Walter Childress, the man who wants Crees to invest up to $27 million in his U.S. recycling project, was inspired by the Creator to pursue his grandiose project, says a close associate.

Childress remains secretive about himself, his company and his project, but one of his associates spoke with The Nation and told us a little about the man who is trying to get Crees to make their biggest investment ever from their heritage funds.

Hanging in the balance is a possible Cree investment of anywhere from $2 to $27 million (no one will say even how much money is at stake).

Walter Childress, a Texas businessman of Native extraction, has refused to speak with The Nation. “I’m not evading questions or anything,” he told us. “I just prefer all questions to be cleared with the Cree Nation. I won’t answer any questions unless it’s pre-approved.”

Cree officials are also staying tight-lipped. They say they don’t want to tip off competitors about the technological marvels they say lie at the heart of the plan.

All we know is that Crees are being asked to finance construction of high-tech recycling centres in major cities across the U.S. Waste would be re-processed into products that could apparently then be sold for big profits. And the whole project would be good for the environment.

A woman named Voyce Durling Jones apparently put Childress in touch with Chief Billy Diamond and the other Cree chiefs.

Durling Jones, reached at her home in New Orleans, Louisiana, described herself as an “international consultant” with Cherokee-Choctaw ancestry. She is also consul-general of the West African country of Liberia in the U.S. South-East.

Durling Jones spoke highly of Childress. She would not confirm a rumour that he once worked for NASA, although she did say he is a trained aerospace engineer. “He’s a very interesting person. Certainly he shouldn’t be taken lightly in any way.”

Durling Jones said Childress’s project was inspired directly by the Creator. Apparently, Childress was atop a mountain when divine intervention guided him to pursue the idea of building recycling centres.

“He mentioned something about a vision quest,” she said. “It directly involved him in trying to do something about Mother Earth.”

Durling Jones has acted as a behind-the-scenes consultant for the Crees on a number of other files. She has accompanied Cree leaders on business missions to Davis Inlet and the African country of Uganda.

Crees are now waiting for an independent review of the project by accountants Price Waterhouse, said Bill Grodinsky of the Cree Regional Authority.

Grodinsky said Price Waterhouse has encountered some difficulties in finding an outside technical person to do the review. Childress has nixed all the candidates proposed thus far. He claimed they were competitors who could have stolen his secret technology and made millions. “It’s a very competitive market,” Grodinsky explained.

“What is being proposed is novel,” he added. “It is feasible. We see it as happening.”