There is perhaps only one creature more elusive than the legendary Bigfoot: a politician who makes rational decisions. And lest you think I’m referring to the circus that is currently occupying the White House, I’ll refer you to the story below, which is a follow-up to a story we did last year regarding an unsanctioned Bigfoot hunt, conducted by the University of New Mexico. Which, to the chagrin of many, was quietly funded using taxpayer dollars. Needless to say, Bigfoot was not found, residents were pissed, and now a State Senator will be spending much time and money to introduce a ridiculous bill that will make sure no more time and money is spent on ridiculous things.
If a bill heading for the New Mexico state legislature becomes law, it could cut off public funding for a very unusual hobby: searching for Bigfoot.
State Sen. George Munoz drafted Senate Bill 243 with the low-key title “Restrict certain higher ed expenditures.” Specifically, it bans state higher education employees from spending public funds on looking for or catching fictitious creatures.
The list of mythological things includes Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, abominable snowmen, Pokemon, leprechauns and bogeymen.
There’s a real reason why Munoz feels the need to introduce legislation aimed at fictional creatures. Christopher Dyer, the executive director of the University of New Mexico’s Gallup branch, reportedly spent over $7,000 in taxpayer money to fund a Bigfoot conference and expedition in 2016.
Dyer told KRQE News 13 the expedition participants did not find Bigfoot in the Sandia Mountains outside Albuquerque. Dyer does believe the mythical beasts exist, saying that one of them threw a rock at him one night (he thinks). He also says they have “a very strong odor.”
The conference, titled “Bigfoot in New Mexico: Evidence, Ecology, and Behavior,” featured Bigfoot believers as speakers, but didn’t include skeptics as a counterpoint. The revelations led to public outcry about the use of taxpayer funding for cryptozoological pursuits.
Munoz’s bill is scheduled to go before the Senate Education Committee on Friday. If it passes through the legislature, then Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) all over New Mexico will be able to sleep a little easier at night knowing university employees won’t be tracking them down on the taxpayer’s dime.
Ok, so in a way, I do understand why people were upset with a taxpayer-funded expedition for Bigfoot. It seems a little shady, even if it was only $7000. Dyer should have gone through proper channels, plain and simple. I’m not sure why other creatures are listed in this bill, though. The Yeti/abominable snowman? In New Mexico? Probably don’t have to worry about that, Senator. And why are leprechauns always lumped in with Bigfoot? And the bogeyman? And who is asking to use taxpayer money to search for Pokémon? This is where the Senator loses me. I fully understand wanting to protect taxpayer money. But listing things like leprechauns and the bogeyman just seems mean-spirited on his part, a little dig at people who are serious about investigating the phenomenon.
And for the record, it is never “Bigfoots” or “Bigfeet.” We actually addressed the plural form of Bigfoot in an earlier post. Singular or plural, it’s “Bigfoot.”