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Comments on PBS Documentary Secrets of the Dead: Spanish Florida

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I enjoyed recently the new program on PBS, “Secrets of the Dead: Spanish Florida.”

This two-hour documentary tells the history of Spanish Florida from Spanish colonization by Pedro Menendez and the slaughter of the French Huguenots to the cessation of the territory over to the US. Apparently, it will be a four-hour program released on DVD.

My favorite parts were some of the marine archaeology and the archival work done by Dr. J. Michael Francis, of whom I am a big fan. Overall, I thought that it was a very good program.

Now, the reason I do not work with film productions and documentaries is because I will tell them where they are getting it wrong. That is why the only recent documentary I worked with, was the New Orleans 200th that I did with the 7th Infantry, and we did everything ourselves, including buying our own camera equipment, to writing and filming all ourselves.

What I think this Secrets of the Dead documentary got seriously wrong was that it highlighted two individuals who claim to be descendants of the Yamasee Tribe. Their claims are dubious.

One individual is shown in one still shot, standing next to a person wearing a t-shirt of the Empire of Washita. Which is a cult that claims to have migrated from Africa 200,000 years ago and built the Native American earth mounds east of the Mississippi. Any association with that group makes me suspicious. I can talk about them some other time.

Then they highlighted this woman from the Ocklawaha Seminole Band (Not federally recognized.) This group is now claiming to be Yamasee. They have claimed to be from numerous tribal backgrounds over the years, as their claims have constantly changed.

They did not always claim to be Yamasee. I have attached below, their own history, provided by the group founder and grandmother of the woman who was featured on the documentary.

Nowhere in this Marion County history booklet is any mention of being Yamasee and coming to St. Augustine after the Yamasee War of 1715. In fact, what Mrs. Little Dove Buford describes is totally contrary. But remember, this whole history itself is totally fabricated. Any historian or person knowledgeable in Florida and Seminole history who reads this will know that it is total balderdash!

This is the same group that made friends with James "Flaming Eagle" (Scamming Eagle) Mooney, that I told about here back in 2011/2012. Who claimed to be a member of this group. He is a self-proclaimed shaman, claimed to be a descendant of Osceola, and was arrested in Utah for possession and distribution of Peyote with false claims of being associated with the Native American Church, which he was not. He later got in trouble in Phoenix with a prostitution cult. I don't know if the Ocklawaha Band and James Mooney have severed ties, but last time Mooney was trolling this site, he was still claiming to be a member.

I am doing this because this falsehood should not be passed off as fact. What these people claim needs to be challenged.

PBS really should have talked to me first, because I could have saved them some embarrassment. I am not the only one who knows this!

Click on the page to read the full size. Then right click to download your own copy!

From: Marion County Remembers, “Salty Crackers” Number Sever by Sybil Brown Bray 1989, cover. Sketch a copy of George Catlin’s painting/sketch of Seminole Chief Coa Hadjo.

Inside Cover

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(Native words on this page are probably taken from a Ben Hunt Indian Lore craft book.)
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