Henry Paterson has been doing an excellent job in keeping us all in the Bigfoot DNA Drama loop. Well, as was expected, the drama has reached new epic heights. Or should that be epic lows?
Sharon Hill over at Doubtful News has done an excellent job looking into Melba Ketchum’s extraordinary claims. In fact, Hill has discovered some suspicious activity regarding Ketchum’s involvement with the Denovo Journal. Let’s back track a bit.
When geneticist Melba Ketchum claimed to have extensive proof of Bigfoot DNA compiled from hundreds of submitted samples (blood, hair, saliva…) we all listened with curiosity. Then Ketchum went on to say that she and a team of experts had their findings published in a scientific journal after passing through an extensive and anonymous peer review. She had our full attention.
This week, their research finally appeared in the DeNovo Journal of Science. Giving Ketchum and the research the much needed credibility. But then something funny happened. Ketchum’s story began to break down amidst the barrage of questions and accusations that began floating on several Bigfoot websites. People began accusing the geneticist from Texas of foul play and manipulation.
Then, Sharon Hill began waving a huge red flag.
“We finally see the other authors, at least. Note that none are academics, but forensic specialists. Problem one.
Problem two: This is a brand new journal. Was it launched JUST for this paper? Well, this is an interesting and HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS twist. We do not know what the standards are for review. There are no rules for starting up your own journal and calling it “peer reviewed”. And, indeed, that’s what was done (from Sasquatch Genome Project) (Note: Site now gives 403 error):
After this journal agreed to publish the manuscript, their legal counsel advised them not to publish a manuscript on such a controversial subject as it would destroy the editors’ reputations (as it has already done to mine). I have documentation on all of this drama. So, rather than spend another five years just trying to find a journal to publish and hoping that decent, open minded reviewers would be chosen, we acquired the rights to this journal and renamed it so we would not lose the passing peer reviews that are expected by the public and the scientific community. Denovo, the new journal is aimed at offering not only more choices and better service to scientists wanting to submit a manuscript, but also reviewers and editors that will be fair, unlike the treatment we have received.
Problem three: The paper costs $30 to download. No academic institution is going to have access to a new journal site so they will have to pay to review it. Some Bigfoot bloggers have received embargoed copies. Bigfoot bloggers. With NO scientific qualifications. I have yet to see any genetic specialists comment on the paper but it’s very early and I expect some will. I have requested access to the paper. – Doubtful News
Lee Speigel pointed out the following in a post on Huffingtonpost.com:
But according to GoDaddy.com, DeNovo was first registered as a domain on Feb. 4, 2013 — anonymously and for only one year.
The current edition of DeNovo is listed as Volume 1, Issue 1, and its only content, thus far, is the Bigfoot research.
Speigel then went on to post his interview with Sharon Hill about the DeNovo Journal website:
On her Doubtful News website, skeptic and geologist Sharon Hill raises many questions about Ketchum’s claims.
“I clicked on the DeNovo site and was appalled at how amateurish the site is. It’s full of stock photographs, very poorly coded, there are errors all over it and it’s very difficult to navigate,” Hill told The Huffington Post.
“[Ketchum] documented that she acquired the rights to this journal. We don’t know what journal that was. I still can’t find it and that’s a little fishy,” said Hill. “And then she renamed it so they would not lose the peer reviews that they had. It looks suspicious. This is not how science works.”
Also, on the DeNovo site, the journal itself is identified as both DeNovo and DeVono.
Both Speigel and Hill bring up several good points. The DeNovo Scientific Journal website was registered and coded in what looks to be blind haste.
Registered through: GoDaddy.com, LLC (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: DENOVOJOURNAL.COM
Created on: 04-Feb-13
Expires on: 04-Feb-14
Last Updated on: 04-Feb-13
You see where this is going right?
1. Fake peer review
2. Fake scientific Journal
3. Fake scientific Journal website that charges $30 for a copy of the research
4. Questionable research
With all the shenanigans going on in this sad turn of events, it is no wonder why scientists, researchers, and academicians all look at Cryptozoology and scoff. Bigfoot research has gone down the path of the paranormal and Ufology.
When the dust settles and every single little fact in this anti-climatic drama is left exposed, will anyone even care?