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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America



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The Eagle and the Snake - Redman Speaks - Part 10


by Geoff Hampton


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As 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.

In 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.

The 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.

As 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.

He 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 Cherokee’s. 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.

Billy 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.

Jackson 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.

Billy 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.

As 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 Harvard.

Ending 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.

In 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.

Their 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.

As 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.

As 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.

As 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.

The 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.

During 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.

What 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.

End - 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 as well as Canku Ota. He can be reached by E-mail at His national anti-obesity/diabetes campaign; The Wellness Wakeup Challenge can be reviewed at

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