The Return

Send to Kindle


My journey from the Netherlands was a long and arduous one. A process that began on what seemed like a whim well over three months ago and is still not yet complete. In retrospect though, it had actually began many long years ago in the deserts of Arizona. A journey that has, in fact, taken me full circle with a string of events that are continuing to unfold and play themselves out. A destiny of sorts that has now placed me in the high desert of New Mexico, known as the Four Corners Region of the Untied States.

As my career came to a close and I neared retirement, so did my desire to not do any more globe trotting. When asked by my IBM colleagues in Amsterdam—where I had been living comfortably for the last 5 years—where I  was planning to retire, my response was always “In Spain, where else?”  I knew without a doubt that I’d be living in Spain when I retired since a child, so much so I had been to several times and chosen the beach community of Sitges (on the Mediterranean coast just south of Barcelona), with Seville as another possible location. I wanted somewhere that the climate is warm and snow is non-existent, having lived many years in areas of ice and snow. I began to take notice and pay attention to all the ailments that accompany aging, thus making Spain the logical choice in Europe.

One evening when speaking my friend Kurt on Skype regarding his plans to move to New Mexico, he on a whim invited me to share an unknown dwelling in an unknown city there. At first I thought he’d gone bananas…but as he and I talked it made sense. I had always loved living in Europe and planned to grow old there (or at least older). But instinctively I replied, “Why not? It sounds like a great idea, count me in”

Then a horrible thought came to mind that I had just tossed all my plans for retirement in sunny Spain out the window…

What the hell did I just do? But for the coming days we spoke about possible locations in New Mexico to live—the very last place on the planet I would have ever considered for retirement would have been New Mexico! But here I am…in an old adobe house in the small community of La Puebla, just outside Española. In a twist of events that was contrary to what might have been, unexpectedly translates to mean “Little Spain.”

Yes, we considered Taos and Santa Fe until we realized how expensive these two cities have become. Taos known as a skiers haven and Santa Fe had become a miniature copy of the San Francisco aristocracy. Thus we chose Española. As it turns out Española that was settled in 1540 as a trading post with the many pueblos north of Santa Fe and is the oldest European capital established in the New World by the Spain in 1598.  Was this ‘fate’ or ‘synchronicity’ at work? Who knows, but definitely redefined irony for me!

View from La Tienda

The entire area around Española has three identifiable cultures in a region that on the surface seems to have merged themselves into a single community, but ONLY superficially. Make no mistake, they are each distinct and separate cultures in their own right—The Tewa (Native Americans Pueblos, nine in our region), Hispanic, and of course white Anglo-Saxon.

The Tewa cultures are a blend of Native Americans that have populated the northern Rio Grande valley since before the thirteenth century. Each community of the various pueblo communities relied farming the desert and hunting for their existence in this harsh territory, and were later divided into identifiable reservations (referred to now as pueblos) with specific boundaries that were established by white man’s government.Their cultures are complex, yet each have their own beliefs, ceremonies and dances that often overlap. Yet the all share a great appreciation for the nature around them, which their art reflects.The largest four of the nineteen existing Tewa pueblos consist of the Ohkay OwingehPojoaqueSanta Clara and San Ildefonso pueblos, and are within a few miles of Española.Add to that the Spanish influence when in 1540, Spanish conquistadors entered the area having expanded their search for gold northward from Mexico (having already plundered the Mayan and the Aztec people) they reached the northern Rio Grande valley in 1540. But it wasn’t until 1598 that an effort was made by Spain to bring Spanish settlers into the area establishing the village of Española, Spain’s New World capital and oldest established city in what is now the continental United States.











Why do I mention these…well it’s because that’s what draws both Kirk and me to this region—the forgotten ancients, the Anasazi, as we ask. “What was their connection to the other ancients around the world?”

While planning the Spirits, Shadows and Secrets International Symposium, Philip Coppens (Ancient Aliens) and I had become friends and would often chat about the ancients and the ancient alien theory. I had related to Philip some of the many experiences I had as a young man on the Hopi Reservation in Northern Arizona with my best friend Raymond, who also happened to be Hopi, and through him I was introduced to their culture.

I loved the period of time I spent on the Hopi Reservation and hold it all dear to my heart. The people, the legends, the history, the mythology, the religion, and their land and that I often felt they too could have been influenced by ETs. Philip had asked me why I written about it, then realized it was because even though I have not ruled out the Ancient Alien theory, that had been brought to light by his popular television series, and other media or personalities, I felt that their simply wasn’t enough evidence on the ancient Anasazi, all of which had either been forgotten or unknown, as not much information is accurately known of the Anasazi, and in my opinion much of it suposition. Yes I’ve read a lot of books about the Anasazi, but they’ve all been written by white men claiming to know the what happened, and often compare the Anasazi to the Hopi. I don’t rule that out at all, but have my doubts about much of the research done by many of the published academics. Mind you not all of them, but was left feeling as if much of their thesis was left to supposition with little or no irrefutable evidence to back up their theory.

Philip then encouraged me to follow my dream and investigate these mysterious ancients and what I believe are the remnants of their people…all the pueblos of the Four Corners area, including the larger nations like the Navajo, Hopi, Apache  Zuni, and the Arapaho. Ironically, three months later… here I am . Ready to do my own research and investigate these forgotten ancients…(and now I often find myself talking to Philip who passed a month after this conversation…as I really miss our long late night talks). Is this just another synchronous event that put me here?

Back to my story…

Raymond’s grandfather and an elder of the Hopi often called me ‘Kachada,’ a name that I simply understood to be a derogatory version of ‘white man.’ But once Raymond’s family and other tribal members got to know me over the years, they began to call me a ‘Pahana’ (pronounced like Bahana) that translates to mean a “Lost White Brother” of the Hopi. I then felt accepted…but it took a long time to get to that point.

Grandfather would often tell both Raymond and I stories as we sat around the evening campfire, of the Hopi and ancient ones. Of the stories I remember well, and paid particular attention, was the one he told me of the Pahana, the Elder Hopi Brothers that left on a long journey to the east around the time the Hopi entered into the Fourth World, at the beginning of the great Hopi migration. As of yet, the Elder Hopi Brothers have not returned to the new land of the Hopi. Ask any Hopi, and they all know the tale, but may even tell you what they think…if they truly trust you. What I was told was that the Pahana will soon return again and when he does these Pahana’s will trigger an event in which all the wicked must, and will be, destroyed before the Hopi can begin the next new Age of Peace into the Fifth World.

When the Pahana comes from the East, the Hopi believe he will be bringing with him a missing section of a sacred Hopi stone, a possession that belongs to the Fire Clan of the Hopi Nation. When he appears, he will be carrying the missing stone and will be dressed all in red. A reason the Hopi people upon their dearth are traditionally buried facing east, the direction from which they believe the Pahana will arrive.

Many ancient North and South American cultures, legends abound of the Pahana and all seem somehow intimately connected. The closest being the Aztec story of Quetzalcoatland and the Hopi representation of Awanyu, the horned or plumed serpent, present in much of the Tewa, Hopi, Navajo and other Pueblo’s art, and bears a striking resemblance to figures of Quetzacoatl, the feathered serpent of the Aztecs in Mexico.

The Hopi knew called him Palutukon (water serpent). In Zuni mythology he is known as Kolowisi (the Great Horned Serpent), a guardian of all springs and streams in the desert. Throughout the Galisteo Basin south of Santa Fe, there are beautiful hieroglyphs that depict this deity on stones, cliffs and arroyos (dry river beds) and are plentiful wherever there is a Tewa puenlo. Some have been dated back to be between A.D. 1250 and 1692. To the Tewa pueblos, this deity is also known as Awanyu.

Early in the 16th century, the Aztecs and later the Hopi, believed that the coming of the Spanish conquistadors signaled the return of the lost white Pahana prophet. But unlike the Aztecs whose civilization was plundered and destroyed by the Spaniards, the Hopi weren’t convinced. Thus upon the first contact with the Spanish, the Hopi put them through a series of difficult tests to better determine if these visitors were in fact their Lost White Brothers (Pahana), which the Spanish failed miserably.

It was shortly after the Spaniards had arrived that the Hopi realized they were not the Pahana, for they had destroyed one of  Hopi villages in search of riches. When the Spanish arrived at another village, Awatovi, the Hopi drew a line of cornmeal as a warning to the Spanish not to enter the village, and it went ignored. Although many of the Hopi wanted to fight the foreign invaders, they being a peaceful people decided to try a different approach hoping the Spanish would leave. This was taken from Spanish accounts reporting to the King of Spain, that yes there was a short skirmish at Awatovi, but the Hopi quickly capitulated when the Spanish ignored the cornmeal line drawn by the Hopis of that village.

The Spanish commander Tovar, ordered his men to the village of Oraibi. Before the Spaniards arrived, the clan chiefs at Tawtoma had drawn four lines of sacred cornmeal around the village as prescribed by the Hopi prophecy. Then upon the arrival of Tovar and his men, The Bear Clan leader, standing inside the barrier of cornmeal extended his hands, palm up, to Tovar. For they knew if he was indeed the true Pahana, they would reply appropriately to his gesture of the Hopi Nakwách (the Symbol of Brotherhood). Not knowing what the chieftain leader wanted, Tovar automatically assumed he was seeking a gift and ordered one of his men to drop an offering into the Bear chief’s open hands. It was then that all the Hopi chieftains knew they were not the true Pahana, for they did not know of the ancient agreement made between their ancient ancestors at the time they were separated to go eastward.

Nevertheless, the Hopi opened the way for the Spaniards to enter Oraibi, where they were escorted to a feast and quartered. Tovar later met with the all the chiefs of Tawtoma and reached an agreement. The two peoples agreed to correct the each other’s laws and faults before they could live side by side and share all their riches, including land and join the white man’s religion in hopes that it would establish a truth of life as a single spirit of universal brotherhood. The Spaniards, not understanding the agreement, and having found no riches of gold, soon departed peacefully.

During my time on the Hopi reservation, I had heard of the Sacred Hopi Tablets, tradition states that these stones to have been imparted to the Hopi by various deities (Kachinas), but it must be also understood that like all mythology and legend, the Hopi are no different, as accounts may differ between the clans of the Hopi and embellishment added by the story teller. Thus of the related versions I had heard none mentioned any particulars to me of when exactly the tablets had been given, nor in what way.

Anasazi Stone Tablets discovered in the Mesa Verde Mug House

Anasazi Stone Tablets discovered in the Mesa Verde Mug House

What can be considered important information is what is believed to be in the stone tablets possessed by the Fire Clan, and how it relates to the return of the Pahana. One version states that an elder of the Fire Clan was worried that his people would not recognize the Pahana when they returned from the east, and thus etched several designs including one of a human figure onto the stone. When he was done, he broke off a section of the stone, including the figure’s head to give to the Pahana. He was then instructed to bring the sacred stone tablets when they returned. This way the Hopi could not be easily deceived by a witch or sorcerer. The figure on the stone is said to have an Indian face of black, white and grey with black feathers, yet is not etched into the stone, but looks more like part of the stone.

Another story holds that there were three other sacred tablets given to the Hopi Bear Clan by their patron deity Söqömhonaw (Raymond’s grandfather belonged to this Bear Clan and related most of the legends, myths and history of the Hopi to me), that essentially constituted a divine title to the lands where the Hopi had settled after the migrations had completed and the people had settled.

The third design of this legend speaks of an an etched design into the stone that includes the sun, moon, stars, clouds, etc. on one side, with six human figures on the flip side. In my research for this article I uncovered information that a letter had been sent to the Hopi by Harry S. Truman, the then the President of the United States in 1949 that declared that “Hopi the Stone Tablets, upon which are written the boundaries of the Hopi Empire, are still in the hands of the Chiefs of Oraibi and Hotevilla pueblos as specified and unchanged…”

It’s been many years since I’d spent any time on the Hopi Reservation, not do I now know anyone there, as Raymond a senior in high school had passed away in 1970 of congentative heart failure on Thanksgiving day while I was attending the University of Arizona. What he and I shared with grandfather, and the experiences and teachings I received from both of them about the Hopi have guided my career over the many years I have traveled the globe for my work.

I believe the Hopi to be one of the oldest North American tribes, if not the oldest, and has a direct connection as to what happened to the ancient Anasazi’s. For that reason, I like Kurt, was drawn to this region to investigate, research and write about whatever we discover, nor I have wasted any time in the Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties of New Mexico to befriend the local pueblos with whom I have already made friends.

On Mother’s Day I was even invited to the San Idefonso pueblo by one of the tribal members, along with my new Hopi friend and artist, Virgil Long and his lovely Navajo wife Sandy to witness several of their sacred dances performed by all the women of the pueblo. After the ceremony we were invited to the home of one of the elders of the pueblo to join them for their Mother’s Day feast. It certainly brought back some of the wonderful memories I had enjoyed with the Hopi and reinforced the yet unknown reason(s) why I have ended up here in the Desert Highlands of New Mexico.

Whatever it might be, we both feel destiny put us here. I hope are discoveries in the four corners of the United States will help shed light on the burning question as to what happened to the Anasazi? Although I believe in coincidence I’ve never really had one happen. Everything happens for a reason, and the synchronicity of events that have occurred to get me here and what has transpired while I’ve been here, is fodder for yet another blog. But for now, let’s just say I know I’m where I was meant to be!

Perhaps I may even find an Ancient Alien connection not yet realized that will link these ancients to the other great civilizations of the world thought to have been influenced by extraterrestrials.  But whatever transpires while we are here, will certainly be an adventure…and we will definitely cherish what we learn in our journeys through the region, of all the pueblos and larger Native American nations of the Navajo, Hopi, Apachi, Zuni and Arapaho, and enjoy every minute of it.

And oh, did I mention that the old adobe house we have rented here in La Puebla, New Mexico used to be the only general store  for over 30 miles? It was built in the early to mid 1800’s and continued operation as a general store up until the owner passed away in 1903 and was left derelict for many years. AND the biggest bonus for us about this house, is that it does appear to be paranormally active! For I have already experienced several paranormally compelling events that I could not explain…but we’ll keep you posted on those as they develop.



Acoma Pueblo remote 60 miles west of Albuquerque on I-40, then 12 miles south of I-40 – 505-552-6604
Cochiti Pueblo remote 45 miles north of Albuquerque on I-25, then west of I-25 – 505-465-2244
Isleta Pueblo remote south of Albuquerque on I-25 – 505-869-3111
Jemez Pueblo remote 30 miles NW of Bernalillo on NM 44, then north on NM 4 – 505-834-7359
Laguna Pueblo remote 46 miles west of Albuquerque on I-40 – 505-552-6654
San Felipe Pueblo remote 10 miles north of Bernalillo, off I-25 – 505-867-3381
Sandia Pueblo remote 13 miles north of Albuquerque, then east of NM 313 – 505-867-3317
Santa Ana Pueblo remote 8 miles northwest of Bernalillo on NM 44 – 505-867-3301
Kewa Pueblo remote 25 miles south of Santa Fe, NW of I-25 – 505-465-2214
Zia Pueblo remote 8 miles NW of Santa Ana Pueblo on NM 44 – 505-867-3304
Zuni Pueblo remote 140 miles west of Albuquerque to Gallup, then 34 miles south of Gallup off NM 53 – 505-782-4481

Santa Fe & Taos

Nambe Pueblo remote north on US 84/285 to NM 503, 6 miles east – 505-455-2036
Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo) remote north of Española on NM 68 – 505-852-4400
Picuris Pueblo remote north on NM 68, east NM 75 – 575-587-2519
Pojoaque Pueblo remote 15 miles north of Santa Fe on US 84/285 – 505-455-2278
San Ildefonso Pueblo remote north on US 84/285 to NM 502, 6 miles west – 505-455-2273
Santa Clara Pueblo remote 2 miles south of Española, NM 30 – 505-753-7326
Taos Pueblo remote 2 miles of north Taos on NM 68 – 575-758-9593
Tesuque Pueblo remote 9 miles north of Santa Fe on US 84/285 – 505-983-2667

Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council remote site
The Council offers a free, information-filled Official Visitors Guide available at most lodging places in the Santa Fe/Taos area. Or you may contact the Council at PO Box 969, San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico 87566. Telephone 505-852-4265

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center remote site
Every weekend dances at 11 am and 2 pm at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Eleven Indian Pueblos surround Albuquerque. 2401 12th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102. Telephone 505-843-7270