Joining George Knapp, Dr. Melba S. Ketchum discussed her DNA analysis of possible Bigfoot hair samples, which was leaked to the public before the publication of her peer-reviewed paper. She reviewed her background as a veterinarian, years of research in genetics, including forensics, and her founding of the company DNA Diagnostics in 1985. She also addressed controversies that have been stirred up in the Bigfoot research community about her findings. Part of the problem, she explained, was that some non-ethical people became involved in her project, though none of their research was ever incorporated into her final paper.
While she was not at liberty to discuss all aspects of her Bigfoot DNA testing before her manuscript is published, she confirmed that analysis was done on over 100 hair and skin samples, sent in by eyewitness of the creature, or from researchers in the field. To maintain objectivity, some of the samples were sent “blind” to other labs– that is they were not identified as possibly being from a Sasquatch. Ketchum outlined how her lab was able to prevent contamination problems, by checking against the DNA of her lab employees and the people who submitted the samples.
Results revealed that the mitochondrial DNA was human, but the nuclear DNA was “unique,” — that is there were unknown sequences interspersed with human sequences, she said. This suggests that something non-human mated with humans to create the Bigfoot species. “We don’t know what the other side of Bigfoot is– we know it’s not any ancients that are on file, we known it’s not any apes that are on file, we know it’s in the primate range, but there’s no type file for the progenitor,” she commented. For more on this topic, check out George Knapp’s column, “I’m Dreaming of a Bigfoot Christmas.”
The Last Pictures
First hour guest, multimedia artist Trevor Paglen talked about his latest project “The Last Pictures,” in which he placed a photographic record of life on Earth onto a satellite in geosynchronous orbit as a message from humanity that might be discovered by alien civilizations or robots millions or even billions of years in the future (the orbit of a geosynchronous satellite does not decay). Out of thousands of images, Paglen whittled down the selection to 100 photos, which included subjects such as cave paintings, as well as 20th and 21st century images that demonstrate how humans have transformed the surface of the Earth. To extend the lifespan of the images, they were nano-etched into a thin silicon wafer.
Dr. Melba S. Ketchum grew up in Texas City, Texas. She attended Texas A&M University where she received her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine after five years at the university. She had a mixed veterinary practice until she founded DNA Diagnostics. Dr. Ketchum is the president and founder of DNA Diagnostics, Inc. d/b/a Shelterwood Laboratories. Established in 1985, DNA Diagnostics has become a leader in all types of DNA testing including: human and animal forensics, human and animal paternity and parentage testing, disease diagnostics, trait tests, animal and human identity testing, species identification and sex determination. Most common species of animals are tested at DNA Diagnostics.