Few stories are more troubling, and suggest more questions, than the demise of the notorious Apache they called Geronimo, and the controversy surrounding the location of his remains. Late in the warrior’s life Geronimo had surrendered to U.S. forces, and lived out his days on government property first in Florida and Alabama, and finally Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Officially, a tomb at Ft. Sill forever guards the bones of the most infamous Indian warrior who ever lived.

But do we really know that to be the case? Legend and myth loom over the Apache, and their relations to an American army that almost exterminated them, like dark thunderclouds over the Southwest deserts in summer. For example, documents exist boasting that in 1918 a young soldier and his comrades, while stationed at Ft. Sill, secretly dug up the contents of Geronimo’s grave, and sent the skeletal remains back East. The tale rises as so startling, and compelling, because the young officer in question was Prescott Bush, father of one American President and grandfather of another. Compelling, also, because the destination of the robbed remains was the secretive Skull and Bones Society at Yale University, where supposedly the skull of Geronimo was on display, a trophy, for decades afterward.images-15

To imagine the Native reaction to the legend, just think of the outrage if it were known that John Kennedy no longer lay resting under that eternal flame. That Natives had robbed the grave and taken the remains away, for their own amusement. Such a desecration would drive a bitter story for years, eliciting anger and revulsion in equal parts. And yet, the possibility that an exclusive Ivy League society, representing the continuity of American power and privilege, has used Geronimo’s skeleton for sport has barely created a ripple in the public consciousness, outside of the Native American community.

Two members of Skull and Bones, John Kerry and George W. Bush, vied for the presidency of the United States in 2004—whatever the election outcome, the chief executive would be a Bonesman, as the phrase goes. Such is the reach of exclusive organizations linked to power and leadership. John Kerry, asked about his membership in the secret organization allowed that yes, he was a member, but no, he was going to speak no further about the activities of the society…quote… “because it’s a secret.”

Here at MindOverMystery we have no magic instrument to pierce the veil, but we believe that the the question What Has Become of Geronimo’s Remains? is important to American history, American culture.   Please explore with us.

Next