A song for the frustrated Bigfooters

I’ve purposely not commented on Dr. K’s newly released DNA paper because I’m waiting for those with bonafide chops in the study of such things as genetics and other science-e endeavors to weigh in with conclusive opinions. The behavior of some of the individuals publicly involved in the study is leading me down a very cynical path.  To be frank, I don’t like what I’m seeing and it leads me to believe that something less than honorable is afoot.  Let’s call that a suspicion not a indictment.  Suffice it to say, I’m keeping up with the drips and tiny bits of information coming out, and if I feel I need to comment, I will.

For now, here’s an original song by Youtuber mctrmt that sums up how I feel.  I give you Wake Up Matilda.

There is no Bigfoot…

No-BigfootUPDATE 4:00 – 12/06/20: Dr. Ketchum responded on Facebook to the “rumors.”  I’ve placed her response at the end of this post.

…Paper that is.  Or at least one that will be published anytime soon. Warning: Bitter pills to follow.

News reports are trickling in that Dr. Melba Ketchum’s paper on Sasquatch (hybrid-humans/h-humans) DNA has been rejected.  I gave her the benefit of the doubt last week that she only made an announcement because the journal gave her permission.  It now appears – reading between the lines of the original source that leaked the story – that this may have been a ploy to raise the profile of the paper in order to force the journal’s hand.  If we are to believe previous stories on this topic, the paper has been rejected and rewritten on numerous occasions.

This news will, of course, lead to an uprising of conspiracy theories about the bias of mainstream science.  While I have no doubt that a majority of the scientific community thinks the subject of Bigfoot is silly, no reasonable scientist is biased against solid research based on sound scientific principles.  At this point, we must all assume that the paper is not worthy of publication.

This should also put to rest all the ridiculous claims that there is a body.  There is no body. How do I know?  Because Dr. K would have released photos/video of said body in order to bolster her claims.  And if she’s not in possession of a body, but someone else is, they would certainly have taken the opportunity by now to release evidence that they have a body on a block of ice given the media attention her announcement was given.

Dr. Ketchum also issued a statement that she is in possession of HD quality video of these h-humans that she will release when the paper is published.  Everyone is assuming that this is the famous (or infamous) Erickson footage.  Logic dictates that these images are not game changing images, otherwise, at the very least, a clip or two would have appeared to add credibility to her press release.  Few people have seen the Erickson footage and even fewer still have been impressed by the footage.

It is time for the researchers that submitted samples to the study to step forward and break their non-disclosure agreements.  Thanks to the publicity this stunt generated the paper is most likely DOA, and will never see publication in a reputable journal.  Disclosure cannot damage the paper anymore than it is already damaged.  If you are a contributor to the study, and you contact me, I don’t do the anonymous sources crap.  You contact me, you go on the record.  This community is rife with secrecy that serves no real purpose other than to give cowards cover.  I won’t be a part of it.

Sane people have been witness to something in the woods of North America.  I’m not willing to completely dismiss their accounts.  Statistically speaking it’s much more reasonable to believe something large and unknown is out there than it is to believe they are all simply lying or misidentifying known animals.  However, as of now, there is no proof of Bigfoot, and making claims to the contrary is nonsense.

Dr. Ketchum’s response – “The paper is still under review and the rumormongering is counterproductive. The science will speak for itself once the manuscript publishes.”

To elaborate on her response, the news of the rejection came from Igor Bustrev, a Russian researcher who types in broken English.  I believe the Ketchum camp is claiming he meant ‘revision’ instead of ‘rejection.’

That being said, Dr. Ketchum is not off the hook.  She would be better served if she released some of the footage that is allegedly high quality HD footage.  I can think of no logical reason to withhold something that would only support the claims she made in her press release.

What makes Homo sapiens human?

Is this a human?

The debate continues in the Bigfoot community over the as yet revealed unrevealed results of Dr. Melba Ketchum’s DNA study. Most of the participants in the debate have no idea what Dr. K’s paper will reveal, yet through various fruitful and fruitless sleuthing techniques they believe they have uncovered what the study will conclude, Bigfoot is almost human. They, of course, have come up with more precise scientific jargon to express what that means in the world of lab coats and test tubes, but for those of us that don’t have letters after our names that is essentially what they are saying; Bigfoot differs from Homo sapiens in only the slightest way, genetically speaking.

Whether or not Dr. K’s study will stand up to scientific scrutiny remains to be seen. In fact, whether or not Dr. K’s study concludes the above even remains to be seen. The quality and conclusion of the paper can’t be debated with any degree of intelligence because no one outside of a handful of people has seen it. But that doesn’t mean this discussion has been all for naught. On the contrary, I think something very important has come out of the guessing and wishing surrounding Dr. K’s unpublished paper. What does being human really mean?

Not everyone is buying into the “almost human” moniker. Old schoolers insist we are dealing with a bipedal ape. They argue that we are simply looking at a highly intelligent animal that walks like us. Nothing more. That is where we find ourselves today on the issue of Bigfoot. There are three fairly reasonable sides to consider.

    • Bigfoot does not exist
    • Bigfoot is human
    • Bigfoot is an ape

Discounting the “Bigfoot does not exist” crowd for a moment, the divide between the two latter sides is so slim it’s hard to see. Let’s forget the DNA study for this discussion. From a moral perspective, we have to decide amongst ourselves what being human means before we can decide whether something is human or not.

As a society, we have decided that medical testing on Chimpanzees is morally acceptable because they are so genetically similar to us we can save our species  by sacrificing members of theirs. Think about it. We are knowingly killing and causing harm to something we’ve deemed an animal because its genetic structure is dissimilar to ours in the smallest degrees. Why aren’t Chimps, Gorillas and Orangutans considered human? Because they aren’t Homo sapiens? What if Neanderthals had survived and lived in our mountainous regions today? Would they be humans? Their scientific identification is Homo sapiens neanderthalensis or Homo neanderthalensis depending on who you ask. They are almost like us. More similar to us than our great ape brethren. Would it be morally acceptable to conduct medical testing on Neanderthals if they lived today?

What is it that strips something of its rights? Is it lack of language? It can’t be stated with any kind of scientific certainty that Neanderthals had language. Some of the genetic markers for speech have been discovered, so the scientific community is leaning towards the use of language by Neanderthals. So let’s pretend that language is where we draw the line in the sand. Whales and dolphins demonstrate a highly sophisticated form of sounds that some have interpreted as language. Yet, we allow countries like Japan to hunt whales for food. Koko the gorilla has demonstrated the capacity to learn and use American Sign Language, but she is not considered human. Legally, the argument could be made that we could conduct medical experiments on her despite her ability to communicate outside of her species. In fact, some would even say that teaching research apes sign language could be beneficial because they could actually describe how they are feeling. The mental state of the animal could be more accurately monitored and as a result we Homo sapiens could avoid the same kind of mental anguish.

Clearly language is not enough to consider something human. Is it culture? Is it intelligence? Is it tool us? Is it belief in a higher being? I submit that none of these are factors in determining if something is human or not. There are animals that demonstrate a cultural structure. There are highly intelligent animals. There are animals that use tools on a regular basis. And, there are Homo sapiens who do not believe in a higher being. I would even go further and say that we do not use genetics to determine if something is human or not. We decided Homo sapiens were human long before the field of genetic study even existed.

As far as I can tell, as a society we decide if something is human or not purely based on physical attributes alone. If something isn’t bipedal, it’s not human. If something is covered in hair or fur or feathers or scales, it’s not human. There are anomalies within our species that are exceptions to those rules, but overall that’s the way we’ve come to the moral determination that something is human or not. Based on those two criteria, Bigfoot puts us in a tough spot being a hairy biped.

I’ve said all that to say this. I believe debating whether Bigfoot is ape or human is putting the cart before the horse. We have to first determine what makes something human and leave genetics out of the discussion. Does something that doesn’t quite look like us deserve the same rights as we do? We may find that Bigfoot is governed by their own set of laws. They may have a language. They may even have little inside jokes about the hairless creatures that roam their forests with guns and cameras. It’s not even outside of the realm of possibility that they believe in a higher being and have communal rituals they perform in observance of their higher being. We don’t know enough to know what we don’t know.

Now you may be one of those on the third side of this issue and can’t believe for a second that Bigfoot exists. In which case, you are probably having a good chuckle right about now. Consider this. Something left behind DNA samples to be included in that study. The study revealed something that merits publication in a scientific journal. There is something out there. What it is may bring Homo sapiens to a cross roads. We may have to decide if something outside our species or something that is defined as a Homo sapiens subspecies can be considered human.

The NABS’ role in the ongoing Sasquatch DNA study

Founded in 2004

I realize it’s been Bigfoot central around here lately, but all signs are pointing to a major roll out of information over the coming weeks, and rumors, intrigue, speculation, etc. are at an all time high.  I’ve never seen a frenzy like this before.

A few days ago, I emailed the North American Bigfoot Search (NABS) about their director’s, David Paulides, upcoming appearance at the Honobia Bigfoot Festival and Conference.  I knew he had close ties to Dr. Ketchum and has even handled inquiries for her about the DNA analysis she’s doing (or has done depending on who you ask).  So, I asked point blank what they plan to talk about. You can read their answer here: Updateon Dr. Ketchum’s scheduled appearance at Honobia Bigfoot Festival andConference.

In addition to that particular answer they included the following information:

In a past blog you had used the word “Erickson Project.” For clarity purposes, North America Bigfoot search did a due diligence search and found Dr. Ketchum and utilized her to start a DNA project for us. We worked with her for many months on several specimens, she was not working with anyone else at that time. Dr. Ketchum and NABS decided we wanted a cross section of samples from North America and David Paulides and Dr. Ketchum went onto Coast to Coast radio and solicited others who had bigfoot samples to participate in our study at no cost to them. Erickson along with dozens of others (Individuals and Research Groups) listened to that show and started to participate.

I had actually recognized my mistake on that particular issue a couple of weeks ago, and wrote a blog post about it (The Ketchum Report). To be frank, I’ve noticed a subtle effort on the part of the Ketchum camp to distance themselves from the Erickson Project.  I don’t know why exactly, but I’ve seen it noted and corrected a few times that The Ketchum Report and the Erickson Project are two separate entities.  I would go so far as to say that point has been stressed on a number of occasions.

Since I had the ear of the NABS, I decided to ask them a few questions I had on my mind.  Nothing too probing, just stuff I’ve been thinking about. Here are those questions and answers for your own edification.

1. Generic DNA question: Is it your understanding that DNA without a living specimen is enough for the scientific community to recognize the existence of a species?

DNA is the fingerprint of life, it is what identifies species. If DNA has been generally accepted by science as being the key identification factor of any species, why wouldn’t this be enough….If the DNA in this study is unique…

2. From an outsider looking in, there appears to be a high degree of mudslinging and discontent among a few of the Bigfoot organizations and personalities.  Would you agree and if so, what do you think accounts for this behavior?

NABS will not and has not slung any dirt, we won’t participate in that behavior.  If you look at the history of bigfoot research going back 50 years almost all of the major books had “ape” in the title. What happens to the level of sales of those books if the DNA comes back as some type of human? Most of the “Big-Name” researchers from the last 50 years have bought into bigfoot being an ape and have leveraged sales of their books, websites, TV appearances and lectures on the ape theory, what happens to their ability to generate income if bigfoot DNA comes back as some type of human? We believe that many of these researchers are quite nervous about their position going forward if their hypothesis is proven wrong. NABS does not understand why these same researchers have completely ignored what Native Americans and First Nations People have stated, bigfoot is human and it is another tribe…David Paulides went into this topic and explained our hypothesis very thoroughly in “The Hoopa Project” and Tribal Bigfoot”.

3. Some in the community have expressed concerns over the NDA issue.  There are those who have experience submitting peer reviewed material and say NDAs were never a part of their process.  I’m wondering if you can address the need for NDAs concerning this DNA study?  In particular, people have commented that this is an attempt to control the purse strings and keep all the profits.  Do you anticipate that the study will lead to opportunities to make money or is that even a concern?

Prior to coming into bigfoot research David Paulides came from a technology background. All technology projects are covered by NDA’s, they are all considered intellectual property and all have value. The bigfoot DNA project has value as hundreds of thousands of dollars has been committed to the project. The people who committed to the project have the right to control whatever portion of the information they deem necessary. The reality, when scientists deliver white papers to science journals, these papers will not get peer reviewed unless the scientists reviewing the document have the first look at the facts behind science. If people are talking about the reality and facts behind the study, then those scientists don’t have the first look and peer review does not occur. Dr. Ketchum wants scientists who are not involved in this project to give the study their stamp of scientific approval (peer review) as this will quell much of the attacks the fringe element has tried to generate.

We have all seen fiasco’s occur in the way crypto research has been handled in the past, the bigfoot DNA project will not follow that path, it will follow protocol established in the scientific community.

4. Whenever contacted about his documentary, Adrian Erickson’s response has been that he won’t release the video until the DNA is released. Given that it was the NABS that initially brought Dr. Ketchum into the project and started the DNA analysis, can you confirm that there is no contractual link between the Erickson project and the Ketchum DNA report?

We have no idea if a relationship exists or what therelationship is between Dr Ketchum and Mr. Erickson.

5. The DNA study aside, there have been a number of eyewitnesses that attribute very human-like behavior to Sasquatch.  If it is true that these creatures are more human than ape, yet not totally human, how do you think we should proceed as a society in dealing with their rights?  One would think that habitat preservation won’t be enough.  Won’t we have to take steps to ensure that their culture is preserved, as well?

We will go back to “The Hoopa Project” and “Tribal Bigfoot”. Witnesses signed affidavits to what they viewed and their signtings were recorded in Mr. Paulides’ books. The best law enforcement forensic artist in the world, Harvey Pratt was brought in by NABS to meet with witnesses and draw what they observed, it was shocking to us at the time. Witnesses described a very human looking biped, that is what Mr. Pratt drew and all of the witnesses validated the sketches in the books as what they observed. We will acknowledge that bigfoot has physical differences to the point that humans are different. If you were from a jungle tribe in the Amazon and were put in a room with an NBA player, then a first Nations person, a Chinese person and a Norwegian, the tribal member would be in total shock at the physical differences, these are the same differences you will see in bigfoot, again explained in Mr. paulides’ books.

If bigfoot has DNA confirmed as Homo Sapiens, laws are in place to protect the biped, nothing needs to be done.

If bigfoot DNA comes back as something different then us, then laws have to be written protecting the species from us….

And scene.  I appreciate the NABS for taking the time to answer my questions.  And now to step away from all things Bigfoot and get back to writing Book Five of the Oz Chronicles.

Update on Dr. Ketchum’s scheduled appearance at Honobia Bigfoot Festival and Conference

After I got over being annoyed by someone claiming that I was unfairly speculating about Dr. Ketchum’s appearance at Honobia (even though I clearly stated that I had no idea what the status of her report is or would be by the time of the conference), I emailed the conference organizer, Troy Hudson, and asked him for a comment.  Here is the email exchange:

Me: I recently posted a link to your website with Dr. Ketchum’s presentation in the headline.  It’s getting 10-1 traffic compared with my other posts.  I also noticed that quite a few have clicked on the link to your website.  I’m guessing you’re going to have a fairly good size crowd for the conference.  Do you have any details on what Dr. Ketchum will be presenting?

Troy’s reply: I am more about quality than quantity. Our committee is more concerened about presenting quality information that having worries about how many people come through the door. This year is about learning who and what they are.  Dr. Ketchum’s project is still in peer review. She was only added to the conference schedule due to deadlines on advertisement agendas. Several venues wanted our schedule because they were rolling out advertisement for several states across the US. We will have a number of people presenting topics that are related to the DNA project. We are not trying to give the impression that the DNA results are going to be discussed at the conference unless the peer review is complete. However everyone knows that she is the lead on the DNA for this project. She will be prepared to discuss things either way if it is out or not. She can’t go into detail about things unless it is out before the conference. If it isn’t I am sure she will discuss the road traveled up to where they are on it. If it is out, all bets are off, no telling what is going to be talked about at the  conference. Either way it will be interesting. Hope that helps.

To add to the conversation, I contacted the North American Bigfoot Search for any information they could offer on behalf of David Paulides, since he is working with Dr. Ketchum on the project and will also be speaking on the same day at Honobia.  Here is their reply.

If we stated that David Paulides/North America Bigfoot Search (NABS) and Dr Ketchum were going to speak about DNA then the implication is that the paper has been submitted, we cannot deny or confirm this has occurred. If the DNA paper has not completed peer review by the time of the conference, then Mr. Paulides and Dr. Ketchum either will not appear or will discuss other topics.

I’ll be posting more on the NABS, but for now this is the information available from the main players, with exception of Dr. Ketchum herself.  Frankly, I’m pretty sure she would say basically the same thing as Troy Hudson and the NABS.

Dr. Melba Ketchum scheduled to speak about Sasquatch DNA on October 1, 2011

Read into this what you will - Click on image to go to Honobia Bigfoot Festival and Conference for details

I have no idea if the Ketchum Report will be out by then, but it seems odd to me that she would schedule to speak publicly about Sasquatch DNA if the paper is still in the peer review process, particularly since she’s been so careful not to violate protocal to this point.

Honobia Bigfoot Festival and Conference

UPDATE – It looks like Dr. Kethum’s addition to the schedule bumped a wedding, so either she’s got something really important to say or someone in the wedding party got cold feet.

Schedule before Dr. Ketchum signed on to speak.

Biscardi, The Ketchum Report and Conspiracy Theories

The man behind the 2008 Bigfoot in a freezer hoax

Is there a coordinated effort in the Tom Biscardi camp to try and discredit the Ketchum Report? And if not coordinated, is Biscardi manipulating associates into stoking the fires of doubt that surround the report? The question has to be asked because the man who will be forever linked to one of the most famous Bigfoot hoaxes has connections with three vocal critics of Melba Ketchum. Those critics, Bigfoot Hunter, Richard Stubstad and Tim Fasano, have all come out publicly in the last few weeks expressing mistrust of Dr. Ketchum and maligning her character either subtly or maliciously. They all seem to be unanimous in their views on Ketchum’s Nondisclosure Agreement in particular. The implication they present is that Ketchum is trying to unfairly control all the findings of the study and therefore reap all the profit (if any profit is to be had).

It’s unclear where Bigfoot Hunter and Fasano are getting their information. They are accusing Ketchum of some pretty serious unethical behavior without serving up much in the way of evidence. Stubstad is a horse of a different color. He was once involved with Ketchum’s study, but refused to sign what he considered a much more restrictive NDA. He, at least, has some connection to the actual project.

It is said the Stubstad delivered material to Ketchum that came from Tom Biscardi. Some have speculated that the material did not make the cut so to speak and Biscardi has felt left out of the ongoing study and therefore out of the ongoing discussion about what could be groundbreaking evidence in the arena in which he’s dedicated so much of his life. Rightly or wrongly, he has the reputation as a man who yearns for fame and attention at any cost. One only has to watch him in Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie to witness firsthand his skill at manipulating people. That’s why I am willing to give Fasano, Bigfoot Hunter and Stubstad the benefit of the doubt here. They may be mere pawns in Biscardi’s scheme.

If there even is a scheme. This is all speculation on my part. I have no inside sources. Unfortunately, Biscardi’s past behavior conjures up a swarm of suspicion and mistrust and sends onlookers head on into a messy world of conspiracy theories. I know one thing about the world of Bigfoot, you have to keep one eye on the lookout for the big fella and one eye on the lookout for Biscardi.