Here we go again.

Another effort to rename Devils Tower to Bear Lodge.

It seems that, once again, a federal naming committee is talking it over.

Apparently, the federal Reconciliation in Place Names recommended that the Secretary of the Interior change the name from 'Devils Tower' to 'Bear Lodge', which is what they believe Indians called it before the white man renamed it.

The committee believes that the Secretary has the authority to rename the tower as she has done with many other places.

But does the secretary really have that authority?

If we read Title 54 of the U.S. Code regarding American Antiquities,

"no extension or establishment of national monuments in Wyoming may be undertaken except by express authorization of Congress."

Below is a Black Hills news reporter talking about changing the name from 9 years ago.

The most common story as to how the tower got the name we use today goes like this:

Bear Lodge comes from a geographic area, not the tower itself.

Though the tower does come with the story of the little girls that climbed to get away from a giant bear. The features on the sides are claw marks from the bear.

When white people first came to the area they asked what the Indians called the tower.

The Indians tried to explain that it was named after a bad, or mischievous spirit or god.

The white man took that to mean THE DEVIL!

To this day local Indians complain, that is not what they meant.

The name would have been Devil's Tower, but the clerk typing up the paperwork for the official name made a typo and forgot the apostrophe before the "S." That is why we see Devils Tower, without the apostrophe.

If we dig a little deeper we see that the Black Hills, and the tower, changed ownership many times, in bloody conflicts, before the white man ever showed up.

Each tribe had a different name for the place when it was under their ownership.

The current name reflects the name the current owners gave it.

Devils Tower As Seen From The Mother Ship

If you've see the movie (documentary) Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, then you know what it looked like to see "The Mother Ship" descending down to Devils Tower.

But what did it look like from the Mother Ship's point of view?

We don't have any actual photos from the Mother Ship

So we recreated the scene using Google Earth and one Nasa Photo.

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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