There have been tracks spotted, traces of hair collected and DNA analyzed. But when DNA sequencing from a Texas lab suggested a unique genetic code supporting the existence of the legendary Bigfoot, one science writer decided to have his own experts look into the claims.
Screenshot of a Patterson-Gimlin film taken on October 20th, 1967, showing a depiction of Bigfoot. (Image via Wikimedia)
This case specifically is between the Houston Chronicle's "SciGuy," Eric Berger, and the work of Texas geneticist Melba Ketchum, who had claimed her sequencing of Sasquatch DNA samples revealed "a hybrid cross between modern Homo sapiens in the maternal lineage and an unknown hominin male progenitor."
Eric Berger, the Houston Chronicle's "SciGuy," (left) and Melba Ketchum of DNA Diagnostics (right). (Photo: Facebook, DNA Diagnostics)
Berger has been following Ketchum's work for a while. He skeptically covered her initial claims about having the DNA samples sequenced in 2012. He then wrote about the research when it was published earlier this year, noting how it was a "little fishy" that it was published in a journal that didn't exist until that same week.
Most recently, he obtained the full paper and had scientists at a "highly reputable lab" review the work.
"I am first and foremost a journalist, and I figured if there was even a 1 percent chance that the Bigfoot evidence was real, it was worth my time to check the story out," Berger wrote.
Berger explained that he worked as an intermediary between Ketchum and another scientist, who remained anonymous because "some of his peers would question his engagement on such a topic," facilitating the re-sequencing of the samples:
The deal was this: I would hold off writing anything until this geneticist had his lab test the DNA samples obtained by Ketchum that were purportedly a novel and non-human species. If the evidence backed up Ketchum’s claims, I had a blockbuster story. My geneticist source would have a hand in making the scientific discovery of the decade, or perhaps the century. Ketchum would be vindicated.
So what is the verdict?
"Alas, I met my geneticist friend this past week and I asked about the Bigfoot DNA. It was, he told me, a mix of opossum and other species. No find of the century," Berger wrote.
In other recent Bigfoot news, a man from Utah believes he might have a fossilized Bigfoot head.
(Photo: AP/Standard-Examiner, Nick Short)
Todd May of Ogden said, according to the Standard-Examiner, that he had also seen a couple non-fossilized skulls on large, hairy bodies consistent with Bigfoot descriptions.
"I've been tracking and watching for Bigfoot," May said."I'm very curious, interested in that, and wanted to get footage on it 'cause I've ran across him a couple of times."
(H/T: Daily Mail)