Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 24th, 2013
Leila Hadj-Chikh, PhD in Evolutionary Biology, was hired by Adrian Erickson and was a member of The Erickson Project living onsite for years where the Matilda footage was obtained in rural Kentucky.
The following exchange is from Dr. Melba Ketchum’s public Facebook page:
Hi, Melba. A friend informed me that an email I’d written to Todd Disotell had been posted on your Facebook page, and that some bad things were being said about him. I just want to correct the record:
1) Todd didn’t destroy any of Adrian’s samples. I went to NYU personally and picked up the remaining samples from his lab on Thursday, April 1, 2010. These consisted of two extractions and a glass shard. I kept them in a freezer over the weekend because you were not going to be in the lab the next day (Good Friday), but I sent them to you via FedEx Overnight on the following Monday (April 5).
2) Todd never told me that the sample was hoaxed; he just said it was human.
3) With regard to the timeline of analyses, I sent Todd’s lab and the PaleoDNA Lab separate samples on the same day, and we got results from PaleoDNA Lab first, not second.
4) With regard to Adrian being upset at Todd because he “destroyed the sample,” I think this was with respect to a sample collected by Owen Caddy in 2003, which Todd had also analyzed. Adrian had hoped that some of this sample was still remaining and could be reanalyzed, but Todd’s lab didn’t seem to have any of it remaining in 2010 when I was there. His postdoc very kindly helped me look for it among their samples, but we couldn’t find it, so it might have been used up in the original analysis.
Todd’s behavior was aboveboard in every way, and I’m grateful for his willingness to analyze such samples to begin with. As you know, many scientists are not so open-minded.
I hope this clears things up!Leila Hadj-Chikh
Hi, Leila. I never received a glass shard nor extractions from New York University. I only received extractions directly from PaleoLabs. When I asked Adrian, what I wrote is what he told me transpired. So you need to take it up with Adrian. The fact remains that Disotell got human results from Matilda’s blood, and it was the same haplogroup we got, as per your email Adrian sent me.
If I had those extractions and the shard, we would have had enough DNA to do a full genome on Matilda, so not having them is very disappointing.Melba Ketchum
Check your email records for this period (March 25 to April 5, 2010) and you should find our correspondence about the samples I was picking up from NYU, along with the other samples I sent you. I have copies of these emails if you need them.Leila Hadj-Chikh
I found your emails so I do apologize but I also checked our log of samples received and there is no record of receipt of those samples. If you sent them, they never arrived. I also would have remembered having them because I definitely remember the Paleo Labs extractions that they sent me directly. As far as your conversation with Adrian that he repeated to me, then you need to take it up with him.
What were the results of the other sample that Adrian submitted? Human?
I will ask Adrian also although I believe I remember his answer was also human.
Disotell may have been ok with you but he dismissed the study out of hand before he ever read it, I have the printed quotes. Then he called the study “crazy” on Joe Rogan. I hardly call that professional. That means he is calling about a dozen accredi…See More
If you have any other questions or want to discuss this further, please email me since obviously you still have my email address or you can call me, either one.Melba Ketchum