Archive for February 18th, 2009

Geronimo descendant sues Skull and Bones

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

For those of you who don’t know, The Order of the Skull and Bones is a secret society at Yale University.

It’s basically a fraternity of rich dorks with the concomitant hush-hush rumors of dark rituals and political intrigue, which features in a fair few conspiracy theories along with the Freemasons and Illuminati.

Well, one of the hush-hush rumors is that initiates are made to kiss a skull, possibly the skull of the great Apache warrior Geronimo, stolen from his grave in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, by a cadre of rich dorks including Prescott Bush, father and grandfather of a couple of former US presidents, while stationed at the Fort during World War I.

Harlyn Geronimo wants the truth, and has filed suit against Yale, Skull and Bones, President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Army Secretary Pete Geren to get it.

It has long been rumored that several of Yale’s “Bonesmen,” including, by one account, Prescott Bush, father of one Bush president and grandfather of the other, robbed Geronimo’s grave and brought back his skull and femurs, and his horse’s bit and saddle horn, to the Tomb.[...]

Harlyn Geronimo’s lawyer is William Ramsey Clark, who served as U.S. attorney general under Lyndon Johnson. Clark brought the action under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

The suit seeks to “free Geronimo, his remains, funerary objects and spirit, from 100 years of imprisonment at Fort Sill, Okla., the Yale University campus in New Haven, and wherever else they may be.”

Harlyn wishes to reinter Geronimo’s remains in his ancestral lands, so he wants Fort Sill as well as Skull and Bones to cough up any remains they might have.

The Apache tribe disagrees. They don’t want Geronimo’s grave disturbed and they don’t think the rich dorks really dug him up at all. There’s no physical evidence of desecration. The rich dorks could have grave-robbed anyone or even just stolen a skull and two femurs from the science lab and pretended they were Geronimo’s.

The only evidence in the case comes from a 1918 letter recently uncovered in the Yale Archives, but it was written by someone who was not at Fort Sill, so although contemporary, it’s still circumstantial.

The letter was written on June 7, 1918, by Winter Mead ’19 to F. Trubee Davison ’18. It announces that the remains dug up at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, by a group that included Charles C. Haffner Jr. ’19 (a new member, or “Knight”), have been deposited in the society’s headquarters (the “Tomb”): “The skull of the worthy Geronimo the Terrible, exhumed from its tomb at Fort Sill by your club & the K — t [Knight] Haffner, is now safe inside the T — [Tomb] together with his well worn femurs[,] bit & saddle horn.”

But at best that indicates that some Bonesmen (yes, that is what they call themselves; like I said, rich dorks) thought the bones were Geronimo’s, not that they are, and let’s face it, the odds of any these guys having been sober at the time are slim to none.

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