Around 1966, a NASA team doing work for the Apollo moon
mission took several astronauts to a site near Tuba City where
the terrain of the Navajo Reservation was believed to be similar
to the lunar surface. Along with several NASA trucks and
vehicles used for the training session, there were two men
wearing complete Lunar spacesuits.
Nearby a Navajo sheep herder and his son watched what they
thought were two strange creatures walking around. Before
long, some NASA personnel noticed the sheep herder with his
son and decided to speak with them.
Since the sheep herder didn’t speak English, he told his son to
ask the NASA personnel what the strange creatures that were.
The NASA people quickly explained that they were not foreign
creatures, but they were just men in space-suits preparing for
a voyage to the moon. The boy explained this to his father, who
suddenly became very excited. The man spoke to his son, and the son explained that his father wanted to know if he could send a
message to the moon with the astronauts.
The NASA personnel thought this was a great idea, so they
found a tape recorder and recorded the sheep herder’s
message in Navajo. When they finished recording the message,
they asked the son to translate the it. The boy refused.
Later as the training session was coming to an end, the NASA
personnel were eager to learn what words of wisdom a Navajo
sheep herder would want to send to the moon. They tried asking
several people on the reservation to translate the message,
but every person they asked would hear the message, chuckle
and refuse. After dozens of people refused, the NASA
personnel decided to offer money for a translation of the
message, and finally they found someone to do it. The translator
listened to the tape recording, smiled to himself and then spoke
the message in English:
“Watch out, they come to take your land.” ?