nearby Nacogdoches regarding a possible new lab there, without success.

Update 6/20/2013:


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:

  • Raphael Kamphuis Do you have some new news about the DNA research, Brien?
  • Brien Foerster No, the 3 teams of DNA researchers are experiencing delays.

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?


Update 6/19/2013:

Down goes DeNovo, down goes DeNovo....

Down goes DeNovo, down goes DeNovo….

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?
  • Brien Foerster We must await the results form Melba Ketchum.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Update 6/12/2013:

The nephilim: sexual fantasy in the Bible

The nephilim: sexual fantasy in the Bible and bigfoot “community”

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.

Mr. Munns show off his awful bigfoot suit

Mr. Munns proves he doesn’t know how to make a bigfoot suit

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

Update 5/31/2013
missingtOver 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.

Update 5/30/2013 

A cast of a real skull will cost you $225

A cast will cost you $225, but at least it is a cast of something real

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.

These casts of tracks are only 50 bucks apiece (but of course they're fakes)

These casts of faked tracks are only 50 bucks apiece, but of course the tracks were faked

OTL,S! would suggest that bobbleheads might also be a big revenue producer.

An elongated skull bobblehead might require a bigger box

An elongated skull bobblehead might require a bigger box

Update 5/22/2013:



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.


Three more complete genomes with special sauce, coming up...

Three more complete genomes with special sauce, coming up…(click on image to enlarge)

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.

Update 5/19/2013:
crazy science
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.

Update 5/16/2013:
Over the Line, Smokey!’s scientific consultant has a few remarks on the concealing of failure of Dr. Ketchum’s paper to be approved in peer reviews.

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.

  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Objectivity
  • Reliability
  • Scepticism
  • Accountability
  • Openness

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.

Update 5/13/2013:

Dr. Ketchum didn't tell the truth about her peer reviews

Dr. Ketchum didn’t tell the truth about her peer reviews

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.

peer review form at Scholastica

peer review form at Scholastica

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.
Update 5/11/2013:



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.
wtf ??
from Facebook:
Dr. Melba Ketchum

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

Chrisman received a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Middle Tennessee State University. She lists Adjunct Faculty Tennessee State University College of Public Service & Urban Affairs. Probably hasn’t done much DNA analysis, we’re guessing.
 Besides being a Facebook friend of Dr. Ketchum, Joy Clay Chrisman is a “lead investigator” for the Kentucky Bigfoot Research Oganization,

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.

Update 5/8/2013:



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.

a sucker born every minute

a sucker born every minute

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.

Update 4/25/2013:
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.


Hi Brien,

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.

Best wishes,

Yeah, keep something back, so you can do another breathless update in a couple weeks. Make it last, baby….

Update 4/16/2013b:
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.

Update 4/16/2013a:


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.


Update 4/15/2013b:



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.

Update 4/15/2013a:

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.


Update 4/12/2013:

Won't need it...

…guess our intern won’t need it…

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:

denovopresErrRevoked!? 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.
Update 4/13/2013:


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.

...will lead legal action up to and including to imprisonment.

“…any false information will lead legal action up to and including to imprisonment.”

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.


Update 4/6/2013:
More from “ridgerunner” on the licked plate specimen 31 (the only one of the Ketchum paper’s three nuclear DNA specimens that appears to have come primarily from a primate):

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?

Update 4/5/2013b:

so bigfoot allows thermal?
messy plate
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.”)

sample 31 breakdown

what really happened….

Update 4/5/2013a:

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,

There's a lot more in aliens than in bigfoot

There’s a lot more in aliens than in bigfoot

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.

Update 4/3:glasses

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
from a hole in the ground a 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!”
Melba Ketchum:
“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

Update 3/30-31/2013:
selfparodyThe 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:

Mickey Mantle gave his expert "endorsement" of any cancer stick that would pay him.

Mickey Mantle gave his expert “endorsement” of any cancer stick that would pay him.

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:

Ancient Aliens: Where was the Border Patrol when we needed them?

Ancient Aliens: Where was the Border Patrol when we needed them?

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).

you've seen the video, now buy the book!

you’ve seen the video, now buy the book!

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.[1] 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”

The "Museum". In the US we'd probably call this a tourist trap

The “Museum”. In the US we’d probably call this a tourist trap

and a plethora of what we in the US might call grave-robbed skulls (not saying who robbed the graves).

Elongated skulls; probably would be called grave-robbing n the US.

Elongated skulls; probably would be called grave-robbing if done in the US.

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):

Brien Foerster and A. L. Marzulli

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.

Are these the only two options?

Are these the only two options?

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.

Update 3/25/2013:
OTL,S! notes a new post by Dr. Ketchum on Facebook:

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.

Updated 3/24/2013

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. hypeBelievApparently 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.

hypeBanner 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.

It's a cultural thing

It’s a cultural thing

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.

sound familiar?

sound familiar?

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.

from Milinkovitch MC et al.

from Milinkovitch MC et al.

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:

Sign up now; we're pretty sure space is limited.

Sign up now; we’re pretty sure space is limited.

added: Business is great!!! this tour is now full. Instead, you are urged to book the Lloyd Pye tour for only $3715 single:

Hurry, hurry, step right up...

Hurry, hurry, step right up…

OTL,S! has an idea for another type skull abnormality that might be investigated by Dr. Ketchum and her team:

suspicious hole-like openings in war cemeteries may have nu-DNA basis

Spanish tour guide asks, “Could the thousands of mysterious hole-like openings in skulls in war cemeteries have a nuDNA basis?

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.

Update 3/24/2013:


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:

Hi Jerry,

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.


John Marsh



Update 3/22/2013 (b)

wha hoppen?

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.

Sarah has been deleted

Sarah has been deleted

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.

Update 3/21/2013: fooled1

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.

Who's telling the truth?

Who’s telling the truth?

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,

Ward Wakeland

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?

Update 3/20/2013:


Beall's List may find that the publisher will just change the name.

Beall’s List may find that the publisher will just change the name.

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:

Academic consequences

Academic consequences

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.

Business consequences

Business consequences

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.

Dr. Ketchum's former lab in Timpson TX

Dr. Ketchum’s former lab in Timpson TX

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.

Loss of credibility

Loss of credibility

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.

Update 3/17/2013:



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.

Update 3/16/2013:


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.

You wouldn't know it was all PayPal, would you?

You wouldn’t know it was all PayPal, would you?

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!.

what is real in all this Ketchum stuff?

what is real in all this Ketchum stuff?

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:

Dr. Ketchum's "Dr." editor is a retired preacher with a D.Min.

Dr. Ketchum’s “Dr.” editor is a retired preacher with a D.Min.

Over the Line, Smokey! has no problem with people who feed blueberry bagels to wildlife, or with those who make their living selling religion. But at the same time, OTL,S! feels that editing a “Scientific Journal” like “Denovo: accelerating Science” or a scientific paper as complex as that of Dr. Ketchum should be left to the professionals. Dr. Ketchum might have done better to have selected someone as editor  with actual scientific publishing experience, rather than “Robin Lynne” of bagel/bigfoot hostess fame, who doubles as Dr. Ketchum’s public relations representative(and possibly the publisher of DeNovo), and/or Dr. Rayford Wallace.

Let’s start with Ms. Lynne, (like DeNovo itself, she goes by various names) since she was, briefly, the first (and as of today, the only) known editor of “DeNovo: accelerating Science.” Her name was removed from the website within a day of its appearance. We at OTL,S! have not found any indications that she would be qualified for that position.

Now moving on to the “Editor Dr. Rayford Wallace” who is really not listed as the editor of DeNovo journal, but rather simply placed at the top of Dr. Ketchum’s paper. OTL,S! isn’t sure what it means to have an “editor’ imprinted at the top of a scientific paper. At any rate, Dr. Wallace, while he is an active longtime believer in bigfoot and associate of the bigfoot icon “bulletmaker, he is not, “bless his heart”, a scientist, or a scientific publisher or editor. In fact, he is actually an elderly Doctor of Ministry and retired preacher.

Rayford Wallace on April 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm said:

….(He keeps “outing” me as a doctor, but don’t take that too seriously. I’m neither a Ph.D. or an M.D. I have a D.Min. That is a preacher’s degree. But keep in mind that preacher’s learn a lot about a lot of things.) But again, I don’t know: I ain’t no expert.

By his own admission, Dr. Wallace has barely entry level computer skills.

Rayford Wallace on April 27, 2010 at 5:40 am said:

This will probably be my last post on this matter, but I would be interested in Woody, or someone else, “faking” a similar photo so that I could compare the know-to-be faked photo with the one that I saw. I can just barely type on a keyboard and know next to nothing about handling photos on a computer. I’m technologically challenged and I know it.

Over the Line, Smokey! isn’t sure that Dr. Wallace is the type of professional being referred to in the DeNovo message to authors:


OTL,S! makes the supposition that his name was added to the top of the paper simply because he can be called “Dr.” and someone thought that added some credibility to the paper.  If that were the thinking, OTL,S! would have to disagree, as we don’t think Dr. Wallace knows the difference between a contig and a file extension. Perhaps he was brought in to check the grammar. We invite Dr. Ketchum, on whose paper his name was placed, to fill us in on her rationale.

Let’s move on to another interesting question: who is the publisher of DeNovo, the person who makes it happen, who provides the financing and does the business? Like the editor issue, this is a little confusing. First of all, Dr. Ketchum, who might be the logical candidate, said in a recent interview that she had nothing to do with the publishing of the paper. Hmmm. More on that in a moment.

The DeNovo website lists three different entities that might be the publisher, “DeNovo Scientific Publishing” and “DeNovo Publishing and Genomics Foundation, and “Denovo Publishing”:


As if that weren’t confusing enought, the identity of the publisher was further clouded when OTL,S! followed the ISSN registration number and discovered that WorldCat thinks that DeNovo is published by some entity called “Advanced Science Publishing,” of Big Rapids, MI.



It should come as no surprise to devoted readers of this blog that, like so many other Ketchum-related entities, “ASP” doesn’t seem to exist elsewhere on the internet in Big Rapids or anywhere. The interesting thing, however, is that Big Rapids is located exactly three miles from Newaygo County, which is the home of …wait for it…Robin Lynne. So, in addition to being the temporary editor, Robin Lynn seemingly was/is the publisher, as well.

But the confusion doesn’t end there. The publisher is the business entity. It appears that on the DeNovo website, payments are not being made to the supposed publisher, Advanced Science Publishing, (or the several other internet-invisible “publishing” entities listed on the website) but rather to dnadiagnostics.com. Hmmm.

In a recent interview Dr. Ketchum said (strangely) that she “had nothing to do with the publishing” of Denovo. Hmmm. Over the Line, Smokey! understands that Dr. Ketchum may not have chosen the fonts, etc, but still thinks that “…had nothing to do with…” crosses the line between the truth and the kinds of things we were taught as children not to say unless we had our fingers crossed.

if the payment goes to her, isn't she the publisher?

if the payment goes to her, isn’t she the publisher?

Let’s review: Dr. Ketchum says she “acquired” the supposed “Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Explorations in Zoology.” So she “owns” that publication. Then she changed the name. So she named it. And she says someone from the the JAMEZ “helped’ with the new journal….helped who? OTL,S! has to assume “they” (the imaginary Casey Mullins?) helped someone connected with Dr. Ketchum ie Robin Lynne, aka Robin Lynn, aka Robin Lynn Forestpeople, aka Robin Lynn Pfeifer aka Robin Lynn Haynes, her public relations person. And msketchum@dnadiagnostics.com is getting the payments. So….how does all that square with Dr. Ketchum having nothing to do with the publishing??? OTL,S! needs some clarification on who is doing the business of publishing “Denovo:accelerating Science”. Even the name of the journal seems to be in doubt. In the initial press release it was called Denovo:Journal of Science:DenovoJofS

But on the website it has had at least three different names: initially it was ‘Denovo Scientific Journal”, followed by:

Which is it?

Which is it?

OTL,S! has one other related comment. We mentioned that the payments hosted by ‘Denovo: accelerating Science” seem to be directly through PayPal to msketchum@dnadiagnostics.com. Strangely, the website displays six clickable credit cards, including MasterCard and American Express. Yet, not one of them actually leads to a credit card site. Every single one leads to PayPal. What Ketchum has done (or, had Robin Lynne do) is to violate a PayPal ad, which we assume is protected. OTL,S! has no particular reason to worry about the financial health or reputation or trademark of PayPal or any credit card companies, but does think that the publisher (no one  outside of Dr. Ketchum really knows who that really is, I guess) might want to avoid ensnarling him/her self with the Plastic Card People, who have a deserved reputation for finding malfeasance and squashing it like bugs. Particularly as it seems that whoever is publishing “DeNovo: accelerating Science” (apparently Dr. Melba Ketchum) is now going for the big bucks: offering to peer-review and publish papers for up to $1500 a pop. American Express might care about fakery when $1500 is involved.

For $1500, you get a printed copy for your mom

For $1500, you get a printed copy for your mom

OTL,S! guesses that making this kind of money on vanity/predatory publishing may make Dr. Ketchum forget about marketing the non-existent Sasquatch Wildwear tshirts and other commemorative items purportedly to be sold through the non-existent “Friends of Saquatch,” as indicated on the apparently-for-profit-but-called-non-profit Global Sasquatch Foundation website. The OTL,S! staff would be very disappointed to miss the opportunity to purchase these items, particularly if they were autographed.

Update 3/14/2013:


If we are to believe her website, Dr. Ketchum believes that not only is sasquatch a real animal, but also that it has a penchant for braiding horse manes.  Over the Line, Smokey! refers our many discriminating readers to the erudite essay by ghostexorcist on the origins of the hair-braiding myth, or let us google that for you, to find hundreds of images of horses with tangled or matted manes.  Oh, wait, maybe they were all done by sasquatch. OTL,S! sees a potential boom in cosmetology training for novel hominins, once sasquatch is recognized as an actual living primate. Of course, this is just speculation…they may be all thumbs when it comes to scissors.

Update 3/13/2013:foundation41

OTL,S finds it nearly impossible to keep up with the excellent adventures of Dr. Ketchum and her loyal band of  followers. Today we have the new website for the Melba Ketchum Global Sasquatch Foundation. Says it “is a Non-profit organization.” That’s news to us, and it must also be to the IRS and the state of Texas. Cause it isn’t listed as a non-profit with either of those bodies. It’s a business, according to the state of Texas.

Perhaps this idea that the GSF is a non-profit is just an opinion. At the bottom of the page it says:

Disclaimer: Any opinions express [sic] on any Q & A, blog or Advice page are only our opinions and we are not responsible. [sic]

Actually, OTL,S! is pretty sure they ARE responsible if they solicit money posing as a non-profit. OTL,S! is not a law firm, but would suspect that would be some sort of crime or fraud. The “Foundation” seems to realize that also; in a couple places on the site, they actually don’t quite solicit money, they just hint at it:

Looking to the Future

As the GSF continues its research, more funding will be necessary to enable the GSF team to learn as much as possible about the mysterious and fascinating Sasquatch people.

If you are interesting in supporting further

and there it just ends!!! comes to a screetching halt just before the incriminating plea for money!! good move, GSF!!!]

Then, there IS a donation tab and an almost-request:

If you would like to make a contribution to Global Sasquatch Foundation, please submit this form. A representative will contact you as soon as possible.

Your name *

At another place, they use the dodge of passing money though yet another entity:

How you can help

You can help this newly formed research organization through the purchase of commemorative and themed items available through Friends of Sasquatch. A portion of the proceeds will support the Global Sasquatch Foundation as it ramps up its operations and establishes itself as the premiere professional organization dedicated to Sasquatch.

of course, we don’t yet know who or what this “Friends of Sasquatch” is, but by creating a shell organization that actually collects money, the GSF avoids the consequences of soliciting money while pretending to be a non-profit. Right now, searching for “Friends of Sasquatch” gives us this, which is also not a non-profit, but is a ‘research blog” (“Research for the facilitation of interspecies communication…formed to explore methods of developing contact with Sasquatch, including communication via subtle energies.) run by a Linda Martin, a novelist out of Happy Camp, CA.

The site gives helpful tips on “How To Get Involved in Telepathic Bigfoot Research,” but, unlike the vast Ketchum empire of 41 domain names,  is definitely a small-time operation:

There are only two members of the Friends of Sasquatch group right now.

The founder, Linda, is also up for a little profit:


If you come to Happy Camp you can contact me for a tour of areas where there have been Bigfoot sightings near our town. I charge $250 for a one-day tour and you must drive your own vehicle while I drive mine. No insurance is available so you must sign a liability waiver. These hot spots are on all sides of our town. I believe Bigfoot has us surrounded!

It just doesn’t sound like this is the right organization. We don’t see any of the supposed commemorative and themed items described by the MKGSF as being up for sale on this “Friends of Sasquatch’ site.

Long story short, OTL,S! doesn’t see this as being the “Friends of Sasquatch” that is referred to by the “Melba Ketchum Global Sasquatch Foundation” which is linked to on the website of the “Sasquatch Genome Project.” which, in turn, talks about the article advertised for sale on the website formerly titled “DeNovo Scientific Journal,” which is now “DeNovo: accelerating Science”, supposedly published by the impossible-to-verify “DeNovo Scientific Publishing” (which is possibly an imagined arm of the invisible “DeNovo Publishing and Genomics Foundation’). However, by the ISSN number, it is published by the equally hard to verify “Advanced Science Publishing” of Big Rapids, MI (home of Dr. Ketchum’s publicist, Robin Lynne). Denovo is the second coming of the never-published but allegedly-peer-reviewed “Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology”, which was almost published by the supposed “Foundation for Advanced Zoological Exploration,” whose supposed editorial secretary was/is the imaginary “Casey Mullins.” Are you keeping this all straight?  Well, if you are, toss in the fact that this all started from a press release at the website of “DNA Diagnostics Inc.” (which does business as “Shelterwood Laboratories”) yet has no physical address or phone number.

But we are confident that in a day or two, there will be a new “Friends of Sasquatch.net” or -.info or -.us, which will offer those commemorative and themed items we all crave.


At any rate, the Melba Ketchum Global Sasquatch Foundation provides us with the usual Ketchimpaired style of communication (spelling corrections omitted).

Sasquatch has been around for approximately 13,000 yrs. Most of this time we were unaware of their existance. This is do to their unbelieveable ability to stay hidden from us. However, more and more we are going into the woods. This is leading us to more encounters than ever before. Sasquatch for the most part would rather be left alone. Still like us they can and will be protective of their homes and families. If you have a encounter simply walk away quietly. Do not panick, or run just stay calm and walk away. Remember like us there are good and bad in all people, caution is always advised.

The MKGSF is nothing if not ambitious. It has its own ‘platform”… seems to view itself as a political party,


…we must ask for legislative recognition for them to be one of the world’s many tribal people/communities who must be allowed to live their lives in peace and in the manner of their choosing, with special attention to protecting their right to life, and their right to liberty in the form of free ingress and egress, as well as their rights to cultural expression such as their navigational, territorial and other markers.

If the Sasquatch’s legal status as a people is questioned, the Alliance will advocate for an emergency moratorium on all hunting, assaulting, poisoning, stalking, entrapment, baiting, skinning, stuffing, etc. activities in certain areas where highly documented reports of their presence and activity are known.

So there we see that there is yet another entity, the “Alliance….” Would that be the Sasquatch Preservation Alliance? As mentioned in our Jan 10 update to this post? wasn’t this involved in Ketchum’s bullying of the cancer patient artist Alexis Evans? didn’t Alex write:

I hereby demand that you remove all of my art from the Sasquatch Genome Project’s website. In addition, I demand that my art be removed from the Sasquatch Preservation Alliance’s website. I also demand that you not use the art I prepared for your designer clothing label, Authentic Sasquatch Wildwear, as well as the various designs I did for your t-shirt sales program. You no longer have my permission to use any of my art for any reason whatsoever. Remember, I never signed over my copyright, or any document, giving you exclusive or limited permission, or one of your NDAs.


We couldn’t find ‘the Alliance” online then, and we can’t find it now…other than of course it is one of the 41 domain names bought by Ketchum/her associates.

More from the MKGSF website:

It may be prudent that part of the education to the public about the Sasquatch be that they should be left alone and that the possibility of some form of communication between our society and theirs be attempted to learn more about their way of life and possibly the needs they may have.

The GSF’s findings have inspired the formation of a new research organization dedicated to a new approach grounded in the reality of Sasquatch existence and nature as people.

In addition, the Foundation has a division dedicated to the preservation of the Sasquatch people – including protecting them from hunting, poisoning, harassment and captivity.

The Global Sasquatch Foundation (GSF)) has made arrangements to accommodate regional, national and even international discussions. Using the popular social networking site, Facebook, GSF has established group pages

oops, not quite, Facebook says this content is currently unavailable. Darn, OTL,S! was so hoping for a dose of spirited Great Lakes regional sasquatch preservation discussion.

Lastly, the domain name for the MK-GSF was registered the very day that Tyler Huggins released his report, Dec. 26, 2012. Over the Line, Smokey! has previously shown the temporal relationship between, on the one hand,

the release of the Huggins report showing that the Sierra Steak (Ketchum’s crucial sample 26 that she claims is a novel human/hybrid/squatchenlemur) was actually bear with human (Justin Smeja) contamination,

and on the other hand,

the sudden appearance of the fake “Foundation for Advanced Zoological Exploration”, which supposedly almost published the Ketchum paper in the fake ‘Journal for Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology.”

Update 3/12/2013:legoOver the line, Smokey!‘s science team feels compelled to make some things clear about Dr. Ketchum’s claims. Specifically,

1) the implication that the high-profile labs she used for “Next Generation sequencing” were the ones who came up with a novel species, and

2) the statement that Q-30 scores have anything significant to do with the nature of her claims.

3) The idea that Next Generation whole genome sequencing (the foundation of the paper) uses supersecret primers made up by Ketchum (even Ketchum’s paper does not claim that any primers designed by her to target certain genes, showed anything but human gene results).

In essence, the “famous lab” only did the following:

  • It received a bottle from Dr. Ketchum containing a liquid in which there was some DNA. Could be one animal, a horse, a human, a mold or a hundred different species. Could be bear and human. It is whatever Dr. Ketchum put in the bottle.
  • It put the liquid in a machine that chopped up the DNA into bajillion very short pieces, maybe 200 bases long. It doesn’t know whether half of those are from a cow or fungus or rutabaga or all of the above. They just chop it all up.
  • It then determined, without any supersecret primers made by Dr. Ketchum, the composition of each very short piece (ie the sequence of each 200 base piece)
  • it also determined how accurately it “decided”/determined each base (ie the Q30 score). The Q30 score is only an internal quality check on whether the machine was getting good consistent readings on each base ie “base-calling”. It can’t tell contamination from the real thing from a mixture of a hundred animals. It just reports the sequence of each short segment and the internal quality control Q30 score. But Dr. Ketchum’s paper says:

    The run summary generated by the HiSeq 2000 next generation sequencer provides scores, Q30, 497 for run quality78. Q30 can also be used to determine if there was any contamination (or mixture) 498 found in the samples sequenced. According to Illumina, a pure, single source sample would 499 have an Q30 score of 80 or greater with an average of 85. However, if there was contamination 500 present in the sample sequenced, the divergent sequences would compete against one another 501 prior to sequencing causing a contaminated sample to have a Q30 score of 40 to 50.

    and gives us only this reference to back up her statement.

    But that reference never mentions contamination. Furthermore, the “According to Illumina…..” stuff, which (to the reader) appears to be part of the same reference, is NOT. Dr. Ketchum has since said that she got that stuff from talking to two (un-named) people at Illumina. /rolls eyes.

  • Lastly, the “famous lab” reported the bajillion 200 base sequences to Dr. Ketchum. To repeat: The famous outside laboratory that Dr. Ketchum wants us to make us think is responsible for the Sasquatch genome reported the sequences of a bajillian pieces, each 200 bases long, along with some quality control info on its own process.

That’s all folks. That is Next Generation sequencing. The sequencing machine could be called the

The automatic sequencer of 200 base segments-2000.

instead of the Illumina Hi-seq 2000. It takes everything apart, and it doesn’t put it back together for you. They don’t tell you it’s a bear and/or a lemur and/or a Smeja and/or a milkweed. They just give you a big pile of 200 base sequences and tell you, with a Q score, how well the process went.

Dr. Ketchum now has a bajillion sequences that are 200 bases long. How she puts them together is up to her (or whoever she has help her), it depends on what she put in the bottle that she sent to the lab, and on knowledge, experience, skill, integrity, character, honesty and how she/co-authors uses various software programs. They could make it into a frankenbear, or a horsenweed or a Lemusmejinstein.

She could then type that into her computer and put it on the internet.

That doesn’t make a frankenbear a real animal.

And she could say, or imply, that the lab did it….go all “…University of Texas Southwestern (you all know how smart they are) they did it…” on us.

But that implication would be misleading. UTSW did not create the purported sasquatch genome. And they resent the implication that they did. They may have done the Next Generation sequencing, but Next Generation sequencing only gave her the little pieces of whatever she sent them. What she or her helpers did with the little pieces of whatever she sent them, was her/her co-authors responsibility.

Dr. Ketchum is invited to respond. OTL,S! would be happy to correct any mistakes by our scientific people. Specifically, she could get someone from UTSW to admit to creating the sasquatch genome, or tell us how they used Dr. Ketchum’s supposed supersecret primers in an automated Next Generation sequencer like the Illumina Hi-seq 2000 or where in the paper any Ketchum designed primers showed anything but human. Perhaps she could identify the purported two supervisors at Illumina who supposedly told her something about “contamination” causing low Q30 scores. Oh, wait, we know: “They might be fired…’ For giving accurate? information? Really?

Oh wait, Dr. Ketchum often makes claims about anonymous but supposedly expert people who can’t be identified for various reasons. And even identified people like her “co-authors” don’t want to back up her claims. And then there are clearly imaginary people like “Casey Mullins.”

Just our humble opinions.

Update 3/11/2013:


Over the Line, Smokey! takes notice of a communication from Troy Hudson, a member of Dr. Ketchum’s “Posse of Blind Devotion.” Mr. Hudson seems to be in charge of one of Dr. Ketchum’s “foundations,” which apparently amount to no more than businesses dressed up like charities. Mr. Hudson would appear to run the (Melba Ketchum) “Global Sasquatch Foundation,” a regular Texas business, out of his home in Garland Tx, a suburb of Dallas.

In response to a request from a representative of the Bigfoot Forums, Mr. Hudson tells us that Dr. Ketchum is going to continue to not answer tough questions about her self-published paper:

The inquiry:

Hello Dr. Ketchum,

My name is John Weeast and I’m taking over the blog for The Bigfoot Forums. I was inquiring if you would be able to ask some questions via email about your paper and the controversy surrounding it since its release.

My email is xxxxxxxxxxxxx. I look forward to hearing back from you.

The response (emphasis added):

(Troy Hudson for Dr. Ketchum) I am sorry Mr. Weeast she is unable to make any comments or is in any position to respond at this time. She is out of town on business (Non-BF related) and will not return for several weeks. Also note: Sir all due respect, Dr. Ketchum has informed me time and time again, she WILL not make any communication to any Bigfoot Related Forum, Blog, or Organization, I am sorry.

Mr. Weeast adds:

As a writer, this doesn’t make sense. The topic is Bigfoot, yet anyone related to Bigfoot are shut out from asking questions? Well, I tried.

Over the Line, Smokey! agrees, and would add that according to our crack anyone-who-lives-on-the-planet-since-about-2005-knows: you can’t go anywhere where business is done and not have access to the internet. OTL,S! would also add, with all due respect: DUH! and Hello? and Really?.

Not to mention:smartphones? Hello?

Not to mention: dropbox, Google Docs, laptops, tablets, thumb drives, portable hard drives, 3G, 4G, remote access software, wireless, satellite, hot spots, servers, the cloud, etc, etc.

Over the line, Smokey! believes that what Dr. Ketchum is trying to say through Mr. Hudson is: “I’m on the paranormalist circuit, where I get to make up the questions they ask and the hosts will believe anything. Or pay-per-view, or if I get to be on TV, but only for softball/soundbite questions.” If we are wrong on this, we hope that Dr. Ketchum will correct us.

By the way, Over the Line, Smokey! is also rather impatient about getting tshirts. When will the merchandise line be available for purchase? OTL,S! has a number of staffers who want Ketchum-autographed tshirts.

OTL,S! notes and recommends a new blog dealing with Dr. Ketchum’s jeremiad.

Update 3/8/2013 (b)hair

Over the line, Smokey! continues to be confused by Dr. Ketchum’s paper. She seems to be adamant that the key to her research was finding hairs that were not human by appearance but yielded human mtDNA.

All of these samples were [DNA]testing human with non-human hair.

Over the Line, Smokey! recalls that Dr. Ketchum noted these “not human” characteristics herself, but in her paper she states that her hair expert is a Mr. David W. Spence, who, although he seems to have no letters after his name and no publications on hair identification, is apparently a lab supervisor at Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, Dallas, TX.

From the paper:

The medulla and root were found to be the two most discriminating characteristics of the 146 microscopic examination. Most of the novel hairs had medullary structures and diameter ratios 147 that were clearly distinct from human hairs. Even though a variety of medullary structures were 148 observed, the micrographs in Figure 5B depict those most commonly encountered. Most of the 149 novel hairs had elongated roots with a somewhat “spade” shape, which is a feature of some 150 animal hairs but is typically not seen in human hairs

And, she used samples submitted by Paul Freeman, W. Sumerlin, and W.Laughery. Now, OTL,S! has pretty solid evidence that Mr. Freeman is, at present, dead, and has been in that condition since well before Dr. Ketchum started her study. So, not to be overly chrono-logical, it appears that Dr. Ketchum and/or the esteemed Mr. Spence must have been looking at the same samples that Dr. W. Henner Fahrenbach was. For many years, Dr. WHF, of the Primate Research Center has been the accepted expert on purported bigfoot hairs:

On August 5, 1995, two separate sets of hair samples were collected by three persons (P. Freeman, B. Laughery, and W. Sumerlin) in the Blue Mountains east of Walla Walla, Washington. The group first tracked three sets of fresh foot prints, then found freshly twisted-off trees with hair caught in them, and within a short time later observed a sasquatch at less than 100 feet with binoculars. The hair was sent to Dr. W. Henner Fahrenbach (Beaverton, Oregon), who determined microscopically that the hair appeared to have come from two individuals of the same species, that it differed in color, length and hair growth cycle between the two sets, had not been not cut, and was indistinguishable from human hair by any criterion.

I have by now a dozen purported sasquatch hair samples, all morphologically congruent (which rules out hoaxing) and all effectively indistinguishable from a human hair of the particular structure (great variability is available among the latter). DNA extracted from both hair shaft or roots (hair demonstrably fresh) was too fragmented to permit gene sequencing. That characteristic is also sometimes found in human hair that lacks the medulla (as does sasquatch hair – at least what I am willing to identify as such).

I am concentrating now on blood or tissue, as the hair holds no promise….

Dr. W. Henner Fahrenbach

Affiliate Curator of the BFRO


Dr. Fahrenbach and his work are cited extensively in Dr. Jeff Meldrum’s book Sasquatch:Legend Meets Science. Now, Bryan Sykes and his Oxford colleagues are doing a study separate from Dr. Ketchum’s, and some if not most of the North American samples are being screened by Dr. Meldrum, who is using Fahrenbach’s criteria, ie they look human, not cut and no medulla (these two characteristics are not uncommon in human hair).

Perhaps Dr. Ketchum and Mr. Spence would agree to enter the cage for a celebrity tag team hair deathmatch against Dr. Meldrum and Dr. Fahrenbach. OTL,S! will take the word of whoever comes out alive.

Update 3/8/2013 (a):


Slightly off topic, but this is Dr. Ketchum’s target demographic. Over the Line, Smokey! takes notice of the above still frame from the execrable Animal Planet series, “Finding Bigfoot,” where hundreds of male kids of all ages compete with each other to see who can tell the best lie about seeing bigfoot and thus appear on national television. It’s a little bit like a cross between the old Gong Show and American Idol, except there is no talent at all, except, well, lying. Charitably, maybe it’s “storytelling.” Anyway, many are called, but few are chosen. After the lying contest, each episode has a sort of three-stooges-in-the-woods-at-night segment. If you actually want/need to read the story or think you can watch the video without retching, go to Bigfoot Evidence.

Update 3/6/2013


Over the Line, Smokey! takes note of the new website for the thought-to-be-imaginary Foundation for Advanced Zoological Exploration, “manned” by the long-sought “Casey Mullins” (use your find/search function on this post to learn about “Casey”), who has also appeared on Twitter. OTL,S! continues to be impressed by the cheap and cheesy (not to mention incompetent) nature of the “Foundation” website and this whole hot mess.

What is going on now? Is this to be the shell for the to the next fake peer review in the next fake journal, which will be “bought”, renamed on a another cheesy website, to serve as the “scientific journal” for another a pseudoscientific white elephant of a paper, about the favorite color of an imaginary animal? One wonders why the Scholastica platform wasn’t used again… “Casey” and the “Foundation” must have gotten busted. Even Scholastica has SOME standards; possibly they were shocked to their senses by a “preserve all records” notice served on them by the law firm representing a certain sponsor of bigfoot research. I imagine ole “Casey” will get one of those if he/she shows up in the real world.

Update 3/5/2013:

Next edition: "Of Lemurs and People"

Next edition: “Of Lemurs and People”

Over the Line, Smokey! has observed that Dr. Ketchum casually notes that her data upends evolutionary theory, and uses the language of the creationists/intelligent designists: On a recent “Coast to Coast radio with George Knapp” show, she said her data “doesn’t [sic] support Darwin’s theory of evolution”. For those readers not familiar with evolution: Darwin’s ideas were only the basis for the theory of evolution. Darwin doesn’t own it. There is no “Darwin’s theory of evolution.” For those not familiar with science, a theory is not just someone’s idea, like “the prosecution’s theory of the crime is that it was done with a candlestick in the library by Col. Mustard.” In science a theory is a framework of concepts tested by many scientific observations and experiments, confirmed, and strong, a concept that might be paraphrased as a “law of nature.” There are relatively few “theories” and they are strong and widely held.

Certainly Dr. Ketchum is free to have whatever religious beliefs she wishes, and use them to deny evolution and make herself believe that the DNA in her “paper” is from some sort of giant prehistoric lemur that mated with humans. But Ketchum’s “hypothesis” of ??? is not going to replace evolution for the rest of us. We are probably going to be more comfortable with the obvious: that “her” DNA (at least what are allowed to see) is that of a human, a bear and some artifact.

Over the Line, Smokey! doubts we’ll ever see anything to match it, unless Dr. Ketchum (or someone else to whom she has given the secret recipe spoken of by Justin Smeja for bear/man DNA melding) is allowed to be alone with the specimens (or the data).

In possibly related news:sneakyscisneaky

Over the Line, Smokey! is informed that these books fell off the back of a moving van, seem driving south out of Timpson, Texas, on night of the August 30, 2012 (that would be the day that Dr. Melba Ketchum got booted out of the property where her last reported lab facility had been located, because she stopped paying the loan). Of course, this information (about the books, not the booting) could have been completely fabricated by someone, perhaps even by the staff of Over the Line, Smokey!.

Update 3/3/2013:hype1

“Active-Hyper” Dr. Melba Ketchum gives yet ANOTHER media hype/interview to (TA DA…) “The Voice of Russia”.

some highlights, with OTL,S!’s comments in italics following each quote:

MK: There is so much hype surrounding it that the scientific community feels that the research cannot be credible.

shit! just broke the OTL,S! irony meter…

MK: Those reviewers who finally agreed to read the paper then came back to me asking for the information that was already in the manuscript, so I knew they did not even read it. Moreover, when the reviewers failed to find any errors in our research they simply asserted that it was ‘contaminated’. Given that most of our project team consisted of forensic scientists we are sure that there is no contamination in our research. In this sense, it seems to me that contamination is the only excuse that the reviewers can come up with to prevent the publication of our study.

oh, wait, OTL,S! thought Dr. Ketchum claimed it was peer-approved?? oh, we forgot; that peer-review stuff was just made-up…part of the fake stuff at Scholastica: “Casey Mullins”, the fake Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology, the fake Foundation for Advanced Zoological Exploration. OTL,S! forgives Dr. Ketchum for failing to keep track of all her stories.

MK: Every-so-often innovative research projects are not accepted by the scientific community up until the scientist passes away.

not recommended, but might be worth a try.

MK: We are just at the beginning of the sequencing process but we believe that these [Russian] DNA samples will have the same makeup as North American ones.

Would that be because “at the beginning” is when the “secret recipe” is added, the stuff Justin Smeja says Ketchum mentioned to him and three other witnesses over the phone, that makes human and animal DNA appear to merge into that of some unknown hybrid “thing?” 

MK: …one can obtain a DNA sample from anything that an individual ate or chewed because saliva is a very good source of DNA, but we did not use any bagels…

or any samples from this woman who was the first “editor” of “Denovo Scientific Journal,” and claims to have a family of ten bigfoots that she is feeding, but strangely couldn’t come up with a single specimen, photograph or corroborating witness to her fabulous stories?

MK: It is almost impossible, for example to get any photographic record or a body. Although, I must say that there is now a photographic record that will soon be released.


MK: Basically, Bigfoot are a particular type of people, so we do not want them hunted, harassed, or being chased…

Doesn’t she mean “…Bigfooters are…”?

MK: We are not asking the government to give them large areas of land or anything like that. Sasquatch do not need them.

Everyone can agree on that.

MK: … the DNA sequencing is a very complicated technique and it might take years to go through it in full.

A search warrant and a few subpoenas might speed up that process.

This is GOLD, people…COMEDY GOLD !

Update 3/2/2013: 


This game is essentially over…that is, the science game is essentially over. What is not over is the game of the who and the how of this fiasco, and who is going to be held responsible.

wha? Ketchum says LEMUR?!


MELBA KETCHUM: It’s headed a little more towards the lemur line, oddly enough. It is definitely NOT an ape. And it’s interesting that we found out that there is an extinct lemur that weighed 400 or 500 pounds. Also, they had opposable thumbs and hooded noses. It really freaked me out that we had lemur. I did not expect that (laughs).

Sorry, not a lemur.

Sorry, sasquatch is not a lemur-human hybrid.

A devoted reader of Over the Line, Smokey! has provided the data from some BLAST analyses of the Ketchum data. OTL,S!‘s crack investigative staff then underwent a short review on the subject. In short, Dr. Ketchum’s recent suggestion that this sequence REALLY represents lemur DNA is just silly. That’s just the software grappling with the mixed up sequence. If you look at the segments, it should be clear to anyone with at least the smarts of the average OTL,S! staffer, a little instruction, and a few minutes of study, that this is H. sapiens and bear DNA. Click to enlarge.




As one knowledgeable poster puts it:

It shows very elegantly how regions of MK’s contig show 100% homology to human or bear when BLASTed individually, but show 96% homology to lemur when BLASTed as an assembly. The lemur results are an ARTIFACT of the BLAST algorithm applied to an artificial assembly of DNA sequences. Like all programs, BLAST can only provide good results if you feed it good data. Tyler previously posted PDFs showing that MK’s contigs were stitched together from human, bear and “other” sequences = poor data.

Alternately, you have to believe that now-extinct, giant, prehistoric lemurs were promiscuously fornicating with human females thousand of years ago, and that their Zagnut-craving offspring now inhabit our forests and swamps. Decisions, decisions … bad data vs naughty lemurs! Eeeeh, I think I’ll go with bad data.

Tyler, please thank your PhD friend for the time he spent putting the latest PDF together. It doesn’t get clearer than that.




Regarding the criticisms of the Ketchum et al paper voiced in the Breaking Bio 19 video (embedded here in the 2/28 update), Dr. Anna Nekiris Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford Brookes University – Nocturnal Primate Research Group, writes:

… this is an important video [posted previously here--OTL,S!] about the Melba Ketchum paper – I have said I would write a statement about all that is wrong with the paper, as there is not much that is right, but this nice bearded guy from New Zealand says it all. If you ignore the irritating people laughing and taking the piss, he is spot on with EVERYTHING…it is very thoughtful in fact. It is a shame they are actually so frivolous…as it might put you off. I actually fast forwarded to ten minutes in. He speaks relatively laymen. If you still have any questions about what BLAST or GenBank or over-representation of a chromosome or why it is relevant that we only have ever sequenced the genome of a panda, you can ask, as they are all certainly relevant aspects…and easy to explain….and the bearded chappy helps you along to explain why Melba and colleagues have got it is oh-so-wrong…

Dr. Melba Ketchum’s paper is not only a veritable joke from the scientific writing perspective, it is a rancid logical and scientific hash. Witness statements seem to implicate her in a massive scientific and legal fraud. Her co-authors seem to have abdicated their professional responsibility and may have violated the public trust. This is no longer a question on which actual, competent ethical scientists should waste their valuable time. In the opinion of OTL,S!, this is now more like a criminal investigation.


update 3/1/2013:  Ketchum’s “co-authors” running for cover.


As a second report is published contradicting Dr. Ketchum’s reported findings, it seems her co-authors are deserting the ship:

Dr. Melba Ketchum appears on a paranormal radio program, interviewed by Linda Mouton Howe (you can listen to it at youtube by putting htt in front of p://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kkoPIy4mn6A):

Linda Moulton Howe:

I contacted one of the eleven scientists referenced by name as contributors to the genome research. He confirmed that his lab did the DNA extraction for Dr. Ketchum but he would not agree to an on the record interview because the controversy that the Denova article has provoked about an alleged sasquatch hybrid has threatened the credibility and livelihood of his lab and other scientists.


as soon as the labs and scientists learned that the DNA under study allegedly came from the unproven sasquatch creature then they all backed off from vouching for their work.

Here is the second author on the paper. According to the paper itself, he was involved not only in the laboratory work, but also in the writing of the paper:

Pat Wojtkiewicz is the Director of the Shreveport Laboratory of the North Louisiana Crime Lab System and the Technical Leader of the DNA section.

ie he has a leadership position over all three labs in the system.

Here is the third author, also involved in laboratory work and in writing the paper:

Aliece Watts, BS, MS, MT(ASCP), PBT(ASCP), F-ABC is a founding partner and the Quality Director for Integrated Forensic Laboratories, Inc.,

OTL,S! takes note of “Quality Director.”

David W. Spence is the fourth author. “D.S…. performed experiments.” Mr. Spence is trace evidence supervisor with the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, Criminal Investigations Laboratory, Dallas, Texas. This institution is on the List of DPS Accredited Labs from Texas, (Date Printed 11/1/2011)

Fan Zhang Ph.D is also a co-author (“M.K, and F.Z. analyzed the genetic data”); he is currently a bioinformatician in the Academic and Institutional Resources and Technology (AIRT) at the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas. This institution is on the List of DPS Accredited Labs from Texas, (Date Printed 11/1/2011)

Thomas M. Prychitko Ph.D. is a molecular biologist. No stranger to Sasquatch research, he conducted DNA testing on samples from the Carter Farm and elsewhere several years ago, resulting in haplotype data included in the Sasquatch Genome Paper. He is currently laboratory director at Helix Biological Laboratory.

Forensics labs have no one to blame but themselves when they participate in this nonsense, let alone the issue of whether or not public resources are misused. The public and the justice system should hold them accountable. Credibility is everything in expert testimony, that can send people to prison or result in execution; or set criminals free. Texas does not exactly have a good record in the past, and they execute dozens of people every year. Efforts have been underway to correct the shortcomings of the system. This paper, co-authored by a number of forensic scientists from Texas (and elsewhere), is a step backward in the struggle to win the confidence of the public. The next time these forensic people, or others from the same labs, take the witness stand in a trial, OTL,S! anticipates a massive flop sweat when opposing counsel brings up “bigfoot.” The longer it takes them to publicly dissociate themselves from this paper, the worse it could be.

Over the Line, Smokey!’s crack audio analysis team has been listening to too many interviews recently. and is putting in for enough overtime to break our overtime budget. We blame Dr. Ketchum’s desire to appear on television and internet radio. For someone who says she shies away from the spotlight, this person certainly gets a lot of air time. Of course, since she lost her lab, she probably doesn’t have anything else to do these days, other than go on Facebook, and wait for notices of pending actions.

And speaking of where the process servers might look for her: in the interview, Howe stated that Dr. Ketchum was speaking “from her office at DNA Diagnostics in Nacogdoches, Texas.” Sorry to keep harping in this, but is Dr. Ketchum telling the truth about the supposed location of her supposed business? OTL,S! hasn’t found any evidence of DNA Diagnostics in the city of Nacogdoches TX, past, present or future. Is she not even telling the truth about where she is? is DNA Diagnostics still in business? how does one define “in business”?

Here is the current contact info from the DNA Diagnostics website. Click on image to enlarge:


She had to relinquish her lab at this address in Timpson in August, 2012 and these are non-working phone numbers. That is SIX MONTHS. OTL,S! has not received an answer to a business query email sent to that address…. OTL,S! knows she had 41 web domains (one just got shut down for non-payment) but does she have a lab now? where? in her garage? If DNA Diagnostics Inc has an actual physical presence in Nacogdoches Texas with a phone number there, OTL,S! will most happy to publish it, so people can begin mailing her things, calling her office, and stopping by with whatever samples or papers they wish to give her. Surely her business would profit from that.

Update 2/28/2013:


Over the Line, Smokey! recommends this video conference of young scientists discussing Dr. Ketchum’s non-peer reviewed, self-published “paper.” In it we found some suggestions that Justin Smeja may be correct in describing the recipe (bleach, formaldehyde and water) given to him by Dr. Melba Ketchum, to use on his tissue sample, in order to make it look like a novel hybrid.

“The sequences are just way too short to be the result of hybridization…”[should be 20000 or 30000 base pairs long, not 50 bases pairs long as Ketchum's paper suggests]…. David Winter Ph.D., evolutionary biologist, University of Otago, New Zealand.

Over the Line, Smokey’s crack scientific consultant advises us that one of the prominent and well-known effects of bleach on DNA is to cleave it into shorter and shorter sequences. And further, the effect of formaldehyde on DNA seems to be an increase in hybridization:

Ivan G. Ivanov and Mounir G. AbouHaidar. Effect of formaldehyde on the efficiency of hybridization of DNA immobilized on nitrocellulose filters. Analytical Biochemistry, Volume 206, Issue 2, 1 November 1992, Pages 414–418 (Department of Botany, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B2, Canada)


We report in this study that under certain conditions formaldehyde interacts with DNA and makes it more efficient for hybridization on nitrocellulose filters. Hybridization signals of formaldehyde-treated DNA are stronger (up to 10 fold) as compared with that of the heat- or alkali-denatured DNA.

So that accounts for two of the three ingredients that (according to Justin Smeja’s account) Dr. Ketchum told him to use on his “Sierra steak” specimen. One might assume that the third component, the water, might be used to rinse away any evidence of the first two.

Update 2/26/2013:


Over the Line, Smokey! again takes note of the excellent work done by Tyler Huggins and Bart Cutino, who obtained two independent DNA analyses of Dr. Ketchum’s star sample, the Sierra Steak, one of only three samples that Ketchum’s paper seems to point to as showing “novel” DNA by total genome sequencing. Further, OTL’S! takes note of a video statement, available at that site, made by Steak collector/submitter Justin Smeja.

This seems like a dealbreaker.

OTL,S! interprets his statements as an implication that Dr. Ketchum may have known that the Steak contained bear and human DNA, and that, by treating the specimen with a certain recipe containing bleach, the DNA could be made to look like that of a novel organism, and that Dr. Ketchum may have tried to induce Mr. Smeja to participate in a scheme to perpetuate the illusion that the Steak came from a bigfoot.

OTL,S! does not pretend to be able to evaluate Mr. Smeja’s credibility, the quality of his evidence, or the scientific/technical issues surrounding bleach and alteration of DNA. On the other hand, OTL,S!can read, and is reading statements that bleach is a reagent used in DNA labs and that it can have a powerful effect on DNA. OTL,S! is also reading on the internet what has been written by what sound like knowledgeable scientists, that the results reported by Ketchum are suggestive of artifact ie something that happened during the processing of the specimen, rather than indicative of a novel organism. And from the Ketchum camp, OTL,S! sees no independent unpaid endorsement by any scientist currently active in the field of DNA analysis.

Update 2/24/2013:

panicOver the Line, Smokey! has noted the online presence of a certain Jim McClanahan and his interest in Dr. Melba Ketchum’s recent over-the-line publishing tales. Mr. McClanahan has developed a timeline of events on this subject, conjecturing that the evidence suggests that Ketchum may have been responsible for starting not only “DeNovo Scientific Journal,” where she self-published her paper, but also the short-lived “Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Explorations in Zoology,” which Ketchum claims to have bought after her paper passed a peer-review but was refused publication because of a lawyer’s intervention. McClanahan further raises (essentially) the questions of 1) whether the editorial secretary of the JAMEZ, a “Casey Mullins,” is/was who/what he/she claimed to be, and not a Ketchum associate/surrogate/”sockpuppet,” and 2) where is the substantiation that proof that a real peer-review actually been done at JAMEZ, as had been claimed by Ketchum.

Today, one of OTL,S!’s shiny-faced cub reporters, who has been studying Mr. McClanahan’s careful documentation, raised the question, “after 5 years of not publishing, and after repeatedly claiming she was going to publishing in a first rate journal, why would Dr. Ketchum have suddenly, on or about the beginning of January, come out with a not very credible story about a brand new half-baked ‘Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Explorations in Zoology’ apparently worked on by some “Casey Mullins,” that no one seems to have heard of, that never published anything, and then morphed it into another brand new not-very-credible half-baked/website journal, “The Denovo Scientific Journal”, to self-publish her paper?”

Or, long story short: what happened, in the period immediately preceding the appearance of the JAMEZ on about Jan. 4, 2013, that could have suddenly lit a very hot fire under Dr. Ketchum, causing her to seemingly rush into a bizarre and poorly-executed succession of “journals” and self-publication?

Being otherwise occupied with the Saturday morning cartoons, OTL,S!’s editorial staff assigned this investigation to that very cub reporter, and sure enough, within about, oh, 20 minutes, he came up with a very likely explanation/causal event: On December 26, one Tyler Huggins published, on several sites, the results of independent testing of what has been called the centerpiece of Dr. Ketchum’s paper, sample #26, aka The Sierra Steak, collected by Justin Smeja.

Why, you ask, would this have upset Dr. Ketchum’s often-stated determined plan to have her paper published in a quality peer-reviewed scientific journal? Let’s list the ways:

1) Several months previously, Huggins had formed something of an alliance with Justin Smeja, who had misgivings about Ketchum’s…well, for lack of a better word…integrity.

From a paraphrase of Smeja’s remarks:

Due to an unexpected phone call by Dr. Ketchum in January of 2012 in which several witnesses were present with Justin, including his wife, according to Justin, Melba Ketchum made suggestions and statements with intent to both defraud the financier of her study, Wally Hersom and to destroy the rest of Justin’s sample with a Clorox bleach recipe, if he wouldn’t provide her with the rest of it because labs would not get the same results as she if he tested elsewhere.

2) Huggins had arranged for another piece of Smeja’s collected Sierra steak specimen to be analyzed by Trent University, in Canada.

3)The results posted by Huggins on December 26 were very much unlike those which Ketchum was widely reported as having found. That is, Ketchum’s as-yet unpublished paper found “bigfoot,” But on December 26 Huggins’ report said the DNA was that of a bear and that of Justin Smeja.

4) Huggins’ report presaged that of Bert Cutino, another ally of Smeja, who had also sent off a piece of the Sierra Steak specimen to an independent lab, and it was known that these findings were essentially the same as those reported by Huggins

5) This posting of Huggins’ report marked the exhaustion of patience on the part of Smeja, Huggins, and Cutino, regarding Ketchum’s refusal to in provide certain evidence of the integrity of her findings.

6) Smeja, Huggins and Cutino were in possession of certain other facts and commmunications from Ketchum that would, like the two independent lab reports, embarrass Ketchum and/or call into question or contradict her findings, thus greatly lessening the impact of any future Ketchum publication, or in fact, preventing the publication completely. To wit:

a) evidence that Dr. Ketchum had asked Smeja to contaminate the specimen

b) evidence that Dr. Ketchum had not obtained a control DNA specimen from Smeja

c) evidence that Dr. Ketchum had reported to Smeja that the specimen showed bigfoot DNA only four days after the sample had been submitted, back in 2010, before the claimed sequencing could have been done

d) evidence that Dr. Ketchum could not or would not produce a single PhD involved in her study who would vouch for the bigfoot DNA she claimed to be present in the Smeja specimen.

e) evidence that Dr. Ketchum told him that other labs would not get the same results she did, but rather would find a common animal and human contamination (which is what happened.)

f) allegations of a proposed fraud

g) other as yet undisclosed facts or communications from Ketchum.

The Dec. 26 post by Huggins put Ketchum on notice that all of this was likely to come out.

Or did it?

Obviously, this would have been a bombshell for Ketchum, if she perceived that the story, ie Huggins Dec. 26 post, seemed to “have legs.”

Over the Line, Smokey!’s crack editorial staff then tried to determine whether or not it could be verified that the Huggins December 26 post seemed to be having an impact on those who had been hopeful about Dr. Ketchum’s study, and whether or not Dr. Ketchum actually was aware of the post and the reaction to it. In fact, the post attracted 201 responses within 24 hours (not to mention page views), and many of them expressed dismay or disappointment about Dr. Ketchum or her study. Further, within four hours it was reported that Dr. Ketchum had issued a statement on her Facebook page.

So, yes, Ketchum, saw the Dec. 26 Huggins post, and yes, she would have known it was bad, and that others recognized it as being bad, and that this was likely just the first water over the dam.

Time was running short…

Over the Line, Smokey! endorses, in general, in the general idea of cause and effect. It seems to apply here. Huggins’ December 26 bombshell seems to have been the cause, and the rush of amateurish imitations of scientific journals (The Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Zoology and DeNovo) starting around Jan. 4) and flimsy cover stories seems to have been the result.

A statement made recently by Huggins to a Ketchum supporter seems apropos:

… you said “Ketchum has everything on the line. Why would she concoct or falsify results?”

I believe you asked and answered your own question – she has everything on the line. That IS usually exactly when people resort to all sorts of things to keep themselves alive.

Or maybe Dr. Ketchum can come up with a more convincing explanation for her sudden publication (s) (which seems to have begun on or before Jan 4) than the impact of the December 26 Huggins post, and all that it implied. Maybe Dr. Ketchum can produce an authentic, hard-copy, notarized affidavit that would answer a lot of questions. This proposed document, signed by “Casey Mullins,” (click image to enlarge)


would show that the “Casey Mullins” who supposedly was “editorial secretary” of the Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Explorations in Zoology, was/is a real person with an appropriate background and real position on a real pre-existing foundation, and that she acted independently from Dr. Ketchum in the creating the JAMEZ, and could identify the “editor” of this JAMEZ. It would could also contain her statement that she obtained two or more positive peer reviews from appropriate reviewers (and give their qualifications), and that she was aware of a communication from a lawyer telling JAMEZ not to publish the paper, and that the journal was to Melba Ketchum. OTL,S! would love to see it, and would certainly publish it.

Update 2/20/2013:


OTL,S! is grateful to reader “JustAskin” for his comment, which allows me to emphasize the importance of the issue of honesty/lying/ethical conduct/character/track record in evaluating scientific research. Here is my response:

I’ll leave that [attempted evaluation of the methods/data/conclusions] to the scientists. But one of the things that that scientists/reviewers CAN’T do is determine whether an author is telling the truth about all the things he or she did and found. Some of that may be discovered later, but, by and large, an author can lie in papers and not be immediately (or ever) discovered. That is why one of the most important features of a paper is the credibility and track record of the authors.

Dr. Ketchum has told a wild story about some pretty improbable things:

1) these two journals

2) bigfoot being a real animal that she has seen on multiple occasions.

You may want to believe everything she says about 1 and 2, but you don’t have the information to substantiate either one. She says it, you believe; but OTL,S! can and will look into at least the first, to see if Dr. Ketchum deserves the kind of credibility we need to have from an author making such such claims.

Thanks for helping me make that point.

another blog has been chasing the “improbable journals” story. After constructing a timeline of what is known so far, the writer concludes:

If this is true, Ketchum clearly intended to cover her tracks by creating the first journal so she could say she later purchased it and renamed it. I would be willing to retract any of the statements I made above if she is willing to provide the documents that she claims to have proving the purchase of the journal actually took place.

Update 2/19/2013


Over the Line, Smokey! is aware of the recent self-publication of a paper on supposed bigfoot DNA by Dr. Ketchum. There are all sorts of issues, apparently, with the paper itself, which OTL,S! will let the smart people figure out. OTL,S! is more concerned with the curious story told by Dr. Ketchum, regarding the birth of her new online journal, the Denovo Science Journal. Scientist Jeff Meldrum is suspicious:

Idaho State University anthropologist Jeff Meldrum, a leading academic and recognized scientific authority on Bigfoot.

“To make an end-run around the process by erecting a facade in the form of a so-called new journal and allege that it is edited and reviewed, without providing any of that information on the public web page, it appears that she has undertaken an effort to self-publish, just to get it out there,”…

Over the Line Smokey’s crack investigators, however, point out that Dr. Meldrum, scientist though he may be, can’t count. It isn’t just one brand spanking new mysterious online journal in this story…there are two:

the abortive “Journal of Advanced Multidiciplinary Exploration in Zoology”, which never published even a single issue,

and then

the “Denovo Science Journal” .

The saga, (as Dr. Ketchum tells it) goes like this: the first brand new journal is created by ??someone??, and supposedly does the peer review on her paper. Then the second brand new journal is created, this one admittedly by Ketchum, in order to publish it, with Ketchum claiming not to know exactly what the first journal did.

Please. Over the Line, Smokey!’s crack Haz-Mat team is starting to get a reading on their smartphone odor-detecting app.

As OTL,S! has previously documented, Ketchum would not be unfamiliar with the concept of using multiple names/ entities: apparently she created several entities/different names related to her business in Texas:

Shelterwood Laboratories,

DNA Diagnostics Inc,

Genetic Design Research Inc.,

Science Alive LLC,

Biogen Diagnostics Inc.

Most or all of which were apparently “not in good standing” with the state the last time OTL,S! looked into such matters.

Perhaps some of our readers can fill us in on the long and glorious history of how these two ground-breaking scientific publications suddenly burst upon the scene like near-simultaneous meteors, one bursting into flames, the other plunging to earth with much sound and fury. OTL,S! would be all ears.

late addition: another blog has been chasing the improbable blogs story. After constructing a timeline of what is known so far, the writer concludes:

If this is true, Ketchum clearly intended to cover her tracks by creating the first journal so she could say she later purchased it and renamed it. I would be willing to retract any of the statements I made above if she is willing to provide the documents that she claims to have proving the purchase of the journal actually took place.

Update Feb. 11, 2013:

Over the Line, Smokey! takes note of a recent report by blogger Robert Lindsay, who has a network of sources within the bigfoot community:

“Referring to Ketchum, the late Richard Stubstad laughed and said, “That woman lies like a rug on the floor! If her mouth is moving, she’s lying!” So as you can see, Ketchum has a six-shooter of a tongue, and she plays fast and loose with the truth, utilizing diplomatese, politician speak, PR talk, lawyerese, weasel words, half-truths, white lies or Hell, maybe she just lies like a rug!

She’s obviously a pretty morally collapsed individual. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Hell, just about everyone in Bigfootery is morally failed to psychologically damaged or usually both. Bigfootery either attracts the very worst human beings or it turns good people rotten. Bigfootery – Of Monsters and Men – A Portrait of Men and the Monsters They Become – a new movie!

OTL,S! wonders what else is going to surface….

updated 1/30/2013:


Over the Line, Smokey’s crack corps of investigative reporters has tapped into some sources within the growing camp of ex-Ketchumites, and the picture being painted is one reminiscent of a comedy:

“Mucha Dough about Nothing.”

First, the “Dough,” and there was “mucho” of it:

The best estimate of her total rake/take/bonanza from the bigfoot business since 2010 is over the half-million dollar mark.

over $500,000.

Some of this came from Richard Stubstad, Canadian developer Adrian Erickson and a number of other early sample submitters, in total well over a hundred thousand dollars. The principal inflow of money was, according to our source, some $25,000 a month from a certain well-heeled bigfoot-believing multimillionaire. The temptation of this amount of money perhaps explains why Ketchum (by her own admission in a recent radio interview) bailed out on Science Alive LLC, the corporation she registered with Robert Schmalzbach and the late cancer victim Richard Stubstad in the fall of 2010. Instead, Ketchum registered at least one other corporation in Texas (BioGen Diagnostics Inc.) Over the Line, Smokey! is informed that Ketchum could also have corporate entities registered in other jurisdictions eg Delaware, The Bahamas, etc. Such corporations would have the effect of insulating the cash from the liabilities of her floundering business known as DNA Diagnostics, (doing business as Shelterwood Laboratories), which now exists pretty much only as a website.

That’s the “Mucha Dough“….what about the “Nothing”?

Looking at what she claims to have done with the money, (20 mtDNA sequences and 3 nuNDA sequences), according to price estimates available on the internet, even allowing for extraction, initial screening and duplicate testing, would have cost less than $100,000, and that would be paying retail, which she certainly didn’t. Here is a quote from sales literature put out by Illumina, maker of “next generation sequencers” (the part in italics was added by OTL,S!):

Researchers can now sequence more than five human genomes in a single run, producing data they can pretend are representative of 5 bigfoots in roughly one week, for a reagent cost of less than $5,000 per genome.

And what is the work product: Over the Line, Smokey! has confirmation that Ketchum’s paper was, as first reported by Robert Lindsay, rejected summarily by Nature, i.e. not even peer reviewed, as it was a total mess. “Not even wrong” might be the best description. Robert Schmalzbach was correct when he said, “She doesn’t have a clue,” about how to write a scientific paper. Subsequent “revisions” were the equivalent of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. And, of course, we are now learning of malfeasance in the analysis of the centerpiece sample in her “study,” the so-called “Sierra Steak.” It appears that the nuDNA that Dr. Ketchum calls “bigfoot” is simply that of the hunter who collected the sample; it seems that Dr. Ketchum can’t tell a human from a bigfoot by DNA analysis. Dr. Ketchum is now seemingly being less than candid, and is casting about for advice from her Facebook fans regarding how to proceed!

What is the conclusion, the ending, the final act of this comedy, “Mucha Dough About Nothing’?

Well, OTL,S! can’t see into the future, but the “Dough” is no longer flowing. Her primary millionaire investor, after seeing her work product, has now turned off the flood of greenbacks, and Dr. Ketchum is now on her own, in Garrison, TX, with whatever fraction of some $400,000 she has managed to save and hide from her creditors, investors, travel agents, domain salesmen, customers, cancer patients and the tax man. OTL,S! continues to be at a loss to explain how and why she seems to have accumulated so many creditors…was she just a tightwad, or a bad businessperson, or has she actually run through all that money in some as yet unexplained way?

Finally, the prospects for her study achieving any credibility seem increasingly remote, for a number of reasons.

Over the Line, Smokey! suggests she go for an interview on Oprah.

Updated 1/28/2013:

41 domains??  WTF?

41 domains?? WTF?

What would Dr. Melba Ketchum want with 41 domain names? Her email address is associated with 41 domain names, registered over the past two+ years beginning on 12/20/2010. Of these, 27 are listed as being owned by her BioGen Diagnostics corporation (the registration date of Biogen was August 18, 2011). As previously noted, Biogen is still not in good standing with the State of Texas.

The latest registration is on 12/26/2012: it is listed at Reverse Whois as

m _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ m.org.

Hmmm. Over the Line, Smokey! hired a crossword fanatic who found it quite simple to puzzle out that this is quite likely ‘melbaketchum.org’. Her own personalized domain. Who does that?

There are several other “fill in the blank” names associated with Dr. Ketchum at Reverse Whois that seem easy to guess (many of which OTL,S! has been able to confirm the registrant): yetigenome.org (Last Updated On:25-Dec-2012, registered to Biogen Diagnostics), yetigenome.com (Registrant:Biogen Diagnostics), yetigenome.net(Registrant: Biogen Diagnostics), sasquatchgenome.com, sasquatchgenome.net, sasquatchgenome.org, sasquatchprotection.org, sasquatchdna.org, sasquatchdna.com, sasquatchdna.net, sasquatchdna.info, bigfootgenome.net, bigfootgenome.com, bigfootgenome.org, bigfootdna.org (this one was updated on 12/25/2012, registered to Dr. Ketchum at PO Box 455, Timpson TX, and the organization is listed as BioGen Diagnostics, Inc), bigfootdna.info (also updated 12/25/2012 by Ketchum/Biogen), bigfootdna.net (registered to Biogen Diagnostics),bigfootprotection.org.

There are a bunch of other fill-in-the-blank names at Reverse Whois that OTL,S! can’t guess. Perhaps our dear readers will help out. Obsessive-compulsive readers may have discerned that Dr. Ketchum doesn’t seem to have captured bigfootdna.com?! Let me reassure Dr. Ketchum that it is available, is held by hugedomains.com, and is for sale at a more than reasonable$1,595. Not that OTL,S! feels that Dr. Ketchum necessarily needs more than 41 domain names. OTL,S!, for example, doesn’t own ANY domain names. And look what a success we are.  Perhaps some of our more tech/media/marketing-oriented readers can tell us why 41 domain names would be an advantage for Dr. Ketchum. OTL,S!‘s crack marketing director/newspaper delivery boy referred us to this cogent discussion, which begins with:

1. Domain names build credibility on the Web.

Good luck with that.

update 1/26/2013:

contact us

OTL,S! takes note of a statement published by Tyler Huggins at the Bigfoot Forums website, that Melba Ketchum was unable to name, in confidence, a single Ph.D. who will vouch for the findings she is claiming.

Huggins, you may recall, has obtained a “second opinion” on one of Dr. Ketchum’s crucial specimens. Where she claims to have found bigfoot DNA, his lab found bear DNA along with that of the hunter, Justin Smeja. Not only is Dr. Ketchum (in her “science by press release” fashion) claiming bigfoot DNA, she is also claiming to have multiple Ph.D’s, department chairmen, and other reputable collaborators. Huggins says that he would have withheld his results, pending Dr. Ketchum’s publication, if she would have given him the name of a single collaborating Ph.D. in her study.

Here is the quote:

I promised Derek Randles that I would inform him of my results before releasing them. In an effort to allow people in the BF community to try to make certain of their claims and results etc, I wanted to give them a heads-up. I did that.

As a result of that, Melba reached out to me, asking me to re-think my release. I said “I might re-think being open and transparent abuot the actual hard science I have in my hands… but you can give me any compelling evidence that can make me doubt the results I have”. I lowered the bar on the standard of “evidence” twice. In the end, I said “Fine, just let me talk to ONE PhD that can say ‘I have worked with Justin’s tissue sample, and I support Melba’s conclusion that it is evidence of an undiscovered hominin/primate.’ If you can do that, I’ll re-think what I’m doing regarding the release of my results, and the timing of it”

I said this knowing full well that I was NOT asking for ANYTHING that she had not already said publically. I just wanted ONE PhD who was ready to put their reputation on the line. Apparently NONE were. And I had every expectation that yet again, Melba would not follow through on her ostensible willingness to provide the assurances she promised. This just proved it. There was NO information that I was asking to see that was not already public. I merely asked for a PhD other than Melba to “second it”. So this statement “Thus Tyler would be privy to the study before it is published” is false.

Over the Line, Smokey!  encourages Dr. Ketchum to come forward with 1) the name of any collaborating author, Ph.D. or not.

Also, not to harass her, but OTL,S! thinks it would enhance her credibility if she were able to come forward with:

2) the status of her supposed “patent pending” application, and

3) evidence of her service on the World Trade Center disaster, and

4) evidence that she has run Justin Smeja’s DNA blindly against the supposed bigfoot DNA she is claiming, and

5) the name of the “larger town” that she has claimed to be moving to, after it was revealed by chance that she was forced to sign her lab back over to its prior owner for nonpayment on a loan, on August 30, 2012, almost 5 months ago.


Update Jan. 24, 2013



Over the Line, Smokey! has noticed in Dr. Ketchum’s bio on the newly-updated DNA Diagnostics Inc. that her VeriSNP system of DNA analysis is “patent pending.”

…developing the VeriSNP™ (patent pending) platform….

OTL,S! wonders whether that “patent pending” claim is correct.

The status of her VeriSNP patent application, which began in 2007, was an important issue in the patent infringement suit brought against her (and a number of other parties) in 2009. OTL,S! doesn’t at present have patent attorney on staff, but reviewing what patent documents we can find, it seems unclear what unique feature(s) she was claiming, other than using a larger number of wells, to process more specimens at once (up to 192). Hmm. But that’s not the point. The point is what the patent office thought of it, and whether “patent pending” is accurate.

She is not presently listed as a patent holder, so the patent has not been granted. The last available patent document in her application process was in early 2009, right before Ketchum got slapped with the infringement suit. The complainant, Optigen, claimed that four of the components of the VeriSNP were ALREADY PATENTED. And they won the case: Ketchum and her co-defendants, Ingen, Texas A and M, Gus Cothran, Richard Dobbins et al had to cease and desist, apologize, and provide certain other considerations to Optigen, in an out-of-court settlement statement.

All-in-all, it looks to OTL,S! like the patent ship has sailed… or it was sunk by Optigen.

Ketchum’s bio still calls it ‘patent pending’ and her website still refers to it as “revolutionary”.

Perhaps the patent office was in the bathroom when the revolution went down. Optigen certainly wasn’t. OTL,S! would wager this month’s snooker earnings that Optigen foreclosed Ketchum’s patent dreams.

If Dr. Ketchum actually still has a patent pending on VeriSNP, could she please come forward and verify it? or deny it? and update her bio? Because OTL,S!, among others, is trying to assess her definition of “revolutionary”, among other things.

Update: Jan. 23, 2013:


Over the Line, Smokey! sees stories on the internet that Dr. Melba Ketchum may be submitting her paper on bigfoot DNA to a journal/journals in Russia, as well as in the United States. Now, OTL,S! is not necessarily well-versed in every phase of scientific publications, but we are assured by our crack consultant Science Guy that simultaneous submission to two or more journals is a complete no no. As in automatic rejection, boot, evacuation, flush, bye-bye, so long, it’s been good to know ya. But let us assume that the paper is submitted only to a Russian journal. Which one would that be? OTL,S!‘s Science Guy tells us that scientific journals are ranked largely by the degree that their articles are cited in future scientific papers; by that criterion, of the top 500 scientific journals in the world, exactly NONE are Russian..

Further, Science Guy showed OTL,S!this discussion of the state of Russian science:

According to an analysis published in January by Thomson Reuters, Russia produced just 2.6% of the research papers published between 2004 and 2008 and indexed by the firm — fewer than China (8.4%) and India (2.9%) and only slightly more than the Netherlands (2.5%). Moreover, Russia’s publication output has remained almost flat since 1981, even as the output of nations such as India, Brazil and China was exploding. The situation is so bleak that in October last year, 185 Russian expatriate scientists signed an open letter to Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warning of an imminent collapse of Russian science unless something was done to improve the inadequate funding, strategic planning and teaching of science.

Only four Russian print journals (all in the physical sciences) are received at the Library of Congress.

Bottom line, OTL,S! would suggest that publication of Dr. Ketchum’s paper in a Russian journal would be pretty much like putting it in Readers Digest, except that a lot fewer people would read it compared with the RD.

Update Jan. 21, 2013:

Matt Moneymaker and Wally Hersom

Matt Moneymaker and Wally Hersom

Over the Line, Smokey! is presently awaiting confirmation on two important aspects of the Dr. Melba Ketchum story.

In the meantime, OTL,S! would like to address a couple of questions that have been encountered by OTL,S!‘s crack investigative staff as they wander though the maze of statements, sources, blogs, and posts that bear on the Ketchum story. Firstly, some have asked, essentially, isn’t OTL,S! being a little hard on Dr. Ketchum…why can’t OTL,S! just wait for her paper to be published?…she can’t release the data because that would prevent the publication of her paper…and others.

Secondly, OTL,S!‘s crack internet sleuths have encountered on some weblogs frequented by those who believe in bigfoot, a frequently-repeated, supposedly-rhetorical question, which can be summarized as “Why would Dr. Ketchum risk a successful career and professional reputation if this whole thing is just a hoax/mistake/booboo/hot steaming mess?”

As regards the first question, OTL,S! could take all day answering. None of the crack staff here wish to spread rumors, harass, expose personal details, conduct character assassinations, or otherwise feel as if we are unduly invading Dr. Ketchum’s private space. But here are the facts as OTL,S! sees them. Dr. Ketchum HAS presented her study, with some data and conclusions, using only her own credibility to back up her statements , without providing the COMPLETE picture of her research. And we don’t know when or if the complete picture will ever surface (again, that is by her choice, regardless of what she says). In the meantime, many people (as she herself has stated) have contacted her to say, essentially, thanks for proving they exist/that I’m not crazy/etc. Many of these people are undoubtedly taking actions based on trust, which they may later regret.

In other words, Dr. Ketchum, using her credentials, reputation and some of the data from her study, has reached the public with a definite conclusion.l Furthermore, she did it voluntarily. With all due respect to Russian gentleman who “leaked” some “stuff” in broken English, he would never have been taken seriously by the American public or by the scientific community, because he 1) isn’t a scientist 2) doesn’t speak/write fluent English and 3) isnt, by Ketchum’s own statements, one of the authors of the study.

To be blunt, Dr. Ketchum has said, “crap on the way that science is done, the way science has evolved in order to be most effective, economical, safe and accurate, I’m smarter than that, believe me. I’m a scientist. Believe me. Bigfoot exists, believe me. Be scared. Believe me. Sign a petition to the president. Believe me. Make a fool of yourself in public and private. Believe me.”

It’s all “believe me.” OTL,S! says, “What is there about you that, in the absence of your complete study, should engender such belief, such confidence, such disdain for the rest of the experts in the fields of zoology, primatology, genetics, anthropology, and related fields?”

Dr. Ketchum has set the rules: it’s not about the paper, instead it’s all about her credibility, her ability, her training, her education, her skills, her experience, her accomplishments, even her gullibility, her sense of responsibility, her honesty and character. That is unfortunate, but it is of her making, she could have avoided it, and she can make it stop in an instant by releasing what she has for top scientists to analyze.

Now, on the second question: Why would she risk her career?

In the first place, she now says she’s sorry she did. But let’s briefly consider some possibly relevant details. Of these, the most salient are television, and Wally Hersom; fame and money. Big fame, big money. Toss in David Paulides, a kindred spirit in some ways, and opportunist, and a handsome and persuasive guy, who has been funded by Hersom. He’s making good money pushing the bigfoot story. And let’s not forget the huge support Hersom has given to Matt Moneymaker in salary and in equipment deemed vital to his escapades. Hersom seems to have given her something north of $200,000 and perhaps double that for services and probably equipment. That is a lot of money for a middle aged single mom who is barely hanging on in a rapidly evolving capital intensive field of science, missing loan payments, getting sued, in a one-horse East Texas burg where many of the streets are unpaved.

OTL,S! is not out to get anyone, but rather to just get the damned information about this bigfoot DNA stuff OUT ON THE TABLE. Dr. Ketchum has taken her shot, and she seemingly can’t make it work. It’s probably time for her to pass the torch. In the meantime, until she does, she is just trading on her credibility, and that ship is sailing.

Update Jan. 18, 2013.

Dr. Melba Ketchum has repeatedly claimed to have helped with identifications of the victims of 9/11. On the DNA Diagnostics website, OTL,S! finds:

She aided in the analysis of the DNA sequences from the World Trade Center Disaster.


…our experts also participated in the mitochondrial analysis of human remains from the 9/11 attacks.

However, Over the Line, Smokey!‘s crack mass casualty consultant tells us that according to Forensic Magazine, August 5, 2011, (a copy of which was sent by the Medical Examiner of NY), neither Dr. Melba Ketchum nor DNA Diagnostics, Inc., nor Shelterwood Laboratories, nor any of Ketchum’s other corporations were vendors contracted with by NYC to identify the victims of the World Trade Center attack in 2001. A quick check with the Office of the Medical Examiner of NY assures OTL,S! via email confirms that ALL of the vendors are listed in the article.

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Desire, Mark

Date: Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Subject: RE: Verifying researcher involvement in IDing WTC victims

To: xxxxxxxxxx@xxx.com>

Cc: “Brugess, Grace” , “Borakove, Ellen”


Thank you for the email. I have attached an article which lists and details all of the vendors used during World Trade Center DNA identification.

Mark Desire

Assistant Director of Forensic Biology

Office of Chief Medical Examiner

421 East 26th Street

New York, NY 10016

Tel: 212-323-1215

Cell: 917-295-1532

Fax: 212-323-1590

Email: mdesire@ocme.nyc.gov

Web: http://www.nyc.gov/ocme

That leaves OTL,S! in an awkward situation. Can Dr. Ketchum come forward with an explanation of her claim?

On to another topic:

Knowing the fees charged by lawyers, and being aware of the apparent financial “pinch” affecting Dr. Ketchum, Over the Line, Smokey!‘s divorce/parking ticket/patent attorney has turned his powerful search engine’s focus to the patent infringment lawsuit against Dr. Ketchum. His finding: The suit, filed by Optigen, was settled in November, 2012, thereby ending what has likely been a drain on her/Wally Hersom’s resources (assuming she actually paid her attorney, the firm of Kloss, Stenger & LoTempio, 69 Delaware Avenue, Suite 1003, Buffalo, New York 14202. According to this site, the following appeared on the web site of International Genetics, Inc. (whose website is now down, and comments and logic suggest that the company is out of business, as it existed (in the Bahamas) only to dodge US patent law regarding these tests.)

In January and April 2009, OptiGen filed lawsuits arising out of the infringement of a number of patents to which OptiGen holds exclusive licenses. The consolidated actions charged the InGen defendants, among others, with infringement of patents related to the testing of PRCD (Progressive Rod-Cone Degeneration), CLAD (Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency), CSNB/prad (Congenital Stationary Night Blindness or Retinal Dystrophy), and FN (Autosomal Recessive Nephropathy). The testing of these genetic disorders is covered by the following patents to which OptiGen holds exclusive licenses: U.S. Patent Nos. 5,804,388; 7,312,037; 7,285,388; 6,210,897; 6,201,114; and 6,428,958. The InGen defendants offered to sell and sold DNA testing products that utilized the methods covered by OptiGen’s patents to customers located in the United States.

The InGen defendants have agreed to settle OptiGen’s claims. Under the settlement, the InGen defendants have, among other things, ceased any and all sales of testing related to these patents and have agreed not to resume any such testing in the future. The InGen defendants regret that their testing has caused confusion among the community of dog owners and breeders.

This statement is similar to the statement made by Dr. Ketchum. Other details can be found here and here. Richard Dobbins, president of InGen, has stated that, essentially, the suit resulted from Dr. Ketchum’s failure to properly research the existing patents that covered these tests, which she was doing for InGen.

April thru July 2008: Melba Ketchum became very tardy in extracting PinPoint’s DNA samples. This was the first period of delays that caused severe customer service problems. We then came to an agreement with Texas A&M to handle this process as well as the PID testing.

April 2009: The 2nd lawsuit was filed and this was the final straw between Dr. Ketchum and InGen. Due to Dr. Ketchum’s failure to properly research certain tests that are allegedly protected by patent, InGen was drawn into another lawsuit which eventually led to the early termination of the contract between InGen and Texas A&M. InGen severed its relationship with Dr. Ketchum which was the best thing that has come from that suit.

Over the Line, Smokey! is unaware whether Dr. Ketchum has ever commented publicly on the suit, or on Mr. Dobbins’ statements.

Update Jan. 16, 2013.

bf money fliesOver the Line, Smokey!‘s crack real estate agent has obtained more details on the building formerly owned/occupied by Melba Ketchum’s DNA Diagnostics, Inc. (doing business as Shelterwood Laboratories). The delivery entrance of this building was apparently also the address of her apparently-defunct clothing company (she didn’t pay the franchise taxes to the state of Texas), Genetic Design Research, Inc. (for which Ketchum was attempting to obtain images, when she got ensnarled with artist/cancer patient Alexis Evans over the $75 commission; see below). As readers of OTL,S! will doubtless recall, Ketchum apparently purchased the building in 2006 from Ruthie Latin on a land contract for 140,000, then started missing payments in 2008, and stopped making payments in 2010. (It should be noted here that according to multiple sources, from about late 2009 to the present, Ketchum was being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Richard Stubstad, a Wally Hersom and others, supposedly to do DNA testing on samples thought to be from bigfoot. This in addition to the income from her pre-existing laboratory and forensic business. By comparison, her loan payment to Ms. Latin would have been between 1000 and 1500 a month.) In 2011, Ms. Latin tried to foreclose but Ketchum made herself scarce and reportedly ignored her communications and legal notices. Finally, on August 30, 2013, Ketchum was “cornered” and signed the property back to Ms. Latin to settle the debt (this was apparently the second property on which she had “defaulted” and signed back to the previous owner by warranty deed) (leaving unpaid city utility bills).

Ms. Latin now has the property up for sale for $95,000. The building (MLS listing #60246) is located at 569 Bear Drive, but this physical address does not correspond to the addresses being used by Google for Timpson; so you can’t find it by just Googling it. You have to use the street view feature to travel southwest on Bear Drive. The Facebook page for Shelterwood Laboratories has the correct location, as does Yahoo, at the NW corner of Bear Drive and Todd Street, about three blocks southwest of what Google says. According to the current listing, the building is a medical clinic-type commercial property, 4795 square feet, cinderblock construction with a small parking lot. It has been on the market for 119 days, which would mean it was listed in mid-September, shortly after county records show it was signed back by Ketchum to Ms. Latin.

Over the Line, Smokey!‘s crack financial consultant cannot figure out, on the basis of what we know now, where all the money was going, and why, as Ms. Latin says, Dr. Ketchum appparently stopped paying bills and paying attention to her business, around 2008. The Devil Bigfoot made her do it?

Over the Line, Smokey!‘s crack paralegal has identified one sinkhole for all that cash flowing into Dr. Ketchum: her lawyers, and Optigen. OTL,S! has previously mentioned a patent infringement lawsuit filed in 2009 by Optigen against her company; this was settled around August 31, 2010, just about the time Ketchum was copyrighting her proposed documentary and appearing on radio shows announcing her bigfoot project to the public. At that time, Ketchum apologized, and made other concessions, possibly financial:

Shelterwood has agreed to settle OptiGen’s claims. Under the settlement, Shelterwood has, among other things, ceased any and all testing related to these patents and has agreed not to resume any such testing in the future. Shelterwood regrets that its testing has caused confusion among the community of dog owners and breeders.

This not only cost Ketchum money, but also deprived her of any further earnings from the tests which were contested in the suit.

Ketchum had suffered other setbacks earlier in 2010, when her contract with CatGenes was cancelled apparently for poor performance.

CFA and DNA Diagnostics, dba Shelterwood Laboratories, have severed their contract by mutual agreement.

On April 15, 2010 CFA [Cat Fanciers Association] removed the order application from the CatGENES website. As part of the agreement, Dr. Ketchum has agreed to complete and issue DNA reports for those clients who purchased their tests before April 15, 2010. Any further questions should be directed to Dr. Ketchum at the lab.

Ketchum would not be the only prominent name in the bigfoot community to burn through cash in an inexplicable manner. From the blogger Robert Lindsay:

Matt’s been making a lot of money over the years. Wally Hersom funded him for 3-4 years at a very high salary of $31,000/month or $372,000/yr. Widespread rumors say that most of that money went for Matt’s fancy vacations and his rumored drug habit (possibly a cocaine habit). Now that Matt is on Finding Bigfoot, he reportedly makes $100,000/yr in his starring role. This is in addition to whatever money he makes off BFRO expeditions.

Critics also accuse Matt of pocketing a lot of the donation money that comes in to the BFRO for his vacations and habit. So it looks like Matt has been making quite a bit of money for some time now.

Yet somehow, in spite of the huge cash flow, Matt is bankrupt. His father, an attorney, filed the papers just last week in court. Where did all the money go? Vacations? Drug habit?

Update Jan. 14, 2013.

Over the Line, Smokey!’s crack gossip columnist, on hearing rumors that Dr. Ketchum’s bigfoot DNA paper is about to be released, perused the website “Bigfoot Forums”, where she saw a bit of background previously not known to OTL,S!: that sometime in 2009, an announcement of Dr. Ketchum’s study was made on the website “Searching for Bigfoot,” which is run by a Tom Biscardi, whose claim to fame seems to be his central role in the 2008 “Bigfoot in a freezer” fiasco/hoax/fraud. As concerns Dr. Ketchum’s research, Biscardi was involved in some way with obtaining at least one of the early specimens used by Ketchum, probably a shed toenail collected by a Mr. Larry Jenkins in Northern/Western Arizona. This was likely one of the specimens for which Richard Stubstad paid to have analyzed for mitochondrial DNA. If the statement on the Bigfoot Forums is correct, the Biscardi announcement would be the earliest statement of Dr. Ketchum’s intention. In various discussions, it seems that both Biscardi and David Paulides take “credit” for having identified/first utilized Ketchum’s lab for DNA analysis. It seems clear, however that Josh Gates/Expedition Truth were the first, in the spring of 2009.

Update Jan. 10, 2013.

Over the Line, Smokey! is calling in our crack cancer-awareness team to evaluate more tales of Dr. Melba Ketchum. It seems that, for a number of months, the good doctor has been involved in some sort of kerfuffle over the rights to certain images and works of art, with an artist and cancer patient named Alexis Evans. OTL,S! is unsure of the legal niceties but it seems that Ms. Evans made a drawing (entitled “Come On”) in 2010, before she knew Dr. Ketchum, that Ketchum is now claiming to be derivative of a photograph of hers. Later, she commissioned Evans to render as one or two paintings or drawings. Ketchum apparently was planning to or did use this image(s) for Dr. Ketchum’s various websites (“Sasquatch Genome Project”(previously mentioned here, but now taken down) and “Sasquatch Preservation Alliance” (can’t find an active site for this)) and/or a line of ?designer clothing, “Authentic Sasquatch Wildwear” (!!!). It seems that, in the course of business, Ms. Evans then produced and transmitted to Dr. Ketchum one or two images. There followed some sort of dispute as Dr. Ketchum allegedly did not pay Ms. Evans for the image (s), the amount in question being some $75. Yes, that’s right. Seventy five U.S. dollars. And, Dr. Ketchum has claimed ownership of the previous Evans work, “Come On.” There seem to be several issues of intellectual property/copyright. The situation apparently came to a head over the recent holidays, when Ms. Evans attempted to wash her hands of any involvement with Dr. Ketchum, withdrawing all permissions or licenses for use of the renderings/images. Dr. Ketchum, for her part, stated:

“Yes, but now I am able to do something legal about things whether you believe you are right or not. It will cost you to defend yourself so please do not force my hand….”

More details can be found here. A prominent member of the bigfoot community has entered the fray, describing similar behaviors by Ketchum.

OTL,S! immediately smelled some familiar themes. One of which is Dr. Ketchum not paying her bills. But, more importantly: As our dear readers must recall, Dr. Ketchum had in 2010 entered into a business relationship with Richard Stubstad, who was also a cancer patient, and a Robert Schmalzbach, in a Texas corporation called Science Alive. From the accounts of the two men, they had helped Dr. Ketchum perceive and begin to exploit a business opportunity utilizing Dr. Ketchum’s DNA facilities and the popular interest in Bigfoot. However, the men say that Dr. Ketchum then “lawyered up” and “cut them out” of the business, and did not even give them credit for their crucial roles. Stubstad has since died of his cancer, and Schmalzbach still seems irritated over the treatment they received.

The legal issues notwithstanding, no one with a grain of sense and/or any competent representation and/or a care about their own reputation sees legal action as the right remedy over a disputed rendering of a photograph and $75. Dr. Ketchum seems to defy that logic. And bullying a cancer patient in the bargain?! Ms. Evans has taken the obvious path available to her, which is to expose the whole mess. No surprise there….

Interestingly, Over the Line, Smokey!‘s crack team of corporate investigators reminds us that one of Dr. Ketchum’s “not in good standing” corporations, with a stated address of Houston (actually just a mail drop), was formed with the stated purpose of dealing in “jewelry/apparel.” We quote from our Dec. 19, 2012 update:

yet another Texas corporation in her name, Genetic Design Research, Inc, registered Dec. 3, 2008, as a domestic non-profit, with a listed address of 16055 Space Center Blvd, Suite 235, Houston TX 77065. Like her other companies, this one is not in good standing with the State of Texas (as of January 2012.)

There were two other principals in this corporation, Nicholas Ketchum age 21, and William J. Woods, age 29, and the address given is 249 Todd St., Timpson, TX. So I guess that must be/have been the clothing company. I wonder if she will hire Renae from ‘Finding Bigfoot” to model for her? If so, Renae, get your pay in advance, sister! Googling 249 Todd St., OTL,S!’s geographic consultant once again discovers that the street address numbering system in Timpson is too complex for Google, since it shows 249 Todd Street as a vacant lot along the railroad. However, one can see by using Google Street View that the (former) DNA Diagnostics Lab building is located at the corner of Todd Street and Bear Drive; the driveway to the delivery entrance is located on Todd St.

Over the Line, Smokey! notes Dr. Ketchum’s current physical address on some of the “art” papers released by Alex Evans:

President, DNA Diagnostics, PO Box 805, Garrison TX 75946

. OTL,S! has been trying to determine when/where/if Dr. Ketchum is going to open a new lab facility, as she has indicated.

This Garrison address is evidently her home address, as we have previously suggested. So no evidence thus far of a move to Nacogdoches or other “larger town.” Her website still says:

We are currently moving to a new facility, please contact us about testing in 2013.

A next to last comment for today: It is impossible, with OTLS’s key investigators down with the flu, to follow up adequately on all of Dr. Ketchum’s claims, moves, maneuvers, corporations, hemlines, base pairs, websites, co-authors, non-disclosure agreements, creditors, stumbles, legal threats, addresses, posts, battles, intrigues, spokesmen, and bruhahas. It is turning into a literal joke. OTL,S! pleads with Dr. Ketchum to slow the fark down, so we can catch up.

The last comment for today: Yesterday, Dr. Ketchum published a comment on Facebook regarding her secrecy about the other co-authors of her supposed bigfoot DNA paper: according to her, it’s all about protecting her team members:

I didn’t mean to sound harsh and I apologize, but this is a team effort and I am the point man so to speak. With all that has transpired, I have been extremely careful not to divulge their names of my co-authors. They have families and jobs that would be threatened by the vicious attacks that would be sure to come prior to publication. So there is the appearance of the project just being being me out there but that is the farthest thing from the truth. We all played integral parts in making this come together. – Dr. Melba Ketchum

Yeah, right….Dr. Ketchum’s demonstrably strong suit is team-building. NOT!.

Update Jan. 9, 2013.

The crack Over the Line, Smokey! janitorial team was up all night swabbing the floors, drinking coffee (which may account for all the bolding that appears here), and thinking about yesterday’s post, and has come up with some fairly interesting conclusions: It seems clear now that Dr. Ketchum is in contact with the two guys/labs who are challenging her findings on what multiple identified witnesses are saying is one of the three crucial genomes. According to the two guys, they and Ketchum were discussing how to resolve the issues, and Ketchum still has “steak” sample, but she has apparently not followed through.

Soooo…..wouldn’t the simplest thing and the most scientific thing to do be for Ketchum to do what she should have done in the first place, and HAS to do anyway: test/compare the primate DNA from the steak specimen with a new specimen from Justin Smeja for identity? I mean, that is relatively simple to do. And given the controversy, shouldn’t she also do a nuDNA sequencing on a Justin Smeja sample to compare with the nuDNA sequencing she is saying, according to multiple witnesses, is from an uncatalogued primate?

Those steps seem blindingly obvious. It is not the obligation of the two guys to validate Dr. Ketchum’s study; it is her obligation. They have used their own money and initiative, and shown that the big theoretical hole in Ketchum’s ideas is more than theoretical. And they have apparently shown that Ketchum really botched the most elementary forensic procedures, by not obtaining and running a specimen of Justin Smeja’s DNA. Now it is up to her. And she (supposedly) has the facilities, staff, and money to do it.

This brings up another issue, which may be related to Dr. Ketchum’s recent “relocation”, that Over the Line, Smokey! has been trying to follow. She is no longer in the lab building in Timpson TX which she occupied from 2006 (possibly earlier) until August 30, 2012. We have not been able to find her in the nearby city of Nacogdoches, which she gave as her location in the November press release and some later interviews. She lists no staff on her now-resurrected website. And, although David Paulides has written that she received hundreds of thousands of dollars from a donor, everything else we see indicates she is very short on cash. So the question is, does Ketchum have the wherewithal, the resources and/or facilities, to do (or outsource) the further testing which is required? Is this why she hasn’t done it?

Lastly (for today) there seems to be some feeling amongst members of the Bigfoot Forums website that perhaps Dr. Ketchum used some sort of (as yet unspecified) DNA primers or “cutting edge” technology(Over the Line, Smokey! is not very conversant in these matters) to find in the “steak” material, DNA of an uncatalogued primate, and that the two guys/labs didn’t find said DNA because they didn’t use said primers/technology. Well, one of the two guys tried to investigate this possibility, and got an opinion from some (apparently) big-time DNA researcher. Here is the opinion:

“Scientists discovered that ALL mammals share a common sequence for cyto b, and they tested the universal mammalian primers to make sure they worked on people, cows, horses, wildebeast, elephants, lions, lemurs, mountain lions, bears, raccoons, yaks, polar bears, llamas, kangaroos, pronghorn antelope, German shepherds, etc, etc, etc.

So, if the universal mammalian primers fail to amplify BF DNA, you have to conclude that BF are the only mammals on planet Earth that have a unique cyto b sequence. Actually, it’s more stringent than that. You have to assume that BF are the only mammals on Earth that have a unique sequence at the site to which the PCR primers anneal. I’m not going to calculate the probability of that event, but what’s more reasonable (Occam’s razor)?

1. The sample you analyzed was from a bear.

2. The sample you analyzed was from a mammal that was totally unique among all mammals on planet Earth.

I’ll choose 1.

Over the Line, Smokey! sees this as a very strong statement that the procedures used by the two guys/labs would have detected bigfoot DNA, if it had been present. Further, it seems to OTL,S! that the publication in a decent peer-reviewed scientific journal of any properly-done, vetted study on bigfoot DNA by Dr. Ketchum is now so far in the misty future that it can no longer be foreseen.

Update Jan. 8, 2013:

The DNA Diagnostics web site is now back online. No further word on what caused it to go down or why it was down for so long.  No apparent “new news” regarding the supposed bigfoot scientific paper.

At any rate,  statements on the website may help with one issue that should be explored: Dr. Ketchum’s expertise in identification and analysis of primate and human DNA, since she is a veterinarian, who seems to have worked primarily on analysis of DNA of cats, dogs and horses using mostly the “single tandem repeats” method. On her website she advertises human parentage studies, and on this version of her website she makes claims that she participated in the investigation of the remains of victims of the World Trade Center attack in 2001, and makes other claims of experiences/expertise for “the staff”.

She aided in the analysis of the DNA sequences from the World Trade Center Disaster.

Besides multi-species STR and mitochondrial DNA analysis, our experts also participated in the mitochondrial analysis of human remains from the 9/11 attacks.

…we have handled numerous cases for various racing commissions. Cases have included mixed cases of human and equine urine. One case involved proving identity of a horse to which drugs were administered via syringe and then swabbing the syringe to obtain the profile of the person administering the drugs to the animal.

For many years now, we have operated a full service animal and human forensics laboratory with multi-species capabilities and platforms to perform both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis.

These third person claims raise some concerns, as we are not sure when this was written or who is being referred to by “our staff/experts.” As far as can be seen from the website, there are at present no staff other than Dr. Ketchum (specifically the one Ph.D. who was once employed, is no longer there) .  In an interview on Bigfoot Busters internet radio, Oct. 30, 2010, she stumbled when it came to saying what she actually might have done:

I worked on the world trade center disaster. I did a lot of the…there was a team of forensic scientists that was put together to analyze the  remains…

Of course we have only her claims, and no way of determining whether or not Dr. Ketchum actually participated in any meaningful way in the identifications of the WTC victims. At any rate, that was apparently mtDNA analysis. More importantly, perhaps, is that we don’t know what her abilities would be in the areas of identification of primate species using nuclear DNA sequencing, which is what she is apparently trying to do.

There have been some internet pundits who say she has no publications, but others say she does. Let’s get the evidence. Any readers who might be able to help us flesh out Dr. Ketchum’s experience in relevant areas of DNA analysis, including her publications, please give Over the Line, Smokey! a comment.

One other development, per the Bigfoot Forums website, is that Tyler Huggins, one of the two guys who submitted samples of Justin Smeja’s “sierra steak” for independent analysis, (which showed results that conflict with Ketchum’s) is saying:

There was discussion of Melba [Ketchum] allowing further testing on the tissue samples she still has left from Justin’s submissions. Unfortunately, those overtures were never followed through on, so that has not happened to date.

The importance of this should be obvious, given our previous discussion: Dr. Ketchum acknowledges that one of her only three nuclear DNA genome analyses is being challenged, and this means (one would think) that she cannot ethically submit a paper for publication unless/until this is straightened out.  And Over the Line, Smokey! would suggest that if there is a paper currently in peer review (as she seems to suggest), then, ethically, she must withdraw it.

One last item for today relates to the issues of when Dr. Ketchum became involved in the bigfoot controversy and what happened to her in early 2008, when her business seems to have gone downhill: in the same internet radio interview referenced above, Ketchum says that she had been asked to run samples for bigfoot dating back to around 1995, and never found anything interesting; but that things changed for her “two years ago in the spring” ie spring of 2008, when she encountered David Paulides (who had a hair sample) and Josh Gates/the Destination Truth sample. The transcript of one of her two appearances on Destination Truth can be found here:

May, 2009, aired November 5, 2009.

Dr. Ketchum:

I didn’t think we would have anything to talk about here, to be honest.  I was just going to rule out ‘yeti’ and be done with it.  I submitted the sequence that we obtained from this hair sample to a large international database that scientists use to deposit their sequence data.  Well, at first I was very skeptical, because we’ve had these things come into our lab in the past, and they never panned out to be anything interesting.  However, this sample did test very clearly on the human panel of markers.  That makes it a primate and it makes it a large primate.

Gates:  And how are we sure that it isn’t just human contamination or that it’s just DNA from human hair?

Dr. Ketchum:  The hair, visually, is not human.  It’s courser than horse tail hair.

Gates: (voiceover) what she told me next seemed unbelievable.

Dr. Ketchum:  Initial searches indicate that it’s an unknown sequence.  There are literally millions of sequences in this database.  And we’re really shocked that it didn’t match any of the species exactly in the database.

Gates:  What would be required in order for us to say, from a DNA standpoint, the yeti is a real animal.

Dr. Ketchum:  If we’re going to prove that there potentially is a new species, with this first hair sample, we really need more hair samples like it.  And once you establish there is a group of animals, that will go a long ways towards proving that there is a new species indeed.

Update Jan. 6, 2013:

First of all, Dr. Melba Ketchum has still not had her paper published. Over the Line, Smokey! doesn’t know when this might happen. We really have no idea whether the paper is in peer review, or what journal might be considering it, or who might be her co-authors. Further, her DNA Diagnostics Inc. website is still down, and we really don’t know where she is located. She still posts, on Facebook, the same vague statements about her data and how she is anticipating some publication in the near future.

Well, the holidays are over and now everything is getting back down to business. Thank goodness, it slowed things down on our end. 2013, finally will be the Year of the Sasquatch! I personally cannot wait! I am so grateful for all of the love and support that those on here have given me over the eternity that this has taken. I promise that all of you will be blown away with the amount of data that we have accumulated. There is more data in our manuscript than has ever been submitted to prove a new species in an original manuscript. The world will never be the same after this but it is for the best. We must stop the insanity of hunting them (after all, people will be misidentified and targeted also). We will be hearing more shortly. Yes, all of the haters can now feel free to dump on the word “shortly”.

Some interesting disclosures this week, which relate to the issues raised in the previous update.  If  our readers haven’t read that section, please do so now.

After being pressed by members of the Bigfoot Forums, one of the those “two bigfoot researchers” (Tyler Huggins)  (and affirmed by others “in the know”), has strongly asserted that Ketchum has, on several occasions, to several different persons, made the statement that the Justin Smeja “Sierra Steak” sample was indeed one of the “Big Three” specimens which had sequencing of the nuclear DNA genome. It was one of the three that showed the findings that Ketchum has referred to in her press release as showing “unknown” primate DNA (supposedly indicative of a real bigfoot, which is, in turn, supposedly a hybrid of an unknown primate and a human female, not more than 15,000 years ago).

OTL,S! is not a genetics blog, but we can be reasonably sure that Ketchum would not have confused black bear DNA with primate DNA, so it seems likely that she (or the labs to which she sent the material):

1) isolated black bear DNA and primate DNA( belonging to Justin Smeja) from the “steak” sample.

2) did not, according to Smeja, obtain a routine comparison sample from Justin Smeja (the most likely source of primate contamination of the bear DNA) and therefore did not run standard identity tests, and thus did not discover that the primate DNA in the “steak” belonged to Justin Smeja.

3) obtained sequencing of the primate (Justin Smeja) nuDNA

4) compared this sequenced nuDNA against sequences which have been submitted to GenBank and other collections of DNA

5) did not find a match, in those collections, for some of the primate nuDNA sequences, because Justin Smeja’s nuDNA (which, like all humans, is unique in some ways) has never been submitted to GenBank or other collections of DNA.

6) did not realize that virtually all humans (like Justin Smeja) have nuDNA sequences which are not in the online DNA collections, and thus are “unknown.”

7) and therefore assumed that the primate nuDNA found in the “steak” sample was from an unknown primate, rather than simply being a contamination of the black bear specimen by the DNA of Justin Smeja.

Therefore, in one of her three crucial specimens, Dr. Ketchum has, for one reason or another, mistaken the DNA of a known regular human with that of an ‘uncatalogued primate.” In the other two cases, the nuDNA donor may not be known, but it seems likely that Dr. Ketchum has made the same naive mistake. OTL,S! has read rumors that some of the labs/scientists who have run the testing for Dr. Ketchum are not willing to appear as co-authors on her paper. OTL,S! can see why this might be the case. Her interpretation of the data is, apparently, just wrong.

Dr. Ketchum has acknowledged the findings commissioned by the two “bigfoot researchers” (Huggins and Cutino ).  It would seem that she must deal with these issues in her paper, immediately, before it can be meaningfully reviewed by a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Update Dec. 31, 2012:

Over the Line, Smokey! notes several interesting developments over the past week.

1) What happened to  ” honor among thieves?”

As noted by a commenter, two bigfoot researchers who apparently had lost faith in Dr. Ketchum (golly…..) paid for independent analyses to be done on what are purported to be pieces of a tissue sample (“the Sierra Steak”) found at the sight of a purported shooting of two bigfoots, several weeks after the event. This alleged shooting, which occurred in 2010, is called the “Sierra Kills.” The shooter was apparently a bear hunter named Justin Smeja, and there are aspects of his background and the story which are might be interpreted as, at best, bizarre, unsavory and inconsistent.  A piece of the tissue  was supposedly submitted to Dr. Ketchum, who allegedly gave certain confidential “results” to Mr. Smeja and his associates, which they interpreted as meaning that her analysis showed “bigfoot”.   Now (to review), Ketchum’s current claim seems to be that she has only three results that indicate an “uncatalogued” ‘animal;” many in the bigfoot world had assumed, on the basis of statements by Smeja and associates, that the “Sierra Steak” was one of these three, in part because Dr. Ketchum has said recently that she believes Smeja’s story to be true.  Back to the two independent analyses: they both showed that the tissue DNA was from a bear, and that it was contaminated with DNA from Mr. Smeja (this required a sample from Smeja for comparison).

Does this undercut Dr. Ketchum’s analysis? well, who knows? she has said that a purported photograph displayed on the internet does not resemble the sample she received from Smeja/associates, and she has not said publicly that the Smeja sample is one of her “Big Three.” Smeja denies ever giving Ketchum a sample of his own DNA for comparison, which would, if true, indicate some slipshod procedure by Ketchum…at least.  AND, if in fact she has the same tissue that has now been tested by two other labs, and if this tissue is one of her big three specimens, and if it is Smeja’s DNA or the bear DNA that Ketchum is interpreting as coming from a bigfoot, then of course Ketchum’s whole project is pretty much “down the drain.”

Bottom line: see my comment. Smeja and Ketchum are like the Keystone Kops. or Keystone Robbers.

2) Ketchum continues to give interviews, but there is no sign that the publication of a scientific paper is imminent.

3) Recently Dr. Ketchum’s DNA Diagnostics Inc. website went down. Ketchum made one of her usual ambiguous statements, that the server had been hacked or some such, affecting her website and email, and almost making it sound like it was an attack on her, which it certainly was not. Servers go down all the time, and providers have back ups and replacements. It’s been over a week and the site is still down. Hack? attack? not likely….What is more likely?  the same reason her phones have been disconnected, her building has been “repo’ed”, her several corporations are not in good standing. etc etc.  ie she stopped paying her bill. 


Update Dec. 22, 2012:

With no scientific paper or other announcement forthcoming from Dr. Ketchum, the biweekly Over the Line, Smokey! Bigfoot update today has only one or two items of interest:

The big discussion on the Bigfoot related blogs seems to be about to the national media taking notice of Ketchum’s Better Business Bureau rating of “F.”  Seems there is some sentiment that the BBB is some sort of shakedown or “protection” operation, charging $400 a year to give businesses good ratings, and giving bad ratings if they are not paid their $400. We dunno; in these days seems like with facebook and twitter and the “scraping” of sentiment from blogs all over the internet, that getting feedback and keeping customers happy is where it’s at.  And $400? that’s a dollar a day. Hardly a shakedown for a business that is supposedly successful. Reading the 25 complaints, sounds like some pretty unhappy folks, and many who felt bilked.  There is some interesting info about Ketchum’s operation, based on quotes from her office/lab staff. Sounds like they were pretty hard up for cash, made up a lot of excuses, had high turnover of staff,  and that Ketchum herself was pretty unavailable, to the staff as well as to the customers.  This is all consistent with what was told to OTLS! by the once and present owner of the former DNA Diagnostics lab property.

OTLS!’s crack fine-print reader happened to see an interesting thing at the BBB site: Click on the “Industry comparison’ chart at the bottom of the page: it’s a comparison of the complaints registered against other similar businesses of similar size in the region: DNA Diagnostics stuck out like a sore thumb. 

The BBB is hardly the only one to notice the issues. One can find other complaints by googling Shelterwood Laboratories. It is certainly undeniable that Ketchum’s contract with the Cat Fanciers Association was cancelled because of bad service, even after the CFA made a site visit to try and straighten things out. The BBB had nothing to do with that.  They just tried to get Ketchum to satisfy these people, and she apparently didn’t, generally speaking.

What does she have to say about all this stuff ? who knows?

Does all this have anything to do with her bigfoot claims? who knows.  Was she just busy doing bigfoot science? We at Over the Line, Smokey! don’t know. All we know is that we aren’t going to lend her any money, we aren’t going to send her any money,  we aren’t going to send her anything to run tests on, and we aren’t going to depend on her for anything.

Update Dec. 19, 2012:

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, Over the Line, Smokey! continues to follow this fascinating story.  OTLS should point out that our headline is a bit outdated, according to the statements of the Texas DNA specialist, Dr. Melba Ketchum: she is now claiming (something like) Sasquatch is a hybrid of a modern human woman and something else. OTLS can’t quite grasp what the “something else” is supposed to be.  For now we will refer to him as “Hoosier Daddy.” There is apparently no  actual scientific publication of the Dr. Ketchum’s DNA findings at this point.

In the vacuum created by her press release a couple weeks back, I cannot possibly fathom all that has been said and speculated about Dr. Ketchum’s work, by anyone from Tom LaSorda to the Kardashians.  Feelings are evidently running high, as judged by the fevered contents of Over the Line, Smokey!’s inbox, some of which had to be deleted because of a funny smell reminiscent of that lunch bag left in OTLS’s refrigerator over Thanksgiving by our shinyfaced intern.  Fortunately, the previously-noted Bigfoot Evidence” and “Bigfoot Forums” sites provide a blow-by-blow account with links to interviews and quotes of whatever is on Facebook and twitter.  A perusal of today’s posts there revealed the exciting news of another interview with Dr. Melba Ketchum. Unfortunately, when OTLS tuned in at the appointed hour, we were disappointed to learn that this internet radio interview had been cancelled. Perhaps Dr. Ketchum had a more important appointment, with Obama’s science advisor or the head of NASA. Or perhaps on the way home with some blueberry bagels she was waylaid by a bigfoot. But OTLS didn’t leave the site empty-handed.

In a press release for the interview today, Dr. Melba Ketchum seems to have abandoned the apparent pretense that her lab or her business, if any, is located in the city of Nacogdoches TX. Instead, she gave a new mailing address of her (“not in good standing with the State of Texas”) DNA Diagnostics Inc as PO Box 805, Garrison TX. This is the same public address she used for the (“not in good standing with the State of Texas”) Biogen Diagnostics Inc which she formed in 2011. This Garrison PO Box is probably Ketchum’s home mailing address (see below).  Over the Line, Smokey!‘s crack geography consultant tells us that Garrison is actually in Nacogdoches County...that’s why we pay him the big bucks.

Several weeks ago she removed from her DNA Diagnostics Inc website the longtime (since ?2006) address of 569 Bear Drive in Timpson, TX, and the phone number 936-254-2228, which has been disconnected since this past August (this property was, for all intents, foreclosed and is now in the hands of the former owner; see below). Interestingly, whoever scrubbed the DNA Diagnostics Inc website missed her test order forms (copyright 2002-2004). On these forms, the now-disconnected phone number is found, along with a 2002-2004 address of 626 Bear Drive, Timpson TX. Evidently, before 2006, DNA Diagnostics/Shelterwood Laboratories was located at what appears to be a private residence at 626 Bear Drive, while the 569 Bear Drive property, owned at that time by Ruthie Latin, was being used as a medical clinic by a Mary Manis, MD (and possibly others). In 2006, according to the former (and now present) owner, Ketchum purchased the 569 Bear Drive property and moved her operations there. That didn’t work out so well. See below.

Back to the Nacogdoches location claim she has been using for her media interviews; she still uses it for her twitter account:

Dr. Melba Ketchum, Scientist

Forensics and Hominid Research

Nacogdoches. Texas

Nacogdoches or Garrison, wouldn’t matter… that would make a bang-up flyer to stick on windshields at the high school football games (that’s how we roll in Texas),  or a window sign, to draw in the foot traffic. But out in the county? hmmm. That would put a crimp in the foot traffic.

Meanwhile, the only working phone number for her on the OTLS rolodex is that of the “blueberry bagels for the bigfoot” woman in Michigan, previously contacted by OTLS;  that’s only 1100 miles from Garrison. Robin Lynn Forestpeople is her name on Facebook, and, according to the crack HR consultant used by OTLS, she is too far removed from both reality and Dr. Ketchum’s various addresses to be of use to us. If one of our avid fans in Nacogdoches County TX or thereabouts does by some chance spot “Dr. Ketchum, Scientist,” (or a flyer of hers), please give Over the Line, Smokey! a comment and our crack investigative staff will follow up, maybe even drive on over to Garrison and get the lay of the land.

Also, OTLS has found an interesting bit of Ketchiana:

In a revealing March 2012 interview, a partner of Melba Ketchum in a 2010 corporation called Science Alive LLC (like all of her other corporations, not now in good standing with the state of Texas) named Robert Schmalzbach, gives some details of his interactions with Ketchum and the third partner, the late Richard Stubstad. He says that it was Stubstad who originally noticed what he thought was a statistical anomaly in mitochondrial DNA results (OTLS doesn’t guarantee the accuracy of the science jargon; our crack biology consultant is on holiday leave). Then, Ketchum contacted Schmalzbach to help her get more samples, and help her with some of the business. They formed the corporation in September 2010, and she filed copyright papers (see below) at his suggestion. [Filling in the blanks here, it seems that as part of this campaign to establish first rights on bigfoot DNA and get more samples, she went on Coast to Coast Radio in August of 2010 with Dave Paulides. ...Dr. Ketchum reported on ongoing DNA testing of possible Bigfoot hair samples, some of which have a combination of human and animal attributes, and are considered anomalous or unknown. She and her team are in the process of preparing a peer reviewed paper that will reveal their complete findings." She and Paulides then appered on an internet radio show in October of 2010.] He said after one of these radio shows (logically, the October one) he thought she had made too many claims and “should rein it in a little.” He says that made her angry, and as soon as she got the samples that resulted from the radio show, she got a lawyer and essentially cut Stubstad and Schmalzbach out of the loop. Schmalzbach says this it is illegal to do this, as it is against the interests of the corporation. According to him, she also said she would give him money for helping her, and never did. At this time she also cut off investor Adrian Erickson and possibly others, including the one staff Ph.D. scientist who has been removed from the “staff” page of the DNA Diagnostics Inc. website. Schmalzbach says essentially that only David Paulides (see below) was allowed to remain in contact with her.  Schmalzbach’s account of Ketchum’s attempts to get samples seems to contradict Ketchum’s statement in an interview published at the Huffington Post: [the samples] “came to me. I didn’t go after them, that’s for sure.”  Matt Moneymaker, head of an organization called the Bigfoot Research Organization and the star of Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” program, also calls BS on Ketchum:

Bald-faced mendacity of Melba Ketchum. She told Lee Speigal the DNA samples “came to me. I didn’t go after them, that’s for sure.” Bullshit.

She’s been pursuing BF DNA samples for years (bcs of their potential to attract publicity and funding). Even pitched herself to TV producers

For her to imply the DNA samples “just came to her” and she hadn’t been steadily soliciting for them … really demonstrates her dishonesty.

More than 5 years ago she pitched her BF DNA testing to the producer of Monsterquest, and later pitched herself to the producers of MY SHOW!

She succeed in attracting some legit BF samples by false claiming she had already confirmed some through “preliminary” DNA analysis.

Back to the Schmalzbach interview: he says he knows that the first paper she sent out for peer review, came back with the comment to the effect that “this is not a scientific paper.” When asked if she knows how to write a scientific/genetics paper Schmalzbach says,

“she has no clue.”

Wow.  What a diplomat. I wonder what he says when his wife asks “does this dress makes my butt look big?”

Given the new information above, Over the Line, Smokey! has to wonder whether “Dr. Melba Ketchum, Scientist” should put a clarification or two on her business card.

Dr. Melba Ketchum, Scientist*

Forensics and Hominid Research**

Nacogdoches***. Texas****

*don’t expect a written scientific report

**if you don’t come to us, we’ll come to you


****but don’t tell the state tax board that we’re still in business


UPDATE: Dec. 1-14, 2012.

Ketchum's lab

Ketchum’s lab

Over the Line, Smokey! found a site called Bigfoot Evidence which is packed with all sorts of news, gossip, videos, and claims. Searching for articles about Ketchum revealed this item of interest in October 2012. We knew that Ketchum’s/DNA Diagnostics’ phone was disconnected, but there is much more to the story:

Breaking: Melba Ketchum’s DNA Diagnostics Building Is Shut Down! WTF!

…this group decided to make a stop by the location of Melba Ketchum’s business, DNA Diagnostics, located at the address 569 Bear Drive, Timpson, Texas, 75975-4072. It turns out when they arrived, the building was closed down and had a for sale sign posted on the front of the building.

The accompanying photograph gave a phone number, and a little investigation by the Over the Line, Smokey! staff led to the owner of the property, who is NOT Melba Ketchum. According to the owner, Ketchum bought the property from her in 2006, on a contract, making monthly payments to this person. Ketchum started missing payments in 2008, and finally stopped making payments in 2010. The note holder/former owner attempted to foreclose, but Ketchum ignored letters, and was difficult to track down. Finally, Ketchum was located and, in order to settle the debt, she signed the property back over to the previous (and now present) owner, who is the one who has the property up for sale. This owner said that Ketchum had defaulted on another loan/property in Timpson.

Well, this is pretty amazing. The crack investigative staff of Over the Line, Smokey! utilized the Shelby County Clerk’s office to support this account from open property records, showing two warranty deeds given by Ketchum. The latest, this fall, was to Ruthie Latin, and the other, in 2008, was to Mark and Zana Tidwell, of 115 Pine Terrace, Center, TX, a small community near Timpson.

Further, the owner complained that Ketchum left town suddenly and took several large appliances from the building that didn’t belong to Ketchum! Fly by night?! To be fair, sounds to Over the Line, Smokey! like the ownership of the contents of the building would be up for debate. The owner said that Ketchum had stopped paying attention to business, couldn’t keep her staff, and “had no friends in Timpson.”


Of course, we know that as of today Ketchum’s DNA Diagnostics Inc. is (and has been since at least October) not in good standing with the State of Texas. What we did not know is that another company of Ketchum’s, Biogen Diagnostics Inc., registered in August of 2011, is also “not in good standing” with the state of Texas, as documented on the state franchise tax website. This is an interesting company. The listed agent is Ketchum, at the same address as her DNA Diagnostics, in Timpson. But the public address of the Biogen corporation is


PO BOX 805

GARRISON, TX 75946-0805

Hmmm. Garrison is a very small spot on Highway 59, 10 miles south of Timpson. The Over the Line, Smokey! staff understood the past/present owner of the DNA Diagnostics property to say that this was in the general direction of Ketchum’s home. So one might suggest that Ketchum has simply made her home PO Box into the address of a new “Diagnostics” company. This is at the time when she lost the Cat contract, was getting a bad name from her customers, had to stop infringing on the patent owned by someone else, and stopped making payments on the DNA Diagnostics property in Timpson. Did she see the handwriting on the wall, and plan to operate out of her home with a name and address change? (this was also around the time when she became heavily involved in the “mythical animals” odyssey, having appeared as a DNA expert on two episodes of the television series “Destination Truth”, in 2009 and 2010.)  It would be interesting to discover the date on which she began work on the Destination Truth material; was it in 2008? in her copyright document filed in September of 2010 states that she began work on the copyrighted material on April 7, 2008. One source states that she did not become involved with Destination Truth until 2009.  Her statements on one of the shows are interesting:

“This sample did test very clearly on the human panel of markers. That makes it a primate, and it makes it a large primate.” When Gates asks her if contamination could be an issue, she replies, “The hair, visually, is not human. It’s coarser than horse tail hair…Initial searches indicate that it’s an unknown sequence. There are literally millions of sequences in this database. And we’re really shocked that it didn’t match any of the species in the database…If we’re going to prove that there potentially is a new species, with this first hair sample, we really need more hair samples like it. And once you establish there is a group of animals, that will go a long ways towards proving that there is a new species indeed.”

Ketchum as of November 24, 2012 gave her location as Nacogdoches, a small city which is also on Highway 59, about 20 miles south of Garrison. This move from Timpson apparently occurred this fall. Over the Line, Smokey! contacted several sources there, and was unable to find any evidence of her or her operation (or any allegedly pilfered large appliances!).

To add to the confusion, it seems that Ketchum has been using various names, sometimes using her maiden name, Melba Fay Stinnett. The address of that person, according to the white pages, is “County Road 4105, Timpson.” Is Ketchum playing some sort of game with her location, her address ranging up and down highway 59 from Timpson to Garrison to Nacogdoches, all the while hanging out at her rural home near Garrison? with allegedly someone else’s appliances stored in her garage? As if things weren’t complicated enough, Ketchum has yet another Texas corporation in her name, Genetic Design Research, Inc, registered 2008, with a listed address of 16055 Space Center Blvd, Suite 235, Houston TX 77065. Like her other companies, this one is not in good standing with the State of Texas (as of January 2012.) As if that weren’t enough, she is listed as being on yet another corporation, Science Alive LLC, ALSO not in good standing with the state (What happened to “Don’t Mess with Texas!!”), this one with two guys named Robert Schmalzbach and Richard Stubstad, registered in September, 2010. The address is 408 County Road 4105, Timpson TX. What is going on out there in the county? Are they doing lab work or building farm machinery? This woman has more corporations than Mitt Romney!! and seems to pay less taxes!! Evidently this is the corporation started by Ketchum, Robert “Java Bob” Schmalzbach, and the late engineer Richard Stubstad. According to Schmalzbach, he was brought on board to help with business and find samples (he had previously been an officer of Search for Bigfoot, which was Tom Biscardi’s group (he of the Georgia-fake-bigfoot-in-a-freezer mess). Stubstad became interested in the bigfoot subject, found Ketchum, and paid for mtDNA sequencing of samples that had previously been reported out as human by the usual screening tests. Stubstad then looked closely at three mtDNA results and found what he thought was a pattern which was statistically “almost significant.” This seems to have set off the whole idea that samples which had in the past been reported as human, may actually have been from Sasquatches. This dovetailed with the ideas of David Paulides, who also became associated with the project around the same time, late 2009-early 2010. Schmalzbach has said that he advised Ketchum to write the copyright documents (shown in this post) in the fall of 2010, (which was about the same time that this corporation was registered and also the same time as Ketchum’s radio and internet radio interviews). Schmalzbach has said that after the Halloween interview, he told Ketchum she had said too much, and she became angry with him. Shortly after that, Ketchum “lawyered up’ and the two men (along with a scientist employed by Ketchum) were “cut out” of the project. This apparently left Paulides and Ketchum as the “principals” in the project.

There seems to be much more to this story than meets the eye. Over the Line, Smokey!‘s staff cannot possibly run down all these leads, and still keep on top of breaking news about important topics like the fate of Hostess Twinkies. We will continue to monitor this interesting story, which appears to be as much about those who profess a belief in bigfoot, as it is about any real evidence of the existence of said “creature.”

UPDATE: Nov. 29-30, 2012. Big news from Dr. Melba Ketchum. (and a few rambunctious comments to this post!)

She still has not published anything, but has released a statement again claiming that she has bigfoot/sasquatch DNA. Reading this new claim and comparing it with the copyright papers she filed in 2010, which we previously published, there seems to be at least one important difference: In 2010, she said:

“….testing has ruled out ape cross and any ancient contributor and that Sasquatch is indeed a modern human with some genetic mutations accounting for their physical appearance.”

Whereas, in 2012, she says:

“…Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens.”

Hmm. Seems like a big difference….what changed?

Back to the November 24, 2012, press release: someone named Robin Lynne (apparently) posted that linked material (apparently largely written by Dr. Ketchum) on the website of Dr. Ketchum’s “DNA Diagnostics” lab. That website gives the following contact information:

Contact Us:

DNA Diagnostics, Inc. ™

d/b/a Shelterwood Laboratories

PO Box 455

569 Bear Drive

Timpson, TX 75975

Phone (936) 254-2228

Fax (936) 254-9286

email: info@dnadiagnostics.com

The byline of the press release, however, is Dallas, maybe a hundred miles away. In the press release Dr. Ketchum’s location is given as Nacogdoches, TX. This press release gives a contact phone number for Mr/Ms.? Lynne? in a Michigan area code. I’m getting confused. Over the Line, Smokey! couldn’t resist trying the number, and after a few rings, a woman answered with a perfunctory upper Midwest “Hello.” Sure enough, she was “Robin Lynne,” but she really couldn’t give much more information about Dr. Ketchum’s study. However, when I asked where these specimens/supposed Bigfoots were found, Robin said, in a matter-of-fact way, “oh, they’re everywhere.” “Oh, really,” I said, half joking, “have you seen one?” to which she answered, “of course, they come around here all the time and I give them food.” Well, I was taken aback. All this bigfoot mystery could be put to rest once and for all if the world would just beat a path to this woman’s back yard. Why hasn’t this happened? Why is she the “press agent” for Dr. Ketchum? A little web searching indicates that “Robin Lynne” is apparently Robin Lynne Pfeifer, a well-known person in bigfoot circles, who claims to feed and communicate with a number of bigfoots. This person evidently traveled to Russia recently to attend a conference where it was was stated that scientists were 95% certain of the existence of bigfoot.

Here is the text of the Nov. 24, 2012 press release from Ketchum: Bigfoot’ DNA Sequenced In Upcoming Genetics Study Five-Year Genome Study At DNA Diagnostics Yields Evidence of Homo sapiens/Unknown Hominin Hybrid Species in North America

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Dallas, TX (PRWEB) November 24, 2012

A team of scientists can verify that their 5-year long DNA study, currently under peer-review, confirms the existence of a novel hominin hybrid species, commonly called “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch,” living in North America. Researchers’ extensive DNA sequencing suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an unknown primate species.

The study was conducted by a team of experts in genetics, forensics, imaging and pathology, led by Dr. Melba S. Ketchum of Nacogdoches, TX. In response to recent interest in the study, Dr. Ketchum can confirm that her team has sequenced 3 complete Sasquatch nuclear genomes and determined the species is a human hybrid:

“Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain 3 whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples. The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species. Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens.

Hominins are members of the taxonomic grouping Hominini, which includes all members of the genus Homo. Genetic testing has already ruled out Homo neanderthalis and the Denisova hominin as contributors to Sasquatch mtDNA or nuDNA. “The male progenitor that contributed the unknown sequence to this hybrid is unique as its DNA is more distantly removed from humans than other recently discovered hominins like the Denisovan individual,” explains Ketchum.

“Sasquatch nuclear DNA is incredibly novel and not at all what we had expected. While it has human nuclear DNA within its genome, there are also distinctly non-human, non-archaic hominin, and non-ape sequences. We describe it as a mosaic of human and novel non-human sequence. Further study is needed and is ongoing to better characterize and understand Sasquatch nuclear DNA.”

Ketchum is a veterinarian whose professional experience includes 27 years of research in genetics, including forensics. Early in her career she also practiced veterinary medicine, and she has previously been published as a participant in mapping the equine genome. She began testing the DNA of purported Sasquatch hair samples 5 years ago.

Ketchum calls on public officials and law enforcement to immediately recognize the Sasquatch as an indigenous people:

“Genetically, the Sasquatch are a human hybrid with unambiguously modern human maternal ancestry. Government at all levels must recognize them as an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights against those who would see in their physical and cultural differences a ‘license’ to hunt, trap, or kill them.”

Full details of the study will be presented in the near future when the study manuscript publishes.


Dr. Ketchum is available for interview or to answer further questions about the Sasquatch genome study and associated research on novel contemporary hominins at media(at)dnadiagnostics(dot)com. Contact Robin Lynne media@dnadiagnostics.com 231.622.5362 Email

All that aside, I wanted to talk to Dr. Ketchum herself, so I called the phone number listed for DNA Diagnostics, in Timpson, only to find that it had been disconnected! According to the State of Texas, DNA Diagnostics Inc is “not in good standing” regarding their franchise tax. Hmmm.

A quick search on Shelterwood Laboratories yields the fact that Ketchum was sued for patent infringement and had to stop doing certain tests. Hmm. According to her co-defendant, Ketchum failed to do her homework, and this resulted in the suit:

April 2009 The 2nd lawsuit was filed and this was the final straw between Dr. Ketchum and InGen. Due to Dr. Ketchum’s failure to properly research certain tests that are allegedly protected by patent, InGen was drawn into another lawsuit which eventually led to the early termination of the contract between InGen and Texas A&M. InGen severed its relationship with Dr. Ketchum which was the best thing that has come from that suit.


Next on the search results, we get into a litany of customer complaints about Shelterwood including this and 25 here. One complaint ends with

It is now August 2012 and still no one answers the phone, which is disconnected, emails, and the website is “under construction”, and I still have not received my test results or a refund. THis Company took our money and ran!

County records show that Ketchum deeded the lab building back to it’s former owner at the end of August, 2012.

Looking into one of these complaints, Over the Line, Smokey! discovered that there were a succession of complaints from members of an organization called Cat Fanciers, who had a contract with Ketchum (doing business as Shelterwood Laboratories). The group finally terminated its relationship with Ketchum over the issues. This may explain the presence of the blank page entitled “Cat Test Status” on her website.


Looking through the press release/site, I did find two email addresses, so I tried them; no response so far. Some of the site is copyright 2007. Other parts have been recently updated. The only person listed on the “staff” page is Dr. Ketchum herself. On the “ordering tests” page, it says: ‘We are currently moving to a new facility, please contact us about testing in 2013. New Test Forms are still in production since we are now offering literally hundreds of DNA tests.” The idea I’m getting is that the operation in Timpson has been shut down and Dr. Ketchum has moved on, apparently, to Nacogdoches, Texas, a hoot and a holler down the road from the (?former) location of DNA Diagnostics Inc at 569 Bear Drive, Timpson TX. Have to check on that. There is a “genetic research” page with a bunch of claims that Over the Line, Smokey! can’t evaluate, and a picture that looks, frankly, like someone’s kitchen. There is a page labeled “cat test status” which is bare.

Another aspect of this drama is the role of a Russian writer named Igor Burtsev (variously spelled). It was he who set off the current round of “information” by posting this, a day or two before the Ketchum press release:


The DNA analysis of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Forest People specimen conducted by Dr. Melba Ketchum the head of DNA Diagnostics, Timpson, TX, USA has been completed!!!

Team of American scientists led by Dr. Melba Ketchum for five years has analyzed 109 purported samples of such creatures. The study has sequenced DNA of a novel North American hominin, commonly called Bigfoot or Sasquatch or Forest People.

There were a large number of laboratories associated with this study including academic, private and government laboratories in which blind testing was utilized to avoid prejudice in testing. Great time and care was taken in the forensic laboratories to assure no contamination occurred with any of the samples utilized in this study.

After 5 years of this study the scientists can finally answer the question of what Bigfoot/Sasquatch really is. It is human like us only different, a hybrid of a human with unknown species. Early field research shows that the Bigfoot/Sasquatches/Forest People are massively intelligent which has enabled them to avoid detection to a large extent. They are different than us, however human nonetheless.

The hybridization event could not have occurred more than 15,000 years ago according to the mitochondrial data in some samples. Origin of this Hominin was probably Middle Eastern/Eastern Europe and Europe originally though other geographic areas are not excluded. The manuscript associated with this study has been submitted to a scientific reviewed magazine.

For many years, people have refused to believe they exist. Now that we know that they are real, it is up to us to protect them from those that would hunt or try to capture them for research or for sport. They should be left alone to live as they live now. After all, they are our relatives.

At this time, analysis of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Forest People genomes is still ongoing. Further data will be presented in the future following this original study. Additionally, analysis of various hair samples purportedly from Siberian Wildman are being tested in an effort to determine if relatedness exists between the Sasquatch and Russian Wildman.

Dr. Igor Burtsev,

Head of International Center of Hominology,

Moscow, Russia

Moscow, Russia +7(916)812-6253

inhomin@yandex.ru “

Burtsev, it turns out, is not a scientist. He is, however, a friend of Robin Lynne Pfeifer, has visited her home in Michigan (he didn’t see any bigfoots) and he invited her on the Russian extravaganza. He was apparently working with Ketchum, gathering samples to send her. She seems to have given him “confidential” information about her results, and he then let the cat out of the bag. According to Ketchum, he did it without permission (hmmm), and her subsequent press release was simply intended to prevent any miscommunication….like anyone is paying attention to Igor Burtsev and his International Center of Hominology, I can’t say this isn’t the center of international hominology, because Over the Line, Smokey! has never heard of hominology and doesn’t know where it’s practiced? or believed or studied….but this looks like two guys, a web site, and time on their hands. Bigfoot blog ‘Bigfoot’s Blog’ suggests:

Isn’t it clear? Burtsev was used (or let it appear that way) to get the as-yet unpublishable Ketchum paper into the news ahead of [well-known British geneticist Bryan] Sykes [who is conducting a study of samples submitted as possibly from bigfoot.]

(Actually, the more immediate event involving “bigfoot” DNA testing was an episode of the cable television series “Finding Bigfoot”, which aired two days after the press release.

Burtsev, according to his site, also visited the Tennessee home of Janice Carter, who claimed to have be interacting with a group of bigfoots. Burtsev came away supporting Carter’s stories.

[Mary Green is still in the picture. She is quite old, very heavy and does not appear to be in good health, based on a photo. Jan Carter sold her farm to Adrian Erickson as part of his plan to purchase habituation sites. The BF's promptly disappeared as soon as the farm was sold :D Jan Carter took the money and moved to a new farm 80 miles away. All the BF's packed up all their stuff and followed her over the 80 miles of open terrain to the new farm. Now the BF's are all hanging out over at Jan's new place and the Jan and BF saga continues.

I've never been to the farm, but there was a good writeup about it. There were never any BF's at that farm, IMHO. It's all a gigantic lie. :angry:

Mary Green is just a gullible person, and she has done a lot of other good research. She just got scammed by Jan Carter, who IMHO may be mentally ill, possibly with schizophrenia.

Mary Green one of the few who has seen the latest Kentucky Footage, and it is supposed to be a total blockbuster. It's said to be better than the PGF film! There are 14 seconds of closeup footage, from the chest up, of a young female BF named Matilda. She is in the forest and she is slowly approaching the camera. It shows excellent closeup footage of a BF in HD, for the first time in history. Meldrum, Bindernagel and the rest have all seen it too, and everyone thinks it is genuine.

The film was shot by the previous owners of the home who sold it to Erickson. There is also an incredible 4-5 minutes of HD footage of Matilda sleeping in a forest. This is not so closeup. She is lying on her back in the forest and looks very peaceful. At the end of the movie she starts to get alarmed and wake up. ]

… So many things about the farm don’t make any sense at all for a habituation site. It’s mostly open country. The person who visited the site went around to all of the neighbors and none of them had seen any BF’s. She sold the farm [to a bigfoot enthusiast] and moved 80 miles away and the BF’s packed up and moved with her? …

Then Bayanov and Fahrenbach support her. Bayanov goes there and experiences weird things. ..

Well-known bigfoot researcher Dr. Jeff Meldrum of Idaho State University had first hand experience with the antics of Burtsev and Pfeifer during the Russian trip:

In his talk, Meldrum described the players involved in the conference that began in Moscow and ended in Kemerovo. Specifically, he named Igor Burtsev, director of the International Centre of Hominology in Tashtagol, Kemerovo region. Burtsev already holds the belief that yetis exist in the area and are a Neanderthal relic population.

Meldrum showed photographs and described how the local Russian contingent greeted and treated the invitees with much pomp and ceremony but little scientific protocol.

As in scientific conferences, the attendees were taken on a field trip to a cave in the municipality of Tashtagol. Meldrum said he began to get concerned about the event when twisted and broken trees were rather conveniently located near the sites they visited. Reservations about what he had gotten himself into grew when he noticed saw cuts in the trees. The guides pointed to every bent and broken tree as marks of the yeti. From what Meldrum observed, the cave was not remote but apparently visited rather frequently with the trail maintained by the local municipality. The group was told the cave was a probable yeti habitation. Inside the cave, Meldrum notes that “right on cue”, isolated footprints and a “nest” were pointed out by their hosts.

Meldrum’s impression was that the “evidence” looked more like a staged event. Only right foot impressions were found, not a trackway as would be expected. His remark about the creature “playing hopscotch?” made it into the local press reports. The print had uncharacteristic pressure ridges that Meldrum described as consistent with that made from a rigid wooden imprint.

When a comment was made that the “nest” hardly looked used, Burtsev jumped into it himself for a photo opportunity, oblivious of any potential evidence that might have been there. A hair sample was collected in the cave but not from the nest.

After the excursion, the scientists convened to discuss what they had seen. The group was pressed by the locals to sign a consensus statement saying that what they saw constituted evidence that the Yeti exists in the region. Meldrum said that Valentin Sapunov, a literature professor from St Petersburg, was the one who drafted the “95% certain” language. Meldrum refused to sign noting that science doesn’t work by committee. Yet, the statement was given to press outlets and went viral.

Dr. Meldrum expressed that he felt the conference was “orchestrated” with “publicity stunts” to promote tourism for the region. He was dismayed and perhaps a bit angry that the Russian group “exploited his credibility” for their means.

In addition, Meldrum was put off by a Michigan woman, Robin Lynn Pfeifer, who claims that a family of Bigfoot was living on her 10 acre farm. He described how she, as a guest invited by Burtsev who believes her story, intruded into the scientific discussion. Meldrum admitted to confronting her over her lack of evidence for her outrageous story (which included her noting the creatures’ favorite food was blueberry bagels). Morehead was blunt, telling her that her kids were obviously playing a trick on her. Yet, disturbingly, Burtsev takes her account as typical in the U.S. and believes this kind of habituation was commonplace all over Russia as well!

More on that epidsode, here.

Therefore, the Russian Yeti spectacle was a planned, rehearsed event to promote tourism in the Kemerovo area. (See Come for the Yeti, stay for the skiing) Meldrum and other American scientists were burned by the promise of legitimate scientific evidence from a very non-scientific source. The Russian event is another notch of silliness in the Bigfoot story that ultimately erodes credibility in the subject and cryptozoology in general.

Ketchum seems to be a hot interview at this point. Here is a video from a Houston television station, in which she makes more claims about her study. It was done via Skype, and the quality is not all that great. By this clip, she seems to be in Nacogdoches. One notable remark: the study is in peer review (a process done by the better scientific journals). She says that many different specialists and labs collaborated on the project, but gives no names, and has no projected date for publication, saying she hopes it’s weeks rather than months.

In another interview with a Yakima newspaper, Ketchum says the “50-page manuscript” describes

“Sasquatch nuclear DNA [that is] “ incredibly novel and not at all what we had expected. While it has human nuclear DNA within its genome, there are also distinctly non-human, non-archaic hominin (member of the genus Homo, including Homo sapiens), and non-ape sequences. We describe it as a mosaic of human and novel non-human sequence.”

Another player on the stage is an author named David Paulides, who writes on various mysterious topics including bigfoot, UFOs, missing persons, and the possible links between these three.

He recently wrote:

Dr. Mack’s work is very revealing and forever placed the alien abduction issue into a different paradigm for anyone studying the topic. He stated that abductees were having a real experience and the similarities in the stories could not be fabricated. The book explains how abductees when taken are frozen in place and paralyzed, yet have all other mental facilities .

**Let’s stop here and review a similarity.

We’ve read many bigfoot witness reports where they were camping and usually sleeping in a tent. The witness hears bipedal sounds or a roar and sometimes even observes a huge shadow. Witnesses state they want to talk yet cannot, they sometimes explain that they try to move and cannot.

Paulides seems to be a member of Ketchum’s inner circle. He claims to be “… the leader of the organization that started the Bigfoot DNA project, the organization that has supplied the most specimens…” Early in the course of her studies, he stated on his website “If you are interested in submitting a sample, please contact me directly.”

This week Paulides has indicated that publication could be coming very soon, days to weeks. This would be incompatible with a hard copy journal having the paper in its peer review process. Here are some other recent comments by Paulides:

Dr. Ketchum and her team of scientists and laboratories have been able to sequence three complete genomes, getting identical results independently verified by different labs. This is not a casual everyday finding, this will cause the scientific community to stand up and take notice. Many people have claimed to know what our results were, nearly everyone was wrong, even some high profile media people that have just recently made comments, all were wrong.

Paulides was also interviewed by the Yakima Herald. In the same piece which quotes Dr. Ketchum, he said:

“It falls in the realm of human,” Paulides said. “It has a human mother we can identify, that somehow evolved in the last 15,000 years, but in an unusual aspect of this we can’t track the father or find out who the father is. Based on millions of DNA strains that exist around the world, the father doesn’t exist.

“The only species we can identify is human. The male that procreated is unidentifiable.”

Now, Over the Line, Smokey! don’t know much Bi-ol-o-gee, but is he saying he can identify the mother? Wow, that should solve the whole problem; dial her up and ask her what her baby looked like!!! It can’t be that simple, can it? Over the Line, Smokey! has dealt with some bullshitters, and this would seem to be one. In Over the Line, Smokey!’s high school, it was taught that the nuclear DNA comes from both the father and the mother. I think Mr. Paulides must have been watching Dragnet instead of doing his biology homework. Or maybe they didn’t know about chromosomes when he was a teenager. Perhaps in his next interview he can clarify that.

Bigfoot’s Blog has some other sources (which Over the Line, Smokey! can’t track down or vouch for) on the beliefs of Ketchum and Paulides:

Add to all of this the talk from the horse doctor’s own mouth about the Nephilim and some kind of Bigfoot molesting her and, well, you’ve got a very, very strange brew going on here. They deny the story about “Angel DNA,” but…

By “angel” she means the FALLEN ANGELS, basically the “Ancient Alien” theory. Bigfoot are the Nephilim. She has actually SAID this. She has expressed it obliquely in her press release by referring to something “novel” in the DNA. She told Wally and others that the DNA was from “out of this world.” Paulides has said that the Bigfoot lineage “STOPS” at some point, and from there there is no precedent in the DNA databases of earthly life. This can only mean one thing: the DNA is alien, or was manipulated by aliens. Say “angels” if you want. This is NOT Science. This is metaphysical lunacy. Much of this was reported by Robert Lindsay, and they called him a nutcase. I’d heard it from utterly reliable sources about a year and a half ago. I was asked at that time not to talk about it. I didn’t, until I’d heard multiple other sources of confirmation, such as from the Stubstad/JavaBob connection. Rhettman A Mullis Jr can confirm this–it came right from Ketchum, in her own words, in a four hour phone conversation he had with her. It was a similar situation with the recent news of her thinking she was molested by a Bigfoot that zapped and possibly raped her. SHE said it. It wasn’t just some weird gossip meant to disparage her reputation. David Paulides denies “Angel DNA” is in the paper. However, the idea of the Nephilim WAS in the first version of the paper, according to the Stubstad-JavaBob reports. She used the word “angel” in private conversations later. It’s a fact, folks… this is what she BELIEVES.

It also shows how belief precedes and conditions reality formation in the human mind. The real question is whether this belief pre-biased the supposed science of this DNA study and paper. It is a deep error to mix science with mythology, legend and religion. There may be truth of a kind in the latter, but the former seeks to discover and prove things that are literally real, not just figuratively so.

There is still a lot of mystery here, and a number of interviews are happening on a variety of media. Over the Line, Smokey! welcomes any new information on the subject.

[end of update]

According to a copyright application, rural Texas veterinarian/DNA lab owner, Melba Ketchum, DVM, is coming out with the news that the folklore beast called Sasquatch or Bigfoot is real!! She has DNA from a bunch of ‘em!! Not only that (hold on to your hat) Bigfoot has the DNA of a modern human being, with some minor changes in some genes that explain the characteristics that are popularly ascribed to this never-found “creature.” From the site Cryptomundo, we learn that she claims to have seen one or more Bigfoots. She is applying for a copyright of:

Sasquatch: The Tribe Revealed

Type of Work: Entry not found.

Type of Work Preregistered: Motion Picture

Literary Work in Book Form

Advertising or Marketing Photograph

Preregistration Number / Date: PRE000003852 / 2010-09-16

Application Title: Sasquatch: The Tribe Revealed

Title: Sasquatch: The Tribe Revealed

Copyright Claimant: Melba Stinnett Ketchum. Address: P O Box 455, Timpson, TX, 75975, United States.

Creation of Work Began: 2008-04-07 (Approximate)

Date of Anticipated Completion: 2011-06-22 (Approximate)

Projected Date of Publication: 2012-02-15 (Approximate)

Authorship on Application: Melba Stinnett Ketchum.

A film and/or documentary, narration or audio book, supporting photos and literary paper/document/book that will follow the The Sasquatch Project, the scientist and the scientific testing and proof for the existence of Sasquatch/ Bigfoot. Information will include discussion of results including A New Tribe of Living Humans, the complete Sasquatch mitochondrial genome sequence and nuclear DNA variations and text will show complete mitochondrial (mt) genome sequences were identified from DNA, analysis of the assembled sequence unequivocally establishes that the Sasquatch mtDNA falls inside the range of modern human mtDNAs and discussions of the origins thereof. The proof that the Sasquatch is not only the closest living human relative but is actually a contemporary living human. Also discussed is nuclear DNA testing performed on the same samples and the variations found in various genes including MC1R gene RUNX2 and FOXP2 as well as other targets genes involved in the perception of sound, transmission of nerve signals, the production of sperm and the lactase gene. Also discussed is how testing has ruled out ape cross and any ancient contributor and that Sasquatch is indeed a modern human with some genetic mutations accounting for their physical appearance. Also included are discussion of the history of samples and circumstances surrounding the acquisition, their testing, the circumstances surrounding the entire Sasquatch DNA Project. Documentary stars Melba Ketchum, et al

Over the Line, Smokey!, a big fan of the cinematic arts, loves that last sentence. Unfortunately, the only genes that Over the Line, Smokey! is familiar with are the blue kind. We’ll leave the technical stuff to the geeks to comment on.

added Jan. 25; more material in the copyright application:

Type of Work: Text. Registration Number / Date: TXu001766114 / 2011-07-19. Application Title: A New Species of Contemporary Feral Homo sapiens. Title: A New Species of Contemporary Feral Homo sapiens. Description: Electronic file (eService). Copyright Claimant: Melba S. Ketchum, 1955- . Date of Creation: 2011. Authorship on Application: Melba S. Ketchum, 1955- ; Domicile: United States; Citizenship: United States. Authorship: text, photograph(s), editing, Data Tables. Rights and Permissions: Maureen A. Doherty, Doherty Legal, 10777 Westheimer, Suite 1100, Houston, TX, 77042-3462, United States, mdoherty@dohertylegal.comNames: Ketchum, Melba S., 1955- ===========================================

=====================================Type of Work: Text. Registration Number / Date: TXu001776703 / 2011-09-12. Application Title: A New Contemporary Feral Species of Hominin. Title: A New Contemporary Feral Species of Hominin. Description: Electronic file (eService). Copyright Claimant: Melba S. Ketchum, 1955-. Date of Creation: 2011. Authorship on Application: Melba S. Ketchum, 1955-; Domicile: United States; Citizenship: United States. Authorship: text, photograph(s), compilation, editing, Data Tables. Rights and Permissions: Maureen A. Doherty, 10777 Westheimer, Suite 1100, Houston, TX, 77042-3462, mdoherty@dohertylegal.com. Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence. Names: Ketchum, Melba S., 1955-

Whew, sorry Dr. Ketchum, but you went and posted your age right there in public. I won’t be so rude as to announce it, other than to take note.

But seriously, folks:

It is not clear how many samples Ketchum tested, or where these samples came from, or how it would be known that the source was bigfoot/sasquatch, and not just some human being who might have left some blood on a barb wire fence or saliva on a discarded apple, or maybe my crazy uncle just spit in a jar and sent it in, with his usual wide eyed declaration of the truth of his latest tall tale. Given that the details are not well described, Over the Line, Smokey!, though not a genetics expert, feels pretty certain, regardless of what Ketchum wrote, that the 10 foot monster with glowing eyes is not of the same species as my mother. Or me. Or my son. And that those minor alterations in a few genes (we’ve all got those odds and ends hanging out) wouldn’t make my daughter’s feet grow to size 23. Besides, sounds like the alterations were all different. C’mon, Ketchum, I WAS born at night, but it wasn’t LAST NIGHT…..

Regular old human DNA means that whatever thing that DNA came from is part of our gene pool, freely interbreeding with the rest of us. I don’t know about you but for me, those “Bigfoot had my baby” or “I had Bigfoot’s baby” stories in the tabloids are strictly printed for The Stupids demographic.

Ketchum is a graduate of Texas A & M veterinary school. Apparently she is a veterinarian but is allergic to animals(!) and she has been operating a DNA analysis laboratory at Timpson, Texas, for animal owners, breeders, and other clients, including forensic work and court testimony. According to Cryptomundo, she has a rating of F from the Better Business Bureau, based on a dozen or so complaints, documented at the BBB site.

Over the Line, Smokey! is gonna go out on a limb here, and suggest that Dr. Ketchum has gone off the rails. Take that however you want. I see from one source who shall remain unnamed, that she has run over 200 samples, and not for free either; at $200 a pop, that would fund, for example, lengthy European vacations for two. So maybe she isn’t off the rails (/winks). What I can say (besides “a fool and his money are soon parted”) is that a scientist copyrighting scientific articles before they are published is pretty much like farting in the general direction of the scientific process, not to mention the scientific community.

UPDATE: Dr. Ketchum now has an open Facebook page on which she is claiming multiple encounters with multiple bigfoot creatures. So I think my term “gone off the rails” would be an accurate assessment.


Filed under animal stories, Bigfoot, entertainment, Movies, over the line, Smokey award finalist, Texas

225 responses to “Texas DNA specialist writes that Sasquatch is a modern human being. UPDATED 11/1/2013. That was 2010; now she says it’s a hybrid. Or something.

  1. Gertrude

    I gather that the Friends of Bigfoot, including Dr. Ketchum, are scrambling for cover after this reveal. If you want all the rumors, all the gossip, all the time, Robert Lindsay’s site (http://robertlindsay.wordpress.com/) will have them. Speaking of which, the “bigfoot DNA is 37% of the way from human to chimp” rumor is pretty well scotched, I would guess.


    “ignorance is bliss”….prepare to eat crow, for it will served to you and others like you, in a few weeks!

  3. seesdifferent

    There are only two kinds of people in Bigfoot Land: the PT Barnums and the suckers. I’m guessing you are among the latter, because the PT Barnums are too busy making money off you suckers to come here and comment. What have you bought? all the books, and the t shirts and baseball hats and camo and soundblasters and recorders and campers and thermal imaging and weekends in the woods where they scare you for 300 bucks? traveled hundreds of miles to PT Barnum/Bigfoot conventions?

    The suckers all have great delusions of fame and fortune, and most of all they dream of “rubbing the faces of the doubters into ….something.” Meanwhile, again, the PT Barnum’s aren’t dreaming, they’re making money off you while they make fools of you.

    The only primates walking around North America are you and I and your Uncle Milton and a lot of people of different races, national origins and genders. That is the DNA that Dr. Ketchum found. She put that in a bottle with some food coloring, artificial flavors, and 3% alcohol by volume, slapped a fancy label on it, and wants to sell it to you. Are you buying, sucker?

    Go to school, John, learn something real and make something of yourself. Bigfoot Land is for idiots.


  4. seesdifferent

    Doing a little update/ research on the topic, it seems that Dr. Ketchum has now initiated an open Facebook page, on which she claims to have had numerous eyewitness experiences with bigfoot creatures. I send my condolences to her family.

  5. skookumqwest

    Well written @seesdifferent

  6. You are so wrong, and so arrogant too. Pitiful.

  7. Pingback: Sasquatch (BigFoot) DNA sequence announced. Snark ensues. | The OpenHelix Blog

  8. bravobill

    Scoffers scoff up their own puke. Stay tuned and jump back in when the worm turns and you see different.

  9. Joseph Bell

    Yes, ignorance is bliss. This arrogant author has likely never set foot in the woods his entire life. How can one so easily scoff and discount the possibility of the existence of a new species, one closely related to man? This is an astounding and fascinating revelation. The reason that Dr. Ketchum released this information prematurely is due to the fact that an Oxford professor is also conducting a DNA study of his own. He has requested some of her samples to assist in his study. Nonetheless, Sasquatch is real people! Be prepared to see the world differently once the white paper is published.

    • bravobill

      Thank you, Joseph, There apparently was the matter of a certain Russian who was unable to control himself and he released information which prompted Ketchum to announce what she has. As for me, I will not gloat but will simply wait to hear the various reactions from the scoffers during the multiple revelations of DNA and visuals. This should be fun to watch to see how they handle it, if they dare.

  10. Shane E.

    I have spent decades in the deer woods. Not one print, skull, skeleton. Nothing.
    23 years as a cop, seen 100 deer strikes. 15 coyotes, 500 dead racoons, 300 possums, 200 armadillos. zero squatches. Not even one radio call of a near miss with a squatch. Ill need to see proof please ma’am.

  11. ws

    I’m curious whether you think Bryan Sykes is an idiot for looking into this question.

  12. Sykes is kind of a hybrid between an academic scientist and a popular writer. Seems like the right kind of person to do this. I don’t see any downside to it for him. He will likely be on firm ground scientifically with the data and conclusions, and he can publish a scientific paper as well as something for the lay people. ,

  13. Gary B

    It is being reported today that a dna sample, taken from what is called ‘the Sierra Kills site’ by many, has been identified as being from an American black bear. The sample also contained human dna which was identified as that of Justin Smeja who is, allegedly, the shooter of two bigfoot creatures in that area. As I read the reports, two different labs have obtained identical results. This is just a heads up for everyone and I’m sure more news will follow. I’m also sure many cover your rearend explanations follow as well.

  14. Thanks Gary B, this subject is hard to keep with.

    I believe that Dr. Ketchum has said that she has three nuclear DNA samples which have what she considers to be that of a bigfoot or bigfoots. I assume that if/when Dr. Ketchum et al publish a scientific paper on the subject, it will be possible to identify whether or which one of her 3 key samples was the one identified with Mr. Smeja. If one of them is such a sample, she will have to do considerable backfilling on the issue of her analysis and interpretation of all three samples. But it would be even worse if she now attempts to avoid this issue by publishing an altered paper with only 2 key samples, I assume there will be communication between Dr. Ketchum and the other labs.

  15. Pingback: Melba Ketchum Likely Another Bigfoot Snake-Oil Salesman | Top Secret Writers

  16. Well? I don’t know who you are, but you are correct – a little internet research reveals these opinions/facts. This is probably the most comprehensive summary of the Ketchum situation without apparent benefit of inside information I have seen (and not too caustic! Or, am I getting a thick skin?). Maybe a bit too much reliance on some reprints of other unsubstantiated rumors/sources, but nothing new there to the BF crowd. And, your conclusions would be expected for the majority of people reviewing the history/birth pangs of a great discovery (or hoax), even BFers must take notice of behavior that seems less than exemplary, as this draws out. You have gone two, three steps further with personal investigation, before publication, so your interest seems deep, innocent perhaps, or full of Bigfootery too. From a monitor it is all cloudy.
    The logical answer is something did go amiss, and the recent post she is still “scrambling” seems to also indicate the paper is lacking (for the target Journal) and any real publication date an unknown.
    But, until she reveals what she knows, or the 12 co-authors, or labs, or peer-reviewers leak something significant, or it actually publishes, all eyes seem turned to Sykes. His addition to this investigation is huge, really. Something BFers have longed for, a preeminent scientist willing to entertain our Mythical claims. It does seem something is known among some iand persuasive enough to enjoin him (and the institutions). It will be a long year., but I will most definitely come back here to red your take.

  17. Josh Gates of Destination Truth had interaction with Ketchum in 2008, I believe, and might be considered the beginning of the inquiry. For those of us that know Bigfoots are real, or those who have sought answers so long, the unveiling of this work is greatly anticipated. Lets hope it focuses our discourses on how to integrate successfully our new found knowledge with Sasquatches’ future.

    • That could have even been 2005 or something, the history on trying to get DNA analysis is almost as long for Bigfooters as the availability of the tests. On NPR this week one lab reported accomplishing an entire genome for a fellow colleague in cancer testing in under 14 days… big changes in just the last few years. The pace of discovery is phenomenal really, and the idea that DNA will be extracted eventually from other hominid lines pretty exciting, as is the human migrations projects.
      On the other hand, the pace has outstripped public policy, as few of us understand the implications of either patenting genes or derived products, or genetically modified foods, or “terminator genes”….it’s scary stuff really.
      In contrast, just knowing Bigfoots are out there, alive and wild and free, in some deep way, is heartening for me. I’d like to see them survive, and wonder if they can as 6 billion of us grows 9 billion, and the earth shrivels in our pollutions … I feel pessimistic sometimes about our collective future.

  18. Pingback: All Design » Melba Ketchum- Claims, Rumors, Secrets and the Possible fall of her Bigfoot DNA Empire? The Circus is coming to Town! (Part 2)

  19. bravobill

    Would it be possible for whoever is smokin’ to turn their investigative powers (cutely-titled-attorneys) on Manti Ta’o?

  20. Over the Line, Smokey! long ago decided that “athlete adversity” stories are as bogus as three dollar bills, and that Notre Dame represents the collision/collusion of two (or more) manifestly corrupt cultures. Sports Illustrated, for example, and ESPN, should consider the billions of people worldwide who were never stars in anything, yet made something of their lives. They all had family tragedies, bad associates, physical problems, rejections, failures, substance temptation if not use, and the great majority worried about money their entire lives. Manti Teo is/was a golden boy who evolved some sort of cover story for his own brand of sexual gratification. And someone else, somewhere, has similar issues; and other people enjoy pranking. Human nature. No mystery. Watch Catfishing. That is not at all interesting. Mortals. Who the actual fuck cares or even wants to know about how he gets off? Certainly not Over the Line, Smokey! The only interesting part of the whole thing was the athletic director of the South Bend Papists getting all choked up. Over the Line, Smokey! may have to nominate that for some sort of award. In the meantime, Over the Line, Smokey! invites its readers to consider who the fuck the “Pope” is, how we got from Jesus and the New Testament to the “Pope,” and how much money he controls, money given to him as the head of world wide haven for sexual deviants/pedophilia. Over the Line, Smokey! feels that anyone who would let their son play even high school football, let alone go to Notre Dame, is in some sense a closet child abuser, out to gratify his own feelings of insecurity. In twenty years, between war and football, the country will have enough disabled brain-damaged men to fill half the nursing homes in America. Unless of course they commit suicide. Which seems to be the thing to do. See the Mike Leach story at this blog.

    Put that in your pipe.

  21. JustAskin

    What do you know about the OLCHS? Their own website said they would publish in November. Then early Jan. it was said that they hadnt started testing. Why not? Their is no doubt at this point Ketchum is dirty. But despite that OTLS has not proven she hasnt found DNA for BF. Bryan Sykes can prove that!

  22. Oak Lawn Community High School? Over the Line, Smokey! googled OLCHS and is kind of stumped.

    OTL,S! has definitely not proven Dr. Ketchum hasn’t found DNA for BF…it is impossible to prove a negative. Not even Bryan Sykes can do that.

    But if you do run into her, please tell Dr. Ketchum that we have a number of questions we’d like her to answer. Between Bryan Sykes and OTL,S! it does seem likely that the likelihood of her having bigfoot DNA can be shown to be small.

    • JustAskin

      Oh I am sorry. Didn’t mean to stump you. I ment to type OLCHP. I am quite sure your crack team will instantly figure this to mean Oxford-Luasanne Collateral Hominid Project. Not sure what you mean if I run into her? It seems I may of offended you in some way. I simply was pointing out that we all know she is dirty as a old folks home on chille night. But we really want to know is more info on her claims of DNA. Which I beleive Sykes can debunk being has some of the same samples.

  23. None taken. OTL,S!‘s crack acronymologist thanks you for the correction. Although the conditions in old folks’ homes are generally far from funny, OTL,S!‘s crotchety old PC censor will just pass on your toilet humor. Don’t be so quick to discount Dr. Ketchum’s resourcefulness…she seems to be invoking the “your sample and my sample came from different samples” defense. She is craftier than a cuckoo.

  24. Ok, now OTL,S! understands.

    No, it isn’t safe to assume that “nothing” would be an accurate answer. Because OTL,S! actually knows something about the OLCHP. Stay tuned, grasshopper.

    It would be best if you continue to buy OTL,S! at your newsstand (or by subscription) every day. That way, you will stay up to date, and OTL,S! will continue to be able to pay its valiant reporters, its costly utility bills, and its constant stream of expensive prostitutes.

    • JustAskin

      Ok. Will do. But please for safty sake always make sure he wears the proper protection. Just because he is expensive doesnt mean he is clean. Best of luck friend.

  25. apehuman

    Not looking good is it? I can see a good portion of your update is accurate, and other portions I do not know about….but if they are…just Wow. Wow.
    Because of the divisive nature of the “study” over time and the real hope so many of us hold for real science, we are easy targets…and truth from within the community often overlooked as sour grapes/conflict/greed…those type accusations flying today towards the guys who had the sample tested independently.. .
    I guess the question on my mind now is, has anyone said they have heard or seen from her since the last twitter on Jan 13?
    I don’t want this to be true, for all of us BF lovers and for everyone involved….yikes!
    Knowing Bigfoots are real, and so loving the beauty of our wild nature and planet, it just makes the mealy meanness we possess look even danker…
    damn you! Keep it up I guess, the truth is better than fiction…

  26. apehuman:
    All this is true, unfortunately, and more to follow in the near future as more sources come forward. Thanks for your comments. Just trying to keep it real.

    • I will. Real is best, even though painful sometimes. The pain of fictions last much longer, ask any BF witness.

    • bravobill

      Almost everyone associated with all of this would ca$h-in if they had the chance. This has always been a ‘moneymaker’ in the eye$ of most. Lots of people want $um, and most will be upset if they are left hanging. Girl just might wind-up kickin’ a$$! If . . and when it breaks, the value of any other inputs plummets.

  27. bravobill,
    It looks as if Dr. Ketchum may have cashed her last sizable bigfoot check, though she may still get something from some fringe magazine for her “paper.” From here on out, OTL,S! suspects she’s gonna be a nickel and dime talk show curiosity. She says that in her supposed future business she’s gonna specialize in forensics and hominid research…

    “Big banana heist in Costa Rica, monkey gang leader arrested, implicated by saliva found on peels, monkey evidence expert flies in from Garrison TX to testify….!”

  28. Gary B

    Well, the Ketchum Paper has been published. Problems with it however are many. It is published, online only, on a site called Denovo, an alleged scientific journal, that has existed for fewer than 12 days. It will also cost you $30.00 for the privelege of reading it and it is admittedly self published. The Denovo website appears to be created using a generic template and the ownership is disguised by being annonomous. I can’t say if any data is actually published because I am unwilling to pay anything to someone who masquerades as a scientist in order to bilk others out of money. It should be an interesting couple of weeks though!

  29. JustAskin

    Does any of the questions about the journal matter if the papers content can be proven by Sykes or others. In fact would it matter if they prove the paper a hoax. Either way its the contents of the paper that matter. Have you read it? I would like to see your views of the paper. I know your tight on cash with the whole hooker thing draining your funds, but i believe YOU can get free copy.

  30. JustAskin,
    I’ll leave that [attempted evaluation of the methods/data/conclusions] to the scientists. But one of the things that that scientists CAN’T do is determine whether an author is telling the truth about all the things he or she did and found. You do understand that don’t you? Some of that may be discovered later, but, by and large, an author can lie in papers and not be immediately (or ever) discovered. That is why one of the most important features of a paper is the credibility and track record of the authors.

    Dr. Ketchum has told a wild story about some pretty improbable things:
    1) these two journals
    2) bigfoot being a real animal [that she has seen on multiple occasions.

    You want to believe everything she says about 1 and 2 without having the information to evaluate either one. She says it, you believe. Its that simple for you, isn’t it?

    OTL,S! would rather have the evidence about whether or not there is some lying going on, so we’ll investigate number 1, to see if that story is true or not, while we wait for the scientists to try to evaluate number 2.

    Thanks for helping me make that point.

    another blog has been chasing the improbable blogs story. After constructing a timeline of what is known so far, the writer concludes:

    If this is true, Ketchum clearly intended to cover her tracks by creating the first journal so she could say she later purchased it and renamed it. I would be willing to retract any of the statements I made above if she is willing to provide the documents that she claims to have proving the purchase of the journal actually took place.

  31. Curious

    According to someone over on the JREF chat board, Pat W. said he had not seen the paper. How does that happen if he is a coauthor?

  32. Curious,
    I can’t tell you. And he is not just A co-author, he is SECOND author; that implies that he is second only to the first author in contribution. Perhaps you could find the exact quote from that board, and/or possibly query the person who wrote it, and bring that information over here. Certainly I would encourage you to also contact Dr. Ketchum and Dr. W. to find out the answer, but only after you have the exact quote; otherwise any response would be pretty meaningless.

  33. Pingback: Melba Ketchum’s Bigfoot DNA Study: The Questionable Ethics Of Creating A Journal to Bypass Peer-Review | Musings of the Ape Immortal 猿仙的沉思

  34. Smokey, awesome work on the most recent update (3-12-13). That “study” has more holes in it than Swiss cheese.

    • Thanks, ghost,
      OTL,S! recognizes that some people are simply misinterpreting Dr. Ketchum’s statements, both in her paper and in other venues. That is one reason why it is important for an author to write clearly and provide evidence and references in the paper. Failing that, an author should be available to answer the important questions and provide the needed additional information, data and references. Appearances on paranormal radio shows don’t cut it.


      OTL,S! also recognizes the significant contributions of ghostexorcist to the ultimate denouement of the mystery of “The Paper of Dr. Ketchum.” It is only by the sequencing of short segments of this double-helix-like story that we will ultimately discover the nature of the beast.

    • LOL this blog Kills Ketchum at every click of a mouse by their crack smoking investigators, but do not say a bad word about finding bigfoot
      and the bfro, witch haven’t found a clue let alone bigfoot.
      isn’t that peculiar ? it’s so obvious who’s pulling the strings
      here. LOL!!!!

      • OTL,S! suggests you use your ‘find’ or “search” function to find what has been written in this post about Finding, Moneymaker or BFRO.

        And they aren’t making much in the way of news right now. What little is being said about them is in connection with Ketchum. OTL,S!‘s crack staff has not Tivo’ed Finding Bigfoot in a year. It’s just a stupid, predictable and boring series. It’s not even funny any more. What is there to say that hasn’t been said? But if you had “searched” this post, you’d already know that is the opinion around here.

      a guy that chases casper around LOLOLOL!!!!!!

  35. apehuman

    I can envision a timeline, or discovery tree for the study trajectory, with just the facts (hyper linked to the bloggers/leaks/FB posts…!) above the timeline, and the opinions sidebars below (and hyperlinked!)….a PDF brochure even, field guide to Bigfootery? And the Cliff Notes on the back by your crack team’s ultimate analysis of any science they do run into.
    Maybe even a timely pop culture game could be devised, to include all of this…..the rules of course would be every man for himself…and along the way we learn the difference in mtDNA, Y-DNA, CVRs, SRP, PCRs, and so on….
    The only news I can relate is a recent post by MK that the raw data has been provided to GenBank.

  36. Yes, indeed, that would be a nice project; but considering the fact that our crack staff can’t really even stay current with all that is happening, it seems unlikely to be accomplished.

  37. John Weeast (@johnweeast)


    I think it’s time the perspective of the data is shifted a bit.

  38. Thank you, John, for the link to your essay.

    Regarding ‘updates’ or changes: The copy obtained several weeks ago by OTL,S! does not have the timetable text to which you refer; therefore I assume you are not talking about changes to the text made since Feb. 13, when the ‘paper’ was first published. OTL,S! certainly would certainly think that changes to a published scientific paper without a clearly visible, detailed, complete log would be unethical. Papers are not diaries or blogs. Dr. Ketchum had several years and multiple resources with which she could have made a better case if the data were there with which to make it.

    We will have more comments in the update for March 19 or 20.

  39. John Weeast (@johnweeast)

    Yes, I had access to the paper since day one. I’ll be going through a saved copy soon and making my own change log. There’s been quite a few additions as well.

    • John Weeast (@johnweeast)

      I crossed out the changes section. I seem to have misplaced my copy of the paper that I saved the first day, and copies I’ve obtained from others were at least a week later. Until I find it to back it up, I can’t print it as fact.

  40. Curious

    I disagree – perhaps it’s not in the paper (I don’t know this myself, as I refuse to purchase it), but Dr. Ketchum has most certainly discussed the 15,000-year timetable numerous times in her interviews. I think John W. can leave it in his blog with a reference to one of her interviews. It is too important of a flaw in her theory to leave out, based on what has been stated by several scientists thus far. The bottom line is that she appears to exhibit scientific misconduct, a topic I hope this blog investigates. Unfortunately, there is no recourse for this behavior because she is self-employed and did not publish in an actual journal. In fact, as pointed out on another forum, her so-called “journal” meets many of the criteria listed at http://scholarlyoa.com/2012/11/30/criteria-for-determining-predatory-open-access-publishers-2nd-edition/. But what still concerns me, is the deafening silence from her coauthors. It appears that they are all too embarrassed to openly associate with this paper, and that speaks volumes about its contents. Could they also be afraid of being associated with apparent scientific misconduct?

  41. Curious,
    Thanks for your comment.
    See today’s update for a response.

  42. Curious

    Thanks! I appreciate that!

  43. Steve Byrne

    It is unmistakeably clear at this point that The Ketchum study is hopelessly compromised. If 3 full genomes were generated, they needed to be presented and uploaded to Genbank BEFORE we even talk about the paper and its integrity, hypothesis or conclusions.

    It looks like Ms. Ketchum may have squandered the funding and there are no full genomes. The other possibility is that she was in the process of doing good things and someone got to her and convinced her to sabotage the project. Incompetence is easily fixed by simply consulting with experts and using their advice. Too many facts point away from this to mention.

    Either MIB’s got to her or she is a fraud. I’m not seeing either the competence or integrity from her actions that one would even expect from a “blonde kitty vet from texas”… she is something less… unless we get that big upload! Why bother doing a paper without that?

  44. Pingback: Science Should Be Like a Jet Ski? | Musings of the Ape Immortal 猿仙的沉思

  45. Steve,
    Thanks for your comment. There appears to be considerable evidence to support the idea that there is more than incompetence here, and no evidence to support the MIB concept. The various claims we have seen suggesting that reviewers sabotaged her paper are utterly ridiculous. Her paper is still an utter disaster from a journal’s perspective, but at least now has an introduction and a bibiography, and no biblical references, apparently thanks to reviewers. If she would release her initial version I think we would be appalled at how bad it was. Now it’s merely awful. And that’s not just the organization. You just can’t tell what went on, where, by whom, when and why.

    We do believe that Dr. Ketchum has much more data than she is willing to share. However, as we have suggested yesterday, the value of the data is now questionable at best. Even if the data were released directly by UTSW, the issue of prior sample mistreatment is going to be there. And there are way too many other red flags. The presumption of integrity is in doubt, and when that happens, “data” becomes just “she said…”

  46. Curious

    I have a copy of the original paper and I can confirm that yes, Ms. Bollinger was listed as a coauthor.

    • Thanks so much, Curious!
      OTL,S! doesn’t mean to be insulting, we realize you are an intelligent person who can read and understand our post, but we just want to verify that you realize that we are referring to the “paid” version which was published on Feb. 13 or thereafter on the DeNovo site, not to any prior or early versions which were leaked or mailed or posted by Robert Lindsay, etc.

  47. John Weeast (@johnweeast)

    Yes, I can confirm. After my mistake, I had a few email the original version that was released and her name is there. I had one from a week later and it’s still there. Ms. Bollinger has been removed recently.

  48. John Weeast (@johnweeast)

    Anytime. Here’s my new article:
    Few new things in there too.

  49. John,
    Very good.
    You may want to post links or give credit to others; makes it easier for people to validate your statements, rather than just seeing them as claims.

  50. Curious

    You missed this one from Dr. Ketchum’s personal Facebook profile: “While we are on the subject of Easter, wouldn’t I LOVE to get a blood sample and therefore a genome from the Shroud! I could die happy after doing this! The paternal side should be nothing less than a miracle if it is real. I know a technique that wouldn’t harm the shroud when done properly.”

    I wouldn’t think that the Holy Spirit would have DNA, but what do I know? LOL!

  51. Curious,
    Thanks, it’s hard to keep track of her various claims and activities. As usual you provide an important clue to her modus operandi.

    Sounds like she is casting around for business. And there is no potentially bigger and richer market in the world for a nephilim-oriented ‘scientist” than the Catholic Church.

    Interestingly, she also made a statement which seems to admit she doesn’t have up-to-date lab equipment. OTL,S! hasn’t been able to verify that she has ANY lab, other than what she might have on her farm. She seems to be using the business model that she became familiar with 5 years ago, in which the marketer is separate from fulfiller, when she did the lab work for genetic test marketer PinPoint. This time, however, she has switched roles: SHE is the marketer, and farms out much or all the actual lab work to someone else.

    The other difference from her prior life/business is more interesting : whereas she previously (like most labs and businesses) strived to provide prompt, reliable service and results, she now offers the potential for whacky results. If you want crazy, mysterious, Biblical, inexplicable results (and some people/freakotourism/businesses/New Age’rs/religions do), she is the go-to person. She is now connected with some of the power players in the “ancient aliens” world. It’s a niche: anti-science propaganda and unscientific results by a self-proclaimed scientist. Whether she can turn it into a Hersom-like gravy-train is uncertain. OTL,S! doen’t think that, for example, the Pope is likely to be so generous. OTL,S! thinks she would have the most success by using her self-assured, persuasive down-home speaking abilities on the wierd/ancient alien convention circuit.

    That all assumes, of course, that she is operating rationally. However, this is not the only interpretation of her statements. One might see her references to a Nobel Prize and the Shroud of Turin, along with some other comments about personal “bigfoot”-related activities, and wonder whether she has some delusional disorder.

  52. I’m predicting the unknown DNA that makes up 15-30% is going to be claimed by Footers to be Bigfoot DNA. This reminds me of the way creationists like to fill gaps in scientific knowledge with “Goddidit.” This is commonly known as the “God of the Gaps” argument. Might I suggest a Footer version of this. I call it the “Bigfoot of the Gaps” argument.

  53. ghost:
    I don’t think that will happen. Most bigfoot believers have moved on. Faith-based groups tend to splinter into smaller and smaller subsets, based on allegiances to leaders and other factors. In some ways, they are like comets: pieces of various sizes, like Dr. Ketchum and her hard core followers, are shed, and follow their own trajectory, but the greater mass moves on and doesn’t look back. The analogy obviously isn’t perfect, but the point is that most bigfoot believers have moved on, unless they have a specific personal or economic tie to Dr. Ketchum and/or her results. Unless we miss our guess, we will see very little from Dr. Ketchum in the bigfoot arena in the future. She has accomplished most of her goals, albeit a bit more modestly than she might have hoped, and the rest are not gonna happen. There is nothing more there for her, and she is not exactly known as someone who hesitates to move on when confronted with a better opportunity. A year from now she will be out there with the UFO/alien crowd and not talking about bigfoot at all, and her “supporters” will have lost their leader. That’s the prediction straight from the OTL,S! ouija board.

  54. Steve Byrne

    Wow and wow!… maybe even Bow-wow! This whole column has been inexusably comprehensive and enlightening. My last remaining questions pertain to the actual wiring inside melba’s brain and environmental factors that could effect these types of outcomes… ie. wtf? I still don’t think the person behind this could have passed high school biology… at least not at the school I went to.

    What troubles me most, is that out of the large number of samples submitted, she apparently still came up with squat. I have a harder time believing that all of the samples were bunk, than that the good ones were simply weeded out due to nefarious intent. If bigfoots are purely a psychological construct, it would have profound implications for that branch of science. Is it possible that otherwise credible people have been lying big time for nothing, in addition to a complex and integrated hoaxing and hallucination legacy, spanning the entire written history of North America? I still lean toward the “nefarious bimbo” hypothesis, but if you know of any reading materials that might be particularly persuasive on the skeptical side, i’d like to read them. Thank you OTLS!

  55. Steve,
    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. You raise points that I could blather on about for weeks. Maybe I will. But not now.

    I will just touch on one of the points you raise. “liars.”

    I think the most useful analogy to bigfoot is UFO’s. Unidentified Flying Objects. Bigfoot is like a UFO: Unidentified Frightening Object.

    Objects in the sky have been reported since the dawn of time. Just like bigfoot has. No one that I know of says that all people who report UFO’s are liars. They just report something they perceived. Of course, some are lying. Everyone lies sometimes. Some are hallucinating or having vivid dreams. But many or even most are not lying about perceiving something they don’t understand. Most people are “reliable,” when you just call them up and talk to them. But if you deal with perception, learn about about, study it, you don’t trust it. The very smartest, most honest people make mistakes. Do I know what they all saw? of course not. But I also think they don’t know what they saw, even though some think they know. That doesn’t make them liars, though I do think they are wrongly overconfident. A book: Witness for the Defense by Loftus, a small but valuable book now in paperback you can probably pick up for a few dollars. I don’t agree with everything she has said or done, but I really think she is right on in her experimental findings and broad conclusions.

    When bigfoot adherents cite the thousands of somewhat similar reports down through the ages and around the world, they miss the point. The common factor in these reports is not the actually the monster, it’s the reporter…it’s man.

    UFO’s are not just a phenomenon of what is in the sky or in the woods or in the dark. We shouldn’t think of them that way. The phenomenon is, rather, man dealing with what he can’t quite grasp.

    That’s the way I see it.

  56. Colorado

    I’m getting sick of this hypocrite David Paulides posting anonymously at the BFF as JSasqDoe and not disclosing his vested interest in Ketchum, while at the same time, accusing others (without any evidence) of doing what HE is doing: hiding his identity and interest. He wrote:

    “The anti-Ketchumites just keep rolling out new versions of the same old song. And hey, it’s supported by people with credentials….but we can’t say who. Hahaha, gotta love the anonymity of the net.

    Until all of the data is released, it’s just a sideshow likely perpetuated by the folks who might be in a rush to claim that they “discovered” proof of bigfoot, and not Ketchum. It’s in their best interests to deride Ketchum and her study at all costs, in my opinion.”

    What hypocrisy!

    • Colorado,
      You are entitled to your opinion, though OTL,S! does not endorse going public on anonymous posters, or even know that you are correct in your identification. So forgive us if we temporarily (at least) edit your post a bit.

  57. Curious

    Dave Paulides is the person who should accept responsibility for NOT fully vetting Ketchum before presenting her to the entire Sasquatch research community as the one person who could finally prove these beings real. With the plethora of public records cited here on this blog alone, it should have been painfully obvious to him that her track record as a reputable “scientist” is woefully inadequate …. and in fact, reveals behavior more akin to a simple con artist than a trusted professional.

    OTLS!, I understand your skepticism about the very topic of Sasquatch, but these creatures ARE real. That is why Ketchum’s actions have produced so much anger and disappointment. This study was promised to be the vindication of thousands of witnesses, hundreds of volunteer researchers and a precious few professional scientists who know that this is no fairytale. Unfortunately, that’s not how it turned out.

  58. Curious,
    Not to underestimate Mr. Paulides’ contribution, but she was actually involved in all the Bigfoot stuff by Josh Gates and his television program. From that moment on, she was probably focused on becoming a rich and famous celebrity. While OTL,S! understands your frustration, our understanding of Mr. Paulides’ involvement does not include giving Dr. Ketchum a lot of money; it is in financial dealings that one tends to investigate backgrounds. The true enablers of this “paper” were the people who put a lot of money into it, and they should have been looking out for their money. OTL,S! could list them again, but you probably know who they were. Had they looked, they would have found a lot more information than has been published. Would that have dissuaded them? possibly and possibly not.

    Almost by definition, the bigfoot community rejects the opinions of the best and the brightest, and believes the “get rich quick”, winning-lottery-ticket, pie-in-the-sky promises of the “convincing talkers” whose track records show more misses than hits, more exploitation than accomplishment. This is the community who says “never mind” about its “heroes” records, their way of life, their financial dealings, crazy statements, ethics, stories. How is the Melba Ketchum saga any different from the rest?

    Over the Line, Smokey! understands that some people feel, like you do, that the probabilities are high that bigfoot is a flesh and blood animal. And are probably sick of hearing thoughts to the contrary. But….Large flesh and blood animals in North America have a number of ways of giving us biological evidence of their existence. All the real ones who have lived with us for 400 years have given us all of these kinds of evidence. All, have given all the categories of biologic evidence. Bigfoot as commonly described has given us none in any category of biologic evidence. Zero. And in fact, it is true around the world and throughout history. That is an incredibly powerful statistical argument; and it puts OTL,S! at the other end of the spectrum from you, when it comes to the likelihood of bigfoot being a flesh and blood animal. Having said that, it is quite likely that much of bigfoot myth, legend, and the rest can be attributed to activities of men, hermits, hikers, homeless or crazy “feral” men, hunters, teenagers, prankers, and the like; these are the only bipedal animals (aside from birds, and occasional bears) in our woods and dark places.

  59. Curious

    Again, I understand your skepticism – however, I speak from personal experience and I know that for many people, only a personal experience is proof enough, so I’m not going to launch into a debate. But the Sasquatch research community should not be judged solely because of the attention-hounds and con artists who constantly put themselves in the limelight. And there IS plenty of biological evidence – check out Dr. Meldrum’s “Legend Meets Science,” for example. Unfortunately, the evidence has been dismissed even while it cannot be explained. That is why Dr. Ketchum’s failure is such a tragedy, which was the point of my last comment. This study was supposed to be IRREFUTABLE PROOF, but that was not the end result. Hopefully, Dr. Sykes will accomplish what Dr. Ketchum could not. Or, hey, Dyer might have a body, after all … I’m not holding my breath, of course, but wouldn’t that be a kick in the head? LOL!

  60. Curious,
    You might be surprised at how absolutely certain an eyewitness can be, and still be wrong. Some will even say, “Oh I know,….but not ME!…..not ME! I’M not wrong! Those other eyewitnesses they talk about in court and in the newspapers and psychology text books and scientific articles…they might be wrong, but NOT ME!”
    OTL,S! thinks that people who think that way, must not have a spouse who tells them when they get it wrong. Ha ha.
    Here’s a deal for you; OTL,S! is very familiar with Meldrum’s book; you read Elizabeth Loftus’ book Witness for the Defense. Then tell us what you think. In the meantime (and for the last 400 years), all someone has to do is bring in a dead one from the side of the road or shot during hunting season or around their home. It’s very simple. It’s worked for every other sizable animal in North America. Multiple times. Even the big mean fast ones. Just bring one in. That will settle it and we can all be glad.

  61. Curious

    Again, I’m not engaging in a debate about existence. I was simply trying to provide some context as to why Ketchum’s study was such a huge disappointment. That’s all.

  62. Curious,
    OTL,S! does go off on tangents at times. Okay, let’s talk disappointment.
    Your disappointment and that of thousands of others implies a deep emotional investment in the existence of the flesh and blood bigfoot. What accounts for this emotional response? Do you think that emotional manipulation is what largely accounts for the successes of the Pattersons and Ketchums of the world?

  63. apehuman

    Thank you for what appears to me some decent digging.. I especially like your reminder on ethics, and also your restraint regarding the outed email. I couldn’t help but notice over this blog series your tone changed, and I also appreciate that. Bigfoots aren’t a joke, even if the ‘field’ is.

  64. Thanks for the comment, apehuman.

    OTL,S! has made a conscious decision, as things stand at present, to spare Dr. Ketchum, and some innocent parties, from the disclosure of certain other information, including certain identities, that we have received from multiple interviews with persons in Texas and elsewhere who have had dealings with Dr. Ketchum over ethics, her paper, and these “journals.” We feel that such further disclosure would likely become destructive. It is not our goal to create firestorms. Our goal is to give the reasonable person enough information to make decisions or to proceed with further inquiries. We feel we have done that. Some will always chose to tightly close their eyes and ignore it, using some rationalization or other. We cannot prevent that, even if we were to name more names and disclose more and uglier information.

    Others have made decisions to disclose some of this information. We cannot change that, and they have the right to proceed according to their own ethical principles. But we will neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of those statements.

  65. apehuman

    OTLS! I want to direct you to http://www.bigfootencounters.com because the well loved and respected woman who produced that website, without fanfare or compensation, for decades died last week.
    Bobbie Short’s efforts are what is good about this field, and will continue to be a beacon for me, and I suspect many others, who don’t seek self promotion, but knowledge and understanding. I know I will miss her greatly.

  66. Thanks, apehuman,
    that site seems to have a wealth of information; I wonder what will happen to it?

    • apehuman

      It has been the “go to” site and started back in the early 90′s, one of the first on the internet. Her grandson says it will remain up until a final decision is made. It is worth a good long deep read, it may surprise you. She was very close to completion of a book, spanning a good deal of her research, and if any work remains several from the community will come forward to see it completed. She had many who counted her as a friend. Her absence will be noticed.

      • While OTL,S! is not terribly well-versed in the “bigfoot wars” between the various factions of bigfoot believers, apparently Ms. Short espoused a theory that some sort of bigfoot killings occurred at the site of the filming of Roger Patterson’s famous 1967 film. This notion is regarded as “too far-out” by most bigfoot enthusiasts (though how one draws the line between “fantasy” and “too much fantasy” is beyond us). Hence some veiled criticism of Ms. Short’s work has appeared in some quarters, setting off another round of backbiting.

      • apehuman

        to your below comment: you don’t need to be versed in them, you can go to her website and find exactly when and where she “espouses” that theory via posts of ther’s work.. I think the “whats new” page is where some of MK Davis’s (not Melba) wokr on the PG film and blog detailing more of this “theory” can be found….and it predates even MK, I am just not recalling who. Interesting, Paulides advances the questions surrounding the filming and events in Tribal Bigfoot (I bet in a similar way the 411 books are designed!), but it is effective..find a copy. I know some first hand accounts over those years…1950′s to the 70′s and some feel the tracks did “disappear” after the late 60′s..(although now showing up, seems everywhere!)….and they cite that as evidence the “clan” was displaced at best..who knows? It’s fifty years old….would it surprise you if two hunters with dogs shot a Bigfoot (they filmed so closely) and given even mid-century mentalities decided to lay low? Gimlin is alive and seems credible,Patterson and Titmus are not..and I believe some think knew more…again..it was fifty years ago..!
        Robert Lyle Laverty (ex-Asst Sec Interior) is still alive, and took the photos of Patty’s tracks that weekend…as a Ranger, first summer on the timber marking crew….OTLS! you may find that connection more interesting and a very coy career path!
        Some PacWest enthusiasts with access to the site and Gimlin are adamant in debunking that theory (and I guess b/c Bobbie put it on her website that’s her, right? Along with what else is on that site? haha, she has a disclaimer at the bottom, or a page!) than most. Too many opinions OTLS! and almost all are for sale! That is still what made Bobbie’s site so cool…and her effort..opinionated yes, for sale, no! I do believe she felt they are very close to humans genetically, if not human. Long reply, probably typos..thanks for your patience!

  67. They must be making their own casts because it costs about $250 to get one from Bone Clones, a popular resource for fossil, human, and animal bone replicas. The anthropology lab of my university has a copy of the elongated skull.

  68. It is interesting to speculate on how/why skull binding came about. I have my own theory, but I expect we’ll never know unless time travel becomes a reality.

  69. apehuman,
    Thanks for the info. From what OTL,S! can see, the story of sasquatches being killed at Bluff Creek is completely crazy, regardless of what Gimlin or anyone else has to say.

  70. Take a look at Alex Putney’s three articles on Sasquatch analysis of the genome, GPS locating of Sasquatch domains, glowing eyes technology, as well as stories told going back in history. You will fins lots of surprises! Enjoy!
    • “Sasquatch”
    • “Sasquatch Genome”
    • “Atomic Transmutation and the Glowing Eyes of Sasquatch”

    • Suzanne,
      Thanks for the note. OTL,S! has studied Alex Putney’s articles. Leaving aside Putney’s acceptance of Dr. Ketchum’s self-published “paper”, the ideas of atomic transformation are similar to those of the “philosopher’s stone” and alchemy, and do not square with chemistry and physics. I also noted the ideas of some sort of ancient alien genetic engineering. If you think Putney’s ideas are correct, are you just taking Putney’s word for these concepts, or how do you reconcile them with chemistry and physics?

  71. It just occurred to me, and maybe this is a little off track, that one of the biggest arguments against the existence of Sasquatches is the size of breeding population necessary to sustain the species. I’m trying to reconcile this with evolutionary theory and how a deviance from the norm can develop into a new species. It seems that for this to happen the new group needs isolation to prevent the deviance from simply being reabsorbed or diluted out of existence. Both the deviance and the isolation are going to imply to some degree a small population, at least in the beginning. A small population that survives and breeds long enough to take root. The alternative would be to postulate that evolution requires large incidences of spontaneous deviance combined with isolation, in which case I suspect that darwinian gradualism is out the window.

    The assumption of 2,000 or more sasquatches in the PNW being necessary to be a viable breeding animal seems to be based on our knowledge of long standing populations of other animals, but I am beginning to think the number may be much much lower.

    My difficulty in accepting non-existence lies in the similarity of tracks on record that predate our documentation of neanderthal and homo erectus tracks to those tracks of our ancestors. Non existence assumes that all tracks attributed to sasquatch (where bear can be eliminated as a source) were hoaxed. I am skeptical of hoaxers being as consistently well educated and lucky in duplicating ancestral tracks over the many years of track discoveries. If there were only the tracks, it would still be interesting, but there is, of course, also a sighting record.

    Sees different, I’m interested in hearing your take on breeding populations and evolution or perhaps you’ve read articles that are relevant…


  72. bravobill

    yah, it gets curioser and curiouser when you have to factor in the ‘hoaxer population’ (tracks and sightings), wonder if they’re breeding . . .

  73. Steve and bravo,
    Unfortunately or fortunately, there are no reliable data other than zeros (going back hundreds of years) upon which to base population size. The best population estimate at this time would seem to be zero. If you find some book or paper that says otherwise, we’d all like to see it so we can see how something can be made out of nothing. If verifiable numbers greater than zero are ever found, then this could be revised.

    At the same time, we know for a fact that there are quite a large number of bears, people, and other animals whose image, smell, sound or activities may confuse people, especially in the dark, and we know for a fact that there are a large number of persons who lie, hallucinate, and misperceive and misremember; these numbers together outnumber (by a lot) the number of reports of bigfoot.

    The fact that some persons claim vehemently that they COULD NOT have misperceived, hallucinated OR lied holds no significant weight, since ALL people are KNOWN to misperceive, misremember and/or lie at times, (and a large number hallucinate) and frightening and/or unfamiliar experiences can certainly increase these tendencies. Policemen, soldiers, judges, professors, doctors, teachers, laborers,…matters not.

    I do not know whether either one or both of you claim(s) to have seen a bigfoot and also claims that you could not/would not misperceive, mistake, hallucinate, misremember or lie. Jokingly I say, bring in your parents, employer, spouse, teachers, and neighbors, to testify to that effect. I hope you will take that in good spirit. I would certainly never make such a claim, nor would a scientific mind admit such a claim.

    Lastly, let me say that the entire foundation of the bigfoot phenomenon is based not on good god-fearing folk like you and me or even on a couple of Idaho scientists or an old Hollywood FX guy, but, really, the bigfoot story is based on the forty-year-old antics of several not-very-savory types, which include known, admitted hoaxers, profiteers, chiselers, people now under court-approved no-disclosure agreements, and newspaper editors out for a human interest story or three. Melba Ketchum is just the latest in that line of people.

    • bravobill

      Your response is consistent with your self-appraisal (of yourself) and your presuppositions of others. That’s okay, you have to start somewhere. You ‘come-apart’ in this last paragraph: “good god-fearing folk like you and me”. Would you care to help us out with an explanation of your position in this assumed confederacy of compatible believers? And your projection of unbelief, it seems, onto all of those . . those . . oh you know who they are!

  74. Bill,
    Your comment is unclear. If you object to the expression “god-fearing” then ignore it. It is a meme which denotes honesty. If you do not see yourself (or this blog) as honest, that is fine also. The point is that the bigfoot legend was popularized through the efforts of some people who were manifestly not the sort of people (Ivan Marx, Roger Patterson, Paul Freeman, Ray Wallace) that an intelligent person would trust in a matter like this, or would one be likely to trust a couple of small-town newspaper editors in search of something to stimulate the local economy. That is the opinion of this blog. You may not like it. Mr. Gimlin and Mrs. Patterson are bound by a non-disclosure agreement from an out of court settlement of a lawsuit. Mr. DeAtley has said several times for publication that he believes the film was a fraud. A Mr. Heironimus, a known associate of Mr. Patterson’s and Mr. Gimlin, and a documented actor in Mr. Patterson’s films, has publicly confessed to being the subject of the Patterson Gimlin film.

    If you choose to believe that the originators of the bigfoot folklore are all credible people, and that Mr. DeAtley and Mr. Heironimus are somehow wrong, and that Mrs. Patterson and Mr. Gimlin’s public silence are indications that the film is real, then that is fine with me.

    Now, I have answered your comment, would you answer my previous question? Do you claim to have seen a bigfoot, and if so, is it possible that you were mistaken or lied? If you haven’t claimed to have seen a bigfoot, are you relying on some other person’s account, who could not have lied or made a mistake?

    • bravobill

      Siezure, Interesting definition for ‘god-fearing’. Everything is ‘fine’ with you, with a lot of ‘ifs’. This isn’t about my observations or yours. You don’t even see the hoaxes that abound within what you think is a the mother of all hoaxes (Patty). Try this: Eric Berger; Houston Chronicle SciGuy, has an UNNAMED ‘top geneticist’ and did not take Ketchum up on her invitation to go take a look. Ask him why he wouldn’t jump at the chance to blow her up with that one! Journalism excellence you can appreciate.

      • Bill,
        Thanks for your reply. I’m not sure I understand your remarks, nor do I think you answered my questions.

        Mr. Berger was engaged in trying to test the claims in her paper. As to whether Dr. Ketchum made any such offer to Mr. Berger, or if she is telling the truth about her research or her reports of bigfoots, I certainly have reservations about accepting her account of anything; as I have written above, she is not telling the truth about circumstances surrounding the self-publication of her paper. If Dr. Ketchum has such regular encounters with bigfoots as she claims, she should film them and collect biologic specimens, and submit such materials for evaluation by qualified professionals. Since she hasn’t, I doubt her claims.

        You capitalize “unnamed”, but don’t explain why.

        You could write Mr. Berger to try and answer your questions. I have done that with my questions.

        No pun intended, but your comments are somewhat cryptic. I need you to be more explicit about the meanings of the things you write.

      • bravobill

        You really have to be trying hard not to understand, or you just can’t understand. Ask someone else to read the comments and see if they ‘get it’. You’re tedious. Explicitly tedious. No more.

  75. Pingback: Melba Ketchum’s Bigfoot DNA Study: The Questionable Ethics Of Creating A Journal to Bypass Peer-Review | Musings of the Ape Immortal 猿仙的沉思

  76. I figured Sykes would come back with bear. However, it will never be “over” for the people who are true believers. No matter of counter evidence is going to change their minds.

  77. Yes, that is the interesting part of the phenomenon. I wonder what the actual number of committed believers might be. One or two families in every small town in America perhaps, how many would that be? 50,000? 100,000? at most? Their voices are magnified on the internet, for sure. Surveys suggest that millions believe in bigfoot, but I imagine that number includes very large numbers of “uncommitted” people ie those who just think where there’s smoke there’s probably fire, but wouldn’t actually espouse the idea (unless it got them on national TV, as a lark). The “committed” are active believers or entrepreneurs, who make a lot of noise but whose numbers are small. The media love them, of course.

  78. I really do need to contact your Administrator to get permission to quote from your site. Visit to see who “Someone called Michael Greene” is.

  79. …and by all means contact Justin Smeja,or Derek Randles, or Jack Evans too confirm the book contract and/or google me.

    • Mr. Michael Greene,
      After your initial contact with OTL,S!, we asked for a confirmation of whether in fact your are the gentleman from NC(?) who claims to have some sort of thermal/IR image/footage of a bigfoot taking a Zagnut bar, (which was used in one of the initial episodes of the series “Finding Bigfoot”) and have been engaged in selling copies of said image/footage. Perhaps we missed your response, but as of now, we do not have such a confirmation or denial.

      Assuming that you have not responded to our simple request, we wonder why.

      Instead, you send us daily messages implying that we are the ones “in arrears” in this dialogue. You should understand that we are awaiting your response.

      We asked you this question because we perceived something of a disconnect between, on the one hand, the Michael Greene who has been capitalizing on what we must view as a rather tenuous claim of a bigfoot image, and, on the other hand, the Michael Greene who is now engaged in another attempt to capitalize on bigfoot, but this time by publishing a book which would appear (?) to be some sort of muckraking effort, revealing how ? fake bigfoot material/experience is sold to the public. I hope you see our issue here.

      And now there is another issue, created by your failure to respond to our simple inquiry.

      So Mr. Greene, if you would be so kind as to respond to our prompt response to your initial communication, we might get somewhere. Otherwise we certainly won’t. (!)


  80. apehuman

    You just might have Bigfoot Fever OTLS! Symptoms include obsessive thinking, obsessive thinking, and obsessive thinking. I am not sure I have read every entry, but it does seem somewhere the topic shifted from Ketchum’s “DNA study” to a series of topics only related by your opinion of those individuals as they relate to your opinion of the truth of the matter regarding bigfoots. Which is an expression of the fever too, hahah! You are doing a great job too, so you must be as sick as the rest of us! I see a lot of names here……did you also cover Moneymaker, of Finding Bigfoot? You aren’t leaving us much hope…and but for being a witness, infected too, I wouldn’t be reading this! I hope the truth will be recognized, whatever it is, when it comes round.

  81. You may be right, apehuman. The Ketchum story seems to be petering out, as it seems even the elongated skull people have gone elsewhere for their DNA analysis. She does seem to have taken a renewed interest in posting at her Facebook site, but Over the Line, Smokey! doesn’t see where she goes from here.

    Over the last week or two, we have been noticing that there is a certain similarity between Ketchum and other “experts” in the bigfoot “field.’ They seem to be, largely, marginal characters, who are retired, washed up, psychologically impaired, ethically challenged, underqualified, or just plain unqualified, and their claims are overblown, false, or downright fraudulent. That is why we have continued to add to this post. They seem to fit in with Ketchum.

    • apehuman

      Well, in that case, it should be a long running thread, with ample fodder from the many, even those who are earnest, honest and with some skills, b/c after all few believe not just their witness, but what ever meager evidence BFers do procure. If they seek any funding it looks suspiciously commercial, if they don’t they go broke. If they don’t complain about bad evidence or hoaxing they fields is awash in mythology for sale, and purchased, and if they do they are accused of the same. It is quite a conflicted area of chaos.. I have never seen anything like it really, it rivals tales of Gold Fever. I do hope over time you point us to anything you do find of value that supports and validates the many witnesses of BFs. Don’t worry I won’t hold my breath, exhaling now!

      • well, ape, this thread has about run its course. We can’t imagine what Dr. Ketchum will do that would deserve any serious attention. We imagine the next development will be when Dr. Sykes comes out with his DNA evidence in October. But we may start a new thread on some other interesting aspects of the subject.

      • apehuman

        There is a great deal more interesting than the human element in all of this, and that is bigfoots. Their existence fuels human bigfootery, otherwise the emotions/motives would not reign so intensely. Not much novel in baser human behaviors like greed, or conversely closed minds willing to uphold the status quo without real understanding. Too many of us however, do try to keep it real and are still saying, maybe not as loudly haha, bigfoots are real, whatever they are. Finding those people and examining what they have to say always has a ready, if possibly cult, audience. I’ll be back! Thanks for the generous replies.

  82. No More BS

    You are entirely right with this last add-on re the Sierra nonsense. Mr. Smeja is only an expert in looking and acting like a backwoods redneck. He is purposefully taunting the believers. The one parting shot of him pissing on a tree in a recent vid says it all.

    No one, I repeat: NO ONE is an expert in this “field” of bigfootery. It doesn’t matter what your creds are or what you’ve seen, heard, “thermed” or what organization you belong to. The bottom line is there is no speciman, no DNA and no fossil history to support any of this. Only anectotal evidence and such. Footprints? Of course! That’s why it’s called bigfoot. Hair? Inconclusive at best. Poo? Really now. Examine your own before you claim to be an expert in any other animal’s.

    There are a few compelling pieces of footgage. Perhaps the PG film and Stacy Brown’s thermal. Certainly not the images Cutino claims are from a bigfoot. There are far too many boulder sized flags for any of that to be true. The bigfoots come back when the “killer” is there? If they were real, I doubt Mr. Smeja would still be with us.

    And you went above and beyond describing the rest of the “experts”…. the best being “pyschologically impaired”. Any person who spends the majority of their free time (or all their time) to this field really says fathoms about their brain.

    • No More,
      Thanks for the note.
      One thing is certain, there are some who are experts at making money from bigfoot.
      I give Mr. Cutino and Mr. Smeja props for their work in exposing Dr. Ketchum’s baloney. But as a famous person once said,”the easiest person to fool is yourself.”

  83. VT1985

    I lost count of how many times Dr. Ketchum contradicted herself in her most recent post. Unfortunately, her followers are not familiar enough with the terminology to grasp this, which is how she has been able, in my opinion, to con them into thinking she knows what she is doing.

    • VT, by all means give us an example or two.
      Dr. Ketchum’s “paper” is scientifically insufficient in many ways, but let me just detail one of them: She did not do the analyses herself. Essentially none of them. Some of the analyses were done by her “co-authors,” but by no means all of them. Instead, she “contracted” out a large portion of the work, and we are told essentially nothing at all about the methods used by the labs who did the DNA analysis. Think about that: a “scientific” DNA paper in which the methods are not described.

  84. One of the most glaring deficiencies was in the hair “analysis,” which is also at the heart of Dr. Ketchum’s claims. Supposedly it was done by one of the co-authors, yet we know nothing about the methods (or qualifications of this person other than the fact that he is a supervisor at a lab). Dr. Ketchum essentially says “trust me.” Well, that’s not a reasonable basis for a scientific paper, particularly when she hasn’t seemed particularly trustworthy in the past.

  85. Pingback: What’s up with Dr. Jeff Meldrum, the Bigfoot Professor? | Over the line, Smokey!

  86. George

    Funny Parody on Bigfoot community bloggers. And it sounds like the news report is a parody on Melba Ketchum (Marva Krovach) :-)

  87. Curious

    There is a thread in this Facebook group you will find interesting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BigfootCommunity/ Look for the thread started by Scott Carpenter.

  88. Curious

    THANK YOU for a most illuminating post about the “fake journal” issue.

    You commented, “In her latest barrage of Facebook drama, she has come close to making those claims …” I wouldn’t consider it “close.” She still makes the claim that the paper had a favorable peer review by a journal, and her followers repeat these claims. She does not name JAMEZ, which may have been a specific criteria of whatever legal agreement they made, but the end result is the same.

    Since the journal editor was out of his league, what about the reviewers themselves? Without an established publication record or a supporting professional scientific organization, I can’t imagine that he could have persuaded real geneticists to review her paper – and certainly not in the hastened time-frame described. And the lack of academic tone in many of the panelist’s comments is painfully obvious. Do you know the credentials of the review panel that looked at her paper?

    • Curious,
      You are certainly welcome.

      You are correct that Dr. Ketchum is finding ways to make claims by handwaving, rather than by specific references. But it is clear that if she had the reviews she said she had, she could have released them. They do not contain the identity of the reviewers, and are not confidential, Furthermore, if she had purchased the JAMEZ, she could have produced the documentary proof of that.

      The only reviewers’ comments OTL,S! has seen are those from Nature Journal, and their qualifications are not in question. We don’t know the qualifications of the JAMEZ reviewers. However, one could hypothesize that the chance to read a bigfoot DNA paper might be attractive enough to draw in some good scientists. Just speculating. In the end, whoever they were, they didn’t approve it.

      OTL,S! wonders whether “Larry” (I also considered calling him “Moe” or “Curly”) was inspired to become an online bigfoot science publisher by Dr. Jeff Meldrum’s effort in that vein. As we recall, early on in the Ketchum drama she was asked if she planned to publish her paper in Meldrum’s “Relict Hominoid Inquiry”, and she responded to the effect that no, she was going to have it published in a real scientific journal. Perhaps someone can find the actual quote.

  89. Curious

    The JAMEZ reviewers’ comments are on Scott Carpenter’s blog at http://www.bf-field-journal.blogspot.com/2013/09/exclusive-newly-leaked-information.html — also allegedly “leaked.”

    • Thanks, Curious,
      I did an update on that.

    • apehuman

      Wow. This story keeps giving. I read “with revisions” too and found just pointing that out will get one banned from the Illinois Bigfoot FB group! Emotions run deep on this one, and I do think it is b/c of the way it was managed, a difficult task made worse. But, you are right, most of us have moved on, and are somewhat dismayed these gritty details keep it alive. On the other hand, given the simple words of the reviewer check box can be be read still as a passing review is alarming. Or, these type of antics might actually work. Thanks.

    • apehuman

      Feel free to correct typos. Do not send back for revision. :) .

      • Thanks, ape;
        I guess there are some resentful folks out there! Hard to know whether they disagree with your conclusions or just think you are a traitor.
        I wonder who has more adherents right now, Ketchum or Dyer?

      • apehuman

        Haha perhaps, (to your reply below) neither of us shall know as I wasn’t given an opportunity to go further! But, no hurt here, as many of the FB are geared for like minded people, and on this topic a refuge, even if artificial, can be justified. There are many who encourage debate, etc and it seems a social climate aimed at correcting the excesses of the online posting, generally, is growing…? I tend to stick to the BFF where admins are willing and ready to intervene in a fairly impartial manner. I understand the outpouring onto the net though, and after you try and advance your own witness or efforts privately and fail, this lousy (?) but available alternative looks reasonable.
        The great online efforts are there however, and many. From bigfootencounters.com (sigh, Bobbie is missed, and each month there is no sensible What’s New update, even more!) to MK Davis’ efforts on the PG film..and I am dropping this link b/c of your article on the Munns/Meldrum grant. The PG film has been studied sporadically for decades, and the improvements in technology are making it a stunning one. I still wonder about the original film though..locked up somewhere? http://thedavisreport.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/the-patterson-film-deblurred-more-frames-added-to-the-film/
        I am, against my will, starting to anticipate Sykes work…aye! So much so, and embarrassed I was such a dunce wrt to the Ketchum stuff, I am deep in tutorials of reassuringly familiar topics, like biology…! I may get there, b/c of the net and the wonderful approach of the genetics crowd..the Open Access movement is fantastic. I get the impression archeologists, in many arenas behave/behaved as badly as BFers..some famous stories..Dubois, Leaky, etc…. maybe it is b/c there is such little data for either. Oops, except now we have the genomes of two ancient hominins! Exciting times really.

      • Thankfully, the Sykes project should be hitting the airwaves in a month, so you don’t have long to wait.

        I wonder if Dr. Ketchum’s offer to take scientists to her habituation site is genuine; and if anyone will ever take her up on it. I imagine it will be like the Israelis and the Palestinians trying to get together.


      • apehuman

        Not possible, may it never be. I do hope someone credentialed, or of some stature and benign interest does take her up on it. Or any of the many credible “habituatiors,” I beleive Sykes did at some cost i suppose. My impression is that, those with an education in relevant sciences that do field work and have a successful encounter have a change of heart. But, the subject is taboo, a National Joke. Many won’t bring that interest or witness out publicly. And why really, if you can’t advance much further the state of things.
        I hope they plot in the background in small groups, still gnawing away at the issue. But, mostly it seems a rather scattered effort, with rise and fall of evidence, groups, and intensity. All with various abilities, mostly a crowd of well meaning enthusiasts with no one to understand except each other!
        It is amazing OTLS! maybe in all this you will end up out in the field somewhere, under a starry sky, shivering with delight!

      • The combined staff of OTL,S! has spent a great deal of time under the stars. Heard a lot of noises that couldn’t be identified, a lot that could. Seen a lot of dark bipedal shapes at night, all of which proved to be other people. Seen a lot of glowing eyes, some owls, coyotes, bears, foxes, deer, elk, birds, squirrels, dogs, cats, mountain lions, dead animals, bones, antlers, carcasses, roadkills, tracks. Talked to a lot of people in and out of the woods. Never seen a bigfoot or a track or talked to anyone who had. Bears and lions are definitely dangerous, but probably less so than breaking an ankle on a log or getting lost or hypothermic or wiping your butt with the wrong kind of flora. Bigfoot, not so much….pretty much just a campfire story to scare the kids.



      • apehuman

        You may not be surprised I shared a similar perspective (well, not the part about scaring kids!) until my own encounters, after the age of fifty. And with serious effort to explain became an unwitting BFer with the same kind of evidence so many individuals have, from tracks to bad video. But, that part was for others, my own eyewitness convinced me. Like you I also can recall a lifetime of outdoor adventures in the wilderness, and rural living without mistaking any events for a bigfoot. Until I had one, then several, and more. I choose, fairly stupidly, to try and figure it out. I understand why people are so focused on proof, few can accept such witness accounts, or our varied attempts at bringing back the evidence. Few can go find out for themselves. So, we all wait for science, or society, to enlarge the circle of constructive problem solving. Perhaps more elusive than BFs themselves. At this stage, I only care for proof for the nagging idea they may extinguish before we have any understanding of who they are, (great ape populations all are tragically low and endangered, except us and climbing past a scary 7 billion). Or, if the UFO crowd has it right, a silent invasion we need to understand… Right now, even with my rather extreme effort, I can’t tell you who they are. I suspect they are descendants of Homo erectus, and like perhaps Denisova or Neandertal, so close to us genetically, they were/are overlooked in DNA analysis as human contamination, and perhaps skeletons (or fossils) also overlooked as archaic human…or erectus… or any number of early hominins. I don’t see the same rich possibilities in the other primate fossil, genetic, or existing lines, or ETs..! But, after my experiences I am not nearly so quick to disregard the emphatic testimony of those who tell fantastic stories, and instead take the time to listen, and ask relevant questions, relate if I can, and remember!

      • ape, In my view, if you as an ordinary person have had several encounters with bigfoots, then that implies that we as a species would have had enough contact with bigfoots to guarantee that some would have been fossilized/found, killed, found, captured, and photographed clearly many times, etc etc. You may not agree with the strength of the word “guarantee,” the odds, I hope you will agree, are extreme.


      • apehuman

        You are on your way really, in that the issues you identify are the fodder for debate, and like my “suspicion” above as to their origin, you may or may not place weight in a variety of evidence or reports.
        It is simpler for me, as I have to only look at my witness, and media, to conclude..yep, there is something out there and it seems to be a bi-pedal primate of some intelligence. But, it doesn’t answer your assertion.
        That is the $10 million question per Spike TV..and apparently nine teams of motivated bigfoot hunters are out there this summer trying to kill on and bring a body back for that Prize. So you know who the teams are? I read one small FB blurb from a past possible participant. It wasn’t pretty. Neither would the body or reward. That’s quite a bit of motivation, and if all are unsuccessful, it will make the paranormal BF crowds soar with affirmation!
        That bigfootencounters site is one of the deepest, and you question above is addressed I am sure. It’s classic and often answered, I don’t know! No glasses this dark a.m. and apologize in advance for typographical errors.

      • apehuman

        I may have overlooked a way to contact you via this website, but you can me..at apehuman@yahoo.com and I will be happy to share my evidence and story..well, as far as I have developed it for communicating more broadly.

      • ape,

        Thanks for your generous offer. OTL,S!’s policy is to interact with our readers through the comment section.


  90. Curious

    Ketchum, unfortunately. People see her as a victim and everyone who is against her is “against the truth that Sas is real,” jealous or being paid off. At this rate, she and her study will be discussed for decades, just like the PG film. I wish your blog had a larger readership.

  91. We don’t think she has as many as you think, based on the what we can see on the various blogs/boards. A hundred can seem like a lot on the internet. And we don’t think anything could extinguish the beliefs of these few, even if they read our blog. As for Mr. Carpenter, those who go to his blog can evaluate for themselves what he considers to be credible “evidence.”

  92. To many xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (edited for civility by OTL,S!)

  93. Curious George

    Over the line, Smokey!’s crack science consultant has contacted the lab at Hello seesdifferent.
    What haplotype exactly did Trent University say was Justin Smeja’s? You have the email stating the haplotype belongs to Justin. What is that haplotype?
    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.

    • Curious George

      Hello seesdifferent.
      Sorry about my post above. I was trying to copy and paste into my comment the part of the article I was trying to ask my question about (apparently I am not good and copy and paste). So my question is simply:

      What haplotype exactly did Trent University say was Justin Smeja’s? You have the email stating the haplotype belongs to Justin….? What is that haplotype?
      Bart also tested the sample? What haplotype came back from that study?

  94. Curious but now confused George

    Ok- Still confused.
    In reading the lab report you posted (original Trent lab report), the Justin Smeja Haplotype is Haplotype A.
    You then go on to say the the alleged tissue/meat sample tested at Trent has the same Haplotype as Justin. You mention in earlier posts, however, that haplotype A was a typo or mislabeled…. implying that Justin’s Haplotype is not haplotype A nor was the alleged tissue/meat sample tested at Trent. What I can’t find in the report or anywhere in all this discussion is what exactly is the haplotype; if the haplotype was mis-typed or mis-labeled in the report, is there a report available to indicate the true haplotype?

    • George:
      1) First, the only place 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): 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 it out. 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 next place in the name is a number between 1 and 3. Give it a try yourself. If you have trouble figuring that out, give us a call. You know we enjoy a good talk.

  95. Curious George

    This is the mystery that leaves me thinking the sample studied at trent and the sample 26 of Ketchum’s report are not one in the same. I agree that the Trent report leads one to believe it is haplotype T2. But it is strange that no one has ever validated or indicated the haplotype. This is why I am wondering if they are even the same sample because Ketchum’s sample 26 is Haplotype H1a. Never has Trent University or the other lab used stated that their results indicated Haplotype H1a. So why the discrepancy? Furthermore, why didn’t Ketchum’s sample 26 indicate Justin’s haplotype? We simply cannot answer that question because the other sources have never cleared up the haplotype. All that would need to happen is for Justin himself to verify his haplotype. But I guess these are the unsolved mysteries of the bigfoot warz.:-) Its all fun and games until someone sees a haplotype in flesh that is supposed to be of an unknown primate… hybrid… or something….
    Perhaps the answer is an “angel” haplotype :-)

    • We imagine you saw the press conference, but you should also look at the claims made at the Sasquatch Genome Project, as we documented today. Looks like it’s time for the editor of JAMEZ to step up to the plate.

  96. Well, George, you disappoint….we verified the haplotype on the Trent sample and Smeja. Maybe you haven’t yet followed the clues. Or maybe you didn’t read what we wrote.

    if we had a lab report from Dr. Ketchum’s contract lab, that might at least tell us that some specimen they received from Dr. Ketchum had H1a haplotype. Frankly, we do not know what Dr. Ketchum sent them, how she treated it, or what result they furnished her. We have only what she says. Frankly, that isn’t worth much to us. We can be pretty certain that the specimens received by DNA Solutions was from the Sierra Steak, because they provided a photograph.

    How is Justin Smeja supposed to further verify his haplotype? send it to a lab that sends back a report? oh, wait, he did that. Twice in fact. And Ketchum never did. oops. Did you grasp the concept in Dr. Ketchum’s response to referees that she was willing to lie about having control samples on everyone?

    Since we can’t interpret smiley faces very well, tell us the meaning of the “angel” sentence.

    • Curious but not that curious

      Sarcasm smiley.
      It is highly unlikely that Ketchum’s sample 26 was ever handled or touched by Justin Smeja

      • George,

        In our minds, ‘sample 26′ is probably an amalgam of entities. The tissue shown in the microscopic image is probably authentic ie it is part of the “sierra steak”, which was bear (contaminated by Justin Smeja, and possibly by other animals that may have licked it in the wild). The material sent to the laboratory that did the Next Gen sequencing was, in our opinion, probably “homogenized” sierra steak, treated with some sort of agent(s) that disrupted/denatured the DNA. The material sent to the lab that did the haplotypes could have been, in our opinion, material from any old random human being, including (as far as we know) Dr. Ketchum herself. Or the result from the lab could have been altered after it was returned to Ketchum.

        If you are of a mind to, you might send a copy of the image of the microscopic tissue, from Dr. Ketchum’s paper, to your Division of Wildlife Resources and ask them what animal it resembles. That would be a blow for truth.


  97. apehuman

    It seems this morning the wait on Sykes paper is extended a second time, for another five months..which is around spring 2014, according to some blog. The first postponement was for a year while he traveled around the world collecting samples. He initially spoke of mtDNA testing and when pressed about the possibility the mtDNA may not be different enough from modern humans to define he made no comment. That was then, spring 2013, and this is now. So? You tell me OTLS! p.s. this story thread is taking a really, really long time to load, maybe a natural end?

    • Thanks, ape, We have no info on the Sykes study; we could speculate a dozen different explanations. Yes, it takes a while to load; writing and editing it is a pain. We would like to move and probably will very soon.


      • apehuman

        No worries, as now both individuals reputed to have said these things regarding a delay deny they did on FB and call it a wild rumor picked up by overeager bloggers. And, I might add, readers.

  98. Todd Sikkema

    I’m guessing that Sykes has lots of other things that take up his time; I doubt his Bigfoot study is anything more than an interesting side project (or if I think more deviously, a plan to make money and garner fame).

  99. Pingback: Bigfoot News October 11, 2013 | Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

  100. Martha Grapevine

    The ONLY mystery regarding bigfoot is just why people who ought to know better continue to pretend the creature does not exist…thousands of reports and enough DNA evidence to convict and sentence to death anybody in a criminal court…there are also the verbal histories of the tribes-peoples…but they`re just backwards and primitive and understand nothing,eh ? Just what would they know about life or nature…or their surroundings,eh ? And then we have people that get on their knees each and every day to pray,telling the bigfoot believers they`re all nuts !!! You really couldn`t make this up…and do NOT forget,the WHOLE arena of officialdom the world over states that in God we trust,blah blah blah…and God is on “our” side…you bigfoot disbelievers are unreal,you really are !!!

    • Martha,
      We missed the DNA evidence, can you link to it? The ordinary way to document a new animal is to look at a body. Please show us where a body has been examined. Exclamation points and caps don’t count as proof. We won’t ask you to prove the God statement. But be careful about taking his name in vain.

  101. You will have to close this thread and start one on the BBC series, and hoped for Sykes paper…if only b/c the load time is ridiculous and we internet surfers are notoriously impatient..although as long sufferring Bf witnesses, it might not matter…we do seem to put up with ridiculous odds and attitudes, and lack of success, to resolve the mystery…at the level to satisfy so many.

    You should go incognito to a BFRO expedition, although it costs several hundred. I think they have ushered perhaps one hundred groups of people around on their “expeditions” over the years since they began charging. Several groups do as well…and yes, Meldrum in concert with several.

    That BFRO “expedition” industry spawned Finding Bigfoot…with a few million viewers! That money and influence (all those 12yr olds pining to find bigfoot!) does make Melba’s effort/result shrink in comparison..and with a true $1000 genome close, the service providers many..and consultants…so her market share will be hard won.

    Are paid expeditions related to bigfoots respectable or valid? Depends I guess on what one seeks and what they are sold. I haven’t been to one. I do read many reports and people seem to have fun, some are persuaded after.. But, it might be an opportunity to flesh out just what is going on in all of this. A compliment of the “hunter’s industry” serving enthusiasts.

    What do you know about Spike TV’s 9 teams of hunters out to bag a Sqquatch for $10mil this summer/fall? Is it actually happening…? The BBC series may be a real high in comparison to previous oferrings. I can’t help but hopes so!

  102. …and typos, please excuse…not too bad this time…or my standards continue to lower

  103. Did you see this?


    Footers were saying that Sykes was going to support Ketchum’s findings and finally prove Bigfoot once and for all. However, as many people–including myself–predicted, Sykes came back with bear DNA. Now the footers are performing mind gymnastics to trick themselves into thinking the findings somehow support their views. For instance, a poster over at Bigfoot Evidence thinks GenBank actually had Yeti DNA that was confused with bear DNA. This explains, according to them, why Sykes came back with a bear. Denial is a sad thing. I would love to read the actual paper when it comes out.

    • Thanks, Jim I had seen some less extensive reports. I note this:

      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.”


  104. Curious

    Have you seen Scott Carpenter’s recent posts? Predictable attacks on Sykes and ongoing denial about the Ketchum study. Guess he still hasn’t read your post about “Larry” and JAMEZ.

    • Yes, Curious, thanks, I did see it. My impression of Mr. Carpenter’s blog is that it is a collection of craziness. Some of it is simply things Ketchum gave him. Other stuff is apparently just, well, other kinds of craziness. I have commented on that in my updates. People should understand that these are are the sorts of folks who report many of the bigfoot “encounters.” It’s not a pretty picture. It’s delusional. Look around you. When there are crazies on your left and crazies on your right, what are you doing there?


  105. Busic

    It seems different to me. You don’t pay for the manuscript now on the website- and it is more about how to self- publish?

    Maybe she is joing forces with sykes

  106. Melba is sounding more and more like a cult leader. Knower of truth, persecuted by the world, a small band of fanatic followers soaking up her sermons–this isn’t funny anymore. More bizarre and sad, really.

    • I agree Todd; and one of the odd things about this situation is that she is doing it almost completely by “remote control,” at a distance, via the internet. The people we have talked to in the Timpson, TX, area, where she has lived and conducted business for years, do not have a high opinion of her, and that would be a polite way of saying it.


  107. Curious

    Interesting post today, particularly the size excuse for the data. How do you suppose they think real geneticists publish their work?

    And yes, they are most definitely acting like a cult.

    • I expect Robin wrote that data thing. I do not have (and do not want) access to the inner workings of her mind, and certainly not to those of Ketchum’s, either. I’m sure you will agree with me on that. Melba had her reasons for not including a real geneticist, primatologist, zoologist, or biologist in her project. She had her reasons for keeping the data to herself; she could have called any number of people if she had really wanted to figure it out. I think the emails she has revealed demonstrate that she never contacted GenBank herself. What kind of nonsense is that? She sent a forensics lab owner to do it? C’mon. Come freakin on.


      • A voluntary Intern

        So lets be clear to all Ketchumites:
        Robin Lynne (Melba’s right-hand woman) bought the domain through Robin’s daughter…Jessica Jordan… http://www.advancedsciencefoundation.org as the foundation for Melba’s online journal- DeNovo. Melba Ketchum registered the domain name http://www.denovojournal.com and pointed the domain name to Robin’s http://www.advancedsciencefoundation.org prior to go-live in February. I suspect Melba and Robin either ran out of money and could no longer afford http://www.denovojournal.com or they simply don’t have the mind-power to keep denovojournal pointed at advancedsciencefoundation.
        WHOIS information for advancedsciencefoundation.org:***

        [Querying whois.publicinterestregistry.net]
        Public Interest Registry for informational purposes only,
        This service is intended only for query-based

        Domain ID:D167596106-LROR
        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 ID:SPAG-43520684
        Registrant Name:Jessica Jordan

  108. Thanks intern,
    we will double your salary for that. Our head gumshoe vaguely recalls that Jessica doesn’t live with Robin in the greater Big Rapids MI metroplex. Is that correct?
    Whatever the geography, OTL,S! bets Jessica and Robin will never get another dime out of the Timpson Truculent. If they ever got any . Roger Patterson would have loved her.
    Speaking of which, as we approach the Christmas season, we anticipate that Dr. Ketchum will be passing out bad checks again this year as gifts to her lab employees. Oh, wait, she doesn’t have any lab employees.
    Never mind.

    • Busy beaver intern

      Thank you for the raise in salary. Its about damn time.
      Jessica AsheLynne Jordan (sound familiar?) lives in South Carolina with her partner for school or career development.
      Her mother- Robin Lynne (aka Robin Forest People) lives in Michigan. Robin habituates Sasquatch on her property- Just ask Igor….

  109. Big Rapids metroplex. That made me giggle.

    I live in Grand Rapids, Mi, which is only about an hour away from where Robin Lynne reportedly lives. Sadly, no Bigfoot families there, unless they are shaving their bodies, dressing up in clothes, and passing themselves off as people. Does that sound far-fetched? :)

  110. Busy beaver intern


    It looks like the Melba fan – Caithee McMillan- is blindly following her prophetess. She seems to think advancedsciencefoundation.org wasn’t create by someone in “Mebla’s camp”.

    “Cathiee McMillan October 24, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Domain ID:D167596106-LROR
    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 ID:SPAG-43520684
    Registrant Name:Jessica Jordan

    I would do a WHOIS and you can find out.
    I do not think it is any one in Melba’s camp who set that up.
    Do your own research its not that hard.

    Silly Caithee- tricks are for kids… Jessica Jordan is not only in Melba’s camp- she is right in the heart of the ketchum camp. talk about “blood brothers” or should I say “blood sisters”. Is that cognatus? or cognatees?

    • I thought she was a guy.


      • Busy beaver intern

        Who did you think was a guy? Caithee ?? or Jessica ??
        or Scott Carpenter??

      • Caithee

        So by letting the DeNovo site go dead, and posting the sad message here on the weirdo Advanced Science Foundation.org web site, it appears that Ketchum has bowed out of the online journal publishing business after her one and only issue, which contained only one article: Ketchum’s.

        Self – Publishing We 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 – Journal We 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.


  111. End the Madness

    Clearly there is scientific misconduct here. Given her audacity to portray herself as scientist, I personally see her as worse than Rick Dyer. But since she is self-employed, she has no management to hold her accountable. What recourse is there? Even today as her admissions to past untruths were spread on Facebook (you were properly credited for finding them and links to your blog were provided), she continued to post nonsensical statements on her Facebook page like nothing had happened. When does she finally admit defeat? Or are we stuck with her forever? And didn’t she commit wire fraud by selling a “peer-reviewed, and accepted” paper across state lines, that we now know didn’t really pass peer review, by her own admission? If so, how do we, as the public, hold her accountable for fraud? I’ve heard through the grapevine that Hersom is not interested in drudging through the muck of litigation, either civil or criminal. I understand his hesitation, but this is unfortunate because he, more than anyone else, seems to have civil/criminal grounds. And he is also responsible for this mess, although I acknowledge that he is also her biggest victim. But it’s disturbing to see people still falling for this. How do we end this madness?.

    • Busy Intern

      Because I am a beaver- I have a great deal of forest friends including a very smart tiny bird who once told me that google merchant never released the funds to Melba for the sale of her manuscript. Therefore, at some point google will refund everyone. Something about Melba’s business model that was not agreeable with google merchant.

      And why does Robin think that by changing a domain name- it fixes everything ? Perhaps because it is extremely easy for her to just buy a domain name and not so easy for her to build a website…. please check it out and spread the good word-

      So to answer your question. This will never end because people are following her as a religious cult prophet. There is not legal action to be taken because legitimate entities are stopping her in her tracks …. like google merchant.

      Perhaps we move forward and find humor in the debacle – just as you have done so well. I, for one, do not want to see you discontinue reporting on this crazy ketchum craze. If you stop reporting on it- this newly formed religious cult may spin out of control.

      Keep up your excellent work my friend

    • ETM, certainly you are correct that she has little in the way of “boundaries” that might be set by employers or organizations. As far as individuals who might have a claim against her, I am not a lawyer, but besides Wally Hersom, others might include Java Bob Schmalzbach and the estate of the late Richard Stubstad, the artist/cancer victim, the owner of her lab in Timpson, the owner of the lab before that one, her lab employees, her children, the editor of JAMEZ, (not to mention her customers). It’s a long list, but it takes money to sue, and a lot of staying power. Further, if the issue is bigfoot, the courts are, rightly, not going to be very sympathetic to victims. “caveat emptor.” One of her employees had to take the checks/insufficient funds issue to the county prosecutor in order to force Ketchum to pay up on bad checks. Really, her history reminds us of that of Roger Patterson. The big difference is that she had a profession and a decent business, for a while, and has her health, apparently. The scientific community will do little or nothing, aside from possibly “deleting” her “scientific name’ for “bigfoot.” (since she self published it, it is almost as if she just stood on a street corner and started yelling, “bigfoot is homo sapiens cognatus”. )

      If it makes you feel any better, she did say in her news conference that she no longer can get any work that involves testifying in court. And it does seem that she has lost her lab business, even though she won’t admit that, and she did pick up some 7000 from the Peru tourism guy, for tests that she apparently just “sent out” to actual laboratories. I doubt there will be a lot more income from that source. Anyone who actually watches that news conference will probably steer clear of her, and Sykes is probably also going to deflate the bigfoot baloon. I am amazed that the Dallas media haven’t noticed that their forensic scientists are involved in this fiasco. If you think this story needs more light shined on it, you might try contacting those news media and pointing it out.

      People like Ketchum and Patterson and Dyer are going to appear from time to time in our lives, people who have certain interpersonal skills and do not hesitate to take advantage of people’s trust and ignorance.


      • Smokey
        I can’t help but laugh at Melba’s press conference.

        At 1:25:08 of the news conference, Melba is holding a bone she states is a humerus. First of all, I am no scientist. I am, however, a very busy beaver and this bone is either NOT a humerus but rather a femur or Melba simply does NOT know anatomy. If it is a humerus, she is describing it completely wrong. For example, the flared end of a humerus connects to the ulna and the radius. She holds the bone up against her own arm as if the flared end once had a ball joint on the end. She thinks the flaring end connects to the shoulder. Not really….
        Go online and look at pictures of a humorous bone. If you really watch this part of her press conference video- you’ll see that she must NOT understand anatomy.
        But maybe a more scientifically savvy intern could shed more light

      • after assigning you the job, I was looking at that video myself, at the same time you were. The bone is old and some detail is obvlously missing. It sure doesn’t look like a human humerus. Might even be an animal leg bone. But I have to agree that if this is a humerus from some animal, she is holding it upside down. Whoops!


  112. The merry ole' land of Oz

    Seems there is trouble at the Emerald City in the land of Oz this morning. Check out the happenings at Ketchum’s facebook public page.

    This is Robin everyone (sorry fb isnt letting the admin start posts)
    Dr. Ketchum will be busy working on other projects the next few weeks. So please any questions can go to me and I will get answers for you. You can either reach me privately or on her wall as well as my wall. I will be speaking to Melba daily and will make sure all questions get to her. I will be checking on here throughout the day. Thanks so much, Robin

    Robin Lynne Forestpeople No the DNA is to Novel to attach it to any location or any known species.
    Yesterday at 1:32am · Like
    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.
    Thank you
    The Bigfoot Field Journal: Peer Reviews – Ketchum DNA Study
    Erin A Pubimed One other question- Someone by the name of Robin Haynes is registered as the ISSN applicant for:
    DeNovo : accelerating science
    ISSN 2326-2869 (online)
    Is this individual on the editorial board? Please provide the credentials for this individual.

  113. Curious

    Unfortunately, the Ketchumites will only interpret this as “big, bad science” persecuting poor Melba. They won’t realize that journals have to meet and conduct themselves by established standards designed to protect the integrity of the scientific process..

    • Our market research consultant doesn’t think there are very many “ketchumites.” Fewer every day, in fact.

      and the entire concept of Bigfoot DNA is probably going the way of the 8 track tape. It was fun while it lasted, but now OTL,S! thinks we’re now back to 1967, footprints, faith and “I know what I saw.”


  114. From Erin A Pubimed’s MK FB post:
    “One other question- Someone by the name of Robin Haynes is registered as the ISSN applicant for:
    DeNovo : accelerating science
    ISSN 2326-2869 (online)
    Is this individual on the editorial board? Please provide the credentials for this individual.”

    1) The thought of Robin Lynne being on any editorial board made me giggle;
    2) I would love to see Robin Lynne’s credentials. That would be…priceless.

    • Todd,

      she may be more qualified than Sarah Palin, as I think she actually went to Russia to

      investigate the bigfoot cave.

      However, she was described as “US farmer Robin Lynne Pfeifer, ”

      which doesn’t really cut it in the science world.

      This account goes a step further and calls her “a Michigan woman,” that rankest of all insults, and says that ofishal bigfoot sientist Jeff Meldrum seemed to think she was, well, not very scientific:

       “Meldrum was put off by a Michigan woman, Robin Lynn Pfeifer, who claims that a family of Bigfoot was living on her 10 acre farm. He described how she, as a guest invited by Burtsev who believes her story, intruded into the scientific discussion. Meldrum admitted to confronting her over her lack of evidence for her outrageous story (which included her noting the creatures’ favorite food was blueberry bagels). ”


  115. What about “and a partridge in a bag of chips”?

    • you are not banned, but you will not get fruit cup.


      • What the hell? No fruit cup? This is fascism, I tell ya!

      • actually, it’s insanity. google nurse diesel fruit cup


      • I need to watch ‘High Anxiety’ again.

      • temp employee for Smokey

        Hello Smokey
        Just bringing back some news from the battle field. Here is a recent follow up post from the “Eric” character on Ketchum’s facebook.
        “Erin A Pubimed
        Ms. Ketchum- I am surprised you are here whereas your publicist stated you were to be out of touch for several weeks. So glad to see you are back. We know you saw our posts but were disappointed you deleted them. Were you intent on answering our questions? BTW, we finally were able to contact a managing editor who helped with JAMEZ. Her name is Jane— you probably know her since you received communication from her through the peer review process? Anyhow… we did get this message from her, “Thank you for your inquiry. The organization you are referring to known as FAZE – JAMEZ is no longer in existence. However, due to the volume of inquiries recently- we have provided a public notice regarding the study purported by Melba Ketchum. Please refer to our statements at http://www.faze-jamez.org

        Good times at ridgemont high

  116. Curious

    I think “Larry” is going to have to sue Melba, Robin, Scott and Troy to finally put this sad state of affairs out of its misery – or get a court order. If he does, he should include a mandate that they publicly apologize for misleading the public. In fact, he should write it and require them to post it. Otherwise, I think the words will be twisted.

    • It may come to that, given Ketchum’s history of trying to ignore the legal process with her properties in Timpson, her patent infringement, and certain personal matters. We assume she just hopes that if she acts as unpleasant and evasive as possible, that people will run out of money or patience. When faced with the prospect of prosecution, however, she managed to make good on multiple payroll checks that came back insufficient funds.

      If she chooses to put at risk in lawsuits, attorney’s fees and judgements, all the money she managed to worm out of Hersom, rather than correct some websites, that is up to her.

      The irony of it is, regardless of whether or not she corrects those websites, Zoobank is going to get, from JAMEZ, the real, verifiable story of what went down, that her manuscript was not given passing reviews, and that she did not acquire JAMEZ or its reviews; and Ketchum has nothing to counter that. So, IMHO, Zoobank is going to conclude that “DeNovo” was/is little more than Ketchum hiring someone to erect a billboard saying “I proved Sasquatch is real, I proved Sasquatch is real”. IOW not a peer reviewed journal. Then Zoobank will, I expect, boot out the registration of Ketchum’s paper and proposed scientific name for “Sasquatch.”


  117. Heretical Hominid

    Just came off the Editor’s tour over at Scholasticahq.com and note that there is no such disposition for a reviewed manuscript as “accepted with revision.” Indeed, the choices are:
    1) Accept
    2) Revise and Resubmit
    3) Reject


    That implicates any claim of “accepted with revision” as shenanigans plain and simple.

    • Thanks, H.H, The document provided at Carpenter’s website certainly seems to be be from Scholastica, and reads: “accept for publication with revisions.” That is a recommendation. The JAMEZ website says “accepted with revisions.” Sounds more like a conclusion.

      We will look into that.


      • Heretical Hominid

        Do you mean the correspondence from Scholasticahp@mail? “h”…”p”…a mailserver typo, perhaps? Or, just another case of fat fingers…

      • Actually, that is not the only thing that is fishy about the document that Carpenter posted (which obviously came from Ketchum’s camp). I strongly suspect it is a fake. I expect confirmation later in the day.


    • Just another temp employee

      Excellent work!!! This is very fascinating to me. So clearly whatever the Carpenter has posted at his website has been just slightly altered enough to paint a better picture for their holy sheik- the Ketchum.
      What is most interesting is that scholasticahq site also has a section for “comments to the editor” AND “comments to the author” with a notation to the referee that the author is going to see these comments to the author. This obviously implicates that the comments to the editor are not going to be seen by the author.
      So the conclusion-
      there must have been comments to the editor that Melba never actually did have access to. She only saw what the referees intended her to see. right smokey?

      • well, we don’t think we know who is behind the fakiness of this document, how much of it is fake, or why it was done, or when. Any ideas?
        What we can say is that it is fake, and it defeats the already feeble contention that it can be used as evidence that the “grade” given to her manuscript was a “passing one.”

  118. Curious

    Did you notice the little problem with the e-mail address and that so-called peer review?

  119. Drewbot

    In October of 2012 they were calling you names. Now they are silent. Coincidence?

  120. Pingback: Fake peer review document discovered in Melba Ketchum bigfoot DNA saga | Over the line, Smokey!

  121. Heretical Hominid

    3 Whole Genomes and Memories of “Water Memory”

    It’s not easy…this standing on the shoulder of giants thing. Melba Ketchum may like to claim spiritual and intellectual kinships with Galileo Galilei, but she appears more the poorer relation of Jacgues Benveniste.

    And… this tawdry little episode that has heraldied a new species spun from genetic blobsquatches is merely, by way of analogy, a ramshackle retread of the whole Water Memory Conundrum (summarized here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_memory).

    Don’t you think so?

  122. HeHo,
    Thanks for the informative link. In the US, the expression “cold fusion” evokes reactions similar to your “water memory” case. In both cases, the amount of energy expended in trying to confirm the original reports is nothing short of massive.

    OTL,S! has some interest in scientific fraud. In our opinion and experience, this unfortunate but understandable phenomenon, among some of our most intelligent and attractive persons, generally has its genesis in unrealistic expectations of self, with some degree of narcissism. Inadequate positive recognition leads to scientific “pareidolia”, a kind of wishful thinking, which progresses to confirmation bias in research. Ultimately, the person “crosses the line,” taking outright fraudulent actions in an effort to convince others of the reality of the phenomenon in question and preserve a certain self-image. From my reading of your case, this progression seems likely.

    In some other cases, however, the behavior is simply part of a more generalized behavior pattern, which some might term sociopathic personality. Fortunately, our merit system of education tends to weed out most of these cheaters and outright criminals. But not all.

    Every case is different, and presents new challenges to a scientific community which by necessity judges new ideas without regard to personality, religious affiliation, or past offenses. Journal editors play a crucial gatekeeper role, but cannot act as censors.

    Eventually, the truth will out, but with each new episode of fraud/blunder, the public may retain an image of the failure of “science,” rather than its ultimate success in reaching the correct conclusion.

    Perhaps you should write a book, HeHo, directed at graduate students, consisting of cautionary tales and advice on how to avoid “swerving into the ditch.”

    Best wishes.

  123. End the Madness

    After all these months of claiming the mitochondrial DNA was fully or 100% human, Dr. Ketchum has completely done a 180 and stated on her Facebook page that Sas only have “a little” human in them. Wonder if her fans understand what this means? Wonder why the switcheroo?

    • End: Thanks for bringing that to our attention.

      Just for fun, we had our industrious intern Brunhilda survey the Facebook pages of her “adherents”, those who had already commented on that post. While not a scientific effort, “Hildy” was able to find some serious strangeness in nearly every one. UFO’s, Lloyd Pye’ers, illiterates, senility….Do these folks understand or even care what Ketchum posts, or why, or whether there are better explanations? Largely, no. How many are there? a few dozen? a few hundred? and they’re not exactly policy makers/opinion shapers, are they? They probably have a computer, and internet access. Or maybe they don’t; they just go to their local library. The point is, any twenty people with internet access can seem to be a real force, while actually being totally insignificant.

      Tom Cruise said it better than we can: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK1jCWGHmgQ

      While it might be possible to ‘friend” these “believers” and attempt to persuade each one of the foolishness and downright corruption they seem to support, OTL,S! has better things for our burgeoning number of employees to pursue…productive things like cornering the market on Studebaker hood ornaments, hosing out the large animal cages, and perfecting our scheme for massively parallel bluetooth broadcasts. Educating the small/tiny numbers of willfully and hopelessly clueless about Melba Ketchum comes in at about 563rd on our priority list.

      This is not to say there aren’t still some important issues remaining. OTL,S! continues to scrutinize certain aspects of the scheme to subvert the peer review system. We hope to learn more about this in the near future. Any info you might have will be greatly appreciated. Best wishes.


  124. Pingback: Bigfoot Lives! - Page 115 - SLUniverse Forums

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