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[escepticos] (Fwd) FWD: [ASTRO] Son of Squirrel
No sé si reir o llorar. ¿Alguna sugerencia?
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 15:12:52 -0500
Reply-to: skeptic en listproc.hcf.jhu.edu
From: Ron Ebert <ron.ebert en ucr.edu>
To: skeptic en listproc.hcf.jhu.edu
Subject: FWD: [ASTRO] Son of Squirrel
I am forwarding this message from the Astro list as I think it is of
interest to skeptics.
ron.ebert en ucr.edu
>> Tuesday, 13 January 1998
>> NASA sorry ashes will defile Moon
>> Promises Navajos more sensitivity
>> By Enric Volante
>> The Arizona Daily Star
>> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>> NASA will consult with American Indians before it rockets any
>> more human ashes to the
>> moon, a spokeswoman for the space agency pledged yesterday.
>> The National Aeronautics and Space Administration quickly
>> apologized after the president of the Navajo Nation complained of
>> insensitivity to traditional Navajo religious beliefs.
>> NASA's Lunar Prospector spacecraft blasted off Tuesday and
>> started orbiting the moon
>> Sunday. Inside the 650-pound craft is a 2-inch-long capsule
>> containing an ounce of the
>> cremated remains of renowned planetary scientist Gene Shoemaker
>> of Flagstaff.
>> In a tribute to Shoemaker, his remains are to be the first ever
>> laid to rest on another celestial
>> Navajo President Albert Hale learned of the plan over the weekend
>> as he emerged from the
>> customary four days of seclusion that follows a Blessing Way
>> ``I read this, and I was appalled and upset,'' he said in an
>> interview yesterday. ``The moon
>> is revered and it regulates life cycles, according to Navajo
>> traditions and stories. To send
>> something like that over there is sacrilege.''
>> Traditional Navajos avoid the dead to the point of not mentioning
>> the names of deceased
>> relatives. Some still observe the old custom of abandoning a home
>> in which someone has
>> ``It is one thing to prove, to study, to examine and even for men
>> to walk upon the moon,''
>> Hale said in a statement issued Sunday. ``But it is sacrilege, a
>> gross insensitivity to the
>> beliefs of many Native Americans, to place human remains on the
>> NASA meant no disrespect, said Peggy Wilhide, the agency's
>> director of public affairs.
>> ``None of the scientists on the program were aware that this
>> would be insensitive,'' she said
>> last night in apologizing on behalf of NASA.
>> ``I give my commitment that if we ever discuss doing something
>> like this again, we will
>> consult more widely and we will consult with Native Americans.''
>> She would not rule out another launch of cremated remains, but
>> said none is planned.
>> Hale said he appreciated the agency's apology. But he said even
>> scientists unfamiliar with
>> Navajo beliefs should have known better than to scatter the dead
>> on ``something as sacred as the moon,'' he said.
>> He noted that President Clinton, early in his first term, ordered
>> federal agencies to consult
>> with Indian nations before taking actions that affect tribes.
>> The criticism from the leader of the country's largest Indian
>> tribe comes as Clinton's
>> commission on race relations is to meet in Phoenix today and
>> University of Arizona planetary scientist Carolyn C. Porco
>> conceived the tribute to
>> Shoemaker when she read his obituary and learned he would be
>> cremated. Shoemaker died
>> in a July car wreck.
>> His widow and longtime research companion, Carolyn, watched the
>> launch in Florida last
>> Reached at her Flagstaff home last night, she said she was
>> ``completely astonished'' to hear
>> the space mission disturbed Navajos.
>> ``One reason it would never have entered my mind that they or
>> anyone else would be
>> offended is just knowing Gene's feelings about going into space,
>> and particularly about
>> going to the moon. It's almost a religious thing with him,'' she
>> The Shoemakers are best known as part of the team that discovered
>> Comet Shoemaker-Levy
>> 9, the vast ball of ice that crashed into Jupiter four years ago.
>> But Gene Shoemaker, an
>> astronomer and geologist, also conducted important studies
>> decades earlier of Northern
>> Arizona's Meteor Crater.
>> ``He always said that every crater was a sacred site to him,''
>> Carolyn Shoemaker recalled
>> yesterday. ``I think he felt that same way about the moon because
>> he had studied it so much
>> and had yearned to be there so much. It was just an important
>> part in his life, and he would
>> never have thought about desecrating it.''
>> Her husband's ashes will hit the lunar surface a year from now as
>> the spacecraft's fuel runs
>> The ashes of the dead are not a new issue for the Navajo. Last
>> summer, medicine men
>> warned tribe members to stay away from the San Francisco Peaks
>> north of Flagstaff after
>> they learned the sacred mountains had been defiled by people
>> scattering cremated remains.
>> Navajo holy men arranged purification ceremonies last year to
>> restore the sanctity of the
>> U.S. Forest Service officials later confirmed that people scatter
>> ashes in the peaks even
>> though depositing human remains on federal lands is illegal. They
>> said there was no way to
>> prevent the practice.
>> Those illegal acts not only offend Navajos, but force them to pay
>> for costly ceremonies, Hale
>> Explore American Indian culture at NativeWeb's Resource Center.
>> Also, learn more about
>> the Navajo Nation at its Web site.
Fernando L. Frías Sánchez
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