The final episode of Season 2 was really a good one and has generated a lot of buzz. Kennewick Man having distinctly Polynesian features and not typical Native American features is sure to complicate the debate. The Burke Museum should stop trying to hide the skeleton and allow qualified researchers to examine it properly and let the chips (data) fall where they may. If I've learned anything from the investigations we've conducted this season it's the peopling of the America's is much more complicated than the "Bering Strait Land Bridge" migration from Asia theory. Some scholars are still adhering to it in spite of ever-mounting evidence to the contrary. I'm guessing it'll get more complicated in the future as more evidence is discovered and researched. Stay tuned.
The crazy events that unfolded in the days leading up to my interview with Bryan Axtell and Trevor Carter were bizarre, but not out of character for a government agency. The hypocrisy of the whole sting operation to get the obsidian point back is alarming. We need to remember Trevor and his friends tried to get officials at the Park Service interested in the days shortly after they discovered the point. The Park Service expressed no interest until less than a week before filming the interview when its importance was suddenly elevated to the point where a sting operation was deemed necessary. The Park Service has since issued a blow-off response to the multiple requests by media outlets for more information about the artifact:
"Thank you for your inquiry about the America Unearthed episode that included Haleakala National Park.
Haleakala NP is part of the national park system and there are a number of laws that protect natural and cultural resources in these parks for the benefit of future generations. If resources are taken from a park then it is hard to understand the context of their natural or cultural history or how to best protect them.
One of these laws is the Archaeological Resource Protection Act (APRA), which mandates us to "secure, for the present and future benefit of the American people, the protection of archaeological resources and sites which are on public lands and Indian lands..."
Under this law it is illegal to damage, deface, remove, or excavate archaeological resources. We regularly work with researchers to set up ways that they can research objects while still meeting the requirements of this law.
There is an ongoing criminal investigation. As part of that case, the object you referenced was seized as evidence. Tests and analysis of this object are also part of the investigation. There is no typical time frame for how long an investigation lasts. The time frame varies on a case by case basis.
Chief of Interpretation & Education
Ms. Angelakis referring to this matter as criminal investigation is a joke since she is well aware of the hiker's attempts to contact authorities about their discovery nearly four years ago.
In the final scene where I was standing in front of the 3D printer flanked by Dr's. Jim Chatters and Duane Storti I was reminded that not all scholars are the narrow thinking, close-minded people who have let us all down when it comes to the unknown history of this continent. Surely more of the historical truth would have been revealed by now if those doing the work were as thorough, professional, and open-minded as Jim and Duane. The academic world and the American public need more like them.
Duane Storti and Jim Chatters watch as Scott reacts with shock a split second after accidentally crushing the just finished 3D printer-made skull of Kennewick Man.
Will Thomas Stands near the site where he found Kennewick Man.
Bryan Axtell, Scott, and Trevor Carter pose after riding the zip line.
Chumash Shaman with Scott on the Beach in Santa Barbara.