Human remains believed to be part of an ancient Hawaiian burial site were found yesterday along the shoreline of Neal S. Blaisdell Park in Aiea.
A fisherman reported finding the remains at about 10:30 a.m. The remains were roughly 10 to 14 feet from the shoreline, in three to four inches of mud, according to the Navy Region Hawaii.
Three skulls and other bones were found, the Navy said.
"It’s crazy. It’s unexpected," said Ernie Medeiros, who was watching his friend’s belongings at the park yesterday and saw police investigating the remains.
Medeiros often fishes off the shoreline at night where two posts for fishing poles were stuck into the ground yesterday, less than five feet from the apparent burial site. The bones were below the Pearl Harbor bike path, fronting terraces at the park.
"It’s kind of hard to notice anything because the water is kind of murky at night," he said. He said a friend saw the bones and told him it appeared a person was lying supine, feet toward the ocean.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Services determined there was no indication of criminal activity and closed the case, said Agnes Tauyan, Navy Region Hawaii spokeswoman.
Archeologists with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command took over and determined the site is likely a historic era or traditional Hawaiian burial site, she said.
Officials placed sandbags on the site, apparently to preserve it and prevent meddlers from touching the remains. Tauyan said archaeologists will return at low tide, possibly today, to excavate the site and recover the remaining bones. Federal officials also contacted the state Historic Preservation Division.
Police said federal officials are handling the case because the remains are on federal property.