Hurricane Nicole unearthed what is likely an ancient Native American burial ground on Chastain Beach in the town of Stuart, Florida.
Authorities found and removed the remains of at least six bodies, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said. A social media posting from the Sheriff’s Office said detectives worked with “the utmost care and respect” to carefully remove and preserve the remains that were exposed.
They will send the bones to the Medical Examiner’s Office and then to the Bureau of Archaeological Research at the Florida Department of State.
A crowd of surfers watched as deputies from the Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission surveyed the scene. Many of the surfers have lived here for generations. They said this happens every decade.
“Once every 10 years we get a swell in just the right direction, and skulls and bones pop out,” said Eric Romain.
He and several other observers felt that the officers should have left the bones where they found them.
“Everyone from here kind of believes we’re supposed to leave them,” Romain said. With every hurricane, the remains have stayed, and become a sort of legend among locals. “There’s something magical here.”
“I hope the police bury it back up because it’s a spiritual thing,” said Kai, who declined to give his last name.
Gil Feldman, another local, said he had heard that the remains of seven bodies were found. People had begun calling the beach “Seven Skulls,” he said.
The bones had been removed by the time the FWC officials arrived, and after investigators cleared the scene about 4 p.m., people started walking around the site, looking.©2022 South Florida Sun Sentinel. Visit at sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.