Human remains being auctioned in New York could be Geronimo's
Posted by Brenda Norrell - January 21, 2010 at 11:32 am
UPDATE: Skull ballot box removed from auction
By Brenda Norrell
NEW YORK -- Christie's auction house in New York said a skull ballot box from the Skull and Bones Society has been withdrawn from the sale. A Christie's spokesperson said a title claim resulted in the removal.
The Society for American Archaeology joined the World Archaelogical Congress and called for a halt to an auction of human remains scheduled for today, which could violate the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The Society and Congress said these could be the remains of Geronimo, stolen from his grave at Fort Sill, Okla., by the Skull and Bones Society.
The auction of Skull and Bones Society items, from the Yale secret society, began today, Jan. 21 and continues through Jan. 25, at Christie's auction house in New York.
In an interview, San Carlos Apache Councilman Raleigh Thompson said the Skull and Bones Society attempted to give back a skull to a delegation of San Carlos Apache from Arizona. The Apache delegation attempted to retrieve the skull, which they were told belonged to Geronimo. Thompson was at the meetings in New York in the 1980s, when the Apache delegation met with a Skull and Bones attorney and Jonathan Bush. Thompson said the skull that Skull and Bones attempted to give the San Carlos Apache was not that of Geronimo, but was that of a child.
The Skull and Bones Society attempted to silence the San Carlos delegation, comprised of San Carlos councilmen, the chairman and attorney. Geronimo had requested to be buried in the mountains of San Carlos in southern Arizona. (The interview was conducted by Brenda Norrell on Mount Graham during the Sacred Run.)
A logbook of Skull and Bones, a Yale secret society comprised of both Bush presidents and others who seek world domination, revealed that it was Grandfather Prescott Bush who led the army soldiers that robbed Geronimo's grave at Fort Sill, Okla.
The World Archaeological Congress called upon Christie's to withdraw from sale a human cranium and two femora. "The Skull and Bones Society has long been accused of having the remains of the celebrated Apache chief, Geronimo, and WAC is concerned about the cultural origin of the remains being offered for sale, as well as the affront to human dignity resulting from the sale of human body parts," WAC said.
"WAC asks Christie's to cease trafficking in human remains and requests that all possible measures be taken to discover the cultural origin of this individual," stated WAC President Claire Smith. "We cannot overlook the possibility that it may be a skull of a American Indian, and the sale should be stopped in order to determine if federal laws apply."
WAC also requests that US law enforcement investigate this proposed sale. If these remains are found to be Native American, then WAC urges Christie's to comply with the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and/or applicable state laws. Regardless of the origin of the remains, WAC urges Christie's to act in accordance with standards of human decency and withdraw these remains from the auction.
The World Archaeological Congress bases its objection to this sale on the WAC Code of Ethics, which includes the Vermillion Accord on Human Remains and the Tamaki Makau-rau Accord on the Display of Human Remains and Sacred Objects, WAC said in a statement.
Dr. Smith said the first principle of the Vermillion Accord declares "Respect for the mortal remains of the dead shall be accorded to all, irrespective of origin, race, religion, nationality, custom and tradition." She stated "The buying and selling of human remains can not be considered respectful treatment. And the transforming of human remains into a ballot box is poor taste, as well as unethical."
The estimated price of the sale of these human remains was $10,000 to $20,000.The auction house said the human remains were used as a ballot box by the secret society. The skull includes a specially cut lid in the top, apparently for ballots. One of the bones is inscribed "THOR."
Geronimo's descendants have filed a lawsuit against Skull and Bones for the theft of Geronimo's remains from his grave at Fort Sill, Okla.