the ape-ancestry myth
Feb 2004, Sep 2014
Part 2 of 3
3. Suppressed evidence of human antiquity
4. Giants and wildmen (10/20)
3. Suppressed evidence of human antiquity
1993 saw the publication of a scholarly and controversial 900-page work Forbidden Archeology, coauthored by Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson.1 It presents abundant evidence – in the form of stone tools, incised bones, and skeletal remains – suggesting that humans of the modern type existed in the Pliocene, the Miocene, and even in early Tertiary times, millions of years before our supposed apelike ancestors are thought to have appeared. Most of this evidence was discovered by reputable scientists in the 19th and early 20th centuries, before the modern truncated timescale of human evolution became entrenched. Cremo and Thompson write:
These discoveries are not well known, having been forgotten by science over the course of many decades or in many cases eliminated by a biased process of knowledge filtration. The result is that modern students of paleoanthropology are not in possession of the complete range of scientific evidence concerning human origins and antiquity. Rather most people, including professional scientists, are exposed to only a carefully edited selection of evidence supporting the currently accepted theory that protohuman hominids evolved from apelike predecessors in Africa during the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene, and that modern humans subsequently evolved from the protohuman hominids in the Late Pleistocene, in Africa or elsewhere.2
The authors also scrutinize more recent fossil finds, and show how theoretical preconceptions still govern the acceptance or rejection of evidence and the way it is interpreted. They conclude that various types of humanlike and apelike beings have coexisted for tens of millions of years into the past.
The scientific establishment responded angrily to Cremo and Thompson’s challenge to their deeply held beliefs. Richard Leakey called their book ‘pure humbug’. The American Journal of Physical Anthropology labelled it ‘Hindu-oid creationist drivel’, ‘goofy popular anthropology’, ‘a veritable cornucopia of dreck’.3 The authors openly state their affiliation to the Bhaktivedanta Institute, a branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and many critics attacked the book on the grounds that its authors’ beliefs precluded unbiased handling of the subject mater. This is unjust, as all authors – including Darwinists – have a philosophical stance which might affect their objectivity. All evidence and arguments must stand or fall on their own merits.
Responses from professional scientists were not entirely negative. Some mainstream scholars acknowledged the quality of the research that went into the book. David Heppell, of the Department of Natural History of the Royal Museum of Scotland, wrote: ‘A very comprehensive and scholarly compilation. ... Whether one accepts the evidence presented or not, it certainly looks as if there will no longer be any excuse for ignoring it.’4 There has been one book-length attempt by an orthodox Darwinist to refute Forbidden Archeology, but it merely tries to pick holes in a handful of cases, leaving most of the evidence untouched.5
Much of the evidence presented by Cremo and Thompson came to light soon after Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859. At that time, there had been no notable fossil finds except Neanderthal man, and there was no clearly established story of human descent to be defended. As a result, professional scientists reported many discoveries that nowadays would never make it into the pages of any respectable academic journal. Most of the ‘anomalous’ fossils and artifacts were unearthed before the discovery by Eugene Dubois of Java man in 1891/92. Dubois labelled Java man Pithecanthropus erectus, believing it to be intermediate between the apes and the genus Homo, but nowadays it is classed as Homo erectus.
Java Man was found in Middle Pleistocene deposits generally given an age of 800,000 years. The discovery became a benchmark. Henceforth, scientists would not expect to find fossils or artifacts of anatomically modern humans in deposits of equal or greater age. If they did, they (or someone wiser) concluded that this was impossible and found some way to discredit the find as a mistake, an illusion, or a hoax.6
In 1884 anthropologist Armand de Quatrefages wrote: ‘The objections made to the existence of man in the Pliocene and Miocene seem to habitually be more related to theoretical considerations than direct observation.’7 Alfred Wallace expressed dismay that evidence for anatomically modern humans existing in the Tertiary tended to be ‘attacked with all the weapons of doubt, accusation, and ridicule’.8 Of course, none of the hundreds of cases documented by Cremo and Thompson are necessarily valid. Most aroused controversy at the time. But the opposing arguments were not so overwhelming and conclusive as to justify the virtual absence of any serious consideration of this anomalous evidence in modern accounts of human evolution.
In the latter half of the 19th century, numerous scientists discovered incised and broken bones and shells indicating a human presence in the Pliocene, Miocene and even earlier. Opponents suggested that the marks and breaks observed on the fossil bones were caused by the action of carnivores, sharks or geological pressure, but supporters of the discoveries offered detailed counterarguments. Scientists also turned up large quantities of what they presumed to be stone tools and weapons. These discoveries were reported in well-established journals and were thoroughly discussed at scientific congresses, but today hardly anyone has heard of them. The current view is that the hominins of the late and middle Pliocene were very primitive australopithecines, who are generally regarded as incapable of making stone tools.
Fig. 3.1. Above: Stone tools found by A. Rutot below late Oligocene sands at Boncelles, Belgium, in 1907. Below: Implements manufactured by native Tasmanians in recent historical times. They resemble almost exactly the tools shown above.9
In 1881, a shell displaying a crude yet recognizably human face carved on its outer surface was found in the late Pliocene Red Crag formation in England. It was dated at over 2 million years old, whereas according to standard views, humans capable of such artistry did not arrive in Europe until about 40 thousand years ago. In the early 20th century, geologist J. Reid Moir found rudimentary stone tools (eoliths) and more advanced stone tools (palaeoliths) in and beneath the Red Crag formation; they could be anything from 2 to 55 million years old. The finds won support from Henri Breuil, one of the most vocal critics of eoliths. In 1923 an international commission of scientists travelled to England to investigate Moir’s principal discoveries and pronounced them genuine.
Fig. 3.2. Carved shell from the English Red Crag formation.10
From 1912 to 1914 Carlos Ameghino found a series of stone implements, including bolas (throwing balls) and signs of fireplaces in late Pliocene strata 2 to 3 million years old at Miramar, on the Argentine coast. He also found a stone arrowhead firmly embedded in the femur of a Pliocene species of Toxodon, an extinct mammal. In 1913 his coworker Lorenzo Parodi found a bola stone in a Pliocene cliff at Miramar. He left it in place and invited several scientists, including ethnographer Eric Boman, an ardent critic of the finds, to witness the implement’s extraction. A second stone ball was then found at the same location, followed by another implement 200 metres away. Confounded, Boman could only hint in his report that Parodi had planted the implements. In 1921 Parodi discovered a fully human fossil jaw fragment in the same formation at Miramar.11 The prevailing belief today is that humans did not enter the Americas much earlier than about 25,000 years ago.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, several discoveries of modern-looking human skeletal remains were made in middle Pleistocene formations in Europe. These discoveries include those made at Galley Hill, Moulin Quingnon, Clichy, La Denise and Ipswich. They could be attributed to recent intrusive burial or fraud, but there are reasons for thinking the skeletons might actually be of middle Pleistocene age, i.e. older than the age of 200,000 years or so currently assigned to Homo sapiens. For instance, the 330,000-year-old skeleton found at Galley Hill, near London, in 1888, was discovered in undisturbed strata, and anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith concluded that ‘there was no possibility of denying the authenticity of the discovery without doing an injury to truth’12 – yet the standard opinion today is that it must have been buried recently.
In 1863, J. Boucher de Perthes discovered an anatomically modern human jaw in the Moulin Quingnon gravel pit at Abbeville, France. He removed it from a layer of black sand and gravel 5 m deep, which also contained stone implements of the Acheulean type, some 400,000 years old. A commission of British and French geologists and archaeologists came out in favour of the authenticity of the jaw, but two of the British members had reservations and eventually won most of the scientists to their side. Boucher de Perthes conducted further excavations at the site, under very strict controls and in the presence of trained scientific observers. He discovered many more anatomically modern human bones, bone fragments and teeth, but they received almost no attention in the English-speaking world.
In 1880 geologist Giuseppe Ragazzoni excavated bones of a woman, a man and two children from a middle Pliocene formation (3 or 4 million years old) at Castenedolo in northern Italy.13 The woman’s cranial capacity was 1340 cc, well within the modern range. He carefully inspected the overlying layers of sediment and found them to be undisturbed, thereby ruling out recent burial. A skeleton of similar age was found by other researchers at Savona, Italy. In 1883, anatomist Giuseppe Sergi examined the human remains and the site, fully confirming Ragazzoni’s findings. He absolutely ruled out intrusive burial, noting that ‘clay from the upper surface layers, recognizable by its intense red color, would have been mixed in’.
However, many influential scientists were committed to the fairly recent evolution of the modern human type from primitive apelike creatures, and they opposed such discoveries on theoretical grounds. Sergi protested: ‘By means of a despotic scientific prejudice, ... every discovery of human remains in the Pliocene has been discredited.’ Archaeologist R.A.S. Macalister provides a good example of such prejudice. In 1921 he stated that if the Castenedolo bones really belonged to the stratum in which they were found, this would imply ‘an extraordinarily long standstill for evolution’ and would create ‘many insoluble problems’. He therefore concluded, ‘It is much more likely that there is something amiss with the observations.’
Scientists have used chemical and radiometric tests to deny a Pliocene age to the Castenedolo bones. In 1980 it was reported that the bones had a nitrogen content similar to bones from late Pleistocene and Holocene sites. However, the degree of nitrogen preservation in bone can vary widely from site to site, making such comparisons unreliable as age indicators. The bones were found in clay, a substance known to preserve nitrogen-containing bone proteins. The bones were also found to have a fluorine content relatively high for recent bones, and an unexpectedly high uranium concentration, consistent with great age. A carbon-14 test yielded an age of 958 years for some of the bones, but the bones had lain in a museum for nearly 90 years and could have become contaminated with recent carbon, giving a falsely young age.
During the days of the California Gold Rush, starting in the 1850s, miners discovered many anatomically modern human bones and advanced stone implements in mine shafts sunk deeply into deposits of gold-bearing gravels capped by thick lava flows.14 The gravels beneath the lava are from 9 to 55 million years old. In 1880 J.D. Whitney, the state geologist of California, published a lengthy review of advanced stone tools found in California gold mines. All the evidence gathered by Whitney indicated that the objects could not have entered from other levels; the implements, including spear points, stone mortars, and pestles, were found deep in mine shafts, beneath thick, undisturbed layers of lava. Whitney concluded that humans like those of the present had existed in very ancient times in North America. To this W.H. Homes of the Smithsonian Institution replied: ‘Perhaps if Professor Whitney had fully appreciated the story of human evolution as it is understood today, he would have hesitated to announce the conclusions formulated, notwithstanding the imposing array of testimony with which he was confronted.’ In other words, if the facts do not agree with the favoured theory, then such facts, even an ‘imposing array’ of them, must be thrown out of the window.
Fig. 3.3. Pestle and mortar found in a mine tunnel penetrating Tertiary deposits (33-55 million years old) under Table Mountain, Tuolumne County, California.
In 1866, in Calaveras County, in the same Sierra Nevada mountains of California, a mine owner found a highly fossilized human skull in a pre-Pliocene layer of gravel 40 m below the surface.15 Opinions on its authenticity varied, but some scientists said that careful examination showed it was incrusted with sand and gravel from the site and its cavities were filled with the same material. As mentioned above, large numbers of stone implements were found in nearby deposits of similar age. And additional human skeletal remains were uncovered in the same region, dating from 9 to 55 million years old. Sir Arthur Keith stated that the Calaveras skull ‘cannot be passed over. It is the “bogey” which haunts the student of early man ... taxing the powers of belief of every expert almost to breaking point.’
Forbidden Archeology contains other reports of anatomically modern humans being found in early Tertiary and even pre-Tertiary (e.g. Cretaceous and Carboniferous) strata. These reports are more difficult to assess because far fewer details are available.
Cremo and Thompson demonstrate that present-day palaeoanthropologists apply double standards to fossil evidence. If a find conforms to standard theory, it is readily accepted, whereas anomalous evidence is subjected to such severe scrutiny that no find is likely to be admitted. If scientists applied equal standards to both anomalous and nonanomalous fossils, both would be either accepted or rejected.
Not all the evidence for human origins found in current textbooks meets high standards. For instance, most African hominid fossils, including those of Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis), were discovered on the surface and were assigned specific dates because of their loose association with certain exposed strata. Likewise, none of the Java man discoveries, ranging from the original ones made by Dubois in the 1890s to those of the late 20th century, were made in controlled excavations, photographed in situ, etc. Although they were surface finds, they have been assigned an age of 800,000 or more years, on the assumption that the bones eroded from middle Pleistocene formations. The finds were made by unsupervised, paid native collectors, who later brought them or sent them to scientists for study. By contrast, nearly all the discoveries of anomalously old human bones occurred in situ, in well-defined strata. In this respect, these discoveries, largely forgotten, are superior to many now fully accepted.
Dubois originally created Java man from a couple of teeth, an apelike skullcap, and a humanlike femur found 15 m away. However, it is now universally accepted that the femur does not differ significantly from that of a modern human and does not belong with the skullcap. But instead of concluding that modern-looking humans were living 800,000 yeas ago, it was assumed that the femur (and similar femurs later found in the same deposits) must have been mixed in from higher, more recent levels. Of course the same could equally apply to the skullcap, which would demolish the original Java man entirely. Yet some museum exhibits continue to portray both the skullcap and the original femur as belonging to a middle Pleistocene Homo erectus individual.16
Paleoanthropological evidence is frequently subject to multiple, contradictory interpretations, and partisan considerations often determine which view prevails at any given time. As the case of the Java man femur shows, even some of the evidence that has been fitted into the orthodox theory of human evolution is potentially anomalous. In 1965 a fragment of a humerus (upper arm bone), 4 to 4.5 million years old, was found at Kanapoi, Kenya. Some experts stated that it was different from those of the australopithecines and almost exactly like that of a modern human, but others stated the exact opposite. Over the years, the OH 8 foot, found at Olduvai Gorge and dated at 1.7 million years, has been described as humanlike, apelike, intermediate between humans and ape, distinct from both human and ape, and orangutanlike. The Kanam jaw, 1.7 to 2.0 million years old, has been attributed to Australopithecus boisei, Homo habilis, Neanderthal-like humans, early Homo sapiens and modern Homo sapiens.17
The Gombore humerus, 1.5 million years old, found in Ethiopia in 1977, has been attributed in the past to Australopithecus boisei, but is currently attributed to Homo ergaster. It is described as very like that of a modern human. The ER 813 talus (ankle bone), 1.5 to 1.9 million years old, is attributed to Homo ergaster, but has also been described as not significantly different from that of a modern bushman. The ER 1481 and 1472 femurs from Kenya, about 2 million years old, are currently attributed to Homo rudolfensis, but both have been described as resembling that of modern humans.18 The possibility that such fossils did in fact belong to anatomically modern humans is of course ruled out in advance on theoretical grounds.
Cremo and Thompson draw attention to the dubious and dishonest practice of morphological dating. This means that if an apelike hominid and a more humanlike hominid are found at two different sites in association with the same middle Pleistocene fauna, for example, the site with the more humanlike hominid is given a later date than the other. The two fossil hominids are then cited in textbooks as evidence of an evolutionary progression! This practice substantially distorts the hominid fossil record.
An appendix to Forbidden Archeology is devoted to discoveries of artifacts suggestive of more developed cultural and technological achievements in geological formations dating back to the Precambrian. The evidence includes a nail found in Devonian sandstone, metallic tubes found in Cretaceous chalk, a gold thread found in Carboniferous stone, a small Carboniferous gold chain found in a lump of coal, a Carboniferous iron cup from a chunk of coal, a Cambrian ‘shoe print’, a metallic vase from Precambrian rock, and Precambrian grooved metallic spheres from South Africa. The reports emanate from both scientific and nonscientific sources, but most of the artifacts have not been preserved in museums and are impossible to locate. Although such evidence is often weak, it still deserves proper study and should not be dismissed on purely ideological grounds.
In 1937 a Wyoming woman discovered a 6-inch-long spoon in a large chunk of Pennsylvania soft coal. It was sent to the Smithsonian Institution, which replied that human artifacts could never be found in coal.19 And the Smithsonian is never wrong – is it?
- Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, Forbidden Archeology, San Diego: CA: Bhaktivedanta Institute, 1993; abridged version: The Hidden History of the Human Race, Badger, CA: Govardhan Hill Publishing, 1994. See also: Michael A. Cremo, Forbidden Archeology’s Impact, Los Angeles, CA: Bhaktivedanta Book Publishing, 1998; Michael A. Cremo, Human Devolution: A Vedic alternative to Darwin’s theory, Los Angeles, CA: Bhaktivedanta Book Publishing, 2003.
- Forbidden Archeology, p. 150.
- Forbidden Archeology’s Impact, pp. 53, 93.
- Ibid., p. 257.
- Michael Brass, The Antiquity of Man, Baltimore, MD: AmErica House, 2002; see Richard Milton’s review, grahamhancock.com/library/review001_brass.php.
- Forbidden Archeology, p. 19.
- Human Devolution, p. 19.
- Forbidden Archeology, p. 390.
- The Hidden History of the Human Race, p. 69.
- Forbidden Archeology, p. 72.
- Ibid., pp. 313-34, 438-9.
- Arthur Keith, The Antiquity of Man, London: Williams and Norgate, 1925, p. 256.
- Forbidden Archeology, pp. 422-32.
- Ibid., pp. 368-93.
- Ibid., pp. 439-52.
- The Hidden History of the Human Race, pp. 155-62.
- Forbidden Archeology, pp. 656, 684-6, 705-6.
- Ibid., pp. 686-7, 691-3; The Antiquity of Man, p. 56.
- William R. Corliss (comp.), Archeological Anomalies: Small artifacts, Glen Arm, MD: Sourcebook Project, 2003, p. 113.
4. Giants and wildmen
Almost every form of life that has existed on earth appears to have gone through a ‘giant’ phase. There have been giant plants, giant insects, giant reptiles, giant birds, giant fish and giant mammals.1
In the Palaeozoic era, the largest land animals were herbivorous pelycosaurs (mammal-like reptiles) from the Permian, up to 6 metres long. Some of the Palaeozoic invertebrates were also impressive: they include dragonflies with 60-75 cm wingspans, a giant armoured millipede 1.8 m long, and scorpions up to 1 m long. The largest species of Dunkleosteus, a placoderm (armoured fish) from the late Devonian, grew up to 10 m long and weighed 3.6 tonnes. Giant vegetation existed as well. For instance, the ferns of today are the descendants of the colossal ferns of the Carboniferous, which grew as tall as trees. In the Carboniferous, some club-mosses (lycophytes), related to the tiny club-moss of today, were huge trees 30 m high and up to 1.5 m in diameter; the largest horsetails (Calamites) attained similar heights whereas modern horsetails are only 1-2 m tall.
The largest land animals that have ever lived were the dinosaurs, which roamed the earth in the Mesozoic era, the age of reptiles. Not all the dinosaurs were giants – some were the size of a chicken. But Brachiosaurus, for example, stood 7 m tall at the hips, the head on its long neck could tower 12 to 16 m in the air, it attained a length of about 26 m, and it weighed 30 to 80 tonnes. The tallest dinosaur, Sauroposeidon (fig. 4.1), could raise its head to a height of 18 m, was 34 m long and weighed up to 60 tonnes. Apatosaurus (formerly Brontosaurus) weighed around 20 tonnes and was 23 m long, including its long neck and tail. Seismosaurus grew up to 50 m long, half the length of a football pitch. Argentinosaurus is estimated to have weighed from 60 to 88 tonnes, and Amphicoelias fragillimus may have weighed up to 111 tonnes. Some researchers believe that the earth’s gravity must have been weaker during the age of reptiles to allow such gigantic life forms to exist.*2 The present-day descendants of these prehistoric monsters are miniature by comparison. The sphenodon of New Zealand – the only type of land animal with a third eye (or pineal eye) on top of its head – grows to a length of 71 cm, and the Australian spine-covered lizard of the desert measures 20 cm.
*According to theosophy, the earth originated in an ethereal state and was still on its ‘descending arc’ of materialization and densification in the Mesozoic; it reached its densest stage around the Late Oligocene/Early Miocene. The weaker gravity has nothing to do with the earth being only half the size it is today, as expanding-earth theorists claim.
Fig. 4.2. Thighbone of an unnamed titanosaur species discovered in 2014.3 The dinosaur is estimated
to have been 40 m long, 20 m tall, and to have weighed 77 tonnes, as heavy as 14 African elephants.
Fig. 4.3. Scale diagram comparing a human and the largest known dinosaurs of five major groups. (en.wikipedia.org)
Mesozoic rocks contain a variety of other large extinct reptiles. They include the giant crocodile Sarcosuchus, which lived in Africa in the Cretaceous (fig. 4.4). It was around 12 m long, weighed about 8 tonnes, and probably dined on small dinosaurs. In the marine environment there were long-necked plesiosaurs up to 15 m long and fishlike ichthyosaurs up to 21 m long. In the skies above them, flying reptiles called pterodactyls ranged from creatures the size of a pigeon, with a wingspan of 46 cm, to Quetzalcoatlus (‘feathered serpent’) with an estimated wingspan of 11 m – the largest flying creature ever (fig. 4.5); original estimates put its wingspan at 20 m, but aeronautical engineers protested that this was absolutely impossible, so the figure was revised down.
Fig. 4.4. Sarcosuchus imperator.4
The Cenozoic era is known as the age of mammals, and the last two epochs of the Cenozoic – the Miocene and Pliocene – have been called the age of giant mammals. The first mammals appeared in the Triassic of the Mesozoic, and then spent nearly 150 million years, mostly as shrew-sized creatures, living primarily in the underbrush, many coming out only at night to search for food. During the early Palaeocene, following the demise of the dinosaurs, mammals began an explosive evolutionary radiation, diversifying and adapting to many different ecological niches. They also underwent a rapid increase in body size, which continued until the Oligocene.
Pantodonts, uintatheres and xenungulates were the first known mammals to evolve to a large size. Two of the largest known Palaeocene pantodonts are Coryphodon, about 1 m at shoulder height, 2.25 m long, and weighing up to 500 kg, and Barylambda, about 2.5 m long, weighing around 650 kg, and about the size of a pony (fig. 4.6). By the Eocene, some mammals had reached the size of a rhinoceros or elephant, others were small rodent-like creatures, and most looked very different from those living today. The rhinoceros-like Uintatherium from the Eocene was the first really gigantic mammal, about 4 m long, 1.7 m tall and weighing up to 2 tonnes.
Fig. 4.6. Barylambda faberi.
The rhinoceroses eventually evolved into giants like the Oligocene/Miocene hornless rhino Paracerotherium (also known as Indricotherium) – the largest known land mammal that has ever existed (fig. 4.7). It stood 4.8 m at the shoulder, was 8 m long, and weighed an estimated 16 tonnes. The second largest land mammal ever to walk the earth was Deinotherium giganteum, which ranged across Europe, Eurasia and Africa during the Miocene to the Pleistocene (fig. 4.8). It stood 4.5 m high at the shoulders and sported tusks that arched down and back rather than up and forwards. The largest known primate was Gigantopithecus blacki, who stood up to 3.7 m tall (see below).
Fig. 4.7. Paraceratherium / Indricotherium.
The Diatryma, a large terrestrial flightless bird from the Eocene, grew to a height of about 2.1 m (7 ft). The tallest bird that has ever existed was the giant moa (Dinornis maximus) of New Zealand, which originated in the late Miocene; it attained a height of up to 3.7 m. The largest birds of all time were the elephant birds (Aepyornis) of Madagascar, related to the ostrich, and the Australian Dromornis stirtoni. Both were about 3 m tall, with elephant birds weighing up to 400 kg and Dromornis stirtoni up to 500 kg. Elephant birds originated in the Pleistocene and became extinct in recent times, while Dromornis lived in Australia from the late Miocene to the early Pliocene. The largest flying birds known were the teratorns, which lived in South America during the Miocene; Argentavis magnificens had a wingspan of up to 8.3 m, a length of up to 3.5 m, a height on the ground of up to 2 m and a body weight of at least 80 kg.
The largest fossil toothed whale was the Miocene physeteroid whale Livyatan melvillei, an estimated 13.5 to 17.5 m long, whose teeth were up to 36 cm long. The largest known amphibian was the 9-m-long (30 ft) temnospondyl Prionosuchus from the Permian. The largest prehistoric fish is the great white shark Carcharodon megalodon, which abounded in the Miocene; it may have grown as long as 20 m, and weighed around 100 tonnes.
Fossils of mammoths are found in Pleistocene deposits on every continent except Australia and South America. Most were about as large as modern elephants, but the colossal steppe mammoth of Eurasia, Mammuthus trogontherii, stood up to 4.5 m high at the shoulder. Many other megafauna went extinct during the Pleistocene ice age. They include Megatherium, the largest of the ground-sloths, which measured up to 6 m from head to tail; Megalania, a goanna-like carnivore some 7 m long; Toxodon, which resembled a short rhinoceros, about 2.7 m long and 1.5 m high at the shoulder; Diprotodon, a wombat-like marsupial the size of a rhinoceros, 3 m long and 2 m high at the shoulder; Glyptodon, a giant armadillo, over 3.3 m long and weighing up to 2 tonnes; and Castoroides, a bear-sized beaver some 2.4 m long.
The largest of all living land animals is the African elephant; males are up to 4 m tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 6 tonnes. Extinct elephants with heights of up to 4.8 m have been reported. The only land animal that stands taller than the African elephant is the giraffe; the tallest ever measured was about 5.8 m tall. The largest animals now living are the various species of whales, and the largest of all, living or extinct, is the blue whale (fig. 4.9). The largest accurately measured blue whale was a 29.5 m female that weighed 180 tonnes, but there are reports of 33 m catches that may have reached 200 tonnes.
The height of humans varies enormously. They range from pygmies some 1 m (3 ft) in height to basketball players up to 2.3 m (7 ft 6.5 inches). About one in a million people suffer from gigantism or the growth disorder acromegaly, which causes various infirmities in addition to exceptional height. The tallest man ever reliably measured was 8 ft 6 inches by the time he was 8 years old, and 8 ft 11.1 inches (2.72 m) when he died in 1940 at the age of 22. The shortest person was a Dutch woman who was only 23.2 inches (58.9 cm) tall at the age of 19.
Fig. 4.10. Robert Wadlow (2.72 m or 8 ft 11 in)
with his father, Harold Wadlow (1.82 m or 6 ft).
Modern ‘experts’ firmly reject the idea that there have ever been entire races of giants, and are adamant that our distant ancestors were primitive apelike creatures much smaller than ourselves. Worldwide legends and traditions, on the other hand, assert that there were races of giants in days of old. Theosophy agrees, and says that just as many modern animal and plant species had giant ancestors, so did modern humans.1 Over the past few hundred years, humans have grown slightly taller, but the long-term trend, measured over millions of years, is towards a reduction in stature, with relative ‘dwarves’ and ‘giants’ probably existing in every age.
A surprising number of giant human skeletons have reportedly been discovered, some of them reaching heights of 4.6 m (15 ft) or more. In many cases, the present whereabouts of the remains is unknown, and many details about the skeletons and the circumstances of their discovery are lacking, including indications as to their possible age. But to dismiss every such find out of hand as a delusion or hoax would seem to owe more to rank prejudice than to healthy scepticism.
During the exploration of North American mounds and other sites in the 19th and early 20th centuries, hundreds of bones were recovered, including remains of human giants, mostly 2.1 to 2.7 m (7 to 9 ft) tall, but sometimes as tall as 3.7 m (12 ft).2 They are associated, for example, with the Old Copper, Red Ochre, Glacial Kame, Adena, Hopewell and Mississippian cultures, stretching back over 4000 years. The official view is that they were just isolated cases of gigantism among the Indians, but some of the skeletons seem to have belonged to an extinct, non-Indian race, and many Indian tribes have traditions of giants once occupying the land. The burials indicate that they held leading positions in society. In some cases, the skeletal remains appeared to be uncommonly old and crumbled to dust when exposed to the atmosphere. Scientists from the Smithsonian Institution were involved in some of these finds; many of the bones were shipped off to its huge museum and have never been seen again. Only a small proportion of over a million artifacts in their collection are on public view – but no giants are among them. Archaeologists from the Smithsonian’s Bureau of Ethnology excavated at least 17 large skeletons from mounds, ranging from 6.5 to just under 8 feet tall (2 to 2.4 m); at least 14 were 7 feet tall (2.1 m).3 The average male height was about 5 feet 6 inches (1.7 m).
Fig. 4.11. According to a report in The World, 7 October 1895, a party of prospectors found the mummified remains of a very tall man in a cave near San Diego, California. Over his head were the remnants of a leather hood. An expert from the Smithsonian Institution inspected the remains; the mummified body was 2.5 m (8 ft 4 in) tall and the height of the man when alive was estimated to be 2.7 m (9 ft).4
A stone mound over 21 m in diameter was excavated near Brewersville, Indiana, in 1879; it contained several skeletons, at least one of which was over 2.9 m (9 ft 8 in) tall. The artifacts were kept in a basket near a grain mill on the property where they were found, but in 1937 a flood swept the mill away and with it the contents of the basket.5 In 1925 a group of amateur investigators dug into an Indian mound at Walkerton, Indiana, and unearthed the skeletons of eight prehistoric humans, ranging from 2.4 to almost 2.7 m tall, all wearing substantial copper armour. Unfortunately the evidence was scattered and lost.6
In 1833 soldiers digging a pit for a powder magazine at Lompock Rancho, California, hacked their way through a layer of cemented gravel and found the skeleton of a man about 3.7 m (12 ft) tall, surrounded by carved shells, huge stone axes, and blocks of porphyry covered with unintelligible symbols. The giant had double rows of upper and lower teeth – a commonly reported feature that is also mentioned in ancient traditions. When local Indians began to attach religious significance to the skeleton and artifacts, the authorities ordered them to be secretly reburied.7 The remains of a giant man with double rows of teeth were also dug up on Santa Rosa Island, off the California coast, and skeletons of humans 7 to 9 ft tall, some with fair hair, were uncovered in the 1920s on Catalina Island, another of the Californian Channel Islands.8
A decayed human skeleton claimed by eyewitnesses to measure around 3.3 m (10 ft 9 in) was unearthed by labourers while ploughing a vineyard in East Wheeling, West Virginia, in November 1856.9 In 1891 workmen digging a basement for a building near Crittenden, Arizona, discovered a large stone sarcophagus 2.4 m below the surface. When opened, a granite mummy case was found which, judging from its size, once held the body of a human over 3.7 m tall. According to the carving on the mummy case, it was designed for a person with six toes – reports of six-toed giants are by no means rare.10 (Cases of humans with six fingers or six toes still occur today, as do minor cases of double teeth.)11
Fig. 4.12. Giant ancestors vs. giant hoaxes
Above: The Cardiff Giant, 10 ft 4½ in (3.16 m) tall and weighing 1.4 tonnes, was dug up on a farm near Cardiff, New York, in 1869. The ‘petrified giant’ was put on display and crowds of people paid 50 cents each to see it. Scientists, however, denounced it as ‘of very recent origin and a decided humbug’. Within three months it was exposed as a hoax. The giant was the brainchild of George Hull, who had it carved from a huge block of gypsum, treated it to make it look old, and buried it on the farm of an accomplice. S.J. Gould described the hoax as preposterous: ‘How could a man turn to solid gypsum, while preserving all his soft anatomy, from cheeks to toes to penis?’12 The fake fossil is now on display as ‘America’s greatest hoax’ at the Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
Below: This photo of a ‘fossilized Irish giant’ was taken at a London rail depot, and appeared in the December 1895 issue of Strand Magazine. The giant was allegedly dug up by a Mr Dyer while prospecting for iron ore in County Antrim (Ireland). It was 12 ft 2 in (3.71 m) tall, weighed 2 tonnes, and had six toes on its right foot. After being exhibited in Dublin, it was brought to England and exhibited in Liverpool and Manchester at sixpence a head, ‘attracting scientific men as well as gaping sightseers’.13 After a legal dispute over ownership, nothing more appears to have been heard or seen of the exhibit.
In November 1926, miners discovered two giant human molars in strata at least 30 million years old in the Eagle coal mine at Bear Creek, Montana.14 In 1926 an unusually large humanlike tooth was discovered in coal deposits deep within a coal mine near a town outside Billings, Montana. The tooth was about three times the normal size and the roots had been replaced with iron, and the enamel with carbon. The archaeologist who found it preserved the tooth and the mineral matrix around which it was encased, but the authorities showed no interest.15
Giant bones and artifacts have been discovered in the Lovelock-Winnemucca area. In February and June 1931, skeletons were found in the Humboldt lake bed near Lovelock Cave. The first was 2.6 m long, wrapped in gum-covered fabric. The second was almost 3.1 m long, according to the Lovelock Review-Miner’s article of 19 June 1931. On 29 September 1939 the Review-Miner reported the discovery of a 2.3 m skeleton on a ranch near the town.16
There are countless, often very sketchy reports of giant human skeletons being discovered in other parts of the world. A human skeleton 5.2 m (17 ft) tall was unearthed at Gargayan in the Philippines, and bones of other human creatures over 3 m tall have been found in southeastern China; one palaeontologist put their age at over 300,000 years. At Agadir in Morocco, the French captain Lafanechère discovered a complete arsenal of hunting weapons including 500 double-edged axes weighing 8 kg, of a size that would require a man some 4 m tall to wield them. Other giant stone implements have been found in Moravia and Syria, and the bones of their users were discovered close by. In Sri Lanka explorers found the remains of humans about 4 m tall, and at Tura in Assam, near the border of Bangladesh, a human skeleton measuring 3.4 m was discovered.17
In 1890 anthropologist G. de Lapouge reported in the scientific journal La Nature the discovery of three bone fragments belonging to a human with an estimated height of 3.50 m (11 ft 6 in) at the bottom of a Bronze Age burial tumulus at Castelnau-le-Lez, France (fig. 4.13). In 1894 there were press reports that workers excavating a water works reservoir had discovered skulls and other bones belonging to humans 10 to 15 feet tall at Montpellier, 5 km from Castelnau. Other reports from France speak of skeletons 7 ft, 7 ft 7 in, 8 ft 7 in and 13 ft tall.18
Fig. 4.13. Bones from the Castelnau giant. The middle bone at the top is a humerus (upper arm) of normal size. The bones to the left and right of it are part of a femur (thighbone) and part of a tibia (shinbone) belonging to the giant. The bone at the bottom is a fragment of a femur belonging to a person of normal height or the fragment of a humerus belonging to the giant.
In 2008, the bones of a giant human estimated to be 2.5 to 3 m tall were found in a cave in Borjomi-Kharagauli nature reserve near the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia (fig. 4.14). Other alleged finds in Georgia include a 4 m human skeleton near the village of Udabno in 2000, and giant skeletons at a cave near Gora Kazbek in the 1920s. In 1945 there was a report of a giant skeleton, with a skull 84 cm (33 in) in circumference and an 84 cm shinbone, being found in the Tien Shan Mountains of Russian Central Asia.19 In 1976 a giant chieftain 7 ft 2 in tall was found in a tomb richly furnished with gold in the Northern Caucasus. In 2012 a 2.20 m (7 ft 3 in) skeleton, dated at 5000 years old, was found in Zaporizhia, Ukraine. The Museum of History and Ethnography in Ganja, Azerbaijan, displays the skeleton of a 2.2 m woman, dated at 2000 BC.20
Fig. 4.14. Left: Skull of the Borjomi giant. Right: Two Borjomi femurs (a femur of normal size is shown in the middle).
According to a 1926 press clipping dated Nayarit, Mexico, Captains D.W. Page and F.W. Devalda discovered the bones of a race of giants averaging over 3.1 m (10 ft) in height.21 In 1929, Dean Byron Cummings of Arizona University and a Mexican government scientist found giant skeletons of two men and a woman at least 2.4 m tall and children 1.8 m tall. Their work was halted by local Yaquis, who battered some of the remains to pieces. Reports from Casas Grandes, Mexico, in 1923 announced the discovery of several skeletons of Indians 4.6 m (15 ft) tall, buried side by side with vases of precious stones. A report in the New York Herald-Tribune of 21 June 1925 stated that a mining party had found skeletons 3.1 to 3.7 m (10 to 12 ft) tall, with feet 46 to 51 cm (18 to 20 in) long, near Sisoguiche, Mexico. In 1938, a well-known traveller found the remains of giant men and women at least 2.4 m tall in Ecuador.22
Zoologist Ivan T. Sanderson once received a letter from an engineer stationed on the island of Shemya in the isolated Aleutian Islands south of the Bering Strait during the Second World War. While bulldozing a group of hills for a future airstrip, the workmen unearthed the skeletal remains of what appeared to be extremely large humans. Most of the giant skulls measured about 56 to 61 cm (22 to 24 inches) from base to crown. The story was later confirmed by another person in the unit. The Smithsonian Institution apparently took possession of the remains, but they were never heard of again. ‘Is it that these people cannot face rewriting all the textbooks?’ Sanderson wondered.23
Remains of giant humans 4.3 to 4.9 m (14 to 16 ft) tall were reportedly found during road construction in southeastern Turkey in the late 1950s.24 In 1958 Louis Leakey announced that he had found a giant human molar on middle Pleistocene living floors at Olduvai in Tanzania, in association with many giant herbivores, including two giant pigs the size of a hippopotamus, with teeth like normal elephant tusks.25 Further details about the tooth are lacking.
In old Pleistocene river gravels near Bathurst, New South Wales (Australia), amateur scientist Rex Gilroy has found huge stone artifacts – clubs, pounders, adzes, chisels, knives and hand axes – weighing 3.6 to 11.3 kg, scattered over a wide area. He believes that the oldest finds date back 240,000 years, and that some must have been made and used by humans over 3 m tall. He has also found what he considers to be teeth and fossilized footprints dating from the Pliocene which point to the existence of even taller giant hominids.26 The aborigines believe that, long before their arrival, the Australian continent was inhabited by many races, including giants.
Fig. 4.15. Giant stone tools have been found in many parts of the world.27 Above: A 30.6-cm-long, 2.8-kg hand axe from the Acheulian culture (Lower Palaeolithic, about 400,000 years ago), found at Furze Platt, near Maidenhead, England.28 Below: Four stone hand axes recovered from the dry basin of Lake Makgadikgadi in the Kalahari Desert, Botswana, together with tens of thousands of smaller stone tools.29
One theory is that very large or beautifully crafted hand axes were not intended for use but acted as a kind of status symbol for males. One Lower Palaeolithic site in England has produced at least 100,000 hand axes. Most hand axes are said to show no signs of use or wear under an electron microscope.30
A few palaeoanthropologists argue that some populations of archaic Homo sapiens (sometime called Homo heidelbergensis or rhodesiensis), particularly in Africa, went through a period of gigantism in the past half a million years. The proximal half of a right human femur with a head twice the normal size was recovered from the Berg Aukas mine in the Otavi Mountains of northern Namibia in 1965 (fig. 4.16). Lee Berger believes that it is 350,000 to 400,000 years old and that the individual in question would have been over 7 feet tall.31 Francis Thackeray assigns it an age of about 100,000 years and believes the individual could be up to 12 feet tall.32 These dates are based on the femur’s morphology and current beliefs about the age of Homo sapiens, but the rock formation in which it was found is dated at 10 million years. A mainstream publication states that the femur is 47% of the estimated total length and that the hominid in question was ‘relatively large bodied’ and weighed about 93 kg.33 Lee Berger says that many similar fossil finds have been made (e.g. at Kabwe in Zambia (Broken Hill skull) and Hoedjiespunt in South Africa34). The standard view is that Homo specimens from the Pleistocene had, on average, a 10% larger body mass than living humans.35
Fig. 4.16. The Berg Aukas femur alongside a modern human femur.
Various ancient Greek and Roman writers testify to the existence of giant human skeletons, including Herodotus, Pausanias, Philostratus, Phlegon, Pliny, Plutarch, Solinus and Strabo.36 The bones were often put on display and attributed to legendary heroes and other giants of classical antiquity. Adrienne Major has argued that every such claim stems from misinterpretation of immense and unfamiliar animal fossils such as the remains of mastodons, mammoths, giant giraffes, rhinoceroses, cave bears and other large animals found in the eastern Mediterranean region. But she concedes that various fossilized remains were correctly recognized as those of huge, extinct animals. It is certainly true that not all ancient accounts of human giants are equally plausible: the reported size of the skeletons ranges from 3 m (10 ft) to an outrageous 43 m (140 ft). Such inflated figures could refer to an entire fossil assemblage, or could simply be an exaggeration or invention.
Fig. 4.17. Scale model of a mammoth skeleton rearranged to demonstrate how the
ancient Greeks could have interpreted immense and unfamiliar animal fossils as the
remains of giants.37 (Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.)
Fig. 4.18. Left: Human femur (thighbone). Right: Fossil femur of Pleistocene elephant
Palaeoloxodon antiquus.38 (Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.)
Writing in 1880, one of the adepts behind the formation of the Theosophical Society referred to the reigning scepticism toward the idea of gigantic human ancestors, saying that ‘their huge frames when found are invariably regarded as isolated freaks of nature’, and added that in the Himalayas, on the territory of British India, ‘we have a cave full of the skeletons of these giants’.39 H.P. Blavatsky says that we should not laugh at the universal tradition that we had giant ancestors:
The fact that the bones of the mammoth and the mastodon, and, in one case, those of a gigantic salamander, have been mistaken for human bones, does not make away with the difficulty that, of all the mammalians, man is the only one whom science will not allow to have dwarfed down, like all other animal frames, from the giant homo diluvii to the creature between 5 and 6 feet he is now.40
Gigantopithecus and Meganthropus
In 1935 palaeontologist Ralph von Koenigswald came across an unusually large molar while looking through fossil teeth in a Hong Kong drugstore, where they were known as ‘dragon’s teeth’ and sold for medicinal purposes. He realized that the tooth belonged to a new primate species, which he named Gigantopithecus blacki. Many hundreds of teeth have since been found, along with four jawbones. Gigantopithecus (‘giant ape’) is regarded as the largest primate ever to have existed.
Another species, known as Gigantopithecus bilaspurensis, is thought to have appeared in India between 6 and 13 million years ago, while Gigantopithecus blacki is thought to have lived in Southeast Asia and to have gone extinct about 300 to 400 thousand years ago. The teeth, though large, have a few similarities to human teeth, and this led some scientists to speculate that the creatures might have been giant hominid ancestors. However, the scientific consensus today is that Gigantopithecus was a hairy, quadrupedal, vegetarian ape, unrelated to the human lineage.1 It is estimated that Gigantopithecus would have been 2.7 to 3.7 m (9 to 12 ft) tall if it stood on its hind legs, and weighed between 270 and 545 kg (600 to 1200 pounds); the largest gorilla is 1.8 m tall and weighs 135 to 180 kg.
Fig. 4.19. Above: Model of a 3.1 m (10 ft) Gigantopithecus.2 Below: An adult male Gigantopithecus jaw compared with a human jaw.3
In 1941 Von Koenigswald unearthed the fragment of an enormous jawbone containing three teeth in Java. They were even more humanlike in appearance than those of Gigantopithecus but slightly smaller. He named this new find Meganthropus palaeojavanicus. A few other fossils attributed to Meganthropus have since been found. Meganthropus is believed to have lived 1 million years ago. Palaeoanthropologist Franz Weidenreich estimated that it was two-thirds the size of Gigantopithecus, which was twice as large as a gorilla, which would make it around 2.4 m (8 feet) tall and approximately 180 to 270 kg (400 to 600 lbs). The orthodox view today is that it was a very robust form of Homo erectus, or a new but similar species (Homo palaeojavanicus), or perhaps a robust australopithecine, and was not a giant.4
In Apes, Giants, and Man (1946), Weidenreich argued that both Gigantopithecus and Meganthropus were actually giant hominids on the line leading to humans; in other words, the ancestors of humans were not apelike pygmies (like the australopithecines), as usually supposed, but apelike giants.5 The conventional view is that Gigantopithecus walked on its knuckles like a gorilla, but anthropologist Grover Krantz believes that it was a bipedal hominid, and that Bigfoot may be a living relative. In addition to the semi-human dentition of Gigantopithecus, he points out that the back of its lower jaw spreads much more widely than the jaw of a gorilla, suggesting that it carried its head vertically and was capable of erect, bipedal locomotion. After examining their jaws and teeth, anthropologist Ivan Sanderson, too, concluded that the gigantopithecines were probably tool-making hominids.6
The evidence summarized in section 3 suggests that modern-looking humans, primitive humans and apelike creatures have coexisted in far more remote times than current orthodoxy allows. Over the past hundred years or so, researchers have accumulated substantial evidence that unknown creatures ranging from extremely apelike to extremely humanlike, from tiny pygmies to giants 4.5 m or more tall, roam wilderness areas of the world even today. Some may be unrecognized species of bipedal monkeys and apes, and others may be primitive humans – whereas conventional scientists assert that we humans are the only hominins now living and that bipedal apes went extinct a million years ago. Some ‘wildmen’ have been seen wearing primitive clothing and carrying tools and weapons. Many sightings seem to involve flesh-and-blood creatures, but some reports are characterized by elements of ‘high strangeness’ and appear to involve paranormal creatures, which materialize briefly from the astral realms.1
Although no zoo or museum is known to have a wildman specimen in its collection, there have been countless sightings by reliable witnesses. Other evidence includes photos, footprints, handprints, excrement, hair, bits of skin, and body parts, along with native art, traditions and folklore. Nearly all scientists dismiss such elusive creatures without examining the evidence. But when a scientist makes the effort to investigate the subject, his or her initial scepticism often fades. Despite the risk to their reputations, quite a number of scientists, including Ivan T. Sanderson, Grover Krantz, John Napier, Myra Shackley, Bernard Heuvelmans, Boris Porshnev and Jeffrey Meldrum, have concluded that wildmen do in fact exist, or at least that the subject deserves serious study.
The lack of wildman fossils is no surprise since fossilization is rare, and even for recognized primates, fossil finds are usually meagre at best. For example, there are no known fossils of gorillas or gorilla ancestors. As for bodies of creatures that have died a natural death, we rarely find bodies of dead bears in the woods, and there are estimated to be about 100 bears for every Bigfoot. Scraps of physical evidence from mystery primates have, however, been examined. For instance, hairs from the Chinese Yeren analyzed in 1976 suggested an ‘unknown primate’. Faeces of the local Ohio Bigfoot, the Grassman, apparently came from an ‘unknown or human-type digestive tract’. Droppings from the Nepalese Teh-lma (Little Yeti) contained ‘an unknown primate parasite’. Parts of a Yeti hand brought out of Nepal turned out to come from an ‘unknown hominoid’.2
A Soviet lieutenant colonel reportedly examined a living wildman captured in the Dagestan autonomous republic just north of the Caucasus mountains in 1941, but the creature was shot as they retreated before the advancing German army and no one knows what happened to the body. In Mongolia two wildmen were reportedly shot by a patrol during border skirmishes between the Russians and Japanese in 1939, but again the bodies disappeared. The Nepalese once captured a male Yeti, but it refused to eat and when it died, the carcass was abandoned.3
The idea that every area of the earth has been thoroughly explored and that scientists possess a complete inventory of the earth’s living animal species is a myth. The mountain gorilla, dwarf siamang, bonobo and pygmy chimpanzee, for example, were all discovered in the 20th century. The northwestern United States has vast regions of densely forested, mountainous terrain which, although mapped from the air, is rarely penetrated by humans on the ground. 95% of the Gobi Desert, home of the Almas, and Tibet, land of the Yetis, has been little explored. The reason many of these near-human primates are so good at concealing themselves may simply be because they are more intelligent than other animals. Some of the best-known species of bipedal cryptids are briefly described below.
Bigfoot/Sasquatch is an unrecognized hominid reported mostly in the northwestern United States and British Columbia (Canada). The creatures are usually 2.1 to 2.4 m (7 to 8 ft) tall, and walk upright in a humanlike fashion. They are completely covered with short reddish-brown or black hair except for the face and around the eyes. The face is flat and apelike with a sloping forehead and heavy brow ridges; the top of the head is rounded and crested, similar to the sagittal crest of the male gorilla. The shoulders and chest are huge, and the arms are long in proportion to their height. The creatures often have an overpowering, putrid odour. Native Americans have legends of giant hairy humanlike creatures going back centuries. Some researchers think Bigfoot might be a descendant of Gigantopithecus, or related to Australopithecus/Paranthropus robustus.
Fig. 4.20. A female Bigfoot filmed by Roger Patterson in 1967.4 It was 2.2 m (7 ft 3.5 in) tall, and left footprints 36.8 cm (14.5 in) long and 15.2 cm (6 in) wide. The authenticity of the film has been questioned, but no compelling evidence of a hoax has ever come to light.
Witnesses have reported and examined hundreds of Bigfoot footprints.5 John Napier stated that if all of them are fakes ‘then we must be prepared to accept the existence of a conspiracy of Mafia-like ramifications with cells in practically every major township from San Francisco to Vancouver’. The prints are typically 36 to 46 cm long and 13 to 23 cm wide, giving a surface roughly three to four times larger than that of an average human foot. To make a footprint of the same depth as Bigfoot, a 90 kg man would have to be carrying at least 225 kg. Moreover, the stride length of a Bigfoot is 1.2 to 1.8 m, as opposed to about 1 m for an average man. In addition, prints sometimes continue for up to several kilometres in deserted regions far from the nearest roads. A footprint machine would be difficult to manhandle over rough and mountainous terrain and could not make the impact ridges seen in Bigfoot prints. On 10 June 1982, a US Forest Service patrolman in Washington State observed a hairy biped around 2.6 m tall from a distance of about 55 metres. After 30 seconds, the animal walked away. A study of the creature’s footprints showed dermal ridges, sweat pores and other features in the proper places for large primate feet.6
Yeti (‘yeh-teh’, meaning ‘that thing there’) is a name given to several types of unknown primates sighted in the Himalayas. One type is the Meh-teh, which is described by witnesses as having a stocky apelike body with a distinctly human quality to it. Standing 1.7 m (5 ft 6 in) tall, it is covered with short, coarse, reddish-brown to black hair. It has a conically-shaped head with a pointed crown, and long arms reaching almost to its knees. Researchers tend to believe that this man-sized Yeti, or classic ‘Abominable Snowman’, is some kind of anthropoid. The creatures may live in the warm mountain valleys of the Himalayas, using the snowy passes to move from one spot to another.
Fig. 4.21. Left: Bernard Heuvelmans’ sketch of the Yeti (Meh-teh). Right: A creature portrayed in an old Tibetan book discussing local fauna.7
Fig. 4.22. (1) A human foot. (2) A Yeti foot. (3) A gorilla foot. 4) A langur foot.
(5) A Himalayan black-bear forefoot. (6) A Himalayan black-bear hindfoot.8
Big Yetis 2.4 m (8 ft) tall are also reported. They are known as Dzu-teh and (in China) as Gin-Sung (‘bear-man’). They are big, hulking animals with a long, dark, shaggy coat that are usually quadruped but can walk bipedally. Some think they may be a hitherto-uncatalogued large bear, especially as they raid small livestock holdings and leave behind clawed prints. The smallest type of Yeti is the Teh-lma. It is generally said to be 1 to 1.4 m (3 to 4.5 ft) tall, covered with thick reddish-gray hair, with hunched shoulders and a sharply pointed head that slopes back from the forehead.
The unexpected discovery of fossils of a small, bipedal apelike creature, named Homo (?) floresiensis, on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003 is of great interest to cryptozoologists, especially since some of the fossil material could be as young as 12,000 years old. There is a widespread tradition in Indonesia of a short, powerful, hairy ape, 1 to 1.5 m tall, that has a rather humanlike face and walks bipedally. In Indonesia it is called the Ebu Gogo; in Sumatra and Malaya it is called the Sedapa or the Orang Pendek (‘little man’).9 The latter is described as covered with short dark hair, except for its smooth, hairless brown face, with a thick bushy mane hanging halfway or more down its back.10 Sightings have been reported for centuries.
Fig. 4.23. Orang Pendek.
The Almas (Mongolian for ‘wildman’), a bipedal humanlike creature, is reported to dwell in the Altai mountains in western Mongolia and in the Tien Shan mountains of the neighbouring Chinese province of Sinkiang. Adult Almas are 1.5 to 1.8 (5 to 6 ft) tall and covered with reddish-black hair. They have a flattened forehead, prominent brow ridges, a protruding jaw, and a cone-shaped back of the head. They have long arms and short legs, and walk with bent knees. They have been seen to use simple tools, but have not been heard to speak. A similar 1.8-m-tall hominid is also reported in Vietnam; it is called by many names, including Nguoi Rung (‘forest people’). Another that is frequently sighted is the Kaptar or Biabin-guli, which lives in the Caucasus Mountains.
Fig. 4.24. The Almas. (Courtesy of Harry Trumbore)11
The Yeren lives in the mountainous, thickly forested regions of central and southern China. Modern reports are frequent and describe it as a hairy biped over 1.8 m (6 ft) tall, covered with a heavy coat of red-brown hair. It has an apelike muzzle, large ears and humanlike eyes. It leaves large footprints up to 41 cm (16 in) long. Such a creature has been portrayed in Chinese folklore for millennia. In some locations, a second form of Yeren is reported: it goes about on all fours and has longer red hair.
The Australian Yowie is an apelike creature at least 1.8 m tall, covered with longish brown hair. They have a very small, humanlike face but no chin, and long canine teeth. Sightings of Yowies and their footprints continue to this day, mainly in the south and central coastal regions of New South Wales and Queensland’s Gold Coast. The aborigines have a long tradition of this ‘hairy man’ of the mountains.
Fig. 4.25. The Yowie.12
There are occasional reports of creatures looking like Bigfoot being sighted in the South American Andes; they are called the Ucu, Ucumar and Ukumar-zupai. In Central America, they are known, among other things, as the Sisemite and the Ulak. There are also sightings of smaller apelike creatures. The Didi, for example, is a red-haired bulky anthropoid restricted to a narrow strip of northwestern South America. The Mapinguary of Brazil is somewhat taller (1.7 m), and is described in native traditions as a mostly red-haired, sloping, bipedal, long-armed giant ape. People in Belize speak of semi-human creatures called the Dwendi, ranging in size from 1 to 1.4 m, which inhabit the jungles in the southern part of the country. From the eastern slopes of the Andes in Ecuador come reports of the Shiru, a small, fur-covered hominidlike creature, about 1.2 to 1.5 m tall.
In the African Congo there are reports of hairy apelike creatures 2.4 m tall, known as the Muhalu or Kikomba. In Kenya there are similar unknown pongids called the Ngoloko. Primitive, hair-covered pygmies are reported in many African countries, such as the Kakundakári of Zimbabwe, the Agogwe of East Africa, and the Séhité of West Africa; the latter two are described as red-haired.* Most of the reported sightings of these creatures come from 70 or more years ago.
*There are several known tribes of African pygmies not covered with hair. The Akkas, for example, have been described as about 1.2 m tall, with large heads, very projecting jaws, flat noses, and protruding lips. They have very long arms reaching below their knees, and their walk is vacillating, due to the abnormal size of their stomachs, as with the chimpanzee and orangutan. Blavatsky says that some scientists think – ‘this time with pretty good reason’ – that the Akkas are remnants of the ‘missing link’ between man and ape.13
Bipedal cryptids such as Bigfoot/Sasquatch, Ucumar, Sisemite and the Big Yeti have been classified as ‘neo-giants’, ranging from 1.8 to 2.7 m (6 to 9 ft) in height. ‘Marked hominids’ is the name given to hairy creatures more human-looking than Bigfoot, which average about 2.1 m tall, have firm, powerful bodies, and are usually seen in the wooded mountainsides and tundra in the subpolar regions of North America, Europe and Asia. They tend to be piebald, exhibiting either a two-toned, multicoloured hair pattern, a lighter-haired mane, a near-albino appearance, or a white patch in the midst of a field of darker hair. They are reports of them approaching human housing and livestock, trading with humans, and communicating with them nonverbally.14
Fig. 4.26. The Siberian hominid named Mecheny (‘the marked one’),
sighted by Russian scientist Maya Bykova in 1987. It was 2 m tall
and had a distinctive patch of white hair on its forearm.15
‘True giants’ is the name given to extremely large, hairy hominoids, up to 6 m (20 ft) tall. Their bodies are remarkably lean, if not lanky, covered with reddish-brown or darker hair that is longer on the head and thinner on the arms. They appear to have no neck, and their facial features are flat. Their feet measure about 25 cm (10 in) wide by at least 53 cm (21 in) long, and they have four visible toes; if they have a fifth vestigial toe it does not show up in most prints. They are reported in wooded mountain areas around the world, mostly in temperate zones, and some researchers think they are linked to Gigantopithecus.16
A giant creature about 3.7 m (12 ft) tall was sighted at Pitt Lake in British Columbia, Canada, in June 1965. Stories of tall creatures with enormous footprints date back to 1829 and Creek Indian traditions from the Okefenokee Swamp of Georgia. Sightings in North America come from across the country, including South Carolina in 1977 and Pennsylvania in 1993, but are concentrated in the high mountains of the west and the spruce forests of the north. Giant hairy wildmen 3 to 6 m (10 to 20 ft) tall have been reported in Tibet and Malaysia, where they are known as the Nyalmo and the Orang Dalam respectively.17
Around 1960 two men had an encounter with several giant creatures at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. They saw a 2.1 m (7 ft) tall female creature that looked like a gorilla, with long breasts and dark brownish hair. Then a shorter female appeared, followed by a male who was at least 2.7 m (9 ft) tall. They found another 3.1 m (10 ft) tall ‘hairy gorilla monster’ at their tin hut, pulling apart the walls and roof of the flimsy structure. The aborigines later told them that this was the territory of the Jimbra, who had inhabited the land since the Dreamtime. These smelly 2.1 to 4.3 m tall hairy people with gorilla-like faces, 60-cm-long footprints with splayed big toes, and large, clearly visible genitals have been reported throughout Australia, from the time of the earliest white settlers till the present day.18
Aboriginal people believe that the fabled Tjangara, or ‘great hairy man’, still inhabits the Nullarbor Plains of the South Australian outback. In August 1972 Steve Moncreif, a fossil hunter, was exploring a dry creek bed near Yarle Lakes on the edge of the Great Victorian Desert in South Australia when he detected a bad smell. Looking up he saw a huge hairy creature observing him from a high bank. About 6 m away stood a creature more than 3 m tall, with male genitals, and a large stone club in its right hand. It pursued Moncreif as he ran to his Land Rover, but he threw his pick at the animal’s face and managed to escape. Encounters with the Tjangara and footprints measuring up to 50 cm long had been reported in the same area two years previously. In 1989 a 4-m-tall hairy giant, this time wielding a huge wooden club, was spotted by two carloads of bush-trekkers near Etadunna in South Australia.
Fig. 4.27. Giant seen near Yarle Lakes, South Australia. (Courtesy of Harry Trumbore)19
- General sources: britannica.com, prehistoric-wildlife.com, en.wikipedia.org.
- Ted Holden, ‘Megafauna and the attenuated gravity of the antique system’, bearfabrique.org; Bill Erickson, ‘Dinosaur giantism’, archive.today.
- James Morgan, ‘“Biggest dinosaur ever” discovered’, 17 May 2014, bbc.com.
- H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press (TUP), 1977 (1888), 2:276-80, 293, 336, 753-6; H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, Theosophical Publishing House (TPH), 1950-91, 13:111-3.
- Richard J. Dewhurst, The Ancient Giants Who Ruled America: The missing skeletons and the great Smithsonian cover-up, Rochester, VE: Bear & Company, 2014; Ross Hamilton, ‘Holocaust of the giants: the great Smithsonian cover-up’, 2001, greatserpentmound.org/articles/giants3.html; Jason Jarrell and Sarah Farmer, Ages of the Giants: A cultural history of the tall ones in prehistoric America, Peebles, OH: Serpent Mound Books & Press, 2017; H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, TUP, 1972 (1877), 1:303-5; The Secret Doctrine, 2:293; William R. Corliss (comp.), Biological Anomalies: Humans III, Glen Arm, MD: Sourcebook Project, 1994, pp. 44-5.
- Andrew Collins and Gregory L. Litttle, Denisovan Origins: Hybrid humans, Göbekli Tepe, and the genesis of the giants of ancient America, Rochester, VE: Bear & Company, 2019, Kindle ed., p. 274.
- The Ancient Giants Who Ruled America, p. 44; gianthumanskeletons.blogspot.nl; Chris Parker, ‘Giant men’, 2010, s8int.com.
- Tédd St. Rain, Mystery of America: Book 1. Enigmatic Mysteries and Anomalous Artifacts of North America: A connection to the ancient past, Long Beach, CA, Lost Arts Media, 2003, p. 10; ‘Ooparts & ancient high technology’, www.s8int.com/giants6.html.
- David Hatcher Childress, Lost Cities & Ancient Mysteries of South America, Stelle, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 1986, p. 199.
- Frank Edwards, Stranger than Science, New York: Lyle Stuart, 1959, pp. 113-4.
- Terje Dahl, ‘Did Ralph Glidden find bones of giants on Catalina Island?’, sydhav.no; ‘Catalina Island giant skeletons’, frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.nl; The Ancient Giants Who Ruled America, pp. 302-15.
- ‘Historical North American giants’, bibleufo.com/humanphenom7.htm.
- Stranger than Science, pp. 112-4.
- ‘Ooparts & ancient high technology’, www.s8int.com/giants1.html.
- museumofhoaxes.com; roadsidewonders.net/the-cardiff-giant; Stephen Jay Gould, Bully for Brontosaurus, London: Penguin, 1991, pp. 42-5.
- W.G. Wood-Martin, Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902, 1:57-8.
- Stranger than Science, p. 113.
- Enigmatic Mysteries and Anomalous Artifacts of North America, pp. 16-7.
- David Hatcher Childress, Lost Cities of North & Central America, Stelle, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 1992, pp. 496-7.
- Peter Kolosimo, Timeless Earth, London: Sphere, 1974, pp. 30-1.
- G. de Lapouge, ‘Le géant fossile de Castelnau’, La Nature, v. 18, no. 888, 1890, pp. 11-2, cnum.cnam.fr; ‘A pre-historic giant’, The Popular Science News and Boston Journal of Chemistry, v. 24, no. 8, August 1890, p. 113, archive.org; ‘Prehistoric giants of France and Spain part 2.0’, 17 Feb. 2014, rephaim23.wordpress.com; ‘Bones of an 11.5 foot tall man, France’, greaterancestors.com; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_of_Castelnau.
- Terje Dahl, ‘Magazine editor confirms the giant bones of Georgia’, sydhav.no; world-geographic.com.
- ‘Bronze Age giants: Kurgan warriors of Russia & Asia 7 feet tall’, 16 July 2014, rephaim23.wordpress.com.
- Harold T. Wilkins, Secret Cities of Old South America, Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited, 1998 (1952), pp. 44-7; wisdomworld.org.
- Enigmatic Mysteries and Anomalous Artifacts of North America, p. 15.
- ‘Discoveries of giant human bones’, returnofthenephilim.com/GiantBonesDiscoveries.html.
- ‘The country of the giants’, New Scientist, 24 April 1958, p. 11.
- Rex Gilroy, ‘Giants of the Dreamtime’, 1999, internetezy.com.au/~mj129/Australasian_Ufologist2.html; Rex Gilroy, ‘And there were giants’, 1976, internetezy.com.au/%7Emj129/strangephenomenonb.html.
- ‘Giant axes and tools: evidence of real giants’, 12 April 2011, rephaim23.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/hello-world.
- ‘Giant Stone-age axes found in African lake basin’, 14 Sept. 2009, sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090911134624.htm.
- Chris Stringer and Peter Andrews, The Complete World of Human Evolution, New York: Thames & Hudson, 2nd ed., 2011, p. 225; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_axe.
- Lee Burger, ‘Our story: human ancestor fossils’, 25 Nov. 2007, thenakedscientists.com; Terje Dahl, ‘A period of gigantism confirmed by Professor Lee Berger’, sydhav.no.
- ‘Giants in South Africa – by Michael Tellinger’, youtube.com.
- F.E. Grine, W.L. Jungers, P.V. Tobias and O.M. Pearson, ‘Fossil Homo femur from Berg Aukas, northern Namibia’, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, v. 97, 1995, pp. 151-85, in-africa.org. See also: E. Trinkaus, C.B. Ruff and G.C. Conroy, ‘The anomalous archaic Homo femur from Berg Aukas, Namibia: a biomechanical assessment’, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, v. 110, 1999, pp. 379-91, artsci.wustl.edu.
- National Geographic, Search for the Ultimate Survivor, youtube.com (footage on ‘Goliath’).
- C.B. Ruff, E. Trinkaus and T.W. Holliday, ‘Body mass and encephalization in Pleistocene Homo’, Nature, v. 387, 1997, pp. 173-6, hopkinsmedicine.org; J. Kappleman, ‘They might be giants’, Nature, v. 387, 1997, pp. 126-7.
- Adrienne Mayor, The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman times, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000; The Secret Doctrine, 2:278.
- www.archaeology.org/0003/abstracts/monsters.html; The First Fossil Hunters, p. 123.
- Ibid., p. 79.
- The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, TUP, 2nd ed., 1975, p. 2 / TPH, chron. ed., 1993, p. 3.
- The Secret Doctrine, 2:352.
Gigantopithecus and Meganthropus
- Eric Pettifor, ‘From the teeth of the dragon – Gigantopithecus blacki’, wynja.com/arch/gigantopithecus.html; Elwyn L. Simons and Peter C. Ettel, ‘Gigantopithecus’, Scientific American, Jan. 1970, pp. 77-85.
- mhhe.com; uiowa.edu/~nathist/Site/giganto.html.
- Franz Weidenreich, Apes, Giants, and Man, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1946, pp. 47-66.
- Grover Krantz, ‘The origin of the Sasquatch’, 1984, www.n2.net/prey/bigfoot/biology/origins.htm; www.geocities.com/tomkinson99/theory/theory.html.
- See Visitors from the twilight zone, section 7, https://davidpratt.info.
- Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe, The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide, New York: Avon Books, 1999, pp. 162-3.
- Ibid., pp. 161-2.
- ‘The Patterson-Gimlin film’, oregonbigfoot.com; youtube.com.
- John Green, ‘Historical overview and basic facts involved in the Sasquatch or Bigfoot phenomenon’, Journal of Scientific Exploration, v. 18, no. 1, 2004, pp. 37-51, scientificexploration.org; John A. Bindernagel, ‘The Sasquatch: an unwelcome and premature zoological discovery?’, Journal of Scientific Exploration, v. 18, no. 1, 2004, pp. 53-64, scientificexploration.org.
- Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, Forbidden Archeology, San Diego: CA: Bhaktivedanta Institute, 1993, pp. 601-3.
- Corliss, Biological Anomalies: Humans III, pp. 136, 141.
- Ibid., p. 140.
- Jeff Meldrum, Journal of Scientific Exploration, v. 18, no. 4, 2004, pp. 725-8; Henry Gee, ‘Flores, God and cryptozoology’, 27 Oct. 2004, nature.com.
- The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide, p. 121. Artwork by Harry Trumbore. Artwork is used by permission and may not be reproduced.
- Blavatsky Collected Writings, 3:41-2; 16.1911encyclopedia.org/A/AK/AKKA.htm.
- The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide, pp. 20-3.
- Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark, Cryptozoology A to Z: The encyclopedia of loch monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and other authentic mysteries of nature, New York: Fireside, 1999, p. 241; Mark A. Hall, The Yeti, Bigfoot & True Giants, Wilmington, NC: Mark A. Hall Publications, 1997, pp. 61-92.
- The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide, pp. 44, 112.
- Ibid., p. 142.
- Ibid., p. 145. Artwork by Harry Trumbore. Artwork is used by permission and may not be reproduced.
The Ape-Ancestry Myth: Part 3
The Ape-Ancestry Myth: Contents