Articles From the December 1994 Unification News
Buffalo Signals Messianic Age to Native Americans
by Renee Thomson-Madison, WI
Early in the morning on Aug. 20, 1994, in Janesville, Wisconsin, Dave Heider, a local livestock farmer, went out to his field to check on his herd of buffalo. He could not believe what he found; rubbing his eyes and looking again, he realized that the white buffalo calf standing in front of him was not an apparition. In those early moments of bewilderment, Mr. Heider did not truly understand that the newborn calf he was marveling at was the fulfillment of a prophecy of the Native Americans.
Like many of us, Dave Heider did not realize that one day he could wake up and his life would be forever changed. What he witnessed as a miracle of a white buffalo has such deep meaning to the Native Americans that he and his wife Valerie eventually named the female calf Miracle.
In the following weeks, thousands of people came to visit the 45-acre farm. They came to pray, to leave poems and gifts, and to join in the spirit of heralding in a new era of peace. It is believed that representatives of some 350 North American tribes have come to pay their respects.
Later I was to reflect on why Miracle was born in Janesville, with a population of only 57,000. Why our town? Why now? Why the Heiders? Why in the state of Wisconsin? In time, only God-or the Great White Spirit-can really reveal the meaning.
The following was printed in The Janesville Gazette, Thursday, Sept. 1, 1993, excerpted from John Fire Lame Deer's 1967 telling:
"One summer so long ago that nobody knows how long, the seven sacred council fires of the Lakota Sioux came together and camped. The sun shone all the time, but there was no game, and the people were starving.
"The chief sent two young men on foot to hunt. The men climbed a high hill to scan the whole country and met a beautiful young woman who floated as she walked.
"One man desired the woman and tried to touch her, but he was consumed by a cloud of snakes and reduced to a pile of bones.
"The other man returned to his camp and told the people the holy woman was coming. When she arrived, the woman gave the people a sacred pipe and taught them how to pray.
"`With this holy pipe, you will walk like a living prayer,' she said.
"The woman also told the Sioux about the value of buffalo, women and children.
"`You are from the mother earth,' she told the women. `What you are doing is as great as what the warriors do.'
"Before she left, she told the people she would return. And as she walked away, she rolled over four times, turning into a white female buffalo calf.
"After that day, the Sioux took care of the pipe, and buffalo were plentiful."
Local news reports from The Janesville Gazette have presented the issue to the public:
"Mr. Heider said, `It's like the second coming of Christ for Christians. It is very sacred. I still don't know why God gave us this white calf.'" (Thursday, Sept. 1, 1994)
"Alex Whiteplume, executive director for the Oglala Sioux Parks on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, explained that it is not known for certain that the calf is a white buffalo. Heider said, `The calf will not shed its birth coat for three months, and a blood test won't be performed for at least six months. Because the calf is not an albino, its fur still may darken.'" (Thursday, Sept. 1, 1994) It is reported that for the Native Americans, the prophecy has been fulfilled, and it does not matter whether the calf changes to a darker color.
"For the Heiders, life has changed, has virtually been turned upside down. Initially, many bison breeders contacted them because they were interested in obtaining sperm from Miracle's sire to experiment with breeding more white buffalo. Miracle's father died within one week of her birth. Harry Homer of the Oneida tribe near De Pere, Wisconsin, said that higher powers did not intend for such experimentation to happen." (Saturday, Sept. 3, 1994)
"Two Sioux holy men came to Janesville to perform sacred ceremonies in honor of the white calf. Arvol Looking Horse holds the 19th-century sacred pipe given to the Sioux by the legendary white buffalo calf woman. He said that `the spirit of the buffalo reflects on the spirit of the (Sioux) nation. We have to respect the buffalo.' He further explained that since 1990 they have expected the birth of a white buffalo, because it marks the end of the sixth generation, which started in 1890 when the buffalo were slaughtered and the Native American culture was desecrated. He said the buffalo's return signifies that a `healing would begin,' and dreams and visions would return. `It's time for us to get back for the nation to live,' Arvol said. `When we live this way, when we're ready to go in to the spirit world, our relatives will follow us.'" (Thursday, Sept. 13, 1994)
"Floyd Hand, a medicine man at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, performed a sacred pipe ceremony. `It's an omen that's bringing a new change to a new world,' said Hand. `The 21st century that's coming 'round is going to unify all of us. We are here to encourage people to pray for peace. We're gonna heal together now.'" (Tuesday, Sept. 13, 1994)
"Mr. Hand explained that the Lakota Sioux believe that by unifying the sacred circle which includes four directions, elements and colors, peace will come to the earth. Europeans and white people were given responsibility for the air. Black people were entrusted with fire, symbolized by the heart. Asians were to take care of the blood, symbolized by the color yellow. The earth was to be honored by the Native Americans, symbolized by the color red." (Tuesday, Sept. 13, 1994)
On Oct. 10, I was able to contact Floyd Hand by telephone at his home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Also known as "Looks for Buffalo," Floyd is an Oglala Sioux spiritual leader. Mr. Hand explained that he was visited three times in a dream by the Blessed Virgin, in 1968, 1988 and 1994. He said that he knew that the white buffalo calf would be born in Janesville, and that the Blessed Virgin is using her image.
In his visions, the Blessed Virgin told Mr. Hand that she would be seen all over the world. She told him that people who do not turn to a true inner life will destroy themselves through floods and fire. Mr. Hand also shared that "People have become materialistic, instead of joining the unity of helping one on one." He further said that many people will lose their houses and material belongings in this time.
He said that this growing development of peace will be happening over the next 27 years, and that by May 21, 2021, peace, love and harmony will be at hand. There will be no more war. Mr. Hand predicted that unless people choose a more spiritual direction, the Tower of Babylon, which he refers to as the big cities of our nation, will fall. He said in this time intercultural and interracial marriages are happening.
Mr. Hand continued to share: "The yellow people prayed with Buddha. The white people prayed with Christ. The black people prayed with Mohammed, and the Indian people prayed with the Blessed Virgin."
He said: "We pray in a circle. The image of the earth is the moon. The image of life is the sun. The giver of life is the earth. Sun, moon, earth. The giver of life is God. The time of learning is when you are born. The time of giving is when you have children. You teach them and care for them, loving them as you have loved everything. Fire, air, water, earth. The return is eldership. You teach your grandchildren, and then you go home."
In considering our present time, Mr. Hand said that "Everything has been destroying common sense. We have lost the concept of the extended family. Today's life is called the high-tech life. The European culture has lost all sense of reality. They have lost their inner power, common sense, faith and trust." He said, "We knew Miracle would be born. This is why it had to happen. Miracle will heal a lot of people."
So far, our family has visited the Heider farm four times. On one occasion, our Regional leader Rev. Hun Suk Lee and members from around the state came to visit Miracle. Each time I have gone, I have felt a peaceful feeling, one of serenity, harmony and hope. I have seen all races stand side by side at the gate, adorned by colorful amulets, dream catchers, and various offerings. It is often a quiet moment, like entering into a sanctuary. Everyone has their particular belief, and yet the beliefs are not keeping people from joining together.
It has been inspiring for me to speak to several Native American volunteers who offer their time as security every weekend. They carry so much depth in their faces and hearts. I believe my Cherokee ancestors are moved by what I am learning from them. They are my teachers, because they have suffered so much more than I have. Both my husband and I have shared with them how we have learned that the Native Americans are cousins to the Koreans. We have shared about our work with Rev. and Mrs. Moon, and about the new Age of the Completed Testament that we are living in.
I often remember Rev. Moon speaking about the Belvedere Training Center. He told us that one day thousands and thousands of people would come to visit the place where he has given sermons over the years. I believe that will happen. It is only a matter of time. After all, it is not too difficult to go to a gate and look at a buffalo who does not speak. What is more challenging for any of us is to humble ourselves to listen to God's inspiration and direction for our lives.
After people leave the sight of Miracle, her mother and the buffalo herd, they return to their cars. On the way, many stop at the barn where Gary Gandy presents the only authorized painting of the calf.
Gary told me, "The buffalo has done all it has to do. It was born with a brown nose, brown eyes and brown hoofs." In other words, she is not an albino. Gary said that the chances for a white female calf to be born are extremely small. For anyone wishing to visit Miracle, the Heiders welcome people from 1pm to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Anyone interested in purchasing a limited edition please contact the Marshall Publishing Company immediately. To order call 1-800-484-6520, dial 6405.
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