Mike Renzulli

More About: U F O and Other Unidentified Stuff

They Have Found Bigfoot ... NOT!

After allegedly leading a five year study, Texas geneticist Dr. Melba Ketchum claims to have found DNA from a hair sample her team of researchers obtained. The only thing is that, according to Doubtful News, the DNA results have been announced ... without the data. As Doubtful News points out, the identities of the team of scientists Dr. Ketchum lead have been kept hidden and she has continuously made promises to release the findings of her work, how they came to their conclusions, what procedures were used, as well as publish the team's findings in a peer review journal as early as 2011 but has not done so.
One blogger with the scientific community has weighed in and it is not looking good for proponents:  
The hair samples that contain only human mtDNA are from a human. The samples from which the nuDNA is isolated are also from humans but with some contaminants or some other animal source mixed in. That seems to be a more parsimonious interpretation. I would like to know more about the source of the DNA, but I guess that will have to wait for the full details to be published. The fact that the human DNA is modern human (hence the need for the alleged hybridization to have occurred so recently in the past) is most easily explained as the source simply being modern humans.
Aside from the lack of any fossil or present day physical evidence of a Sasquatch, I suspect that if Melba Ketchum's data is submitted for peer review it will suffer the same fate as a scientist who stated he had scientific proof of the existence of Abominable Snowmen (aka Yetis). Last October a Russian scientist named Valentin Sapunov disclosed he had uncovered DNA evidence pointing to the existence of Yetis in which he believed there was a colony of them located in southern Siberia. Sapunov said the reason why none have been sighted is that Yetis have an acute sense of danger. The scientist's claims were swiftly rebuked by his colleagues. The DNA evidence Sapunov retrieved in order to prove his case was later found to have come from the hair from a goat or bear.
Even sightings of Sasquatch's have been easily refuted as well. For example, during July of 2008 two Georgia men named Rick Dyer and Matthew Whitton posted a YouTube video claiming to have found the dead body of a Sasquatch. Their findings were covered in all of the major news networks but when the body of the Bigfoot thawed after arriving on a block of ice it was found to have been a Halloween costume. Upon this discovery both Dyer and Whitton admitted their findings were a hoax. Dyer and Whitton's publicity stunt is one of many urban legends myths and it is crystal clear that the recent hype surrounding the resurgence of Sasquatch sightings or (in this case) scientific findings for the existence of Bigfoot are just that.
Recently, a Vermont man alleged that a Sasquatch ravaged an apple orchard in his home's backyard but the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department concluded the creature in Frank Siecienski's video of the event was an owl. The first filmed footage of Bigfoot was done by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin and was publicized during October of 1967. Once released it set off a firestorm of publicity and speculation about the creature. However, North Carolina costume shop owner Philip Morris came forward and stated that his company sold the two film makers with an ape suit made by his wife Amy. Morris also disclosed that Roger Patterson called him to inquire on how to make alterations to the suit to make it look bigger in which the two men told Morris they were going to use the costume for a prank.
The current trend of Bigfoot sightings should be met not just with extreme doubt but with cynicism too. In every instance of reported sightings or physical evidence, discoveries have turned out (not surprisingly) to be nothing more than publicity stunts. In fairness, some were innocent cases of mistaken identity. Fortunately, the media has treated the Bigfoot story with extreme caution due to past and present claims about Sasquatch experiences later being found as frauds. And a fraud, I am sure, is what Dr. Melba Ketchum's study findings are.

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