Dr Melba S. Ketchum has made press release of an astonishing discovery: she has sequenced Bigfoot DNA, she claims.
“Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain 3 whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples. The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species. Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, 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. Genetic testing has already ruled out Homo neanderthalis and the Denisova hominin as contributors to Sasquatch mtDNA or nuDNA. “The male progenitor that contributed the unknown sequence to this hybrid is unique as its DNA is more distantly removed from humans than other recently discovered hominins like the Denisovan individual,” explains Ketchum.
“Sasquatch nuclear DNA is incredibly novel and not at all what we had expected. While it has human nuclear DNA within its genome, there are also distinctly non-human, non-archaic hominin, and non-ape sequences. We describe it as a mosaic of human and novel non-human sequence. Further study is needed and is ongoing to better characterize and understand Sasquatch nuclear DNA.”
Wait. Fully human mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from your mother, so she assumes that all Sasquatches had human women as relatively recent ancestors, but at the same time, the nuclear DNA is some bizarre mish-mash that includes non-ape sequences? That makes no sense at all.
Well, there’s one way it makes sense: it’s the result of sloppy lab work and high levels of contamination, and a complete lack of discrimination on the part of the investigators. No details have been released yet, but I imagine that what they’re sequencing are from hair samples turned in by Bigfoot investigators: dirty, grimy hair samples collected by a mix of charlatans and naive, deluded hunters. I wonder if there are raccoon and possum genes in their sequences…
The paper has not been published, and I don’t see how making a press release about a paper in peer review would help. I expect that no reputable journal will touch it, and it will sink unpublished…except that the myth that Bigfoot DNA has been examined and found to be unique will live on.
But here’s what really bugs me: it’s from a DNA lab called DNA Diagnostics, Inc. They do forensics, paternity testing, and consulting/expert witnessing in the court system in Texas. Would you trust results from that lab? How many other labs doing forensic DNA testing are run by people who think they can identify Bigfoot in a sample? If Ketchum has dealt with any criminal cases, I foresee grounds for future court challenges in her future.