Indian Stories

Whose moon is it, anyway?

I tell you an old story this week. But, no,it’s really two stories, and while the first one is well documented and included in odd happenings in our Nation’s History.  The second part I can find no official words telling of it, but just the same, I’ve read about it from places where others have thought it true.

It’s a good one, came from a good source, and rings true for its time and space. So, here’s the first story. The one nobody questions, and tell of it with pride.

During World War 11, the Allies, England, France, United States, Canada et al looked long and hard for some language or code to use for their private and terribly important plans for the War. A Code that wouldn’t be routinely broken by Hitler’s people, within a few weeks. It took time, but finally they found one, and it was purely American and was our own Navajo Indian language coming from centuries back, that did the trick. Notes, in that language, went back and forth during the entire war, and far longer when needed or wanted.

It was never once broken, but now, since the ‘sacred secret’ is well known, they no doubt have other methods, but who knows and who would tell, anyway?

But now for the second story. It was a couple of decades later, when, in the 1960’s, we were making our first steps in exploring Outer Space, and there were many who wished to send a message to be left on the Moon, or whatever Planet we might land upon.

And when a Navajo employee, asked if he could add a message along with other messages being allowed, and was told “Of Course” but also told that all of the messages had to to be checked and okay-ed by those in charge, before finally accepted.

So he wrote his note, but in Navajo, and after going from desk to desk with no one able to decipher it, was routinely sent, with all others, to Code Headquarters in Washington DC, to see what it said, and if allowable. Or if it was something that just might need deeper investigation.

The letter, in Navajo, of course finally reached the desk of a Navajo who just happened to be one of those who had worked The Code during the War years, and recognizing his own language , he read it and then laughed.

When asked what was so funny, he told them that the message was to whoever in Space it might end up with, and that they were advised to treat the visitors very well, for they were likeable people, but to be careful, for, in the long run, they could not be trusted.

He told that they (You and I. All of us.) would make promises upon promises, but their Goal, and their (our) ONLY ultimate goal, was to gain control over the land and all of value upon, under or over that land and when they finally accomplished that, they would kick the original people out to wherever they could go, but just to get out.

Everyone laughed, but every one did so with guilt, for, again, everyone well knows  what happened to the Indians when ‘their’ land was being ‘explored’. And we also know  how many empty promises we made, but which, as soon as something valuable, such as oil, farm land, timber, railroad rights, became suddenly of great value, the Indians, were pushed back and back and finally forced into reservations to live solely upon what ever we doled out to them. And, of course, a thousand excuses for our broken promises.

The Navajo man who wrote the letter, was speaking from his people’s long experience with us. He wrote from our true history, and his one wish was to warn others of such amiable, friendly people.

I don’t know if the last story is true, but it is supposedly well documented and was well passed around during the early days of our Space Exploration. And if not true, it should be.

I hope the ‘right’ people read and are keeping it in mind, for our reputation concerning our early explorations has not always been as pure and honest as we, today, might like it all to have been.

Good stories, both of them, and to me, the very truth and oddness of the second one, makes both of them worth keeping. And heeding.

2 thoughts on “Indian Stories

  1. Reminds me of a joke. Trouble is, most good jokes are really the truth. Anyway here is a G rated version . . .

    When NASA was preparing for the Apollo project, they did
    some training on a Navajo Indian reservation.
    One day, a Navajo elder and his son were herding sheep and
    came across the space crew. The old man, who spoke only Navajo,
    asked a question which his son translated.
    “What are these guys in the big suits doing?”
    A member of the crew said they were practicing for their trip
    to the moon. The old man got all excited and asked if he could
    send a message to the moon with the astronauts.
    Recognizing a promotional opportunity for the spin-doctors,
    the NASA folks found a tape recorder.
    After the old man recorded his message, they asked the son
    to translate it. He refused.
    So the NASA reps brought the tape to the reservation where
    the rest of the tribe listened and laughed but refused to
    translate the elder’s message to the moon.
    Finally, the NASA crew called in an official government
    translator. He reported that the moon message said, “Watch
    out for these guys; they have come to steal your land.”

  2. Thanx. Sounds as if my ‘second story’ was true, true, true. If not in fact, at least in the minds of every Indian. This was THEIR land and had been for ages. Now, they are minor segment of all the people here, and whose land is it???? Well you foolish people to ask such a question, It’s Ours. And I am not an Indian. ethel

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