Melba Ketchum has by now established herself as a voice in the scientific wilderness, proclaiming, loudly and often, that Bigfoot is real.
That role was cemented in November when Dr. Ketchum -- she's a Nacodoches veterinarian-turned DNA researcher -- announced that her "Sasquatch genome study" had found conclusive evidence that the holy grail of cryptozoology not only exists but is actually part human.
The evidence, she claimed, came from a sample of purported Sasquatch hair samples her team put through "extensive" DNA sequencing. The results suggested the creature "is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an unknown primate species."
She immediately called for public officials and law enforcement to acknowledge the "unambiguously modern human maternal ancestry" of the Sasquatch and begin treating it as such. "Government at all levels must recognize them as an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights against those who would see in their physical and cultural differences a 'license' to hunt, trap, or kill them."
The scientific community was not impressed, and Ketchum was unable to find a scientific journal to publish her findings.
It was, she wrote, "the worst scientific bias in the peer review process in recent history." She dubbed it "Galileo Effect," presumably a reference to the chilly reception the Italian scientist received when he declared the earth orbits the sun.
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"It seems mainstream science just can't seem to tolerate something controversial, especially from a group of primarily forensic scientists and not 'famous academians' aligned with large universities, even though most of our sequencing and analysis was performed at just such facilities," she wrote.
But on Wednesday, Ketchum announced that she had finally found a publication with the courage to go against the ivory tower establishment and that her research was finally being published by the DeNovo Journal of Science. She immediately took to Twitter, directing the attention of popular science gatekeepers like National Geographic, the BBC, Jane Goodall, and, um, Rob Lowe, to a 19-second video clip, supposedly showing the sleeping female Sasquatch whose DNA was sequenced for the study.
But Ketchum's victory celebration might be a bit premature. The Huffington Post and others did a modicum of digging and found that, not only is DeNovo's website shoddy and amateurish, the domain was registered all of nine days before it published Ketchum's study, which, by the way, is its only article. To read it, you have to shell out $30.
That doesn't conclusively prove that Ketchum's study is a worthless pile of crap. It just suggests it very, very strongly.