The National Park Service is reportedly investing $149,927 into researching Bigfoot, Alaskan folklore, sea monsters, and other “supernatural” creatures, reports the Washington Free Beacon.
Kawerak Inc., a nonprofit group that serves residents along the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia, received the grant last year.
According to Kawerak’s research project description, the organization has recently initiated a new research project on the “Supernatural Environment” and plans to use the funding to research the “Hairy Man,” as well as a host of “phenomena that can be described as ‘supernatural’ includ[ing], among others, things such as sea monsters, little people, wild babies, unexplained lights, animals that can change into other things, and invisible sea birds.”
The aim of the project is to gain knowledge and understanding about how culture influences beliefs in the paranormal.
“The objective of the project is to document, in a serious and meaningful way, Bering Strait residents’ knowledge about, experiences with, and beliefs about supernatural phenomena,” the group said. “We think that this information is important to understanding how people relate to their environment and that there are culturally specific understandings of these phenomena which have not been previously documented.”
The National Park Service reportedly announced its intention to award the $150,000 grant to Kawerak for the supernatural study in March 2016. The grant announcement stated the study would also include “animals with transformative powers, a variety of other non-human persons, landscape features with special powers, and other similar phenomena.”
It also declared that Kawerak would “document as fully as possible from archival and other sources what is known about traditional beliefs, knowledge, and experience regarding the supernatural.” In addition, the announcement stated that the research study would involve focus groups with community members depicting their “personal experience with the supernatural.”
Kawerak was first given $50,000 for the supernatural project in June 2016, says the report.
John Quinley, a National Park Service spokesperson, stated:
“The grant serves the program’s broader goals of fostering a climate of mutual understanding as well as natural resource and cultural connections between indigenous people of northwest Alaska and northeast Russia,” he said. “Congress directs about $650,000 annually to the National Park Service for the program. That budget supports ongoing natural and cultural resource research conducted by a diverse group of partners including non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, tribal governments, and indigenous groups from the region.”
It is projected that the project will receive $149,927 by the end of the study in April 2019.
H/T: Free Beacon
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