• Ground penetration radar search for Tulsa Race Massacre mass graves to continue next week

    By: Chrishayla Smith

    Updated:

    TULSA, Okla. - QUICK FACTS:

    • The 1921 Race Massacre Graves Investigation will continue the week on Oct. 14.
    • The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation Public Oversight Committee announced the first ground penetration radar will happen Oct. 7.
    • The search will start at four sites. A fourth site near Newblock Park was added after the pre-examination and research of the initial three sites.
    • The ground penetration will be open to the public.
    • The exact schedule will be available Oct. 4, on the mass graves website.
    • The physical evidence investigation is being led by the State of Oklahoma Archeological Survey based at the University of Oklahoma.
    • The next 1921 Graves Public Oversight Committee Meeting will be held on Thurs., Oct. 24, 5:30 p.m. at Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N. Hartford Ave. in Tulsa.

    Search Results

    The search for mass graves at Oaklawn Cemetary began Monday but investigators say the results were inconclusive due to interference.

    Experts say the majority of their findings with the ground penetration radar were not usable as there was too much interference from nearby cell phones and cameras.

    The search will continue this week and investigators are asking crowds to stay at least 300 feet away from the site area so to limit interference with scanning equipment.

    The Survey team is scheduled to be at Oaklawn Cemetery Oct. 14, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

    The Oklahoma Archeological Survey will be parked on the east side if City's WaterWork's Art Studio Oct. 15, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m..

    Search time at Rolling Oaks Memorial Gardens Cemetery is to be announced.

    The public is invited to view the entire scanning process.

    Viewing Guidelines:

     

    Cell phones and cameras should be turned off if within 300 feet of the radar and scanning equipment.  

    Photos or videos should be taken from a distance to not interfere with the radar equipment or work. 

    Avoid touching any monuments or gravestones and be courteous to walk in between headstones and not stand on top of a burial place.

    Avoid playing loud music and keep the volume of voices down. 

    Children should be accompanied with an adult and pets must be leashed.

     

    Search Sites
     

    The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation Public Oversight Committee met Thursday and got updates from the committees established for the 1921 graves reexamination, including the historical context and the physical evidence investigation committees.

    Initial ground penetration radar began on Oct. 7. An additional site near Newblock Park was added following the pre-examination and research of the initial three sites.

    RELATED STORY: City officials consider investigating sites for possible mass graves from 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

    The ground penetration work is open to the public to view the work. The exact schedule with the site locations and times will be posted on the 1921 graves webpage, by Oct. 4. During the ground penetration radar, the site areas will be zoned off to create a perimeter to prevent any interference with the ground penetration radar equipment.

    The physical evidence investigation is being led by the State of Oklahoma Archaeological Survey based at the University of Oklahoma, which will use ground penetration radar at four sites in Tulsa, including: Oaklawn Cemetery, Newblock Park (and an area near Newblock Park) and Rolling Oaks Memorial Gardens, formerly Booker T. Washington Cemetery.

    The initial search at Oaklawn Cemetary took place on October 7 from 1:30 p.m.-4 p.m. 

    The City of Tulsa announced the guidelines for the public attending:

    "Parking will not be available inside Oaklawn Cemetery. On street parking should be utilized in the nearby residential neighborhood located across 11th St. from the cemetery on S. Norfolk Ave. or at nearby Tracy Park. Individuals are asked to follow cemetery rules and Oklahoma Archaeological Survey guidelines while viewing the investigatory work:Cell phones should be set on airplane mode or turned off if within 100 feet of the radar equipment.
    Photos or videos should be taken from a distance to not interfere with the radar equipment or work.
    Avoid touching any monuments or gravestones and be courteous to walk in between headstones and not stand on top of a burial place.
    Avoid playing loud music and keep the volume of voices down.
    Children should be accompanied with an adult and pets must be leashed.
    Once the ground penetration work is complete at Oaklawn Cemetery, the Survey team will move to Newblock Park."

    Once the results from the ground penetration radar are complete, the results will be made available at the next Public Oversight Meeting.

    RELATED STORY: Search for mass graves from 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

    Oral history and stories from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre have been passed down from generation to generation. If you have information or a story to share that will help with the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves investigation or want more information on the investigation process, visit: www.cityoftulsa.org/1921graves. A phone line has also been setup by the Greenwood Cultural Center, (918) 596-1024.

    The next 1921 Graves Public Oversight Committee Meeting will be held on Thurs., Oct. 24, 5:30 p.m. at Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N. Hartford Ave. in Tulsa.

     


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