Here's what independent tests on those 100+ Bigfoot DNA samples tell us

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Jul 5, 2013, 2:43 PM EDT (Updated)

Did one Texas veterinarian really assemble dozens of Sasquatch samples?

Last year we shared the story of Melba Ketchum, a veterinarian and genetics researcher in Nacogdoches, Texas, who claimed that, after five years of research and sample collecting, she had concluded that Bigfoot is real, and that it's really a human/primate hybrid that originated 15,000 years ago. Ketchum's samples included blood, hair, saliva and urine, and she believed they all pointed to proof that the creature existed.

Last we heard, Ketchum was planning to publish her findings in a professional journal, where other researchers could review her data and see if they thought she was right. When she finally did publish the findings, however, they were printed in DeNovo, a journal Ketchum owned. That fact, along with the contents of the paper itself, drew plenty of criticism when the paper was published earlier this year, but one journalist was willing to take the next step to really prove if Ketchum was wrong or right.

Eric Berger, who runs the Houston Chronicle's SciGuy blog, was among the critics of Ketchum's paper when it was first published. In his own words, he "savaged" her findings, but then he got a call from Ketchum herself, and an offer to examine the matter in greater detail. The journalist and the Bigfoot researcher made a deal: Ketchum would turn over some of her samples, which Berger would then deliver to a "highly reputable geneticist" in Texas for independent testing. Berger would then stop writing about the matter until the geneticist (who Berger is keeping anonymous in case his colleagues start to worry that he's gone Bigfoot-crazy) revealed the results of his testing. If Ketchum was proved right, they'd all be at the center of one of the biggest science stories ever. So, what did that geneticist find?

"Alas, I met my geneticist friend this past week and I asked about the Bigfoot DNA," Berger said. "It was, he told me, a mix of opossum and other species. No find of the century."

Ketchum has already fired back, telling the Huffington Post:

"This is unbelievable -- my study is a legitimate study," she said. "There's no credibility in his study whatsoever ... There's jealousy out there."

Ketchum also alleged that "the samples may have been switched" by Berger before the testing was conducted, and said she would only be willing to allow more testing of her samples if she were present. She might still have some hope to prove her case, but right now it looks like a serious blow has been dealt to Ketchum's claim that she's got proof of Bigfoot.

(Via Huffington Post)