The Big Debate about Bigfoot
Within just the last few weeks, an all new variety of controversy has emerged pertaining to the existence of the creature known as Bigfoot. Believed to exist (by some, at least) in the remote wilds of America, faith in the presence of such an animal has persisted due to scant provisions collected by researchers and enthusiasts over the years, ranging from footprints and blurry photos, to recordings of Bigfoot “vocalizations” and, yes, hair samples.
The most recent significant development in Bigfoot research circles deals with claims that DNA extracted from various samples, believed to emanate from Sasquatches traversing North America, have been used to in the sequencing of Bigfoot’s genetic origins. Thus, a DNA sequence for Sasquatch now exists, according to some, as credible evidence of the creature’s existence as an actual physical, flesh and blood being.
Thus, in what will no doubt go down in history as the finest and most well-presented article on the current debate over Bigfoot’s existence, I now will attempt to make some sense of the madness myself for Mysterious Universe readers. Worry not, however, as my certainty of the significance regarding my own offerings here is merely facetiousness; though in truth, I’m not so certain at this point that much at all could be said by anyone in terms of rectifying the stink that has arisen regarding the biggest of all the big, malodorous man-apes lurking out there along the periphery of civilization.
The entire problem stems from the fact that Melba Ketchum, a scientist who operates a laboratory called DNA Diagnostics in East Texas, has claimed that the sequencing was achieved. Granted, initial announcements about this find have been made primarily through social media outlets like Facebook, rather than in peer-reviewed scientific journals. But according to Ketchum, this is because her work actually is presently being peer-reviewed, and due to the premature release of her findings by a Russian colleague, Igor Burtsev, she was compelled to make a statement of her own. Hence, a storm of conflicted debate among researchers with interest in cryptozoology has ensued, both attacking and attempting to reconcile with the legitimacy of Ketchum’s claims that Bigfoot’s DNA has been sequenced, and thus, that the creature does exist.
Names in various cross-disciplinary fields that include not just cryptozoology, but also ufology and other areas of the unexplained have commented on the story, with the likes of Communion author Whitley Strieber (someone whose thought-provoking writing I have enjoyed for years) commenting on the potentials existent in the chance that Bigfoot may be proven to be a living creature… and of course, what it could mean for humans to have what must be a close cousin to our species–and one existing hidden right here in our midst.
Indeed, the implications of discovering a human-like being living alongside humans, especially in modern day America, would not only be ground-shaking. It could potentially become devastating for some, whose very concept of what being “human” actually is might change, once confronted with an obvious variety of humanoid that appears to be more ape in its overall characteristics than anything else, but more closely resembling a human than any other animal. Think for a moment, and imagine that you found out tomorrow that you had an identical twin sibling, from whom you became separated at birth; this might come somewhat close, at least, to the sort of sensation the discovery of Sasquatches in our midst could reveal.
And yet, of course, with all the hopeful discussion about what such evidence as sequenced Sasquatch DNA might provide, we are also faced with the problems this circumstance seems riddled with. Apparently several of the samples provided to Ketchum were secured in conjunction with the already somewhat curious “Erickson Project,” which among other things, purports to have access to clear footage of Bigfoot creatures; we’re still waiting, of course, on that footage. And of course, the most recent developments pertaining directly to Ketchum and her escapades are now purporting that the peer-review of her scientific presentation of DNA evidence for the existence of Sasquatch has been rejected. While Ketchum’s public relations representative (a gal named Robin Lynn Forestpeople according to Facebook, where the information was released) has now spoken out on the matter, again it seems that very little actual evidence confirming the existence of Bigfoot has been forthcoming.
With so many in the various Fortean communities observing this fiasco for days now, over at the Cryptomundo blog, researcher Loren Coleman, who remains perhaps the key figurehead for intelligent and reasoned discourse and gathering of evidence for the existence of these creatures, brought it all home in a recent post where he noted:
“What Bigfoot turns out to be, based upon scientifically, peer-reviewed published forensic testing after the recovery of a body or physical evidence with a verified, credible chain of custody, remains to be part of the story here.”
Well said, as usual… and in fact, we couldn’t agree more.