May 14

SC EP:757 The Science Of Sasquatch

John from episode 754 will be returning to the show. John will be sharing his background as a scientist. He spent the last two weeks refreshing himself on Dr. Melba Ketchum’s paper. What is wrong with the paper, what is right about the paper and why other scientist refused to accept it.

Go to to get a copy of the paper if you want to follow along.







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218 Responses to “SC EP:757 The Science Of Sasquatch”

    • Daren c

      What a great show and breakdown of Melbas paper. Sounds like All possible DNA evidence should be sent to this guy… Thanks for the time clearing things up.

        • Jon V

          II literally was just settled in for sleep and listen to a little of my favorite podcast.. LolI
          I had to find my phone to comment.
          Love that intro Wes!
          Tight 🔥
          The best.

      • Robert B

        The issues as I see them. 1) it is very difficult to get clean samples; 2) very few labs, if any besides Melba’s, are going to do this work; 3) Melba’s work was criticized as if it was something like a phase 4 study when really it is much more akin to a phase one study; 4) most genetic work starts from a basis of an already known genome whereas Sasquatch is an unknown genome, at least outside of government confines.

  1. Evelyn L

    No wonder the doctor will not speak on any Bigfoot podcast or channel. It is not fair to have a so called scientist speak on this without her present. I don’t care if he is for or against Ms Ketchum’s paper. She is not there to defend her work. Why should she speak to “Bigfoot experts?” She has already been beaten up by most of them plus the so called “scientific community.”
    I am really disappointed that Mr Germer would do this.

    • Wes Germer

      I have asked Melba to come on several times…asked isn’t the right word. I have practically begged her to come on. Why are you disappointed, I brought an expert on to discuss the paper, he does not have a hidden agenda. He is giving his professional opinion on the paper, he doesn’t have a dog in this fight.

      • Michael M

        Wes, I think some people miss the fact that if we are going to shed any real light on the Sasquatch phenomenon, it’s going to take branching off in a number of related directions that won’t always make everyone happy. We’ll never find the answer if all we do is follow Matt Moneymaker around as he howls in the woods.

        While I certainly don’t know what Sasquatch is any more than anyone else does, my personal hypothesis is that the truth involves more than just an undiscovered species of ape. There’s just too much evidence of crossover with other paranormal phenomena. There’s something bigger going on here, and I appreciate your willingness to go wherever the evidence leads.

        As for Melba Ketchum, I don’t see anything at all wrong with submitting her work to critical examination. It’s not about feelings, it’s about finding the truth, whatever that may be.

        And as for the Hulu “Sasquatch” documentary, I thought it was a fascinating story, and really appreciated you letting us know about it.

        Keep up the excellent work Wes, and keep going wherever the evidence leads. For example, I’d love to hear more about Skinwalker Ranch from anyone, if they’re available, who can provide more details about the Bigfoot sightings there. I really believe that the ranch is crucial to better understanding what is actually happening, not only with Sasquatch but with other types of phenomena as well. That location seems to experience everything from UFOs, to cattle mutilations, to poltergeist activity, to electromagnetic effects, to Sasquatch sightings, etc. That is powerful evidence that there is a common source behind all of it, or at least a common point of origin for their entry into our dimension or reality.

        Take care, and thanks again!

        • STEVE W

          What I ran into was not an ape, That is for darn sure, No animal can avoid us like they can, And I know without any doubt some can understand our language and can hear us talking to ourselves without speaking out loud at all, If I shared a partial story people would believe it, If I shared the entire story, people would say BS,
          Even this show wont share everything about them, If they did, people would scream BS and turn the show off,
          Scott Carpenter is not scared and Steve Ishadel reads whatever comes in,
          We will never know what they really are, If the government is forced to say anything, They will say ape
          I personally think they have abilities we once had, And they live and communicate like we once did.
          Just think about what it would have taken to survive just 400 years ago, We didnt just go storming through areas
          when so many more dangerous animals roamed the woods, We wouldn’t have yelled, Hey I am over here, We would have been stronger and could have run for miles without much effort, Man did live without fire and I have no doubt could see better and hear better

          • Jill T

            Same here Steve, no one would believe my story and I think we lived like them once also.

      • Joshua T

        Honestly Wes, I’m not entirely sure this guy even had a copy of the paper, or if he did, he couldn’t have been reading it in any detail. When he was talking about the mitochondrial DNA primers he said that only human primers were used, where the paper clearly states that they used UNIVERSAL primers for SPECIES DETERMINATION and IDENTIFICATION. At that point I knew there was something fishy going on here….

        • John XZ

          As I said in comments below, their approach was focused on using Human primers. They only used universal primers once on Mitochondrial DNA to prove that amplification with Human primers was consistent. There is a non-biased way to do this study. Their conclusion was that it was 100% Human mito sequence, but it was not done. Futhermore, they never presented in their paper their evidence of similarity or dissimilarity of their Unkonwn sequences with Human, Chimpanzees, Gorillas… These are the reasons that the study is not convincing proof.

      • Timothy S

        Melba and the team have completely shut down and won’t do interviews or release any further info. They have a library of excellent photos and video, specifically from Kentucky, but refuse to release any of it due to the blowback from releasing the paper. Kinda sad.

      • Stephen C

        Heck Wes no matter how you go about somebody’s got to complain about something. I can see both sides of the issue so I’m going to see my ass out of it lol . I’m going to keep on listening to podcast and learn from what other people have seen and experienced. I think you bringing the scientist on was a great idea , Hey bro you keep doin you there’s always those people that have to complain and gripe like you don’t know that . Thanks for all you do ,guess it can get overwhelming and frustrating sometimes . The show is important Wes it is to me and a lot of other people. . sorry for the third grade grammar should’ve gave you fair warning in advance

      • Amie S

        Hope you’ll take the time to tread her rebuttal. I admire and respect you Wes but to bring on a so called anonymous expert. If hes got no dog in this fight , why not reveal himself?

      • theresa m

        Thank you for the link. I listened to that podcast. Excellent! She sounds very credible and has done her due diligence. It pisses me off royally when people who call themselves scientists refuses to give an honest assessment of what is put in front of them, especially when all the work has been done as requested. I would be done, too.

    • Catherine B

      I agree…I have listened to hours of Melba explaining her own work…..She is so far beyond most “scientists”…Her credentials and her character are excellent….If I was her I would be the same way….I would be so done/finished talking to people at this point…I would be so done with “explaining” results ….She has been harassed , her character attacked and her livelihood effected by her dedication….She has gained NOTHING…but has sacrificed much…..I find her extremely credible…I hope someone else will grown the balls and courage to conduct the same work.

      • John XZ

        Catherine, it is unfortunate that there is so much negativity directed at people who talk about this topic – it’s too bad. However, in order for this field of study to move forward, people need to understand that scientific proof is a high bar, especially when trying to prove something so unusual. But I agree with you, it should not involve personal attacks.

        • Catherine B

          John…I agree the scientific proof is a high bar……I have studied Melba and her teams work..After much listening, studying, research of my own it my conclusion and opinion Melba and the team’s work is credible..Their information makes many uncomfortable because it does not go along with the status quo of the theory of evolution..As with many great people I believe Melba will not be validated for many, many years. Possibly years after she is gone. After the numerous attacks Melba and the Sasquatch Genome Project team have experienced I doubt anyone will present DNA proof for a very long time. What a shame. I also respect the opinions of many who agree with her findings. Ron Moorehead is only one. Thanks for your input and thanks Wes for the platform you give.

          • Rob P

            You are so right on Catherine! Dr. Ketchum doesn’t know me at all yet she engaged me in lengthy email exchanges and even called me one evening to answer questions and provide clarity on her methodologies, results, and well-founded conclusion. She sent me a copy of her report which I promptly gave to a friend who happens to be a managing scientist for a DNA lab. He concluded that there were no errors in her labs and results. I completely understand why she has gone “dark” and don’t blame her one iota! Let’s remember that she was testing biological material from one geographical area and likely one type of Sasquatch, and some researchers are now promoting the existence of 4 different species. What she obtained and posited may not be as definitive for the other variations.

          • Catherine B

            Rob P…..Thank you for sharing your personal experience with Melba…..Your description of Melba sounds just like the kind of person she is….At some point I imagine she had to move on/get on with her own life….She did not even believe Sasquatch was a real thing when she began. All of the attacks that came at her after she presented her results were very strange to me…That is a huge part of why I began to delve into her work….I find her and her work very credible. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

    • Line H

      I dont think it’s unusual for scientist to critique other scientist’s papers. It’s done all the time and basically what peer review is. She has been invited on this show many times to explain her woek and Wes has always been very respectful of her. I think this is ok. We need it explained in lay terms.

      • theresa m

        Have you ever tried to explain something, several times, until you are blue in the face? Once you hit the wall and know that no matter what you say, the result will continue to be the same? Well, that’s called insanity. You know, going back to the well for a drink of water when you know the well is empty? I’d not speak to anyone after that, at least for a long time. Wes is the real deal but if Dr. Kechum has been met with such opposition to the extent that she has, what would make her want to try to explain her work to Wes?

    • Timothy C

      First HULU Sasquatch, now this.. Wes are you trying to tell your audience something? Everything this guy had “issues” with has been thoroughly explained and documented by Melba.You say he has no hidden agenda? Well if it’s hidden, then how could you know? Listening to this guy 2 things are clear: 1 he is definately doing what he can to make her work seem questionable.Everything he said was negative in one aspect or another. 2 He is not what he claims to be.No way this guy is as educated as he would have you believe.I don’t have a degree in science, but give me 10 min with this guy and I’ll ask him some questions that will make him look like a fool! I’m sure you could have done that yourself but you were being a gracious host.. You had him fumbling and stumbling a couple of times but you let him off the hook.. I saw a couple of opportunities to really bust his weak bubble but it is what it is.. After Hulu Sasquatch it’s clear that the Hollywood good ole boy system eventually reaches and consumes everything after all is said and done…

    • Neil P

      So every legitimate scientific study or document peer review happens in real time in the form of a debate/dialogue? Sorry no. This was an informed and thorough discussion about a now years old paper that was NEVER PEER REVIEWED. I’m not a geneticist but you can’t fake that this was an intelligent and experienced reviewer. If Ketchum wants to refute this there is abundant opportunity to do so on this or any of a number of sasquatch related forums. I’d 100% listen and/or read any response especially Ketchum. Maybe only her. But this isn’t the People’s Court.

    • Jay T

      Dr. Ketchum’s response to this episode is on her Facebook page as she has to defend herself as author of DNA study. If you listen to earlier podcasts of SC and Wes’ comments, it might answer why she has not been on this podcast or any others. Dr. Ketchum is a brave trailblazer, regardless of whether you support her or not. This episode did nothing to settle the legitimacy of her paper-Sorry Wes.

  2. John A

    Wes Thank you !! I am looking forward to hearing his discussion on the article, peer review and his take on the DNA and contamination issues. I wish I could toon in right now.

  3. Douglas s

    Thanks for doing this Wes. I needed this.
    Now I can honestly say I kinda understand how her paper could be dismissed.
    John’s explanation was great and really did clear up the confusion . Thanks John.

  4. Douglas s

    Thanks for doing this Wes. I needed this.
    Now I can honestly say I kinda understand how her paper could be dismissed.
    John’s explanation was great and really did clear up the confusion . Thanks John.
    We should all keep in mind that just because Melba’s paper wasn’t received very well doesn’t mean another paper couldn’t be honed to perfection. Maybe Melba would consider collaborating with John as well as the scientists nay-saying the results in order to create a bullet proof paper that speaks for itself and wouldn’t give someone a chance to disagree.
    I’m almost positive that if Melba were here to defend her paper she’d gain insight on how to conduct a better paper instead of having hope to convince that it’s solid enough. I don’t think John is absolutely disagreeing with the existence of Sasquatch rather he’s discussing How it failed to convince most.
    This only makes the target bigger and easier to hit for someone willing to give it another try.

  5. Vance W

    I heard a lot of this could have been done better in my opinion or this is not important to the point of the paper but no “As a scientist, I say these results are categorically bogus”. I hope Melba and her team were listening or any other team out there that might be trying the same thing as I do think the guest had a lot of good advice on how to clean up a report and make it more bullet proof. Maybe someone will be inspired to pick up the mantel and we can all learn more about our elusive interest.

  6. John A

    Wes. Excellent introduction to validity and reliability and the scientific method. Your questions were relevant and helped define the major issues in the study and methods for us.
    John – we have similar backgrounds – you made an excellent overall presentation on the problems and difficulties on the sample collection, prep, bias and methodology of the study highlighting some of the basic issues many other reviewers noted in clear terms. I agree there were some lost opportunities here but perhaps others will be encouraged to continue to analyze unknown DNA samples in a rigorous study.

  7. Nigel R

    Thanks for making this.
    Pity Melba didn’t have a mentor to critique and direct the paper. Can’t help but feel sorry for her, the whole thing must’ve been an ordeal.

  8. david b

    Wow, didnt know you could put 5 years into a study and botch it up. I am sure the “researchers” had a lot to do with presentation. I still believe we need a corpse!

  9. Linda B

    Here’s my two cents.. 🙂 Having worked with lawyers, commissioners, and bankers most of my life, you look at the authority and jurisdiction when considering beginning any project or case, and for me the documentation and delivery should be convincing. Your content should be irrefutably supported with well substantiated and documented evidence, especially before sticking your neck out. So, slapping together a press release rather than producing a report for a scientific journal, which by the way apparently requires a PhD; falsely promising a soon to be released report that took several months, along with including legend and random obscure photographs in a scientific pronouncement, all tend to weaken and unsubstantiate the case for the existence of sasquatch. Efforts to prove the existence of sasquatch already struggle. I believe victims of sasquatch encounters will be helped and will heal when science admits these creatures exist, and those same victims, along with the rest of the world, deserve for the science to be delivered in the most professional,, ethical, and accurate manner possible.

    All that said, denying our honest and humble friend Wes Gerner, who in our eyes is the true expert, an interview speaks to either self-importance or avoidance due to a lack of expertise.
    The Ketchum Project: What to Believe about Bigfoot DNA ‘Science’
    January 2013

  10. Clifford B

    I was a social psychology major in college .
    I pounded the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition,(the 2013 update) which I don’t think changed much since 74 (3) .
    Tough reading . That’s why I barely graduated with a 2.2
    Also prevented me from taking the MCAT which my cousin and killed on .
    Very cool discussion Wes

    • Clifford B

      While researching on my own I found this Book Review on Amazon by Derrel P.
      It starts out talking about Dave Pauludes .
      So I triple checked it on the web , and it is in fact true about Dave Paulides ( who was behind this with Melba).

      Here’s the quote .” Even his Credentials are complete fiction, he was never a “Detective for over 20 years” as he likes to claim, he was a Traffic Police Officer for 16 years who resigned in disgrace after his arrest for Fraud and Theft. To claim that you were a Detective for over 20 years when in fact you were a Traffic Cop of less than 16 years before being convicted of using your position to sell Fake Celebrity Autographs is Absurd and Highly Deceptive. This is most likely why his requests for information, if he even made those requests, were denied because of his background and what he wanted to do with the information. Another fact that Paulides neglects to mention is that he is the Architect of another Scam with the Equally despicable Melba Ketchum charging people in excess of 50 USD to look at a Fake “Scientific Journal” claiming to show Evidence of Bigfoot DNA (DENOVO MAGAZINE). Only after paying this money to Him and Ketchum do people Discover that there is in fact no Scientific Journal and No DNA test proving the Existence of Bigfoot”.

      *** I need to look for the Magazine Denovo .
      Maybe birds of a feather . IDK ?
      I know Scott Carpenter has also lost stock lately .
      He too was involved with Melba , Dave etc….
      The more I find out about people the more I realize things I would have never guessed about them .
      I’m so naive.

  11. Celia

    This episode was music to my ears, Wes. An intelligent breakdown of an imperfect research project by someone who is not dismissing it, but offering professional insight and constructive criticism. I am also a scientist and also found the paper flawed. That doesn’t mean I “hate Melba” I just think this study missed the mark. Peer feedback is critical to scientific research. It’s not personal. Instead its a long-standing and rigorous protocol for validating findings before accepting them as “proof .”

  12. David T

    Very interesting episode. I have heard that the paper was not accepted but I had no clue why it was not accepted.. Now I do. Learning from this maybe someone will try again. Thanks Wes

  13. Timothy S

    I think John misstated some information from the study. He said that they used only human primers which biased the study but that is not at all true. The Study plainly states on page 14 that human specific AND universal primers were used:

    “DNA samples were successfully amplified and sequenced across the whole mitochondrial
    genome and the HV1 locus using both human specific and universal primers. The sequences that
    were subjected to BLAST searches in GenBank®40 showed consistent homology with human
    haplotypes. No mitochondrial DNA homology with apes, Neanderthal or Denisova cave
    sequences were found21-39.”
    . Mitochondrial DNA testing results are shown in Table 2 and
    sequences in Supplementary Data 2

    • John XZ

      Hi Tim, just to be clear, all they are saying is that universal primers also amplified the same Human mitochondrial DNA as did the human primers, that it is not too surprising. However, the did not use only universal primers for their entire study. For this reason, it is biased.

      • Timothy S

        Hi John, I do agree with you that Melba’s paper was somewhat unprofessional and should have omitted the photos etc. Wes does a great job with the show and the overwhelming takeaway from all of this are the facts: There are large, hairy hominids running around us of unknown DNA that on some occasions have injured people. Some evade us, some watch us. some have a shy imposition while others are extremely angry and aggressive. They are 6-10ft+ tall and built like a brick shit house. They are often accompanied by glowing orbs and at least some have supernatural abilities. (too many witnesses to deny this)…..


  14. William L

    Thanks Wes for this presentation, but I must say that i find the results very disappointing. I have, like most, my own theories about the origins of Sasquatch and Melba’s statements fit with it quite well. Now not so much. I had given her the benefit of the doubt assuming her actual results, female human mitochondrial DNA and unknown nuclear DNA, were correct, but that she had been railroaded for political reasons. Now I have serious doubts that I can do that. Unfortunately, here poor paper has given Bible scholars a viable reason to ignore the possibility that Sasquatch are related to the Nephilim, with human mothers and angelic fathers (albeit fallen evil angels.) So, now you can see why Melba’s results dovetailed so well with my and many others theories. But my search ultimately seeks the TRUTH, so thank you for doing your best to present just that!

      • Jay Carlsen

        Please , I am only an Ignorant Oilfield Laborer. But when I did my short stint in Community College I wrote a Paper comparing the Sasquatch People to the Neanderthal Man ( AND I WISH I WOULD HAVE KEPT THAT ! )
        The thing that got me was that the Neanderthal had a Larger Brain than Modern Humans ( like by 27 % ) But Neanderthals carried the extra Grey Matter in a region of Our Own Modern Human Brains that is responsible for our Long Term Memories. And in the Book I took the information from I read that it was theorized that these Feral People were Born already knowing what is good to eat , and where to look to find it ! All from the collective memories from Both Parents. ( which is a pretty impressive attribute to have )
        Then I found that a Neanderthal Footprint found in a cave in Italy proves that the Neanderthal also had a Mid Tarsal Break across the center of Their Feet ( Just Like the Sasquatch People )
        So if the Sasquatch People have a ” Pre Human ” Brain ? And they also have the Mid Tarsal Break ? Can we assume the 2 Species are of the same Stock ? ( at least very Closely Related )

      • Jay Carlsen

        If the Sasquatch People can reproduce with Modern Humans ? Then doesn’t that also make The Sasquatch People Human as well ? ( since Modern Humans can not reproduce with Primate Kind )

  15. Michael C

    I have been waiting for years for a comprehensive explanation of this DNA study. Thank you Wes and Thank you John. I agree that keeping it simple is a good approach. That said I think another valid approach is to sequence the entire genome. Certainly, the down side of that is the expense. $500k or there about. Dr. Meldrum spoke to this in the 100 podcast episode Bigfoot and Beyond with Cliff and Bobo. He gave some great points about DNA research. Probably best to save the $ until a full specimen is recovered. Anyway, Thank you again Wes and John for the very enlightening show.

  16. Lee N

    Wes, sleep well my friend! Many thanks for all you do. I pray the negative comments don’t sway you from what you choose to do. Life’s to short.

  17. Gillan J

    The fact there was so much wasted opportunity and wasted samples in this study frankly makes me suspicious of the whole thing. And if you take a big step back and say what if the study was a total success and every scientist could repeat her findings etc, i.e we have Sasquatch DNA 100%, what does that even mean? how is that even useful??

  18. devon c

    Terrific show – much appreciated – thank you, Wes and JohnXZ.

    How many scientists break through on their first try? It’s too bad she seems to have given up, but part of her reasoning I’m sure is the ridicule that she has received – who needs it?

    BUT… the objective review of the presentation of data that we heard, and maybe some shifts in methodology should be fertile ground for another try, either by Dr Ketchum or another intrepid scientist wanting to explore where new science might make inroads to the mystery.

    Good DNA analysis is becoming an amazing tool in human evolutionary studies. It doesn’t take a huge leap of faith to think that an unknown primate can be isolated in North America via DNA studies.

  19. Joseph K

    Wes, I was surprised to hear of your choice of reading material. The DSM, I’m impressed. Not that it matters if I am impressed, though as a clinical behavioral specialist, I am happy to learn of your interest in human behavior. Understanding “us” opens so many doors to understanding the perspectives of others and what may motivate our actions.

    • Rob S

      I have to say that’s why I love sasquatch chronicles and the subject matter. It is irrelevant if I believe sasquatch to be a reality, what I find most intriguing is the motivation and perspective behind the witnesses. Clearly some witness something, maybe a sasquatch or another misidentified known creature. Others eyewitness accounts are complete fictional narrative and in many cases obviously so. Why is this? What causes people to interpret experiences in specific detail while others recollect the same or similar encounter in a different way? These are the questions that intrigue me often at times more than the possibility of the existence of sasquatch.

  20. Matthew J

    John, Thank you for taking the time to review and comment on the testing. Sheds a lot of light on this subject. I was able to pretty much understand your suggestions. Hopefully, the next group that wants to do a similar study, will take those items into consideration.

    BTW: The PCR number of cycles used is very important. Covid testing was using 40+ cycles which will return a positive result even when the test should have been negative. The CDC last month or so reduced the PCR cycles and suddenly the Covid results changed dramatically.

    Learned a lot this episode.

  21. Timothy D

    This show, and it’s long-term contribution to the ongoing conversation regarding Dr. Ketcham’s paper, could be enhanced greatly, by bringing in another scientist, (if one exists, can be found and is willing to appear), who supports the scientific validity of the study..

    Could help mute the criticism that Wes is biased, (has a dog in the fight),.
    Just a thought.

      • Timothy D

        Thanks Wes. We’re all students which makes the Chronicles a great University of experiential learning, with an occasional expert to stir the pot.Will give some thought and review contacts in case I can be helpful.

        What made John a great guest was he has also had encounters. Another scientist, familiar with DNA sequencing etc., (and hopefully an experiencer), and who found Dr. Ketchum’s paper helpful, would hopefully provide the balance necessary to keep more people in the conversation.

        Although affiliated with Dr. Ketchum’s study, former guest Scott Carpenter, might be able to offer some names of scientists with a balanced approach, but who are more positive about the paper/study.

        Thanks again for creating such and enjoyable and important learning environment.

  22. John XZ

    For the sake of everyone else here, I’m going to repeat that all of my encounter reports were 100% truthful.

    Rob S, I’m sorry you did not like my encounters, but that’s your opinion, you weren’t there. I was the one who had to endure it. . As I said before, I had repeated contact with these things, even though I never wanted or tried to come in contact with them. I assume you have not seen one, otherwise you take my “plethora” of sightings so personally. Rob S, if you have had any encounters, let hear them….

    • Timothy D


      Thank you for both your contributions to the show. Your encounters episode and your most recent conversation with Wes, required both courage and candor.

      Also understand your complete need for anonymity, given the toxic conversational climate which hangs in social media and which permeates our society in general.

      Both you and Wes, have made important contributions toward understanding the Sasquatch phenomenon by sharing your encounters publicly.. That exposure opens you up to all sorts of criticism, and even ridicule.

      In spite of the harshness of tone, stay strong in the knowledge that many, and perhaps most, listeners truly value and appreciate The Courage it takes to engage in this dialogue in the public square.

  23. Whizbang

    Keep on keeping on, it takes all this and much more to get clear concise results, Rome wasn’t built in a day, Melbas paper is another rock in a wall of Rome. Whether or not a good fit only time will tell. Awesome interview can we get Dr John to do some more precise dna sampling of Sasquatch with more modern testing techniques of a fairly new field of dna. I’ll help.

  24. Eleni C

    Hello Wes,
    I am a longtime fan and appreciate your efforts to further scientific conversations. I am though quite puzzled though why your guest John seems to have entirely overlooked p. 14 paragraph 4 of Dr. Ketchum’s DNA study? For his reference it states: “DNA samples were successfully amplified and sequences across the whole mitochrondrial genome and the HV1 locus using BOTH human specific AND universal primers”
    I would expect an objective “peer” review to fully to read the paper. Additionally, he ignored the her duplication of the same findings sent to other independent labs. Why?

    Thank you!

    • John XZ

      Hi Eleni, Thank you for your question. I did in fact go over results in Table 2, page 14 about the mitochondrial HV locus. The manner in which they used the universal primers was only to confirm the results they had done with Human primers. What they concluded was that the mitochondrial DNA was all Human. The study should have been done without any human primers at all. Since you mentioned peer review – their paper was previously reviewed and rejected from PLOS One journal before landing in “De novo journal” which is apparently not scientifically rigorous. And by the way, their Unknown DNA sequence was rejected from Genbank, which tells you a lot.

  25. Laura M

    Great show Wes! One of my favorite episodes. Thank you John for a fair review of Dr. Ketchum’s paper. You are obviously not hostile to the idea of a bigfoot existing as you have had your own experience. Unfortunately, so many people are so vested in having this paper be the definitive proof of bigfoot’s existence, they can’t accept that it far from that. I wish Dr. Ketchum would have behaved like a true scientist and, having gotten specific critiscm of her work, went back and tried to redo the sequencing to meet accepted, rigorous scientific standards. While it’s never fun to be told you goofed up the fact is real scientists get told that all the time. They redo the science or acknowledge they were wrong.

  26. Clifford B

    John blew my mind .
    I could have listened to him all night .
    I felt like I had an advanced course in Cellular Genetic Biology
    Bravo Wes . It’s the first time I could step away from encounter story’s and still become mesmerized with
    the content. I had wild dreams because of it .
    Thank you Sir .

  27. richard r

    kinda feel sorry for this poor womens “paper”.but until a sasquatch, or “rogue sasquatch” comes out from the forest and spills all his or her information about itself ,we will never know.

  28. greg d

    Interesting take on the Ketchum paper. I can remember Paulides talking about it many times on C2C. The guests take is fresh. The use of irrelevant photos really undermines the opera credibility. It’s like when on Finding Bigfoot they get a glimpse of something on IR, goto commercial, and when they came back it was just Bobos head.

    Sadly these kind of games are used when you got nothing.

  29. m99

    It was a fresh look of an interesting work. My question is why did they present the findings this way, ie., no comparable of other animals? There were notable people working on the project. Why was there fluff and unnecessary things in the way? I don’t understand it. I do believe her though and was sad everything went down as it did. Anyway, thanks Wes. Good job. Good questions.

    • John XZ

      Great question, we don’t know why it was presented this way. It is possible that some of the sequence is meaningful, but the case for relevance was not made effectively in the paper. None of this is meant to be personal toward the authors. I think we all want to see some clear experimental evidence.

    • Clifford B

      Damn good questions in hindsight M99.
      IMO there are so many different variations of these beasts that it makes every researcher correct and every researcher wrong simultaneously.

  30. Bingo M

    Wes, you claim you saw a living breathing creature. Is it real or not? Drawn out putting down evidence. Why has it been submitted to genbank? Why did they not question it? Maybe John has his own priorities. Not biased and taking sides. Just after the truth. 😉

  31. Nathan E

    This sort of thing is why I pay my $7 a month. Thanks Wes for putting together this episode. It was a great way of explaining the Ketchum Report and the many factors that went into it. John explained everything very well. Even with my general-education level knowledge of genetics, he explained things to my liking. Keep up the good work! Thanks to John for taking the time to read the report critically and tell us why it wasn’t immediately hailed as a Great Truth after it was published.

  32. Mark R

    Thanks Wes and John for an honest and informative take on Ketchum’s paper. If a scientist can’t take the pressure of peers reviewing their work then they shouldn’t publish it. To me John served the same role as a book editor and it probably would have behooved Ketchum to have hired someone to help her with the mechanics of her scientific processes and the writing of the paper to adhere to sound scientific standards. I hope she can take the criticism constructively and redo what needs to be fixed and answer her critics as specifically as John reviewed her paper.

    Unfortunately we live in a post truth culture in which beliefs and feelings trump truth even when it’s presented.

    Thanks for a great show gentlemen.

  33. Denise F

    No matter ones personal or professional take on Dr. Ketchum’s paper, I will always admire her bravery and character to take on this endeavor. I truly believe she worked hard and desired to have accurate results. She knew what she was up against and still she kept going. To many witnesses that live with this question, we are thankful she tried 😊.

    Thank you John and Wes

    • Glen M

      I agree Jon was just picking every little thing apart he sounds like a world class DNA expert, But does it really matter if dr ketchum went through all of johns steps in the DNA process?? no bcs sasquatch would still be legend for a few reasons, logging, hunting, outdoor activates, and imagine what it would do to the human population to have a creature like this walking around other humans. tall hairy monster that can speak like a man. That would shake the foundation of humans. But most importantly to the government is money, and they are willing to kill numerous people to keep there secrets, secrets!

  34. Nick T

    So, does this guy have any idea what the samples were? Seams to me that no matter what these sample’s were or weren’t labeled, how they were gotten, they should be something that we know of.

  35. Douglas K

    I can appreciate, at the very least, the insight from applying the scientific method versus being blinded by Scientism. This wasn’t the most entertaining but, genuine and honest so cudos. Thanks, Wes.

  36. Michael J

    Excellent explanation and it does shine a new understanding why some find the paper hard to take and others swear it proves everything. It would be nice to see the people involved in the original paper go back and redo their research in accordance to the suggestions made. It is not like there is not any more DNA available to redo and correct the oversights.

  37. John XZ

    It’s important for everyone to understand that the scientific process builds by the successive efforts and refinements of many people over time. There is a lot of reason to be encouraged that this field is now maturing. The amount of field knowledge on Sasquatch habitat and behavior is truly impressive. Bringing that expertise and molecular methods to bare is what will yield the best results. The transformation that is taking place is the adaptation of researchers to the scientific method. Success will require unparalleled cooperation. The fact that we are having this discussion is a sign that things are changing. I really appreciate Wes Germer for creating an environment where we can have a relatively civilized discussion of the status of this field.

  38. Scott D

    As someone with a PhD, I’ll simply say this. Most people in this discussion need to look up the “Dunning Kruger Effect” and reflect on it. To understand the criticism of JohnXZ, you also have to understand the original paper by Ketchum—and then have a sufficient background to judge the relevance of both. The simple fact is, most don’t. Much like when DNA evidence and methods used, are presented in court, the jury doesn’t understand them to the degree they should. Lawyers rely on this lack of understanding because very few want to be honest and admit they don’t get it.

    I commend JohnXZ for taking the time to go through this paper and point out some issues with it. I think one thing that is missed is that JohnXZ was really pointing out issues with the methods they used, not so much the data (or at least it was a secondary issue). It is a methodological critique and discipline specific. I too have heard interviews with Dr. Ketchum and she is persuasive. But being persuasive and following protocols to produce repeatable results are two different things.

    Finally, as a few posters mentioned, if you want research to be accepted and actually prove something, we need to move beyond Matt Moneymaker and the professionals that hype this stuff. One compelling reason SC still works are the eyewitness accounts–and there are very good reasons to believe some of them. But science is still the best explaining game in town and until that kind of “proof” is offered, repeated, and assessed across multiple disciplines, Bigfoot will remain a myth and subject to irregular sightings.

  39. Case M

    Human nature on display in these comments – which is fine – but interesting. I found John well-spoken, intelligent, and capable. His criticisms of Dr. Ketchum’s study seem reasonable. One would think Dr. Ketchum would be interested in defending her work in some fashion.

  40. Alex G

    Forgive me for my ignorance in this matter and stating the obvious but this paper was submitted a long time ago and has the science of dna improved in this time and is John looking at it from 2021 perspective or is it exactly the same then as now .Still great show Wes and great guest

  41. Glen M

    The DNA study was done a decade ago, I have listened to dr Ketchum and I believe everything she was doing was Legit. She also shared how they where trying to destroy her carrier and make her look like a nut job, This sounds like typical work of a coverup from the deep state, I will be the tinfoil hat wearing person and say it would not shock me if john is compromised, but he sounded legit, dr ketchums crew might not of been as sophisticated as what john is used to, they might just be Podunk DNA collectors. But does it really matter we have all the proof in the world Biden isn’t the 46th president, but he is still sitting in the white house. We have all the proof we need to prove sasquatch is real and nothing! I’m sure we could have 10 sasquatch body’s in public all across the united states for 30 days on display and after the deep state removes them, they would still convince the public that sasquatch’s are a myth.

    • John XZ

      Glen, nope, I’m just a scientist, meaning the evidence has to be rigorous to be believable. I can’t wait for someone to do this work the right way. I would be the first to applaud someone coming forward with irrefutable molecular evidence – that’s what it takes when the thing you study does not cooperate with science. You can see that none of this is about belief, its about proof, which is the highest bar. Having said all this, I also happen to be a ‘knower,’ so understand the knowledge gap in this particular subject.

  42. Annette H

    I don’t have a PhD but I do have a BSc majoring in biology and agriculture and whilst most of this is waaay above my pay grade the simple fact is if her controls weren’t behaving the way the were supposed to the scientific community will not accept her results as valid. She messed up something in her method. You work out a control with a known result in a experiment to show that you’re conducting the experiment correctly. So if your control doesn’t do what it’s supposed to no one in science will believe you. I believe her intention was good but her method was flawed. It’s a shame.

  43. Evelyn L

    I really have stayed out of this topic as much as possible because I just cannot tolerate the attitudes of the know it alls in this arena. I did think that I heard that the people who did this study had sent their specimens to a variety of laboratories. So it was not this women that so many want to hate OR the team that collected the samples that did the research. It was independent labs that conducted the tests.
    I cannot imagine that the paper presented could have been as badly put together as this man says. I take from his attitude that he never really paid much attention to anything beyond the few pictures presented on the cover page which are incidental to the actual report. He is laughing at the audience and the very idea of discussing this subject with people who might believe in this creature AND WHY IS HE BRINGING UP TUE SUBJECT OF PEOPLE BEING READY TO ACCEPT THE EXISTENCE of such a creature for??!! That was never mentioned by Mr Germer and there is nothing about the creature’s acceptance by the public in the research! That is extremely strange to me. Why on earth is that a concern to him?? Why would the public not being “ready to accept” the existence of the creature have any bearing on this report? The paper was about DNA results not convincing the public!
    People listening to this podcast do not have the report to look at. All they have is this man’s stated opinion. I find this totally one sided. It is not presenting an accurate account of the report. The women is a scientist. Even if this is not her field of expertise she would certainly know how to write a scientific presentation. I just do not believe that they her paper is as shoddy as this guy says.

  44. Knobby


    Her paper was peer reviewed and a reviewer sent it back to her for clarification and asking for things to be added. Its not uncommon for a paper to be sent back in this manner. A reviewer released information about what was originally missing in the paper, and critics who don’t believe in sasquatch, like Haskel Hart who like most all of these critics are not a geneticists themselves, ran with it and set out to discredit her, using the comments of the initial peer reviewer to discredit her.

    She resubmitted with the corrections. No matter how many times she tries to correct these critics who talk about things not in the paper, that were included in the final paper submitted, they will continue to repeat the pat line of things left out of the original draft, etc., to malign the paper. That’s why she keeps saying these people have not read her paper. They are all repeating each other with the same old crap, not that they have some original insight. That’s why time and again you will find her, like in this reply, correcting these people who say these things were not there, and commenting they must not have read her paper, which it seems a lot of her critics have not.

    Do people here not believe the government suppresses information about sasquatches? I’m not saying they are involved with maligning her, but don’t dismiss that possibility, that people like this guest are running with misinformation. Its my observation that the greater the evidence you find will have the greatest scrutiny.

    As far as her self publishing, that’s one of those things used to discredit her, when how exactly does that discredit her? She claims there were several journals that had agreed to publish but then turned around and declined. You do realize the subject of sasquatch in an anathema in the scientific community. Its viewed as myth and entertaining it can lead to ridicule, which is a main reason for the scrutiny and lack of a journal willing to publish. So, she bought a journal to publish it in.

    All of her sequencing was done in university labs, most of which asked her not to identify them to avoid the scrutiny of the perceived bigfoot myth. Don’t you think these people who are critical of the paper have some confirmation bias, seen in repeated comments of there must have been contamination to get these results. Are scientists ever reluctant to accept something they don’t believe? that’s a rhetorical question.

    • Haskell H

      I have seen one and heard two, Knobby, so I believe what I saw. Also, I did my own checking of her paper way before I read the peer reviews, whicb I agree with.

  45. Knobby


    Melba wrote this on Sasquatch Chronicles Fan Page:

    ” I probably shouldn’t waste my time responding, but as first author, the corresponding author of the paper, I must defend the science when it’s attacked. A recent podcast had an anonymous scientist on to go through my paper. He was either a govt plant, or intentionally set out to be critical of the paper. He obviously didn’t read the paper, but only looked at the pictures or figures by the uninformed and incorrect things he said. He’s even clueless about the testing. So here we go.

    1. The first part of the paper is unnecessary, he said. Well, the editor at Nature wanted it.
    2. He acts like I did all of the testing and writing. No, it was sent out to twelve highly qualified and accredited labs for testing. If he read the paper he would know this. Plus, there were multiple authors on the team as well as an editor that was well published that reviewed and critiqued the paper before we ever sent it out to a journal. All of these people agreed it’s content and the paper itself was worthy to be published and they all signed off literally to that effect before I could submit it to any journals.
    3. He says no universal primers were used. They absolutely were used. Both for screening the mitochondrial DNA for species as well as on the nuclear genes we sequenced. They were essential. If he read the paper he would know this. This is why we did the human mitochondrial sequencing because we already knew the results were human plus three other labs had the same results for human mtDNA before us. These mtDNA universal primers are what are used for species identification.
    4. He says we looked at genes on the mitochondrial DNA like TAP and the others in the paper. Those are NOT on the mitochondrial DNA.They are nuclear genes. Anyone with his supposed credentials should know this.
    5. I didn’t write the paper. Each scientist on the paper wrote from their expertise. The hair expert wrote the hair part, the whole genome person wrote the whole genome part. He acts like I wrote the entire thing. As a so called reviewer, he should know that one person doesn’t write a paper and he doesn’t even acknowledge that there were multiple highly qualified authors on the paper.
    6. He wants more pictures or figures. There was much more relevant data in the paper, making it too long so the editor at Nature had me trim it.
    7. After clearly establishing that this nonhuman hair yielded human DNA, everything from that point on was nuclear testing. Since the mtDNA was human, and the nuDNA not, then the only reasonable conclusion was a hybrid. He said the electron microscopy was unnecessary, but it was, if he’d read the paper. It’s important since it shows single stranded gaps which would occur in a hybrid because places in the sequence don’t align well or at all because there are two different species involved.
    7. The gels were clear. There was one sample that smudged and was degraded. The rest were clear bands. Talk about grasping at straws to be critical, really? If it’s degraded, there’s only a smudge, if there’s a band it’s not. The bands were clear there.
    8. All of our positive and negative controls worked as they should, unless he was referring to my blood as a control that I intentionally let decompose to show that the samples were not degraded ina comparison. Once again, if he read the paper instead of looking at the pretty pictures, he would know this.
    9. He referred to the whole genome 2.5 million SNP chip as sequencing. Any geneticist would know that a SNP chip is not whole genome sequencing.
    10. He was critical of the sample pictures near the end of the paper. If he’d read the paper, he would’ve realized that those pictures were of the the samples we used for whole genome sequencing, the real whole genome sequencing. Other than the pretty picture of the phylogenetic tree, he never mentioned anything about the whole genomes. There was pure blood on the inside of the downspout, so not a place for any type of mammalian contamination unless it was something small like a mouse. There was no small mammal DNA detected in the genome.
    11. The human forensic panel we used will also amplify great apes so it wasn’t biased. We used it to establish that the samples were from a primate, but not one that is totally human. This data also showed anomalies in the sex determinant, amelogenin. Which we sequenced thereafter. It gave varied results that were mostly nonhuman. Furthermore, the lack of consistency with the results overall is not bad DNA but a result of recombination of two different species in one organism.. in other words,, some will have more human DNA than others while others more nonhuman. It’s like some mules look more donkey like and some more like a horse. A crude example.. Against he didn’t read the paper, muchess think it through.
    12. He said he wanted to see raw data. The sequences were furnished via the figures. The electropherograms are not usually put in papers but were available for any reviewer that wanted to see them. Guess he couldn’t understand that. Detailed sequences were also available in the supplemental data. But he obviously didn’t read the paper or look at the supplemental data or he would have known this.
    13. He made the remark that we did biased human testing because we were a forensic lab. This was funny since my CV is downloadable from my website and I clearly worked with animal and human DNA. Out of all of my published papers, only one was pertaining to human.
    14. If everything he said was true, there would have been a bunch of geneticists standing in line to write a paper doing a rebuttal of our findings, like with Sykes’ paper. There was a peer reviewed rebuttal of his findings published by a group at Cambridge within a couple of months after his publication. So far, the only attempt at a rebuttal for our paper came from a discredited physical chemist, not a geneticist, and of course was never published in any journal. I have written proof he had no idea what he was talking about. So, this anonymous guy isn’t any better. He claims to be a molecular biologist, but if so, why not say who he is and where he works? Why did he show a fundamental lack of knowledge on the types of testing we did and what genes are in the nuclear DNA? Most of all, he allegedly spent two weeks studying our paper in preparation for the interview, yet it was obvious he didn’t read it. Is he really that lazy? Or was it an intentional hit job? I’ll let the reader decide.

    I could go on for hours defending the science from this so called anonymous scientist, but I had to hit the high spots. No I will not go on a podcast. No I won’t even mention its name. It’s not worth it. I only wrote this for those who heard it and by the way, my findings have been repeated and validated more than once. Won’t all of the critics be surprised when I bring it all out at the right time.”

    • Haskell H

      Response to Melba Ketchum’s response to “John.”

      Numbering corresponds to her response points.

      1. Nature rejected her paper on much more serious grounds than her introduction. I’ve read the peer reviews and editor’s comments and nothing substantial about the introduction was mentioned as I recall.

      2. If she says so. However, the lead author often takes the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (Hamlet, Shakespeare), especially if she persists in going around the country giving radio and TV interviews on behalf of her paper and is the only author who has publically defended the paper against criticism. I am seriously disappointed in the other nine authors, who apparently found no flaws, if they even looked.

      3. She does indeed state in the paper that universal primers were used for HV1 and cytochrome b regions of the mtDNA and went on to claim that all 111 samples were identified as human by these two analyses. I don’t believe her, as I discussed in my book and in a previous post here. It’s unlikely that all 111 unprovenanced samples collected in the woods would turn out human. Where are these results? (the sequences). Also, only 18 samples with complete mtDNA sequences were listed in Supplemental Data 2 of the paper. Where are the other 93 results? Why were they not given equal airing. SHOW US ALL THE SEQUENCES, Dr. Ketchum!

      4. “John” was mistaken here. I have no excuse for him. Just incidentally these several gene sequences were examined by me, and various of them matched bear, dog, and human, and some matched nothing in the database, but she incorrectly concludes that this implies an unknown species. Any species should resemble some other species genetically, as we are all related. It’s a matter of how closely it matches. Sequences like this are possibly unsequenced bacteria or were missequenced in some way. I couldn’t figure out which.

      5. It makes no difference who wrote the paper. It’s flawed. Sometimes lead authors do the writing and others simply review their parts of the (or better the entire) paper. However, they are all accountable for its contents. This is not a major issue.

      6. I’m not sure about figures or pictures, but more numerical data should have been presented, such as how well the three nuclear sequences match anything like a primate or other mammals. I did this extensively in my book, which has 45 figures and 29 tables of data (more than the original paper). For example, I show that her Sample 26 matches a black bear, her sample 31 has fungus DNA in it, and her sample 140 is a dog, all of which is well proven with database search results (none of which can be found in her paper).

      7. Actually her “hair expert” blew it big time, as shown in my Chapter 15. The Sample 26 hair in Figure 5B (left) of her paper is definitely from a bear. I compared it to reference photomicrographs and to human and bear metrics. Electron microscopy is not useful for species identification because it cannot resolve individual bases. John was correct in saying that single strands are indicative of degradation, not a novel species. Peer reviewers pointed this out too, as I did in my book. Her hybrid explanation for single strands is not correct. DNA double strands in a hybrid or any species are not composed of one strand from each parent. In fertilization, each single strand from sperm and egg is separately complemented into a double strand, which comprises the chromosome pairs (one from each parent). Afterward, in mitosis, whole genes (both strands) are exchanged from each parent’s corresponding chromosome. This promotes genetic diversity and reduces the impact of “bad genes.” There is no joining of single strands from each parent. It is very unlikely that a single stranded DNA segment could be replicated. Such a suggestion is paranormal biology.

      7. (number repeated by her) In her Figure 10 both samples 33 and 140 show smears (smudges) indicative of degradation. Sample 140 was one of the nuclear DNA samples.

      8. Her purposely decomposed blood sample was simply left open to the air in the lab. This in no way simulates field degradation, which she conveniently ignores as she directs attention to possible lab contamination. All field samples should be considered contaminated and degraded before they are even collected. Sample 31 had fungus in it.

      9. Purely semantics, and another red herring. SNP means single nucleotide polymorphism. The technique as used by her does sequence single bases in specific (important) locations, but not whole genes or genomes. It is always used on known species. It is a form of sequencing, but only of those bases that interest the researcher, e.g. in looking for cancer causes. Her use of the technique on unknown samples, with predictably bad results, shows her ignorance or predisposition to human results. For her 12 samples, SNP matches to human varied from 59.22% to 89.24% of the 2.5 million base sites. The human (undegraded) control matched the standard 99.63%, which is typical. Even if some of us have cancer and some are born without limbs, etc., humans match each other better than 99.5% by any genomic measure. The DNA of these 12 samples is not close to an unknown primate, which should match over 90% (95% for great apes) of the SNPs. Bears match human around 85%, better than all but two of the 12 samples.

      10. First of all her claim of “whole genome sequencing” is a lie. The human genome contains about 3.3 BILLION base pairs. She used a human reference sequence of only Chromosome 11, which has 135 MILLION base pairs. The nuclear sequences she obtained for Samples 26, 31, and 140 were only 2.2 MILLION, 0.53 MILLION, and 2.7 MILLION base pairs, respectively, all less than 0.1 % of a the whole human genome. She flaunts four terabytes of data, but where are the results and conclusions? Not in her paper. She implied that more sequencing was underway several years ago, but nothing came of it, at least nothing was publically announced. Her “sample pictures,” which are phylotrees make “no sense” to some experts. Further, other phylotrees in Supplementary Figures 5 and 6, show close relationships to fishes (both cartilaginous and bony), mice, and chickens, not other primates as would be expected. Her “bioinformaticist” Fan Zhang, with advanced degrees in aeronautical and mechanical engineering from Harbin University in Manchuria clearly did not know what he was doing. My book shows more reasonable phylotrees which demonstrate the identity of these samples: black bear, human, dog.

      11. She never proved that the samples were from a primate. Her anomalous results for STRs (Short Tandem Repeats) had a large number of homozygous loci (same number of repeats from each parent), which is not typical of any species. Compare to her control in her Table 5, which showed no homozygous loci (the typical situation). Her results are more than likely due to degradation and unrelated spurious electropherogram peaks appearing at these loci. They could be from other known animals. Also, why are the results so different for each sample as to the absent loci? These results cannot all be from the same species. She never proved a hybrid, which requires detailed examination of the nDNA to find segments that match each parent. In my opinion John DID read the paper and study it extensively. I am certain that he knows much more about it than could be explained in a podcast of this kind. Nearly all of his criticisms were also confirmed by me at some time or another.

      12. Yes, her sequences can be downloaded from the SGP website, except those I mentioned in 3. above. I did so and did the database comparisons necessary to check her conclusions, which John did not (or did not say that he did). She came up short, most notably in that Sample 26 is a black bear, Sample 31 is human contaminated with fungi, and Sample 140 is a dog.

      13. John is correct: human methodology was used throughout the paper, except where she claims universal primers (see 3. above). I submitted a dog, a horse, and a cat buccal swab to her mtDNA lab, Family Tree DNA, and the results were all “Failure to amplify.” Of course they would be since human primers were used, which worked just fine on my two human controls, and would only pick up human contamination in a nonhuman sample.

      14. Geneticists have better things to do (their own research) than publish debunking of her work. I did it to learn and hopefully to confirm the identity of bigfoot. But I was seriously disappointed. I am the “discredited (by her only) physical chemist.” Ad hominem attacks on me like this are typical of her. I am not a geneticist, but I am overqualified (PhD, Harvard) to compare two sequences of four different letters (A, G, T, C – the nucleotide bases), which was all that was needed to disprove her claims. She lies again: I have two peer reviewed papers on my findings. 1. “Not finding Bigfoot in DNA”. Journal of Cryptozoology 4 (2016), pp. 39-51, available on 2. “DNA as Evidence for the Existence of relict hominoids,” Relict Hominoid Inquiry 5 (2016), pp. 8-31. Available free access online: Also my book (though not peer reviewed per se includes a foreword by Jeff Meldrum). As for her comment on Sykes, the “rebuttal of his findings” that she refers to referred to only one of his 30 samples where he concluded it was from an ancient polar bear. Actually it could have been any of two or three species of BEAR due to their recent divergence and hybridization. His result on her Sample 26 was BLACK BEAR, the same as two other independent laboratories and as my own conclusion based on her nDNA sequence. Her claim that I don’t know what I am talking about is based on a very early (2013) tentative conclusion that her nDNA samples were not of a bear, because there was a paucity of bear (especially black bear) data in the database, which has now been corrected. She will also point to some confusion about the reference sequence used in her Supplemental Data 2, which SHE DID NOT SPECIFY and I had to figure out based on the mutations.

      Don’t be misled by Melba Ketchum. I think you can see from the above, she misstates, misleads, overstates, and outright lies (or is grossly uninformed) about some of the key issues. I have yet to receive a scientific rebuttal of my work from her or any of her coauthors since I first contacted them in 2013. This post is already too long, but if you want more details (as you should) my book, “The Sasquatch Genome Project: A Failed DNA Study,” is available on and is largely based on my blog:, where you can critique, comment and ask questions. I would love to hear from you.

      Haskell V. Hart

  46. John XZ

    First of all, none of my review of the paper was intended to be personal in any way. Reviewers can only evaluate data in the form it is presented by the authors. No clear evidence for novel Hominid DNA was presented in the paper, only a table showing the success and failure of PCR and sequencing in different regions a single locus (Amelogenin) was presented. No DNA or protein level alignments were presented in the paper, which is essential if we are to accept the claim of novel Hominid species DNA isolation. Yes SNPs were done by PCR using Human primers, but the fact that they showed variable amplification success adds nothing to the interpretation as to whether it represents novel Hominid DNA or not, that is why I ignored it. There are other opinions here:
    Having said this, I would be the first to applaud if irrefutable evidence is presented.

  47. Chris422👅

    Well, is it possible that what you read and reviewed John wasn’t the complete paper? Because if you did, it doesn’t take genius to recognize that either you or Melba are being deceptive.

  48. Knobby

    Good point Chris. Melba’s rebuttal was posted here and whoever this John is he didn’t answer the points she made about all his errors. This has been going on for years, where these scientists are repeating each other, saying the same things over and over, and Dr. Ketchum has repeatedly had to respond that the things they claim are not in her paper is in fact in her paper, like she had to do again here.

    John, you linked to an article citing Dr. Hart, one of her main debunkers people like you get your information from. Hart is not himself a geneticist. He’s in another field of biology. Dr. Ketchum has noted a lot of errors in your rebuttal of her paper. It seems a lot of what keeps getting repeated, claiming info that’s not in there, goes back to when her paper was initially reviewed and sent back to her for clarification and asking for additional things that needed to be added. The debunkers hit the ground running to discredit her after the peer reviewer leaked what he found in this initial review, and that stuff still gets repeated. You linked to this article citing Hart, are you mainly repeating what these debunkers were repeating long ago?

    She complied with the corrections and resubmitted the paper, but it was already out that the paper was a farce, mainly by the debunking non-believers who allowed their bias to dismiss things, like claiming samples must have been contaminated to discredit what they could not dismiss, when as Dr. Ketchum has often said, they couldn’t all be contaminated.

    John, the article you posted is all the old same stuff that’s repeated. It notes the Justin Smeja sample he gave to Bart Cutino that tested to be black bear. Smeja had to have given Dr. Ketchum a sample from something different because the sample he gave Ketchum tested for a whole different haplogroup. It wasn’t the same. How the sample Smeja gave Cutino to be tested got switched to black bear, I don’t know. I’ve wondered if the government switched it somehow. But the sample given to Cutino is used to discredit Dr. Ketchum’s findings, and It might not be the same as hers.

  49. Irving G

    Well another expert who won’t give his name does a smear job on Melba. Grasping for straws. No wonder she won’t come on the show. She has too defend herself time and time again. I hope you read her response. I enjoy S.C. but these last shows have been wanting. Time for a little break. See ya in a couple months gonna my membership just need a reality break.

  50. Irving G

    Well another expert who won’t give his name does a smear job on Melba. Grasping for straws. No wonder she won’t come on the show. She has too defend herself time and time again. I hope you read her response. I enjoy S.C. but these last shows have been wanting. Time for a little break. See ya in a couple months gonna my keep membership just need a reality break.

  51. John XZ

    There is literally no need for me to respond to the mostly irrelevant points posted by Knobby since most of it is is simply an attempt to evade the glaring fact that no real evidence was presented in the paper. For that reason, I only asked this one key question: Where is the alignment matrix showing relatedness of putative novel Hominid sequence to other primates? Either you have it or you don’t. It was not published in the paper, so I can only conclude it does not exist. No scientist would make claims without backing it up. This is how science actually works, you can’t just make claims you have to PROVE IT, and PUBLISH IT through peer a review process! Talk is cheap. The onus is on the author to prove their case. Contrary to what some people are saying here, I’m not against the authors at all – I was asked to review the paper and I did so. I would encourage you all to seek opinions of other scientists about the paper.

    Bringing this full circle, the only way this field moves forward is if people are willing to engage in rational thought and open dialogue, instead of name calling and bullying. As I said before, the field work in this area is impressive and there is a lot that can be learned, even without DNA. For example studies on footprints, hair, habitat, and seasonal patterns can be done. In any of these efforts, a rigorous study design, with controls, and a testable hypothesis are essential. Whether collecting samples or measuring footprints or hairs, statistics is needed demonstrate the repeatability and significance of the results. Without doing these things, the work will never rise to the level of believability.

    • Haskell H

      You are right on, John. “Where is the alignment matrix showing relatedness of putative novel Hominid sequence to other primates?” I’ve been asking this for eight years.

  52. John W

    This was a great show and so interesting to an analytical appraisal of Dr Ketchums paper. What a shame the process failed the ultimate goal of the paper. Probably no chance of getting Dr Ketchum on for a response but it would make for a great show as well. Great work Wes!!

  53. Jan D

    This was a long time coming, and I am grateful to Wes and John for this review of Dr Ketchum’s paper. As a science editor, I found John’s review of the study to be of the quality and thoroughness you would expect of a reputable peer-reviewed science journal. He was objective and fair and had the expertise to assess the methodology. He pointed out flaws in the methodology that compromised the evidence. He stated and explained the reasons why the findings of Dr Ketchum’s paper were dismissed by the scientific community. He gave Dr Ketchum’s paper the serious attention it did not receive when she attempted to publish it. He even offered ways in which the study could be improved if ever replicated. In all this, he did justice to Dr Ketchum’s study and a favor for the listeners of the show. Whether you drink the water is your call.

  54. Lisa G

    An hr I can’t get back. U had no idea what the paper actually said so maybe if I had read ir… This guy doesn’t know how to talk to people. Obviously he’s a scientist. Too bad he’s not a professor. My college professors were good at speaking in such a way as to be understood, even when explaining complex problems. All I heard today was an hour of a guy tearing apart a paper I know nothing about, and still don’t. If there’s another one I’ll skip it. The reason of your stuff is great.

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