By Kevin Dolak
Bigfoot is real, and now at least one scientist claims there is proof.
A group of Sasquatch researchers who have been collecting over 100 pieces of evidence over the past five years screened “never before seen HD video” of the alleged creature at a news conference in Dallas on Tuesday.
The footage, which came from a similar effort dubbed The Erickson Project, led by Adrian Erickson, included what the group said was a sasquatch moving through wooded areas in Kentucky.
Dr. Melba Ketchum, who has led the group of researchers called the Sasquatch Genome Project, has been working on a $500,000 analysis of DNA samples from an unknown hominin species. Ketchum calls the project “a serious study” that concludes the legendary Sasquatch exists in North America and is a human relative that arose approximately 13,000 years ago.
“They’re a type of people, they’re a human-hybrid, we believe. And all of the DNA evidence points to that. And they can elude us, so if you get [footage] at all, it can be fleeting,” Ketchum told ABC affiliate WFAA.
Ketchum, who was initially a skeptic, says she implemented strict protocols as DNA was extracted from the collected samples.
“We soon discovered that certain hair samples — which we would later identify as purported Sasquatch samples — had unique morphology distinguishing them from typical human and animal samples,” Ketchum said in February of the research.
“Those hair samples that could not be identified as known animal or human were subsequently screened using DNA testing, beginning with sequencing of mitochondrial DNA followed by sequencing nuclear DNA to determine where these individuals fit in the ‘tree of life,’” she said.
In total, 111 specimens of purported Sasquatch hair, blood, skin, and other tissue types were analyzed for the Sasquatch Genome Project’s study. The samples were submitted from 34 different hominin research sites in 14 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Dennis Pfoul, the group’s project manager, showed footage of footprints of what he believes belongs to a Sasquatch in the snow in Colorado.
“We’ve all had experiences that have changed our lives, I mean, literally shook the foundation of what we believe in,” Pfoul said at the news conference.
Funding for the Sasquatch Genome Project comes from Erikson and entrepreneur Wally Hersom, according to Ketchum. The Erikson Project has in the past teased footage of supposed Sasquatch sightings, notable in a November 2012 trailer for “Sasquatch: The Quest.” Watch the trailer here.
Todd R. Disotell, a professor at the Department of Anthropology at New York University, told ABCNews.com that Ketchum’s research is nonsense.
“It’s just a joke,” he said. “She is a laughing stock of people that are of a community that are already kind of wacko.”
“This was not reported in any scientific way whatsoever. It’s complete junk science, and then she misinterprets it. She hasn’t published in peer-reviewed papers on this stuff. I don’t know how this got put together,” he said.
Disotell says that he has disproven samples from being what they’re claimed to be many times, including debunking a yeti, a chupacabra, and a sasquatch eight times, including once on ScyFy’s “Joe Rogan Questions Everything.”
“You can’t prove something doesn’t exist,” he said. “You can prove that every sample you’re brought isn’t what they’re claiming, But you can’t disprove this. It will go on forever. We’ll always have it.”