Greetings from Panama
Pat Simiskey has been looking for Book of Mormon sites in Panama for 10 years. In order to do any archaeology in Panama you must have a registered archaeologist with you. As such Pat has been paying for not only the archaeologist, but some laborers every time he goes down to do research. He has done more to try and nail down where Cumorah physically is than anyone else Iím aware of. The Panamanian topography is far from simple, we still have a long way to go. The one hill I was interested in, as shown on some maps but not others, didnít exist. For me, it was back to the drawing board. I was delighted that Pat allowed me to join his expedition.
The highlight of the trip was a fly-over of some sites of interest.
These are some of the many islands just north of the Panama mainland. In his 1934 book, The White Indians of Darien, Richard Marsh describes his multiple year search. No one believed that white Indians existed, but Marsh found over 5,000 living in this area. Apparently 2 native parents at times would produce blond-haired, blue-eyed children. Marsh took them to the Smithsonian, and the best scientists of the day couldnít postulate what they were (or where they came from). While itís true that the Spanish were in the area, Spain was everywhere in the New World, and I have not seen any other reports of blond-haired, blue-eyed Indian children except in Darien and the Brazilian jungles (just south of Colombia).
So where did the white Indians of Darien come from? Recall that after Christ came to America, all race and divisions of the people disappeared. With no race, the amount of intermarriage between the various genetic lines must have been enormous. Blond hair and blue eyes are recessive genes (both parents must contribute the right combinations of genes before that trait is manifest in the children). Therefore, a low percentage of recessive gene (blond hair, blue eyes) children would be expected.
There is nothing like being on the ground trying to piece the puzzle together to open our eyes, and show us how much more we have yet to learn. My hat goes off to Pat and his efforts. He showed me that my own thoughts on Cumorahís location badly needed revision.
Doug Kiester, August 2009
P.S. Note that blond haired, blue eyed are not a particularly Jewish traits.
Meldrumís Jewish gene trait in a pocket of Indians just north of the Great Lakes could possibly be traced to French fur trappers in the area.
Looking at these houses (in the above photos), I can see why they protected and valued every tree. With that kind of population density, how much land would it take to house the Book of Mormon story?
Panama means many fish. (Kind of goes along with Darien being Bountiful.)
(Pat Simiskey on the left and me on the right)