SciGuy blogger Eric Berger had a buddy who knows DNA. The geneticist was asked to test the DNA samples with Ketchum’s permission that were purportedly a novel and non-human species.
I agreed to be an intermediary between Ketchum and a highly reputable geneticist in Texas, whom I trusted and knew personally. I also knew that this geneticist was first and foremost a scientist, and if there was even a 1 percent chance the Bigfoot evidence was real, he’d want check out the story. I asked, and he was willing to approach the evidence with an open mind.
It was, he told me, a mix of opossum and other species. No find of the century.
So back at big reveal, Dr. Ketchum published the paper in a dubious journal with terrible references and it was immediately panned. She did note it was being tested by others. That’s good. And, as expected, it failed. It was not a new species. This case is closed. But the real question remains – what DID happen with these samples to get to that conclusion she did?
This test does not appear that it will be published so we have to take this word for it. I’m not sure what to think about that but it’s not an extraordinary claim being made here. This was the expected result – that Ketchum et al failed to find something extraordinary but messed up some samples along the way.
UPDATE: (2-July-2013) Ketchum has this to say about the testing on Facebook.
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. The person from UT that did our analysis told me that he never got all of the raw data uploaded to the second lab due to computer problems on the receiving lab’s end. 2. I offered raw DNA to this lab so they could extract and sequence themselves. They would not even give the courtesy of a reply. 3. They refused to even speak with me on the phone. The entire thing was completely and totally unprofessional. 4. They never tried to check the analysis done at the University of Texas even though the bioinformatics person put himself at their disposal.
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. 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. The things that I know for sure are that it was not an adequate analysis, they did not even try to double check or recreate our findings. If they really had an interest, they would have jumped at the chance to resequence the raw samples. Funny thing, I offered the samples to three other places also and nobody was willing to test. Something is just not right. 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. Most would rather perpetuate that BF is a myth or an ape.
Something is not right, that’s true. This continues to be joke science – an example of how NOT to do serious work.
UPDATE (3-July-2013): Ketchum mouths off to the Huff Post citing “jealousy” and that Berger may have switched the samples. Holy cow, she is an embarrassment to the Bigfoot community. And that’s saying something!
UPDATE (5-July-2013) Eric Berger writes a response to her response and calls her out for behaving ridiculously.
If Ketchum really had the goods she would have gotten the work published in a reputable scientific journal. Instead she’s playing to an audience that doesn’t understand how science works, that wants to believe Bigfoot exists and is willing to send her some cash to further their delusions.