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Bigfoot, Yeti, And The Last Neanderthal - Professor Sykes Answers Many of Your Questions

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posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:40 PM
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Greetings Members of AboveTopSecret.com.

I’m Professor Bryan Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College. I've been involved in a number of high-profile cases dealing with ancient DNA, including those of “Otzi the Iceman,” a well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BC and “Cheddar Man,” the remains of a man found in Cheddar Gorge, from approximately 7,150 BC. It is Britain's oldest complete human skeleton. I’m perhaps best known outside the community of geneticists for my bestselling books on the investigation of human history and pre-history through studies of mitochondrial DNA.

I apologize that my hectic schedule would not allow for the typical “Ask Me Anything” format. If I tried to do that, you all would end up being disappointed as my lecture, interview, and travel schedule simply isn’t allowing me the block of time to do it justice.

While I encourage everyone to comment on my answers, I can't promise I'd be able to return for follow-ups.

Thank you all for your questions, and here are my best answers...




posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:42 PM
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Misterlondon

If you had a choice between seeing one [Yeti/Bigfoot] alive and no one ever believing you... or capturing one and having it undergo life long misery with tests and imprisonment, but you get world wide fame.. What would you do?


If that was the only choice then it would be the former. See one with my now eyes in good light and with no ambiguity as to what it was. But I don't think those are the only alternatives. If a bigfoot were identified as genuine "anomalous primate" using the sort of DNA tests I describe in "Bigfoot, Yeti and the Last Neanderthal" these would be accepted as sufficient proof that here was a new mammalian species that, in very short time, be protected by law. At present, except in one county in Washington State, it is legal to shoot a bigfoot (as some claim to have done) as it is not a recognised species.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:42 PM
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mirageman

How could a huge primate (such as Bigfoot) continue to feed and breed whilst remaining almost completely undetected by humans? And what is your opinion of the Patterson–Gimlin film?


I frankly don't know. I heard a lot of theories about their secrecy, underground tunnel systems and so forth, but "where's the body" is still a very relevant question for bigfoot enthusiasts everywhere - of which, just to be clear, I am not one. As to the P-G film, the opinion as to it authenticity has always been split between a genuine film and a hoax. I don't think I have any special knowledge of filming to make my opinion at all relevant, but to me it does look like a man in a monkey suit.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:43 PM
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N3k9Ni

I'm not too familiar with the genetics, but I heard that Bigfoot and humans are closely related in the evolutionary tree. Do you think it would be possible for Bigfoots and humans to interbreed?


When we know what sort of creature bigfoot is we can begin to answer the question of the genetic relationship with out own species. That is the key point in any discussions about bigfoot. Without incontrovertible evidence, which I urge enthusiasts to find, all further discussion is pointless - not to say tedious - as it has been going on for decades.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:43 PM
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MaxwellDavid

Thanks for your efforts. Has any potential Sasquatch sample you had, or have received since, been analyzed beyond mitochondrial DNA comparisons? Any samples that continue to peak your intetest, sans bears? Any attempts with nuclear DNA and comparisons to the ancient DNA we do have, with any Sasquatch samples? Any interest in future analysis? Nature article makes Mike Ruggs " tooth" sample possibly worthy. I still hear of BFers with hair, etc...what hope for any of this..even with a "real Sasquatch" sample? Any interest in field study? Thanks!


Good questions. The choice of myDNA was deliberate. It is the most abundant in hair shafts (this being the choice material as the surface can be rigorously decontaminated), the 12RNA gene has been sequenced for pretty much all mammals and these are made available for comparisons on GENBANK. Any known genus and, usually, species can be identified using this method. So for the purposes of identification there is no improvement on mitochondrial DNA. Of course, once an ID had been done with mitochondrial DNA and verified by an independent lab the next step would be a full genome sequence.

"Bfers" with hair should get it tested ASAP. But it's costly - around $1500 - $2000 a shot. But if they are sure of their sample, this is nothing compared with the glittering prize, both reputational and probably financial, that await the first discoverer.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:44 PM
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BuzzyWigs

Recent news showed some research about Neanderthals interbreeding with Denisovans and Early Homo Sapiens.
Do you think these encounters were generally consensual, submissive, forcible, or genuinely amorous?


I have no idea. It is the case in human evolution that, generally speaking, males of a colonising group (which in your example would be our own species Homo sapiens) have children with indigenous females, who would then inherit her mitchondrail DNA. The fact that there have been no Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA found in the million or so modern humans who have been tested doesn't really fit this scenario.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:44 PM
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superman2012

What are your thoughts on Melba Ketchum's DNA study on bigfoot? Have you read the report and what are your thoughts on the whole "Galileo effect" that she speaks of? Is mainstream science too scared to investigate the unknown anymore? I believe George Knapp says that, "science should investigate the unexplained, not explain the uninvestigated".


I have written a chapter in "Bigfoot, Yeti and the Last Neanderthal about this very subject. Briefly I found her report unconvincing (for reasons I explain in the book) and have suggested a number of points she might consider, including concentrating efforts on one or two of the best samples and, crucially having her "positives" analysed by an independent laboratory. They have, famously, not been published in a peer-revied journal so must rank as mere assertions rather than evidence.

One thing that came up a lot during my researches as that mainstream science has somehow rejected bigfoot or is "too scared" to stray from the mainstream. That contention I absolutely reject. Science does not accept or reject anything , it searches for and examines the evidence. I am a scientist and that is what I have done. Whether scientists want to spent their time and effort on bigfoot is another matter, and one of judgement. Scientist love nothing more than to swim outside the mainstream if they can - that's where really exciting discoveries await.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:45 PM
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Atsbhct

What is the chance there will be a break through on the subject of BigFoot/Yeti in the next 50 years? Are we only getting further away from any kind of confirmation in your opinion?


If my research has done anything it has shown that there is a way to provide unambiguous proof, using DNA as I describe, of the existence and identification of Bigfoot. That has not bee available up to now. The challenge over the next 50 years, in my view, is to get enough funding to organise expeditions specifically designed to recover organic samples, especially hair, from the actual animals - and not necessarily a body.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:46 PM
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rickymouse

If you knew that there were some living somewhere, would you say anything?


What a strange question. I would have gone there and got a sample.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:46 PM
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angeldoll

What is the strongest evidence you have ever seen that supports theories bigfoot is a real entity?
Eyewitness reports, or is there harder evidence you have taken as reliable?


I was after DNA evidence. not the other evidence, and there is plenty of it (eye-witnesses, footprints etc.) tell their own story. But I wanted DNA evidence that could be published so whether or not I believed any of the other strands of evidence was immaterial, except insofar as it guided me as to the choice of samples to send through for analysis.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:48 PM
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TheLieWeLive

Have you, or anyone you personally know, encountered any Government agency intervention that would lead you to believe there could be a cover up of Sasquatches?


Certainly not. I spend some time at the Federal Fish and Wildlife service Forensic Laboratory working with Ken Goddard, the Director, and his colleagues, on some of the hair samples I had received from donors. They couldn't have been more helpful or objective.



Have you noticed any stigma from colleagues or any other professional associate that the subject is taboo and possibly career suicide?


Not really. Some were amused, other saw no reason, like me, why this was not a very straightforward project will with the scope of regular science enquiry - even if in a rather eccentric field. When, in 1986, I first saw the 400 year old human skeleton poking out of the ground I never fro a moment though that it would contain DNA after all that tie. Yet it did, and now recovering DNA from old bones as almost routine. They yeti project was a bit like that, actually less risky because I knew how to get the DNA, which I didn't back in the 80s because it have never been done.



Although it would be speculation, has anyone acknowledged the possibility that a Bigfoot could be wearing the fur of other animals, and this is why there isn't any conclusive DNA found when hair samples are studied?


Providing conclusive evidence from hair is what I set out to do and what I have achieved. It's just that the majority of the samples were sadly not from "anomalous primates"



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:51 PM
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Debunkology

I have two questions
1.)
Is the Professor aware of David Paulides missing 411 books of the disappearances of hundreds of people in American national parks?
The reason this is relevant is because the children that are actually found have said that the “big hairy man took them away”. And they describe a creature that we know as bigfoot.


Nothing to add I'm afraid. I did follow up a few Native American reports and samples, and visited the tribal areas, but found nothing unusual.



What does the Professor think of Bigfoot and the Native American beliefs that it is a supernatural creature and the ability to become invisible.

The native Americans also said that they stole children.


I talked at length to a Native American from the Lummi tribe in northern Washington. There were many sightings around his home and he communicated daily with sasquatch. The creature also threw sticks into his garden and, on one of these I found a hair and sent it to the lab immediately. Sadly, it turned out to be from the dog next door. Nevertheless he told wonderful stories about the local sasquatch.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:51 PM
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Macenroe82

There have been many sightings of bigfoot or a sasquatch type being, fairly recent after an alleged UFO sighting. There are also many cases in that witnesses claim to have seen a bigfoot creature actually come out of, or return to a craft.
Have you ever come across anything similar in your findings that could possibly link the 2 together?


I'm afraid I don't know.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:54 PM
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burgerbuddy

My question is what do you think about the hunting bigfoot shows and hoaxes, like the one in the freezer.
How damaging is it to real researchers and is it some kind of disinfo to hide some sort of truth?


Interesting question. The show are clearly entertaining, if a little predictable, as they always end with an ambiguity. This is obviously a very successful format which film companies find easy to make as they are low-cost . with lots of enthusiasts ready to work for very little or nothing. Since I made a documentary fro British TV and Nat Geo I ha been asked to do many others - until I mention how much the DNA testing costs at which point their enthusiasm and fine words desert them rather quickly.

Personally, I find some the shows that get made quite insulting, both to the contributors and to the audience, It's got very little to do with science.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:54 PM
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seagull

First off, thank you for agreeing to do this. It's very much appreciated.
Have you had any encounters in the field that you'd care to share?


The closest I got to a sasquatch was in the Cascade mountains near Marblemount on the Skagit River where a well known 'squatch was living in a cave in the roots of a large Douglas Fir. I didn't see it but I definitely heard it thumping loudly from beneath the tree.I was terrified. I don't want to spoil readers' enjoyment of "Bigfoot, Yet and the last Neanderthal" by telling you how it went from there.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:55 PM
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peter vlar

Professor Sykes,
Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to entertain questions, it is greatly appreciated. If nothing else, we have learned in the last decade that the recent history of our genus is not nearly as cut and dry as it was presented only a couple of decades ago with the recent advances in genomic testing and particularly so with the recent discovery of H. Altaiensis and the subsequent revelation of another hominid lineage for which we have only genetic evidence of and no physical remains. Add in recent data from the Red Deer Cave People, and the braided stream analogy for hominid evolution seems to be much more apropos than the conventional "family tree" analogy favored in years past.

As the entirety of physical evidence for H. Altaiensis is nothing more than a few teeth and a couple of phalanges we have no indicators regarding potential morphology of our newest "cousins". Are you aware of any research that is looking into potential corollaries between Altaiensis and Red Deer Cave People who are currently thought to be, until roughly 14 KA to as recently as 11.5 KA, a contemporary, extant remnant of an archaic line of hominids.

Is there any potential relationship between the Red Deer Cave People and either Altaiensis or possibly H. Floresiensis? I have looked for studies that compared the genetic profiles but have not been successful. Are you aware of any studies looking onto this possibility and what are your thoughts on potential relationships between these 3 groups.

As I mention above, we have no way of knowing what morphological characteristics Altaiensis possessed but we do know that RDCP exhibit unique morphological that are not consistent with any other members of our genus. Again, thank you for taking the time to look at and answer everyone's questions.


The existence of other human species until the (quite) recent past was a reason I began this project, the premise being that bigfoot, yeti and so on might be living survivors.

H,floresiensis remains were too degraded to recover DNA. Techniques are better now and people are contemplating having another crack.

In order to find out what they looked like, I'm afraid we will have to wait for more fossils to turn up or, even better, find one still living in a remote forest somewhere.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:55 PM
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rukia

Professor Sykes,

I have heard that the Indian Americans had stories of battling giant red-furred 'stone skin' monsters. At Aztalan, they built extensive fortifications of tree trucks and mud walls that had spears jutting out high off of the ground. They had two of these walls surrounding them--and at least one was broken through. What would you make of this in relation to sasquatch and other bipedal cryptids of North America?

I believe that it is also pertinent to note that I do not believe that humans evolved from apes because there is no actual proof that we did. I believe that evolution is merely a change in the frequency of alleles over time. This produces adaptive traits and results in natural selection. The idea that humans evolved from apes is a misconception that was circulated by Herbert Spencer and other eugenicists in order to further their goals and their idea of using "race" as a means to control culture and society, saying that some humans had evolved further than others and so forth.

I do, however, like your idea that Sasquatch could possibly be related to apes.

However, perhaps things like Sasquatch/the Yeti account for the historical records of monsters that have occurred in literally every culture throughout history and continuing into the present. It would explain the similarity between drawings of monsters and eyewitness descriptions from people who have seen Sasquatch or other bipedal cryptids. In light of this analysis, what would your opinion be about your research and its relation to Biblical stories about giants (not to mention the vast variety of other societies that have had similar accounts of giants--for instance, Basque)?

Have you ever seen one, yourself?

Also--what is your take on the story of La Bete du Gevaudan?


Lots of questions here. First I don't think anyone has suggested we descended from apes. It's just that we shared a common ancestor, neither an ape not a human, many millions of years ago.

I've not heard of the Aztalan story, but it;s a good one. But I have heard and read about "La Bete du Gevaudan". I met by complete chance the author of a nook about the beast which, though my Frenchis not good, I managed to glean the main points. It was, as I recall, a huge wolf-like beast that terrorised the Aveyron region of south-central France. It was shot but, again sadly, the body was not kept, nor any of the hairs. If I had located them, I would certainly have run DNA test.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:56 PM
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JackofBlades

Professor, what was the most surprising "out-of-place" genetic discovery you made? I'm speaking in terms of things you wouldn't expect to find in a specific group of people. Secondly, while her study was...contraversial (to say the least) have you ever had any correspondence with Dr. Melba Ketchum in regards to the Bigfoot question?


I was surprised most of all by the sample from a "Yeti-Mummy" that was donated by an explorer. It turned out to be a bear, which is not too surprising and which often turned up in bigfoot samples. But when u ran the DNA comparison it match a polar bear and not a brown bear, which is what you would expect in the Himalayas. Expeditions are planned to get a fresh sample from the curious bear.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 03:02 PM
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a reply to: BryanSykes

Your book is currently sitting on my shelf waiting its turn.

Had I known that story was in there, obviously I didn't skim it properly when I bought it, I would have read it weeks ago...

Now I have even more reason to read it. Even if it turns out to be something a bit more "normal" then a Sasquatch.

Thank you for the use of your time, Professor. It is, as I said, very much appreciated.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 05:38 PM
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originally posted by: BryanSykes

superman2012

What are your thoughts on Melba Ketchum's DNA study on bigfoot? Have you read the report and what are your thoughts on the whole "Galileo effect" that she speaks of? Is mainstream science too scared to investigate the unknown anymore? I believe George Knapp says that, "science should investigate the unexplained, not explain the uninvestigated".


I have written a chapter in "Bigfoot, Yeti and the Last Neanderthal about this very subject. Briefly I found her report unconvincing (for reasons I explain in the book) and have suggested a number of points she might consider, including concentrating efforts on one or two of the best samples and, crucially having her "positives" analysed by an independent laboratory. They have, famously, not been published in a peer-revied journal so must rank as mere assertions rather than evidence.

One thing that came up a lot during my researches as that mainstream science has somehow rejected bigfoot or is "too scared" to stray from the mainstream. That contention I absolutely reject. Science does not accept or reject anything , it searches for and examines the evidence. I am a scientist and that is what I have done. Whether scientists want to spent their time and effort on bigfoot is another matter, and one of judgement. Scientist love nothing more than to swim outside the mainstream if they can - that's where really exciting discoveries await.


When you say that they have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, is it only published that you care about? She has claims about the JAMEZ journal passing peer review, but not publishing, where it seems like they are only stuck on the wording or the claim of it being a hominin because of eyewitness accounts. I am not an expert and could be reading it wrong though. Are eyewitness accounts not taken into account when submitting a paper for review?

As for the scientists that reject something before taking a critical look at it, I was not referring specifically to you, but rather to some that would view this as something they could be mocked for discussing and/or railroaded by their colleagues for thinking, and playing, outside the box. The NIDS team that was working at Bigelow Ranch (Skinwalker Ranch) seem to want anonymity because of those same reasons.

You would think with the amount of eyewitness accounts, pictures, video, and footprint castings (showing dermal ridges in the feet), along with the huge amount of wilderness that is out there (many people don't realize exactly how wild it can get outside of the cities), there would be a lot more investigating of this claim rather than it being relegated to weekly world news, conspiracy theory and alternate news websites, comical "reality" TV and books on the subject.

Thank you for your answer, and I will be purchasing your book to read as this subject fascinates me!




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