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Real Life Is Stranger Than Fiction . . . Parte Trois

Real Life Is Stranger Than Fiction . . . Parte Trois


Back in the spring of 2015,  after finding the original copies of all the Creek Migration Legends that had been lost for 285 years, I excitedly contacted three institutions . . . the Muscogee-Creek National Council,  the Muscogee-Creek Division of the Anthropology Department at the University of Oklahoma and the American Indian Resource Center at William and Mary College . . . because a Georgia Creek, Dr. Buck Woodard, worked there.

  • David Yahoola, Speaker of the National Council, immediately emailed a message that thanked me for my diligent work and asked for a translation of the speech given by Chikili to the leaders of Savannah


  • William and Mary College responded that Buck Woodard no longer taught there, but the message would be forwarded to an anthropology professor, who would be replacing him.  A few days later, an anthropology professor at the University of Virginia sent me a brief cynical email, informing me that the Creek Migration Legend had been widely available for over a century.  He ordered me to cease spreading false information on the web and not to concern myself with things that I was not qualified to discuss.


  • About that same time, I also received a brief email from a professor, who taught the Muskogee language at the University of Oklahoma.  It only stated . . . ” Who did this translation?  It is all wrong. Someone added many fake sections in the front and inside the real Creek Migration Legend. You whites should stop trying to change our history.”

I immediately responded that the translation was written on June 7, 1735. The speaker was Principal Chief Chikili and that Princess Kvsaponvkesa (aka Mary Musgrove) was the translator.   I added that it was highly probable that some of my Creek ancestors were in the audience attending the speech, since they were leaders of the Wind Clan in nearby Palachicola.

The professor never wrote me back.

Why Creek land surveyors were so durn good at what they did

I had dinner last night with a gentleman from Pennsylvania, who is an expert on Bronze Age navigation and calendars.   One of the first questions I asked him was about the appearance of many Bronze Age ships, both in northern Georgia and in Northwest Europe.  The ships often show a super-sized man wearing a horned helmet that Scandinavian scholars say represents the god Sirius navigating the ship. 

One of the other questions I asked him was about the Creek land surveying technology.  During the 1700s, it was much more accurate than the system used by British surveyors.  William Bartram observed them working in Northeast Georgia, but did not understand how their equipment functioned.   All I had been able to discern was that it was based on triangulation and trigonometry . . . plus, was able to set precise locations over traverse lines, hundreds of miles long.

Actually, Don had the same answer for both questions.   It was obvious that Creek surveyors used the astronomy developed by ancient ship navigators to measure long distances, not measuring tapes.    The key celestial elements used by these navigators were (1) a right triangle formed by Orion’s Belt,  Sirius, Rigel and Betelgeuse, (2) the location within the heavens of Polaris, Little Dipper and Big Dipper and (3) the Horns of Venus.  With this information, either navigators or surveyors could accurately calculate their latitude and longitude, anywhere on earth.  In other words,  the night time sky was their GPS unit.   The perfect right triangle, formed by Sirius, Rigel and Betelgeuse could then be transferred to the ground by the surveyors.    Polaris determined true north, while both the Horns of Venus and the shadows on the moon always point toward the location of the sun at any time of night.  Calculating the changing angle provided information on the time at night and latitude  Don believes that humans therefore knew that the Earth was a sphere as early as the Ice Age.

After dinner, we went outside the restaurant in Downtown Dahlonega to look at the stars.  I immediately recognized the constellations of Orion, Orion’s Belt, Canis Major and Leo as a common arrangement of dots and circles on Georgia petroglyphs.

So . . . evidently the Uchee brought this sophisticated surveying and navigation technology with them from Bronze Age Europe.   The Uchee priests must have been world class astronomers.   We both agreed that the men and women living on top of the tallest mounds in the Southeast were NOT authoritarian rulers as assumed by anthropologists, but rather master astronomers.


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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 Comment


    Impressive…ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian text all reference the same star system; the ancients knew more about creation; the after life; and the interconnect between the “heavens” and the earth than our closed, biased, prejudiced minds….great work.


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