Bigfoot DNA – Proof Within Controversy

As the results of the Bigfoot DNA studies slowly emerge from the silence of Dr. Melba Ketchum’s lab, it is both exciting to hear about the discoveries, and distressing to realize there’s so much in-fighting and bickering going on. As usual, in Bigfoot research, every ego is on edge and some go over the edge.

I first heard of it from my neighbor, JavaBob Schmalzbach, author of Monsters, Myths, and Meicon and owner of the Footprints in Your Mind website. He was involved with Richard Stubstad and Dr. Melba Ketchum when the project started. However as it progressed and the non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) expired, communication within the team broke down. It seems that Ketchum has taken over the evidence and edged others out of the deal.

Consequently, Richard Stubstad recently published a statement about the results of the DNA research, after refusing to sign a new NDA giving Dr. Ketchum 100% of the glory and joy of the new discovery. It appears that her attempt to cut out her former associates has backfired.

This appears to be a typical Bigfoot research scenario. I don’t know what it is about Bigfoot, but researchers have been vying with one another for the glory of the great discovery for decades now. I tend to think it is a matter of motivation. When we’re caught up in the human drama rather than thinking first of the well-being of the Bigfoot people themselves, competition runs rampant. So many people want to be the owner of the name that goes down in history as the person who proved the existence of Bigfoot!

Richard Stubstad’s article about Bigfoot DNA can be found in the July 2011 issue of JavaBob’s online magazine: Footprints in Your Mind – Special Sasquatch Edition. It is also on his website.

According to his biography on Footprints In Your Mind.Com, Richard Stubstad started his Bigfoot research as recently as 2009. Since then he “initiated the mitochondrial sequencing of several purported sasquatch samples through Dr. Ketchum’s DNA diagnostics laboratory in Texas.”

The information he is revealing now is not a “leak” of someone else’s work, but rather is from Richard Stubstad’s own collection of evidence and work on the DNA project prior to being shut out. For more information see this rebutal found on JavaBob’s website. He believes he has a legal right to share this much with the public.

Quoting Richard Stubstad:

1) This wasn’t intended to be a leak. Since I am no longer working with Dr. Ketchum according to her own personal desires, I am simply reporting on the work I did, without assistance, on the mtDNA analysis of the first two unspecified mtDNA samples.

2) Dr. K is incorrect; I’m not at all “misinformed” about her ongoing DNA work on various purported sasquatch samples; I’m not informed whatsoever, much beyond what I have already stated.

3) What I stated was not the result of Dr. K’s own work; she merely provided the mtDNA sequencing that others (who provided samples) had paid for. I also paid for some of the testing involved out of my own pocket.

4) Dr. K did not initially notice the close connection between Samples 1 and 2; I did the statistical analysis and told her, quite openly, of the statistical results since we and several others were intimately involved in this exciting and cooperative research when it started.

5) Within a short period of time, she excluded me from what quickly turned into “her” project, along with several others. She told me that her lawyer(s) told her to do so. This does resemble the smell of blood, eh?

The two original samples submitted to the lab were from totally separate sources. In fact, the researcher offering sample #1 did not see eye-to-eye with the researcher offering sample #2, so there was no opportunity for cross-contamination. Nevertheless these two samples had strikingly similar DNA characteristics, enough so that Stubstad concluded that there is a 97-98% certainty that Bigfoot exists.

The mtDNA tests of both samples offered clues to the mitochondrial (maternal/female) origins, showing them to be 100% HUMAN (homo sapiens) proving that “Bigfoot People” is a reasonable term… just as many recent research reports have suggested. They are our cousins, and a likely possibility is that they resulted from breeding between something else, and humans of our species.

What is known about the “Mitochondrial Eve” for both the original samples, is that she was from the “Franco-Cantabrian glacial refuge”. She was a homo sapiens human being living in southern Europe 15,000 years ago, give or take about 5000 years.

Sources include:
Breathtaking News From the Erickson Project
New Erickson Project News: Bigfoot DNA Project Using Two Dead Bigfoot Bodies for Samples
Bear Hunter Interview – Part 2
Interview with Richard Stubstad – Is Bigfoot Human?

The issue of two dead Bigfoot . . . is something I can’t totally believe at this time, but I will explain it to you. The story is that a hunter in Plumas County, CA was threatened by a female Bigfoot, old enough to have gray hair. She was, according to him, blocking the road and making gestures that made him feel threatened, so he got out of his vehicle and shot her.

Then he says there were two young Sasquatches in the forest nearby, obviously upset by the female’s death. The hunter is reported to have shot and killed one of them.

The story continues that there were two other hunters with him. One became hysterical and they took away the rifle and wouldn’t let him shoot the third Bigfoot.

According to the web-rumors, the hunter is extremely worried about being prosecuted, and well he should be. California law is detailed and specific about what hunters are allowed to shoot. Bigfoot, of course, is not on that list.

Also, since the DNA is proving that Sasquatches are at least 1/2 human, there could be murder charges.

One rumor states that they left the bodies there. Another states that the bodies were recovered and sent to a Bigfoot research project in Washington state. And there’s the rumor that a piece of flesh from the female’s thigh was sent to Dr. Melba Ketchum for DNA analysis.

So, there’s the story of two dead Bigfoot bodies. I’m waiting for proof before I’ll believe any of it.

All sources for this article can be found on the web.

[Update: Radio broadcast – 7/9/11 – Richard Stubstad interviewed by M.K. Davis and Don Monroe. Thanks to Bobbie Short of Bigfoot Encounters for the link!]

[Update: Another radio broadcast – 7/9/11 – Robert Lindsay interviewed by the Minnesota Bigfoot Research Team, with a call-in from BFRO researcher Derek Randles, who spoke with the shooter of the 2 Plumas County Bigfoot and tends to believe the story. (I’m still reserving judgement on the story because it reminds me of the Georgia Bigfoot Hoax, the Stagecoach Nevada Bigfoot Hoax, etc. etc…. show me the proof!!!)]

31 Replies to “Bigfoot DNA – Proof Within Controversy”

  1. This is not how science works, folks. Way too many lay people involved…thanks to moneymaker and finding bigfoot. This DNA ‘evidence’ is meaningless with the small sample sizes talked about to date. There is no scientific integrity with the people involved which clouds the objectivity of the results. Furthermore, the wide apparent disparity of sample 3 from 1 and 2 should automatically make eyebrows rise. None of this DNA work will ever be recognized until it has been peer reviewed by reputable molecular biologists (not M. Ketchum), not lay psuedo-moneymaker researching frustrated bird watchers walking around in the dark. True scientists are concerned with nondisclosure agreements or potential income resulting from the fame of discovery. Granted, Provosts at universities where true scientists work are interested in dollars, but not true scientists. This entire effort really is a mockery to true scientific investigation. I’m not a BF ‘researcher’, but I am a trained scientist with enough background in molecular genetics to recognize BS when I see it. And I actually think BF exists.

    1. I sent dr. Kechum tissue that I believed to be from a bigfoot she stole it and never gave me my results she is a thief….

  2. @Dave O-
    We are in agreement on the origins of these “peaceful”, yet literal bastards. Our creator cares enough about us and illustrates what the days of Noah were like- and that this is exactly what it will be like when He returns. I am overwhelmed at how many sightings are in this country and the world. How many can there be? Obviously, if an individual sees one, there must be several others near. Moreover, how can one guess at the number of unreported sightings? My gut, and I hope and pray that I am wrong on this, tells me they have a roll to play on what is called “The day of slaughter.” I have been studying Paleo-Hebrew (of which the recently discovered Jordanian codices were written) and recently looked at the Navy Linguist’s breakdown of the Sasquatch language….possibly some common ground. If P.H. is the original tongue of our world, and our Creator, it would make sense, that perhaps Sasquatch knows the oldest tongue.

  3. @Dave O-
    We are in agreement on the origins of these “peaceful”, yet literal bastards. Our creator cares enough about us and illustrates what the days of Noah were like- and that this is exactly what it will be like when He returns. I am overwhelmed at how many sightings are in this country and the world. How many can there be? Obviously, if an individual sees one, there must be several others near. Moreover, how can one guess at the number of unreported sightings? My gut, and I hope and pray that I am wrong on this, tells me they have a roll to play on what is called “The day of slaughter.” I have been studying Paleo-Hebrew (of which the recently discovered Jordanian codices were written) and recently looked at the Navy Linguist’s breakdown of the Sasquatch language….possibly some common ground. If P.H. is the original tongue of our world, and our Creator, it would make sense, that perhaps Sasquatch knows the oldest tongue.

  4. There isn’t one thing shown that stands at a 100% that “bigfoot” does roam the lands!!! I still stand at saying BS!!

  5. this seems like big time newsworthy information.
    I question why none of this dna testing of sasquatch samples is never broadcast on national news.
    maybe they consider it all a hoax?

  6. no answer to my direct questions, perhaps Paulides took my advice to stay off these forums? I doubt that, advice is rarely taken in the Bigfoot world! So, the lack of response must be due to the fact that there is NOT a good answer for the ETICS issues raised when a “study” includes DNA from some and not others because of “what?” Kill or Capture from Biscardi…LOL – for 40 years he has neither killed or captured…. but the OP? The “steak”…that’s included?

    So, I suspect by publication time there will a tighter circle around the whys and why nots of whose evidence is in and whose is out.

    I am personally at a point where I actually hope this all falls apart…not to hurt the individuals involved..many such as Paulides (with his paper research..not much out there on his personal field work) have been a GOOD thing for BF research…at least moving us from THRASHING APES to perhaps archaic man……

    But, honestly, as a group, as a field of “science or anthropology or even Big Game Hunters” the people involved and the history of thier associations and choices (and willingness to bury evidence or discredit evidence from other “competitors”) makes it all stink worse then a Sasquatch on a hot humid nioght.

  7. Who knows what is true on the web. But this link and story has DETAILS and names…. so, wow…we must be getting close to a release on this paper! Otherwise all the jockeying for a first voice makes no sense……! And I do see a photo of a plate with glass and blood…and a lot of positive spin for the Erickson project. I read once, recently, that in sum those who come second or third tend to do the most with whatever technology or information was revolutionary.

    So the prize hunters, finally (?), will be stopped. The species provern and responsible anthropology brought into the arena.
    Watch for hunter gatherer documentaries and books…all our mistakes, our unintended consequences even when we thought we were benevolent. The “prime directive” doesn’t work either – see Turnbull and The Mountain People.
    I so hope our internet efforts turn immediately to identifying and implementing ways to educate (and I mean reality not myth) the public specifically.
    Our emotional response as a society to this knowledge will be key to our future government policies.
    My personal experiences with a family of at least four individual Bigfoots indicate they are as human as you can imagine in many important ways and yet quite different too.
    I personally believe the full genome will help to reveal many new gene functions in those differences. I have witnessed eye shine that seems self illuminating, something more than just reflection of starlight.
    From thier unique language to morpholgy this will be big news and an opportunity to learn so much about ourselves as well.
    God, I hope we do it right.

    here is link:


  8. Specifically David P: Are you saying that all of the samples that will be used for the study were obtained by the researcher in the field? Or will there be samples in which the “sample representative” did not obtain it in the field but from another person? I can see drawing some lines on samples that one might make sense such as requiring the.provenance from the first hand witness who collected the sample and excluding those held on to for years or acquired from others w/o a proper chain of custody. Are those the lines drwan on samples? Or does it also include the “no-kill” stance of Dr. Ketchum (kudos)? So, the reputed “Sierra Kill” sample of flesh would NOT be included, as other body parts won’t – such as the “hond of unknown origin” and a few other rather infamous samples that must have left a Bigfoot quite injured. Are all the samples being used obtained in a non-injurous way? I was told by one prominent scientist involved that one set of samples came b/c the BF licked or was cut by glass glued to a plate baited with syrup. Is that sample included? What were the ethics lines drawn for the study – besides the hoped for obidience to an NDA? I am not hearing anything really consistent on why some ar in and others out. I am thi nking of the toenail from Larry Jenkins…which appears to have traveled from Biscardi to JavaBob to a local AZ tagalong. What’s up with that? So, the “leaks” I refer to above..they are all on the net and have been since the summer of ’09. In fact they aren’t leaks as they are public record. The glass on plate info obtained at a BF lecture. It also seems that the peer review process today is rather different than a generation or two ago. The specific Journal seems to drive that, with some now encouragin correspondance btw reviewers and a blanket statement on peer-review procedures doesn’t really sound credible. However, I am waiting – like the rest and hoping beyond hope that this is all the advance press indicates. Certainly David P you have my sincerest respect and admiration for the work you have done to date and rank your research at the very top today and historically. Keep it up…and stay off the net on these boards! peace.

  9. I watched a male bigfoot through quality binoculars for 15 mins in 1979.I was hunting for deer.At that time if you would have mentioned a bigfoot I would have thought you were crazy.I do not care one bit what the sceptics say.They have not saw one.They are a rare animal.Evidently so because I have spent thousands of hrs in the woods Hunting,fishing and digging ginseng.Ive never saw another one or a even a footprint since…I believe I was warned away from a cave after that but I didnt see it so I cant say for sure.But for all you sceptics, if you sit behind a desk or dont go off the beaten path then how could you possibly not have a open mind?If you are one of the fortunate VERY FEW then you will believe!

  10. Hello? Anyone there, answer me? Please, this important study, must find results. I publish book about findings, two weeks. It will big hit.

  11. Linda- I’ve read Mr. Stubstad’s statement about our involvement and it is blatantly false, because of NDA’s he would have no visibility to anyone else’s samples, just his own. Nobody had visibility other samples, just their own, please call Dr. Ketchum if you believe otherwise. I’m not sure why you have quotation marks around “owned” because I’ve never used that word. When a group starts a project (NABS) and spent more dollars on this research then anyone understands, invited others to participate (basically unheard of in the bigfoot world, nobody works together, yet we have and still do), and someone decides to start talking about the project while no other participant does, doesn’t that make you question their motives? There are dozens of participants who are patiently and professionally standing on the sidelines not saying anything and their NDA’s have expired. Unless you’ve seen the NDA’s I don’t think anyone can make statements about their contents or make rational conclusions. The idea that this project “reeks of exclusivity”, “unfriendliness and secretiveness” is 100% inaccurate. We actually went on Coast to Coast and invited others to participate, and they did, many (Please name me any other bigfoot research group that has invited other groups to participate in any research project). When scientists write a “white paper” and submit it to a science journal for peer review, the author is looking for validation of their work which enhances the perceived value to academic institutions, which is our target for future bigfoot research. If the author or participant publicly speaks of the research and findings before peer review, the paper will not be reviewed by a credible journal, this was the reason for the NDA’s, all participants knew this, that’s why you are not hearing from the dozens of others involved. It would appear that you’ve jumped to a conclusion about this project before hearing from the organizer and major participants, which is unfortunate. Sometimes in life there is a rational and viable reason for not making public statements prior to a specific date, in the case of the DNA study, participants knew the rationale and it makes complete sense. Needless to say you’ve heard from only one side of the Stubstad issue, Dr. Ketchum has never made a statement about why he left and no other involved party has either. As a journalist, I believe you need to hear and weigh both sides of any issue before making a public statement with a conclusion, without such it’s an editorial.. When you write about “camaraderie and friendship”, these are some of the backbones of our organization. Without quality relationships you don’t have a quality organization and is probably why in 7 years of existence we’ve never had a anyone associated with our group leave, I don’t think there is another bigfoot group in existence with that track record. Are you alluding to some “corruption or dishonor” with our group, if so, please explain? The issue with Mr. Stubstad was between him and Dr. Ketchum, not us. I would encourage you to call Dr. Ketchum and get a 360 degree view of this issue, you would be pleasantly surprised that she is extremely engaging, honest and professional.

    1. No, I wasn’t referring to corruption in NABS… just in the group that was working on the DNA project, and I say that only because I’m witnessing people breaking their silence before the peer review. I’m sure Richard isn’t the only one – because there’s more information coming out on Robert Lindsay’s blog that Richard wasn’t privy to, regarding the nuclear DNA results. Where did that information come from? Richard is clear that he didn’t have that information, but only the mitochondrial DNA results on two samples, one of which he paid for. Also he says he paid for another that he never got the results on. (Read that on Bigfoot Forums.)

      My only opinion on Dr. Ketchum comes from reading the section of the NDA Richard refused to sign, that he’s now posting to the internet (on Bigfoot Forums and on Robert Lindsay’s blog)…

      “2. Ownership of Research Results. Assistant agrees that Researcher shall be the sole and exclusive owner of any and all discoveries, ideas, concepts, inventions, know-how, systems, methods, processes, scientific testing results, proprietary information and data, and other things of value conceived, reduced to practice, expressed in a tangible medium, or made or learned by Researcher, whether alone or with others, in connection with the Research (jointly and severally the “Results”). Assistant further agrees that Researcher shall be the sole and exclusive owner of all intellectual property rights and other rights, arising out of, in connection with and/or relating to the Research and Results, including, without limitation, all copyrights, patent rights (including all divisions, reissues, reexaminations, continuations and extensions thereof, and all foreign equivalents thereof), trademark rights, goodwill, know-how, trade secrets, industrial rights, and moral rights (jointly and severally the “Rights”) Assistant irrevocably waives the enforcement of any and all moral rights which may have accrued to Assistant. In addition, Assistant agrees to cooperate and do any and all lawful things requested by Researcher necessary or useful to ensure that the ownership by Researcher of all Research, Results and Rights is protected. As the sole and exclusive owner of the Research, Results and Rights, Researcher shall have the sole and exclusive right to exploit the Research, Results and Rights worldwide in any medium, whether now known or hereafter existing, without any monetary, compensatory, attribution, credit or other obligation to Assistant.”

      That’s where my word/idea “owned” comes from. Not from you, not from NABS. But from her NDA, as posted by Richard Stubstad.

      I’m very sorry to see this DNA project be upset by all this unhappiness and lack of trust and friendship. If it keeps the project from getting to the peer review stage, we’re all losing something very important, IMO.

  12. Linda-Thanks for attempting to clarify the DNA study. The reality of the research study is that North America Bigfoot Search started the study over three years ago. We interviewed scientists and eventually found Dr. Ketchum. We provided specimens for analysis by hair and fiber experts and if they passed that hurdle, it went on for DNA testing. The DNA acts much different then all other DNA in the world, thus a project we thought would take 4-6 months has trailed into three years. Approximately 18 months into the project I made an appearance on coast to coast and asked others to participate by submitting their specimens. This is when OTHER people decided to join. Most of these people didn’t have there own samples, they went out and convinced others to submit samples to them and under their name submitted them to Dr. Ketchum. There were a few that submitted viable samples on their own but there were not many. Regarding Dr. Ketchum, this woman is extremely honest and has made a living by her expertise in science, there is none better at what she does. Everyone in the project signed non-disclosure agreements and a few decided they didn’t want to abide by what every other group member had agreed, not to talk about the results until the scientific white paper was peer reviewed by a journal. Certain people compromised the integrity of the “Team”, put their own needs and desires ahead of everyone else who participated and released partial truths, because that’s all they know. These people only had access to limited data on what they contributed, again, nothing they went into the field and found, others found it, they submitted it. Dr. Ketchum had little choice in excluding these people. There have been over 100 specimens submitted, the results are extraordinary. The best things in life are worth waiting for, this study is near the top of the list. Myself and the dozens of others who have contributed to this study will continue to wait patiently and professionally for the journal to peer review the study and THEN will discuss the specifics of the results. There is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law, the same as was with each agreement we signed, everyone involved in this project CLEARLY understood that NO STATEMENTS would be made until the study was peer reviewed, nobody was removed or pushed out of this project who didn’t violate the trust and understanding that was explicit from day one. Team members must have respect for each other and the study and can never put their personal desires ahead of the team. Thanks to everyone in Northern California who participated in this study!!

    1. Richard Stubstad disputes your involvement, Dave… and though I’m aware of the quality of your work, I’m reacting to the idea that anyone “owns” this DNA research project. It was the ownership provisions added to the second NDA that caused Stubstad not to sign it. The whole thing reeks of exclusivity, unfriendliness, and secretiveness. Why do Bigfoot researchers do this to one another? We should all be happy to see that there’s progress in identifying the species, yet instead there’s corruption and dishonor. Why so untrusting, unloving, and so totally lacking in the camaraderie and friendship one would expect of an evolved human being?

  13. 35 years ago i outside, see large chewbacca-like creature. I scared, run inside, hide under bedsheets where monsters no reach me. Next day, i outside, see large animal droppings (poop). Curious, i take bite of droppings to find species that made it. Test results remain highly uncertain. Please help me find species!

  14. I agree with Arlas well. This research is being corrupted by greed, egos and verbal arrogance that is probably being generated by the “bigfoot” itself. With some DNA info leaked out, my own opinion is that we are dealing with spiritual beings called the Raphaim, fallen angelic spirits: the ghosts, shadows, entities. I was very involved in the bigfoot realm until people i know started the infighting and accusations a few days ago on Facebook. To myself, bigfoot is not merely a bipedal hominid roaming forests and deserts, but on a diabolical mission to cause strife, misfortune and fighting among God’s children and their friends. And other circumstances we have no clue of at this time. The proof of this demonic influence is right on your computer screen daily, everytime you hear about a new accusation or negative comment(s).

  15. This Bigfoot Research World we live in is full of people trying to make someone else look like the villain.They take info that is less than the total info and use it to make themselves appear to be more than they are. It is sad when people set out to discredit others.We may never know the whole truth to this but attacking by people with only one side telling the story is not a good thing.There is no way facts can be straight when only one side of the story is told. People are taking sides based on partial info. Sad to say such is the Bigfoot World of Research. I am truly thankful for all the wonderful honest people who are a part of this world.It makes them all the more special.

  16. You need to get your facts straight on this. This kind of stuff doesn’t help at all. When I look at a person’s integrity I look at who they are working with and who they are using to get their story out.Mr Stubstad has walked into the lair of the untrustable.

  17. The full study contains many more samples than Stubstad was privy to, no? It seems the full results may not be as clear cut as he saw. So far nothing is proven, especially given the high probability of contaminated samples. We should wait and see before throwing the Bigfoot is Human Party. For instance, how did Bigfoot get here from the glacial refugia in southern Europe? It is highly questionable.

  18. It looks like Richard Stubstad couldn’t wait for peer review. It also seems that he isn’t the only one talking. If the doctor treated the former members of her team with due respect, they probably wouldn’t be telling what they know before she’s ready.

  19. None of this is substantiated yet. We should really wait for the full report and peer review before jumping to conclusions.

  20. Travis, I agree in part… especially that this could lead to more aggressive human predators tracking Bigfoot. However, even if there is DNA evidence I would still like spending time in the wilderness learning to communicate with them. They aren’t likely to become any less reclusive and hard to find… so the adventure is still there.

    My work with Friends of Sasquatch entails (1) communication via subtle energies, and (2) protection of the the Bigfoot species. With the DNA proof, the protection issues will probably be enacted by the Department of the Interior according to their 1977 press release re: Bigfoot.

  21. I’m hoping the story is false. I’d hate to think of someone shooting a Bigfoot.I also don’t want Bigfoot’s existence proved. Ever. It’s fine the way it is, with us being fascinated by the legend and only hearing people’s account, hoping one day to experience an encounter ourselves. Doing so would be awesome. If it’s proved to exist, would it be as awesome ? And also, what would human beings then do ? Can you imagine the masses of people/scientists setting out to find one to treat it like a science experiment ? No thanks.

  22. Wow, this is mind bending information.

    We’re related to them and closer than anyone could have imagined.

    Guess I will have to stop calling and thinking about them as apes.

    Excellent, thanks for sharing.

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