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Bones on Mokuleia Beach spur consultations by state

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State officials say they’re working to figure out what to do with possible skeletal remains found at a beach along Oahu’s North Shore.

Cheryl Oga of Waialua said she was shocked to discover what appeared to be “a skull, arm bones and a spine” scattered along the shoreline while fishing at Mokuleia Beach two weeks ago.

“There’s not enough sand to build up the beach so probably the rain and waves caused the erosion, and that’s how the bones came out from underneath,” Oga said.

Ron Okimoto, executive director of nearby YMCA Camp Erdman, said the organization was first alerted to the remains by another beachgoer in November. He told Hawaii News Now that Honolulu police and representatives of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources came out and placed a marker at the site.

“The representative told me they’d be back, and we’re still waiting for them to come back,” Okimoto said.

The department said it is “aware of the situation, and is working with the appropriate state agencies, Camp Erdman staff, and community to address it.”

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  • Finding Hawaiian bones in Hawai’i, has become a fairly common event. It is so common, as well as a low government priority, that any government action, now takes the speed of racing snails.

    I often wonder, where are all of the bones moved too?

    When the RAIL, uncovered an 8 foot adult Hawaiian, what happened to it? When H-3, uncovered a 2 foot adult Hawaiian, what happened to it? When Walmart, uncovered a bunch of Hawaiian bones, what happened to them? When the International Market Place, uncovered a bunch of bones, as well as the foundation of an old church, what happened to them?

    Some bones, have a lot more value, than just being Hawaiian graves.

    • Years ago the Medical Examiner’s Office used to take the Hawaiian burial remains that were found following winter storms. The problem was that there was no organization that dealt with iwi. The remains of ancestors just sat at the Morgue. Perhaps there needs to be an organization that can properly deal with these remains. In the early part of the 20th century, there were epidemics that killed a lot of native people. Many of these victims were buried along the shoreline.

    • There are Federal Laws in place that protects ancient burial sites and souls buried there. When the city built the new Smith Street parking structure, iwis were discovered. Construction stopped and a contract Archeologist was brought in. After determination was made, construction went around site. I believe the burial site remained.
      It took months for detetmination.
      Chinatown , police, cameras were turned facing site while dtermination was being made. Company also hired private security to ensure site was protected. What was also discovered were bottles. Old bottles worth thousands of dollars. Site was also an dump site. Cameras were turned to watch security as well, make sure bottles we’re not removed. Bottles were property of the city.

      • You’re right. I remember that. My office (SIS) got called out a lot during the winter storm season when burials were revealed. I always thought that there ought to be a protocol for them.

        • (btw: are you old enough to remember the Detective in CID who was an avid bottle hunter? 🙂 )

        • (Geez Brah. You just made me take a walk down memory lane. I was thinking about Jeff and Andy, Nelson and Barbara, I worked so many cases with them and I have so much respect for them… Oh well.)

        • (Henry was once busted by patrol when he was in a downtown excavation looking for more bottles. He flashed his gold and was allowed to climb out. I really enjoyed working with him. He was a good guy as were most of the officers of that time. I came in just after the Metro was disbanded an most of my commanders were former Metro officers. I am particularly fond of Ralf.)

  • My below mentioned statement, might sound, a little out in left field for Hawai’i.

    In NYC, there is a small island, that is called Potters Field. It is an island, that has many graves, of the deceased homeless, unclaimed prison & jail inmates, the poor & unclaimed, unidentifiable crime victims, etc…

    Maybe, the island of Kaho’olawe, might be strongly considered, to be an island of the dead.

    As the ground, is cleared of explosives, it can become the new burial grounds, for Hawaii’s ldead.

    Hawaii’s dead, should have a central location, instead of warehouses or Matson containers.

  • Now if this was a construction site the state would be out toute suite. Time is money. They have to determine how old are the bones. Lots of people have disappeared.

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