Everything’s coming up Bigfoot DNA

Paranthropus_boisei_560In answer to those who’ve asked, “Have you heard about the Bigfoot DNA story?”  Yes.  Yes. A thousand times, yes!  My take on it is there’s really nothing new to report other than it’s the first time Dr. Ketchum has publicly stated the findings of her teams study.

Her claim is basically this.  Bigfoot is a species of hominid that came about as a result of hybrid speciation.  What does that mean?  It means some unknown hominid (unknown to the current DNA database) and modern humans got it on about 15,000 years ago in Eastern Europe.  Her team not only reportedly sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of various samples.  They sequenced the nuclear DNA of three samples contributed by three different researchers.  The latter is what is most intriguing to those in the scientific community.  Nuclear DNA testing is far more complicated and harder to dispute.

She is calling her findings novel and unexpected.  The mainstream scientific community is calling her findings unconventional and unlikely.  Now, mind you all this talk stems from a press release by Dr. Ketchum about the findings.  None of it addresses the actual paper because the paper is as yet unpublished.  Dr. Ketchum has stated that it will be published in a matter of weeks.  Again, this is the first time she’s given even a vague timeline, so you have to think she’s gotten confirmation from the journal that it will be released and they’ve lifted any kind of embargo so she could finally address rumors.

Some points to ponder

  • Dr. Ketchum has vehemently denied she ever used the term “angel DNA” to describe the unknown hominid found in the full sequencing of the Nuclear DNA.  Even if she did, I’m not particularly bothered by it because the scientific community uses theological terms to describe scientific findings and studies all the time.  Just ask physicists if they really believe they expect to find traces of God in the “God Particle.”
  • Mainstream scientists aren’t hoping Dr. Ketchum is wrong.  They would love nothing more than for her to be right.  In fact, I’m betting many of them are secretly excited about the possibility of Bigfoot being real.  That they are expressing doubt and skepticism shouldn’t be viewed as them dismissing her findings.  They are all anxious to get their hands on the paper.
  • Dr. Ketchum used a dozen or so independent labs to verify her findings.  The chances that they all got the same results are highly improbable unless they all got the only results that could be found.  In other words, they didn’t all find the same “novel” DNA unless there actually was “novel” DNA.  I think that Dr. Ketchum’s five year study used contaminated samples is unlikely. She’s described the precautions her team took to ensure that no contamination took place.  They took DNA samples from every member of the team and field researchers and tested for contamination.  However, only time will tell if indeed the samples were actually contaminated.
  • Matt Moneymaker is clearly upset by the findings and has been speed-tweeting his dismay.  One must remember that Dr. Ketchum lured Moneymaker’s sugar daddy away from his organization in order to fund the DNA project.  Therefore, we have to take Moneymaker’s claims with a grain of salt.  I’m not saying he’s a dishonest guy.  I simply saying his judgment may be impaired.
  • Hybrid speciation in the animal kingdom does take place in nature a lot.  Polar bears and grizzly bears have produced offspring in the wild.  It’s widely known that different species of primates have and do create offspring frequently.  Some claim that chimps and gorillas have crossbred in Africa which results in a creature called the Koolakamba. And those who think it’s too farfetched to believe modern humans bred with “sub-human” hominids are clearly not familiar with the concept of bestiality.  Humans are freaks!
  • There apparently is substantial physical evidence that was used in this study.  More than a few sources are saying that included in Dr. Ketchum’s study is a sample taken from a 2.5 lbs piece of flesh collected in the Sierra Mountains in 2010.  Two and half pounds of flesh is a hell of a lot of flesh, and I’ve been told samples of it are included in Dr. Syke’s Oxford-Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project, as well.  In addition, samples from the flesh were submitted to labs outside of both of these studies.  And for what it’s worth, those independent labs have been baffled by their findings.  Beyond that I don’t know what their findings were.

In the end, none of this is more than speculation until Dr. Ketchum’s team’s study is released, and other scientists have had an opportunity to do their own tests to either verify or eviscerate her findings.  I will say this.  If Dr. Ketchum is proven to be wrong, either because she’s incompetent or deceitful, her career is over.

I found Bigfoot!

Bigfoot can be yours for only $80,000!

This is awesome!  If I had $80,000, this thing would be mine.  This is a statue that Clifford LaBrecque had built about 35 years ago. Clifford allegedly had an encounter with his friendly (or not so friendly) neighborhood Bigfoot in 1976-77. He observed a few for about 2 months in Des Moines, Iowa, and things were fairly amiable until Clifford decided he was going to shoot one.

That night LaBrecque decided to shoot the creature. “It was about 25 feet away from where I was parked in my pickup truck.” LaBrecque said. “Two of the creatures walked up from behind a hedge. One stopped but the other went to a woodpile, bent down and started to eat with its back towards me. I stayed in the car and waited for it to turn around but it just kept on gnawing at the wood. Finally I decided to shoot it from behind. When the animals turned and saw me, I got buck fever and couldn’t shoot. As it came towards me, I couldn’t get the window rolled up fast enough. It was really close.” LaBrecque was petrified with fear as the creature advanced. He tells what happened next.

“It loomed  over the car. It was about 8 feet tall. It reached through the window, grabbed me and shook the daylights out of me. It was terribly strong. I could feel its face about 6 inches away from mine and believe me I was in a state of tremendous fear. I could feel my whole body shaking. I felt a sensation of being twisted around and pushed down onto the floor.  The creature’s eyes were burning with fury. It was angry, very angry at me for trying to shoot it. Then I passed out. When I regained consciousness it was gone.

Clifford insists it is accurate to the last inch.  He had the thing built for around $9,000, so he is trying to turn a nice little profit, but hey, why not?  It’s cool.  If you want to own a piece of Bigfoot lore, hurry up and get in on the bidding on ebay.

BTW – I’ve gotten a few emails and messages from people concerned that I haven’t done a Bigfoot post in a while.  Frankly, there’s nothing new to report.  I can only post so much rumor and conjecture before it gets kind of silly.  When there is something newsworthy, I have no problem discussing it here.

Hold on to your hats! The Greasy Beast of the High Sierras is here!

A paranormal group has called a press conference today at 4:00 Pacific Time to no doubt disappoint us all.  On Memorial Day their truck or van or some bulky vehicle of the like got snowed in somewhere on the High Sierras.  They left it to retrieve it during friendlier weather conditions.  Upon their return, they discovered that a creature of some kind greased itself up and pressed its face against one of the windows of the vehicle.  Below is a picture of that oily imprint.  The left is the original and the right is the image I created with my super enhancement skills.  You’re welcome!

Why so disgustingly greasy, Bigfoot?

They say that it’s the “Most Convincing Evidence of Bigfoot” since the Patterson film.  The group is called the Sanger Paranormal Society, and they say they’ve had a DNA expert take swab samples, but there’s no word on whether or not the DNA expert will be on hand to field questions at the press conference.

You can click here for more information on the press conference – “Most Convincing Evidence of Bigfoot” News Conference Today!

 

Are they people? (An Erickson Project post)

What makes people people?

Welcome to a weird philosophical rant today.  It will meander.  It will test the boundaries of comprehension and logic.  And, it will make you roll your eyes.  But, I’m a writer who sits around thinking about imaginary crap all day, what do expect?

My recent post about a face in the woods (which is most likely just shadows and light) coupled with the recent spate of discussions about the Erickson Project in several cryptozoology groups has me wondering if we’re prepared for the discovery of a bipedal non-human species that demonstrates advanced cognitive thinking.  Far more advanced than known apes, and maybe even as advanced as Homo sapiens. 

For those of you who don’t know, the Erickson Project concerns Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, if you prefer.  The people involved claimed to have been studying several family groups of the creature in the wilds of North America.  They purport to have clear video evidence and DNA samples to back up their claims.  The project started in 2005 in Kentucky and has expanded to include areas throughout the US and Canada.   They say it has taken them some time to collect viable DNA samples for testing, and since there is no matching DNA in the current database, it has taken a lot of patience and effort to verify the results and officially identify Sasquatch as a new species.  They either have or are planning to submit their findings for peer review and a documentary is in the works.  

Everyone in the Bigfoot sphere of interest is highly skeptical.  Not so much because of the people involved with the Erickson Project, but because of past claims of clear video evidence and DNA samples made by others over the years that all proved to be bogus.  It’s because of these past experiences the Erickson Project folks are being so methodical and quiet about their research.  I sent an email to the contact address on their website inquiring about the release date of the documentary and got back a curt response saying nothing would be released until the DNA evidence is officially verified. 

So, for the time being we are left in the lurch.  The Erickson project could be the real deal, or it could be as real as the tiger blood coursing through Charlie Sheen’s veins.  But let’s pretend for a moment that the Erickson Project does reveal without question that there are non-human bipedal creatures roaming the forests of this continent.   They have been stealth and smart enough to remain hidden for hundreds of thousands of years from humans, or at the very least since recorded time.  They may even have a primitive language, a culture, a cooperative existence, etc.  They are not super natural beings.  They are wholly natural beings, and they’ve made a conscious decision that the key to their survival is to stay away from humans.   It is in their nature to distrust us. 

Unfortunately, it is in our nature to discover them, so we have to ask ourselves how we’re going to classify them when we do.  Are they people?  Do they have the same rights as us, or since they are a different species are we going to try to dictate the state of their existence from the time of their discovery on?  Remember, we’re not talking about an animal that lives by instinct alone.  They think things through.  They communicate to others within their species.  They consciously respect the borders of civilization and choose not to cross them.  In effect, they live as primitive humans. 

Admittedly, I’m extrapolating a lot for the sake of this discussion, but I feel most of what I have said is fairly reasonable based on eyewitness accounts and current theories.  They are not simply an animal.  They are an animal with an intelligence we’ve never encountered before outside of our own species.  The question remains what does that make them and how should we treat them when they are discovered?  I suggest we don’t make them adapt to us.  We should adapt to them.  We shouldn’t treat them like people because frankly, we don’t have a great history of treating people who are different from us very well in this country.  Just ask the Native Americans.  In fact, perhaps we should take this opportunity to adopt the strategy we should have adopted with the indigenous people of this country when we first landed on the shores of North America.  Let this new species be their own nation within our nation.  They’ve lived harmoniously with the wild since their beginning.   Let’s keep it that way.  Let’s not try to manage them or change them.  Unfortunately, we will have to protect them from us because our history has also shown that we don’t really respect the things we discover.  Our curiosity and fears tend to drive us to do stupid and selfish things.  But the laws we make should pertain to our species not theirs.  They’ve never threatened us or required anything from us.  Let’s keep it that way.

Okay, now you can stop pretending.  If the Erickson Project turns out to be nonsense like a lot of people fear, then it’s all a moot point.   Just keep it in mind in case they actually do come through with conclusive proof.

Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Bigfoot.

A Thick Skull Editorial

A Skullboy Byline: I take great pleasure in addressing a question from a fat, jolly old friend to this blog. 

Dear Editor,

I am centuries old.  Some of my elf friends say there is no Bigfoot.  Mrs. Claus says if you see it on R.W. Ridley’s blog, it’s so.  Please tell me the truth, is there a Bigfoot?”

Santa “Old Saint Nick” Claus

Santa, your elf friends are wrong.  They have fallen victim to the disease called rational thinking.  To them, the improbable is impossible.  They are only comfortable with the world they know, and scoff at anything that threatens their perception of what is realistic.  To them, the world is entirely discovered.

Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Bigfoot.  He’s as real as the footprints he leaves behind.  The greatest discoveries in science and nature and medicine and art have yet to be discovered, and without people who allow themselves to believe in the improbable – even the impossible – they will remain undiscovered.  In order to progress and grow as a society, we have to explore those things that shouldn’t be, that can’t be. 

Skepticism is useful until it replaces curiosity.  It is not necessary that your elf friends believe in Bigfoot, Santa, but don’t let it dampen your curiosity.  We need the curious for our own survival.  Explore the improbable.  Embrace the impossible.  Discover what can’t be, and we will all be better for it.

No Bigfoot?  How boring would life be if there weren’t people who allowed themselves to believe in something so improbable?  Nay, how dangerous would life be if there weren’t people who allowed themselves to believe in something so improbable?  So, believe in Bigfoot, Santa!  Your elf friends are total boneheads!

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