Mystery at the Grand Canyon

Screenshot_1by representative Stephanie Kelly

The Kinkaid Expedition – 1909

March 1909, the Arizona Gazette announces that G. E. Kincaid, of Lewiston, Idaho has reached Yuma. According to this article; Mr. Kincaid came from Green River, Wyoming following the Colorado River in a small canyon. This article mentions some interesting archeological discoveries and he plans to repeat the trip the following summer.
April 1909, a front page newspaper article appears in the Arizona Gazette about the amazing finds of a Professor S. A. Jordan and G. E. Kinkaid. It was called the most valuable discovery in the United States. G. E. Kinkaid stated that the exploration was being funded by the Smithsonian Institute and under the direction of Professor S. A. Jordan. Kinkaid was listed as an archaeologist and Jordan was listed as processing the finds of the exploration.
In attempting to locate records, I made a very interesting discovery. All original newspaper records, or micro film, for Arizona newspapers that mention Mr. Kinkaid or the discoveries in the Canyon are not available or cannot be located! One, edited, copy of the image was located. In it, Mr. Kinkaid states: “There are steps leading from this entrance some thirty yards to what was, at the time the cavern was inhabited, the level of the river. When I saw the chisel marks on the wall inside the entrance, I became interested, securing my gun and went in. During that trip I went back several hundred feet along the main passage till I came to the crypt in which I discovered the mummies. One of these I stood up and photographed by flashlight. I gathered a number of relics, which I carried down the Colorado to Yuma, from whence I shipped them to Washington with details of the discovery. Following this, the explorations were undertaken.”

The Smithsonian denies being involved in this expedition and states that there is no record of any artifacts located. They also make it clear that they have no record of a Professor Jordan and Mr. Kinkaid ever working with them. There is a report that a letter to an Earnest Kincaide from the Smithsonian was found in an old book in an Arizona thrift store. In this letter, the Institute states that they believe the artifacts that they received from Mr. Kincaide to be replicas of Mayan artifacts. If this letter is real, it would disprove the Smithsonian’s statement that they know nothing of this expedition, at the least.

The Powell Geographic Expedition – 1869

Information that seems to support the possible finds that Kinkaid and Jordan were talking about in their 1909 expedition can be find in the Powell Geographic Expedition of 1869. In the summer of 1869, an expedition, led by John Wesley Powell, set out to investigate parts of the Green and Colorado Rivers. This was the first successful voyage through the Grand Canyon by non-Native people.

In late June, early July, Powell and few men meet with the local Unita Tribe to talk about an ancient fountain relic but to his dismay the Unita know nothing about the people who made it or when it could have been made. In mid-July many more unknown artifacts are found on this expedition; there is no record of them being classified or identified. In late July pottery, arrowheads and petroglyphs are discovered, again the origins of these artifacts has not been identified. More items and artifacts are located throughout the month of August. August 28th, due to frustration and safety concerns, part of the men in the Powell Expedition leave the group and head back. On August 29th, the remaining men in the Expedition reach the Grand Wash and exit the Canyon safely. J. W. Powell repeated part of his journey in 1871 resulting in many artifacts and images being taken from, what is now called ‘Powell’s Cave.’

Hopi Tribe Tradition

To add more mystery to this, the Hopi Indian Tribe has a well-known tradition that their ancestors once lived in an underworld in the Grand Canyon until a battle between good and evil. In that battle, the people of one heart left the underworld leaving the people of two hearts within the Canyons vast caves. It is believed, through scientific, historical and genetic study, that the Hopi Tribe was a descendent of the Puebloan people. The Pueblos were known to have a major cultural and linguistic divide centered mainly on tribe leadership; Paternal or Maternal inheritance and descent.

In Conclusion

This leaves many questions that have had been answered. What happened to the mummies wrapped in a bark fabric? Where did the extension collection of relics go? Who has the photograph that Mr. Kinkaid said he took? Is the tradition of the Hopi Tribe based on, somewhat, truth? Many things support the finding of the 1909 Expedition but, you be the judge! What do you think of this, more than 100 year old, mystery?

Ancient Egyptian City in the Grand Canyon? – Author unknown…/ArizonaGazette5April190…
Powell Geographic Expedition of 1869 – Wikipedia…/Powell_Geographic_Expedition_of_…
American Indians at Grand Canyon – Past and Present…/american-indians-at-grand-canyon-…/
Canyons of the Colorado – J. W. Powell, PH. D., LL.D.,
Archaeological Coverup? – Jason Colavito