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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Melba Ketchum DNA Paper Released

Melba Ketchum made the effort to acquire the Denovo Scientific Journal recently.
 Ketchum's paper was  published in Denovo Scientific Journal , February 13, 2013. Pictured below was the early-release version of the paper widely distributed earlier in the week..The full paper is supposed to be $30.00 and obtainable through the site.


New Research Paper Published Friday Shows Homo Sapiens/Unknown Hominin Hybrid Species Extant in North America
DALLAS, February 10th

A team of scientists will publish their five-year long study of DNA samples from a novel hominin species, commonly known as “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch,” on Friday February 15th, 2013. The results suggest that the legendary Sasquatch is extant in North America and is a human relative that arose approximately 13,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an novel primate species.

The study, “Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies,” was conducted by a team of experts in genetics, forensics, imaging and pathology. The team, led by Dr. Melba Ketchum of DNA Diagnostics in Nacogdoches, TX, included Dr. Pat Wojtkiecicz, Director of the North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory; Ms. Aliece Watts of Integrated Forensic Laboratories in Euless, TX; Mr. David Spence, Trace Evidence Supervisor at Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences; Dr. Andreas K. Holzenburg, Director of the Microscopy & Imaging Center at Texas A&M University; Dr. Douglas G. Toler of Huguley Pathology Consultants in Fort Worth, TX; Dr. Thomas M. Prychitko of Wayne State University in Michigan; Dr. Fan Zhang of the University of North Texas Health Science Center; and Sarah Bollinger, Ray Shoulders, and Ryan Smith of DNA Diagnostics.

In total, 110 specimens of purported Sasquatch hair, blood, skin, and other tissue types were analyzed for the study. Samples were submitted by individuals and groups at 34 different hominin research sites in 14 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Ketchum’s team sequenced 20 whole and 10 partial mitochondrial genomes, as well as 3 whole nuclear genomes, from the samples.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) comes from mitochondria, energy-producing organelles in the cellular cytoplasm, and is passed down on the maternal lineage across generations. Nuclear DNA (nuDNA) is the genetic information contained in the cell nucleus and is the equal combination of DNA from the parents of an individual.

Initially a skeptic, Ketchum implemented strict protocols to ensure the scientific integrity of the study. DNA samples from submitters and scientists working with study specimens were obtained for use as controls. DNA was extracted from samples using forensic procedures to prevent contamination. Forensics experts examined the morphology of the submitted hair samples against known human and animal samples before beginning DNA testing. “We soon discovered that certain hair samples--which we would later identify as purported Sasquatch samples--had unique morphology distinguishing them from typical human and animal samples,” says Ketchum. “Those hair samples that could not be identified as known animal or human were subsequently screened using DNA testing, beginning with sequencing of mitochondrial DNA followed by sequencing nuclear DNA to determine where these individuals fit in the ‘tree of life.'”

After extensive forensic controls to prevent contamination, mtDNA testing of the Sasquatch samples yielded fully modern human profiles. Sixteen haplotypes indicating 100% homology with modern human mtDNA sequences were observed from 20 completed whole and 10 partial mitochondrial genomes. The human mtDNA results are consistent with prior, unrelated mtDNA tests of purported Sasquatch samples from other laboratories.

Next-generation whole genome sequencing with the HiSeq 2000 platform by Illumina was performed at the University of Texas, Southwestern on one tissue sample, a saliva sample and one blood sample to produce 3 whole genomes. In contrast to the mtDNA which was unambiguously modern human, the Sasquatch nuDNA results were a mosaic of novel primate and human sequence.

“While the three Sasquatch nuclear genomes aligned well with one another and showed significant homology to human chromosome 11 which is highly conserved in primates, the Sasquatch genomes were novel and fell well outside of known ancient hominin as well as ape sequences,” explains Ketchum. “Because some of the mtDNA haplogroups found in our Sasquatch samples originated as late as 13,000 years ago, we are hypothesizing that the Sasquatch are human hybrids, 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.

“Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies.”

Authors: Ketchum MS, Wojtkiewicz PW, Watts AB, Spence DW, Holzenburg AK, Toler DG, Prychitko TM, Zhang F, Bollinger S, Shoulders R, Smith R

Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology. 11 January 2013.

Specimens yielding DNA were obtained, purportedly from elusive hominins in North America

Once again, the technical language of the final report is misleading and the methodology unsound, and it is so in exactly the same way that I explained when the news of this study was first broken.  More than one species is undoubtedly included in the samples, and I still hold that some of the samples are from quite ordinary members of Homo sapiens. Others are non-primate, and an independant team has suggested that some samples come from a black bear. Undoubtedly some such confusion has resulted in the problem with chromosome 11.  The section dealing with the mtDNA in particular is making statements and assumptions which are incorrect and the conclusion drawn as to the mtDNA originating in Europeans 13000 years ago is undoubtedly due to contamination by European (Post-colonial) DNA being included in the sample by contamination. In a specific example, the sample handled by Justin Smeja was contaminated by Smeja's own blood on the sample. That particular conclusion must be removed because of such contamination.

On the other hand I am perfectly happy with the general conclusion that most of the Bigfoot samples from North America come from a type of Homo sapiens. I merely do not accept all of the conclusions drawn from the study because I feel that more than one species is represented in the samples used. I do not wish to state a subspecific name needs to be assigned to it, nor yet do I contend that an exact subspecific name is justified at this point.

Once again, this identification of such creatures as Homo sapiens does mean that anybody killing any individual of this species will be guilty of murder.-DD


  1. I have been waiting for the results of Brian Sykes' study.

  2. One of the primary issues with pronouncing such vicious arguments about this paper's conclusions is that you are suggesting that she and her group have some how decided these outcomes. The problem is that no one has offered to do this at a scale and position of advanced study, where completely undeniably perfect science could be attempted. So, we are going to have to live with the DNA results. This is just another step to try and draw enough attention to get the general science community of the world involved. If we could just get the vivid videos to be accessible and have some level of legitimacy around their content, that would start to create a better environment. the problem is, that the similarity to humans and their evasive nature makes it very difficult for a "large party" to have an experience of seeing these creatures in the wild. So, I think that the more individuals that we have continuing to invite these creatures into an encounter will be the only way to get more video footage. Because of the apparent nomadic nature of some of these family groups, it's also going to be difficult to have continued encounters. We have some situations where bears and other large animals have befriended humans and come back to visit, and show off their new offspring. Lots of things can happen, but only with some kind of focus, will we really discover enough to completely expose and evaluate how they really live.

  3. "Vicious Arguments"? Perhaps you should reconsider your use of the term. Have you any credentials in any sciences dealing with genetics? Because Ms Ketchum has actually made some fundamentally ignorant statements about both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA and how they work.
    The most significant criticism I can offer is that the mtDNA as described paints a fair picture of colonial white Americans and the proportions are about as they would be found in the British Isles. It certainly is not any description to be expected of any Precolumbian population of North America except in a minority of cases (perhaps 20% of the mtDNA samples, with a low residual of African DNA included)The most obvious conclusion is that there has been contamination of the samples In the case of the Justin Smeja sample, an independant laboratory confirmed the contaminant and the source was Justin's own blood on the sample giving a false mtDNA reading
    Now while you are reconsidereing reareading the section saying I Basically agree with the general conclusion as to the classification of the Bigfoot for the most part of North America. I might remind you of the phrase "Biting the hand that is feeding you"

    By The Way, this blog has a policy that I have the complete right to delete ANY anonymous comment simply on the basis that it is anonymous I get far too many abusive comments from people who are too cowardly to even sign their names, many of them apparantly drunk or just plain ignorant. Next time you write, kindly sign your name


This blog does NOT allow anonymous comments. All comments are moderated to filter out abusive and vulgar language and any posts indulging in abusive and insulting language shall be deleted without any further discussion.