Saturday, December 22, 2012

My research area has been a great place to showcase the beauty and wonder of Colorado.  I have been continually amazed by what I find.   This has been a labor of love to explore the mysteries of an amazing bipedal primate that reside in our woods and forest.   The following story is in my top 3 of favorite finds that I have discovered in 2012:

I had decided to find another gifting rock that was more remote than the one I was using.  I have been able to get them to come when I whistled, whooped and knocked.  So one day in early summer my husband and I explored up and behind our gifting rock.  We wanted to climb up to the cliffs and work our way south to find a new gifting rock.

After exploring for a bit we went back down.  We slipped and slid our way down when from a distance I saw a boulder that was big and flat.  So we worked our way down to it.  In hindsight the surroundings and signs were telling us about what we would discover.  This discovery was a true surprise to us.

This rock was perfect for a gifting rock.  It was large but flat on top.  We put our gifts of food in a bowl for them and then we sat on the rock and ate.  I noticed from where I was sitting that there was a lot of brush against the other side of the rock.  I jumped down and explored it.  I was thinking that the hard rain we had a few days before caused the branches, twigs and brush to be washed down to the bottom of the rock.  I whooped and knocked a few times to tell them we had food for them.  I heard some movements and knocks on the other side of the ravine.  Then we walked around to the left of the gifting rock to follow the game trail.  My husband was in the lead when I noticed some branches and tree limbs leaning against logs on top of the end of the boulder.  I told him to stop and that maybe beside him is a tree structure.  He replied no way, that it was rain wash from the storm.  I then told him to look because the branches were purposely placed there.  He turned to it and was amazed.  Both of us were amazed.  This structure was huge and purposely made.  We then took pictures and video of this huge nest.   My heart pounded with wonder and excitement.  This was made by someone or something.  The materials used to make this structure were made by breaking or peeling tree trucks, branches and brush.   No signs of saw marks or cut marks.  This area is steep and remote.  No way there were machines used to make this.   I knew what made it.  Our forest friends made it.

I hope you enjoyed my photo of the nest and my retelling of this amazing discovery.   I wanted to show and give you more details about it.  Merry Christmas.

Robin Roberts
*Please do not use my photo without my permission.  I posted it for your enjoyment to look at.  Not to use it or copy it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


George Knapp: I’m dreaming of a Bigfoot Christmas

<p>(no description)</p>
(no description)
IN THE DARKENED elegance of La Scala restaurant, one of the most exhilarating — and chilling — conversations of my entire life spilled across the table. It happened more than two and a half years ago but is burned into my brain as if it transpired yesterday.
To my left sat a distinguished microbiologist, a scientist whose name is known all over the world but who keeps a low profile in his adopted town of Las Vegas. Two seats to my left was a former cop turned author and Bigfoot researcher named David Paulides. And to my right was Dr. Melba Ketchum, a DNA researcher who found herself in the middle of an unexpected but career-threatening controversy. It involves the hairy gent with Size 18, triple-wide feet, who is known by many names all over the world, but answers most often to his iconic nickname: Bigfoot.
Before I was allowed to see any of the key research material, I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement. I was thrilled to be among the first to see the information, but it has driven me crazy ever since. The only public utterance I’ve made is a prediction two years ago during a taping of the KLVX public affairs program Nevada Week in Review. Because of what I learned that fateful night, I made what seemed at the time to be a wacky, off-the-wall prediction during the program — that dramatic news would surface sometime in 2011 about the enigmatic beast known as Bigfoot.
Since then, I have been needled relentlessly by my journalism colleagues, including veteran TV host Mitch Fox and fellow panelists Steve Sebelius and Jon Ralston. Oh, the humanity. So where’s the Bigfoot news, they repeatedly asked. I have been unable to answer, and it has been tough.
The well-meaning Dr. Ketchum naively assumed that the world of science would welcome her data with open arms and open minds. Her initial draft of a scientific paper unwisely referred to the existence of a Bigfoot-like creature, and she was certain the information from her study would receive a fair hearing from the scientific world. My friend the microbiologist gave her the sad-but-true news that no mainstream science journal in the world would ever publish a paper, or allow for an honest peer review, of any paper that mentioned Bigfoot or Sasquatch by name. Unlike my TV prediction, that one proved prescient in the extreme.
In the ensuing years, there have been numerous attempts to sabotage and backstab Ketchum’s project. Leaks appeared in scientific forums online in an apparent attempt to torpedo her credibility even before the study’s findings were made public. The Bigfoot community has been even more vicious, mostly because so many of the true believers have staked out their own turf and do not want to see a scientific interloper like Ketchum upstage their often ridiculous assertions or to undercut public interest in the 800 or so cable TV shows about the search for Bigfoot.
The only reason I am able to say anything about the study is that Dr. Ketchum unwisely responded a few weeks ago to a spurious report from a Russian scientist about the findings. Ketchum confirmed that she has overseen the analysis of dozens of hair samples collected at the sites of alleged Bigfoot sightings. Those people who do not want the study to be true and don’t want to wait for results to be verified have teed off on Ketchum, have carved up her study, and have made it almost impossible for anyone to take the results seriously, even though not one of the critics have seen the actual data. Dr. Ketchum insists that a major science journal is concluding a rigorous review of her work and will publish the paper once the process is completed. I am not holding my breath.
Here is what I can say legally, now that Ketchum has lifted the cone of silence: Scores of hair samples were sent to a dozen well-respected DNA labs across the country. The people at the labs weren’t told anything about the samples. They performed DNA analysis in the blind, then sent the remarkable findings back to Ketchum. I’ll put it this way — this is spooky stuff. The results are unequivocal: The hairs are not only from an unknown species, but they show a common link to humans. In other words, whatever these creatures are, they share a common ancestry with humans dating back about 15,000 years. Half of the DNA in the samples is simply unknown. The blind tests conducted by various labs weeded out known species such as bears or wolves. And in the end, they were left with the completely uncomfortable conclusion that the hairs came from a primate species previously unknown to science.
Since Dr. Ketchum made her premature defense of the study, responding to unfortunate leaks, an army of armchair critics have already dismissed the results without waiting to see the actual data. That’s not the way science is supposed to work, but it is exactly how modern science operates. It’s as much a religion as Catholicism or Mormonism, and anything that falls outside the accepted scriptures must be ridiculed.
All I can say is, why not wait until the raw information and DNA test results are made public before making pronouncements or reaching conclusions? I have been dying to say something about the study, especially because of the cruel taunting of Fox, Sebelius and Ralston, and because — you know — the world might end on December 21. (Nevada has had a smattering of Bigfoot sightings over the years, including a dramatic episode in January 1980 at the Nevada Test Site, of all places.) I am well aware of how goofy this must sound, but there is some compelling physical evidence to consider. Maybe it will receive a fair and open peer review, and maybe it won’t. Until we know, why not keep our minds open? It is exciting stuff to consider. If confirmed, it changes everything.
It should surprise no one that our little town played its own role in this weird, unfolding drama.
GEORGE KNAPP is a Peabody Award-winning investigative reporter for KLAS Channel 8. Reach him at