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Uncle Sam Wants Bigfoot Trackers?

Last week, news broke about Keith Barnes, a 46-year-old Arkansas man, who liked to dress up and pretend to work for the federal government. More precisely: Barnes claimed he was a “Bigfoot Tracker” for the Department of the Interior. Yes, Barnes claimed that the US government employed him as a Cryptozoologist. While he was under investigation for impersonating a federal employee, Barnes was arrested for possessing child pornography. It is unclear if the investigation as to his impersonating a federal employee continues and if the charges would be rolled into the criminal charges. Barnes’ next court appearance is scheduled for June 18, 2018.

No, the US Department of the Interior does not employ cryptozoologists. Although an interesting and ever-changing job, the position does not exist. However, should one exist, what would the job posting look like?

A Cryptozoologist is a person who studies the existence of “disputed or unsubstantiated species.” The most common are called Bigfoot, Yeti, and Sasquatch. Although a science-based college degree is not required, it is strongly encouraged that the person know about animal life. Further, by definition, it is implied that the Cryptozoologist be a “Zoologist,” someone who has an undergraduate degree in animal biology.

A “Bigfoot Tracker” is a person who tracks Bigfoot. No college degree or experience needed.

Ideally, the job would fall under the purview of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. A “Bigfoot Tracker” would probably apply for a Park Ranger position or any of the Biologist jobs. Both positions require an undergraduate degree or relevant work experience in lieu of a degree.

Extensive travel would be involved. Due to the large size of the nation and the varying reports, prospective applicants would need to travel. A lot. Outside organizations are better equipped to handle such reports. They have the infrastructure and network in place to maximize personnel. The US government does not.

The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) claims to be the largest virtual community of researchers, scientists, journalists, and enthusiasts. Founded in 1995, the organization’s mission is to explore the “bigfoot/sasquatch mystery” using scientific means. Membership is by invitation-only. The organization is most known for its connection to the Finding Bigfoot TV show that aired on Animal Planet. [Barnes was admitted to the BFRO. To date the organization has not released a statement about his arrest or the other investigation or whether he remains a member.] For more information, view their website at https://www.bfro.net/.

This is not to say that the government is not interested in the paranormal. While the government has paid contractors to investigate extraterrestrial life, the government does not maintain job lines, complete with pensions and limited job protections. Instead, the government monitors developments and then investigates. If the job title sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Barnes is another example of a paranormal scammer (#ParaScammer) who fed lies to fuel his ego.