NACOGDOCHES, TX (KLTV) - A Texas research team claims a five-year study of DNA proves the existence of the creature known as Bigfoot.
A five-year genome study done by Dr. Melba Ketchum of Nacogdoches, TX has sent shock waves through the Bigfoot research phenomenon.
"I was surprised at the results," Ketchum said. "That was the first time I saw something that gave unusual results. We were able to do phenomenal research up to the point where we now have three whole genomes sequenced from three different individuals."
The study has created a buzz in the hunt for Bigfoot.
"To have something of a scientific nature that's actually putting a stamp of validation on that makes it an exciting time," said Mike Hall, a Bigfoot researcher.
Ketchum said the study, based on hair samples, confirms the existence of a new species, commonly called Bigfoot or Sasquatch, living in North America.
"The mitochondrial DNA is human in origin. All of the samples we've tested so far have shown that they originated with modern human women," Ketchum explained.
However, not everyone is convinced.
"There's no reference here as to where the hair samples came from," said Hugh Soape, an ag-extension agent in Gregg County, TX. "Really and truly brings it back to the same thing. We don't have a specimen, alive or dead."
Ketchum, a respected researcher, and her team have sequenced three complete Sasquatch nuclear genomes and determined the species is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an unknown primate species.
"Dr. Ketchum has 50-plus samples from all over North America. This finally validates all of that field research," Hall added.
"They do have human in them. There is human sequence interspersed in their genome," Ketchum stated.
"Brings you back to the same point that we need something tangible," Soape said.
Ketchum's research findings are currently under peer review and she expects to have all research data published in the near future.