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  • 32


     
    Kennewick Man: Who He Is And Why He Matters.
    History; Posted on: 2009-10-16 17:31:10 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
     Why Was Kennewick Man Reburied So Quickly?

    by Kyle Rogers, 2003

    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.

    Haplotype X

    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.

    Conclusion

    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

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