As Told Originally by,
Copyright © 1996 Whitedog
[Since I work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the NASA site that flies Voyager, and not Los Alamos (GRRRR!), I had lunch one day with Peterson Zha, then President of the Navajo Nation. He told us the story and to make sure it's told properly I'll tell it again as it was told. --Charles Phillip Whitedog]
About 1966 or so, a NASA team doing work for the Apollo moon mission took the astronauts near Tuba City where the terrain of the Navajo Reservation looks very much like the Lunar surface. With all the trucks and large vehicles where two large figures that were dressed in full Lunar spacesuits.
Near by a Navajo sheep herder and his son where watching the strange creatures walk about, occasionally being tended by personnel. The two Navajo people were noticed and approached by the NASA personnel. Since the man did not know English, his son asked for him what the strange creatures were and the NASA people told them that they are just men that are getting ready to go to the moon. The man became very excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts.
The NASA personnel thought this was a great idea so they rustled up a tape recorder. After the man gave them his message they asked his son to translate. His son would not.
Later, they tried a few more people on the reservation to translate and every person they asked would chuckle and then refuse to translate. Finally, with cash in hand someone translated the message.
Story ReTold and ReShared by:
* Charles Phillip Whitedog, Ojibway *
* Network Manager Multimission Ground Systems Office *
* Mission Control *
* Jet Propulsion Laboratory *
* NASA *