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OTL,S!‘s industrious intern found this bit of information from the ‘geneticist” who is apparently telling freakotourism entrepreneur Brien Foerster of strange DNA results on the elongated skulls:
April 9, 2013 at 2:17pm
DNA UPDATE!!! Or at least update about the RED hair from Paracas being tested by a lab in California, USA:
“Got low-mag light microscope images yesterday; they are very fine, uniformly colored, red hairs. They appear similar in morphology to a blonde alien hybrid hair that was given to me by an abductee.”
So we have a geneticist who believers in alien abductions? or Ketchum? “… c’est la meme chose.”
Ketchum spoke with one Ed Brown, and repeated her deceptive statements about passing peer review.
Let’s just say that the peer reviews from Nature were wildly biased and they can be viewed at [Bigfoot Field Journal] along with my appeal letter to Nature and answer to the reviewers. Apparently journals communicate because I got blocked from even getting the manuscript sent out for peer review by subsequent journals until we found a new journal willing to take it. We passed peer review with their reviewers who were selected by their expertise in genomics according to the editor. Their attorney advised them not to publish it on the day it was supposed to go live. So, we acquired the journal, renamed it and published it ourselves so we wouldn’t lose the precious peer reviews. The reviews were done like any other journal. We don’t know who they were, but by acquiring the journal, we acquired them also. So, as far as the peer reviews, it is not self-published. As far as the ownership of the journal, in that way it was self-published but the website and all associated content was already set up and ready to go. All we did was change the name and throw the switch to publish. Those reviews are available at the same website. It is unethical to publish peer reviews publicly so I didn’t put them on that website nor did I leak them. It was someone in the project that had access. It was done without my permission or knowledge.”
These statements are not only deceptive, some of them are downright lies, as one can see by reading this thread, and its predecessor. In repeating them for over a year, perhaps Ketchum has begun to believe them herself. Would not surprise…she has convinced herself of some pretty strange things.
In related news,
Ketchum acknowledges and verifies the statements by freakotourism guy Brien Foerster, that she has been “working on” (although as far as we know, she has no lab) the Paracas, Peru, grave robbed oops I mean archeological elongated skull specimens for over a year but has no results. Mr. Foerster threw her a curve ball by blinding her to which specimens were elongated skulls and which were controls. Great work, Brien!! He knows more about actual science (and human nature) than the “good doctor” does. So there she sits, not knowing which specimens to report as weird nephilim lemur hybrid not of this earth what the freak ever. But she does have his $7000, so there’s that. who has the last laugh…?
In a new interview, freakotourism entrepreneur Brien Foerster wants his fans to believe the elongated skull DNA testing is for the good of
his business humanity:
Foerster: That has taken an incredibly long time, mainly due to lack of funding and also finding a geneticist who is open to studying this and doing this at a fraction of the normal cost that it would cost commercially and importantly we wanted to do this independently because going through any governmental or private foundation or whatever would probably result in the results either being deleted or altered or being kept for purposes other than my intent and my intent simply is to find the truth as to who these people were.
host: uh huh, yeah
Foerster: what I’m hoping it, the reason why I released it, this information, is to try to generate interest from the public so that we can do a fundraiser in able to study the other two skulls as well as other samples…
I’m still waiting for some kind of result from Dr. Melba Ketchum she’s trying to actually get at least one if not more laboratories n the us to do complete genome studies which is very complicated technically and would cost an absolute fortune, upwards of $100,000… we’re doing this for the good of humanity not for any personal gain.
OTL,S!: uh huh, yeah
And obtw, Mr. Foerster, you better call Wally Hersom.
“DNA analysis of elongated heads announced”… well the announcement has been made but no details have been given out, This announcement must regarded as highly suspicious because several of the claims made in it are not only unreasonable, the fly in the face of other older DNA analyses on Peruvian materials. Until some actual results are shared with the public, I would advise people not to expect too much out of this analysis. After all they are already making claims that are demonstrably false in connection to these deformed crania and which demonstrate that they basically don’t know what they are talking about.
Is this a Ketchum claim/”result”? upending evolution again? aliens or nephilim? From Brien Foerster’s FB freakotourism page, posted 2/3:
IMPORTANT DNA UPDATE (not of this skull, but another Paracas): NOT HUMAN?
it had mtDNA with mutations unknown in any human, primate or animal known so far. But a few fragments I was able to sequence from this sample indicate that if these mutations will hold we are dealing with a new human-like creature, very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans.. I am not sure it will even fit into the known evolutionary tree. The question is if they were so different, they could not interbreed with humans.
Of course, it’s a marketing tool; we learn in the comments where we can buy Foerster’s elongated skull book and sign up for his nephilim tour
And any of you should come on this tour if you want to learn the latest info.
or perhaps attend the ancient aliens lecture circuit:
The first video of the skull in the photo will be on Watchers 8, by LA Marzulli, in June, along with carbon 14, hair analysis, and DNA results…
When queried by a commenter about peer review, he mumbles
Peer review will of course be considered, but this information belongs to THE WORLD; not a few academics…
Of course it belongs to the world…. that’s why he’s selling it…instead of having the world get it for free….oh, wait….
Dr. Ketchum posts this at Facebook (our bold emphasis added):
I haven’t seen anything true said about the study lately or anything else for that matter, just more crazy rumors. The mainstream scientists just ignore it. There are about three “hater” scientists that are trying to make a name by publicly running down the study, but NONE of them are geneticists. One that did speak out that was a geneticist has no experience with assembling whole genomes like Dr. Swenson has. There are those that support the study and contact me privately. They are afraid to have their names associated with it after the way I have been treated (except for David Swenson but he is retired so doesn’t have to face a faculty).
Dr. Swenson is not and never was a geneticist; has not claimed this “experience” in his resume, nor would it have reasonably been expected to have part of his training, or his job. (a link to his website/resume now points to a job recruiting site). And he certainly didn’t indicate in his initial evaluation of Ketchum’s “paper” that he had that sort of experience. Au contraire, his initial statement published by Ketchum sounds to us like it was made by someone who is unsophisticated in the subject and seems to be groping around for something to say:
From Dr. David H. Swenson Ph.D.:
“Brien Foerster, Jeff Kart, and other interested parties.
I went over the manuscript by Melba Ketchum on Bigfoot genomics. My desktop had difficulty with a BLAST analysis of the consensus sequences. It helped me understand more about the project. This collaborative venture has done a huge project that taxes me to fully grasp. I see interesting homology with a standard human sequence with 99% match for mitochondria. From my abbreviated study, the nuclear genome seems to have human and nonhuman sequences. My opinion of the creature is that it is a hybrid of a human mother and an unknown hominid male, Just as reported.
For all practical purposes, it should be treated as human and protected under law. Brien, selection of Melba’s lab for your studies is a very good call. Sasquatch is real, as proven by genetic analysis.”
According to an “anonymous” post by “bigfoot DNA believer” (apparently one Charles Bootjer, a rabid Ketchum supporter now apparently deceased), Dr. Swenson, who is falsely described as a “biologist”, has made a second “communication:”
I did more BLAST analyses and came up with the same confusion the independent labs had. The genome has some good human matches and some unknowns. “The sequences are not contaminated, near as I can tell. I have not searched for open reading frames, but that is beyond the scope of my tools. The close matches are gapped with sequences that match nothing. AMEL and MY genes match humans in some cases, in others, not.
If I am wrong, I would like to be shown with data, not uninformed opinion from “experts”.
Dr. David H. Swenson, Ph.D.
There is nothing here to indicate that the retired biochemist Dr. Swenson has any experience “assembling whole genomes” other than fiddling around with what he was given by Dr. Ketchum. OTL,S! would welcome any evidence that Dr. Swenson is “experienced” in this area.
With his website “greenresourcesredux” no longer operative, the only thing we could find on the retired Dr. Swenson is
David H. Swenson; Ph.d. is a company categorized under Schools And Educational Services, Nec.
Address 3880 johns lane Midland, Michigan, United States, 48641
Phone Number (517) 837-2213(517) 837-2213
then there’s this:
OTL,S! might get around to calling Dr. Swenson, but we wouldn’t want to interrupt any assembly of whole genomes he might be doing. Right.
OBTW, the DNA Diagnostics site is down. As if it matters.
Ketchum has now published what she says is a 25,000 word young adult novel, which appears to be part one of a trilogy of some sort of love story between a sasquatch and some teenage girl. And by “girl’ I mean the sort of adolescent female human being you can see in large numbers at shopping malls across the US of A. Now lets not discuss the whole bestiality thing at this point, though that is obviously what sells this kind of garbage, and just consider for a moment the task of writing a 25,000 word novel. And another to come out in the spring, and another in the fall. Now let’s consider the demonstrated writing talents of Melba Ketchum, which, in our opinion, are meager, at best. Not to say someone with meager talents couldn’t write a novel, with some help. And of course she has been compared to Galileo (by herself) and Einstein, so there’s that.
Of course, her audience isn’t exactly discriminating. And self publishing is pretty easy these days, right Melba? So given Ketchum’s ethical history and lack of known prior literary talents, the number of available old B grade young adult novels, and the speed at which these Ketchum novels are being “produced,” Over the Line, Smokey! has a sneaking suspicion that these novels may someday be shown to not be exactly totally her original work. Of course, that’s just what our common sense is whispering to us. We could be completely mistaken, jaded by constant exposure to skullduggery in the name of sasquatch.
Melba Ketchum, DVM, queen of science-by-press conference, -television interview, -self-publication, -Facebook, and -blog talk radio, says, at Facebook:
People keep asking me why, since I have scientific proof, I don’t participate in the 10 million dollar Bigfoot Bounty. Here are the reasons:
1. I will not prostitute a serious scientific study for ratings on a reality TV show. That is a sure-fire way to discredit science asap.
3. I really am not thrilled with any type of TV appearance unless it is done in a professional manner, not just for entertainment purposes. I don’t give a hoot about fame.
It would be easy, but it would have to be the right venue not some blogtalk Bigfoot show.
Really, we didn’t make this shit up. We wish we could.
Bigfoot porn is big business.
Ketchum confirms on FB that she is about to roll out a young adult bigfoot fiction series; sounds like she is having trouble keeping track of reality:
I have tried to stick with strictly science throughout this entire ordeal. In all honesty, I know so much more about the Sasquatch people. I have met many habituators also. I have stayed silent on the majority of the field data that I personally know to be true and will continue to do so at this time. However, as a way to relieve stress, I started writing about the things I know about them and things that habituators have told me (with their permission). I got 25,000 words in and decided that it probably was not the the most prudent thing to do. It would hurt the science. So, for stress relief, I wrote a young adult novel.
The readers will have to decide for themselves what is real and what is fantasy. It will be available in the next week or so on Amazon and on my MelbaKetchum.com website (not launched yet since the one I had built was stripped when I got hacked). I am really excited about the book because it will reach people outside of the BF world and hopefully give them a positive outlook on the forest people and will give an alternative view from the monster movies and shows. I also am working on a non-fiction version of the genome project. It is harder to write as it is difficult to re-live all of the drama and betrayal.
While we don’t plan to purchase Dr. Ketchum’s ramblings, we do wish her success. Of course, Roger Patterson also wrote a book, and then followed up with his bigfoot movie. Ivan Marx also went that way, and so did Jeff Meldrum and so has Matt Moneymaker, in his own way. So eventually we are pretty sure we’ll see a MelbaMovie. No one one so far has done it in the soft porn style, so that is a possibility.
Dr. Ketchum did another one of her spooky radio interviews a few days back, with some Bradshaw guy out of Memphis TN, and the archive is now available.
There’s an hour of our intern’s life he won’t get back. According to him, there was very little new coming from Ketchum, aside from her claim that her patent application is still pending, and she is hopeful that “it will be finished in the next few weeks.” AKA “soon.” Of course she still claims things like that her “paper’ passed peer review and repeats her other usual tripe.
If you do take it upon yourself to listen, pay close attention to the discussion of the misaligned DNA. That is some serious sliced animal intestine. Recall Justin Smeja’s contention that Ketchum told him (and witnesses) of a way to make DNA look strange.
Over the Line, Smokey! notes that Dr. Ketchum is attempting to inject her self-published poppycock into Wikipedia. From Facebook, Dec. 15:
We are in a battle with Wiki over them using a biased article from the Huffington Post as the gospel truth on the Bigfoot Page concerning our DNA study. They don’t want to change it. If you want to help, please write them. I will post one letter of support that was already sent on our behalf from an independent scientist in another post.
That last refers to a letter, reprinted below, from retired chemist Dr. Swenson; be sure to check and see where/if Dr. Swenson:
- claims to be qualified to review the paper,
- what he did with his “access;”
- whether he did a BLAST;
- whether he confirmed her findings;
- whether the “paper” was self-published;
- whether it passed peer review;
- whether the “journal” that “reviewed” it ever published anything;
- whether the “peer review” document she leaked is a fake;
- whether he knows about charges that Dr. Ketchum discussed how to make DNA results look strange
- whether the “journal” that published it has ever published anything else;
and be sure not to miss how his claim of open-mindedness about primate-pig hybridization.
…Dr. David Swenson’s letter to Wiki, posted with his permission:
Folks, I reviewed the manuscript after it came out. I was a skeptic who thought Sasquatch to be a myth. I had access to the mitochondrial data and the chromosome 11-like data presented. Based on the DNA sequencing from several laboratories, the following emerge: the animal appears to have derived from a human female (mitochondrial), and another organism, which does not appear in Genbank. There are random good matches for some sequences from various species such as dog and panda, in sequences somewhat conserved in nature. There is significant identity with many human genes (>99 % to 100% match). Please do a BLAST against GenBank on your own to see this.
This is published data, and it is available on the web, as Dr. Ketchum stated. I know Wiki does not based decisions on opinion, yet, you take the opinion of HuffPost writers who have no background in DNA analysis, and who did not bother to check out the sequences with BLAST. These DNA data cannot be faked, especially with multiple labs involved. Most scientists live in fear of the system, and will not stray off the reservation, even to speak the truth. As a retired scientist, I can say what I choose to, and will speak truth to power. I don’t give a damn what others think.
Recent scientific reports on hominins have indicated human-something hybridization (Denisovans) and a recent suggestion from another credible scientist that a primate-pig coupling led to a new hominid branch that led to Homo. Honestly, I am skeptical of that, but await data to see how that idea works out, and will not reject it out of hand.
Don’t take my word for it, do your own BLAST analysis against GenBank.
I am assuming you know how to do that, and interpret the results!
If you do not accept the published data, which has been peer-reviewed, then have the decency to remove the uninformed HuffPost opinion. Do your homework, use data, and not opinion.
David H. Swenson, Ph.D.
“…decency…”? Really, Dr. Swenson?
Here is a comment from the human-pig story, that seems apropos here:
Publicizing ridiculous independent, unpublished scientific hypotheses at the same level as academically-scrutinized published scientific papers confuses the lay audience into thinking that all scientific research is similarly incompetent. In the Information Age, wherein everyone has the same ability to throw something online, not discriminating between “this is something some loonie put online” and “this is a well-researched study reviewed by independent authorities” leads to all kinds of pseudoscientific nonsense, some of which just plain kills people.
Here’s our favorite discussion of scientific efforts to hybridize pigs and men; perhaps Dr. Swenson is also a fan.
Ketchum engages in some social media exchanges with Doubtful News’ Sharon Hill.
My “long story short”:
MK: my science is good, “you people”.
SH: that’s not what the scientists say.
The South American tourism guy still believes in Ketchum, something like a year after giving her 7 thou.
Brien Foerster:Well Jay Lamb, you will be among the first to know once thorough results are established from Lloyd Pye’s geneticist and Dr. Melba Ketchum.6 hours ago
OTL,S! continues to wonder whether or not Dr. Ketchum has opened up a new lab, having been booted out of the facility on Bear Drive in beautiful downtown Timpson, Texas way back at the end of summer 2012. She lives in rural Shelby County, just south of Timpson. So basically if she were having her mail delivered, it would be via Timpson address. Now, during her flurries of activities on television, she has claimed to be located in Nacogdoches, but we don’t find her in that city of 33,000. We did notice that on her cover letter to the board of the organization that publishes Nature Journal, she gave an PO box address in Garrison, just a hoot and a holler down the road, with its 868 god fearing souls. In fact, Garrison is so small that Google maps seems to have omitted some of the main streets.
Now, Garrison is in Nacogdoches County, so maybe that is where she got the “Nacogdoches” from. Does anyone know if she has set up a lab there? Or is she just trying to give the appearance of moving to a larger town by using a PO Box in Garrison?
Update of a previously quoted thread at Facebook, November 22:
Dr. Melba Ketchum, thank you for the reply. If it is not a lemur, then what prosimian does your study suggest it comes from? As far as I know (from studying anthropology), you need to have a cladogram representing close relatives and you don’t have that to support your argument. I looked at figure 16 and I don’t find it helpful for your proposed theory. It is not a representative phylogeny tree of close relatives. It is not a cladogram that shows which animals, or in this case, primates (simians) or prosimans, are related…
@Emerson This is the entire problem with the skeptics. When you look at the entire genome, the progenitor on the male side of the Sasquatch is completely novel and therefore flies in the face of evolution as we know it. I couldn’t believe it either but the results were confirmed by so many labs in blind studies that I know that they are correct. With that said, my favorite phrase these days is “it is what it is’. I label the unknown part as just that…unknown. The phylo tree is just for a portion of chromosome 11 and therefore doesn’t reflect the entire genome.
Melba Ketchum, Nov. 29 : There are a a lot of examples in the Old Testament of hybrid creatures such as satyrs. Some people that know the BF exist think that they are the giants in Genesis 6. In no way does their existence contradict God, only evolution.
oh….. well, then that’s no problem…its just disproving the theory of evolution. OK then…that probably accounts for this observation by Paul Daneker on November 19:
Was disappointed the National Geographic Program night before last failed to even mention your genome project, results of your studies and assertions of an unknown hominid in North America….
Bigfoot pareidolioger Scott Carpenter pretty much gets the idea of how science gets around to recognizing newly discovered animals:
With the majority of the Bigfoot World and Mainstream Science refusing to accept the Ketchum DNA Study and Dr. Sykes’ farce the “Bigfoot Community” is in a major funk. Some would even argue shock. Dr. Sykes managed to disappoint and anger all sides of the debate in the Bigfoot World. He was a “Universal Wet Blanket”. The Ketchum Haters, Ketchum Supporters, Bi-Pedal Ape, Human Hybrid, Paranormal Bigfoot, Underground Bigfoot, UFO Bigfoot, you name it and all factions were disappointed in the “findings” by Dr. Sykes.
This left the whole community with the collective realization that only a body will do. DNA studies will not do, High Definition Video will not do, multi-witness encounters will not do, footprints will not do, sound recordings will not do, only a Bigfoot laying on a slab for the world to dissect and examine will do. Though many like myself hate to admit it we all know this is the truth.
Not surprisingly, the “bigfoot community,” in spite of being forced to reject Ketchum and her paper, have become enamored of her “hybridization” idea as the explanation of why DNA from some samples thought to be that of “bigfoot” sometimes comes back modern human. In other words, they accept the Ketchum nonsense, the “kind of people” stuff, in order to have “SOMETHING DNA” to cling to.
After reading the new Nature news article about humans crossbreeding with other hominins, I just can’t understand why there is such an aversion to our study.
We guess she can’t understand that the journal she is quoting is the one that rejected her paper; and we guess she can’t understand why because she didn’t understand all those negative “peer reviews” she says she got from Nature. She didn’t show crossbreeding of humans with hominins. In fact, she didn’t even claim to have done so:
Linda Moulton Howe: DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT WOULD BE THE CLOSEST OF KNOWN PRIMATES TO THE UNKNOWN HOMININ MALE PROGENITOR?
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).
Back to the Facebook post:
The findings are just like for humans with a percentage of Neanderthal DNA,
no, they aren’t. See the above quote re lemurs.
only our findings show the novel Sasquatch DNA to be predominant in the genomes, with the human component being the lesser contributor.
no, that’s not what you claimed…see above quote. And, it’s not what your data showed.
In other words, Sasquatch are Sasquatch,
whatever they are or aren’t, that is true.
with a little human remaining in them from the original crossbreeding long ago.
actually, a little human remaining in the samples from the accidental or purposeful contamination/degradation of the samples.
It is really simple to understand.
yup, it sure is. But not surprisingly, there are a few blind followers who haven’t.
Trying to establish a timeline for the events:
First: the date of the FAZE-JAMEZ.ORG domain:
Created On:09-Jan-2013 07:29:45 UTC; so this is 6 hours in advance of daylight savings time in the US Mountain time zone, or 11:29 pm on Jan. 8th, when the editor of JAMEZ, presumably, acquires this domain name.
From Scott Carpenter’s blog: late in the evening of Wednesday January 9th, 2013 I [?Carpenter] received a phone call from David Paulides, Director of North American Bigfoot Search (NABS) the primary partner of the DNA Study. David informed me that he had just hung up the phone with Dr. Ketchum and she had been given notice that the DNA paper had passed peer review with JAMEZ and the publishing date “would be on or about Friday, January 11th, 2013″. David said we should be prepared for some moderate media attention and possible interview request.
Jan 10: someone sends blogger Robert Lindsay a copy of the manuscript with the cover stating it was to be published at JAMEZ on Jan 11.
Next: a document from Jan. 10 that had been released by the Ketchum camp some time ago, now posted at Bigfoot Field Journal:
This seems to be a confirmation that “Larry” , having failed to obtain positive reviews of Ketchum’s manuscript within the Scholastica platform, was shopping around outside of the Scholastica platform, for reviewers that would agree to the newly-worded intermediate recommendation.
January 11: at 5pm EDT an embarrassed Robert Lindsay gives up the idea that the paper will be released that day.
What happened, that reduced “Larry” to tears on January 10, 2013, after the manuscript was given to Robert Lindsay? why was a lawyer involved? did someone spill the beans about the solicitation of multiple referees, using fake letterhead, to Scholastica before they could publish? Did Scholastica then boot the JAMEZ account? Did “Larry” then speak to his lawyer about publishing JAMEZ outside the Scholastica platform? did the lawyer then tell “Larry” that Scholastica could not be forced to publish the paper?
The truth will out. In any event, clearly JAMEZ was not a legitimate journal, did not have legitimate editorial guidance, and did not use legitimate procedures. Scholastica knew it, “Larry” knows it, and now we all know it.
In other news,
The FAZE JAMEZ public notice site is still down. OTL,S! notes this record, and says hmmmm….:
In other news,
A statement from Rhettman Mullis, the man who hosted DNA researcher Bryan Sykes during part of Dr. Sykes stay in the US, looking into the bigfoot story. Mr. Mullis has tried to inject himself into the recent Icon documentaries that failed to find evidence of bigfoot in Dr. Sykes research, but apparently failed, and he is bitter about it. Of course, Mr. Mullis had no role other than to collate some of the samples collected by various people around the country. He continues to identify with Dr. Sykes, and believe in bigfoot.
I do not know if there will be any special edit for the two-hour special that will play on the National Geographic channel on November 17. I will find out when we all do. While the quality of the show is good in terms of graphics and filmography, it is very clear that Icon’s agenda was to show the Bigfoot community is a collective of “wackos.” Bryan and I knew that they would attempt to do this.
Mr. Mullis is among the cultists who will persist in their beliefs regardless of continued and repeated failures of all efforts to produce biological evidence. He should be thankful that Dr. Sykes likely intervened to keep Mr. Mullis out of the programs.
OTL,S! notes that the FAZE-JAMEZ public notice site is down. We also should have previously noted that the notice was posted by some “Jane Neilson, Managing Director of JAMEZ.” How does JAMEZ have a managing director? To do what, exactly? OTL,S! is attempting to verify and contact this person.
In other news, we thought that Ketchum’s Facebook post regarding a “university genome center” doing analysis of “mummies” had been taken down, but perhaps that was just a mobile app fubar, as it is up at present.
OTL,S! notes this post from the Bigfoot Forums, by Tyler Huggins, a gentleman of integrity, in our view. First, a caveat: Our readers may share our initial impression: where could this information have come from? Scholastica? we doubt that. Our contacts with that group indicates that they do not engage in this sort of thing. Dr. Ketchum? hardly. One of her past or present supporters, members of her inner circle? possibly. The other alternatives would be a member of “Larry’s” camp, or perhaps “Larry” himself. We tend to favor the latter possibility, although this amounts almost to a confession of some fairly out-of-bounds conduct.
Mr. Huggins seems to be alleging that the editor of JAMEZ (he uses the pseudonym “Larry” to refer to the editor) went outside the bounds of the Scholastica publishing platform to solicit “passing” “peer reviews” for Ketchum’s paper after the manuscript received non-passing reviews within that system. So this is a duo of dastardly deeds, in our view. Not only did he keep casting his net for favorable reviews, one infers, but he did this using an email address that would suggest that it was from within the Scholastica platform. This would explain the wording in the fake document of the alternatives given to reviewers , who might not want to recommend either “accept or reject”. For reviewers who might think there was merit in the paper, instead of having the Scholastica’s “intermediate” recommendation of “revise and resubmit”, they were given the alternative of “publish with revisions”, which almost sounds like acceptance.
If Mr. Huggins allegations are true, then “Larry,” who by all accounts has no qualifications to be the editor of a scientific peer-reviewed journal, has flagrantly violated what we would consider to be some of the most basic ethics and duties that one would have expected of such an editor. Not to mention whatever obligations he may have had to Dr. Ketchum. An editor whose goal it was to obtain a pseudo-passing review could theoretically contact all the past and present biologists in North America and ships at sea, and finally find some whacked out drug addict with degree in alfalfa horticulture from Des Moines Farm Science Upstairs University and Barber College, who has a cell phone, living on the streets of Baltimore, and who would emerge from his coma long enough to silence his phone by checking a box in an email.
Larry was looking for alternate ways for Melba to achieve a pass from peer reviews, since traditional methods were resulting in … for lack of a better word, “fails”. They would send it back each time without passing it. Larry decided that a less restrictive, more open forum where anyone (preferably WITH CREDENTIALS) could review the work, would be more likely to end up with someone “passing” the paper/study.
However, the people that reviewed it were more credentialed than expected, and even this ‘less stringent/less restrictive’ method of peer review failed to elicit the desired “passing” reviews.
Larry was in no position to review it himself. He made out like he could read FASTA files the way Cipher could read code in the Matrix (“I don’t see the code, I just see Blonde, brunette, redhead…” = “I don’t see FASTA files, I just see wet nose/dry nose, otolemur, primate”). Sykes himself likely can’t read FASTA files like that – certainly the many geneticists that I dealt with weren’t able to do that, and Larry was nowhere near even being a biologist, let alone a geneticist. Anyways, I digress. Point is - no one, not Larry and not any of the “peer reviewers” in this ‘open source’ format “passed” Melba’s paper.
Scholastica has stated that the “review” paper sporting its name is a fabrication and that it doesn’t “review” papers or studies. Larry was incapable of reviewing or passing it, and none of the peer reviewers passed it. The only person that I know of that thought the paper was sound, was Haskell Hart - Hart has since reversed himself, and has gone to great lengths to now have a peer review done on his own paper that disproves Melba’s conclusions.
The plot thickens.
The purported identity (and certain contact information) of the “editor” of JAMEZ was posted at a at least two “Bigfoot” related internet forums (The Bigfoot Forums aka BFF (now removed by request of the individual), and Sasquatch Forum) by anonymous posters. This identity was posted previously at the site “Bigfoot Evidence.” OTL,S! will not comment on the accuracy of this identification at this time.
OTL,S! has been in contact with a representative of the JAMEZ-FAZE website, and has reason to believe that this person is a representative of the editor of JAMEZ. We inquired about the fake document, and received this reply from a person unknown to us, who did not identify herself as an attorney. We believe this statement neither admits nor denies anything about the document, other than claiming to keep reviewers and their comments confidential. We’re not sure why we chose to print it other than the fact that it’s slightly less boring than the phone book:
JAMEZ utilized https://scholasticahq.com/ platform to support a structured form and efficient process for our referees. JAMEZ ensured no competing interests existed between referees and author(s). The process included an option for referees to provide feedback and raise issues to author(s). An important part of the process included confidential comments to the editor- these comments were never shared with the submitting author(s) and as our site indicates at http://www.faze-jamez.org, peer review comments and recommendations to the editor(s) were never transferred to another organization or individual. Though referee comments, remarks, and recommendations intended for editor(s) were reserved for the confidential section of the https://scholasticahq.com/ form; referees that may have chosen to provide their comments to the author(s) would have done so honestly in the spirit of peer-feedback and improvement. It is crucial for any author or authors to understand that frank and honest feedback should never be misconstrued as unfair criticism.
At JAMEZ, the referee process is strictly confidential and we expected the treatment of such by referees. The referee process required that information a referee may have gained in the peer-review process be kept strictly confidential. Therefore, we must assume referees maintained the integrity of the process and any claims that a document was “leaked” by a referee is highly unlikely and should be treated as suspect. Likewise, JAMEZ very seriously and painstakingly ensured the privacy and anonymity of referees. If a referee chose to provide comments to the author(s), the referee would have made that choice freely through the https://scholasticahq.com/ form. Therefore, we defer to them as it relates to the transmitted documents you are referencing.
OTL,S! has learned from a reliable source that the JAMEZ account was terminated by Scholastica not long after it was originated, after complaints were lodged about JAMEZ. We hope to have more information soon on whether the fake peer review email was the cause or the result of such action by Scholastica. Either way, it appears from our vantage point that someone was playing fast and loose with the Scholastica brand, in an effort to manufacture some evidence of a passing peer review. Whoever was behind this, it seems to us, has committed an egregious bit of fakery, which has now ensnared not only the perpetrator(s), but also Scholastica, the many authors of the paper, the sample submitters, Wally Hersom, and anyone else who had faith in Dr. Ketchum’s study and in the integrity of the scientific peer review system.
We hope that the “editor” of JAMEZ and Dr. Ketchum will choose to be more forthcoming about what happened. The identity of the reviewers need not be an issue; they can easily be redacted. So can the content, for that matter. So let’s not hide behind that flimsy excuse, shall we?
The truth will out. OTL,S! is losing patience.
Scholastica at Facebook confirms that the email “peer review” document is not from their system:
Scholastica is a platform. Here’s what it does:
You have an idea for a journal.
You go there to get a “journal in a box”. Plug and play.
You register your name, the name of your new journal, and they provide all the forms and mechanisms to call for papers, invite editors, and recruit reviewers, send and receive forms and emails, etc. For every manuscript submitted to your new journal, you pay ten bucks to Scholastica. Then you find reviewers, and start pushing buttons to send and receive reviews, push more buttons to send selected parts of the reviews to the author, you as editor decide whether to publish it. When you have enough papers for an issue, then you just push another button, and there it is, your first issue. Your subscribers can just go there and read it.
Here are some screen shots we obtained last spring at Scholastica, of forms and registrations that had been set up for JAMEZ.
Here’s the call for papers:
Here is a screen shot of Melba Ketchum who registered as an editor, don’t know why she did that.
Here is Casey Mullins, registered as a staff member of a the supposed foundation that owned JAMEZ:
So the documents for the individual journals (there are dozens “hosted” at Scholastica) all flow through Scholastica to and from the dozens of editors. Scholastica doesn’t decide anything or review anything. They just organize and expedite and put it all together.
The strange case of Texas Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Melba Ketchum, and her claims of discovering bigfoot DNA continues to amaze.
This long-running saga has been chronicled at Doubtful News and documented here, the latter now being mind-numblingly long and filled with stories of misconduct, misunderstanding, mysterious beings, misapplication of science and misleading claims.
We have recently discovered that Ketchum’s claim that her manuscript
Ketchum, Melba, Patrick Wojtkiewicz, Aliece Watts, David Spence, Andreas Holzenburg, Douglas Tolar, Thomas Prychitko, Fan Zhang, Sarah Bollinger, Ray Shoulders & Ryan Smith. 2013 Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies. Denovo, Accelerating Science 1(1, Supplemental)
passed scientific peer review is based on an apparently fake document, which is, at the moment, still posted at the Bigfoot Field Guide website.
Bare bones saga:
Ketchum claims that she submitted her manuscript to the newly-announced Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Explorations in Zoology (JAMEZ) in January, 2013 (JAMEZ was organized on the Scholastica academic publishing platform, which provides forms, mechanisms and notifications for authors, editors and reviewers). Ketchum’s claim is that the paper passed peer review there, but the editor and the editor’s attorney decided not to publish it (In fact, JAMEZ never published anything, and was anonymous except for one supposed employee who seems to have vanished; and we don’t know who the editor was, or whether there was an editorial board, etc, etc….so there is no proof that it was actually a legitimate peer reviewed journal). Ketchum says that she then “acquired” the JAMEZ, in order to “preserve” the supposedly legitimate peer reviews. She now says that, in this transaction, “monies” were given to the JAMEZ ownership, though not by her. So the story barely hangs together, and rested solely on Ketchum’s say so, until the present document appeared.
Subsequently, the paper was published, with help from former staff of JAMEZ, as the only article in the only issue of what is claimed to be a scientific online journal, “DeNovo: Advancing Science”. The publisher was a new entity owned and operated by the person who was acting as Ketchum’s spokesperson. No claim was made that DeNovo was itself a peer-reviewed journal. Rather, Ketchum’s claim that her paper passed peer review is apparently based entirely on the JAMEZ experience and on her claim of “acquiring” some rights from JAMEZ. Recently, a “leaked” document was posted at Scott Carpenter’s Bigfoot Field Guide, purported to be a peer review document from the JAMEZ/Scholastica, which Dr. Ketchum has vouched for as authentic.
This is a fake email document.
This purported peer review email is not a communication sent by Scholastica, the publishing platform for JAMEZ…. 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 ever passed peer review.
Here’s the introduction to the section where Mr. Carpenter published the fake email:
We took a close look at what has been assumed to be an authentic document, purportedly from the journal that Dr. Ketchum says gave her manuscript passing reviews (others disagree). 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!
To confirm our suspicions, we sent the image from Mr. Carpenter’s blog to Scholastica, along with 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 supposed Scholastica email address on the left, ending in “hp”.
The folks at Scholastica were happy to clarify matters; click to enlarge; note the actual Scholastica email address at the end, ending in “hq”:
This supposed evidence that Melba Ketchum’s manuscript,
Ketchum, Melba, Patrick Wojtkiewicz, Aliece Watts, David Spence, Andreas Holzenburg, Douglas Tolar, Thomas Prychitko, Fan Zhang, Sarah Bollinger, Ray Shoulders & Ryan Smith. 2013 Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies. Denovo, Accelerating Science 1(1, Supplemental).
passed peer review at JAMEZ is a fake, as it did not come from the Scholastica platform as is implied by the email address.
We don’t know who perpetrated it, and would certainly welcome any additional information on this matter.
So now we are once again without any tangible evidence to support Ketchum’s peer review claim. That isn’t science.