reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
Ah, thanks, I was not looking forward to tracking those down again, haha.
I agree that Thomas had some odd preconceptions...a sort of mishmash of tattered christian theology and vague ideas about a master race predating man.
For him to be hired by Powell for the job of a "systematic study" with the ostensible aim of proving the mound sites to be the heritage of the
modern Native peoples was definitely weird. Powell, supposedly, was sympathetic to the Natives and sought to change the contemporary view of them as
"savages" by proving they were the actual mound builders.
Sadly, in one of the ironic twists of 'unintended consequenses' that so often plague such good intentions, the systematic study also methodically
destroyed most of the sites completely. And many that survived the study were broken up by colonial farmers who had previously taken great care of
them, but lost interest when they were no longer considered relics of a lost civilization. Doubtless you know this already but it does fascinate
I agree with what seems to be your basic premise, which is that there are political, religious, and racial components to consider here, along with a
good deal of bigotry and dogmatism...and once those are taken into account there is little room left for giants(hardee har har, etc.).
And yet there are enough interesting tidbits left to still leave me wondering. Like the dozen or so documented receipts of what seemed to be overly
large(7-8 ft, as in the Report) human remains by respected colleges or museums other than the SI, who did not lose them or have them stolen but later
shipped them to the SI, and have documents for that. And a couple of those, the SI Records Dept. has in modern times reported that it does actually
have its own documents duly recording receipt of said items, but that no further documentation appears to exist.
Or the possibility that the large human bones reported by Thomas did exist but were intentionally 'misplaced' by Powell in a fit of activist zeal he
no doubt would have considered justified...and may have been unnecessary, if such beings were a unique subset of the Native genotype... like albinism
or something along those lines.
Then there are the reported finds from 1900+, which is beginning to be a tad late for expansionist purposes, though admittedly there are plenty of
other motives to take the place of that one...but some of them do not offer any discernible gain for the person(s) making the report. Like reports
made when doing some economic endeavor like digging foundations for a commercial building, subsequent to which all construction is brought to a halt
so the specialists can come in, leaving the entrepreneur twiddling thumbs and adding up the red numbers.
Or the fact that the Natives themselves speak clearly of two distict races of large people: the red haired ones, and the blackbeards that showed up
later and wiped the Reds out(and also were cannibals).
The Aztecs and the Inca called the area around and to the North of what is now Mexico City "The land of the Giants".
And, lastly, of the most significance to me, but least to anyone else as it is purely anecdotal, my brother and I are avid artifact hunters and where
we live(on the eroded side of the Edwards Plateau in S. TX) is a treasure trove of paleo-artifacts, much of it untouched on private land. We obtained
permission to do some sifting on land belonging to family of friends, and we came across bone bits where we were digging into the wall of a dry gorge,
maybe 15-20ft below surface. All we saw was bits; unidentified fragments and some teeth and a bit of jaw, but it was obviously hominid(or rather, it
was an omnivorous mammal, but no quadruped normal to the area). So we alerted the family patriarch, showed location of site, and left, after which the
Sheriff was called in case it was a contemporary issue of missing person or homicide. It wasn't, and on Sheriff's advice, UT@A was called. Nerds
arrived the following day and did some poking about, and unearthed and assembled a nearly complete by highly fragmented skeleton, which they said was
well over 7.5ft tall.
There's more to the story but that's the gist of it; purely anecdotal I know but it brought the idea of ancient giants out of the realms of 12-15ft
tall seeming impossibilities and down to 7-8ft possibilities. It could have been an aberration, or a fluke or mistake or any number of things, yes.
But to me, that experience, plus all the points listed previous, serve to keep the question open, in my mind.
P.S. Canada has all the Mastodons and Mammoths and Sabre-toothed Tigers and Toxodons and Giant Ground Sloths. It doesn't need giants.