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Did rogue federal law enforcement officers orchestrate the “Maya Myth-busting” campaign?

Someone pushed the wrong button in a federal law enforcement officer’s personal computer and almost instantaneously the People of One Fire received the names and personal email addresses of all the people, who were the public talking heads and financiers involved behind the scenes in the “Maya Myth Busting in the Mountains” campaign.  

Editorial Opinion

Initially,  the 72 names appeared to be the official email distribution list of the people behind “Maya Myth Busting in the Mountains” during 2012.   However, further investigation revealed that the owner of the computer was sincerely interested in things Native American and innocently interconnected with the people in that network out of this interest, since it was their names that the media repeatedly quotes.

There was one Native American on the email list and he was definitely not involved with trying to prove that Mesoamericans didn’t come to North America.  In fact, he has found several Itza Maya words in his own Choctaw language.

However, when looking at the list, one is immediately struck how thoroughly the descendants of the Southeast’s Muskogean and Uchee Peoples have been locked out of the institutions that officially study our heritage and the news media that reports their orthodoxies.

What do some of Georgia’s most influential archaeologists, some University of Georgia anthropology professors,  officers of the Georgia Trail of Tears Association, Eastern Band of Cherokee officials, two Russian “businessmen” in western North Carolina, two major drug dealers with Native American artifact collections,   USFS  law enforcement officers and a wealthy Atlanta area attorney, who made his millions representing the Dixie Mafia,  have in common?  They were all on that email distribution list accidentally sent to the People of One Fire.  There were no Creeks, Yuchis, Shawnees or Chickasaws, whose tribal labels define the majority of Native American affiliations in the state of Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Few of the generally anonymous email addresses were from business or institutional computer networks.  We would have had no clue, who they were, except their names were inserted in front of the addresses.   It is quite interesting what words the archaeologists and USFS bureaucrats used as monikers, when they wanted to be anonymous.

This is a serious problem.  People, who are not of Muskogean ancestry are dictating what the public knows about our rich cultural heritage.   They control what the museums display.  They control what the TV stations and newspapers say.   As we saw in 2012, they will say and do anything to maintain this control, apparently viewing Native American culture as their personal political domain.   Again as we saw in 2012,  they also do not hesitate to make inappropriate use of rogue law enforcement officers in order to maintain their control.

A little history on the matter

View of Track Rock Gap from the north

View of Track Rock Gap from the north. Buzzard’s Roost, the location of the Track Rock ruins, is the promontory in the right side of Arkaquah. Arkaquah Mountain is actually a collapsed caldera volcano and contains dormant fumaroles.

From the beginning, public opposition to the publicity about the Track Rock terrace complex consisted of a tiny minority of Georgia and Florida archaeologists writing scathing letters to the Examiner, stating that they knew for a fact that no Mayas ever immigrated to North America.  None of these archaeologists had an alternative explanations for the stone ruins and only two had even seen the Track Rock Complex. They certainly never visited an Itza terrace complex in Central America.

I personally have a strong suspicion that the University of Georgia professors involved didn’t even know who the Itza Mayas were.  Their letters and public statements reflected a profound ignorance of the cultural diversity of the Mayas.  They associated the finely restored ruins of mega-cities that they visited on their summer vacations, with all things Maya.  Well, the chief archaeologist at Track Rock Gap admitted that he had never even been in Mexico.

The professors’ letters were shot down by hundreds of letters from Native Americans, who wrote that they knew for a fact that some of their ancestors WERE Mayas.

One mysterious event happened during that period.  My December 21, 2011 Examiner article,  describing the archaeological zone, had garnered over a million views and 249,000 Facebook likes in four weeks.  I got up one morning in early February to discover that all the Facebook likes and the letters written by Dixie archaeologists had been selectively erased by a VERY sophisticated hacker – like someone using military quality surveillance and intervention electronics.

The anti-Maya campaign was kicked off at the March meeting of the Georgia Trail of Tears Association. Georgia archaeologist, Jim Langford, opened up with the articulate statement,  “This Mayas thing is a bunch of crap!”    There was no indication that Langford had ever actually seen the stone ruins at Track Rock at that time.  It is absolutely certain that he has no credentials in Mesoamerican architecture.  His speech was posted on the web by the Trail of Tears Association, without any effort to get opinions from Creeks, Seminoles and Uchees in the Southeast.  The comments by Eastern Band of Cherokees bureaucrats in North Carolina, which endorsed Langford’s statements, however, were  posted.

I was not invited to provide an alternative viewpoint to Langford’s, even though I am Native American and he is not.  In fact, I  was a past officer of the organization and was acting President in 2006.  While a TOTA officer I tried to implement programs more related to the majority of Georgia’s Native Americans, who are of Creek heritage.  Prior to that, the Georgia TOTA had essentially been a Cherokee genealogical society, where people who were 128th or less Native American were endeavoring to prove their descent from famous Cherokee chiefs, who were from 1/4th to 1/16th Cherokee.  I resigned from office after three months in a row, black SUV’s, driven by men dressed in black, tried to force my car off of mountain roads on the way to TOTA meetings.  I was replaced by a contract employee of the Eastern Band of Cherokees in North Carolina.

By the time of the TOTA meeting,  a 15 minute segment for the Travel Channel had been filmed at Track Rock with no problems, or even onlookers. It was used on a program about haunted places that tourists can visit.  However, six networks had expressed interest in filming documentaries at the ruins.  The three that actually applied for filming permits, the History Channel, National GEO and PBS were denied permits, retroactively in mid-April.

In mid-May, just before the California Sierra Club planned a hike up the ruins,  US Forest Service employees cut down over 100 trees over the access trail leading to the stone terraces.  Simultaneously, a team of archaeologists began a speaking tour of Atlanta civic clubs to attack the Mayas in Georgia “thing”.   Their talks were heavily publicized in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, even though normally, the AJC does not even mention local civic meetings, because it wants to appear “sofisteekated.”

Even though the premier of America Unearthed was filmed entirely in Georgia and Mexico, any information about the show was blacked out in the Georgia news media.  Even people living in the six counties where it was filmed did not know of the forthcoming international publicity.  Normally, TV newscasts and newspapers heavily publicize any TV program filmed in Georgia.  Georgia officials  missed out on millions of dollars of tourism income as a result of pretending that the History Channel had not spent two weeks filming Native American archaeological sites throughout the state.

Ah-h yes . . . the US Forest Service

Throughout the time I was camping in western North Carolina in 2010, I was harassed non-stop by all  levels of law enforcement officers,  particularly in the US Forest Service and something called, “the United States Police” whatever that is.  At the forefront, was a strange USFS Law Enforcement Ranger, who wore cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and always had teenage boys in the front seat of his patrol car.   Hm-m-m-m.   I have no criminal record and a perfect driving record.  I kept my hair short and have never used illegal drugs.

I really had no conflicts with any civilians in North Carolina.   Except when I tried to attend their churches, they were most hospitable to me.  Even though I wore a coat and tie, the church folks generally shunned me.   However, when the North Carolina mountain folks found out that I had just started writing for the Examiner, several came to me, begging that I expose the corruption in the US Forest Service and TVA facilities in western North Carolina.

The only thing I wrote about, however, was the deplorable situation of homeless veterans, living in the national forests.  The situation of the homeless vets back in 2010 is explained below in the commentary.

At that point, the North Carolina State Police, complete with bullet proof vests and machine guns, raided the video games parlor, where I sent out articles to the Examiner.   Feeling very silly because of the snafu,  their captain admitted that the raid was based on a tip from “someone”  that I was running a covert architecture office, disquised by young folks playing video games.  The previous year I had let my NC architecture license expire, but kept my Georgia license. 

What architecture work?  There was almost no construction in the Southeast.  That is why I was homeless.  Afterward,  I checked with the Georgia licensing folks and learned that it would have been quite legal for me to work on projects in Georgia, while camping in North Carolina.  Well, there was no work to be had, anyway.

Apparently,  the series of Examiner articles involving interviews with homeless vets in the national forests gave the rogue federal cops a brilliant idea.  After five months of not being able to charge me with a crime, US Forest Service and other federal law enforcement officers, based in Asheville,  set up remote video cameras around my camp site in the Fires Creek area of Cherokee County, NC.

Three elderly Viet Nam veterans, who had been arrested for drinking beer in the national forest, were offered their freedom, if they got me to drink alcoholic beverages or smoke marijuana.  They set up camp next to mine.   I declined their offers of beer, booz and pot.   The Viet Nam vets got stoned and spilled the beans to me.  They even showed where the cameras were.  I later had a grand time in the Examiner, exposing rogue federal cops, behaving badly.

A view of the camp site at Fires Creek. I later learned that Olympic Games bomber, Eric Rudolph, was living in a house near the campground, when captured in nearby Murphy in 2003.

A view of the camp site at Fires Creek. I later learned that Olympic Games bomber, Eric Rudolph, was living in a house near the campground, when captured in nearby Murphy in 2003.

In 2012 and 2013, the same rogue federal cops behind the Fires Creek fiasco,  embarked on a disinformation campaign in North Georgia.  They spread a wide range false rumors among the who’s who of the region . . .  the funniest being that the “pro-Maya” Marxists wanted to take all that hard earned drug money away from the powers that be.

Rogue cops jest can’t get no respect these days.

I have noticed consistent traits among the rogue law enforcement officers, who make life ten times as hard for the dedicated public servants in their respective agencies.  They are veterans, but not officers.   They carry deep-seated feelings of inadequacy, aka a sense of powerlessness.   As if they were still in Iraq,  it matters not whether a selected victim is a criminal, only that their side always wins.

If they had been Naval officers, being trained for independent command,  they would have been taught that the surest way to lose a guerilla war is to be driven by an obsession to win at all costs – human decency and the law be damned.  Sooner or later, the chickens will come home to roost.  They just did this past Monday.

PS – The photo above was taken by the US Forest Service on the Wednesday before the premier of “America Unearthed, the Mayas in Georgia. ”  It was part of a multi-thousand dollar waste of tax payers money on a series of publicity stunts.  For obvious reasons, those USFS and tribal bureaucrats did not expend the energy required to climb up Buzzard’s Roost Mountain and actually see the stone ruins.  However, after several sumptuous meals provided by the USFS that week, they became experts on the subject.

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.


  1. I was asked about the homeless veterans. Although experienced in combat, none I met had ever experienced living in the wild without trucks and helicopters to bring them food and supplies regularly. Those who had fought in Iraq had never even slept in a tent. They were totally unprepared for living in a wilderness, where it can get extremely cold in the winter. A majority were homeless because they couldn’t make child support payments or afford a lawyer after being laid off from jobs. Southern judges typically take away the drivers license of delinquent child support payers, who can’t afford an attorney, and throw them in jail. Without a car and now with a jail record, it became impossible for the men to find work in a recessionary economy, which then resulted in even longer jail terms. They were soon evicted from their apartments or homes – if not earlier. The only way to escape the endless round of jail terms was to escape to the national forests. However, all had lost their jobs because of the recession. These men were not slouchers, just defecated on by our society after putting their lives on table for their country. I didn’t see ANY alcoholics or druggies. Those sorts of people could not have survived the Great Smoky Mountains in the winter.

    Their mothers and wives had always cooked for them. Their field rations in Iraq were packaged meals. They did not know which plants were edible or how to catch fish in the winter. They were used to officers telling them what to do and where to go. They now were in a situation, in which they had to make all the survival decision.

    My situation was different because in “semi-military” tasks after college, I had either backpacked alone across the mountains of Chiapas and Guatemala or cross-country skied across the frozen landscape of Lappland. I knew how to survive alone in hostile conditions, while traveling lightly.


    The only way we’re ever going to get any possible conclusions is for an extensive excavation of Track Rock. Terrace building is spread across many ancient cultures Celts, Greeks, Phoenicians, and Mayan. It’s even possible that what is under Track Rock is much older. I’d say at the very least it’s Archiac period. It’s hard to believe the mounds themselves haven’t been thoroughly studied, where there’s clearly foundational stonework and possibly what looks like a fallen monolith on one. There is no doubt of a wide spanning serpent cult/religion that you’d have to assume on the basis of geospatial and astroarcheology is interconnected. But attempts to shut off any dialog is indeed a worrisome problem…


      The Row wall at Track Rock should be cleared and studied. Even in it’s current state of overgrowth you tell some large stones were used. Resembling a Cyclopean influence…


        Excavation is a double edged sword. For all the possible answers we could get, it would no longer be an isolated retreat for those that just like to soak up its magic as a spiritual retreat. Does it ultimately matter who built it as opposed to our own personal experience with it that would be vastly changed into a tourist meca? Added parking lots and traffic. Or maybe the worst case scenario of the area being shut off entirely to anyone outside archeological academia for an indefinite period. The first time I went there I was having trouble finding the vent trail, which the entrance had been attempted to be blocked by foliage, and was on the Arksquah trail. I had the map you had created and asked a group of hikers who were from Blairsville and had grew up in the area if they knew where the ruins were. They had no idea such a place even existed…

    • Scott,

      I am not sure that Track Rock is much older than around 800 AD, BUT we are documenting extremely old town sites in the northeastern and northern edges of Metro Atlanta that have multiple cultural occupations. Some may go back 3,000 years or more. Also, the Nodoroc Mud Volcano in NE Metro Atlanta contained a quarried stone, triangular temple and carved stone altar. The only other known location where such architecture existed was on the island of Cyprus during the Bronze Age!


    It is a house of cards. The three most important US Supreme Court cases in all of Federal American Indian Law hinge on upholding the visage of primitivism regarding our systems of land tenure and the wealth and productivity of our ancestors. Cherokee cases: Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) and Worcester v. Georgia (1832). Evidence of permanent structures is evidence of civilization. Bad for the mining industry because settlements mean laws and commerce that should be respected in International Law. Then again, maybe the tribal members you mentioned are in on it. Have you ever watched Casino Jack the United States of Money?

    Ugh, it is sheer ignorance to even compare traditional philosophical systems with Marxism, who subscribed to dualism and dead matter. Marx work is premised on an anthrocentric Aristotelian biological heirarchy; Greek-Macedonian teachings that do not hold up to modern scientific inquiry or logic when the underlying assumptions are examined. All Marx did was write in answer to Adam Smith’s work An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Rah! Rah! Labor! Instead of making capital the prominent element, he was claiming it was labor. Dumb rumor but people don’t question because they are stuck in Plato’s cave so they can’t think past their brain-stem and limbic systems. This is a pretty good parable:

    • I once had an economics professor in graduate school, who was fond of saying that “In a perfect world there would be no labor costs, just profits to be shared by management and the stockholders.” That system was practiced in the Southeast for two centuries. It is called slavery.


    Extremely interesting. Of course the Appalachians were once part of the Atlas mountain chain and you even have a flood myth related to a particular geographical region (where they made tracks). It’s been pretty well speculated that the whole of the Southern Appaclachians suffered no glacial freezing during the last ice age. Is it possible the whole migration theory about how our continent was settled or came to be is completely erroneous? At the Topper site along the Savannah River in South Carolina they have found stone tools predating Clovis, which throws yet another wrench in the ever growing absurdity of hunter and gather culture related to our ancient history…



      I’ve actually found a low lying, fieldstone wall running about 400 feet on the back of my neighbors property in Catawba, SC that plateaus on one side.

      • A single wall may well be a structure from the Colonial Period or Early Federal Period. There was a stone wall along most of the length of the wagon road leading into my Colonial Period farm in the Shenandoah Valley. The terrace complexes have multiple terraces with stone retaining walls, plus cairns, plazas and water retention ponds. The only way to determine the age of the wall for certain is to radiocarbon date charcoal or decayed wood from deep within the core of the wall.


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