Monday, June 14, 2004

"He had very big feet. . .saaaay. . . ." Yukon Men Convinced They Saw Sasquatch

Conservation officer Dave Bakica is convinced that whatever two men saw early last Sunday morning, it shook them up. Marion Sheldon and Gus Jules were traveling out of town along the Alaska Highway on an all-terrain vehicle between 1 and 2 a.m. when they passed what resembled a person standing on the side of the highway.

Thinking it was a person from their small community who might be in need of a ride, they turned around.

As the two lifelong Teslin residents and members of the Teslin Tlingit Council approached to within 20 feet, they noticed the figure was covered in hair, but standing upright the entire time.

Better than stepping in you-know-what Children discover possible Indian remains in Texas City

Kids playing in a pasture along Dickinson Bayou over the weekend became instant archeologists with their discovery of what an expert says are 200-year-old bones.

Authorities on Thursday were waiting on state or federal officials to determine what to do with the bones that remain on the private property near Texas 146. Such findings are not rare in Southeast Texas where Indians used to live.

"The whole goal now is to preserve and protect," Texas City police Sgt. Brian Goetschius said. "It's really a part of history when you're there."

Police were called to the scene Sunday by the parents of the children who discovered the bones.

Instant archaeologists, eh? Do they know what it's like to live on ramen noodles and peas for half their graduate career? We didn't think so.

Remains of 1929 shipwreck at center of Alaska feud

Laws of the sea rooted in a thousand years of history are at the heart of a fight in federal court over the remains of a 1929 shipwreck found by divers two years ago off Kodiak.

The divers say underwater salvage laws give their company, Shoreline Adventures, the right to take objects off the wreck of the SS Aleutian, a steamship that delivered goods and people to canneries and sank on May 26, 1929, after hitting a rock in Uyak Bay.

The state says the shipwreck is an underwater site of historic interest and items should only be removed as part of a professional archaeological expedition.

This is another one of those sticky situations involving shipwrecks. Traditionally they've been treated as salvagable remains that private organizations can claim and salvage for profit. It really touches on a lot of issues, such as How old should something be before it's considered 'archaeological'? How do you determine the 'worth' of objects recovered? How does one determine historical significance? These are questions common to archaeology generally as well.

Cultural Resource Management (CRM) or contract archaeology deals with similar questions all the time. Ferinstance, if a site is going to be destroyed by road construction, how does one determine whether to let it be destroyed or excavated it in toto or partially or keep it the way it is? They're thorny questions with no easy answers.