Archaeology on the Moon

Robert Johnson (johnsorl@COLORADO.EDU)
Wed, 23 Aug 1995 16:22:30 -0600

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Subject: Joke
Author: at Internet
Date: 8/22/95 10:11 PM

Message From: at Internet

I saw this on alt.native and just had to pass it on....;)

Two physicists from the lab were involved with NASA and the
Voyager program. They were traveling around a very remote area
of the state and happened to notice a very old Navajo man out
with a young boy. They suspected that the elder might be wise>and went to
talk with him. The old man didn't speak English so
the boy had to translate for them. The two scientists said to the
old man, "We are sending a ship into the sky. It will leave this
earth and travel through space for a very long time. There is a
chance that the ship will encounter some other beings in the
universe. Those beings will find on the ship a recording of
messages from peoples all over the Earth. Would you be willing to
speak into our recorder and deliver a message from your people to
the universe?"
The young boy translated their words and the elder thought
about it for a while. Then he spoke into the microphone. When
he had finished speaking the scientists asked the boy what his
grandfather had said. The boy only looked down. The scientists
took the tape back to Los Alamos, very excited about having a
message from the ancient Indian to include with the others in
space but they were dying of curiosity. A Navajo physicist was
working at the lab so they took the tape to him and played it. He
immediately became hysterical with laughter. When he was calm
enough to speak, he translated the wise old man's message.
"Watch out for these guys. They'll take your land."


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Subject: Re: Joke
Author: at SMTP
Date: 8/23/95 9:08 AM

Close... but no cigar. Since I work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
the NASA site that flies Voyager, and not Los Alamos (GRRRR!), I had
lunch one day with Peterson Zha, then President of the Navajo Nation.
He told us the story and to make sure it's told properly I'll tell it
again as it was told.

About 1966 or so, a NASA team doing work for the Apollo moon mission
took the astronauts near Tuba City where the terrain of the Navajo
Reservation looks very much like the Lunar surface. With all the
trucks and large vehicles where two large figures that were dressed in
full Lunar spacesuits.
Near by a Navajo sheep herder and his son where watching the strange
creatures walk about, occasionally being tended by personnel. The
two Navajo people were noticed and approached by the NASA personnel.
Since the man did not know English, his son asked for him what the
strange creatures were and the NASA people told them that they are
just men that are getting ready to go to the moon. The man became
very excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the
The NASA personnel thought this was a great idea so they rustled up
a tape recorder. After the man gave them his message they asked his
son to translate. His son would not.
Later, they tried a few more people on the reservation to translate
and every person they asked would chuckle and then refuse to
translate. Finally, with cash in hand someone translated the message,
"Watch out for these guys, they come to take your land."

--Charles Phillip Whitedog, Ojibway and Network Manager Multimission Ground
Systems Office (Mission Control), Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA