Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dr. Ketchum and "Sasquatch DNA," Round 21

I said I was done on this subject, mainly because I am not a DNA expert.  However, an extraordinary letter has been published, with Dr. Melba Ketchum writing to the journal Nature to request her paper be reconsidered after an original rejction. The money line is here:

"We even have high definition video of the donor of sample 37 sleeping in the forest and breathing at 6 breaths per minute (Supplementary Video 1). This sample was part of a field research study overseen by a PhD in wildlife biology so we are certain of the source of this sample and the video attached to it. We have a full facial video of her also that will be released after the paper publishes."

Now you might say someone from Nature should have looked at the video. I would have, even though I would have gone in very cautiously. (I would still look at it.)  But now that the paper has been published, albeit in a rather sketchy series of events in which Ketchum bought an online journal which has published only one paper, hers, there is no excuse for not publishing the video. If she doesn't post it, it'll be taken by almost everyone, including me, to mean that she doesn't believe in its authenticity herself.

She says repeatedly her evidence has passed peer review, but she recruited the reviewers. That's not done in science.  But DNA is something most people don't understand in great depth.  An alleged face-on full-motion high-def video would let everyone form an opinion and could instantly let qualified scientists pronounce a verdict on the case.  Note that Dr. Ketchum shows no doubt of the connection between the video and her samples: she said the animal in the video DID provide one of her samples, period. 

To Dr. Ketchum: if you seriously believe we have evidence of a rare new species which immediately needs government protection - which it would - then publish the video so it can get that protection.  Otherwise, the whole case is going to slide into limbo and eventually be forgotten.  I know there's no reason for Dr. K to listen to me: I am one of many writers/researchers on cryptrozoology, albeit one who takes pride in being thorough and scientific, and I think my books bear that out.  I don't know how I can be any fairer than I've been with this.  If there is an animal, and you want it protected, publish the proof.  Please.

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