Sonny Boy and the others made their way toward the tribal meetings
that would bring their spiritual mission full circle their minds
were flooded with all sorts of thoughts and visions. Thanks to
Redman, they were fulfilling the opportunity granted by the Great
Creator to speak once and for all for every brother and sister
who had ever been and who still were living lives devastated by
the treachery that White Eye began so long ago when he violated
the Great Creator's wishes.
a different part of the country Redman, from his place in the spirit
world was also influencing another situation. The place was Oak
Ridge, Tennessee. At this location there was a U.S. Government top-secret
project underway. The purpose was to create a new first strike warplane
that would combine the stealth technology with what was hoped to
be new and even more important knowledge of flying derived from
birds. The government's hopes rested in the scientific research
being conducted by three Native American researchers who had been
commissioned to study the flight of the eagle and what, if any practical
application was available for warfare.
lead researcher, Billy Feathers was a proud member of the Seminole
nation. He had grown up in rural southern Florida in an impoverished
community not too far from the Big Cypress Indian Reservation. Billy
had known the bitter roots of hatred and indignation as he and his
family had been subjected to much humiliation and abuse as a result
of their Native American heritage. Billy had learned to disguise
his hatred and contempt from those around him. He felt a burning
deep in his heart that he would one day be able to help his people
and avenge the atrocities that had befallen them.
a young boy he had heard the Legend of The Eagle and the Snake many
times and had played games with his friends that were their visions
of how it would be if it were only the story were true. They always
assumed it to be some made up story. Billy felt that the legend
at least served as a reminder of what had really happened so many
years ago to the Native American's and his heart burned with passion
for his people.
was a remarkable student and excelled at everything. He graduated
as valedictorian of his high school and was the schools star athlete.
He didn't take time for romance, but in his spare time spent hour
upon hour researching his Seminole roots and speaking to elders.
He was so angry to hear and discover all that happened to his tribe
through the years, including many being subjected to the Trail of
Tears which most assume was only imposed upon the Cherokees.
In spite of the horrors he couldn't help but feel enormous pride
for the tenacity with which his people had fought. Billy had held
the great Seminole leader Osceola as his lifelong hero. Even though
he loved the stories of how Osceola had fought so fiercely, he could
not lose his vision of the bitter end for that great man who died
a painful death in captivity. He thought that there was an eerie
parallel between Osceola's demise and that of Redman from the Legend
of the Eagle and the Snake.
had been offered and received a full academic scholarship to the
University of Florida. Again, he excelled academically and went
on to get his Masters Degree at UCLA and then his Ph.D. at Harvard
University. While at Harvard he met the two other Native American's
who ended up working on the top-secret government project with him
in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. His primary research assistant and roommate
at Harvard was Jackson Brant who was Shawnee. He had grown up in
a poor area of Eastern Pennsylvania outside a town called Stroudsburg.
As with Billy, he and his family had been subjected to terrible
treatment as he was growing up. As with so many children he heard
the Legend of the Eagle and the Snake over and over and also dreamed
about how great it would be if the story were only true. Jackson
was an outstanding student but didn't participate in sports. Like
Billy he also spent plenty of time researching his tribe's history.
He wasn't as lucky as Billy to have access to elders, but his research
was thorough. His research had led him to read as much as possible
about the great Shawnee leader Tecumseh. In fact, as Shawnee legend
stated, Tecumseh himself would return one day to reclaim his people's
land and way of life. Jackson imagined that maybe Tecumseh was the
figure "Redman" in the Legend of the Eagle and the Snake.
and Billy had the pleasure of meeting Susie Bloodstone while at
Harvard. Susie was a member of the Lenni Lenape tribe and had grown
up not too far from Jackson, in Morris County, New Jersey. The history
of the Lenni Lenape is not as prolific as that of the Seminole or
Shawnee and Susie's upbringing was not nearly as terrible as her
two friends. She knew more stories regarding Native Americans than
she had in personal experience. As she was a beautiful young woman,
she had been treated very well for most of her life. When she met
Billy and Jackson she felt an immediate sense of closeness. The
three spent hours talking about their lives and their experiences.
was a very nice looking man and as a result of his athletic training
he was very muscular. Susie and Billy ended up becoming much more
than just friends and Jackson was comfortable with their relationship.
They included him many of the things that they did and they always
set aside time to spend with him.
time passed and their conversations reminisced about their younger
years, both Billy and Jackson were quite surprised to learn that
they both knew the Legend of the Eagle and the Snake. Susie, having
been raised completely outside of her tribes customs and history
was surprised to hear them tell the story that she had never heard
before and which she loved hearing! Through the time that Susie
spent with Billy and Jackson her "rose colored glasses"
were slowly removed. She was appalled to hear the real truth about
the history of Native America. As she had grown up she learned the
"sanitized" version and never really had the opportunity
to know the truth until she heard it from her two good friends at
up working together on the top-secret project was a huge thrill
for them all. Billy was the lead researcher and they all were able
to come and go as they wished. Jackson had rented an apartment in
the nearby town of Maryville and Billy and Susie had rented a house
in the area known as Farragut, a western suburb of Knoxville, TN.
They all loved to go up into the Great Smoky Mountains in their
spare time and they spent some time in Cherokee, North Carolina
introducing Susie to the Cherokee Indian culture.
their research at Oak Ridge they were very careful to honor the
eagles that they did their research on. They made sure that none
were hurt and any time there was a need for a dead bird, they would
only use one that could be located and was already dead. They would
not allow an eagle to be killed.
research included many aspects of the great bird and its flying
abilities, but one of the components of the study was to analyze
their DNA to see if any scientific conclusions could be drawn that
may increase value for military purposes. Late one night on a hot
humid evening in July Jackson was working alone as Billy and Susie
had gone off to spend the weekend together. As Jackson was preparing
a slide with one of the study eagles DNA he accidentally pricked
the ring finger on his right hand and blood squirted everywhere.
It was not a major wound but he did go immediately to the bathroom
to tend to it.
he was returning to the lab he could hear his powerful microscope
running and the computer analyzing the DNA information that was
on the slide. Jackson knew that some of his blood had spurted on
the slide and as he looked at the computer printout his head tilted
sharply to the right and his eyes drew almost completely shut as
he saw the computer had been comparing some isolated DNA from his
blood that the eagle also had present in its blood. Jackson was
more that amazed. He was stunned.
he was looking at this bizarre finding he heard the cleaning crew
coming into his lab. The cleaning crew was a nice bunch of guys.
There were three white guys and one African American. In what at
first they thought was a crazy thought Jackson asked them all if
they would mind if he did a small finger prick blood sampling to
"try out" his new computer program. They all looked at
each other and smiled and agreed to let him do it.
Jackson ran their DNA he was amazed to see that the marker match
that his blood had with the eagle was not present in his friends
blood samples. He acted nonchalant and thanked them. Then he drew
another sample of his own blood and again the DNA marker appeared
that was also in the eagles DNA. His mind was flooded with so many
thoughts at one time that he really didn't know what to do. Finally,
he decided to call Billy on his cell phone.
three had an agreement that when Susie and Billy went away together,
Jackson would only contact them in an emergency. He called Billy
and asked them to come back to Oak Ridge immediately. He had discovered
something very unusual in the evenings DNA testing and their input
was needed as soon as possible. Billy woke Susie up and explained
the strange call to her. They packed up immediately and headed back
down from the mountains.
to drive back they both wondered what in the world could have been
so important to Jackson that he would call them and ask them to
return home like that. The whole situation seemed a little eerie
as a huge thunderstorm swept in ahead of them. The thunder was earsplitting
and the lightning flashes were blinding. It was raining so hard
that they could barely see the road.
had Jackson discovered they wondered? Suddenly a tremendous clap
of thunder pierced the night and simultaneously a bolt of lightning
struck Billy's car. They lightning seemed to envelop them both and
they saw the illuminated face of a Native American who said, "Feel
the pain of our people" and then they both felt crippling pain
like they had never felt in their lives and they both cried out
loud. Their eyes were forced open so wide that they felt like they
would explode. At the same time their ears heard the thunderous
sound of thousands of men, women and children crying out in pain
as one earsplitting scream. Billy slammed on the brakes and the
car went off the road. Then there was silence.
- Part 10 - To Be Continued
© 2003 Geoff Hampton
Geoff Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker, motivator
and business consultant. Hampton is the Executive Director for St.
Mary's Health & Fitness Center in Powell, TN and is also a regular
columnist for the wellness/fitness Website www.fitcommerce.com
as well as Canku Ota. He can be reached by E-mail at GEOFFLHAMPTON@aol.com
His national anti-obesity/diabetes campaign; The Wellness Wakeup
Challenge can be reviewed at www.wellnesswakeupchallenge.com.