Kennewick Man revisited
The Cover-Up of Kennewick Man
by Kyle Bristow
On July 28, 1996, a prehistoric skeleton of a man was found near Kennewick, Washington, by two spectators of a hydroplane race. An archaeologist who studied the dimensions of the skull concluded that the skeleton belonged to a long dead Caucasoid—white—male who stood about 5’8” and was about fifty years old when he died. In an article published by the New York Times on April 2, 1998, entitled, “Old Skull Gets White Looks, Stirring Dispute,” it is alleged that when a reconstruction of the skull was done with clay—a technique often used by forensic scientists to ascertain the identities of John Does—, the face appeared to look like Patrick Stewart, the “‘Star Trek’ actor,” who is very much white.
When the skeleton underwent carbon-dating testing, it was determined that the skeleton was between 8,400 and 9,300 years old. When the pelvic bone of “Kennewick Man” was examined via a CAT scan, a spearhead was discovered that was of a design that was popular 7,500 to 12,000 years ago. It is undisputed that Kennewick Man is prehistoric and amounts to an amazing historical discovery when one considers that his skeleton was virtually intact. The fact that he was racially unlike contemporary Asiatic Indians has profound implications that give credence to the Solutrean Hypothesis.
Since evidence of a prehistoric white male having lived in the New World is an affront to the idea that Asiatic Indians are native to the Americas, Amerindian tribes demanded that they be awarded the remains to prevent scientific studies from being conducted. Pursuant to federal law—the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA)—, skeletons of Amerindians are to be given to their descendants.
Kennewick Man was discovered on federal property controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and before the ancient skeleton could be transported to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., for study, USACE seized the remains. Citing NAGPRA, USACE ordered all DNA testing of Kennewick Man to cease—the United States Justice Department even sent an attorney to personally seize from scientists the 0.9 gram portion of Kennewick Man’s skeleton which was used in the carbon-dating test. After what the federal courts described as “minimal investigation” had occurred, USACE decided to give Kennewick Man to the Asiatic Indian tribes which were demanding the remains. If the Asiatic Indians received the ancient bones, they would “rebury them immediately in a secret location.” Pursuant to NAGPRA, USACE published a “Notice of Intent to Repatriate Human Remains” in a local newspaper.
After the notice was published in the newspaper, the scientific community sent a copious number of letters to USACE in which scientists objected to the repatriation of Kennewick Man; USACE failed to respond to the letters and since the date of repatriation was approaching, the scientists filed suit in federal court to prevent the discovery of the millennium from being given to people who would conceal it from the world.
On October 16, 1996, the first volley of litigation began. The United States District Court for the District of Oregon ruled that USACE “acted before it had all of the evidence,” “did not fully consider or resolve certain difficult legal questions,” and “assumed facts that proved to be erroneous.” The federal court vacated USACE’s decision to deliver Kennewick Man’s remains to the Amerindians, and ordered that USACE decide an appropriate course of action.
The scientists who were the plaintiffs in the litigation were not crackpot conspiracy theorists who wear tinfoil hats. As was held by the courts, the “plaintiffs have devoted much of their careers to studying the origins of humanity in the Americas and are among the foremost experts in this field.” The plaintiffs included the director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Oregon State University, the curator of Biological Anthropology at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, the division head for physical anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the director of the Smithsonian’s Paleo-Indian Program, and a number of university professors. These researchers had submitted to the courts that “the preliminary studies [of Kennewick Man] raised questions regarding the racial origin of the man that . . . could significantly alter traditional scientific theories concerning the history of humanity in the Americas.”
The defendants in the litigation included USACE, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Secretary of the Interior, and other federal officials. Amerindian tribes including the Yakama, Umatilla, Colville, and Nez Perce of Idaho, the National Congress of American Indians, and a few other organizations submitted amici curiae briefs.
In response to the preeminent scholars in the field of anthropology who suggested that Kennewick Man shows that the orthodox view of prehistoric immigration to the New World may not be accurate, the Amerindians asserted, “We already know our history. It is passed on to us through our elders and through our religious practices. From our oral histories, we know that our people have been part of this land since the beginning of time. We do not believe that our people migrated here from another continent, as the scientists do.”
Litigation occurred until February 2004 when the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a racial or cultural link between the skeleton and the Amerindian tribes was not met, which allowed scientific study of Kennewick Man to occur.
The federal judiciary has observed that “The administrative record contains no evidence—let alone substantial evidence—that Kennewick Man’s remains are connected by some special or significant genetic or cultural relationship to any presently existing indigenous tribe, people, or culture. An examination of the record demonstrates the absence of evidence that Kennewick Man and modern tribes share significant genetic or cultural features.”
To the chagrin of the Asiatic Indians, the federal judges observed that “Kennewick Man’s remains are not Native American human remains within the meaning of NAGPRA and that NAGPRA does not apply to them.”
The bias in favor of the Amerindian agenda by USACE was blatant. Federal judges lambasted USACE when they wrote in one opinion, “The Corps cannot publicly maintain that it has an open mind on these questions, and insist that it has not reached any decision, while simultaneously filing memorandums with this court asserting that the remains are Native American, that they are subject to NAGPRA, that the remains are subject to the disposition provisions of NAGPRA, that NAGPRA forbids scientific study, and that plaintiffs have no right to study the remains.”
Proof of USACE’s bias was shown through internal documents. For example, in an email dated September 18, 1996 between USACE high-ranking officials, one bureaucrat wrote, “I concur completely that repatriation [of Kennewick Man] is the appropriate course of action.” That conspirator also asks, “Is the district’s position, in the opinion of counsel, legally defensible? . . . Is it prudent to publicly announce a course of action prior to the DCW [(director civil works)] informing Congressional interests?” The writer of the email explicitly states that “tribal concerns are paramount.”
In a memo dated September 4, 1996, it was stated that “The District needs to make clear, unequivocal demonstration of its commitment to the tribes as being a compassionate and supportive partner in restoring the remains to a condition of proper interment with dignity and respect, and full compliance with the spirit and letter of all existing laws.” The memo also opined that USACE should seek to minimize any media coverage of the Kennewick Man controversy and that the remains “should be reentered . . . and protected from further disturbance, as soon as possible.”
For the damning evidence, it was only correct for a federal judge to write that he was “left with the distinct impression that early in this case the defendants made a hasty decision before they had all of the facts, or even knew what facts were needed. In addition, some of the ‘facts’ upon which the Corps relied have proven to be erroneous, e.g., that the site at which the remains were discovered is recognized as the aboriginal land of an Indian tribe.”
Not only were government bureaucrats biased against scientific research and the results which it would likely yield, but there is substantial evidence that figures within the U.S. Government conspired to inhibit scientific research.
In September of 1996, while in custody of USACE, the femurs of Kennewick Man disappeared—it took USACE 18 months to realize that the leg bones were even missing and almost five years before they were recovered. Although it is claimed that it was an “innocent oversight,” the femurs somehow found their way to the county coroner’s evidence locker where they spent those years in a box.
Amazingly, only weeks after USACE revealed that the femurs were missing, a box with a small quantity of bones believed to be from Kennewick Man was taken by Asiatic Indian representatives from USACE’s “secure” storage facility. These bones were secretly buried at an undisclosed location, and a federal judge wrote in his opinion that USACE “never satisfactorily explained” this incident.
The remaining bones of Kennewick Man were placed by USACE in a plywood box with a cover that was held in place with mere strips of duct tape. A federal judge observed that the “potential scientific value” of the Kennewick Man remains was imperiled because USACE failed to provide adequate padding and environmental controls and failed to take other necessary precautions. Also, a few bones of the discovery which could rewrite human history were stored in a paper sack.
USACE also allowed Amerindian representatives to visit the remains of Kennewick Man to conduct religious ceremonies without notifying the federal courts or scientists. A federal judge noted that the remains were allowed “to be handled and stored in a manner that failed to protect them from possible contamination by modern DNA. This potentially jeopardized, and certainly complicated, subsequent efforts to identify the ancestry of the Kennewick Man through DNA analysis. During ceremonies, the Corps allowed Tribal representatives to place plant materials in the container with the remains, and to burn additional plant material (reportedly cedar or sage) on, or close to, the remains. After it became apparent that the Corps lacked the expertise, facilities, and perhaps the commitment to properly curate the remains, the court ordered that the remains be transferred to a climate-controlled secure storage room at the Burke Museum in Seattle.”
Allowing plant materials in the container that held Kennewick Man was devastating to science, because, as was noted by the federal judge, the “presence of even small amounts of modern DNA from sources such as shed skin cells and aerosolized saliva can easily overwhelm a small quantum of ancient DNA.”
The worst form of what was described as “government vandalism” occurred in April of 1998 when USACE buried the site where Kennewick Man was discovered under two million pounds of rubble and dirt, which was topped with 3,700 willow, dogwood, and cottonwood plantings. A federal judge observed that the “record strongly suggests that the Corps’ primary objective in covering the site was to prevent additional remains or artifacts from being discovered, not to ‘preserve’ the site’s archaeological value or to remedy a severe erosion control problem as Defendants have represented.”
USACE was caught having lied in federal court, because it came to light that the proposal to bury the location where Kennewick Man was discovered originated in September of 1996, not during the fall of 1997 as USACE claimed. As was noted in one opinion by a federal court, USACE told the Amerindians that “it shared their concern ‘that continuing erosion may result in more exposures’ [(of skeletons that support the Solutrean Hypothesis?)] and that it would proceed with plans to shore up the site ‘as soon as possible.’” USACE originally proposed to the Amerindians a temporary erosion control project, and the Amerindians objected to this on the basis that “other human remains could be uncovered.”
After the trial court held that USACE could not turn over Kennewick Man to the Amerindians, the proposal to bury the archaeological site was revived. As was observed by a federal judge, “The Tribal Claimants demanded, and the Corps eventually agreed, that the site be ‘armored’ to provide ‘permanent protection’ against disturbances.”
The conspiracy to—literally—cover-up Kennewick Man permeates all levels of the federal government. In early November of 1997, an official on behalf of the White House ordered USACE to proceed with the armoring project and have it completed by the first of January. USACE maintains that the “numerous references” to “White House involvement” involved only a low-level visiting scientists who took a personal interest in the Kennewick Man controversy, although, as the federal judge observed with regards to this claim, “it is difficult to believe that an Army Colonel [of USACE] would follow orders from a low-level visiting scientists on an issue of this magnitude.”
Although it was recommended by scientists that the sediment layer where Kennewick Man was found be extensively studied, USACE having buried the discovery site prevented this from occurring. In effect of the government vandalism, efforts were hindered “to verify the age of Kennewick Man’s remains, and effectively ended efforts to determine whether other artifacts are present at the site which might shed light on the relationship between the remains and contemporary American Indians,” observed a federal judge.
USACE consulted “extensively” with the Amerindians about the plan to bury the location where Kennewick Man was found, but the scientists were kept in the dark. After hearing rumors that USACE was plotting to bury the archaeological site under two million pounds of dirt, the scientists repeatedly contacted USACE beginning in November of 1996 to learn whether this was true. USACE did not inform the scientists of the vandalism project until late December of 1997, which was after the final decision to bury the site had been made.
After the U.S. Congress found out about USACE’s “armoring” plan, both houses—the House of Representatives and the Senate—passed legislation to prevent USACE’s scheme from occurring. The legislation would have become law and preserved the site for scientific studies had a conference committee resolved differences in unrelated provisions of the bills. According to court documents, USACE told a congressional delegation that it would comply with the legislation, but—not surprisingly—USACE recanted its promise within a mere 24 hours of it having been made. During a brief congressional recess, USACE announced that it would proceed with the armoring project unless ordered not to do so by a federal court. A federal judge observed after the site was buried that “it appears that the Corps was hurrying to complete the project before final passage of the legislation that would have prohibited it.”
USACE buried the location where Kennewick Man was discovered despite an “almost steady stream of calls from citizens opposing the project as well as from some members of Congress.” Court records recount that General Joe Ballard, the Commander of USACE, predicted that “the din will die out very quickly.”
Although USACE claims that it “buried the site to preserve its archaeological value for future study,” USACE systematically denied all requests to study it.
A judge expressed his concern during the Kennewick Man controversy that USACE: (1) secretly furnished the Tribal Claimants with advance copies of documents such as expert reports, which allowed the Claimants (and only the Claimants) to rebut the reports and submit responsive expert reports of their own before the administrative record closed; (2) secretly met with the Tribal Claimants at a critical time in the decision-making process to discuss the mental impressions of the decision makers and potential weaknesses in the claims, and gave the Claimants an ex parte opportunity to influence the decision makers and to supplement the record in response to these concerns; (3) secretly sent letters to the Tribal Claimants regarding the same; (4) secretly notified the Tribal Claimants that the aboriginal lands issue was under consideration so they could supplement the record before it closed; and (5) refused to allow Plaintiffs to see any of the expert reports or other materials in the record before the administrative record was closed and the final decision was made, and refused to clarify the issues under consideration.
Regarding the burying of the Kennewick Man site, it was stated by a federal judge that although USACE “cited erosion control as the purpose of the project, it appears that the Tribal Claimants’ concern about further site investigation was the principal factor in the decision to cover the site.” The judge concluded that USACE violated federal law—the National Historic Preservation Act—by burying the site under two million pounds of dirt.
An organization which was involved in the Kennewick Man litigation lists on their website the egregious actions taken by USACE to prevent scientists from studying the skeletal remains and location where it was found: (1) Although the skeleton was supposed to be strictly off limits, government representatives gave the Indians access to it on several occasions; (2) USACE allowed the Indians to place cedar branches and other items into the box containing the bones, threatening the remains with contamination; (3) USACE covered the discovery site with tons of rock and soil, supposedly to prevent erosion; (4) Both femurs mysteriously disappeared while in government custody and these two bones are the most important, next to the skull,
for determining relatedness to modern groups; (5) At every stage of the case, the Indians have been consulted regarding their desires, and usually they have been accommodated, but the Plaintiffs never were; (6) Limited study of the skeleton was permitted by scientists chosen by the government, and approved by the Indians—the taxpayer-funded study was not released to the public, although the Indians were allowed to see the findings.
Unfortunately, the Kennewick Man situation is not the only time in U.S. history when Amerindians conspired to prevent research from being conducted on the prehistoric remains of a skeleton that does not have physiological features akin to those of contemporary Amerindians. In 1989, so-called “Buhl Woman” was discovered in Buhl, Idaho, and carbon-dating tests showed that her remains are approximately 10,600 years old. Like Kennewick Man, her skeleton was nearly complete. After preliminary studies were conducted, it was determined that she was between 17 and 21 years old when she died and was 5’2” tall.
No genetic testing was done on Buhl Woman, and in 1992, by way of NAGPRA, the skeleton and artifacts discovered at the site were given to the Shoshone Amerindian tribe over strenuous objections made by many anthropologists. There was an absence of evidence to support the claim that Buhl Woman was related to the Shoshone tribe. In 1993, the artifacts and skeletal remains were buried at a secret location by the Amerindians.
The lawyers who worked for USACE in the Kennewick Man case have made it clear how the governmental agency believes NAGPRA should be interpreted. A federal judge recounts,
At oral argument, the government urged that its interpretation of remains as Native American when found within the United States would apply even to remains as old as 100,000 or 150,000 years, close to the dawn of homo sapiens. Indeed, the government at oral argument even said that if remains of a mythical first man and woman, an ‘Adam and Eve,’ were found in the United States, those remains would be ‘Native American’ under the government’s interpretation of NAGPRA. Thus the government’s unrestricted interpretation based solely on geography, calling any ancient remains found in the United States ‘Native American’ if they pre-date the arrival of Europeans has no principle of limitation beyond geography. This does not appear to us to be what Congress had in mind. Nor does the legislative history support NAGPRA coverage of bones of such great antiquity.
The Secretary of the Interior agrees with USACE on this matter, as was observed by a federal judge in disagreement with this view:
Under the Secretary’s view of NAGPRA, all graves and remains of persons, predating European settlers, that are found in the United States would be ‘Native American,’ in the sense that they presumptively would be viewed as remains of a deceased from a tribe ‘indigenous’ to the United States, even if the tribe had ceased to exist thousands of years before the remains were found, and even if there was no showing of any relationship of the remains to some existing tribe indigenous to the United States. Such an extreme interpretation, as was urged by the Secretary here, would render superfluous NAGPRA’s alternative ‘relating to’ method for establishing remains as ‘Native American’ (i.e., if remains are ‘of, or relating to, a tribe that is indigenous to the United States’). If accepted, the Secretary’s interpretation would mean that the finding of any remains in the United States in and of itself would automatically render these remains ‘Native American.’
The Texas Historical Commission observed in their amici brief that “under the framework proposed by the government and the Tribal Claimants, as soon as any remains are determined to be pre-Columbian, any study or testing of such remains would have to stop. This blanket prohibition could result in improper disposition of remains to parties wholly unrelated to the remains.”
After the Amerindians lost their appeal in February of 2004 regarding the obtainment of the remains of Kennewick Man, they posted a press release on their website in which they explained why they did not wish to pursue the matter to the Supreme Court and what their future goals are with regards to preventing scientific studies from being conducted on prehistoric remains. As was stated by them, the decision not to petition review by the Supreme Court was based in part on the risk that the Supreme Court would rule against their interests. Instead, they announced their desire to amend NAGPRA so that next time prehistoric remains are found the Amerindians will get them before research can be conducted.
Although it was not passed, in 2005 Senator John McCain introduced legislation entitled the “Native American Omnibus Act of 2005.” Section 108 of that bill “Amends the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to provide that ‘Native American’ refers to a member of a tribe, a people, or a culture that is or was indigenous to the United States.” If this bill had been law at the time Kennewick Man was discovered, NAGPRA would have been applicable and Kennewick Man would have been given to the Amerindians before any scientific testing could be done. In effect, legislation like this attempts to prevent researchers from studying prehistoric archaeological remains which give credence to the theory that Amerindians were not the first or only people living in the New World during the last ice age.
Are elements within the U.S. Government attempting to defend the empirically unfounded idea that Amerindians were the first and only peoples to live in the Americas? Consider an admission made by USACE, the Department of the Interior, and Co. of the Kennewick Man case:
At a hearing held on September 14, 1999, Defendants acknowledged that, under their definition, 12,000-year-old European remains found in the United States would be classified as ‘Native American.’ Though Defendants later retreated somewhat from that position, their definition could have far reaching implications. Consider, for example what would happen if a 25,000 year old skeleton that could be conclusively proven to be totally unrelated to any American Indians was found on ‘aboriginal land.’ Under the Secretary’s definition, those remains would be conclusively presumed to be ‘Native American’ under NAGPRA. As the DOI Solicitor noted in a letter to the Secretary, under 25 U.S.C. § 3002 remains that are so defined go to a tribe ‘regardless of whether the available evidence shows any connection whatsoever between the remains and the tribe . . . no further questions asked.’
A lawyer for one of the plaintiffs of the Kennewick Man case was quoted in the aforementioned New York Times article in which he eloquently explained why Asiatic Indians wish to prevent the Solutrean Hypothesis from being studied:
Especially after seeing Dr. Chatters’s [clay] reconstruction [of Kennewick Man], there is no doubt in my mind that Kennewick Man is an ancestor of the people who became Europeans. Kennewick Man is a threat to the Indians because he jeopardizes their moral authority and argument that they were the victims of Europeans which succeeded them.
Kennewick Man: Who he is and why he matters.
by Kyle Rogers, 2003 (Classic Citizens Informer Article)
Thousands of years ago Kennewick man lived and hunted in what is now Washington State. His tribe was among the first to cross the land bridge into North America. He had a hard life and lived with many serious injuries, including a spear point embedded in his pelvis. He died in his forties and was buried by his kinsman.
As chance would have it a volcanic eruption would provide a layer of tephra to help preserve his remains, and the shifting of the Columbia River would unearth him thousands of years later…
On July 28, 1996, spectators of a hydroplane race found bones along the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington on land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The bones were deemed to be very old and were turned over to an anthropologist by the county coroner. One month later, anthropologist Jim Chatters held a sensational press conference. The bones were among the oldest ever found in North America and appeared to have Caucasian features.
The long narrow face, prominent chin, and tall stature of Kennewick man differed from Paleo-Indian remains. A now famous facial reconstruction done by James Chatters and Central Washington University’s Tom McClelland shows a Caucasian man resembling the actor Patrick Stewart.
Key facial measurements of Kennewick Man show a similarity to Eastern Russians and the Ainu of Japan. The Ainu are a Caucasian minority who once possessed the whole of the Japanese Islands. A people closely related to the Ainu also once lived in Polynesia and many light-skinned Polynesians (typically from the ruling class) have facial features similar to Kennewick Man.
Kennewick Man was rapidly rewriting history, and scientific communities around the globe were anxious for exhaustive research on the bones.
However, after James Chatters held his press conference, five Indian tribal councils sued for control of the remains under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. The Indians claimed that the remains were of their ancestor based on their “oral tradition;” that modern Indian racial types have exclusively lived in the Americas since the dawn of time and that the land bridge never existed. The tribal councils argued that the bones must be reburied out of respect for their superstitions.
Indian activists have long been fighting the study of pre-Columbian remains and artifacts to preserve their political clout based on their claim to be the sole possessors of North America before Columbus.
In August of 1996 the bones underwent extensive radiocarbon dating with results ranging from 7,000 to 12,000 years and averaging 9,200. Radiocarbon dating is a somewhat flawed science because it only considers carbon-14 depletion from half-life decay and does not compensate for the loss of carbon-14 by other factors. However, radiocarbon dating can tell us relative age, and only one Paleo-Indian skeleton has been found in the region that was of a similar age. It is also reasonable to believe that Kennewick man is one of the six oldest skeletons found in North America.
Jim Chatters applied for permits to conduct archaeological digs on the site under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1976. A second set of remains found in September was seized by the government and expatriated to the tribal councils before it could be studied. This second skeleton is known as “Richland Man.”
In September of 1996 the United States Army Corps of Engineers announced that Kennewick man would be handed over to the Indian tribal council after a mandatory 30-day period for the scientists to counter-sue. Eight anthropologists, including two from the Smithsonian (historically left-wing and politically correct), sued for the right to study the remains. Their legal request stated, “Repatriation will deprive scholars of any opportunity or right to study this treasure,” and “Study of the skeleton would be of a major benefit to the United States.” Jerry Meninick, vice chairman of the Yakama Indian Nation replied, “Let the anthropologists study their own bones.”
The Army Corps of Engineers ordered the remains and all research samples to be placed in a sealed vault at Batelle labs pending a court decision. However, the scientists were shocked when the Army Corps of Engineers opened the vault and allowed Indians to perform religious ceremonies over the bones three times between September of 1996 and April of 1997.
During that time a third party entered the legal fight. The Asatru Folk Assembly, which promotes Nordic mythology and white tribalism, counters the Indian suit claiming Kennewick man is their ancestor. In August of 1997 AFA leader Steve McNallan gained national attention when he held a demonstration in front of Batelle Labs with a dozen followers dressed in Viking garb.
In November of 1997, U.S. Rep Doc Hastings (R-Wash) introduced a bill that would allow the scientists to study Kennewick man. While scientists across America praised the bill, Indian activists viciously attacked him.
On April 1, 1998 the Army Corps of Engineers, no longer wanting involvement, turned the remains over to the department of the Interior. On April 6, the Army Corps of Engineers horrified America’s scientific community when trucks began dumping rocks and dirt on the site where Kennewick man was found. Earth Construction of Orofino, Idaho was paid $160,000 by the Army to cover 250 feet of the Columbia Rivers’ shoreline with rocks, dirt, and trees. Indian activists praised the Army’s actions.
Rep. Hastings and Senator Slade Gorton (R-Wash) appealed in vain to Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit to halt the destruction of the Kennewick site by the Army. Hastings stated, “today’s’ actions by the corps defies common sense and goes against the clear-cut congressional intent.” The eight scientists who had sued for the right to study the bones condemned the destruction of the sight but said that they could not afford to sue the Army over it. They had already spent a quarter million in legal fees over Kennewick Man.
In June of 1998 the Clinton Administration sided with Indian activists and opposed the Hastings bill. However, Katherine H. Stevenson, an associate director at the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service, acknowledged that the scientists should have been given time to study the remains before repatriation of the bones under current law.
In late June the department of the Interior began mediation between the scientists, Indian tribal councils, and the Asatru Folk Assembly. They all reported to Magistrate Judge John Jelderks on July 1. A plan to study the bones was approved under the conditions that they be “treated as a human ancestor deserving respect and consideration,”
In February of 1999, scientists were allowed to begin specific tests approved by the Department of the Interior. On September 2000, research was halted on orders from the Department of the Interior. Secretary Bruce Babbitt cited the “oral tradition” of regional Indians as evidence that the remains belonged to them. Kennewick Man was stored to the protective care of Burke Museum in Washington pending further action by the courts, where he remains as of the writing of this article.
On October of 2000, the federal government released an overdue independent report on Kennewick Man. The report claimed that Kennewick Man is Polynesian and not related to Indians or modern Caucasians. The government’s analysis was largely regarded as sloppy and politically motivated.
Spirit Cave Mummy
In 1940, archaeologists discovered a well-preserved naturally mummified corpse in Spirit Cave in Nevada. The remains were stored in a sealed box at the Nevada State Museum until 1994, when radiocarbon dating placed the remains at the same time period as Kennewick Man. The Spirit Cave mummy looks like Kennewick Man and has all of the same Caucasian features. While DNA tests of Kennewick man were unsuccessful, the Spirit Cave Mummy is a better candidate for viable DNA testing. However, a local Indian tribe has stepped in demanding control of the remains, and research on the mummy was ordered to halt before DNA tests could be done.
Along with the remains of the Spirit Cave Mummy were numerous artifacts demonstrating an advanced and non-Indian culture. Most notable were textiles using diamond-plaited matting, formerly considered to be a much newer technology. Fork Rock Cave in Oregon yielded more physical evidence of a non-Indian culture. Intricate sagebrush saddles, tools, and textiles were found that are strikingly different from any identified paleo-Indian culture.
Lovelock Cave Mummy
Lovelock cave is eighty miles from Reno and the sites were in 1911 guano miners found numerous sets of remains naturally mummified under four feet of guano. While advance testing was not available, the remains were carefully documented. The most striking trait to be discovered was the red hair found on some of the remains. The remains are also taller than Amerindians, and photographs of the skulls show a close resemblance to Kennewick man.
Several modern Indian tribes have legends of pale skinned and/or red-haired peoples. In fact, the Paiutes, a tribe native to Nevada, have a legend about exterminating an enemy tribe of red-haired peoples.
Asian DNA contains four different haplotypes, including A, B, C, & D. Indian remains have the same four, plus one extra. The haplotype X is found exclusively in European Caucasian populations as well as some Indian DNA. Researchers claim that the introduction of haplotype X into the Indian gene pool occurred thousands of years ago and is not the result of interbreeding with any recent group such as the Vikings.
A picture is emerging of an ancient Caucasian people who crossed into North America only to be wiped out by successive waves of Mongoloid invasions.
Some DNA tests on Indian remains have found other genetic markers similar to Eastern Russians.
Politics, political correctness, and especially some groups’ mythology should not be allowed to stop scientific research that is uncovering our ancient history.
Modern American Indians are far from being the sole possessors of North America in ancient times. North America is the burial ground of a diverse range of racial, and sub-racial types. All the previous cultures and races were exterminated and/or absorbed by modern Indians.
The Indians are an anomaly for North America, because they weren’t completely wiped out. Their European conquerors had respect for them and allowed them to maintain their racial, ethnic, and cultural identities and manage their own tribal affairs with semi-autonomy within the United States and Canada.
If Europeans are to be held accountable for reducing the population of Indians, perhaps the Indians should be held accountable for the extermination of Kennewick Man’s people, the Mound Builders, and others.
The focus of this article was on Kennewick Man and remains specifically related to Kennewick Man. I did not focus on any of the Caucasian cultures that crossed the Atlantic and came to America. This is another very exciting topic, largely ignored for political reasons.
” The easiest way of silencing someone is to call them a racist … Today we have politics that says,’Oh, my God. You shouldn’t say those things about the past or you shouldn’t be able to research the remains of past people in the Americas for political reasons.’ But what happens in future generations when that politics is gone and all the skeletons that once told the stories of those people are also gone and back in the ground, destroyed by natural soil processes?” – Dr. James Chatters
” Kennewick Man is all about extinction. His people were bred out or wiped out by invaders, and those interlopers are given credit for all his technology..his inventiveness…his hopes and dreams. Kennewick Man was a warning that it can happen to us, too. If you want to honor him, work to ensure that European Americans, and European people generally, do not follow him into oblivion. (If you do not think that such a fate is possible, you haven’t been reading the demographics.) ” – Stephen McNallen