Saturday, February 23, 2013

Justin Smeja talks about last two years, including shocking suggestions made by Melba Ketchum

Exclusive: Justin Smeja talks about last two years, including shocking suggestions (in detail) made by Dr. Melba Ketchum, unfounded accusations and his future in bigfoot research.

Listen to Justin's tell-all here:

The last two years have been long and frustrating for Justin Smeja, He’s the man who along with his partner, Jack, “the driver,”claimed to shoot two sasquatches, in the Sierras in the fall of 2010. One of the two juvenile sasquatches encountered that day was fatally wounded, the adult sasquatch first encountered, retreated wounded into thick uphill brush and although presumed dead, was never found.

In November of that year, almost 5 weeks later and with the help of a bloodhound, both men retrieved circumstantial tissue in the snow near the area of the shooting. About 1/8th of this tissue was immediately sent off to Dr. Melba Ketchum for dna testing, and who within one week got word back to Justin that the sample matched the others in her study and was definitely from a “bigfoot.” Soon thereafter, the boots Justin wore the day of the shootings which had blood from the juvenile, were given to researcher Bart Cutino, who intentionally kept them from Ketchum out of suspicion and is initiating testing on them now.

Due to an unexpected phone call by Dr. Ketchum in January of 2012 in which several witnesses were present with Justin, including his wife, according to Justin, Melba Ketchum made suggestions and statements with intent to both defraud the financier of her study, Wally Hersom and to destroy the rest of Justin’s sample with a Clorox bleach recipe, if he wouldn’t provide her with the rest of it because labs would not get the same results as she if he tested elsewhere.

It was Dr. Ketchum’s words of intent that made Justin begin to question his sample and along with researchers Bart Cutino and Tyler Huggins, they got the tissue sample tested independently at two other labs and shared those results publicly as promised when there was a major conflict with Dr. Ketchum’s results.

When the results came back black bear with Justin’s contamination from the Canadian lab, the Ketchum camp and researcher/supporter David Paulides went into damage control, radically accusing Justin of sabotaging himself by switching samples to protect himself from prosecution for his actions. The accusations from Ketchum continue to fly as recently as last week when she insinuated on Coast to Coast with George Knapp that the submitters to those labs (Bart & Tyler) were worried the tissue wasn’t from an “ape” and that people in general are concerned and desperate with her “human” results in bigfoot dna.

Breaking his silence, Justin talks about that phone call and the shocking claims made by Dr. Melba Ketchum in detail. He also addresses the ridiculous accusations leveled at him by Ketchum and her camp and reassures everyone of what exactly he shot that day in 2010 and what lies ahead for him in research with the Sierras Evidence Initiative and the upcoming documentary by Ro Sahebi, which tells the whole ongoing Sierra Kills saga.


  1. glad to see the site up and running

  2. DNA does not lie, but Justin certainly could be. I believe in the science that Ketchum has shown MUCH more than Justin's story. Remember, she had that sample tested by multiple labs and the sequences all came back identical.

  3. MElba Ketchum is a fraud. HEaring this, plus the FACT that her paper was peer reviewed by a source SHE owns??? WTF? PLUS-You have to pay 30$ to read the full deal? This is the icing on the cake. Fraud......pure fraud.

    1. She own's the source, where can I find the info on that?

  4. I'm happy Justin finally came out with his story, and I'm happy that it was shared with everyone.
    Continue with the transparency gentlemen, it's a benchmark for the community.

  5. Please,
    Look who is part of this Group
    Tyler, Bart who are on about Trashing Melba.
    Shawn as well and Ro who all are working on a Documentary which they all want money for and seem to be holding all this evidence that they "have" so they are doing exactly the same BS they go on others about.
    its all about PEOPLE wanting to be the FIRST

  6. There is NO Tranparency if they did we would see all the evidence.
    They Want to be the first to Prove Bigfoot.
    How come we have to wait for RO's movie and pay for it.
    Oh wait they want to make money off it.
    Same Bigfoot groups BS
    Everyone wants to make Money from it and be the first instead of working together.

  7. This lowers her credibility greatly. The claim that Tyler and Bart lied because they didn't want the samples to come back as human is ridiculous, and just shows that she is the one who has a closed theory. I personally think that Ketchum may have had something, but Habituators coaxed her into saying they are human. Thank you for releasing this Mr. Smeja.

  8. ro is not charging nothing dont know where you get your info melba as no dam idea what shes doing her study is mess

  9. Also, this just further shows that Ketchum WANTS the DNA to come back as a subspecies of Homo sapiens. She needs this to be the result to please the "habituators" who she has associated herself with so much. If she is willing to lie about a bear sample being from a human subspecies, then she would also be willing to lie about a nonhuman primate sample being from a human subspecies.

  10. Have the boots ever been tested?

  11. @Robert,
    Justin is working on a book he has said this in the past. So he looking to make money from it.
    So Ro is just going to release this Movie out to youtube? He isn't going to Pimp it to Independent documentary places? Please.
    If they have all this Information why is this all being kept back? Its more of the same we can't show you BS.
    So they all continue to blast each other over stuff.

    Ok lets look at this.
    Bart and Tyler didn't send Blind study. They don't have a control of evidence Either which they accuse melba of not doing. So Justin admits to shooting something.
    Image this "Lab" comes back with the mtDNA human. And the lab knows what the sample is from a hunk of flesh.
    You tell me what the Lab would do?
    Oh call the police because Justin just shot a person in their mind.
    So Much for transparency this group hasn't show the public how they submitted the sample. What the e-mails were. Or the trail of Evidence.

    Oh wait it will all be in the "movie"

    1. OMG, you are so funny, and I am so tired of debunking your sort of patently false, and baseless accusations, that I'm just going to laugh, and tell you to go look at the real information that is out there.

  12. My questions is why didnt Justin take a picture of the body. And why hasnt he gone to others with the parts for the study yet. I wonder if he has tapings to prove his claims of what Melba is saying. This just sounds like Justin is lying. And Melba needs financing so if she wants to charge 30.00 to view the study so what? You think research is cheap and DNA testing is cheap???

  13. I have never believed Justin and to be honest in my opinion, it's like the old saying goes, Great claims requires great proof and he doesn't have a single artifact of proof in his possesion. Just his word. Let him send out some more bear samples!

  14. It isn't just Smeja reporting Ketchem's behavior, there was bullying reported by Alex Evans with documented proof on the CryptoCrew website: Just Google "bullying from Dr. Ketchum," it comes up.

    Isn't Paulides the guy who claimed Bigfoot descended to earth from a spaceship window or some sort of weirdness? What a disappointment he turned out to be.

  15. I'v listen to the audio of this "confession" and find that there is several items that peak an interest.

    1. The numerous stopping and starting of the tape. Hints at being coached.
    2. Different tone levels. Normal voice levels for honesty run between 8-12 Hz. Several time it goes outside the range.

    1. oh lord.
      Of course he stops and starts.
      He made like 90 minutes of audio. That was then edited down to the 27 minutes you hear. That voice range crap is crap. And needs to be taken in context with other indicators. He has 4 witnesses to the conversation. It was an 'unnatural' setting of him speaking to a microphone all by himself. It was partially scripted to make sure he hit the points he wanted to, but it was not fully scripted, so that it did not come across as being said by rote.

    2. Justin has already taken polygraph exams...Melba has refused... check youtbe

  16. Or it was edited by the group here.
    all they want is to trash Melba.
    Yet they have not shown Proof of Justin actually shooting a Bigfoot or that they had these "night time" events, or that the chain of custody is solid between the items they have for DNA testing.
    Kinda funny that Bart says they are NOW testing the Boots.

  17. Hi Cathiee-

    This is Bart C. and everything you have said here is beyond hypocritical and an absolute lie. You've never met me in person, nor know anything about me or any of the guys here. Shame on you sitting there with a straight face and accuse any of us not being transparent when that's all we've been. It's beyond comprehension and make no are a minority in this field as most people are not that stupid .

    We are not about trashing Melba, we are about getting to the truth about Melba who I believe has potentially defrauded one of my best friend's out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and done irreparable harm to this field. You are defending a person who has just hurt this field more then you can imagine and I believe you are too stupid to see this. I also believe for Ketchum this was never about bigfoot if you know what I mean. Think about this Cathiee and explain yourself, she's used smoke and mirrors with purchasing this journal, the fake names, the 30$, not releasing full sequence data -because it will likely be figured out in minute-no lab reports, no third-party substantiation, lies about peer review etc... and you can justify that? Where's one credentialed individual supporting her data o the interpretation thereof? Do you also know that Dr. Ketchum initially agreed and then refused to work with us, Tyler and I -she contacted us concerned about our results- to find where the conflict in results was and she used every evasive tactic in the book to get out of it. We have those emails but will only release them with Dr. Ketchum's permission, though it's legally our discretion to do so.

  18. We are testing the boots now for multiple reasons, including maximizing the opportunity with proper vetting and knowledge, not to mention communication expectations. Holding them out away from Melba and finding a lab that will employ multiple methodologies of extraction was one of the smartest decisions I've ever made in my life "if" there's viable forensic evidence retrievable. How dare you come here and lie about transparency and what our motives are. Only a sick person can blame us for vetting samples after we become aware of someone intending to defraud. You also do understand that for you to believe Melba you must believe Justin shot a bigfoot that day? you do understand that right? You can't have it any other way? I say this because you have absolutely zero understanding of terms like these, "transparency," "circumstantial,"" non-circumstantial," chain of custody." We have all documentation of our communication with labs and you'll be seeing the second lab report tomorrow from Oklah.

  19. You've made alot of accusations here without anything to back it up other then assumptions from someone whom it's apparent has done zero due diligence before commenting. I suggest you start doing so and back up your talk with real examples.


    You should see this Cathiee because you may want to reconsider your position soon of attacking good people trying to do the right things in this field. It's going to get worse for Dr. Ketchum (we're the last people she needs to worry about) and instead of looking at her as some savior, have the guts to at mimimum ask questions.

    see below:

    "so anyone here know why Dr. Ketchum would cite a known farce paper as part of her literature cited page? Number 5 in her lit cited page of her paper is:

    Milinkovitch, M C, Caccone, A and Amato, G. Molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate extensive morphological convergence between the ‘‘yeti’’ and primates. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31:1–3. (2004)
    This citation immediately follows this statement (i shortened it a bit )
    as part of the "evidence lending credence to the existance of sasquatch ... in peer reviewed manuscripts".

    So that paper is often brought up as one of the best known April Fools Jokes in research literature. Seriously guys, it is very well known. It is well written , appears to be legitimate, but as you read it gets more and more ridiculous, and culminates in asking you to check the publication date - april 1st.

    really well done, hilarious piece of work! minkovitch and his tribe got alot of props and publicity for it."

    How do you justify this Cathiee? I also know you and Cyndi have been encouraged to go around and smear us. Shame on you

  20. Uh Cathiee-

    What evidence are you talking about? The OK report I received at the beginning of the month and I requested clarifications on from the lab director? The thermal footage coming out in a few weeks and will be a wonderful example of appropriately documenting footage and collaboration with multiple researchers "independent" of the event? BTW, the footage is being released prior to the documentary...again you don't know what you're talking about.

    Everything we've said we were going to release HAS been released or is being released when all analysis is complete.... the right way. You see Cathiee, good research takes work and patience and I make no apologies for what we've done and have coming. It's mindblowing that you can make that accusation and just shows your ignorance and bias. you're all baseless assumptions and no substance....none.

    I'm not making a cent off the documentary BTW and am not the primary focus. It's on Justin's life and the Sierra Kills saga...again you're absolutely clueless to any facts or details. and I'm talking about the emails back and forth with Tyler when Melba tried to talk us out of releasing the results from our labs that conflict with hers. Her emails with journals are none of our business nor were they ever requested as you're coming from a different planet. you really are and have no idea what you're talking about. Just keep towing the ketchum party line, what next, we're protecting the ape theory? There's a BFRO and or team tazer agenda to take her down?

    We have no NDA agreements as well so I again you don't know what you're talking about.

    As for Justin's video, I'm sorry... but was he supposed to do a 70 minute unedited monologue, what do you think he's Sean Hannity? of course it had to be edited down. You have a problem with that? Do you think that's like a secret, it's stating the obvious there's no devious intentions as he bit his tongue being accused of switching samples and god knows what else, and he doesn't have a right to state the truth of what's happened and what she said?

    I've been in this field 10 yrs and you really are the most ignorant and uninformed person I've talked to..and we're talking about the bigfoot field here.

    "hey aren't you asking MELBA for her emails from journals which she has shown to several people?"

    LOL, another planet.

  21. Cathiee McMillan is obviously mentally challenged, we will not allow her to spread her stupidity like the virus it is. Have a nice day :)

    1. LOL well believe a liar like Smeja then. After all he shot a bigfoot and has nothing to show for it.

    2. I don't expect anyone to believe Justin... but I do know that Melba has been caught in many lies.

  22. Whoa, so your filming a documentary around Smeja and his encounter and you dont expect anyone to believe it? But, ont he other hand your fully confident that Melba is a liar and out to show the world through this blog?

    I must be confused as to the point of all of this.

    1. I'm simply telling Justin's story on film... not saying anyone has to believe it. I've worked behind the scenes with MANY people working with Melba to know a few things... so yes I'm confident.

    2. FYI: Sierra's Evidence Imitative is comprised of 5 team members including Bart Cutino, Tyler Huggins & Justin Smeja.

      I (Ro) do not speak for everyone... but we tend to share the same opinions.

  23. Seems that its a semantics issue here and I have to ask a very specific question then.

    Q: Do the filmmakers of the documentary, that tells the story of Smeja killing a bigfoot themselves believe the story?

    Follow-up if that Q comes back with a vague answer.

    Q: If there is no belief in the story of Smeja killing a bigfoot, then are the filmmakers which claim it to be a documentary, at anytime going to work in that the documentary is about a hoax, a mockumentary or just pure fiction?

    Honestly I think I'm wasting my breath. If the filmmakers do not believe in the story and do not want the viewers to believe anything then whats the point of the documentary? But, if the filmmakers go about it in a way that depicts the life of a man that is making a claim that they themselves find it difficult to believe, NOW were talking about some serious cinema verde here and makes for an interesting view beyond a simple gawking at a crash scene.

    All in all, the whole thing is a mess and unless there are samples to be had for multiple labs to test and zero bias then nothing will come of it, no peer review and no confirmation or rejection of findings. And that's the saddest part of it all, samples get destroyed doing DNA research and eventually there is no more sample. Holy Grails get lost and were all back at square one looking for a thing that IMO doesn't exist, then again if I had an encounter I'm sure my opinion would change.

    Thanks for your time Ro and group as a whole. Just sifting through the pile like everyone else piece by piece :)

    1. There's is only one filmmakaer... and that is myself, Ro.

      I know the event happened for my own reasons, which is why I've stuck with story much longer than I anticipated. However, with the film, I'm trying to keep is a straight "documentation" of events as they happen so that the viewer may make their own decision. I've made it very clear to Justin that everything I find out will end up in the movie... good or bad. It's not my job to make Justin look good, that's his job.

      He has cooperated with all that I've asked, including a polygraph exam, introducing me and arranging an interview with the driver, and taking me to the kill site on multiple occasions for reenactment and verification of facts.

      SO when I say "I don't expect anyone to believe"... I simple mean, it's a FANTASTIC story and it asks a lot of the listener. It's completely understandable if they can't buy it.

      Hope that clears it up a bit. Cheers :)

  24. The Kultchem campers argue by proxy for her. Hey, go on so and so's site and say this, or cut and paste this comment, and post it on this site, etc. It's blatantly obvious what she has her disciples doing. When normal laymen, who can't properly differentiate between your/you're, or their/they're/there, then all of a sudden they are discussing contigs, nucleotides, next-gen sequencing, etc, it's pretty obvious who's agenda they are pushing, and what they are told to write. It's so childish, and petty. The lady dancing around with the flute needs to learn a couple of new tunes.

    I know that this us against them dynamic that Ketchum & Co is starting is absolutely ridiculous. I, for one, applaud BC and Tyler for their constant transparency, and effort to put all of the 'facts' out there for everyone to see, and decide for themselves what the truth is. I'd venture to guess that everybody was hopeful that she would deliver the goods, but once it was apparent that she was trying to bamboozle everybody, people had an opinion, and weren't afraid to let it be known. It's not unfair criticism, or naysaying...Her 'science' is flat-out ridiculous. My evil elitist brother(Cornell educated PhD)laughed the same as all of the other evil scientists did from the BioBlog, when he attempted to read her paper. It is a joke! Plain and simple. Proponents can defend her all they want, but the lady is bat-sh*t crazy! Sorry. All of her deliberate 'fraudian slips'(different than Freudian, of course) are nothing more than beta-test gauges to see how people react to them. My fav's are her 'FB Cease and Desist' orders to Shawn, and anybody else who posts her accidental fraudian slips that she deletes shortly after 'accidentally' posting them. So, either she is completely inept, or she is deliberately baiting people. Her published journal submission is nothing but a self-published sci-fi story.

    I'm actually curious how she plans on paying Wally back?

  25. Hey Jeff-

    Good to see you here and I appreciate your comments and you really nailed it. Although everyday it's looking more and more bleak and like I've said prior, I've never had much confidence the tissue we tested being in relationship to the claimed shootings (doesn't make sense to me with time and recognition state. Therefore it's not or never has been "contradictory" evidence to the claim as the claim of shootings was made a month prior to the collection and submission of the tissue as circumstantial evidence.

    On the same token, without substantiating evidence (boots are finally being tested) via Ketchum's genome results, in which she hasn't released the FULL raw sequence data for comparative analysis, don't override the work of our indep labs and no forensic evidence is retrievable off the boots, then Justin's account is anecdotal in nature period.
    Him passing the polygraph easily and me getting thermal footage within 250 yards of the purported shootings almost 23 months later (not visually stunning but will be best documented in history of the subject...I promise)are compelling circumstances and coincidences, but they are not sufficient to hold up the initial claim and no one, including Justin, is under any other illusion.

    We started this mini group, if you will, The Sierras Evidence Initiative because it's a collaboration of 5 guys/researchers that want to raise the bar in documentation and transparency and because of the activities (unexpectedly) of this particular Sierras location (seasonal)which has yielded some compelling thermal footage.

  26. I believe Justin and the story he tells. I have heard him tell the story several times and every time it is the exact story with the exact details. He seems to be on the up and up. He just didn't know what he had nor did he know the importance of what he had.

  27. I believe Justin and his story. & with all y'all talking that BS just makes me wanna go up there and take one down and drop it on yalls door step. I mean that's what everyone wants. Ya'll aren't going to believe it tile you see one. But if i went and did that and had a body to prove it. Then everyone would make me out to be some kinda crazed killer. I'm a hunter and i can see it from Justin's point of view and in the heat of the moment i even understand why he left the bodies up there. The only things i would have done different is not shot the young one and followed the adults blood trail which i don't understand why he wouldn't do that in the first place. I mean as a hunter you should be able to track a blood trail. I wouldn't have left it there for weeks but over night sure Ive had to do that with deer in bow season time after time especially late evening shots. i understand there going to debates and huge ass arguments about this. But yall have no proof to call bullshit on it yet. What if they come back with video evidence, thermal images or maybe more hard evidence. Yall who doubted it will eats your words. So what if they are trying to market the documentary. They have spent weeks up there working and putting this thing together they deserve a FAT ASS check$$$$ if they got something great. So thats my opinion and i dont care what yall think or have to say about it.

  28. I "want to believe".
    It's easy to believe what you "want to believe".
    But my gut tells me that Justin is a poser.

  29. Ok. So I read all this and the most compelling for me will be the polygraph test hopefully by a reputable person, and of course the blood on the boots. So when is this documentary gonna be finished and where will it be aired?

  30. Justin may be the only man alive who has looked at a juvenile sasquatch's face up close. Does anyone know if he's ever sat down with a good sketch artist and tried to reproduce a portrait of the young sasquatch?
    If not, maybe someone could mention it to him. I'd be fascinated to see it.

  31. I am just your generic google searcher of bigfoot info. All sides in this reveal their true motive. It is not science or truth. It is ego fame and money. At least I have cataloged all of the "players" and can know your motives in the future. What is sad on both sides is the emotional name calling accusations of lies. While you waste time energy and money someone one day will have hard facts and will publish and you all will have lost. Cant you all get past the bitterness and go back to your first love and passion and just go out there and find one film him and publish it?

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