Blog Entries
Ancient Giants in America Tags: giants ancient america Smithsonian

Ancient Giants
Midwest Mound Builders



facebook sharing button Share
twitter sharing button Tweet
pinterest sharing button Pin
email sharing button Email
sharethis sharing button Share

When the whites arrived in the Ohio Valley and Midwest regions , thousands of burial mounds dotted the landscape. Today, most have been destroyed as a result of development, looting, and natural forces. Archaeologists have assigned the mounds to various prehistoric cultures based upon their shapes and artifacts contained within.

Scholars have debated the origin of these mounds. The Smithsonian Institution investigated them and conducted excavations in order to determine their origins . The mounds were apparently built by a series of prehistoric Indigenous American cultures spanning thousands of years.

Many were not built by the race of people we have come to know as "Amer-Indians" , but by a race of prehistoric Giant Human beings. Both Legend and Archaeological evidence supports this statement.

Native Legends


sketches of ancient history of the Six nationsGiants, mound builder in sketches of ancient history of the Six nations

The Ronnongwetowanca

Among the legends of the ancient native Americans there was once a powerful tribe called Ronnongwetowanca. The Ronnongwetowanca were giants, and had a "considerable habitation." David Cusick, a Tuscorora Indian states that " when the Great Spirit made the people, some of them became giants. They made themselves feared by attacking when most unexpected.

After having endured the outrages of these giants for a great long time, the people banded together to destroy them. With a final force of about 800 warriors, they successfully annihilated the abhorrent Ronnongwetowanca. There were no giants anywhere after this, it was said." This supposedly occurred circa 1,000 B.C.




Drawing of Ancient Giants from Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations

Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations   David Cusick Circa. 1780 - 1840

"Cusicks Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations has been proposed as a possible source for or influence on the Book of Mormon; it has also been advanced as evidence for the existence of Bigfoot and the Lake Champlain monster." Paul Royster Univ. of Nebraska

The Adenas and the Archaics

Other Indian Legends report two distinct races of unusual peoples that pre-existed their culture. The first was a slender bodied race with long narrow heads.. The other was a race with a massive bone structure and short heads. The first race, labeled by some as the Archaics were living in the Ohio River Valley around 1000 BC.  The second race, labeled the Adenas moved into the area from the South at a later date and claimed control of the territory.. A great war was fought in which the Archaics were destroyed by the more advanced Adenas.

It is believed that the Adena were related to the tribes of ancient Mexico. DNA testing has found no specific match between the Adena and any existing Native American group of the region, but does show a relationship to the tribes of ancient Mexico. - Adena PeopleAdena People Book  by William S. Webb, Charles E. Snow ]

".. In this connection I would say that Mr. Jonathan Brooks, now living in town, stated to me, that his father, Benjamin Brooks, who lived with the Indians fourteen years, and was well-acquainted with their language and traditions, told him and others that it was a tradition of the Indians that the first tribe occupying this whole country, was a black- bearded race, very large in size, and subsequently a red bearded race or tribe came and killed or drove off all the black beards, as they called them."   The Firelands Pioneer 1858

Many burial mounds have yielded remains of relatively Giant Human Beings, as well- artifacts and randomly discovered remains have lent much support to the Indian legends.  The Indians know nothing of the origins of these mounds, as per the Scientific American when an investigator asked an aged Indian in the 19th Century what his people knew of these ancient grave yards. He answered: "

"We know nothing about them. They were here before the red man".



It is believed that the practice of mound building was established by the Adenas.  These "mounds" were burial mounds in which the remains of many native American remains have been discovered over the years.  What is unusual about these remains is that they support the Indian legends of Giants as the remains are frequently of people  8 to 12 feet tall.    In addition to their height there are at times other physical anomalies which would tends to point to the fact that they are not of the same race as the current peoples labeled "native Americans".  Findings such as Red hair, and double rows of teeth, not found in the known indigenous populations

Timeline of Documented Giant Discoveries in America

Natural and Aboriginal History of TennesseePaperback February 15, 2015, describes "very large" bones in stone graves found in Williamson County, Tennessee. Author John Haywood describes "very large" bones in stone graves found in Williamson County, Tennessee, in 1821. In White County, Tennessee, an "ancient fortification" contained skeletons averaging at least 7 feet in length.

In Braton Tennessee footprints believed to be human were found in solid rock 33 inches log and one foot wide. These have six toes each.

1792 New York, Buffalo: Turners History of the Holland PurchaseHistorical Thesis reports that 7 and 8 foot skeletons were found at an earthen fort in Orleans county with broad flat topped skulls. 

1800 Ohio, Conneaut: Among the normal size skeletons found in the remains of mounds were found gigantic bones. Some of the skulls and jaws were large enough to fit over the head and face of a normal man.

1829. During the construction of a Hotel in  Chesterville. Workers digging up a mound discovered a large human skeleton. The local doctor examining the skeleton said that the skull could have easily fit over a normal man's head , In addition , the skeleton had more teeth than modern man.

1845 "On the Wappatomaka have been found numerous Indian relics, among which was highly a finished pipe, representing a snake coiled around the bowl. There was also discovered the under jawbone of a human being (says Kercheval) of great size; and, what is more remarkable the teeth stood transversely in the jawbone. It would pass over any man's face with entire ease."  ...Historical collections of Virginia;: Containing a collection of the most interesting fact, traditions, biographical sketches, anecdotes, &c., relating ... sketch of the District of Columbia

1856 A decayed human skeleton claimed by eyewitnesses to measure around 3.28 metres (10 feet 9 inches tall), was unearthed by laborers while ploughing a vineyard in November 1856 in East Wheeling, now in West Virginia. Forbidden landForbidden land Book by Robert Lyman



1872  Seneca Township, Noble County, Ohio, 3 skeletons , all were at the very least eight feet tall , with bone structure in proportion to their height. These skeletons all had double rows of teeth.

1875  Workmen were constructing a bridge near the mouth of Paw Paw Creek at Rivesville. While digging through heavy clay soil they were astonished to uncover three giant skeletons strands of reddish hair clinging to the skulls. A local doctor was called to examine the remains.

1876 J.N. DeHart, M.D. found vertebrae "larger than those of the present type" in Wisconsin mounds in 1876.

1877 W.H.R. Lykins uncovered skull bones "of great size and thickness" in mounds of Kansas City area in 1877.

1878 Ashtabula County, Ohio. Mounds were excavated on land belonging to Peleg Sweet, yielded askull and jaw large enough that the skull would cover Sweet's head and the jaw could be easily slipped over his face. Excavating further, they discovered these mounds contained the graves estimated between two and three thousand. Many of the other skeletons found were of gigantic proportions.

In 1879, a 9'8'' skeleton was excavated from a mound near Brewersville, Indiana by George W. Hill, M.D.,  . A mica necklace still hung around the giant's neck. The bones, which were stored in a grain mill, were swept away in the 1937 flood. .....Indianapolis News, Nov 10, 1975  ....  "The giant skeleton was examined by scientists from Indiana and New York, and it remained in the possession of Mr. Robinson, who owned the land on which the mound stood. Unfortunately, the curious bones were washed away in a flood in 1937." 

1880 "A skeleton which is reported to have been of enormous dimensions" was found in a clay coffin, with a sandstone slab containing hieroglyphics, during mound explorations by a Dr Everhart near Zanesville, Ohio. (American Antiquarian, v3, 1880, pg61).

1880 An excavation in Brush Creek Township, Muskingurn County yielded the bones of men and women, buried in couples. The length of their skeletons exceeding eight and even nine feet! The excavation was started in early December 1870.

The Brush Creek Tablet was found among skeletons of people over 8 and 9 feet tall
in Muskigum County, Ohio, in the early 1880's. The whereabouts of the Tablet today are unknown.

1881 "In digging the cellar of the house, nine human skeletons were found, and, like such specimens from other ancient mounds of the country, they showed that the Mound Builders were men of large stature. The skeletons were not found lying in such a manner as would indicate any arrangement of the bodies on the part of the entombers. In describing the tomb, Mr. Albert Harris said: "it looked as if the bodies had been dumped into a ditch. Some of them were buried deeper than others, the lower one being about seven feet below the surface." When the skeletons were found, Mr. Harris was twenty years of age, yet he states that he could put one of the skulls over his head, and let it rest upon his shoulders, while wearing a fur cap at the same time. The large size of all the bones was remarked, and the teeth were described as "double all the way round."  ... History of Medina County, Ohio, 1812-1889History of Medina County, Ohio


1883  "Two miles from Mandan, on the bluffs near the junction of the Hart and Missouri Rivers, says the local newspaper, the Pioneer, is an old Cemetery of fully 100 acres in extent filled with bones of a giant race. This vast city of the dead lies just east of the Fort Lincoln road. The ground has the appearance of having been filled with trenches piled full of dead bodies, both man and beast, and covered with several feet of earth. In many places mounds from 8 to 10 feet high, and some of them 100 feet or more in length, have been thrown up and are filled with bones, broken pottery, vases of various bright colored flint, and agates ... showing the work of a people skilled in the arts and possessed of a high state of civilization. This has evidently been a grand battlefield, where thousands of men ... have fallen. ...Five miles above Mandan, on the opposite side of the Missouri, is another vast cemetery, as yet unexplored. We asked an aged Indian what his people knew of these ancient grave yards. He answered: "We know nothing about them. They were here before the red man."  The Scientific American

1883 Ten skeletons "of both sexes and of gigantic size" were taken from a mound at Warren, Minnesota, 1883. (St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 23, 1883)

1884 A skeleton 7 feet 6 inches long was found in a massive stone structure that was likened to a temple chamber within a mound in Kanawha County, West Virginia, in 1884. (American Antiquarian, v6, 1884 133f. Cyrus Thomas, Report on Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology, 12th Annual Report, Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology, 1890-91).

1888 In Minnesota, 1888, were discovered remains of seven skeletons 7 to 8 feet tall. (St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 29, 1888). 7 skeletons, placed in a sitting position, were uncovered from a burial mound near Clearwater, Minnesota. The highly unusual skulls had double rows of teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. It was also noted that the foreheads were low and sloping, compared to "normal" human skulls.

 1892  "Where Proctorville now stands was one day part of a well paved city, but I think the greatest part of it is now in the Ohio river. Only a few mounds, there; one of which was near the C. Wilgus mansion and contained a skeleton of a very large person, all double teeth, and sound, in a jaw bone that would go over the jaw with the flesh on, of a large man; The common burying ground was well filled with skeletons at a depth of about 6 feet. Part of the pavement was of boulder stone and part of well preserved brick."  Ironton Register

1895 A mound on the outskirts of Toledo, Ohio, yielded 20 skeletons, seated and facing east with jaws and teeth "twice as large as those of present day people," each skeleton had a large bowl with "curiously wrought hieroglyphic figures." (Chicago Record, Oct. 24, 1895; cited by Ron G. Dobbins, NEARA Journal, v13, fall 1978).

1896 The skeleton of a huge man was uncovered at the Beckley farm, Lake Koronis, Minnesota; while at Moose Island and Pine City, bones of other giants came to light. (St. Paul Globe, Aug. 12, 1896).

Roy Norvill Bookbook

"In 1903, at Fish Creek, Montana, Professor S. Farr and his group of Princeton University students came across several burial mounds. They unearthed the skeleton of a man about 9 feet long. Next to him lay the bones of a woman, who had been almost as tall" Roy Norvill- Giants : The Vanished Race Of Mighty Men

 Kentucky folklore writer  Michael Paul Henson (1984) relates how he actually examined a body dug out from under a large rock ledge along Holly Creek in east-central Kentucky. In 1965, a landowner, was building cattle stalls when he found a "perfectly preserved skeleton" which measured 8 feet, 9 inches in length when reassembled.  "...The arms were extremely long and the hands were large. By comparison, the feet were very small." The skull was "30 inches in circumference. The eye and nose sockets were slits rather than cavities, and the area where the jaw bone hinges to the skull was solid bone. It would seem that the person could not have opened his mouth."  The skull was  30 inches in circumference.  A powdery white substance covered the skeleton, but no tools, weapons, or other human implements were found with the bones. The body was buried approximately five feet underground. The skeleton was assumed to be that of a large, deformed Indian.  White reburied the bones rather than taking them to a university for examination. Henson died in 1995, and any further notes he may have had on this fascinating story are unavailable 

Bluffton Chronicle, July 22, 1903 pg 2. A report of Giant skeletons unearthed in a gravel pit in Anderson Indiana is described. If these accounts do not come from excavations of burial mounds then they come from earth moving operations, well digging, railroad construction, washouts and other earth disturbing activities. As would be expected or is often unexpected as far as the finder is concerned when they encounter giant remains and report them. From the article, "workmen unearthed half a dozen skeletons, most of which were eight feet tall and over. One in particular was that of a man of great stature and all were far above the height of tall persons. Two of the skeletons were those of women. In the graves were found pieces of pottery, such as were unknown by the Indians, which leads to the conclusion that the bones are those of people of a prehistoric race. Two bodies were found close to an ancient mound." - Stone Builders, Mound Builders and the Giants of Ancient America -Facebook

"... three skeletons were found at the mouth of the Paw Paw Creek ... some men were digging for a bridge foundation and found these bones at the lower end of the old buffalo wallow. She thought it was Dr. Kidwell, of Fairmont, who examined them and said they were very old, perhaps thousands of years old. She said that when the skeletons were exposed to the weather for a few days, their bones turned black and began to crumble, that Squire Satterfield had them buried in the Joliffe graveyard (Rivesville). All these skeletons, she said, were measured, and found to be about eight feet long.  Now and long ago;: A history of the Marion County areaA history of the Marion County by Glen Lough

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the place of sepulture raised by the Mound Builders from the more modem graves of the Indians. The tombs of the former were in general larger than those of the latter, and were used as receptacles for a greater number of bodies, and contained relics of art, evincing a higher decree of civilization than that attained by the Indians. The ancient earthworks of the Mound Builders have occasionally been appropriated as burial places by the Indians, but the skeletons of the latter may be distinguished from the osteological remains of the former by their greater stature. ...History of Logan County, Illinois

Suggested Reading

"It is time to consider the third, last, and most highly interesting class of Antiquities, which comprehends those belonging to that people who erected our ancient forts and tumuli; those military works, whose walls and ditches cost so much labour, in their structure, those numerous and sometimes lofty mounds, which owe their origin to a people far more civilized than our Indians, but far less so than Europeans. These works are interesting, on many accounts, to the Antiquarian, the Philosopher, and the Divine, especially when we consider the immense extent of country which they cover .. " Caleb Atwater {1778 -1867}

Antiquities of the New WorldBook Antiquities of the New World

Writings of Caleb AtwaterWritings of Caleb Atwater

Travels of William BartramHistorical Book William Bartram 1729-1823 naturalist/artist/botanist . Wrote frequently and in detail about the mounds which dotted the landscape in his day.

Behemoth: A Legend of The Mound-BuildersFictional literature re: Mound Builders Fiction based on Mound builder legends Cornelius Mathews (1817-1889)

External Links

Believers of Norse in Ancient America

Vanished Mound Builders in The Prairies

Suggest a Link










Isla de las Munecas - The Island of the Dolls Tags: mexico city dolls creepy haunted ghost doll island spirit possess

The Island of the Dolls Has a Murky and Terrifying History

By: Reuben Westmaas

There's just something really thrilling about a place with a dark and mysterious past. Take La Isla de las Muñecas, for example. An island covered with decaying old dolls strung up in trees is pretty creepy on its own — even before you get to the dark origin story.

October 31, 2019

Don Julian's Opus


The story of La Isla de las Muñecas ("The Island of the Dolls") is intimately entwined with the story of Don Julian Santana Barrera. A native of Xochimilco, a borough of Mexico City, Don Julian left his wife and family sometime in the mid-20th century to sequester himself on an island on Teshuilo Lake. His reasons for doing so are hazy at best, but as soon became clear, Santana Barrera was not necessarily of sound mind. Not long after relocating, he made a chilling discovery on the shores of his island: the body of a young girl, drowned in the lake. A doll came floating down the canals shortly afterward, changing the course of Santana Barrera's life and the shape of the island for years to come.


Alone on the island, Barrera took the doll and hung it from a tree in order to appease the spirit of the deceased girl. But, at least in the eyes of the man who now considered himself the island's caretaker, the one doll was not enough. For the next 50 years, Santana Barrera would scrounge dolls from the trash and from the canals, and hang them from the island's many trees. Some he'd hang whole, others in various states of disrepair — headless, torso-less, or taken apart in other ways.


These don't sound like the actions of a person with a healthy grasp on reality, and indeed, there are many doubts surrounding this legend. The biggest question? The reality of the little girl who died. Many people, including Don Julian's own family, didn't believe that he ever found the girl, although whether they believe he made it up, imagined the experience, or was somehow mistaken is unclear. What is clear is that whether the girl existed or not, Don Julian devoted the rest of his life to her. And perhaps creepiest of all, even the end of his life had clear ties to the story of the drowned child.


Death of a Doll Collector


In 2001, Don Julian Santana Barrera passed away. His body was discovered — you guessed it — drowned in the canal, in the exact place he always said he'd seen the little girl. In response, tourists began flocking to the island to pay tribute. They brought dolls of their own, and to this day people honor both Santana Barrera and the girl (whether she was real or not) by hanging up dolls in tribute. You can do so too. Many ferries stop here, making it a macabre must-see on any tour of these ancient Aztec canals.




This article first appeared on Click here to read the original article.

BIGFOOT Tags: bigfoot sasqautch yeti

How Chasing Bigfoot Can Lead to Actual Science

DNA studies haven’t led to the discovery of any mythical creatures, but they’ve helped us understand the evolution of real ones

Credit: Getty Images

As a biologist in a lab studying how monkeys and other primates are related, I’ve become fascinated with Bigfoot. Often described and portrayed as half man, half ape, Bigfoot (if it exists) could represent a possible link in the evolution of humans from our primate ancestors. Bigfoot also represents the realm of the unknown, the undiscovered. Rumors from all over the world about sightings of Bigfoot, Sasquatch and yeti tantalizingly hint that there are mythical creatures just waiting to be discovered.

So, the story of Charlotte Lindqvist and her own brief experience with the Bigfoot mythology, caught my attention. Lindqvist was probably the last person to expect a call about shadowy creatures rumored to live in Tibet. She’s a geneticist at the University at Buffalo in New York—quite a long way from the Himalayas—and she studies bears.

But in 2013 a documentary production company, Icon Films, wanted to find out whether the creatures known as yeti (or Bigfoot or Sasquatch) really existed, and they thought Lindqvist could help. The company had collected samples of fur and bone in the Himalayas, and Lindqvist had the technology to determine whether they came from a familiar animal or one unknown to science.


“I saw my opportunity to get hold of some samples that would otherwise be very hard to get,” she says.

Lindqvist didn’t believe that the samples were from mysterious yetis. Instead, she suspected that the samples were from bears—similarly large and hairy, but not mysterious at all.

“Bears in the Himalayan region and Tibetan Plateau are fairly elusive. We don’t know much about them, and the Himalayan brown bear is endangered,” says Lindqvist.

So, she said yes, she’d analyze the DNA. She knew that she could identify bear DNA and that the DNA of a mysterious monster wouldn’t look like any animal previously analyzed. In that case she would have discovered an entirely new species.

Although the film production company might have been hoping to pinpoint the elusive mythological beast, Lindqvist's instincts turned out to be correct. For the most part, the samples were from bears. Specifically, they were from Tibetan brown bears, an Asian black bear and a Himalayan brown bear. From bits of hair and bone, Lindqvist was able to sequence the bears’ mitochondrial DNA.


Usually, when we talk about DNA, we’re talking about DNA from the cell nucleus. Mitochondrial DNA is different from the genetic code that makes up our 23 chromosomes. It’s found in another part of the cell, an energy-producing organ. It’s not always good for identifying individuals, but it is good for distinguishing among species.

Mitochondrial DNA is also easier to sequence than the rest of the animal genome because there are more copies of it in each cell. Sure enough, Lindqvist was able to fully sequence the mitochondrial genome of a Himalayan brown bear—the first time that had been achieved.

Lindqvist didn’t stop at identifying the samples came from. Using this full mitochondrial DNA sequence, plus partial sequences from the regular DNA of Tibetan brown bears and an Asian black bear, and information about the geography of the region, Lindqvist concluded that 650,000 years ago, glaciers forced a single population of bears apart, creating two isolated populations. Over time, these populations became the two distinct subspecies—Himalayan brown bears and Tibetan brown bears—that they are today.

This was not the first time that legendary creatures had inadvertently lent a hand to genetics studies. In 2013, a geneticist at Oxford University, Bryan Sykes, also leveraged the yeti frenzy for genetics studies of bears to find the DNA of an animal related to Paleolithic polar bears.

And it doesn’t stop with yetis. I was surprised and delighted to find that other creatures of myth will benefit the field of genetics. In 2017, a scientist from New Zealand embarked on a sequencing journey similar to that of Lindqvist. Neil Gemmell, a geneticist at the University of Otago, proposed sequencing DNA from Loch Ness, the lake in Scotland where a well-known mythical sea monster is supposed to live (or to have lived at some point). The project is set to officially start this month, when Gemmell’s team will begin collecting water samples.


Gemmell, who studies environmental DNA—the DNA that animals shed in hair, skin, scales and feces—has never believed in the dinosaur-like sea monster. But he does believe in its ability to get people excited about science. Although some may not have been initially interested in Gemmell’s current work in New Zealand, the Loch Ness project is instantly accessible.

“Not that many people are interested in hearing about what we’re discovering, but they are interested in the Loch Ness Monster,” he says.

Although Gemmell is candid about the fact that he doesn’t believe the researchers will discover the elusive sea creature, he still believes the project will yield interesting results and be an influential science communication platform. Sure enough, thanks to the “Nessie” connection, Gemmell’s project has already made headlines around the world before it has even begun. “I think it’s neat!” he says. “And my kids think it’s neat.”

Regardless of whether Nessie is found, Gemmell and his research group will gather useful information about the population of creatures present in Loch Ness. He plans to test several hypotheses using sequenced DNA from the lake. “Hypothesis one is that [the Loch Ness monster] is an ancient remnant plesiosaur population or something like that—the so-called Jurassic hypothesis,” said Gemmell. “Which, let’s be honest, is basically bogus stuff—it’s just ridiculous. But nonetheless, we could test that.”

He also plans to test whether there is evidence of giant fish, such as sturgeon, or even evidence of sharks occasionally getting into the lake. And while he’s testing the water for things that might explain Nessie sightings, he’ll also be asking some questions that address different issues. For example, what is the microbial and bacterial diversity like in Loch Ness? And are there invasive species in the lake?


“There’s been an awful lot of people taking an awful lot of gear into Loch Ness over the years,” said Gemmell. “There’s suggestions that there’s an invasive shrimp species from the southern United States in Loch Ness. There’s been reports recently of pink salmon, which is of course a Pacific salmon, in the Ness River.”

There are just as many questions about species we know to exist as about species that probably don’t exist. Powerful datasets can come out of the search for elusive creatures, whether or not they are real. My fascination with Bigfoot aside, it might be time to start thinking about how we can leverage myths about fairies to study the skies. So, the question now for evolutionary biologists and geneticists alike is: what other mythological creatures can we search for in order to learn more about the less charismatic—but just as magical—creatures on Earth?

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Rights & Permissions
Blog Categories

Recent Comments
"Mel's Hole was an awesome story! So many twist and turns. I remember..."
In: Mels Hole
by: JediLee

This website is powered by Spruz