Bush & Geronimo, And Skull & Bones

By Thomas Nagorski

Feb 19, 2009 1:07pm

Was a Bush ancestor responsible for robbing Geronimo’s grave? And plundering his tomb? Sound outrageous? Well, the rumor has persisted for decades. It goes like this: during the first World War a group of "bonesmen" from the super-secret, ultra-exclusive Skull & Bones Society at Yale, including Prescott Bush (grandfather of George W Bush), robbed the remains of the great Apache warrior, Geronimo. Geronimo was/is buried in the Apache Prisoner Of War Cemetery at Ft Sill, Oklahoma. Legend has it that grandpa Bush and company traveled to Oklahoma in 1918, unearthed the Indian leader’s remains and hid them in "the Tomb," Skull & Bones’ super-secret, ultra-exclusive clubhouse at Yale. (We told you it sounded outrageous). Yalies describe "the Tomb" as a fortress, but this week, on the 100th anniversary of his death, Geronimo’s ancestors have filed a federal lawsuit to attempt to penetrate it. "Members of a campus organization," says the suit," including Prescott Bush, father of George H.W. Bush and grandfather of George W. Bush, opened the [Oklahoma] tomb of Geronimo and removed his skull, other bones and items buried with the body and took them to the order’s premises in New Haven…" The family wants "the Tomb" searched, and if remains turn up they want them buried on Apache land in New Mexico. Yale has no comment. The curator of the Ft. Sill Museum says there is no evidence Geronimo’s grave has ever been tampered with. Even some Apaches question the motives of the Geronimo family. One Apache leader told today’s Hartford Courant he believes the Geronimo clan has used the anniversary of his death "to gain attention" and doesn’t want any further "desecration" of the Native American hero. The rumor lay dormant for years until 2006 when a writer, researching a book in the Yale archives, discovered a letter dated 1918. "The skull of the worldly Geronimo is safe in the Tomb," it read. "Together with his well-worn femurs, bit and saddle horn." That tantalizing "find" stoked conspiracy theorists who say it’s proof — and skeptics who say it proves nothing. "They could have robbed the grave," an Indian anthropologist told the Courant, but it was more likely a college prank, "finding a skull at the medical school and calling it Geronimo’s." Skull & Bones has produced generations of America’s rich and powerful; Presidents, captains of industry. Harlyn Geronimo, who’s leading the charge, may be outmatched. But whatever the outcome, the rumors will likely never die. Not with the names Geronimo and Bush attached to them.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus