Monday, February 20, 2012


Richard O'Neill will be speaking at our APRG group meeting on April 28, 2012.  This is a recent writing he made on Face Book.  He is so interesting, just wanted you to get an idea why I appreciate him so much.


Richard O'Neill
The LAST thing I want to Do is DIE OF BOREDOM!! The game is interesting, primarily because we DON'T know how it ends! I have spent the majority of my life chasing what most deem willowhisps and myths. Strange as it may seem MOST of them eventually work out and provide answers! 

 I don't know if I posted it here or not of if it just did not post. This thing gets weird sometimes. But in 1982 I was researching the four corners history and ran across a book titled, "Our Navajo Neighbors' by a Franc Newcomb. In it she talked in one paragraph of finding the skeletons of two beings over 12 ft tall on a Mesa behind two Grey hills. Since I was investigating Big Foot at the time the story stuck in my head. I asked a lot of questions concerning the early Archaeologists and Anthropologists who worked this area in the late 30's and early 40's. Did a lot of research on Earl Morris who did much of the cataloging of various ruins and such at the time. Called several Eastern Museums trying to LOCATE the Skeletons. After all IF someone FOUND Skeletons of Beings 12 ft tall one would THINK they would have kept them and logged them and SOMEONE HAD THEM! 

It took me about three years and one afternoon I wandered into the Anthropology Department of UNM. Met a lady at the desk and told her what I was looking for and showed her the excerpt from the book. Imagine MY surprise when she laughed and said, " Oh that was my Sister Francis. Her and Dad were Pot Hunters and Artifact Collectors. IF she said it, she saw it!" When I asked what happened to the skeletons her answer was simple. " Oh they were Pot Hunters. They never messed with Skeletons. If they found them they reburied them! Their still up there more then likely!" Illogical? Perhaps but also they were folks living ON the Navajo Reservation WITH the Navajo and had Navajo helpers.

 I asked her about their 'water boy' and she gave me a name. So I eventually went looking for him. Turned out he was still alive living in the Sheep-springs Chapter. Drove down, finally found him and talked to him. His response was interesting. He told me lots of stories about the pots and artifacts they found, but when I asked of the Skeletons his response was typical Navajo. " Bones! NO BONES!! Lots of Pots, NO BONES!" Considering the Navajo Aversion to Death, I interpreted that as there WERE BONES and he wasn't about to talk about them either!

During this time also I kept picking up stories about a man named Rattle Snake Sam who supposedly had found Skeletons of beings over 12 feet tall. So in my wanderings I asked about "Sam". I found several who had heard the story but none who had a clue as to WHO Sam was or where to find him. 

In 1984 I ended up in W. Germany running the Base Legitimate Stage Theater and Teaching Acting and producing musical theater productions, then to NYC and Hazelton, Pa where I worked on a newspaper and later a top line Reproduction outfit at Old Forge. In 1990 I ended up back in N.M. at Magdalena. 

One weekend Sylvia wanted to go to Carlsbad Caverns so we took off. Driving down the highway seven miles south of Socorro along the Stallion Missile Range we saw a little two house town named "Bingham", on the south side was a house and a Rock Shop. Syl was a rock hound so I pulled in. While she was browsing the rocks I wandered around the yard and found a large hole about 12 feet deep and full of Rattle Snakes in the bottom. So I wandered over to the lady who ran the place and asked, " You ever heard of anyone named Rattle Snake Sam?" Imagine my surprise when she said, " Yeah, he's right over there." pointing to the house. So I knocked on the door and introduced myself and was invited in. The mans name was Ballard and it was he and his brother who had discovered the skeletons while Artifact and Snake Hunting. He said there were a series if, 'caves' shaped like jugs or bottles, several of them and that he and his brother had crawled into one of them and found a skeleton, laying in a fetal position held by raw hide straps, with lots of artifacts stacked around them. He said he and his brother had dragged one out to the top and laid it out and it measured over 12 feet tall. When I asked him what they had done with the Skeleton his answer was simple. "We tossed it all back in the hole." I asked him WHY they hadn't brought out at least the SKULL his answer was typical 'cowboy'. "Well we thought about it but my brother couldn't fit it in a five gallon bucket so he hung it in a tree."

My POINT is there are LOTS of Stories, Myths and Legends around. NOT ALL of them are Hoax's! Some Anthropologists in several Institutions were fools who THOUGHT they KNEW and walked away laughing from a story that would have MADE their Names and Carriers! The Slip-stick boys are rich in academic knowledge perhaps, but in the end they are merely GUESSING! In 1990 a crew dug a hole 65 ft deep on the strength of a MYTH and took $32 Million in Spanish Gold and Silver Bullion out of the bottom of it just south of Grants! But THAT IS another story!!

Richard O'Neill

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