Also, see article in 10/4/02 Honolulu Advertiser

October 2, 2002

(for immediate release)

Bellows Burials Bulldozed

Bellows Air Force Base, Waimanalo, Hawaii-- A contractor specializing in explosive ordnance removal and working for the Air Force and Army Corps of Engineers at Bellows Air Force Base, Waimanalo used a bulldozer to move earth in areas where a “high probability” of human burials is known to exist. The earth moving and probable destruction of archaeological sites and cultural remains occurred in early 2000 and was not disclosed to the public or the Bellows Restoration Advisory Board. EnviroWatch, Inc. discovered the excavation activity after researching a June 2002 pollution release.

EnviroWatch, Inc. has submitted reports to the State Office of Historic Preservation and the federal land overseer related to the intentional destruction and disinterment of ancient human remains violation of Hawaii law and in a manner “inconsistent with any management plan” under federal law.

UXB International, Inc., an “indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity” contractor specializing in ordnance and explosive (OE) removal was given the “sole source” contract for Bellows OE removal partly because of their experience on Kahoolawe and partly due to their experience in “working with native sovereignty groups in the protection of significant cultural sites,” according to documents obtained by EnviroWatch, Inc. The contract called for the removal of ordnance from the top six inches of soil. The State Historic Preservation Officer was informed that “Any digging will be done by hand and will be limited to six inches in depth and approximately one square foot in area.” A report obtained by EnviroWatch, Inc. confirms that “Three isolated finds represent[ing] human remains” were discovered in the area before the bulldozing. According to a Federal Court document, filed July 14, 2000 in an unrelated complaint, “UXB radically altered the grade [of the land] using a bulldozer.” “In some areas the grade was lowered by over six feet or covered by over four feet” and “caused much harm to the well established grove of ironwood trees and to the topography of the land.” 

For further information or access to documents and photographs, please contact EnviroWatch, Inc. Vice President Joseph Ryan at (808) 259 8463 or 284 5999. EnviroWatch, Inc. President Carroll Cox may be contacted at (808) 625 2175.