A press release from a Texas genetics researcher claims that a 5-year study of Sasquatch DNA reveals that the elusive giant is both human and not-entirely-human. “Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens,” says Dr. Melba Ketchum, the study’s lead.
Being that the general population accepts that Bigfoot isn’t real, it may come as a bit of a surprise to most of us that Ketchum and her team obtained three samples of different Sasquatch DNA which underwent intense genetics, forensics, imaging and pathology screening. The study has not yet been released as it is currently under peer review, so feel free to add the word “allegedly” as you see fit. According to the official press release from Dr. Ketchum, the samples revealed a novel species that is clearly related to humans, which probably branched from homo sapiens around 15,000 years ago:
Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain 3 whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples. The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species.
What is certain is that the other hominid species is not Neanderthal or Denisovan, two early human relatives that are though to have interbred with modern humans. Which is great, because that would really mess up the 15,000-year timescale Ketchum’s team has estimated.
I hate to be overly skeptical since the team aren’t exactly noobs — Dr. Melba S. Ketchum is the director of DNA Diagnostics, a human and animal DNA mapping facility in operation since 1985. Previously, she was a veterinarian. That said, the lack of confirmed Sasquatch sightings and physical samples suggest that Bigfoot does not actually exist. If history (and peer review) prove me wrong, then so be it. I’ll be the first to sign the petition for Bigfoot civil rights. For now, I’m sticking with detached skeptical amusement.
Read Ketchum’s press release in full and a history of Bigfoot lore (and debunked/unconfirmed evidence), and make of it what you will. Is Sasquatch real? Unlikely. But is this interesting? I think so. Mostly I’d like to know where they got these DNA samples.