Scientist says study of 100+ DNA samples proves Bigfoot is real

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Jan 14, 2013, 1:38 PM EST

Only a bona fide Bigfoot corpse will ever truly answer the question of whether the elusive furball is real, but that doesn't stop scientist believers from trying to prove in other ways that Sasquatch exists. Take this veterinarian and DNA expert who spent five years comparing DNA samples and came away with what she thinks is proof.

Melba S. Ketchum, a veterinarian with more than 30 years of experience in genetics research, just announced that she and her team at DNA Diagnostics in Nacogdoches, Texas, have proven that Bigfoot is real, and that it's likely a primate/human hybrid that emerged about 15,000 years ago.

Ketchum's Bigfoot research began five years ago, when her team received alleged hair samples of the beast. The results from the DNA sequencing of those samples proved inconclusive, but then more samples came in. More than 100 samples later, she became a believer.

"I did not believe in these creatures," she said. "But my lab did a lot of animal testing, and we did species identification. We didn't have any hits on anything interesting until five years ago."

After testing samples that included hair, blood, urine and saliva, Ketchum and her team concluded that they were looking at a previously unknown primate species, likely a mating between a female homo sapiens and another ancient primate.

"They're not any of the large apes -- they branch off as a separate lineage," Ketchum said. "My personal theory is that it probably branched off and evolved in parallel with the rest of the primate lineage."

But of course, skeptics are already looking for weaknesses in Ketchum's findings.

"There is, however, another, simpler interpretation of such results: The samples were contaminated," said Benjamin Radford, deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine. "Whatever the sample originally was -- Bigfoot, bear, human or something else -- it's possible that the people who collected and handled the specimens accidentally introduced their DNA into the sample, which can easily occur with something as innocent as a spit, sneeze or cough."

But Ketchum insists her samples were clean.

"We split the samples with another forensic lab -- one worked on it manually while the other did it robotically, extracting the DNA -- and we ran several tests to confirm there was no contamination," she said. "And we ended up getting human sequences on many samples."

Ketchum's findings have yet to be independently evaluated by other DNA experts, but they are expected to appear in a peer-reviewed journal soon, so we'll see how well they hold up. In the meantime, would you consider DNA evidence sufficient proof that Bigfoot is real, or do you need to see a body?

(Via Huffington Post)