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Everett Reuss Not Found...keep your eyes out for him?

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by kugaths, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. kugaths

    kugaths Guest

    I know there was some interesting discussion on the canyons group earlier this spring regarding Everett Reuss...sorry if this is old news:

    http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_13613067

    Utah bones aren't those of wandering poet Everett Ruess after all By Tom McGhee The Denver Post POSTED: 10/22/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT

    New DNA tests contradict findings by a University of Colorado forensic team that bones discovered in the Utah desert belonged to a wandering poet who disappeared in 1934.

    The bleached bones believed to be those of Everett Ruess were found tucked behind a saddle in a canyon-wall crevice near the Four Corners area. A sheepherder last saw Ruess, a poet, painter, writer and thinker, close to where the Escalante River emptied into the Colorado.

    The grandson of a Navajo who had told of burying the body of a man he had seen clubbed to death near a desolate ridge searched for and found the remains.

    CU anthropology professor Dennis Van Gerven and a doctoral student exhumed the remains, photographed facial bones and superimposed them over pictures of Ruess. They found that a match.

    Ken Krauter, a CU biology professor, directed the extraction of DNA from a leg bone. Krauter concluded that it matched DNA taken from the children of Waldo Ruess, Everett's brother.

    He announced his conclusion this spring.

    But Utah's state archaeologist and others soon raised questions about the findings. The archaeologist said Ruess' surviving dental records don't match the condition or characteristics of the teeth on a lower jaw bone that was found among the remains. The worn teeth also suggest a strictly American Indian diet.

    "It was important that we be certain. It was always the family's desire not to dispose of the wrong remains," said Brian Ruess, 44, a nephew of Everett Ruess.

    The family contacted the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, and the lab performed an additional round of DNA analysis.

    The lab determined that the remains were not related to Ruess' closest living relatives. The CU researchers were unable to duplicate their original results, CU's Krauter said.

    "We made a mistake," he said. "I'm happy that we have what I believe to be a strong conclusion. We agree with their result. It shows the value of getting multiple views on things."

    The family is returning the bones and artifacts found with them to the Navajo Nation archaeologist for disposal.

    "It is somewhat disappointing. It is kind of an emotional roller coaster," Brian Ruess said. "I know my father would have liked him to be found."
  2. restrac2000

    restrac2000 Guest

    Wow, that is an about face for CU. I knew the Army's team had conflicting findings but I wasn't aware that CU had retracted its very confident assessment. Articles and blogs up till that had only documented a scientist very secure in his original findings (something along the lines that results from 600,000 base pairs could never be wrong).

    Hurrah for CUs acknowledgment of a mistake, a behavior that is not easy in the sciences. Really goes to show that one must be skeptical until replicate results from multiple sources are verified.(ie, true peer review).

    I for one am happy that they have not found the remains. The desert needs its mysteries and legends, unsolved.

    Phillip

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "kugaths" <kugaths@...> wrote:
    I know there was some interesting discussion on the canyons group earlier this spring regarding Everett Reuss...sorry if this is old news:
    http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_13613067
    > Utah bones aren't those of wandering poet Everett Ruess after all > By Tom McGhee > The Denver Post > POSTED: 10/22/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT
    New DNA tests contradict findings by a University of Colorado forensic team that bones discovered in the Utah desert belonged to a wandering poet who disappeared in 1934.
    The bleached bones believed to be those of Everett Ruess were found tucked behind a saddle in a canyon-wall crevice near the Four Corners area. A sheepherder last saw Ruess, a poet, painter, writer and thinker, close to where the Escalante River emptied into the Colorado.
    The grandson of a Navajo who had told of burying the body of a man he had seen clubbed to death near a desolate ridge searched for and found the remains.
    CU anthropology professor Dennis Van Gerven and a doctoral student exhumed the remains, photographed facial bones and superimposed them over pictures of Ruess. They found that a match.
    Ken Krauter, a CU biology professor, directed the extraction of DNA from a leg bone. Krauter concluded that it matched DNA taken from the children of Waldo Ruess, Everett's brother.
    He announced his conclusion this spring.
    But Utah's state archaeologist and others soon raised questions about the findings. The archaeologist said Ruess' surviving dental records don't match the condition or characteristics of the teeth on a lower jaw bone that was found among the remains. The worn teeth also suggest a strictly American Indian diet.
    "It was important that we be certain. It was always the family's desire not to dispose of the wrong remains," said Brian Ruess, 44, a nephew of Everett Ruess.
    The family contacted the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, and the lab performed an additional round of DNA analysis.
    The lab determined that the remains were not related to Ruess' closest living relatives. The CU researchers were unable to duplicate their original results, CU's Krauter said.
    "We made a mistake," he said. "I'm happy that we have what I believe to be a strong conclusion. We agree with their result. It shows the value of getting multiple views on things."
    The family is returning the bones and artifacts found with them to the Navajo Nation archaeologist for disposal.
    "It is somewhat disappointing. It is kind of an emotional roller coaster," Brian Ruess said. "I know my father would have liked him to be found." >
  3. richard berk

    richard berk Guest


    I for one am happy that they have not found the remains. The desert needs its mysteries and legends, unsolved.
    Phillip

    I agree. Though I found the news exciting at first that he had been found I did find it a little disappointing after further thought.

    Long live Everett Reuss - and the mystery.

    Rich
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