Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Bigfoot" expedition encounters legal troubles

My mother forwarded a report about this expedition a few weeks ago, and then the item appeared as a front page story in the most recent issue of the Newton County Times. A man named Matt Pruitt--no relation as far as I know--was cited by the U.S. Park Service for failure to have a permit when he brought a group of paying customers into the Buffalo National River Park to search for Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. Park Rangers cited Pruitt when they found him with 31 "Sasquatch seekers at the Steel Creek campground near Ponca" in February. Here's an excerpt from the story in The Republic, out of Columbus, Indiana:
Pruitt explained that he was leading an expedition for The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, which has 24 expeditions planned this year in the United States and Canada.

The participants in Pruitt's Arkansas expedition had paid between $300 and $500 apiece to search for Sasquatch, according to a National Parks Service incident report.... That basically made Pruitt a "concessionaire," similar to those who rent canoes or operate other business in the park.

Normally the group would have been asked to leave the park, but since some had traveled from far away to look for Bigfoot, the park rangers let them stay.
The expedition was three days long, and Pruitt paid a $525 fine. Pruitt told reporters that he has led Sasquatch expeditions in 18 states, and he ranks Arkansas "in the top three for Sasquatch activity." He reported "sounds that were indicative of Sasquatch" in the Buffalo National River Park, "Characteristic vocalizations. Very compelling observations."

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