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Festival celebrating Bigfoot in Jemez Springs Saturday

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By Tris DeRoma

Some people believe Bigfoot, the legendary, ape-like creature that allegedly roams the forests of the great northwest, has moved south. More specifically – somewhere in the Jemez Mountains.

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The village of Jemez Springs will host a barbecue, festival and lecture Saturday celebrating this the legend.
Called the Bigfoot BBQ & Blues Fest, the event is organized by Jemez Springs resident Felix Nuñez.

“Although I don’t want to hang my hat on Bigfoot’s existence, I think there’s been a lot of fascinating audio and video clips that can only be described as ‘unexplainable’ but real to those who have had personal encounters,” Nuñez said.

“Whether you believe in Bigfoot or not, this event is for everyone who wants to enjoy live music, the beautiful Jemez Valley and hear from one of New Mexico’s top Bigfoot experts.”

The event begins at 11 a.m. in the town’s main plaza when DJ Julian Trujillo plays music to get the event started. Nomad’s BBQ, Marley’s BBQ and local breweries will be selling food and drink. 

Woodcarvers and vendors will also sell various handcrafted items.

At noon at the Jemez Springs Conference Center, anthropologist and Bigfoot expert Dr. Christopher Dyer will present evidence that suggests Bigfoot has taken up residence in New Mexico. He will present hair, photographs and a map pinpointing sightings around New Mexico. There will be a comment and question period after the lecture.

Dyer, who is a semi-retired professor who teaches physical anthropology at the University of New Mexico-Gallup, has no opinions on the subject either way. He said he just deals in facts, and presents them as best he can.

“I hope they understand, that if you do want to talk about this phenomena, do so from a scientific perspective, don’t do so from a place about belief, or something that’s paranormal or just about being superstitious,” Dyer said. “In my area of expertise, you use information, you have a theory, a hypothesis, and you test it… you listen and you collect information. That’s all.”

Dyer has read books about Bigfoot off and on through the years, but when students started relating to him their own stories right here in New Mexico, that’s when he decided to really investigate. Destroyed property, missing or turning up violently mutilated is just a small part of the phenomenon Dyer has documented.

One case he documented was a woman whose livestock was brutally killed.

“Several of her cows she found dead, and they literally had their hides ripped off,” Dyer said. “She also had a prize bull, it weighed about 1,200 pounds and she found it dead in a water trough, legs sticking up in the air with its neck broken.

She has no idea how a person or persons could have done that.”

For more information about the Bigfoot Festival, contact the Jemez Village office at 575-829-3540 or 575-829-3345.