Saturday, May 2, 2009

Where does the time go?

Hi everyone! Sorry for the overly long departure! I thought I would have time to do a few blog post when I returned from my vacation, but I left the day after returning home for nearly 2 weeks of field work (who can complain about that!). So I apologize for my week vacation from blogging turning into a 3 week MIA.

I am still getting caught up on things here at home and work, so I hope to get caught up with some new blog post very soon! Until then, I thought I would share a recent (non paleontology/geology related) story that I read while in the field.

In this months issue of National Georaphic Adventure they had a story about Everett Ruess. I had never hear of Ruess until I read Into the Wild where he is talked about for several pages, and had forgotten about the story until I read about it in the magazine this month. It is an interesting story about Ruess, who was a 20 year old Californian artist and writer who traveled around the American Southwest in the early 1930's. He disappeared in 1934 (last seen in Escalante, Utah) and no one ever knew what happen to him.

Enter the modern day: Daisy Johnson, a New Mexico Navajo native, told her brother, Denny Bellson, a story she had heard about their grandfather. Daisy had cancer and contacted a medicine man about the problem. The medicine man informed her that the cancer was because of something her grandfather (whom had also had cancer) had done in the 1930's. Their grandfather had seen a white man ridding though a canyon near his home and witnessed the murder of this man by Ute Indians. When he went to check on the man he found him dead, and rather than leaving him in the canyon, moved his body up to the side of the canyon for burial. Some time after when he got cancer the medicine man told him he would have to preform a ceremony to rid the man of his cancer, which involved revisiting the burial site. Their grandfather lived for another ten years. Now the family curse was visiting Daisy.

Could the white man their grandfather had seen be Everette Ruess? The site is investigated by archaeologist, forensic anthropologist, and even the FBI. Read the story here to find out the entire story - it is really an interesting read (and then read the recent press release about DNA results from the remains)!

Photo © National Geographic Adventure