Apparently, there is now genetic evidence supporting the existence of Bigfoot. A new study has been released that purports to legitimately prove not only that the being exists but that it is a confirmed “human-hybrid species.” The research team insists that the findings are real and despite decades of hoaxes, the Bigfoot legacy lives on, rejuvenated by these new “findings.”
All of this in spite of the fact that no one has yet to produce an image of a Bigfoot that doesn’t look just like a human in a gorilla suit, right down to the obviously synthetic coat. The newest image to be released is that of a “juvenile sleeping in the woods,” which translates to an abstract photo of a lump of fur that is some creature curled into a ball. Despite the grainy quality of the image, the fur still appears to be distinctly synthetic.
All footage of the Sasquatch, be it still photography or film, have notoriously been low quality and these new images are no exception. Not to worry, though, because Dr. Melba Ketchum, the head of the research team that has been diligently collecting data for five years, insists that she has seen Bigfoot herself.
In fact, Ketchum has done a lot of insisting regarding this project. She insists that she is qualified as a researcher, that she has seen Bigfoot, that she has emails containing claims that she has found a new species based on DNA, and that the science behind her research is sound. She cites the Bigfoot’s ability to be elusive as the reason that no one can get a clear shot of any of the creatures — despite the fact that they found one sleeping and still got a crappy shot — and that this new species “originated from modern human females.”
That is a lot to extrapolate from DNA samples that basically came back as human. The fact that Ketchum asserts her credibility with eyewitness accounts and confirmations from mysterious sources also raises red flags to the methodological soundness of her study. She seems very eager to convince people about a lot of things when it appears that actual analysis is still pretty young. If there are question marks surrounding the DNA results then it would likely be difficult to determine their origins with such specificity. Her work appears to be early enough in the process to have not been peer reviewed yet, based on the single source refuting their supposed involvement in the analysis of samples related to the study and the lone suggestion of contaminated samples as the reason the results were inconclusive.
Of course Ketchum insists neither are true.
This questionable study is likely only the newest in a long legacy of elaborate hoaxes that have ensured that the Bigfoot legend lives on. It seems like it will only be a matter of time before this study joins all of the other famous claims of Sasquatch encounters that have been thoroughly discredited.
For instance, the 1967 film shot by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin has been an iconic example of evidence for the existence of Bigfoot. Neither men were ever able to provide consistent, reliable tales surrounding the gathering of this evidence. In a 2004 investigation into the making of the famous video, not only was the video established as a fake, but the man who had worn the suit in the video was found and admitted to it. Financial records could trace the purchase of the suit back to a single source, a couple whom had also supplied the extra fur and plans to alter the suit to make the arms longer so that the suit would not be so obviously a gorilla.
Other evidence has been discredited through confessions of falsification as well. Rant Mullens came forward in 1982 to admit that he and some others had faked Bigfoot tracks using carvings they had made. Following his death in 2002, the family of Ray Wallace admitted to his role in creating fake tracks as well, even going so far as to produce the wooden carvings he had used to make them. Both men did this for decades and it can hardly be assumed that they were the only ones who thought to fabricate tracks.
Still more have faked, or provided contaminated evidence meant to serve the same purpose that this study hopes to serve. The quest for genetic proof defeats their purpose more than helping it because it gives another avenue for the science minded to point out why Bigfoot could not exist. In order for a species to thrive, there has to be genetic variability, meaning there would need to be far more Bigfoot alive than could go unnoticed save for perpetually poor quality photographs.
It seems it is only a matter of time before this study joins the ranks of debunked pseudoscience. That is, if anyone takes the time to actually review the claims and waste resources on determining, yet again, that Bigfoot does not hide in the woods. Realistically, even if the study is pulled apart, limb from limb, and established firmly as a hoax it will hardly matter in the eyes of Bigfoot enthusiasts who insist that the legacy lives on.
Written by: Vanessa Blanchard
The Sasquatch Genome Project Study