David Keller, a world-renowned archeologist and professor at a university, was mysteriously fired in December. No one has ever been able to find out why.
According to a mid-2022 report, Keller, 52, is most well-known as an award-winning author, intrepid researcher of historical humanities, and for bringing grants back to his former employer of 21 year, the Center for Big Bend Studies, at Sul Ross State University. Keller was in the throes research when he was fired.
After his firing, Keller said that it was both humiliating and frustrating and also sad and infuriating. “That was my profession, my livelihood and a lot of my identity. It was very unfair to fire me in such an abrupt and cavalier fashion considering my time there.” Keller stated that he intended to retire in five year’s time and was currently working on three major projects for the institution.
Keller claims that Keller was told by the school, “We are not going to tell You Why, and we appreciate you your service, but you need to pick your stuff up and go,” and that the school also told him that it had to do with Keller’s work at Big Bend National Park where his permit was suspended in December.
Keller’s ex-colleague had a different view. Michelle LaceyOlivares, Center for Big Bend Studies program coordinator, told me that she doesn’t see how there is a story. She explained that Keller’s refusal to tell the truth was what made it a true story. Lacey-Olivares also asked me if anyone at the institution would be willing talk to me about Keller’s firing. I was told by her that he knew why he was fired and she hung up.
The Center for Big Bend Studies did not answer their phones, or respond to voicemails or emails. I finally got through to Sul Ross’s President’s Office. Then, I was transferred over to the communications department. They had no comment.
Keller’s career has been exemplary. This includes his academic and literary achievements as well as his work with Friends of the Ruidosa church, which supports the preservation of Ruidosa’s historic Catholic church. There are many other non-profits that protect America’s history and landscapes. This situation is clearly not right.
I believe Keller was a threat to this narrative in part. Two years ago, he found evidence that Mexican boys and men were killed by Texas Rangers and U.S. Cavalry soldiers in 1918. Although this may seem like a simple story, it is not. Graham Hancock and others know too well the vile, childish hatred that Big Archaeology spews.
Was there more to the story? Sul Ross did not respond to my comments about the program coordinator. I left messages with all publishers and organizations that appeared to have worked alongside Keller but no response.
Is there more to this story to come? Or will it be lost forever like most of human history because of the petty silence of those who believe they are in control?