Way back in 2009, a group of friends that included Trevor Carter and Brian Axtell hiked through Haleakala Crater. During their visit, they say they found a strange, green-gold obsidian spearpoint. “The energy it put off,” Carter later said, “it wasn’t normal.”
The friends say they tried to get Haleakala National Park to pay attention to their find, which would seem to lend credence to the view that Polynesians did indeed voyage from Hawaii to South America. They say the park service blew them off.*
Then Scott Wolter, the forensic geologist who does the History Channel show America Unearthed, told them he wanted to do an episode on the spearpoint. And then, Carter and Axtell say, the National Park Service suddenly wanted to talk to them about their spearpoint. And talk they did, until they showed their badges and demanded that they surrender the spearpoint (it’s a crime to take artifacts from national parks).
Was the spearpoint evidence that ancient Polynesians traded with Meso America? What will the National Park Service do with the spearpoint? And most importantly, why did this convince Carter to get a rather unique tattoo?
For these answers (some of which are more compelling than others), you’ll just have to watch the show, which aired on Saturday, Feb. 22. Click here to do just that.
* This story originally reported that Axtell and Carter tried repeatedly to get the National Park Service to examine their spearpoint. In fact, they say they only called once, right after they made their find.
Photo of Haleakala: Abhinaba Basu/Wikimedia Commons