University of New Mexico Administrator on Hot Seat Following Bigfoot Hunt
Executive Director Dr. Christopher Dyer of the University of New Mexico is in the hot seat after using university funds to pay for a two-day Bigfoot event on campus, followed by an expedition. Senator George Munoz has introduced a bill that would ban using taxpayer money to fund such events after learning that the overall cost was $7,000, and no students or faculty participated. KRQE in New Mexico reported that the lawmaker was quoted as saying that the bill would disallow any state funds to be used in “looking for or catching a fictitious creature.”
“It’s sad that we have to do this, that they don’t have the ethics, that UNM doesn’t have the ethics to stop this,” Sen. Munoz said. “And now we have to draft bills to stop something that is not morally right."
Although the bill specifically categorizes Bigfoot as fictitious, and compares the cryptid to leprechauns and boogeymen, sightings of Sasquatch in New Mexico are not unheard of. According to The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), sightings of Bigfoot in New Mexico have been reported as recently as 2013, when a skeptical scientist had a close encounter with one behind a gas station near Las Vegas, NM. Prior to that, in 2011, two separate motorists reported sightings of a huge, hairy beast.
Despite reportedly using discretionary funds to pay for the research, Dyer will still be banned by the university from participating in such events in the future.
"Dr. Dyer needs to be much more thoughtful about how he undertakes these activities," the University’s President Robert Frank said. "The type of expedition that just took place was not appropriate and will not occur in that manner again."