Melba Ketchum 2011 Bigfoot DNA Study

For those who haven’t heard the news, there is a comprehensive Bigfoot DNA study being conducted by Melba Ketchum, et al., and word has it that the results, after what has been a long wait, will officially be made public sometime soon.

I have been following this closely and will attempt to give you a rundown here of the timeline of events thus far. From here on out, while I’ll do my best to keep you updated via this blog, I will also have a web page dedicated to this (as I did the Georgia Bigfoot Hoax) that you can check back on periodically for updates if you miss anything. That page is:

(You’ll also get a sneak preview of the new Oregon Bigfoot site design. :) The internal members’ area is in the midst of redesign currently, and the public site is soon to follow.)

Here’s a compilation of the events so far (and a rundown of early Bigfoot DNA events to hit the news to give you a greater context). I’ve attempted to be as complete and accurate as possible. If there’s anything you feel I’ve missed, or is in error, please feel free to let me know via the email link at the bottom of this post.

November, 1995:

Researchers at Ohio State University attempt DNA extractions on two tufts of presumed Bigfoot hair recovered from Washington state  in August 1995 after a sighting.  Dr. Henner Fahrenbach had determined via microscopic analysis that the hairs came from two individuals of the same species.

March, 1998:

Dr. Henner Fahrenbach, and reserchers Poe and Fuerst are unable to extract mitochondrial DNA from the Blue Mountain, WA samples and decide not to submit their manuscript for intended publication in the Journal of Cryptozoology “until more DNA from tissue, preferably with attached hair, is obtained”.

April, 2001:

A British expedition team is led to a hollow cedar tree in the Kingdom of Bhutan, in the eastern Himalayas by Sonam Dhendup, the King of Bhutan’s official yeti hunter. A long black hair was found and DNA analysis was conducted by Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford. “We found some DNA in it, but we don’t know what it is… It’s not a human, not a bear or anything else we have so far been able to identify. It’s a mystery and I never thought this would end in a mystery. We have never encountered DNA that we couldn’t recognize before.” Sykes was the first scientist to extract DNA from archaeological bone specimens.

Analysis completed after the media release, however, clearly showed that the samples were from the Brown Bear and the Asiatic Black Bear.


Josh Gates and the Destination Truth team return to Bhutan to look for the Yeti after having found tracks on the season premiere of season two. The team recovers a hair sample and it is brought to Dr. Melba Ketchum of DNA Diagnostics.

Dr. Ketchum states, “This sample did test very clearly on the human panel of markers.  That makes it a primate, and it makes it a large primate.” When Gates asks her if contamination could be an issue, she replies, “The hair, visually, is not human.  It’s courser than horse tail hair… Initial searches indicate that it’s an unknown sequence.  There are literally millions of sequences in this database.  And we’re really shocked that it didn’t match any of the species exactly in the database… If we’re going to prove that there potentially is a new species, with this first hair sample, we really need more hair samples like it.  And once you establish there is a group of animals, that will go a long ways towards proving that there is a new species indeed.”

August, 2010:

Dr. Melba Ketchum appears on Coast to Coast A.M. with Dave Paulides. During the last hour of the program, Dr.  Ketchum reported on ongoing DNA testing of possible Bigfoot hair samples, some of which have a combination of human and animal attributes, and are considered anomalous or unknown. She and her team are in the process of preparing a peer reviewed paper that will reveal their complete findings.

October, 2010:

Dave Paulides and Melba Ketchum appear on Bigfoot Busters on Blogtalk Radio. (You can listen to the full episode here. What follows is a partial transcript of the most pertinent portions of that interview.)

In that program, Dr. Ketchum describes how she got involved in Bigfoot DNA testing.

“I have a curious mind and I’m a renegade, and I’m not a PhD, that’s probably most of it. I’m old enough that I predate the latest trends in molecular biology. I had to learn it that hard way – from scratch. We started getting samples back about ’95, starting with some unknown feces samples. We had some from Texas Parks and Wildlife and we had some from that people would send in and want to know what animal left this DNA here, so we sort of routinely did species ID.

“About ’95, we started getting the occasional person calling, ‘Oh, we believe we’ve got Bigfoot,” [and I said], ‘Oh, ok, whatever…If you want it tested, we’ll test it.’ And for years, we got nothing but horses, or raccoons, or any number of different, you know, creatures. I didn’t take it seriously, but I would test it nevertheless. I try to be open-minded and not close-minded and I think that’s the veterinarian in me, because we’re kind of a different breed. [laughs]

“So, two years ago in the spring, we had a couple of samples submitted, and actually Dave [Paulides] was one of the submitters, that sent some hair to us, and Destination Truth, it was a show…  I was so tired of dealing with these things – I [knew] that they would be close enough to ape or human that they would run on human markers if they were something worth looking and so I got to the point that I would screen these things on human markers, and if they tested out, fine, and if they didn’t I would just pass it on and say, ‘Nope. Not what you’re looking for.’

“Well, we had two samples… those two samples actually turned into something a little bit different? And I was foolish; I wasted a lot of the DNA because I wasn’t believing I was going to get anything. We did get some interesting results and they were just… it was different results for different types of testing, though, so we couldn’t combine the two and go anywhere with it. And, like I say, we didn’t have enough DNA to continue on with it. As a result, we just had to let it go… but it led me to believe that there might be something worth looking for.

“Shortly after Destination Truth aired, we started [laughs] receiving a huge number of samples from all over the country. In fact, all over North America. So… we’re knee-deep now in this huge undertaking. [laughs]”

Melba is then asked about the Destination Truth sample, how it didn’t match any known primate or anything in the large database she checked.

“Not exactly. That’s not exactly what I said. Things got… kind of ‘spliced’. [laughs] Basically, we did get some differences that didn’t blast in Genbank. They were very subtle differences but there were a couple of bases difference that what would normally blast in Genbank. But, once again, it was only [primary run?] and there was only one sample in that and there wasn’t much else I could do with it because we used up the DNA. Most of that hair did not have root material on it. It’s very hard to get… one peculiar thing that we’ve found about what we believe to be Sasquatch hair is that it does not want to give up its mitochondrial DNA very easily in the hair shaft like other creatures. Even human is easier to get the DNA out. And there’s been a raging debate amongst me and my team as to whether it’s actually inhibitors that’s causing it or whether somehow the DNA just doesn’t make it into the hair shaft like it does in other species. So we have to have good rooted hairs. We have to have hairs that have been basically pulled out by the roots in order to get good DNA for our purposes.”

Dr. Melba Ketchum is asked how many “unknown” samples she has that have been collected in the last year, and whether “unknowns” means that she has tested them and they’ve come back as a large, unknown primate.

“Quite a few… we can’t discuss results, because I’m going through peer-review with our paper before we let anything out. Let me be clear about that. Because we’re doing this as forensic cases, we’re documenting, we’re taking every conceivable care in making sure that everything that we do is by the book scientifically, so it would be good enough to stand up in court. And part of this would be a peer-reviewed article which is now being written, actually, and whenever we get the peer-review back is when this thing will come into the open.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked whether the unknown samples from Destination Truth and America are similar.

“Well, there’s subtle difference from where they come on the body, they’re different lengths, obviously. They basically look very much alike. The Destination Truth [hair] samples were interesting in that there were some fibers in there as well as hair, so what everybody saw in there was not just hair. It was a combination of things… I think that they run generally very similar, even across continents, from what I’ve seen. But that’s not to say that one that lives in a more frigid climate isn’t going to have a longer hair coat. And also where the hair comes from on the body is going to affect he length. You have short hairs and you have long hairs on your body. Think about it. And the same with any other type of animal.  A horse has a long mane, a long tail, and short body hair.”

She is asked if  the DNA will look the same, regionally.

“Well, yes… in a general sense, it’s going to be the same amidst the species. However, you have subtle differences as with any breed of horse, or humans. Some humans are redheaded and some humans are black-headed and you’re going to have differences like that, I’m sure, that are subtle differences. But the overall organism, just like overall human beings, for instance, are going to have basically very similar DNA except for some physically characteristics and maybe some mutations or genetic disease or what have you. And that’s like that with all species. So they will basically be the same, but there will individualized differences, of course.”

Melba Ketchum is asked a chatroom question: “Why is it that the mitochondrial DNA is most often identified while the nucleic DNA is difficult to identify?”

“Well, mitochondrial DNA is a 16.5-thousand base loop of DNA that lives in the mitochondrial, or a little organelle, that’s in the cytoplasm of the cells. It is maternally inherited. There’s approximately 100 mitochondria in each cell, so there’s 100 copies per cell., making it much more plentiful and much tinier than your regular nucleic genomic DNA, which is in the nucleus of the cell, and it only has the copy from the mother and from the father. So you’ve basically just got your chromosome that carry it. So you do not have the copy numbers that you have for the mitochondrial DNA.  And these little tiny organelles, with this little tiny loop of DNA, oftentimes, if some of them get degraded – say the DNA gets moist  and mold and bacteria starts growing on it and that’s how it gets degraded – you’ve got 100 times better chance of actually retrieving that little bitty loop of DNA from the mitochondria than the nucleus of the cell. So it’s used in degraded remains. I worked on the World Trade Center disaster. There was a team of forensic scientists that was put together to analyze the remains and a lot of these, the only thing that was left was the mitochondrial DNA because of the condition of the remains. It survives better and there’s more copies of it, so that’s how you end up being able to see it much more often than your nuclear DNA.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked whether the team was careful to eliminate human contamination.

“Oh, absolutely. And the type of DNA we’re using, it’s easily done. We handled it like forensic samples. We did our blank controls and positive controls and, of course, I’m tested, since I handled it, so we’re taking every precaution. I’m sure that everything we’re testing has come from the samples we’ve received. ”

Dr. Ketchum is asked about the most-received color of purported Sasquatch hair sample submitted.


Dr. Ketchum is asked, without violating any non-disclosure at the current time, if she believes there is a bigfoot.

“Oh, I can say yes. I’ll answer that yes without any problems. Just have to wait for all the details.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked whether she has been provided any evidence besides hair, like bone or feces, or blood.

“Ask Dave if he wants me to answer that…”

Dave Paulides replies, “Let’s leave that for later.”

The interviewer mentions that he heard on Coast to Coast that there was a bone sample.  Dave Paulides confirms the truth of that, but declines to discuss it further.

Dr. Ketchum is asked if she believes that there are aliens.

“I have no idea. [laughs] I know somebody’s seeing something in the sky… I’ve even seen something in the sky, but I have no idea what’s flying it. It could be the military for all I know. I wouldn’t touch that. [laughs] Remember, I’m still a scientist and I’m still really skeptical unless I can prove it myself. Nobody’s given us any DNA from alleged aliens, so, can’t go there.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked if she would describe the difference between an “unknown” and a human hair.

” Well, I’m not a hair expert, although we have one in our group. Let’s just say they’re generally bigger, I give you that much. They’re generally larger in diameter. They’re more coarse.”

Dave Paulides adds: “There are hair and fiber experts in the world that can tell the difference between every known hair that exists and these people can’t get up on the stand and testify as an expert in court that, yes, this is positively a deer hair/raccoon hair just by the physical makeup of the hair.”

Both are asked if a hair analyst could testify in court. Both Ketchum and Paulides answer in tandem, “Yes, absolutely.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked about the difference in the medulla in the “unknown” hair and human hair.

“We’ll have everything we need from our hair analyst who is a senior supervisor in a well-known forensic lab, whose doing all of the hair analysis. And he will give his opinions on this, and we’re taking very good pictures. We’ll have everything we need.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked how often samples are contaminated by humans.

“We take precautions against it. We have ways of washing the samples… that will do away with anybody that’s handled anything. Bone samples, for instance, they basically get sandblasted to remove the whole outer coating before we use the inner part. There’s various ways to protect… we use every forensic tool available to us to keep any contamination from affecting anything.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked wthether nuclear DNA is the next step, after mitochondrial DNA, in proof.

“You use everything at your disposal., of course. The only problem is you have to have high-yield samples to do the nuclear testing. They have to have more DNA in them., more cells avaiable to give up it’s DNA. Everything we do is amplified DNA and it’s based on a copy number, like I explained earlier. Meaning, how many numbers of set of DNA that was in the cells do you have left and nuclear is like 100x less than the mito, so you do have to have a lot better sample.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked to explain how easy it is to recover DNA when people want to be tested.

“For  human testing, all you have to do is take a Q-tip and run it inside your cheek and that’s plenty of DNA to do anything you want with it. It’s very simple. In fact, that’s how paternity test are done. The kits are sent out with the swab and they just swab inside their cheeks, one on each side.  But I doubt Sasquatch is going to come up and open his mouth and say, ‘Here, you wanna take a vocal swab?’

Dr. Ketchum is asked if Sasquatch saliva DNA could be gotten from food.

“Oh, yeah, there a lot of  literature and we’ve done it before too where you get something that’s had saliva on it, and if you freeze the saliva item, you just take a damp swab and swab the saliva off of it. It’s fun to do.  [The food won’t contaminate the sample] because it’s a plant. It’s a different extraction method to get their DNA. There’s a famous forensics case in Canada where a burglar, and I believe he was also a murderer, decided he was hungry after he perpetrated the crime, and he got a piece of ham out of the refrigerator and took a big bite out of it and threw it on the floor, and they just froze the ham, swabbed the ham, and they got his profile. And we do the same things when we do forensics. We do whatever it takes. ”

Dr. Ketchum if there is anything that would keep the evidence from coming out, when the study is complete.

“I certainly hope not. The one thing we’re trying to [do is] overkill so that peer-review will be passed. I know that we’ve done everything to make it to peer-review. The peer-review will happen. Except, unless we get biased people that refuse to pass it for selfish reasons. Or, we get some type of conspiracy theory going where it’s prevented. I know the science is good. We’ve done peer-review papers before. It’s not a big deal. Two of the PhD’s on our team do peer-review, for crying out loud, so we know what we’ve done to overkill and make sure that everything is as it should be.  So the science will pass. It’s just getting past somebody who might have a preconceived notion… they can nitpick it, but they can’t really nitpick it because we’re covering all our bases. What it’ll boil down to is just if they’ll pass it from one to the next and drag it out. That’s really the worst fear I have. I mean, they can’t really completely turn it down…. But the first time we get turned down with any of them, we’re just going to go to another one. We’ll keep doing it until we get it done. We will, because it’s there. And it will absolutely be capable of being peer-reviewed because, like I say, I’m a veteran, and certainly the people on my team have done… you know, one of them has peer-reviewed for a government agency. And no research left that agency without the peer-review from him, so we know what we’re doing here. And it’s just a matter of the politics and, you know, hopefully is going to go smoothly and we’ll get it out there more quickly, I hope, than what we’re afraid of. But it will be [nothing but bias] if it doesn’t peer-review.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked if the findings will be published in a journal.

“That’s peer-review, yes. It will go into a scientific journal and what each journal has, when it’s a respected scientific journal is, they have some scientists on staff that read the papers and they go, ‘Did they do this right? Did they take enough precautions?’ and what have you. ‘Oh yeah, they did fine. Let’s publish it.’ And I know we’ve done all those things. I’m sure of that. [laughs] I’m absolutely positive. In fact, we’ve done it more than any paper. We have done more than any paper I have ever read. ”

Interviewer asks, “You have to, almost, don’t you?”

Melba responds, “Yeah, we have to because it’s the nature of the beast, if you’ll pardon the pun. [laughs] But this is what I’m saying. I know what we’ve got is good, I know what we’ve got will pass the science.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked if she will go “around them” if necessary.

“Well, that’s what we’ll do if we get any trouble out of the bigger publications, we’ll go to a smaller one if we have to., until somebody slips up and is actually open-minded. And I’ve got the name of somebody who’s open-minded with a good journal that will be our second step if the first one doesn’t go through quickly. ”

Dr. Ketchum is asked when she anticipates the results being released and whether she has been contact by any government officials.

“No. And I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, so I’m not really worried about that. I think if it comes out it comes out and, you know, we’ll see what happens. Some people have voiced a concern about the peer-review process in this country and that’s why we have multiple copies and we’re ready to submit internationally to get things done how they should be done. This is just straight science. Everybody gets all excited about Bigfoot. To us, it’s just science. It’s another organism. You write it up, you do what you’re supposed to do, and you say here it is. It’s a big mystery, yes, but it’s nothing that you wouldn’t do every day in science.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked about the best source of DNA from the body.

“Skin would actually be my preference because every cell has a nucleus. Only your white blood cells have nuclei. I would prefer skin any old day if I could get it. Blood is good though. Hair is my last choice because the roots are so tiny and you have to have the roots, you need a clump with roots. We do some that have almost no root, but it takes a lot of extra effort and it’s not as good as if we were able to have several roots and be able to combine them from one sample.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked if the hair had a medulla, could she get DNA from the medulla.

“We have not had good luck with hair shaft of any sorts from samples purported to be and I believe to be the real thing. We want tissue. We want the tissue on the roots. If you pull it out, you see the little bulb thing on the end? We want those, and preferably with a little tissue tag on them. That is your best source, as far as hair. If you don’t have that, you might as well keep the hair for posterity’s sake… There is some DNA in the actual follicle or the are that is encompassing the root. If it’s a shed hair, there isn’t though and it’s just not worth the try, believe me, and not for what we’re doing on our project. We’re using larger DNA samples.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked if she had something to do with the Neanderthal DNA study.

“No, I had nothing to do with Neanderthal.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked if that was proven recently, too.

“Yes. And that’s one of the things that we’ve looked at, like everything else.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked whether or not she has compared Neanderthal DNA to what she has.

“Of course we have. We’ve compared it to everything that we have. If we have access to it, it’s been compared to it.”

Dr. Ketchum is asked about apples that have had a bite taken out of them.

“But there’s a problem with that. How many of them are actually cleaning the apples with a 1/10 Clorox solution and rinsing them in distilled water before they’re stringing them up with their bare hands?  Because you go to the store… how many people have picked up that apple before you picked it up to buy it? And did you wear gloves when you picked it up to buy it? So you can get contamination that way, and that’s where, as a forensics scientist, I try to think outside the box and see where I might have a problem. ”

Dr. Ketchum is asked a possible release date for the information.

“It’s probably sometime in the spring, on a guess. It’s going to depend on the peer-review. That’s the one thing that’s going to speed this up or slow it down because… we’re working right now to get it out for peer-review. We’re very close. We’re writing right now, basically well on our way with it. It’s just a matter of getting it all down on paper and then submitting it… The deed is done. We’re still adding a few samples along when we can just to… the more the merrier.  Because now we can do them a lot quicker now that we’ve made the basic research. [People will have] about one month [to continue to submit samples]. Tissue. I really appreciate blood or tissue. Hair is the least of them.”

November 2010 – June 2011

Various individuals and research groups who have submitted possible Sasquatch DNA samples to Melba Ketchum sit quietly, pursuant to their non-disclosure agreements, waiting for Ketchum to finish the study and submit the white paper for peer review.

June 16, 2011

Robert Lindsay publishes an interview with Richard Stubstad, who claims that he had submitted a sample to the Ketchum Bigfoot DNA project but his NDA has expired. Stubstad claims that the results of mitochondrial (MtDNA) analysis of two samples came back 100% Homo sapiens sapiens.

Richard Stubstad claims he was “thrown out” of the study. He explains, in his comments on Lindsay’s blog: “I’m pretty sick now, with prostate cancer, and I’d really like to see something definitive before I die–one way or the other…. My remaining lifespan is more likely measured in months, not years–although I’m doing pretty well right now. So, yes, if I appear to be a bit impatient, well indeed I am!”

Stubstad also admits on the comments section of Lindsay’s blog that he is a friend of “Java” Bob Schmalzbach (who was involved with the Georgia hoax along with Tom Biscardi).

Stubstad had reportedly funded the DNA analysis on  several samples, including a purported bigfoot toenail, on behalf of Tom Biscardi, who hand-delivered the samples to Ketchum in 2009.

June 27, 2011

Robert Lindsay publishes an interview with “the bear hunter” on his blog regarding the purported shooting of two bigfoot creatures.The blog post, titled “New Erickson Project News: Bigfoot DNA Project Using Two Dead Bigfoot Bodies for Samples”, erroneously credits the DNA project to Adrian Erickson, who has submitted samples to the project along with several other individuals and research groups.

The interview is filled with misinformation and supposition. The “bear hunter”, Ken Walker, not to be confused with the shooter, is a well-known taxidermist who was involved in the initial thread at in which the shooter described the event. The bear hunter had put the shooter in touch with Derek Randles of the Olympic Project and had been asked by Randles not to discuss the incident publicly. In the interview, Walker states he is speaking out about the incident because “I am getting very impatient with the pace of this project. You know, it’s always coming out this year, then next year, then this year again, then next year again, then this spring. I’m getting tired of it. I want to jumpstart this project and tell them to get going and finish it up.” Walker states several opinions as fact, leading many to question the credibility of the shooting story itself.

June 29, 2011

Robert Lindsay publishes a second interview with Ken Walker, dealing “with a wide range of subjects, including why we have a hard time getting good trailcam videos of Bigfoots, Bigfoots burying their dead in peat bogs, Bigfoot gravediggers who dug up a Bigfoot grave and found a skeleton of a Bigfoot hand, a trapper who is more or less living with a group of Bigfoots, an wilderness area with a huge number of disappearances that may be Bigfoot-related, and most outrageously of all, a man who claims that he was kidnapped by Bigfoots and  taken to their lair where they tried to force him to mate with a female Bigfoot a la the famous Albert Ostman story.” Walker again states several opinions as fact.

July 4, 2011:

Robert Lindsay continues to post “leaks”, from “people close to the Erickson Project“, this time regarding nuclear DNA results, claiming that “Bigfoots are approximately 1/2 way between humans and chimps.” Once again, the blog post is full of misquotes and misinformation, according to later statements made by those involved in the project. Arguing in the comments section of the blog post ensues.

July 7, 2011:

Robert Lindsay appears on MNBRT blogtalk radio with Abe Del Rio. Lindsay reiterates the shooting story. Derek Randles of the Olympic Project calls in during the second hour of the show and sets the record straight on many details.

July 10, 2011:

Cryptomundo reports on DNA Diagnotics’ Better Business Bureau rating, an ‘F’.

The BBB has been accused of being a “complaint magnet” for people with axes to grind, for giving Terrorist Group Hamas an A- rating, for allowing scammers to lend credibility to their schemes, and was investigated in 2009 by Connecticut’s Attorney General for  “pay to play” scam complaints. For more information on the credibility of BBB ratings, see:

Terror Group Gets ‘A’ Rating From Better Business Bureau? – ABC News

Better Business Bureau Credibility Fading Fast

Scammers Using BBB Name To Add Credibility For Their Fraudulent Actions

BBB loses credibility with Businesses

July 11, 2011:

David Claerr, Yahoo! Contributor Network releases Bigfoot DNA Report Analysis 2011:Preliminary Results in Mitochondrial DNA Indicate an Astonishing Relationship Between Sasquatch and Humans

In it, he discusses Bigfoot possibly being a “Progenitor Species”.

July 15, 2011:

Derek Randles of the Olympic Project posts the following account of the shooting on the Olympic Project website:

This incident occurred in October of 2010 in Northern California. The persons involved will be known as Hunter 1, and Hunter 2. Hunter 1 is the shooter. Hunter 2 was driving the vehicle.

While driving down a dirt road looking for bear, hunter 1 and hunter 2 were noticing large piles of feces along their route. They commented on the amount they were seeing, and at the strange nature of it. They were having a rough time figuring out what was responsible. To (sic) big for Cougar, and didn’t appear to be bear. It is important to note that they were hunting at considerable elevation. It’s also important to note that they were legally hunting, with appropriate bear tags in a legal hunting area.

As the truck came around a corner they both noticed a large hair covered figure standing approx 80 to 100 yards in a meadow off to the side of the road. (On the Bigfoot forum I previously said it was off to the left, that was my mistake, it was actually off to the right of the road.) The figure was standing on two legs with it’s arms above it’s head. It took roughly eight to ten steps toward the vehicle. The arms were moving a little either because it was walking, or it was intensionally (sic) swaying them. It was dirty grey in color with some black mixed in. The figure was very large. Hunter 1 decided it had to be a bear. It was completely hair covered, and from that distance good definition (sic) was impossible. Hunter 1 got out of the truck and leaned against the door aiming his riffle at the figure. He does admit that it looked strange but in his mind it had to be a bear. He did not believe in Bigfoot at that time. Hunter 2 was now looking at the figure and said ” I’m not sure that’s a bear”. The shot was fired hitting it’s mark in the chest region. The figure went down. It got back up immediately and started running on two legs, and then on all fours. It went from two legs to four legs a couple of times before it left view. A short time later they were very sure they heard it crash into the brush, although they never did confirm this. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

They exited the truck and started across the meadow still wondering what just happened. When they reached the spot where it was standing they noticed movement in the nearby brush. Two smaller figures appeared from the brush and started circling around their position. The smaller ones were totally hair covered, but were much more black in color. They would go back and forth from two legs to four. They were exhibiting some type of chatter back and forth to each other. Hunter 1 and Hunter 2 described them as a cross between a gorilla and a bear. They said that they had very large heads, almost too big for their bodies. They also stated that the little ones had a much flatter face than a bear. They spent as much time on two legs as they did on four. The smaller figures began getting closer and closer, at on (sic) point, just a few yards. One of them climbed up a small outcrop above hunter 1. Hunter 1 started to get the feeling he might be attacked. He made a quick decision, turned and fired. The figure went down and rolled right down to Hunter 1’s location. He lifted it up, and then placed it in the brush. They then decided that they needed to leave, now.

I, Derek Randles was put in touch with the hunters about two weeks later. I interviewed them both by phone extensively, and separately. I found that their story matched perfectly with no inconsistency’s (sic). I could also tell that they were natural and not rehearsed. Consequently, I’ve spent many many hour talking with hunter 1 one about all aspects of the story, and I completely believe him.

I then urged hunter 1 to return to the site and look around for any evidence from the incident. Upon returning they were greeted with roughly two feet of snow. The little one was not found. They concentrated their efforts in the area where they thought they heard the larger one go down. After digging though the snow for many hours they were able to find a piece of flesh, greasy fat and hair, but no body. The flesh and hair matched the color of the larger one exactly. White gray hair with some black in it.

I then asked him to forward a small piece of the flesh to Dr. Ketchum to have it analyzed for the current DNA study she’s involved in. I cannot speak to the results at this time due to an NDA I’ve signed, but I will say that I 100% believe the story. Read into that what you will.

The site has been under snow since last November. Further study of the site is ongoing. To date, no bodies have been recovered or found. If and when a body or remains is discovered, the appropriate authority’s (sic) will be notified.

The Olympic Project and Dr. Melba Ketchum do not advocate or condone the killing of a Sasquatch to advance science. That being said, if this sample can help with species verification and protection, then some good can come from a unfortunate incident. It’s also important to note that this is but one of over a hundred samples the Olympic Project has contributed to this study.

Updates on this story will be available on this web site, and the story in it’s entirety will be told by Hunter 1 when the time is right.

Thank You,

Derek Randles.

Further updates, as they become available, will be posted on


As for my personal feelings regarding all of this, I am torn. I have always been an opponent of “proof”. I feel heartbroken about the  circumstances surrounding this event and I am deeply concerned, as I’ve always been, about how discovery will affect the lives of these beings who live in the woods. However, in light of the shooter’s story, I can’t help but wonder, if he’d had an awareness of the existence of bigfoot beyond the superficial sensationalism and ridicule portrayed in the mass media, this particular tragedy could have been prevented. It’s a catch-22.

Regardless, with our innate curiosity combined with the availability of DNA analysis, this situation seems sadly inevitable.

How this is handled from here on out will define us as much as it will them.

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19 replies on “Melba Ketchum 2011 Bigfoot DNA Study”

  1. Arla says:

    Thank you Autumn for your diligent work in showing the truth and helping educate people that these Beautiful People of our Forests should be respected.Yes we are going to have to look at who we are in a way we never have before.I pray we do this in a good way.

  2. Steve Summar says:


    Thank you…for an accurate chronology of a tragic sequence of events.

    When Dr. Ketchum et al studies are complete and published, the North American Aboriginal Ancient People, will finally be recognized by the scientific community and the North American governments, perhaps receiving the respect they so richly deserve.

    live and let live…

    Steve Summar

  3. Stinkyfoot says:


    You set the record straight. Thank you for your hard work you have done on this post and educating the public on the big guy.

  4. Fuzzy says:

    Welcome back, Lady A, and kudos on a very thorough and professionally compiled post. Excited to see the new Site designs! Squatch on!

  5. We still do not have the results, so we should just be patient before presuming what they will mean and what Sasquatch are. Leaks should be ignored, beyond this fine chronology. Thanks, Autumn, for putting this in context for the masses.

  6. apehuman says:

    Autumn – thank you for this well written and detailed post. I am copying it and sending on to some people I want to be up to date. I do have to agree with Walker though…the wait seems, well long!
    Again thanks for balanced story and after comments.

  7. ScottSquatch says:

    Thank you Autumn, for this excellent write up of the details and time line regarding all of this. It greatly helps put it all in perspective and provides some much needed clarity regarding the story (especially after the rumors that have been rampant online about it lately). Well done. :D

  8. Thom says:

    Thank you for this concise review of the events and facts surrounding his circus. I, like you regret that this ever eventuated but, evidently, it has. I don’t believe either of the accounts of how it happened. There are enough inconsistencies in each to make them suspect. Of the two, Derek’s is the more believable. and not just because Derek is the most believable of the characters in the scenario.

    I have a great deal of trouble with someone not knowing a Sas from a bear at less than 100 yards… with his “arms waving in the air” as stated… a bear on his rear legs looks NOTHING like a sas…

    My last point is simple.. and it makes me wonder… My book, “Ghosts of Ruby Ridge” opens with this very same scenario… two hunters killing a sas by mistake… now,here, 10 years after that was written, it happens to this group in the same way? Either I’m one intuitive writer or someone borrowed an idea… ’nuff said about that.

  9. Tom says:

    I feel bad if this incident is true. I am a believer, and an advocate for Not “harvesting” any of these creatures for any purpose whatsoever. I submitted a story to you before, and asked you not to publish it or my name. I live in Az,. and I have wondered what effect, and where they will go…..the ones we have here, after the devastating wildfires. Perhaps they will move further west, Northwest, or they will cross into New Mexico. Either way, I had been planning a personal journey up north where the most prevalent sightings have occurred. Now that will probably be postponed. I am a hunter, and as such I ALWAYS make sure of what I am aiming at. It pisses me off that these so called hunters didn’t verify their target. Their should be NO DOUBT before a trigger is pulled. EVER!! I call it MURDER!!

  10. Penny says:

    Ok. My question is, why the Hunters didnt bring the little one with them when they left ? Proof was in their grasp.! Yet what a waste of one of the precious animals.! That just doesnt make since. And now adays most people have cell phones with camaras. And know how to use the video on the camara. 2 Hunters. Use your Brains not your guns.!!

  11. Dan Viveros says:

    Thank you Autumn for keeping us informed. I appreciate all your hard work and dedication in the continuing saga of the Sasquatch phenomenon.

  12. Brian Janes says:


  13. ORSasquatchnNV says:

    Autumn, Thank you for once again for the information on our friends, the Sasquatch. I can hardly wait for your next post. Peace to all*

  14. Angela McGraw says:

    Thank you Autumn, I always can count on the truth, with you! I just wanted to say, when I first read the story of the Hunters and that they killed a Mother and her toddler, I was deeply hurt, I actually cried over it. Never knew it would effect me so deeply. I do believe that they are ancient people, that just want to be left alone. I just hope that the white man will leave them be,after they get their proof. Will See?


  15. Debbie says:

    Why can’t they just leave them alone? They are not harming anyone and they’ve been here for hundreds,hundreds of years. The reason they don’t find many skeleton’s/bones is that they bury their own…they are an ancient race that was here long time before us….respect them

  16. john j straney says:

    i firmly believe in the bigfoot research and know they are out there, cant wait for the truth to come to light, keep up the good work.

  17. Tony D. Kennedy----- says:

    I do wish the local, state and federal Gov.would step in
    with a law protecting the BIGFOOT’S all over North America.
    If this incident really happened,the two men should have
    their hunting rights barred for life. any hunter should know the differance between a bear and Bigfoot. the whole
    story is very sad.

  18. […] to it. Many are holding their breath to see if this is the year that proof is made public, with the Ketchum DNA study, or clear images are finally revealed in the Erickson media. Many more are beginning to consider […]

  19. […] proof may soon be a moot point (with the Ketchum DNA report), the information Larry is collecting may ultimately contribute to our understanding of the Wild […]

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