Scientists using sophisticated technology suspect they have located remains of soldiers missing after the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn, but the battlefield superintendent says an excavation is not warranted.
The researchers found “anomalies in the ground and that’s all,” Gerard Baker, superintendent of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, said Saturday. “There’s always new technologies coming out. I’m hoping one of these days they will come out with technology to say that they are bodies or not.”
For the second time in two years, remote sensing technology was used to search the Deep Ravine at the battlefield near Crow Agency. What happened to the remains of 28 soldiers believed to have died in the ravine area is one of the mysteries surrounding the battle between Indian tribes and the 7th Cavalry.
In March 1995, engineers using a magnetometer detected a scattering of metallic objects in the area. In August, a team using ground-pentrating radar found indications that subsurface soil had been disturbed.
A geophysicist working on the research said results indicate “a reasonable chance” of remains. An engineer with the company that developed the ground-penetrating radar said excavation would be required to determine the exact source of radar detections.
Baker said the anomalies could be caused by rocks or even a cave-in from years ago, and any call to disturb the landscape of the historical and cultural area is unwarranted.