Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
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12-02-2013, 11:33 PM
Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
I know we already have a couple of threads on Bigfoot, but I felt this needed it's own thread. I've had a passing interest in Bigfoot just like all inquisitive people. I've always held the belief that the creature did not exist. Now that I am studying primatology and have looked at the questionable evidence, I've never been so certain. In late November of last year, I first posted in this thread about a skeptical article that questioned the claim of Dr. Melba Ketchum, a Texas veterinarian-turned-geneticist, that she had conducted a 5 year study on the Bigfoot genome and had plans of publishing it in a peer-reviewed journal. I've been following the developments of this story over the last couple of months on my blog because I absolutely loath pseudoscience. Various sources reported that she may have cooked the hoax up because she was deep in debt due to her failing business, which had a grade of F with the BBB. She apparently has a website selling Bigfoot paraphernalia, so proving its existence would really allow her to rake in the cash.

Ketchum disappeared from the internet spotlight for about a month. I figured she realized people were catching on to her ruse, so she remained incognito to avoid being labeled a hoaxer in the news. Well, I was wrong. She posted a Facebook comment yesterday telling everyone to "Buckle up!" I predicted on my blog that she would most likely publish the information on the internet because there is no way that a respectable science journal would publish a study based on such questionable evidence--all supposed Bigfoot hair and skin samples were sent to her by "independent" field researchers. It turns out my prediction was 100% right. A Bigfoot blog I follow just announced the article would be published in the online Denovo Scientific Journal .

You may ask how I'm right if Denovo is a science journal. Well, it's not! I did a quick google search and couldn't find a single website mentioning it. That is extremely strange since the names of respected journals (even their online counterparts) are usually on the first page of results. It seemed like the journal had just popped into existence recently. Then, a short time later, a commenter on the aforementioned blog posted the following information from this domain tracker :

Quote: Registered through: GoDaddy.com, LLC (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: DENOVOJOURNAL.COM
Created on: 04-Feb-13
Expires on: 04-Feb-14
Last Updated on: 04-Feb-13

[...]

It turns out this journal was created only EIGHT DAYS AGO! This means Ketchum probably created the faux journal just to self-publish her stuff. How shady is that shit? And the thing I find the most hilarous is that another of my predictions has come true. People are ignoring the fact that the (likely false) data has not been peer-reviewed. They are labeling anyone who doesn't accept it "Skeptards." Some of them are claiming the co-authors of the paper are from respected colleges. I've read some reports that Ketchum sent samples to other labs as a control. So, it's possible that's why those peoples' names appear on the paper. But one has to seriously question the honesty of someone like Ketchum. If she is willing to create a fake journal just to publish her stuff, then she probably wouldn't have any qualms about padding her paper with the names of people not actually associated with the study.
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13-02-2013, 12:16 AM
RE: Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
All these people being intellectually dishonest and spreading lies, these people disgust me.

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13-02-2013, 06:55 AM
RE: Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
Just when I thought people couldn't become any more stupid, I discover that there are still people who believe that Bigfoot exists.

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13-02-2013, 08:27 AM
RE: Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
(13-02-2013 06:55 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Just when I thought people couldn't become any more stupid, I discover that there are still people who believe that Bigfoot exists.

There is an anthropologist named Dr. Jeff Meldrum who believes in Bigfoot based on supposed scientific evidence, such as dermal ridges on Bigfoot casts. However, several skeptics have done experiments to show, for example, that these dermal ridges actually come from the casting process used to make treads for fake prints.

There are several people from DNA diagnostic labs and at least one university listed as being "affiliates" who supposedly worked with Ketuchum on the project. I wrote to one of them, a Texas A&M biologist specializing in microscopy, to see if this was true. I warned them about the fake journal that was created to circumvent peer-review just in case their name was just arbitrarily added. They may not write me back due to an overabundance of emails asking the same question.
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13-02-2013, 01:45 PM
RE: Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
Ketchum has released a statement about why she self-published. She claims it's because of scientific bias. Hmm...a "scientist" makes a claim that is not congruent with current scientific thought. They claim their data is irrefutable, but it gets rejected from peer-reviewed publications and even mocked. Then they say this joint effort to hide the data is a conspiracy. Does any of this sound familiar to you guys?
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13-02-2013, 08:02 PM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2013 08:06 PM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
This video clip is supplemental material to go along with Ketchum's paper. It supposedly shows a sleeping bigfoot whose breathing rate is "six breaths per minute" (ooh, that sounds very scientific). The only problem I see with it is it looks like a rug! Why are all bigfoot videos out of focus or partially out of frame? By the way, the "Comments [are] pending approval." Again, does that sound familiar?



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15-02-2013, 12:09 PM (This post was last modified: 15-02-2013 12:13 PM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
Now Ketchum is claiming that she didn't self publish, only that she "acquired" the journal that did the peer-reviewing of the paper. If that isn't a conflict of interest I don't know what is. This blog defends her by stating the original journal, Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology, existed a month before the Denovo Scientific Journal. However, they are missing one key element that is clear from the internet screen capturs on their blog: the journal did not exist before 1-9-13. I actually learned about the name of the journal when a blog mentioning it was first highlighted on the Bigfoot blog I follow. I looked it up on google and could only find 4 total entries for it, none of which were an actual website for the journal. It cannot be found in ANY college database. That speaks volumes to its novelty. There is a Journal of Advanced Zoology, but this is a completely different publication, especially since they’ve been active since 1980. This means Ketchum probably figured people would cry “self-publish,” so she created the first “journal” to cover her tracks. Then she created an actual website anonymously on 2-4-13 and named it Denovo Scientific Journal to back up her cover story of acquiring the old one. She can dance around the issue all she wants, but it’s clear she self-published.

Ketchum herself has quoted this webpage as being a precedent for publishing in her own journal. It's basically a dialogue between a person in the same situation and a representative of the Committee on Publication Ethics. The person claims the focus of the unnamed journal is so specialized that there is only a small handful of people that can peer-review the article. The rep tells them the only ethical way to go about doing that would be to divorce themself from the process. It is recommended that an associate editor send the article out for peer-review and a commentary describing the transparency of the process should be published along with the article if it passes muster. So, the initial situation may mirror that of Ketchum, but the person is clear in the beginning that their journal is well established with a history of publication and a listing in the MEDLINE archive. The journal she bought just popped into existence and has zero publications. The person has problems with peer-review because the subject is so specialized. However, Ketchum's paper deals with animal DNA. I'm sure there are numerous qualified veterinarians, biologists, or geneticists who could have peer-reviewed the material, so she can't pull the "obscurity card." She has also failed to provide information detailing who she handed the peer-review process off to, and there doesn't seem to be any transparency commentary to go along with her paper. Thus, the quoted webpage only makes her gross misconduct look even worse.
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15-02-2013, 07:00 PM (This post was last modified: 17-02-2013 01:34 PM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
As I mentioned in my previous post, Ketchum's Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology did not exist before 1-9-13. I snooped around the site hosting the reference, Zoobank, and discovered several other things:

1. Ketchum first registered on October 25, 2012 (run your cursor over the orange LSID tag to see the date).

2. She first registered the name of her article on November 18, 2012 (do the same thing for the date).

3. She first registered the Bigfoot binomial name Homo sapiens cognatus on November 18, 2012.

4. THE BIGGIE: A person can apparently just make up the name of a journal when they decide to register a new article. (screenshot)

5. To show how easy it is to create an account and register any articles, I’ve taken the liberty of registering an article entitled “The Nocturnal Activities of Drunken Badgers (Taxidea ebrius).” (Edit: 2-17-13 - the page has been taken down) It appears in the prestigious Journal of Imaginary Zoological Studies. The species name Taxidea ebrius literally means "Drunken Badger," and you will be happy to know their range is "wherever there is alcohol." I don't normally do stuff like this, but I wanted to make a point. The journal she claims to have purchased was nonexistent before she created the name out of thin air and registered it on Zoobank.

Here are screen shots for both pages just in case they get taken down.

The journal title:

[Image: mockjournalandarticleti.png]

The species:

[Image: speciesh.png]
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16-02-2013, 12:16 AM (This post was last modified: 16-02-2013 12:24 AM by kim.)
RE: Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
Isn't this illegal...? Huh I don't even know if that's the correct word. Maybe slanderous?

Hmm... Consider How would one file a slander suit on behalf of Science?

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16-02-2013, 07:24 AM
RE: Bigfoot Genetics Paper Hoax
One would not. But what one can and should do is keep a close look out for any copyrighted material one can find on certain pages and then report that to the owner of that trademark/copyright. The same thing can be applied for using names of Universities, doctors, scientists and journals without their approval. So, keep looking for law violations and report them to person/company that CAN and WILL sue them. Big Grin

My friend did this to one Catholic group, they used a CoD Black Ops picture for something and he reported them to Activision. They were thrilled, they send him a huge letter of "thank you" and he didn't even ask any reward for this. The Catholic group got a court thingy. Once upon a time he worked for some picture trading company, like Getty Images, or something like that, so he was an expert in this, taking money from people who use pictures, without paying for them.

Big Grin

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