Bigfoot believers say there is scientific proof that Sasquatch exists.
A five-year DNA study conducted by the Sasquatch Genome Project along with new photos and videos of the alleged animal confirms Bigfoot is real. The group, which revealed its findings in Dallas on Tuesday, says Bigfoot is a human relative that has existed for 15,000 years, ABC News reports.
“We want people to understand this is a serious study,” Dr. Melba Ketchum, a genetics scientist led the project, told CBS Dallas. “People have chosen not to believe it. They can’t find it in their minds to think these things exist.”
The five-year study funded by businessman Adrian Erickson cost more than $500,000. Ketchum led a team of experts in genetics, forensics, imaging and pathology sequenced three complete Sasquatch nuclear genomes and found that it is a human hybrid.
“Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain 3 whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples. The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species,” the group wrote in a press release.
The team used 111 specimens taken from alleged Sasquatches’ hair, blood, skin and other tissue type that came from 34 different hominin research sites in 14 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.
Ketchum, a veterinarian by profession, was initially a skeptic. When she began testing DNA samples five years ago, she set strict protocols when extracting collected samples. "This creature does not follow general rule. What it does do is very different. We think it is human hybrid. That is our theory," she said.
Besides the scientific findings, the group showed new photos and videos of alleged Bigfoot sightings. “We’ve all had experiences that have changed our lives, I mean, literally shook the foundation of what we believe in,” Dennis Pfoul, the group’s project manager, said.
Ketchum believes the latest developments should push government officials to recognize the Sasquatch as an indigenous people.
“Genetically, the Sasquatch are a human hybrid with unambiguously modern human maternal ancestry,” Ketchum said in a statement. “Government at all levels must recognize them as an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights against those who would see in their physical and cultural differences a ‘license’ to hunt, trap, or kill them.”