I got an email from my nephew two days ago asking what I thought about this article about the Sasquatch Genome Project, headed by one Melba Ketchum.
I had read a little about this study, but hadn't followed it all that closely because I'd heard of Melba Ketchum before, and gotten the impression she was a hoaxer. In any case, this latest "study" just confirmed that impression.
There are several suspicious things about this study. Why would NYU say they never received a DNA sample from Ketchum when she says she sent them one? And why would one of the other labs Ketchum cited, the North Louisiana Crime Lab, also deny that they had analyzed a DNA sample?
No serious scientist would lie like that. (And anybody with compelling evidence wouldn't have to lie.)
The group's video (which is embedded in the above-linked article) shows a big hump of "fur" which appears to "breathe" one time. Why wouldn't they videotape it from a different angle, which showed its face, or at least head? And why didn't they get a video of when it woke up, or when its mother came to get it? That would have made for an infinitely more convincing video. Also, if the group was able to take a video of a sleeping juvenile sasquatch, why not attach a tracking collar to it as well?
Ketchum claims that sasquatch is descended from modern human females. But it is hard to believe that a primate so vastly different from humans is fully human.
Note that Ketchum says others don't want to believe her because of what she terms "the Galileo Effect." Evidently, she sees herself as another Galileo. (Sorry, honey.)
Also, her moral posturing is troubling. She says that the fact that others don't believe her is "perhaps for the better," given that others might be tempted to hunt them if convinced of their existence. But if she really feels that way, why is she going to such an effort to prove their existence?
Verdict: a hoaxer. (And probably a sociopath, given her dishonesty and moral posturing.)
Perhaps Ketchum thinks the whole sasquatch phenomenon is a sham and just wants some attention. Or perhaps she believes in its existence and wants credit -- falsely -- for being a pioneer in the field. Either way, she is a hoaxer.
But there have always been hoaxers, and their existence doesn't change my belief in the existence of the creature.
My guess is that my nephew saw through Ketchum, and was merely curious as to how much of a "true believer" I am.
I am a believer, but my belief is based on the ample evidence for its existence, not on wishful thinking.