Native Village Youth and Education News

March 1, 2009 Issue 195 Volume 1


Did Bush's Grandfather Steal Geronimo's Skull?
By Marcus Baram
Condensed by Native Village

Mescaralo Apache Reservation, New Mexico:  Legend has it that George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, and his buddies dug up the grave of Apache chief Geronimo in 1917. They removed his skull and femur, then took the bones back to Yale University. Some believe those bones now rest in the Tomb. The Tomb is headquarters for Yale's notorious Skull and Bones society.

This story has been passed down for generations. Despite the lack of clear evidence, every new clue or rumor adds to its allure.

Now the Apache warrior's great-grandson, Harlyn Geronimo, is offering his DNA to see if it matches his Grandfathers bones. If so, he's demanding those remains be returned home. 

"I really believe that that's my great grandfather's skull," Geronimo said.  "We want to return him to the Gila Wilderness, where he was born, so the spirit can complete its journey and go on to the next world. Presently, he's buried as a prisoner of war and it still has that status over him."

Geronimo has written to the White House for help. In the meantime, he's suing the Skull and Bones Society.

The close-knit members of the super-secret Skull and Bones Society are powerful men who include both presidents Bush, President William Howard Taft, Sen. John Kerry, William F. Buckley,  Henry Luce,  and numerous CIA agents. They are sworn to secrecy about the club's rituals. But one Skull and Bones member, Coit Liles, says the story is just a tall tale.  "[Geronimo's skull] not there and it never has been there," Liles says. "It's just a story."

However, one 1918 letter authenticated by Judith Schiff from Yale's Sterling Memorial Library contradicts Liles. "I think a lot of people thought it was just a legend, but the letter says that students dug up the bones and thought it was Geronimo's," says Schiff. "Prescott Bush and the others were at Fort Sill, getting ready to go fight in World War I as part of Yale ROTC, and they may have been roaming the area and had a chance to bring it back to Yale or sent it somehow."

But is it Geronimo's skull? "Your guess is as good as mine," says Schiff. "They thought it was Geronimo's skull, but who knows?" 


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