Returning the Stolen Artifacts

As a young boy, Donald H. Miller of Orange Township in Rush County, Indiana had enjoyed digging up arrowheads, military uniform-buttons, and whatever else he could find from the past. It did not make any difference what time-period and apparently it made no difference to him if there was probable ownership or property rights attached to his finds.

Don Miller W9NTP-th

Donald H. Miller

Don Miller enrolled in engineering school prior to joining the U.S. Army Reserves in the 1940’s. He was later assigned to a Special Engineer Detachment in Los Alamos, NM, reaching Technician 4th Grade inside the Manhattan Project. But if you think that is an intriguing perhaps fantastical tidbit, wait until the FBI raids, investigates, and uncovers items inside his home-basement and amateur museum in April 2014. They find at least 42,000 rare and not-so-rare historical artifacts from numerous cultures around the globe. His and his wife’s collection included:

 

  • Two (believed) large dinosaur eggs laid in China
  • A wooden cowbell from Tibet
  • Over 300 arrowheads from the Western United States
  • An old dugout canoe from the Amazon River used by indigenous natives
  • An 1873 Winchester carbine believed to be used by a Sioux warrior in the Battle of Little Big Horn
  • Primitive axes carried by indigenous Indians of New Guinea
  • Spent bullet-casings from Civil War battlegrounds
  • Pre-Colombian pottery
  • Ming Dynasty jade
  • An Egyptian sarcophagus
  • A 1927 Wurlitzer pipe-organ Don would play for visitors

These were just a few of the artifacts the FBI crime detectives found in Mr. Miller’s home. What they also discovered that was not visible to visitors of his collection were around 2,000 human bones representing about 500 human beings, all of which are believed to be stolen from sacred Native American burial grounds.

Human skeletal remains that have been dug up from a shallow grave

Human remains found in Miller’s home

Don and wife Sue Miller were very active in their local church and foreign missionary work from the 1960’s into the late 1980’s then becoming short-term consultants for construction-missionary trips abroad. The couple was so serious about their missionary work and giving out Bibles to the locals that they organized Building for God International in 1979 in order to take advantage of America’s tax-exemptions, right-offs and religious traveling expenses. They also would host in their home pastors and their families from the foreign church congregations they had built. Yet, with so much concern about reaching international people in foreign lands with their personal ideology and controversial belief-system, Don and Sue seemed completely oblivious to the ethical and moral, let alone legal implications of filling their Waldron, Indiana home with precious and sacred artifacts and the remains of 500 human beings with family descendants.

Dark Rain Thom, a Shawnee descendant who served on the Indiana Native American Indian Affairs Commission under three governors, said the motives of such collectors vary, and that it’s not uncommon for collections to come to light when an elderly person dies and descendants try to figure out what to do with artifacts.

Often, she said, family members then quietly donate them to museums or arrange to return them to specific tribes — if that provenance can be determined.

Some collectors are motivated by money, as the artifacts’ sale can be lucrative, Thom said. But others with interests in archaeology or anthropology are motivated by a desire to understand the development of a culture through its art items and everyday implements. And others, Thom said, are in it for the thrill of discovery.
Indystar.com Thousands of artifacts removed from rural Indiana home” by Diana Penner, accessed March 5, 2019

But the fact remains, Don Miller was not a licensed, professional, or even sanctioned guest archaeologist or anthropologist with any university or society in the world. He was a self-proclaimed historian and museum curator of his own stolen property and appointed by his God as an earnest missionary doing his God’s work. He was not always given proper access or any permission to go into certain sites, much less leave the country with artifacts. This is the mind-boggling, appalling self-perception Donald Miller had of himself.

The FBI have already returned artifacts to Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, New Zealand and Spain to date, and about 360 artifacts have been repatriated to China. In 1979 the Archaeological Resources Protection Act forbade any sales, purchase, exchange, transport, or receipt of artifacts. In 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law protecting cultural and natural resources in the U.S. And in 1990 the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act was signed into law making it illegal to buy or sell Native American remains. Over the course of his accumulation of items Don Miller purchased many, if not most of his artifacts, as well as illegally obtained and illegally brought them into the United States.

Why would someone who supposedly believes in saving non-American sinners in order for souls to leave our dead decaying human bodies and tombs for eternal life want with 2,000 bones of 500 humans? Why would a man who served in the U.S. military and took part in the Manhattan Project that ended WWII consciously and willingly break the very laws he vowed to fight for? What could possibly convince a man that what he was illegally amassing in his “basement museum” was even remotely ethical and meant (in his mind) for human prosperity, let alone his God’s will?

Donald Miller died in 2015 without any repercussions of his illicit crimes; never tried, fined, or punished. The FBI investigation and repatriation of artifacts from Miller’s home continues to this day.

Share your thoughts below about this bizarre man, his integrity, his religious beliefs and activity, and whether or not he provided any lasting legacy for future generations.

————

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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79 thoughts on “Returning the Stolen Artifacts

    • True. All about the money. Make as much money as possible, makes no difference how the thousands or millions are made, makes no difference the historical value of the item… get the (blood?) money! Steal it if you must. Money, and tons of it, is all that matters in life! 🤑 😞 Yet, in this man’s case it was not about the money. It seems there was something else collecting human bones. Very weird.

      Liked by 4 people

  1. Not very kosher!
    However, when one considers what ISIS have done regarding the wanton destruction of so many priceless and irreplaceable historical artifacts it makes Miller’s actions seem trivial.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. How selfish can one be? “Go to, thy faith has made thee arrogant”. I would also suspect a person with his amount of knowledge on this subject would know the painstaking processes that go into a real dig. No regard for the time and efforts of others. There was a wooly mammoth dig near my old house. 5 years WSU spent excavating this site, and a jackass like this would just take it. Appallingly hubristic

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Sad! That takes away from REAL scholarship! As Dr. Jones said, “IT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!” 😉 That said, I do feel differently though about the issue of repatriation in some cases. How will we know about the peoples that lived before if we’re not allowed to study their material culture, and yes, their remains? Contrary to what many tribes purport, no they were not on their land since eternity, and other extinct tribes rose and fell before they got there, or were conquered by them then forced to relocate, so the bones from 2000+ years ago most likely have no cultural ties whatsoever to the modern day tribe…. However, I will agree some amature ghoul storing bones in his basement is creepy and unethical and contributes nothing to actual scholarship that would honor those remains…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do feel differently though about the issue of repatriation in some cases. How will we know about the peoples that lived before if we’re not allowed to study their material culture, and yes, their remains?

      Yes, you remind me of neutral or independent scholars, archaeologist, paleoanthropologist, etc, who want to excavate under the Dome of the Rock in the middle of Old Jerusalem. Even a few Israeli experts want to dig there, but Muslim authorities absolutely refuse… and rightly so! The state of Israel has absolutely no business whatsoever being an occupying invasion force inside Palestine and Jerusalem… breaking every modern human rights and Geneva Convention treaties and modern United Nations decrees about hostile nations/forces since 1947 and especially 1967 with the Six-Day War.

      And to your point LoR about ‘who was here/there first’ see my 3-part blog-series Circus of Recycling, specifically Part I under “Some Bullets for Buster-ing.” and the entire series for the extensive, exhaustive examination of the authentic history and creation of Israel. What the United States has done to help Zionist Israelis was heinous and violates everything America was and is “supposed” to stand for. It’s down right sickening what we (the U.S.) and Israel have done! And don’t get me started about what the United States did in the 18th and 19th centuries to Native American tribes. 😡🤬

      Anyway, it is very sad when so many evil corrupt politics and actual behaviors and motives blot-out our human sense of dignity, respect, and honor of basic human rights to peoples/cultures around the world.

      Thanks for your feedback LoR. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      • Don’t get me started on what those tribes did to each other before the white man nor their own ethnocentric attitudes towards other tribes either 😂 Bigger technology to push one’s will on another doesn’t necessarily mean it was any less immoral than the attitudes that drive people to use it with lesser means and on a smaller scale. In a war, the side with the most advantage wins… Guns germs and steel doesn’t make conquest any more immoral and unjustified than conquest by other means… The attitude of superiority and assimilating the enemy was within Indian tribes too. They just didn’t have the technology to push that agenda on such a massive scale as we did. Let’s not fall into the “noble savage” stereotype. They were just as human as we were for good AND bad, including human thoughts of cultural superiority and separating “The other”…

        The purpose of studying ancient remains is to find out about the culture in a neutral way unbiased by our cultural lens and the other culture’s too. An outsider brings bias, but also checks the bias of the insider’s perspective. And vice versa. We can’t just study another culture solely on what they tell us anymore than we can our own. An outsiders perspective is useful and valid coupled with the insights of the cultural insider. Studying artifacts helps this balance to get a more accurate picture. Think of it, who wants to talk about less flattering aspects of their culture? If it’s only you what can talk about you, it gives a one sided picture and what will happen if outside scholars are banned from studying other cultures objectively.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well LoR, I think before I dive into the bulk of my thoughts & reply for you, I need to first ask this:

          As a whole, on average, do you think as a species we Homo sapiens have evolved and progressed to higher (better?) forms of intelligence, collaborative organization, and civilized higher forms of ethical and moral values over the last 100,000 years? What about the last 5,000 years? Then the last 1,000 and finally the last 200-100 years, even the last 50 years?

          Liked by 2 people

          • I think we’ve tried to at least, but of course, our baser tendencies are still there… The tribalism and territorial nature have been there for eons… Humans have conquered each other on all sides. There is not one human group that has never been tribal in some manner…

            Liked by 1 person

            • I might be misreading or extrapolating too much from your last two comments LoR (not counting your “Ok” comment), BUT…

              Are you excusing human atrocities say over the last 100-years or marginalizing them… therefore, allowing future opportunities of atrocities like for example the genocides by the Nazis, Kurds (in Iraq) by Hussein, Bosniaks in the former Yugoslavia, and most recently Syrians by Bashar al-Assad?

              I’m thinking you are not implying passivity to that extreme, right?

              Liked by 2 people

            • I don’t quite understand where you’re getting that from… Saying people have innate tendencies we should fight against, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to! 🙂

              I personally don’t agree with much of what was done in the past centuries to Indians, or many other groups that succumbed to Western expansion. But inhumanity can’t solely be measured by sheer numbers, or the scale, but also the intent of those doing inhumanities. Cultural superiority was much of the reason for forcing indigenous peoples into submission, which in my opinion was wrong. It was also wrong for other tribes to do it to their own enemy tribes pre-contact on the basis of their own ethnocentrism and petty turf feuds as well. We can both agree subjugating people due to one’s sense of cultural superiority is unethical and inhumane, I just think that it’s not “more wrong” if one side just happens to have more technology to do it versus one tribe forcing another to assimilate also. Why do you think the US army got Indian scouts from rival tribes who willingly helped us conquer them? “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”… And I wouldn’t say they were helpless victims to our guns, germs and steel when most likely, the only reason we won the Indian Wars was because of native scouts helping us catch our enemies! And many held out for years before surrendering, and until they did, our army couldn’t catch them (like Geronimo)! If it wasn’t for the scouts, we’d have been toast 😉

              Much of history is people being inhuman to their fellow humans. It’s wrong whenever anyone does it, we’re not special so I condemn the actions, and the double standards when one group’s inhumanities are ignored and passed over where another’s are emphasized and portrayed as one sided in a multidimensional issue.

              I apologize if I went off on a tangent you weren’t looking for, but please do explain why you did your own (detailed) tangent on Israeli-Palestine relations…

              Like

            • Thank you for the further clarification LoR, that’s why I asked. 🙂 I’ll need to consider, ponder, toss around my thoughts again and draft it first before submitting/sending. I’ll be back later with that result. 🙂

              Like

            • Alright, this is what didn’t sit well with me in your initial comment then next comment, with emphasis/bolding of what made me do a double-take:

              That said, I do feel differently though about the issue of repatriation in some cases.

              […]

              Guns germs and steel doesn’t make conquest any more immoral and unjustified than conquest by other means… The attitude of superiority and assimilating the enemy was within Indian tribes too. They just didn’t have the technology to push that agenda on such a massive scale as we did. Let’s not fall into the “noble savage” stereotype. They were just as human as we were for good AND bad, including human thoughts of cultural superiority and separating “The other”…

              On the first quote, why shouldn’t we allow the Chinese to study, examine, record, etc, their own artifacts while diplomatically asking to do the same, very much like the entire archaeological world does now with ancient Egypt and the modern Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities — everything must now first go thru them regarding studies and digs on the pyramids, burial sites, sarcophagi, etc. — or Chilean authorities with the Inca in South America or now with modern Native American tribes?

              This is why I asked about stages of human evolution and virtuous progress (on average) over several eras and millenia. Generally speaking (i.e. not directed to you LoR) we humans should not fall into sweeping common denominators or anachronisms either that, intentionally or not, marginalize horrific inhumane behavior… no matter what the count; 1 dead/murdered person or thousands/millions by genocides and everything in between. Haven’t we become more civilized by now, more refined and more courteous of “The others” in the 20th and 21st centuries? Or at LEAST have some fantastic historical models to follow and strive for… borrowing good, virtuous things from MANY, foreign alien cultures included? Personally, having traveled and lived in most of the various continents of the world, I saw and discovered enormous value in ALL modern human cultures, especially those very different than mine! But was abhorred by some attitudes toward others, like the status of women or extra-marital sex by men and women in Latin cultures — women are treated MUCH MORE harshly (beaten or killed?) in those domestic social cases than the Latino men! Utterly disgusting and totally a hypocritical double-standard.

              So I guess perhaps I was just not sensing your “Higher road” posture and sensibility about what this man, Don Miller, actually had done for 3-4 decades; his utter lack of respect for people and cultures DIFFERENT than his… his Christian morals/ethics especially, let alone his blatant disregard for U.S. laws!

              Furthermore, and I think you already knew this about me LoR, I definitely embrace and accept ALL HUMANITY’S primal “noble savage” and genetics/DNA when it comes to personal, meaningful relationships, responsible pre-marital sex, and responsible, wise, OPEN marriages and lifestyle… because essentially we are a very horny, expressive primate species! And funny enough, the Bonobos chimpanzees get along much better with each other than most humans do with other humans. Hahahahaha! 😉

              No, no… no apology necessary on tangents! When one needs to clearly elaborate and articulate EXACTLY what they mean so another totally understands, they should be encouraged to say it, express it in all imaginable ways! On the Israeli-Palestine crisis, as Ilhan Abdullahi Omar is NOT the least bit hypnotized or fooled by any Zionist Israeli atrocities committed since 1945-47, neither am I about nationalized, patriotic propaganda to legitimize war crimes and human rights violations. This is essentially what Don Miller committed and that’s why… well, Israel-Palestine is not a tangent.

              Thanks LoR. I hope we’ve better explained our positions and viewpoints. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • I agree…And to be clear, I don’t agree with Miller’s actions at all! I’m just talking about repatriation in general. I agree with you about making compromises and of course, letting the other cultures have input. Just the idea the west is now forbidden to study other cultures rubs me the wrong way…

              Liked by 1 person

    • Oh! Forgot to mention too in light of Israel occupying Palestine, our newest Congressional woman from Minnesota, Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, is absolutely RIGHT in the things she is saying about Israel. What Democrats or Republicans don’t want to hear is the very painful truth of what we (the U.S.) have contributed and wrongly associated ourselves with the creation of Israel. One day America will have to own up to it and pay the piper. 😦

      Liked by 4 people

      • Antisemitism is a loaded word that has, unfortunately, become a catchword to deflect any criticism of the State of Israel, to suggest leanings tantamount to Holocaust denial, a racial slur, an ethnic condemnation, denial of Israel’s right to exist… Ironically, the largest number of Semitic peoples are Arab.

        700,000 Palestinians were shoved into Gaza and the West Bank or disparate other refuge locations at that diaspora of 1948 — the Arabic word for the event is The Nakba (translated as The Catastrophe). By 1967 Israel already possessed nuclear weapons, though adopting an official policy of “Who knows? End of discussion.” The Arabic word for the 1967 event is The Naksa (loosely translated as FUBAR). The Arabic language is no longer an official language in Israel and is being removed from road signs. Palestinians are described as Arabs, that Palestinians never existed. Curiously, Israel did not exist in 1947, Palestine did. A mandate was similar to the imperial Raj. That yoke was shaken off in 1947. By the way, the Arabic word for “shaking off a yoke” is intifada.
        There are as many Israeli settlers in the West Bank (today renamed by Israel as Judea and Samaria), as there were displaced Palestinians in 1948.

        Commuter traffic to and fro occurs over highways fenced along the length of each shoulder — for Israeli use only. Cross traffic is nearly impossible.
        Just in case it got lost in the conflation: Palestinians contributed in no way (including shape or form) to the Holocaust. I left a lot out, but there’s more than a lot to relate and I try to keep up. Here is a link to my most recent posting on the topic:

        https://billziegler1947.com/2018/12/08/auschwitz-survivor-on-independence/

        Liked by 2 people

        • OH MY GOSH Bill!!! Thank you so very much for this/your perspective and lens on this!!! I am jumping over to your post right now! 🙂

          Why do so many Americans have such a major hang-up with looking in the mirror and accepting equitably our quite contaminated national history!? Seriously!!!! :/

          Liked by 3 people

        • By the way Bill, you would probably be interested in my 3-part blog-post series The Circus of Recycling as well given that post of yours about Esther Bejarano. Thank GOODNESS humanity has some humane, sensible Jews and Arabs, huh? It just shows that no matter how different we Homo sapiens might be after 200,000 years we STILL are part of the same family; we are all cousins. Period. No debate.

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          • A few notches above probable interest actually. 🙂 I savor long reads and just now finished Part I. Quite enjoyed your reMARKs on the discrepancies among the gospel-truth gospels. The Starbucks scene rollicked with genuine professorial mojo. 🙂 Though I’m 3 years late to this circus, I arrive as the Orientalists prepare to repeat words always lost in the translation. False witness keeps the spirit of the Crusades alive, just the way they like it.

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            • Well, go through it only if you have the time and convenience. No worries. The “real history” behind the state of Zionist Israel is just a little known narrative that 98% – 99% of Americans don’t know, with the exception of U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar and a handful of other Americans. 😉

              False witness indeed! It was a trademark practice of Joseph Goebbels wasn’t it? 😛

              Liked by 2 people

            • What, Me worry? It’s refreshing to encounter “real history” rather than the soundbites spewed by Brand Israel 24/7, something called “Hasbara”. Search for “propaganda” on Wikipedia and you are taken to a page titled “propaganda.”
              Search for “Hasbara” on Wikipedia and you are immediately redirected to a page titled “Public diplomacy of Israel.” False witness takes on many guises.

              Liked by 3 people

            • Thank you Bill, “real history” or what I might call fairly simple school boy techniques of pros vs. cons, comparing and contrasting, critical-analysis, etc, and the ONLY way one can do that equitably is by listening to, reading, watching the story/events from ALL sides, ALL viewpoints, right? Ahhhh, but THEREWITHIN lies exactly what you and I have been discussing: partiality, bias, and the (severe?) lack of freedom of the press/expression.

              How can a populace like the U.S. hear, watch, or read all viewpoints and weigh the pros and cons if we are only given 1 or 2 sources/viewpoints!? Once again, the Joseph Goebbels’ “Hitler Radio,” or Imperial Japan’s “Tokyo Rose” radio, or Ho Chi Minh’s “Hanoi Hannah” and the list continues right up to Richard Nixon wanting to shut down newscasting by PBS and CPB (Corp. for Public Broadcasting) and today’s President labeling ANY American news companies “Enemies of the State” if they are critical of him. What’s the difference? Why does history seem to always repeat itself?

              I did type in searches of “Hasbara” Bill, and you are correct. It reminds me of how thrilled I was and supported the cable/satellite organization Al Jazeera America. And yet, it lasted only 2-years here. 😦 Nevertheless, how can we obtain all the pros and cons if a few powerful (totalitarian) men control most or all of the broadcasting mediums? Unfortunately, this was in essence the case in the U.S. from 1935 to 1947. Other American media-broadcasting entities at the time that were not sympathetic to Zionist ideology, or were simply neutral, were too small to compete with the Big Boys on the east coast already well established by the 1930’s and more so by the end of WWII. Enter American Christian Zionism.

              The main point, as a reminder, is that in almost every event (surely controversial too) there are AT LEAST 3-sides to every story as the cliché goes: Yours, mine, and the Monday morning paper’s. And I’ll close with this wonderful quote about having access to MANY viewpoints, information, and broader facts when citizens live inside a TRUE democracy of SAFE, civil contention:

              I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. — Evelyn B. Hall

              Liked by 2 people

            • Living in Germany in the early 70s opened my respect for other perspectives permanently. Talking with fellow international students from Iran about Savak methods, Stasi going on next door in East Germany, visiting East Berlin, viewing the building of facilities at the Olympiad Munich 1972, learning the language with a paper dictionary. Also not being in Vietnam by dint of lucky lottery number 255 (had my date of birth been 3 days earlier I would have had number 1.
              NPR and NYT are both owned by AIPAC — and note the hasbaric twist of PAC from Political Action Committee to Public Affairs Committee. US militarized police from Ferguson, Baltimore…have police exchange programs, skunk-water spraying into the homes they haven’t already demolished, advanced security technology that tracks Palestinians 24/7, breaking into bedrooms at 2 AM to detain children suspected of rock-throwing, kill-at-will on suspicion of rock-throwing (but not for children under 12 years of age of course, they are the most moral army in the world as I understand, but mistakes happen). The guy running against Netanyahu next month is the General who commanded Operation Protective Edge in 2014 that killed 2200 civilians who are ALL terrorists of course. Netanyahu comes up with a new dog whistle to ignite his base (last dog whistle was “Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves”, no left of center political parties of any size.
              That was just the stuff that came immediately to mind.
              I go over to Al Jazeera and use Google Translate to parse the Arabic. Am working on vocabulary and reading speed. YouTube videos for language learning are astonishingly helpful. Beats using a paper dictionary, but that’s just my two Rials 🙂
              Now I’ve got to recover the hour lost when DST arrived 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Fascinating story. Somewhat reminds me of the hoopla around “Sue”, the huge T-Rex whose bones are here in Chicago at The Field Museum. If I remember correctly, the guy/folks who found it originally were sort of like this guy and were grabbing up artifacts and the like in areas where they were not supposed to. I think one or more of those involved in the “Sue” story went to jail over the issue. Interesting stuff.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Of course, we British are entirely guiltless of such heinous thievery. Well, apart from how we ‘accessed’ the bulk of the content of the British Museum, that is. But then we ruled much of the world, so that’s okay. 🙂

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  6. Really interesting. I live in a farming county in western Texas, and many people have large collections of arrowheads, spearheads, flint knives, and other artifacts, mostly from the Comanche. The arrowhead hunters generally get permission to walk a farmer’s fields just after they’ve been plowed, and that is when they find a lot of them. I’ve never known anyone to keep human remains, though. There are some burial mounds in the forest near my in-law’s property in East Texas, but they are treated with respect. By the old-timers, at least.

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  7. Well I must admit, I have found a LOT of stone artifacts in my time as a diver out on the river. I also walked creeks and riverbanks finding artifacts. What I NEVER did is dig for them. The few times I ran across what is known as a stonebox grave from the Mississipian time periods, I did not disturb them.

    There were times I found burials diving, you can easily tell what was a burial and what wasn’t. The burials I ran into, the body was folded over, knees to chest, into a small as possible mass, I presume to make it an easier hole to dig. I found them interesting, but dared not disturb them. As much as I enjoy finding an “arrowhead” I am not that desperate to do so, my conscience would not allow it.

    Thousands of stone tools are washing out of riverbanks or creeks everywhere, or popping up in a freshly plowed field. Those that do are no longer in situ and have little scientific value. I also know the stuff I did find, which were common stone tools from most every time period, would be of little importance to any tribe. These artifacts are historical, they are meaningful in that they exist, but anyone who knows anything about them understands that these artifacts had little value to the people who made them, as they were worn out and discarded tools that no longer served a purpose to the user.

    I have seen ceremonial stone artifacts that were supposedly burial items in museums. I also know a guy who found a ceremonial blade in a stonebox that I know the wherabouts of. Not everyone feels as I do.

    What this guy was doing is obscene.

    Ask me about the time I found a skeleton that I’m pretty damn sure didn’t belong to an Indian.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yes Sir! It was big news up in the Indiana area, maybe the nearby 3-4 states, but not nationwide at all. After reading several different news articles about it, and 2-3 old newscasts… I just got more and more appalled by this man — AND he pretended to be a good Christian man and missionary! Geeezzzz, he is just one more example (out of thousands!) of why I don’t trust anybody by first impressions or what they tell me in the first days, weeks, or even a year or two. Show me by example, by your habits and behavior! Words are so damn cheap and empty… most of the time. LOL 😉

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  8. “Why would anyone have that many human bones?” She asks. He replies “I don’t know.” It’s the actions of someone mentally ill and greedy – there’s something wrong in Kansas if your illegal hobby expands to digging up five hundred people and hiding their bones in your house. There is if you just dig up one person for that matter. It’s past odd, and as you say, he didn’t attempt to display them or use them for educational purposes (not that I would have condoned such an act, that’s why professionals are named as so).

    Never tried, fined or punished…no, really? Surely an American, God-loving military white guy, out of ALL people would have been brought to justice?! Pffft. His lack of respect was monumental, and when discussing how badly someone has behaved I do not think it reasonable to let him off some by saying “Yeah but what about ……(fill in the blanks)….? They stole/destroyed artifacts in far greater numbers!”. Bollocks to that, take each case on its own merit – this was bold thievery by a nut who became greedy enough to discard any respect he had for those whose bones and ancestors bones he pillaged, and he paid money to do it.

    Foul human.

    Really interesting post Professor, thank you.

    – Esme nodding and waving from upon the Cloud

    Liked by 5 people

    • I agree with you Esme on all points. The reason he was never arrested or indicted was that he died less than a year after the FBI went into his house. Apparently he reached a point where he was VERY willing and happy to cooperate with legal authorities and investigators — probably treated them to tea and crumpets too. 😉 😛

      But THAT tells me he must have known (and his wife Sue as well) that he was about to die, maybe of some terminal disease. What I also found appalling was the audacity he showed by using his church and missionary work to illegally collect thousands of artifacts too, AND KNEW he was breaking laws going back to the 1970’s. It honestly pisses me off big time! 😡

      Liked by 4 people

      • Aye, but I’ll bet he wasn’t being quick marched when the scale of it all came to light either. Tsk. I’m as angry as you are. I wonder how the Church are explaining his behaviour? Or are they just sweeping it under the carpet perhaps? It calls into question if any of his work abroad was truly anything but for his own gains.

        – Esme stomping about upon the Cloud

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        • EXACTLY my thoughts and sentiments too my Lady! Yes, I too wondered where the man was being detained(?) after the FBI realized the true gravity of what he had done in… what(?), maybe 2-days, 4-days, 1-week!? I could not determine (due to my own time-constraints) whether the man served any time in jail or paid any fine(s). Nothing. He just seemed to have died 8-11 months later AFTER the FBI legally entered his home.

          The Church’s response? From all the parts I read about the community and area residents, including fellow church members, they all had nothing but positive descriptions of Don Miller, who he was in the public eye and what he meant to the Boy Scouts and others he toured thru his basement. 🥺 Yeah, what does that tell you about those people?

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    • YES John!!! Great point! Does it require the “taking” or the “elimination” of your own heritage and bloodline to get a response!? You reminded me of the profound, painful lesson that Martin Niemöller’s speech and prose spoke to and for basic human principles and dignities we, as a (supposedly) higher evolved, intelligent species, SHOULD exhibit in the 21st century.

      Liked by 3 people

        • John, out of full (or at least reasonably more) disclosure to keep myself in more objective measurements, there are parts of my maternal extended family — older aunts, uncles, and their children, my cousins — who I definitely CLASH with about several social, political, legal, and economic topics/issues of controversy. With family it gets really tough sometimes to live by one’s own standards while keeping some peace with family, and by default showing some respect to my Mom. But…

          There are SEVERAL of them (in small towns around Austin) that are vehement racists around their circles, groups, church activities, political rallies, etc, in normal daily public life, YET (at home) are quite reserved during our annual huge Family Reunions or get-togethers. Like two different lives, two opposite personalities… for the sake of family. For example, the other year when I spoke to the approx. 120 family members about one of the deceased brothers of my grandfather’s family and siblings, and the ancestral history of his family line… and mentioned that TWO of his own great uncles fled to New Orleans, LA in 1860-61 to fight for the Union Army against the Confederacy — if they had stayed in Texas they would’ve been killed as traitors — the entire auditorium was silent and dumb-founded what I was excitingly revealing… ABOUT THEIR OWN FAMILY!!! I was not too popular with several of the families, particularly the older Caucasian Southerners of my maternal family. 😬😆

          My point is this: I have a lot to be ashamed about by my own ancestors and what they did as much as I have things to be proud of in OTHER branches of the family tree. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

            • Yes, you are correct John. But honestly, it still doesn’t reduce my seriously deep feelings of remorse and shame that I am biologically, albeit remotely connected to that behavior and ideology. If I could turn back the hands of time… 😦

              And again you are right about going all the way back to Lucy and those few 100-300 Hominins in south-central Africa and other parts of the world — we were certainly more ape and violent than human and altruistic for community. I am just the hopeful optimist I guess, believing that ALL Homo sapiens are first born without hate and prejudice, bigotry, elitism… but sadly TAUGHT those traits post-natal.

              Liked by 2 people

    • Realizing the rationale behind a Statute of Limitations, the spirit and practicality of it, etc., but seriously, in certain cases, in many MANY cases people should WANT to make things right for earlier transgressions, offenses, etc. Why? Because of the precedent one sets by being passive about it!

      Liked by 3 people

  9. This actually blows my mind….human f* bones?
    But it also kind of makes sense
    …some people who believe in an omnipotent “father” believe that they’re exempt from human laws. Only the laws of their father matter.
    Very interesting piece. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you kindly PK and thank you so much for your feedback. Please do feel free to comment in the future; the more the better! Diversity of perspectives is a very rich classroom of learning. Wouldn’t you agree? 🙂

      I will revisit your blog as my schedule permits and look forward to reading more of your content Ma’am.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Hello Professor. What I wonder about the bones is if there was a mystical supernatural belief going on? Many groups in history have used bones as powerful magic symbols. All religions are just superstitions anyway, right? I hope he was not grinding the bones up and using them as a magic potion or other strange rituals with them. Just a thought. Be well. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is a good intriguing question Scottie. And of course ANY person who wholeheartedly believes in superstitions, spirits, demons, evil everywhere versus good above, etc, etc, are always susceptible to trickery and heretical teachings and practices! Magic abounds EVERYWHERE looking to devour the naive and gullible like Mr. Miller here. 😈😆

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m not sure what to respond to, the initial post or the very interesting discussion that seems to have taken place in the comments. I’m standing for the Professor on this one, he quiet rightly says it as it is, if people fear to face the mirror, then it is certainly unfair to point a finger at the other. Quiet rightly so Israel doesn’t like to reflect on the damage they have caused and are causing, quiet sadly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahaha! Thank you SM for your support. I found this former Manhattan Project worker, Christian and missionary man, and part-time THIEF a bit disturbing with no regard for his nation’s laws, let alone the sacred rights of burials for Native American tribes.

      Hope you are well SM. Please come by again and don’t be a stranger. 😉 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes I agree, stealing is not justified, no matter at what level. We seem to think it is okay sometimes when it’s done so on a greater level, I guess that’s patriotism for some, because he was doing it for the welfare of the county.
        I agree a wrong can never be justified, and never will regardless of what theory is proposed to suggest it was justifiable.

        I sure won’t be, I’m just about managing not to be a stranger for my own blog lol.

        Whenever I visit the WordPress world, I shall surely stop by at your place for sure.

        Thank you
        SM

        Liked by 1 person

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