The 911 Terrorist Attack & Massacre...The Misleading Flag of Truce
Massacre: A senseless act carried out by heavily armed forces for reasons that have an undertone of revengeful and uncivilized based structures as it is typically acted out on helpless and unresisting humans, and is never the less barbaric in its very nature. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a massacre as that of the indiscriminate and brutal slaughtering of people.
The Misleading Flag of Truce: The Mountain Meadows Massacre of September 11, 1857, located just 30 miles southwest of Cedar City, Utah is a demonstration of these very acts brought on by man and ammunition in a setting that could not have been predetermined even if there would have been a crystal ball available to tell what the future was about to bring on that fateful day. The flag of truce held by the militiamen was misleading and easily lured the members of the unsuspecting wagon train to temporarily halt their travels. The massacre stands alone as one of the darkest and most shameful moments in time for the history of the Mormons.
Since 1830 there is no question that the Mormons have fallen under heavy attacks and persecution, so much so that their founder Joseph Smith was often imprisoned as well as tarred and feathered, and later killed. The Mormons were often driven from their homes, and after many moves the majority of them relocated in 1846 to the Great Salt Lake City, Utah area, and established a theocracy under Brigham Young. Tensions remained high in the Mormon community, and by 1857, and the Mormons were in a state of fear and paranoia, which many felt, led to the outcome of the massacre on incident emigrants passing through the area.
Assembled in Carroll County Arkansas in early September of 1857, the Baker-Fancher wagon train, made up of roughly 120 people, and a head count of cattle amounting to between 800-1,000 was planning on relocating and eventually settling to a new life just 50 miles north of Visalia, California at the elder Fancher's cattle ranch. Alexander Fancher was the leader of the wagon train, and he held high expectations of what a new life in the California territory would bring these families traveling with him. Unfortunately the Mormon Militia would not allow their dream to become a reality. The emigrants knew when the siege started in Utah that they had very little choice but to surrender since they were very low on supplies.
The Day of the Attack: Low on supplies, the wagon train pulled into Cedar City, Utah, in desperate need of replenishing their goods. The Mormons refused to comply with their needs due to suspicions that the wagon train were not friend, but foe, and they were forced to move on due southwest continuing their path to California. The wagon train traveled onward for approximately 30 miles, and was met with a surprise attack from the Mormon Militia as well as Native Americans from the Paiute tribe. The male emigrants, children included, were pulled from their wagons and forced to walk for a mile.
Not understanding the circumstances of the local behavior and unwelcome gestures, the unarmed emigrants questioned the plan of the militiamen and the Paiute Indians that were persuaded to help carry out the slaughter of innocent people. They were quickly met with an answer when sudden gunfire started taking the lives of fellow companions of the wagon train. One by one the men and boys were brutally gunned down with no chance of survival. The Native Americans finished up the bloody massacre by attacking the women and remaining children that were hiding in the covered wagons.
It has been estimated that 120 people were murdered on that fateful day of September 11, 1857, and that only a mere 17 children survived the attack. Local families adopted the surviving children, and later returned them to Arkansas to reunite with their distant relatives. The massacre was initially blamed on the Native Americans, but an investigation brought on by Brigham Young later disclosed that nine men of the Utah Territorial militiamen of the Tenth Regiment "Iron Brigade" were indicted for murder or conspiracy in 1874.
Haunting Reminders of the Past: A subtle field of sadness, despair, bloodshed and lost dreams encircle the burial site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre as is witnessed by the millions of visitors that come to pray for those lives lost each year on 9/11. It is believed to be inhabited by the lost souls of another time as their lives were taken without warning and all too quickly. Visitors have come to the site and many of them express the feeling of dread and immediate sorrow.
Faint whispers and cries flow eerily through the slight breezes coming from the nearby creek reminding the living that they are surrounded by lost souls who once loved life as much as they do, and would very much like to continue their travels to California unharmed. Because of the severe nature of the massacre, the memorial site is considered a sacred piece of ground and should be treated with a disquieted state of mixed uncertainty and reverence.
In an article featuring the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the Archaeological Institute of America reported that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints made a disturbing discovery while restoring a monument to the victims of the September 11, 1857 massacre in southwest Utah. The researchers found the bones of at least 29 of the 120 pioneer men, women, and children killed in the bloodbath. High tech radar also revealed three other peculiar structures, perhaps graves, not threatened by the restoration work. Further excavation was immediately halted.
A sense of peace and finality were brought to the site of the massacre in 1988 when descendants of the Baker-Fancher party collaborated with the Mormons and not only designed, but dedicated a monument that replaced the dilapidated marker barely sitting in place at the site. Three monuments have been erected and dedicated to the victims of the Mountain Meadows Massacre site, with two of them sitting at the approximate location of the surprise attack.
The Made for Television Movie: This true story is so profound that it was made into a movie in 2004. "Buying the Past, Legacy of the Mountain Meadows Massacre" brings to life what one survivor claims has needed closure through forgiveness and healing. Her testimony and accounts of what occurred is made clear during interviews with descendants, and forensic investigations. The heart wrenching film breaks through decades of lies, barriers and mysteries while exposing a story that has been kept far from the history books.
The Book: Massacre at Mountain Meadows was written by authors Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley and Glen M. Leonard. These talented authors are also faithful Latter- day Saints members, and they are blatantly honest, and openly condemn the Mormon murderers and absolve the Arkansas emigrants.