New Mexico’s Director of State Archaeology Eric Blinman was fired from his longtime position in mid-February without cause.
Blinman, 69, was working under the floorboards at the Palace of the Governors in downtown Santa Fe when he was called into the Stewart L. Udall Center for Museum Resources, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. Within an hour, he was fired by Department of Cultural Affairs Deputy Secretary Michelle Gallagher Roberts, he claimed.
His laptop and cellphone were confiscated, and he was “banished” from the building. “No cause was given. No cause was required, since I am a governor’s appointee,” he told the outlet. He further noted “continuing friction” at his job, but would not expand on these comments.
Blinman is the second renowned archaeologist to be released from a long-time position without being granted any reasoning.
Mystery Surrounds Sudden Firing Of Notable Archaeologist. What Was He Digging Up? | @DailyCaller
I cannot believe what I was told by #SulRoss — if y’all don’t think this is a story, think again #censorship #educationalfail https://t.co/iGvWs9DvtH
— KAY SMYTHE (@KaySmythe) February 7, 2023
In January, David Keller and many of his colleagues, all of whom are “older” as he put it, were released from their positions at Sul Ross University’s Center for Big Bend Studies. The only people who reportedly maintained their positions were the Center’s new director, his wife, and a woman who hung up on the Daily Caller when we called for comment earlier in the month, but not before she claimed that Keller “knows why he was fired.”
It wasn’t a pleasant conversation. In fact, it was one of the worst conversations I’ve ever had on-the-record ever. And Keller still has no idea why he was fired. Texas is an “at-will” employer state, so there’s little he can do to defend himself.
He assumes it has something to do with his and his colleagues’ age. After talking to Keller at length about his ongoing research, all of which was funded and either at the conclusion or pretty darn close, my personal hypothesis is that there’s something much bigger going on here.
Yes, Blinman, Keller, and his colleagues appear to be victims of ageism, but is that really enough for Sul Ross and New Mexico to disregard decades of institutional knowledge capital without so much as a conversation?
Considering that Blinman and Keller both appear to be incredibly physically fit and exceptionally qualified for their positions, the fact their leadership used legal loopholes to remove them from their positions is pretty revolting.
Perhaps it has something to do with what these men were working on when they were fired. Keller had some pretty damning evidence that illegal immigrants pulling cattle along our border were destroying large portions of Big Bend National Park, but is this enough to fire someone? Sure, it’s a politically-heavy topic, but to destroy someone’s career after something like this seems extreme. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Graham Hancock Gives Epic Response To Those Ignoring Our Vulnerability In The Cosmos)
While we all know who is likely to end up on the right side of history here, it’s a shame that the powers that be have gone above and beyond to make learning about our past a heck of a lot harder. And their silence on these matters also makes them look very, very corrupt, at least in my opinion.
Blinman, Sul Ross State University, New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies, and New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller. All of those involved in the decision-making process keep saying that they’re unable to comment on “personal matters.”