Manataka American Indian Council

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Carefully read the article below.  It was found in July 2014 posted on the Hot Springs National Park

Service website.  Read Manataka's response below.  Readers will be amazed at the length a small

group of bureaucrats will go to spread false propaganda - Lies.  Moreover, you will be shocked by

the motives of government employees to change history, control politics and profitable resources.

It's a small story... that we think is going to have a huge ending.


The following article is boring, but it gets interesting, more interesting.... and our answers will raise

a few eyebrows.



The Legend of the Quapaw Cave Reexamined

By Sharon Shugart, Hot Springs National Park Museum Specialist


[Bold letters added by Manataka to emphasize untruths.]



"Rainbow Woman" by Randy Groden, 2014

Our Lady of the Rainbow pours her healing energy into the Quapaw Baths.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.


The legend of the Quapaw Cave purportedly based on the tale of a man named Nathan Dale who claimed to have been born in 1833 on the site of the present Quapaw Bathhouse.  It is probable that Dale is only a mythical figure. The name does not appear in any of the local federal censuses, including the earliest one taken in 1840. If Dale had existed, he would have been seven years old at that time and unlikely to be anywhere but at home when the census takers came through. The name never occurs in the sworn testimony on pioneer land use taken from early Hot Springs settlers in 1830s and 1840s, or in the 1884 Congressional hearings on the creek arch that included testimony on area history. The name is absent from the long lists of land claimants in 1875 and 1877. It is also missing from the extant city directories in the 1870s and 1880s.


Even if Dale were an actual historic figure, his description of the site is grounded in myth, not fact.  It was in fact an early bathhouse site. The Magnesia spring (renamed the Quapaw spring) pouring from the side of the creek had a stronger flow than most of the other springs, and even in 1833 it would have supported some sort of bathing facility. This is also the site where John C. Hale erected his bathhouse in 1854. It is thought to be the first real bathhouse on Hot Springs Creek.


Mr. Dale described an area where Indians took thermal water and mud baths and a long passage winding back into the mountainside that had streams of hot water gushing from the walls. The Quapaw Indians have a tradition of bathing in the springs going back to the late 18th century, but the rest of the statement is not accurate. By 1833 the hot springs were by no means a secluded spot; a great deal of exploration and even settlement had taken place in the area. In fact the thermal springs had been carefully documented in 1804 by Hunter and Dunbar, who measured spring temperatures and described the tufa domes surrounding the thermal springs but made no mention of any cave. No subsequent letters or scientific reports written during the 1800s mention a subterranean passage or cave with a spring issuing from it, either.


The observations attributed to Dale were probably old stories based on local memories of the Magnesia Spring. This spring flowed from the bank just above the surface of Hot Springs Creek at the south end of the Quapaw Bathhouse site. This was a popular bathhouse site at least as early as 1850s. After the 1878 fire destroyed all the bathhouses on the south end of Bathhouse Row, the spring was the subject of several stereographs before the construction of the creek arch in 1884 destroyed its natural outlet above Hot Springs Creek. In fact, the Quapaw Bathhouse site (formerly the site of the Magnesia Bathhouse and others) was popular with bathhouse owners chiefly because of its proximity to the high-volume Magnesia Spring, which was reputed to have superior therapeutic effects. The Mud Hole site, a few dozen feet northeast of the Magnesia Spring, was also considered to be an efficacious bathing site; it was used by indigent bathers in the 1860s and possibly earlier. Dale may well have seen American Indians from other tribes as well as from the Quapaw tribe bathing at the Magnesia spring. The Cherokee, the Choctaw, and the Osage were in and out of the area throughout the years that relocation was forced upon American Indians, but their activities would not have represented Native American life as it

existed before European settlement.


Stereographs made after the fire of 1878 show Magnesia Spring and the surrounding tufa bank, which is full of crevices. In the Congressional hearings of 1884 on the creek arch and other matters, a sworn statement appears that describes the soil matrix around the Magnesia Spring and Mud Hole as porous and honeycombed with natural tufa chambers. Not long after the fire of 1878, VERY strong blasting was carried out at Magnesia Spring under the orders of George Smith, who then controlled the property, to increase the flow of thermal water. The 1884 hearings also include sworn testimony to the effect that the blasting was drastic enough to cause most of the springs feeding the Mud Hole (also a former Government Free Bathhouse site) to stop flowing. That the flow there was diminished was reaffirmed several times during the course of the hearings.


Similarly, blasting at the Big Iron Spring to remove the large tufa dome there caused several of the higher springs to disappear forever. The construction of the creek arch itself completed the destruction of Magnesia Spring’s original termination point (and possibly that of surrounding springs). Thermal water formerly flowing from it was subsequently captured

by the spring collection system.


To summarize what has been established so far:

Hot springs in their natural state (as they would have been during prehistoric times) found their way to the surface through the fissured tufa rocks and flowed from tufa domes built up over the centuries from deposits of calcium carbonate and other minerals dissolved in the thermal water.

The tufa soil matrix is porous and honeycombed with cavities, some fairly large.


The spring “channels” through the tufa can be affected by blasting. Blasting was carried out at the Magnesia Spring site in the late 1870s and early 1880s, as well as in 1921.


Except for Nathan Dale, an obscure historical character at best, no early residents, scientists, or travelers in the hot springs area ever reported a cave with springs flowing from its walls.


No cave is visible in any of the photographs taken of the Quapaw Bathhouse site in the 1860s and 1870s.


From this, I conclude that the area’s geological structure would probably not have produced an extensive cave with springs flowing from its walls. It is still more unlikely that if such a cave had existed, it would have passed unnoticed by the many visitors and residents in the area until Mr. Dale observed it sometime after 1833. Even if Dale had been the first to call attention to it, the cave should still have been in existence during the thirty or forty years before the blasting carried out in the late 1870s and early 1880s destroyed it. However, the photographs taken of the site prior to the blasting do not show any cave. Therefore the cave as described by Mr. Dale could only have existed in his imagination.

When further blasting carried out during excavation for the Quapaw Bathhouse caused what was apparently a new spring to start flowing in February 1921, everyone concerned was quite naturally excited and curious. However, excavation in 1914 had also uncovered a “new” spring at Fordyce Bathhouse, which again suggests that blasting tended to divert established spring water flows and bring old springs to the surface by new routes. Old maps show several springs formerly in the vicinity of the Quapaw site; the spring captured by the blasting could have been any of these, or it could have been the Magnesia Spring itself.


In late February of 1921, Hot Springs Reservation Superintendent Parks examined the “cave” and described it to NPS Director Mather as being a pocket in the tufa rock similar to another discovered near the Arlington Hotel some years earlier. He reports that “these pockets are quite common in this particular rock.” This statement is corroborated by the earlier sworn testimony in the 1884 Congressional hearings. The NPS chief civil engineer also expressed disappointment in the cave’s size and appearance. Up to this point, no mention was made of any artifacts at all having been found in connection with the cave.  

Early newspaper reports of the cave, along with an excerpt from Zella Gaither’s early 1920s book on Garland County, identify artifacts found there as a few tufa-encrusted projectile points and turtle shells. None of the accounts mention the discovery of the Quapaw “gods of the Bath” featured in later brochures. The explanation of this omission is simple: the figures were not there. 


In fact, the Quapaw Bath House Company actually purchased the “gods” from Tom Pavatea , a Navaho Indian trader of Polacca, Arizona, in April 1922. The figures were called Nampayos Rain Gods and sold for $2 each; the postage and insurance brought the total cost to $10.28 as stated on the invoice from Mr. Pavatea. George A. Callahan, Sr. (original president of the Quapaw Bath House Company) sent payment with a letter stating that it was in payment “for the figureenes [sic] that you so kindly shipped us. They are indeed very interesting, and have caused considerable attention at the QUAPAW BATHS.” Even though the figures later served as material evidence for the folk tales told about the Quapaw cave and printed in the bathhouse’s promotional material, Mr. Callahan’s letter clearly indicates that they were not commissioned copies of artifacts found in the Quapaw cave but rather were original works of art purchased for display at the bathhouse.


All of the early bathhouse owners were entrepreneurs alert to any circumstance that could distinguish their bathhouses from all the others. This probably explains why Mr. Callahan purchased the little Hopi gods and wove an interesting tale connecting them with the newly discovered “cave” and some of the popular area legends about Indian use of the hot springs. It basically seems to have been a creative but workable marketing idea that took advantage of the contemporary fascination with Indian artifacts and fanciful Indian lore. The Maurice and Fordyce Bathhouses displayed Indian artifacts for the same reason. For years afterward, subsequent Quapaw Bathhouse managers featured the stories and the gods in brochures and advertisements, and the story was eventually accepted as historic fact.


In a 1983 letter to the park, Southwest Regional Curator David Brugge identified Nampayo as a Hopi potter who began a revival of ceramic crafts among her people early in the century. She is well known in the Southwest, and her pieces were commanding high prices there in the 1980s.  Because the four figures that the Callahans own are documented as original Nampayo pieces, they may be quite valuable and should be stored in a safe, climate controlled area.   ~Sharon Shugart, Hot Springs National Park Museum Specialist



Manataka Examines the "Reexamined" Legend of the Quapaw Cave

Government operatives have ulterior motives to discredit true history


click on newspaper article to enlarge

Since 2004 when the current superintendant of the National Park Service, Josie Fernandez came to town, she has done everything in her power to destroy all evidence of American Indian presence in Hot Springs National Park.


At first, it was thought she simply did not like Indian people.  She denied Elders of the Manataka American Council from conducting prayer ceremonies in the National Park -- a sacred obligation of their ancestors for a millennium.  She then pushed park rangers to harass and even arrest some of their members and supporters. 


She went on a campaign to discredit their leaders, calling them phonies and liars in public and private meetings.  She called them into her office and alleged they had damaged park property and threatened them with arrest.


In 2005, Fernandez used government funds to pay a former National Park Service employee to create a libelous hate website called "Manataka Exposed".  The authors of the hate-filled website were none other than Josie Fernandez and another National Park employee, Mark Blaeuer.


Fernandez then employed other government workers to write a booklet entitled, "Didn't All the Indians Come Here?" by Mark Blaeuer.  The booklet is so full of half-truths, omitted facts and errors and it has become a joke in Hot Springs.  That is when Manataka Elders began to think there was a lot more to Fernandez motives. We will further address this issue later.


Nathan Dale

Sharon Shugart and Blaeuer were paid using public tax dollars by Fernandez to continue the propaganda war against Manataka and American Indians for several years.  In the article above, Shugart uses an alleged lack of evidence to prove that Dale Nathan did not exist and therefore his story is a "myth".


Nathan Dale's story, as related by Shugart is severely abbreviated and is not the same story told for over 90 years by Hot Springs residents.  Her treatment of the Dale story leaves out critical evidence that proves the story to be true.  Was it a convenient slip of her pen or an intentional omission?  Regardless, it is unforgivable. 


Newspaper Article (left)

Contrary to what Sharon Shugart wrote in "The Legend of the Quapaw Cave Reexamined," a Sentinel Record newspaper article published on May 16, 1922 entitled, "Ancient Tale of an Ancient Wanderer Proves to be True"  is only the first piece of hard evidence that proves Dale Nathan did exist and it wipes away everything she wrote about him and his beautiful "legend" -- an abbreviated Story of Manataka. 


There in the newspaper story (left) is none other than the 'mythical' Dale Nathan in-person telling his story in-person to a local reporter!  The reporter also details events of earlier the same month of May 1921 that occurred at the place of Nathan Dale's birth, the old Magnesia spring (the present day site of the Quapaw Baths.  (This is not the only report of caves on the sacred mountain.) 



click on newspaper article to enlarge


Dale Nathan did exist.  His story was true.  Shugart incorrectly sites the date of Nathan's birth then sets out to prove he did not exist using half-truths, false evidence and innuendo.  A terrible unforgiveable act for a so-called federal government museum specialist.


According to Shugart, Nathan's story is "myth" because he did not exist.  At least that is what the 'official' newly revised National Park Service version says.


Shugart, writing on behalf of Josie Fernandez, writes , "Mr. Dale described an area where Indians took thermal water and mud baths and a long passage winding back into the mountainside that had streams of hot water gushing from the walls. The Quapaw Indians have a tradition of bathing in the springs going back to the late 18th century, but the rest of the statement is not accurate."  


Even this statement by Shugart is not true.  The Quapaw along with many other tribes have a traditions of bathing at the springs for thousands of years.  Not a mere 100 years or so.  She knows this fact, but decides to cover it up by minimizing the presence of American Indians.  And, hot water did gush from the walls of caverns!


In addition to Nathan Dale's story and dozens of other stories ingrained in the history of Hot Springs, at least a dozen tribes have stories dating back several centuries. One Spiritual Elder of the Quapaw told this reporter in 2007 that " far back as our stories go our people rested there and knew the healing there..."  


Why are Shugart and Fernandez attempting to minimize the presence of American Indians at the thermal springs?


We believe Fernandez thinks that if Shugart and Blaeuer (a husband and wife hatchet team) can somehow disprove the story of Nathan Dale, they can also disprove the Story of Manataka.  Calling both stories "myths" is only part of their insidious and deceitful game.  But, why do they spend so much money and time and go to such lengths to disprove a so-called myth?


But the end of this article, the reader can decide if Fernandez and Shugart are credible.



Ancient Ceremonial Indian Caves on the Sacred Mountain


"...From this, I conclude that the area’s geological structure would probably not have produced an extensive cave..," writes Sharon Shugart.


According to the newspaper story above and other reports, workmen were excavating the site to lay the foundation for a new Bath House and decided to use dynamite to blast through some rock when they saw debris falling into a huge cave. Inside the cavern was an archway of solid rock where hot water spewed from its walls -- just like Dale described.  According to the newspaper article, workmen, architects, and the owners of the Quapaw site, all saw the cavern leading back into the mountain!  The newspaper did not print lies -- they verified eye-witness reports and saw the cave with their own eyes.


The newspaper verified that Quapaw Baths workmen discovered Indian relics, tools, weapons and three nearly mineralized turtle shells.  The National Park Service also verified these facts as contained in their own archives -- all easily available to Josie Fernandez. 


Shugart goes to great lengths to argue that no caves existed on the mountain and in the area of the springs.  With all the authority and power of the government, Shugart and Fernandez explain away the existence of sacred ceremonial caves on the Manataka (Hot Springs Mountain.  She says, "...No cave is visible in any of the photographs taken of the Quapaw Bathhouse site..."  However, close inspection of the photograph shown below and others taken in the 1870's-80's and yes, in 1921 clearly show a cavern discovered at the site of the Quapaw Baths.


Click on the photograph below to enlarge

Josie Fernandez maintains that no ancient ceremonial Indian caves exist now or once existed on the mountain.  The National Park Service has spent hundreds of thousands of public tax dollars to contrive propaganda that allegedly proves her point.  Manataka contends there were at least seven sacred ceremonial caves on the mountain and can point to the exact location of at least six of those caves.


This picture was taken on May 2, 1921.  See the workman pointing directly into the mouth of the old ceremonial Indian cave.


There were once long crevices and caverns on the sacred mountain that gushed streams of water. 


It was not until after government bureaucrats altered natural water pathways, damned up areas, allowed dynamiting,  capped the hot springs, and otherwise allowed erosion, that the crevices and caves disappeared.  The government did it all to take financial and political advantage -- not to preserve and protect the natural hot springs.  The damaged done by the Hot Springs National Park Service to the natural springs is unforgiveable.  The springs are now damaged and disappearing because of their bureaucratic bungling.  Can you imagine Old Faithful in Yellowstone being treated in the same way?  


There are many other photographs of the discovery of the Quapaw Baths cave and Indian relics owned by families of workmen, business owners and travelers.  Even the National Park Service itself has photographs and other eye-witness reports.  So, why would Fernandez and Shugart mislead the public about it?


Can we prove that Fernandez purposely withheld truth from Shugart's story?  Yes.  National Park employees, Josie Fernandez, Sharon Shugart and Mark Blaeuer all have unlimited access to extensive park archives that include this and other photographs, news reports, letters, Indian relics and other evidence proving the existence of the Quapaw cave and other caves on the mountain and American Indian presence in holy communion with the healing waters.


Fernandez spent tens of thousands of dollars to catalog most of the those items for easy cross referencing and access. So, did they have knowledge and withheld this evidence?  Moreover, it can be proved that Fernandez conspired to alter history for a particular purpose.    


Who within the federal government, powers that control them, or influence over the National Park Service gave Josie Fernandez the right to alter history?  Even though we know that history, according to the old saying, belongs to the victors, no one has the right to alter history.  Who within the government 'of the people and by the people' are still claiming victory over American Indians?



Shugart's Dunbar and Hunter Comment

Shugart says, "In fact the thermal springs had been carefully documented in 1804 by Hunter and Dunbar, who measured spring temperatures and described the tufa domes surrounding the thermal springs but made no mention of any cave." 


The two explorers appointed by Thomas Jefferson in 1803 failed to describe all the hot and cold water springs in the area.  They failed to note the mineral and chemical differences in all the springs. They failed to perform standard geological tests of the area.  They did not remain in the area long enough to perform dozens of other tests standard for the time.  Their journal can be portrayed as a rough, hastily prepared overview of the area and nothing more.  They failed to achieve the purpose of Jefferson's intent and investment -- specifically, why did the indigenous people consider the hot springs sacred?  Why did the Indians gather at the Hot Springs?  During the same time frame President Jefferson commissioned Lewis and Clark the great task of finding a passage to the Pacific Ocean, he also commissioned Dunbar and Hunter to find the hot springs and answer his questions.  Why did  Jefferson consider the expensive commission of exploration to find the hot springs any more special than the thousands of other hot and warm springs in the continental U.S.?


We must ask ourselves the question, why do fearful National Park bureaucrats protest greatly over the idea of a simple story and work so hard to destroy these beautiful stories?  They go to great lengths and expense to insure that history is changed to their liking, sanitized to the point where our children may know nothing of the mysteries, legends and stories of Manataka (Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas).  



Very Careful Wording

Shugart writes in her summary, "...Except for Nathan Dale, an obscure historical character at best, (we have already proved Shugart is stretching the truth here) no early residents, scientists, or travelers in the hot springs area ever reported a cave with springs flowing from its walls.  She is careful not to say that early residents, scientists or travelers did not report one or more caves - just not those with springs flowing from its walls.


Further she writes, "...No cave is visible in any of the photographs taken of the Quapaw Bathhouse site in the 1860s and 1870s..."  Shugart is careful not to say that a no caves are visible in any known photographs.


She writes, "...the cave as described by Mr. Dale could only have existed in his imagination..."  We submit that most everything she wrote in the article above is a product of Josie's imagination.



Discovery of An Indian Ceremonial Cave

Shugart writes, "...In late February of 1921, Hot Springs Reservation Superintendent Parks examined the “cave” and described it to NPS Director Mather as being a pocket in the tufa rock similar to another discovered near the Arlington Hotel some years earlier. He reports that “these pockets are quite common in this particular rock.” This statement is corroborated by the earlier sworn testimony in the 1884 Congressional hearings. The NPS chief civil engineer also expressed disappointment in the cave’s size and appearance. Up to this point, no mention was made of any artifacts at all having been found in connection with the cave...."


Wow! it is fantastic that in February 1921 the Hot Springs Reservation Superintendent reported a tufa cave when the actual Quapaw ceremonial cave was not discovered until May 1921!  Either Shugart is actually talking about an entirely different cave or the Superintendent was clairvoyant.  Is this another example of Shugart misleading readers of the Hot Springs NPS website?



Before Presenting the Next Evidence

We need to stop here and consider an old axiom that kept flashing into this writer's mind throughout the process of reading the Fernandez / Shugart "Reexamined" article above and writing this response. 


"The absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence"


Hot Springs National Park employees Fernandez, Blaeuer and Shugart have a problem understanding and distinguishing the difference between an absence of evidence from evidence of absence.


In 1671, in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Philosopher John Locke wrote, "...Another way that Men ordinarily use to drive others, and force them to submit their Judgments. And receive the Opinion in debate, is to require the Adversary to admit what they allege as a Proof, or assign a better. And this I call Argumentum ad Ignorantum"   Meaning that the Argument of Ignorance is often the tool of authoritarians use to compel people to think something is true or untrue. 


While using a lie to prove her point, Shugart knows the truth may be found in one of a thousand alternatives. 


Blaeuer and Shugart are died-in-the-wool government bureaucrats, Fernandez hired guns, and neither of them have the qualifications to rewrite history. Maybe Shugart should not be faulted because she was only following orders from her arrogant and oppressive boss.  But, she is an adult and is supposed to be a professional.  She has a responsibility beyond her temporary job to our children's children.


Shugart too frequently uses the absence of evidence argument to allegedly prove her points.  For example, her alleged failure to find Nathan Dale in history proves that he did not exist and thus his story is not true.  Shugart is either a very poor researcher or she lied to please her employer, Josie Fernandez, Superintendent of the Hot Springs National Park Service.


We remind ourselves now that the foundation of every single scientific fact known to science today began with a myth, a legend, an idea, a dream, or supposition.  Every discovery, every break-though known to science was pieced together using the tools of allegory, symbols, stories and tales.   It is every scientist's dream to find truth among the bits and pieces of these stories.  


By destroying the legends of Hot Springs, Fernandez and gang destroy the opportunity of future generations to discover truth.  Their acts of cleansing book shelves, hiding Indian artifacts, destroying electronic data of all traces of the precious stories are detestable acts of desecration of the sacred at the taxpayer's expense. 


An Aboriginal Elder in Oz—David Mowarjarlie-- once told author Harvey Arden: “What’s important is beyond all understanding.— that’s the first thing you must understand….And never forget—everything’s a mystery anyway. When it stops bein’ a mystery it stops bein’ true!”



Indian Artifacts Found Inside the Quapaw Ceremonial Cavern

(The following is a summary of stories related by the families of workmen, contractors, architects and the Callahan's who were the owners during the discovery of the Indian artifacts inside the Quapaw Ceremonial Cavern.  The subsequent disposition of those Indian artifacts is also discussed .  A file box full of government documents further supports this testimony.)


Quapaw Bath House

Click on photocopy to enlarge


Four ancient clay figurines were discovered in the Indian Ceremonial Cavern at the site of the new Quapaw Baths in May 1921 by workmen employed by George A. Callahan, Sr., chairman of the Quapaw Bathhouse Company.  The site foreman quickly took all four artifacts,  arrowheads, tools and three turtle shells to Mr. Callahan and he immediately knew they were valuable -- intrinsically, historically and in art markets.  He advised his workers to keep quiet about the clay artifacts discovery until he could find out more.  He and his associates did not know the origin and purpose of the clay "dolls", as he referred to them, so he began searching for experts in Hot Springs and elsewhere who might provide answers.


Part of his search naturally took him to National Park Service employees who appeared to be clueless but may have been visibly shaken by the idea finding real Indian artifacts inside a cavern.  They encouraged Callahan to leave the clay dolls with them for further study, but he decided to continue his research.  


Callahan fielded many questions about the origin and purpose of the artifacts with anthropologists, museum curators, art dealers and a few American Indians, but may not have got the solid answers he needed. He knew the four clay dolls were valuable and must be preserved, but little else. He never thought for a moment to sell them.  He may have formed an inconclusive opinion that the dolls were used as an offering to the sacred waters by the Lakota.   


During several meetings with Park Superintendent William P. Parks, M.D., Mr. Callahan was beginning to soften to the idea of loaning the figurines to the government for the purpose of continuing research, but he was not yet convinced that was the right course of action because it was obvious no one at the National Park had any experience dealing with ancient Indian artifacts.  Finally, after more encouragement from Superintendent Parks, who suggested the best place for continuing research on the four artifacts would be to loan them to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., Callahan relented and loaned the four artifacts to the Hot Springs National Park on a hand shake.  Callahan did not sit easy with his decision, but he was a creative, intelligent and cautious businessman.    


At the last minute, Callahan learned through his contacts with American Indians and art dealers about Nampayo, a little known blind perfectionist potter in Arizona .  He eventually devised a plan to have copies made of the four artifacts before allowing them to be taken to Washington, D.C. via the Hot Springs National Park Service.  He personally picked up the four originals from William Parks and drove them to Arizona.  Nampayo used the originals to create duplicates and returned the originals to to Callahan.


Callahan claimed that immediately after receiving the duplicates in April 1922, he returned the originals to the National Park Service with the intention that they would be placed on loan at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. for study and safekeeping.


That is the last time anyone outside of the National Park Service ever saw the four original artifacts. 


The four copies were intermittently placed on display at Quapaw Baths over the years with no objection of the NPS, but nothing was said about the originals allegedly on loan to the Smithsonian.  Decades past and Callahan's grandson, George Callahan became a well-respected Hot Springs attorney and requested information directly from the Smithsonian about his grandfather's loan via the National Park Service.  To his amazement, after months of research Smithsonian officials told him that no such artifacts were on record and no artifacts were received from the National Park Service.


Now, generations later the National Park Service is forced to say the originals never existed.   Cute. 



Mr. George A. Callahan, Sr.’s 1922 Letter


Click on photocopy to enlarge

To argue against the story above, "Indian Artifacts Found Inside the Quapaw Ceremonial Cavern" and shore up her failing point that Callahan purchased original works of art from Nampayo through Tom Paveta in Arizona, Sharon Shugart writes,


"...George A. Callahan, Sr. (original president of the Quapaw Bath House Company) sent payment with a letter stating that it was in payment for the figurines.  Mr. Callahan’s letter clearly indicates that they were not commissioned copies of artifacts found in the Quapaw cave but rather were original works of art purchased for display at the bathhouse..."  


Read the letter (left) cited by Shugart.  No where in Callahan's letter to Nampayo's agent Tom Pavatea, does he state or even slightly infer that the figurines were original works of art.   Conversely, he does not refer to them as reproductions either, but simply refers to them as "figurines".


This another example of the shameful way Shugart stretches the truth to prove her point.  Fortunately and unfortunately, her point is lost in a lie.


There are literally dozens and dozens of other examples of false, misleading, and half-truths statement found on the Hot Springs National Park website, at public presentations and guided tours, and read in publications paid for with tax dollars.  All of this has come about within the past 10 years during the reign of Josie Fernandez.


Again, we ask the question, why does Fernandez spend so much time and money trying to disprove the Story of Manataka? Why is a simple story so important that it requires the full force of a small army of government bureaucrats to destroy?  What is her real motivation? 





Conspiracy Evidence, Exhibit 10A -- Knowledge of Hot Springs National Park Officials


What did they know and when did they know it?


Click on the photocopy below to enlarge


The 1986 letter (left) is from Paul F. Sullivan, Park Ranger/Curator of the Hot Springs National Park.  The recipients of the letter are Lawrence and Mary Ellen Blair, authors of book about Nampayo, the now famous Hopi potter who was engaged by George A. Callahan, Sr. in 1922 to make duplicates of the four artifacts found inside the Quapaw Indian Ceremonial Cavern. 


Sullivan's official letter clearly states the four figurines made by Nampayo were "...duplicates... reproductions of "rain gods" found in the 1922 excavation to build the Quapaw Bathhouse in Hot Springs National Park..."   


Sullivan's letter is absolute proof the National Park knew the  original figurines existed. This is proof they knew the original figurines were found inside the Quapaw ceremonial cavern.  Further, this letter proves the government took possession of the four original figurines and gave them back to Callahan to have them reproduced.  Sullivan says so in his letter.


For many decades the Callahan family operated under the assumption that their honest and generous loan to the Smithsonian Institute was secure.  But, a few years ago, the Smithsonian denied receiving the artifacts and says they never spoke with the Hot Springs National Park Service.  The family was devastated.



Yes, we believe employees of the Hot Springs National Park Service conspired to commit theft.  Or, they are not saying where they stashed stolen private property.


Fernandez and Shugart know the article "The Legend of the Quapaw Cave Reexamined" is false.  It is a blatant attempt to alter history to serve their policy of keeping the Story of Manataka buried in a sea of untruths.  Moreover, their article is only a small part of a larger campaign and conspiracy.



Hot Springs Mountain Tower

In the lower observation deck atop the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, there is an elaborate photo display stretching hundreds of feet long depicting the history of Hot Springs that was created by Josie Fernandez.  The display lavishly depicts recent history of a meager 200 years, but thousands of years of American Indian history is barely mentioned, except for one large panel that shows a picture of the holy Mother of the Mountain, Rainbow Woman, and the words “Myth” and “Manataka” in large letters.  The sign contains a number of slurs and lies about Hot Springs history.  This sign is sacrilegious and an abomination of bigotry at its worst!  And, the display also violates Manataka’s legal trademark!  


At the same time Superintendent Fernandez was suing the Hot Springs Advertising and Tourist Promotion Commission in federal court for trademark infringement, she was stealing the trademarked and copyrighted MAIC name and logo.   And, she did it to degrade the sanctity of the ancient stories of Manataka.  Fernandez lost her federal law suit against the City. 


Law Suits

Since Josie Fernandez blew into town on a hot wind, she spent hundreds of thousands of dollars filing law suits against individuals, companies and the city government in order to bully and force her adversaries into submission.  In nearly every case, the issues could have been easily resolved with calm conversation, but Fernandez is not in the business of giving respect and listening to others.  Instead, she resorts to ranting and raving at people as she prances back and forth around the room in tirades.  Most of the law suits were lost by government lawyers -- can you imagine that?  Using the power and money of the government, she loses hateful law suits. She spent tons of public tax dollars for nothing.  That's okay.  It is not her money.


Manataka's Experience with Park Superintendents

For nearly twenty-years from June 1981 to September 2003, we found the previous superintendent, Roger Giddings to be fair, upfront, honest and friendly in his dealings with the American Indian community.  We may not have agreed with his every decision, but we were being treated fairly. Before him, Richard H. Maeder, from August 1977 to April 1981, was somewhat of a off-standish guy, but again he was fair and honest on all American Indian issues. Bernard Goodman held the job for only about four years (1973 to 1977) and to be best of our memory, he did not involve himself to any degree in issues important to American Indians.  For nearly forty years, the American Indian community in Hot Springs National Park enjoyed relatively good relations with the National Park. 


But, all this changed in 2004.  Hate and destruction came to town.  In addition to denying religious freedom to American Indians and supporters, slandering the Manataka organization and its leaders, harassing members, creating a hate website, publishing a book full of false information, conducting electronic surveillance and sabotage, infiltration and using the position of her office and connections within the government to harass Manataka, Josie Fernandez began a campaign to rid Hot Springs of every sign, symbol, picture, plaque, artifact and story of this once great sacred gathering place of indigenous people.


Manataka - Place of Peace or Persecution -

Change is Coming -


Since Josie Fernandez came to town, she has done everything in her power to destroy all evidence of American Indian presence in Hot Springs National Park -- living and dead.


Removal of Museum Artifacts

Josie Fernandez removed hundreds of museum-quality American Indian artifacts from public view and may have them hidden someplace or worse.  The John Rison Fordyce Collection contains thousands of authentic American Indian artifacts discovered in the area of the hot springs and within a short distance from the city in Garland, Saline and Montgomery counties.  Most of the collection was donated to Museum of Natural History and Antiquities and can now be found at the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock. Some of those artifacts were on display in the Fordyce Bathhouse, but no one outside a few employees have seen them.  Why did Fernandez find it necessary to obliterate the Fordyce Indian Museum and hide all other American Indian artifacts?


Removal of the de Soto - Manataka Commemorative Bronze Plaque

Manataka recently began researching the famous de Soto Manataka Commemorative Bronze Plaque on display in Arlington Park on de Soto Rock placed on loan by the Hot Springs of Arkansas chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution in (circa1931).  We discovered the bronze plaque was gone, removed by Fernandez and alledgedly buried in the basement of the Lamar Bathhouse.  Out of sight out of mind.  de Soto - Manataka Commenmorative Bronze Plaque Desecrated by National Park Service


These are but a few of the nefarious and gutless acts of Josie Fernandez to purge Hot Springs of its true history.  



Persons having knowledge of the disposition of the original artifacts:

Secretary Selden G. Hopkins

NPS Director Stephen Tyng Mather

William P. Parks, M.D.

Clarence H. Waring, M.D.