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Mysterious Skeletons Washing Up in Micronesia

January 22, 2002 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Mysterious Skeletons Washing Up in Micronesia
Five skeletons washed up in the FSM on Friday on rafts. Rafts have been inexplicably arriving since September, but this time the chief of police (1?) has been asked to assist the investigation.
    The identity card of one of the raft victims has lead the police to think that the victims were fleeing from either Maluku or Sulawesi, where the Laksar Jihad has been terrorizing Christians and other locals (1). Not only has the movement been stepping up violence since '98, it's been expanding too. An NGO in West Papua has been complaining that they are setting up shop as a pro-Jakarta paramilitary to fight against Papuan separatist groups (1). It's interesting to see how close these far-flung places are to one another (Map (~300k))---Close to the southern Philippines too.
posted by rschram (7 comments total)

 
The article (1) is a little vague on details, but I found it interesting that because of the lack of forensic experts an archaeologist lent similar skills to the investigation. There are quite a lot of similarities between the two fields.

What's with the awkward little (1) links all over the post?
posted by majick at 11:23 AM on January 22, 2002


Ah... Micronesia, not Minnesota. Briefly seemed even more bizarre. How big IS Lake Superior anyway?
posted by jeffhoward at 11:51 AM on January 22, 2002


I lived in Micronesia for two years, but in the Marshall Islands. It's a weird place, but not in the stereotypical tropical island sense you might expect. Lots o' graft, corruption, knife fighting. Kind of like inner-city america in places, but with coconut trees and good fishing.
posted by mecran01 at 12:35 PM on January 22, 2002


my first thought was, Wow, Great Rafts! to last that long you know...you always think that the rafts won't last and they will sink and drown...i suppose lack of fresh water to be the biggest problem.
posted by th3ph17 at 1:55 PM on January 22, 2002


The larger, untold story is all the silly painted volleyballs they found inside the rafts. Some even seemed to have grass attached as if to simulate hair.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 2:34 PM on January 22, 2002


first off, the whole concept of this story gave me the creeps -- the though of skeletons washing up to a tropical shore, lashed to wooden rafts. not just one, but a series of them over time.

second: mecran01, your description of the marshall islands is EXACTLY the same as hawaii -- or at least oahu, where i lived for three years.
posted by damn yankee at 8:19 PM on January 22, 2002


Just the idea that they have no forensics experts, what a thought.
posted by Nothing at 8:51 PM on January 22, 2002


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