I would like nothing more than the proof of various cryptids, alien civilizations, even alien visitors to be found. But that proof will come only through rigorous science and objective analysis, and by holding evidence to the highest standards of scrutiny. Born in south eastern Pennsylvania, i have found myself at one time or another living in Chicago, Cleveland, Raleigh-Durham, on the island of Kaua'i and finally landed on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. I have turned my hand to various professions from early work in 3d graphics to historic building restoration, carpentry and log home building to working in a bronze art foundry on the WWII Veterans Memorial. Currently I am a writer, script writer and working for a non profit organization called Empowerment Through Connection which is involved in equine assisted therapy for veterans, at risk teens and women.

The world of Bigfoot research continues to struggle for legitimacy as Melba Ketchum’s DNA findings are rejected in the peer review process.

Definition of Peer Review according to Wikipedia.

Peer Review is a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility. In academia peer review is often used to determine an academic paper’s suitability for publication.

Igor Burtsev, who was so quick to spurn results of a Yeti DNA study in Russia is the actual culprit in spilling the beans of the Ketchum results, placing himself among those perhaps well meaning but poorly thought out actors in the ongoing drama of attempting to prove the existence of Bigfoot.

We waited a couple of years the scientific publication by Dr. Melba Ketchum. But scientific magazines refuse to publish her manuscript which deserves to be published. And I want to remind some facts of the destiny of scholars in our field.
Before the First World War our zoologist Vitaly Khahlov described the creature, named it Primihomo asiaticus. He send his scientific report very circumstantial, thorough to the Russian Academy of Sciences. And what? The report was put into the box, and had stayed there till 1959, about half of century. Until Dr. Porshnev found it and published…
Dr. Porshnev himself had written a monograph “The present State of the Question of Relict Hominoids”. It was issued in 1963 by the Academy of Sciences in some 180 copies only, for a special use. Only after a half of century (again!) it was published 1n 2012 in 2500 copies…
In 1960ths Mongolian Academician Rinchen had sent the skull of supposed almas to Poland, because our anthropologists refused to study it. Poland’s anthropologist made a sculptural portrait of that creature, Rinchen called it Homo sapiens almas in 1960ths. But – it has been forgotten till last years… Again half a century!
I don’t want the new discovery (not the first one, but the next one) to wait for another half a century to be recognised by haughty official scientific establishment!
That is why I broke the tradition, did not let this achievement to wait for near half a century to be recognised. No matter of the publication in the scientific magazine^ people should know NOW, what bigfoot/sasquatch is.
As I know, one third of population of the USA believe in the existence of these creatures. And they deserve to know WHAT THEY ARE.

Igor Burtsev

Maybe things are done a little differently in Russia.

Yes, the paper of Dr Ketchum is under reviewing. And it is worth to be published. Just the situation now remindes me the war between North and South in the beginning of USA history… There are a lot of her supporters as well as a lot of her opponents and even some enemies…

The problem is that some people absolutize the science. Unfortunately science now is too conservative. One third of the population of the USA believes in BFs existing, but academic science even does not want to recognize the problem of their existing or not, just rejecting to discuss this question. In such a condition this subject is under discussion of the broad public. We can’t wait decades when scientists start to study this problem, forest people need to be protect now, not after half a century, when science wakes up.

Re the paper: the reviewed journals in the US refused to publish the paper. That is why Dr Ketchum has sent it to me to arrange publishing in any Russian reviewed journal. And I showed to our geneticists and understood that it was a serious work. I gave it up to the journal, now it’s under reviewing.

Anyway, I informed public about the results of the study. The public waited for this info for more than a year, a lot of rumors were spreading around. And the public has the right to know it nevertheless “science” says about it.

Igor Burtsev

There are many people who are blaming Burtsev’s breaking with the process of review for the rejection, and it is entirely possible as pre-release of results to the public is frowned upon. Perhaps if Dr. Ketchum had remained silent on the subject rather than further fanning the flames by commenting additionally on the results the outcome would have been different. But these opinions are as much conjecture and very nearly as controversial as the existence of Bigfoot itself. Whether this is the case or not I do not pretend to know. I would hope that the merits of the science would be enough to warrant review. If or until we hear why the study was rejected (and I am sure there will now be many stories about that) we may not know.

However all the conspiracy theorists will come out of the woodwork now and call out unfair treatment and cover-up and never consider the possibility that the results were actually flawed. When mathematician Andrew Wiles was working for years in secret on proving Fermat’s Last Theorem, late in the process he involved some students and it became a matter of conjecture that he was indeed working on the problem. In fact it became all but public, in the mathematics community. Wiles presented his results at a conference, and submitted them for peer review, and they failed. Wiles’ results failed because they were flawed and that is the purpose of peer review. He did not quit. He re-examined his results and the mistake and got back to work on the problem eventually resolving the flaws and solving the problem along with several other problems that had become part of the original.

So we can hope that this stumbling block will not be insurmountable and lead to the incontrovertible proof many of us would like to see.

[email protected]

  • LaszloZoltan

    of course the doctor is a quack- got her degree in a box of cereal- this is why paranormal investigation is treated with such deserved contempt. get some solidly grounded scientists when you have good evidence to give due consideration and respect their conclusion even if it;s not what you want to hear

  • Roy

    Actually that’s not up to date. The study is still under review. It was sent back for revisions not rejected. Melba has even made a statement about all this on her fb page. If you go to bigfootforums you’ll find a thread on this that is well over 300 pages.


  • Valkyrie13

    I thought Texas A&M was a fairly respectable institution?

  • Valkyrie13

    Blah-biddy-blah-foot. I have little faith in the peer review process in this matter. The scientific community won’t accept bigfoot unless there is a paradigm shift, regardless of how accurate the data is.

  • LaszloZoltan

    you are exactly why paranormal investigation deserves such contempt- every whacko and nutbar gravitates to this stuff like flies to honey and completely unable to accept scientific fact over their own fantasy. go to the woods there valk, Im sure youll find a family of bigfoot willing to invite you to live with them

  • LaszloZoltan

    well guess who just took a notch out of that respectability ?

  • Valkyrie13


  • Scott_McMan

    I never really trusted Ketchum, but I’m not inside her facility. She is a Vet by trade, but has many years of genetic research, mostly Equine I believe. She also has a very large team of qualified researchers working with her.

    There have been some strange rumors floating around as well, most coming from Robert Lindsay, who I have little faith in.

    You’re point is taken Laszlo. However, you’re being critical of someone is one thing, but you do it with an air of all knowing. The fact is, you are not on the inside either. Opinions tend to cloud judgement and that’s not a good thing.

    I’ve been following the Bigfoot thing for many years and I’m still on the fence, although my friend Bart Cutino is doing some pretty interesting research and I think we will be seeing some eye opening stuff from him in the near future.

  • LOOMfreek

    Las’ this post doesn’t make any sense. val is saying in the face of hard factual data, mainstream won’t accept the data nor any hypothesis about said data.

    But I guess your post says it all. Even if there was hard data, you wouldn’t believe it yourself, proving Valk’s statement to be true.

  • LOOMfreek

    Your biased uninformed mind shows again. First you make a claim of Ketchum getting her degree from a cereal box, and then when Valk presents you with a verifiable fact that proves you wrong you then take another jab at Ketchum without having first hand knowledge of what is really going on. WTG!

  • She was a vet, I suppose still is but changed her focus to genetics and has over the years developed a process of recovering DNA from otherwise non-viable samples (a significant stumbling block in sequencing bigfoot samples as hair alone does not, or did not really qualify as a sample without the root intact) through re-hydration. It was a little difficult to make out everything from her lecture by phone at the conference, but the gist of it was to establish her bona fides in her field and to demonstrate that her evidence (dealing with human DNA) has been accepted in court cases so presumably has met some scientific standard up to the present.

    The issue I have with the current evidence is the recovery process, over which no one has had any control. Samples are brought to her with questionable provenance, having been handled by people the likes of Smeja, without forensic precautions. Contaminated in who knows how many ways.

    @ Roy
    I am aware that Ketchum has released an update regarding the peer review, and I look forward to hearing more. I think if you check what I wrote, I anticipated exactly what has
    happened. A flaw was found and is being addressed. I am not yet privy to Dr. Ketchum’s Facebook page and in any case felt that what I have already written covers the recent development until there are concrete reports of results.

    Firstly learn to capitalize if you want to be taken as informed and presume to educate anyone else.

    Second, “you are exactly why paranormal investigation deserves such contempt- every whacko and nutbar gravitates to this stuff like flies to honey and completely unable to accept scientific fact over their own fantasy. go to the woods there valk, Im sure youll find a family of bigfoot willing to invite you to live with them”

    I think you will find that what we write here is very often an attempt to hold these stories to the scientific process, rejecting the idea that opinion and emotional reaction can be taken as evidence or worse, fact. And here YOU are along wit the rest of us nut jobs, to quote Gerry Rafferty, “stuck in the middle with you.”

  • Dung Shooken

    Laslo = Jerkfoot

  • BW

    Not specific to this article, but I enjoyed reading Ivan T. Sanderson’s ”
    Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life” — it can be read for free at http://www.sacred-texts.com/lcr/abs/index.htm