How’s that for your facepalm of the day? I bet that you’re probably thinking No way! The government may do some shady things from time to time, but there’s absolutely no way that they would fund a search for a fictional character, right? Wrong! They 100% did. The good news is that they’ve since learned their lesson and passed a bill in order to prevent it from happening again, but we’ll get to that later.
First, let me tell you about how that even happens in the first place.
Back in October, a professor at the University of New Mexico named Dr. Christopher Dyer incurred nearly $8000 worth of expenses when he held an on-campus conference. The conference was called “Bigfoot in New Mexico: Evidence, Ecology, and Behavior”. The professor used university funds to feed, house, and hire two guest speakers for the event, a “Bigfoot expert” named Jeff Meldrum and a New Mexican naturalist named Rob Kryder. No skeptics were invited to the event because Dyer apparently didn’t know where to find one.
The conference lasted for two days before Dyer and new friends set out in search for one of the creatures. KRQE news, the Fox News affiliate in the area, reported on the trip. “Even though there were no students or faculty on the expedition, UNM paid for everything. There were hotels in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, meals, and mileage. Taxpayers also paid $140 for seven pairs of snowshoes for the field trip participants.”
State Senator George K. Munoz was outraged by the use of taxpayer money to fund such ridiculous trips, so he proposed a new bill. Senate Bill 243 was introduced in January. It calls itself “an act relating to higher education; restricting expenditures on certain activities. He put a provision in the new bill to ensure that people like Dyer who want to go looking for things that don’t exist need to pay their own way: Section 1B of the proposed law requires that public funds “shall not be expended by a state higher educational institution for the purpose of looking for or catching a fictitious creature, including: (1) Bigfoot; (2) Sasquatch; (3) yeti; (4) abominable snowman; (5) Pokémon; (6) leprechauns; or (7) bogeyman.”
Curious as to whether or not the provision was really necessary, journalists questioned Dr. Dyer on whether he’d ever seen a Bigfoot himself. His response? “I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard it. I’ve had a rock thrown at me by one at night, I think. And it certainly smelled. That’s because they have a very strong odor.”
I’m sure that they do. Maybe next year he and his enthusiast friends can set up a GoFundMe page for a Charizard expedition. I would almost bet that he’d get more backing that way.
Would you be okay with your tax dollars going toward the research of Bigfoot? If so, how would you want it to work? If not, do you genuinely believe that such a creature just doesn’t exist and that we can’t discover it (or something else along that caliber)? Let us know below!