From the June 2007 Idaho Observer:
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Andrew Buncombe of The New Zealand Herald reported June 1, 2007, that "The great grandson of the Apache leader Geronimo has appealed to the big chief in the White House to help recover the remains of his famous relative - purportedly stolen more than 90 years ago by a group of students - including the President’s grandfather."
It is common knowledge that the members of the secret Skull and Bones Society at Yale University, class of 1918, are credited with robbing the grave of Apache Chief Geronimo who died of pneumonia at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Rumor has it that they took Geronimo’s skull and a femur. Prescott Sheldon Bush, the current president’s grandfather, has been credited as being one of the students involved in the caper.
Since the society is "secret," the story has never been verified, nor has a member ever admitted that their initiation rite involved kissing a skull named "Geronimo."
"But a university historian recently recovered a letter from 1918 that appears to support the story that members of the society did indeed take the remains while serving with a group of army volunteers from Yale, stationed at the fort during the First World War," Buncumbe reported.
The letter from society member Winter Mead to fellow member F. Trubee Davison, made public earlier this month, said: "The skull of the worthy Geronimo the Terrible, exhumed from its tomb at Fort Sill by your club... is now safe inside the [tomb] together with his well worn femurs, bit and saddle horn."
Geronimo’s grandson, Harlyn Geronimo of Mescalero, NM, is requesting that the president (who is also among those who may have kissed Geronimo) help him have the remains of his grandfather returned so that he can be reburied with the appropriate rituals so that his spirit may rest in peace in accordance with his people’s religious beliefs and customs.
According to Buncombe, "the White House yesterday did not return calls seeking comment."
Dorie Baker at Yale also would not comment because the Skull and Bones are a separate entity and the society itself has not commented on the issue, Buncombe said.
Ordinary people who possess Indian artifacts are subject to fines and imprisonment.
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