Have researchers proved that Bigfoot actually exists?

A team of researchers calling themselves the Sasquatch Genome Project is claiming that, after a five-year study, they have proof that the elusive creature known as Bigfoot actually exists.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the team presented evidence in the form of a series of blurry and grainy video clips, some filmed with night-vision technology:

"They're a type of people, they're a human-hybrid, we believe. And all of the DNA evidence points to that. And they can elude us, so if you get [footage] at all, it can be fleeting," said Dr. Melba Ketchum, the team's veterinarian, according to ABC News.

If you don't remember Dr. Ketchum, late last November, she announced to the world that not only was Sasquatch real, but it was a human hybrid spawned from some 'unknown hominid' mating with female homo sapiens, roughtly 15,000 years ago. She also said, at the time: "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."

Also, in February of this year, the group announced that they had published "their peer-reviewed findings today in the DeNovo Journal of Science."

So, the researchers are certainly passionate about their findings, and what they could mean (for both us and the Sasquatches), and they're definitely serious about this as well.

However, even looking past the blurry nature of the video and the rather fake-looking closeup shots of this supposedly elusive creature, there's a lot about this study and about the published findings that just doesn't add up.

Dr. Ketchum's announcement last November was in response to public statements made by Igor Burtsev, who runs the International Center of Hominology (whose website has vanished since last year). Burtsev has been searching for the Yeti for years and is well known for taking his conclusions far beyond those of his fellow researchers, and for making them public knowledge before the research has been peer-reviewed. Scientists publishing their research, no matter how important that research is, stick to the peer-review process, so that they will be sure not to be putting incorrect or incomplete research out in front of the public.

Also, although the team is claiming that the research is now peer-reviewed and published, the journal it appears in is highly suspect. According to Huffington Post, the 'DeNovo Journal of Science', which is found on the website www.advancedsciencefoundation.org, was registered with GoDaddy.com only nine days before the Sasquatch Genome Project announced that their paper had been published in the journal. In addition to that, even though we are currently in the fourth quarter of 2013, the '1st quarter' issue of the journal is the only one that was ever created, and it only has the research from the Sasquatch team.

[ More Geekquinox: Nearby alien planet may have strange ‘plasma’ water atmosphere ]

Rather than being an amazing discovery that will change all our lives, this all just breeds more skepticism about their findings.

If they wanted to be taken seriously, why make broad proclamations before their research had gone through the peer-review process? If their evidence was truly that compelling and conclusive, so much so that they're willing to proclaim it to the world that Bigfoot actually exists, why create their own 'research journal' (or find the most fledgling journal in existence) to publish it in? If the evidence was that good, shouldn't it have stood up to the scrutiny of more accomplished journals, regardless of how skeptical their scientist peers would be going into the process?

Intentionally or unintentionally, it just leaves the credibility for this entire study as elusive as the creature it claims to have found.

(Video courtesy: Adrian Erickson/The Erickson Project)

Geek out with the latest in science and weather.
Follow @ygeekquinox on Twitter!