Bigfoot is real ... maybe.
After months of waiting for a peer-reviewed scientific journal to publish findings on the validity of alleged Bigfoot DNA evidence, the time has come for answers. But is there enough empirical evidence to finally confirm that the elusive, tall, hairy man-beast of North America really exists? Maybe, but questions have now been raised about the scientific journal publishing the findings.
In November, after a five-year study of purported Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch) DNA samples, Texas geneticist Melba Ketchum and a team of experts in genetics, forensics, imaging and pathology, were anxious for their findings to be published in a scientific journal. On Wednesday, their research appeared in the DeNovo Journal of Science, which seemed to confirm Ketchum's research about the reality of Bigfoot.
But according to GoDaddy.com, DeNovo was first registered as a domain on Feb. 4, 2013 --- anonymously and for only one year.
The current edition of DeNovo is listed as Volume 1, Issue 1, and its only content, thus far, is the Bigfoot research.
Also, on Ketchum's Sasquatch Genome Project website, she writes, "It has been a long and tedious battle to prove that Sasquatch exists. ... Trying to publish has taken almost two years. It seems mainstream science just can't seem to tolerate something controversial, especially from a group of primarily forensic scientists and not 'famous academians' aligned with large universities, even though most of our sequencing and analysis was performed at just such facilities."
Ketchum then explains how one journal agreed to publish her findings, but then was advised not to by its lawyers because such a controversial subject "would destroy the editors' reputations (as it has already done to mine). ... Rather than spend another five years just trying to find a journal to publish and hoping that decent, open minded reviewers would be chosen, we acquired the rights to this journal and renamed it so we would not lose the passing peer reviews that are expected by the public and the scientific community."
And therein lies the potential problem: Did Ketchum "buy" this journal, and begin its new existence under the name of DeNovo just over a week ago in order to get what appears to be a favorable peer review of her Bigfoot studies? That's the big question being raised by numerous people at this point.
According to a press release by Ketchum's Sasquatch Genome Project, the study, "which sequenced three whole Sasquatch nuclear genomes, shows that the legendary Sasquatch is extant in North America and is a human relative that arose approximately 13,000 years ago and is hypothesized to be a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with a novel primate species."
A total of 111 specimens of alleged Sasquatch hair, blood, skin and other tissues formed the basis of the study. These samples came from many individuals and groups at sites covering 14 states and two Canadian provinces.
Watch this related Fox News Bigfoot report
On her Doubtful News website, skeptic and geologist Sharon Hill raises many questions about Ketchum's claims.
"I clicked on the DeNovo site and was appalled at how amateurish the site is. It's full of stock photographs, very poorly coded, there are errors all over it and it's very difficult to navigate," Hill told The Huffington Post.
"[Ketchum] documented that she acquired the rights to this journal. We don't know what journal that was. I still can't find it and that's a little fishy," said Hill. "And then she renamed it so they would not lose the peer reviews that they had. It looks suspicious. This is not how science works."
Also, on the DeNovo site, the journal itself is identified as both DeNovo and DeVono.
It would be a huge story if all the work done by Ketchum and her team ultimately leads to scientific confirmation of the reality of Sasquatch. But at this point, the new wrinkles about the DeNovo Science Journal have only added to the credibility issues by a foot or two -- a Bigfoot.
Check out these Bigfoot/Sasquatch images
This still image taken from a 1977 film purports to show Bigfoot in California.
A film still shows what former rodeo rider Roger Patterson said is the American version of the Abominable Snowman of Nepal and Tibet. The film of the tall creature was shot by Patterson and Robert Gimlin northeast of Eureka, Calif., in October 1967.
Ohio Bigfoot Encounter -- April 2012
As a motor biker was driving through the Grand River area of Ohio in April 2012, an alleged Bigfoot ran across the road and was caught on videotape.
Depicted is an illustration of a creature reported to inhabit the Kemerovo region of Siberia. Scientists from the U.S., Russia and other countries have yet to find one of these creatures known as the Russian Snowman. In early October, researchers claimed to be 95 percent certain that the animal exists.
An alleged footprint of a Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, appears in snow near Mount Everest in 1951. Now, scientists are setting out to find evidence of a reported unknown, hairy, bipedal creature known as the Siberian Snowman.
Bigfoot or bear? Impression left on the driver's side window of a pickup truck owned by Jeffrey Gonzalez. The bizarre image was left by an alleged Bigfoot in California's Sierra National Forest over Memorial Day 2011. DNA samples of the impressions will eventually determine the identity of the animal responsible for them. (See next slide for a close-up of the paw-like impression.)
Close-up of the "paw" print image. The impression was reportedly left by Bigfoot on the window of a pickup truck in the California Sierra National Forest over Memorial Day weekend 2011.
Bigfoot or bear? Pictured is a second impression left on the rear side window of the same truck from the previous slides. According to forensic/law enforcement photographer Mickey Burrow, "What you're seeing is a swipe mark. It looks like a small hand, swiping to the left, leaving another impression, and there's hair within those areas -- you can see where the hair would be."
This footprint was found over Memorial Day weekend, 2011, near Fresno, Calif. by a group of campers who were on a Bigfoot-hunting expedition. The print, measuring approximately 12 inches, was found near a truck where possible DNA evidence was left behind by more than one Bigfoot creature.
This footprint was found in 2008 in the Sierra National Forest near Fresno, Calif.
Thomas Byers snapped this photo of "Bigfoot" along Golden Valley Church Road in Rutherford County on March 22, 2011.
Bill Willard is the leader of a group searching for evidence of a Sasquatch or Bigfoot creature, spotted by, among others, his two sons in Spotsylvania County. He is shown on May 19 in Thornburg, Va., with a plaster cast he made from a suspicious footprint several years ago.
This still frame image from video provided by Bigfoot Global LLC shows what Whitton and Dyer claimed was a Bigfoot or Sasquatch creature in an undisclosed area of a northern Georgia forest in June 2008.
This October 2007 image was taken by an automated camera set up by a hunter in a Pennsylvania forest the previous month. Some said it was a Bigfoot creature; others believed it was just a sick bear.
A preserved skull and hand said to be that of a Yeti or Abominable Snowman is on display at Pangboche monastery, near Mount Everest.
Idaho State University professor Jeffrey Meldrum displays what he said is a cast of a Bigfoot footprint from eastern Washington in September 2006. Some scientists said the school should revoke Meldrum's tenure.
Joedy Cook, director of the Ohio Center for Bigfoot Studies, talks to a visitor to his booth on Oct. 15, 2005, at the Texas Bigfoot Conference in Jefferson, Texas. The event, hosted by the Texas Bigfoot Research Center, drew enthusiasts and researchers of the legendary creature.
Ken Gerhard of Houston, Texas, holds a duplicate plaster cast footprint Oct. 15, 2005, at the Texas Bigfoot Conference. The event, hosted by the Texas Bigfoot Research Center, drew enthusiasts and researchers of the legendary creature.
Josh Gates, host of Syfy TV's "Destination: Truth," holds a plaster cast of what Malaysian ghost hunters said was a Bigfoot footprint in 2006.
Al Hodgson, a volunteer guide at the Willow Creek-China Flat Musuem in California, holds up a plaster cast of an alleged Bigfoot imprint in 2000. The museum houses a collection of research material donated by the estate of Bob Titmus, who spent his life trying to track the creature.
Costume maker Philip Morris, who does not believe the Bigfoot legend, claimed the Patterson-Gimlin film showed a person wearing a gorilla suit that he made.