10. Serpent Mound, Ohio, 1890s - 7 ft tall
survey by Squire and Davis.
The Great Serpent Mound is a 1,370ft long prehistoric effigy
mound located near Peebles that has been thoroughly researched
by Ross Hamilton, who has written extensively about its
mysteries and the giants discovered in the area.
Recent radiocarbon analysis dates it
to around 321 BC. This puts it in the realm of the Adena
civilization who were present in the area at this time.
In the 1890s, Professor Frederic
Ward Putnam excavated some of the mounds next to Serpent
Mound and found only 6ft tall skeletons, but a postcard showing
one 7 feet in height was recently rediscovered by researcher
It may have been one of those
excavated by Putnam, as he was the only person to dig at the
Ross first published this in his
book A Tradition of Giants, and it clearly states it was
Serpent Mound on the postcard,
but there is still debate as to where this photo of a 7ft
skeleton was actually taken.
Notice that the legs are cut off at
the knees, so is "7ft" what we actually see, or is it an
estimation if he had his lower legs and feet attached? Could it
have been more like 8 feet tall if the shins and feet were
The 7 ft skeleton
from Serpent Mound cut off at the knees.
9. Cresap Mound, West Virginia, 1959 - 7ft
In 1959, Dr. Donald Dragoo, the curator for the Section
of Man at the Carnegie Museum unearthed a 7 feet 2 inch skeleton
during the complete excavation of the
Cresap Mound in Northern West
"This individual was of large
proportions. When measured in the tomb his length was
approximately 7.04 feet. All of the long bones were heavy."
7ft 2 inch
skeleton with top part of skeleton burnt.
Ground Plan of
Cresap Mound showing Clay floor level and below.
skeleton is on the middle right.
Dragoo published a photo of the actual skeleton in his book so
there is no doubt it was authentic.
Dragoo joins many other
university-trained anthropologists and archaeologists who
reported discovering skeletons over seven feet in length in
burial mounds, often with anatomical anomalies.
A few of the professionals reporting these skeletal finds were,
Dr. Walter B. Jones,
Moundsville Alabama (7ft 6 and many 7-footers)
Dr. Forrest Clements Head of
Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma (six 7ft
Dr. Donald A. Cadzow
Cambridge University (7ft 5in skeleton found in
Pittsburgh with many other large skeletons with anatomic
Dr. Byron Cummings, head of
the archaeology department at the University of Arizona,
considered the " Dean of Southwestern Archaeology"
(several over 8-footers)
Thomas Wilson, Curator of
Prehistoric Anthropology at the Smithsonian (verified an
8-foot skeleton with massive jawbone)
W.J. Holland, curator of the
Carnegie Museum (unearthed an over 8 ft skeleton in
Pennsylvania as reported in many scientific journals
including Scientific American )
8. Mounds in Iowa, 1897 - 7ft 6in skeleton
This account from The Worthington Advance (November 18,
1897) describes the ethnological work of the Smithsonian
Institution's Division of Eastern Mounds, and quoted the
Director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the time, John Wesley
The image below accompanied the news
"It is a matter of official
record that in digging through a mound in Iowa the
scientists found the skeleton of a giant, who, judging from
actual measurement, must have stood seven feet six inches
tall when alive.
The bones crumbled to dust when
exposed to the air."
showing the excavation of a giant skeleton.
7. Steelville, Missouri, 1933 - 8ft
As part of the Search for the Lost Giants show, Jim and
fellow researcher James Clary investigated the following
account that had this heading:
"An Ancient Ozark Giant Dug Up
Near Steelville: Strange discovery made by a boy looking for
arrowheads, gives this Missouri Town an absorbing mystery to
From The Steelville Ledger
(June 11, 1933):
"…he turned up the complete
skeleton of an 8 foot giant.
The grisly find was brought to
Dr. R. C. Parker here and stretched out to its enormous
length in a hallway of his office where it has since
remained the most startling exhibit Steelville has ever had
on public view."
While reading through the microfilm
at the Steelville library three reports of the find where
uncovered including the photo that shows Les Eaton, a 6-foot
man, laid out next to the 8-foot skeleton in Dr. Parkers office.
Les Eaton on the
floor next to the 8-foot skeleton.
The Steelville Ledger reported that the skeleton was packed up
and shipped to the Smithsonian, never to be heard of again.
6. Miamisburg, Montgomery County, Ohio -
8ft 1.5 inch skeleton
Miamisburg Mound is believed to have been built by the
Adena Culture, anywhere between
1000 to 200 BC.
It is the largest conical burial
mound in Ohio, once nearly 70 feet tall (the height of a
seven-story building) and 877 feet in circumference. Hugh
investigated this site in September 2012 and after talking to
some researchers at the local historical society, he found there
were other skeletal remains reported in the nearby area.
of Miamisburg Mound.
Numerous skeletal remains were uncovered from the mound,
including a giant jawbone and " bones of unusual size," but it
was the discovery half-a-mile away that became a national
sensation and was reported in The Middletown Signal,
January 17, 1899 with the headline: "Bones of Prehistoric Giant
Found Near Miamisburg":
"The skeleton of a giant found
near Miamisburg is the cause of much discussion not only
among the curious and illiterate but among the learned
scientists of the world.
The body of a man more gigantic
than any ever recorded in human history, has been found in
the Miami Valley, in Ohio. The skeleton it is calculated
must have belonged to a man 8 feet 1.5 inches in height."
Professor Thomas Wilson
curator of prehistoric anthropology at the Smithsonian
Institution, said the following after examining the find:
"The authenticity of the skull
is beyond any doubt.
Its antiquity unquestionably
great, to my own personal knowledge several such crania were
discovered in the Hopewell group of mounds in Ohio. The jaws
were prognathus (projecting beyond the face) and the facial
index remarkably low."
over 8-foot skeleton discovered near Miamisburg.
5. The San Diego Giant, 1895 - 8ft 4 inch
This fascinating discovery reports on a giant mummy found in San
Diego (that is currently believed to be a hoax).
However, let's take a closer look,
as there is some intrigue and inconsistency with this popular
story. This first report appeared in 1895 with the sub-headings
"Nine Feet High and Probably a California Indian - Measurement
Well Authenticated - Other Big Men and Women of Fact and Fable
Who Are Famous Types if Gigantism."
When accurately measured it turned
out to be 8ft 4 inches and was,
"carefully inspected and
measured by Prof. Thomas Wilson, Curator of the Department
of Prehistoric Anthropology in the Smithsonian Institution,
and by other scientists." 3
The San Diego
giant was purchased by the Smithsonian
for $500 (over
$14,000 in today's money) in 1895,
later claimed it was a hoax.
Thirteen years later - in 1908 - when the mummy was being
exhibited, the Smithsonian ran some tests and suddenly dismissed
it as a hoax, saying it was made from "gelatin."
The fact that it took that long, and
after spending $500 to acquire it, plus the fact that it was
"carefully inspected" by experts thirteen years earlier does
suggest there may be more to this story than meets the eye.
Interestingly, Aleš Hrdlička, joined the Smithsonian in
1903, right in between the discovery and the final debunking. He
was not interested in giants and made a concerted effort to
eradicate them from the historical record.
It is also interesting to note that
the Director of Prehistoric Anthropology, Thomas Wilson,
and the ethnologist in charge W.J. McGee, were both
involved in this story, and were obviously keen to make sure the
Smithsonian got it back to their headquarters at an immense cost
($500 in 1895 equates to $14,285 today).
But why would they bother doing that
if it was simply a sideshow hoax?
The strange twists, and Smithsonian involvement, and the immense
amount of money spent on this makes this worthy of inclusion in
this Top Ten.
A similar mummified giant also turned up at
Spiro Mounds, Oklahoma. It
measured 8ft 5 in and was on display for a few months, where it
was seen by several people before it disappeared.
4. Catalina Island, California - 9 ft 2
inch skeleton (and other 7ft - 8ft examples)
Channel Islands off the coast of
California have turned up numerous oversized
The story is intriguing and
controversial, and it stars amateur archaeologist Ralph
Glidden and his bizarre museum, but before the main act, a
German naturalist got the story going in 1913.
Dr. A.W. Furstenan reported
unearthing an 8 ft tall skeleton with artifacts such as mortar,
pestles and arrowheads on Catalina. He was told of a legend
while in Mexico of a giant and noble race that lived on the
Island, who existed long before the white man and had since
Amateur archaeologist Ralph Glidden unearthed and collected a
total of 3,781 skeletons on the Channel Islands between 1919 and
Working for the Heye Foundation
of New York he unearthed a 9ft 2 in skeleton and several
measuring over 7 feet:
"A skeleton of a young girl,
evidently of high rank, within a large funeral urn, was
surrounded by those of sixty-four children, and in various
parts of the island more than three thousand other skeletons
were found, practically all the males averaging around seven
feet in height, one being seven feet eight inches from the
top of his head to the ankle, and another being 9 feet 2
inches tall." 6
The skeleton in
the picture is 7ft 8 in example.
As part of Search for the Lost Giants, Jim and Bill
Vieira visited Catalina to investigate the contents of the box,
and indeed there were photos of hundreds of skeletons and
skulls, excavations, artifacts, and burials.
They also uncovered an account of a
28-inch femur unearthed by Glidden on San Nicolas Island
reported by the judge of Avalon, Earnest Windle.
This would make the skeleton over 8
An over 7-foot
skeleton found on Catalina Island.
3. Beaver Lake, Ozark Caves, Arkansas,
1913 - Nearly 10 ft skeleton and huge skulls
This account from an Ozark cave in Arkansas is found in The
New Age Magazine (Volume 18, 1913) given by the highly
regarded reporter Victor Schoffelmeyer.
Skulls of giants
with cranial deformation.
During the filming of Search for the Lost Giants, the
site of the cave was investigated.
It had been flooded with the damming
and creation of Beaver Lake between 1960-1966.
Bill Vieira and professional
scuba diver Mike Young dived into the lake and found a
huge shelter cave believed to be the site of the skeletal finds.
While a 70ft stone wall was found at
the entrance of the cave, showing likely human habitation, no
more clues were forthcoming.
Text from the original article reads
"While the historical features
of the Ozarks held our attention, by far the most
fascinating discovery was one made by an aged recluse and
naturalist who for ten years had lived in a shelter cave
near where we camped.
'Dad' Riggins spent much of his
time digging in the ashes which form the floor of many of
At a depth of more than three
feet he found the remains of several giant human skeletons,
including an almost perfect skull which differed in many
particulars from a modern specimen. When partly joined the
largest skeleton was almost ten feet tall.
'Dad' Riggins showed us
hieroglyphics covering the Palisades thought to be thousands
of years old." 7
2. Lompock Rancho, California, 1819 - 12
Hugh investigated this famous report back in November 2008, by
visiting the area of the ranch it was discovered on.
"In 1819 an old lady saw a
gigantic skeleton dug up by soldiers at Purisima on the
Lompock Rancho. The natives deemed it a god, and it was
reburied by direction of the padre." 8
This short report re-emerged with a
broader range of details in 1833 and now various authors and
websites repeat the same story.
It goes something like this:
Soldiers digging a pit for a
powder magazine at Lompock Rancho, California, hacked their
way through a layer of cemented gravel and found a 12ft
The skeleton of a giant man
about twelve feet tall was found inside. The grave was
surrounded by carved shells, huge stone axes, two spears and
thin sheets of porphyry (purple mineral with quartz)
covering the skeleton.
These were covered with
unintelligible symbols. He had a double row of teeth, both
upper and lower.
The soldiers consulted a local
tribe of Indians, who after going into trance, exclaimed
they were geographically displaced Allegewi Indians from the
Ohio Valley area.
When the natives began to attach
some religious significance to the find, authorities ordered
the skeleton and all the artifacts secretly reburied.
No further information is available
so it is impossible to verify this information, but numerous
other skeletons of this height have been reported in such
newspapers at The New York Times.
Two further 12ft examples were
reported in Jeffersonville, Kentucky ( The New York Times, May
22, 1871) and Barnard, Missouri ( The Providence Evening Press,
September 13, 1883).
Furthermore, a 13ft example was said
to have been unearthed in Janesville, Wisconsin (The Public
Ledger, August 25, 1870) and even bones that were estimated to
be from a skeleton 14ft tall at Etowah Mounds (The New York
Times, April 5, 1886).
These are all well out of the normal
range for humans but are worth noting here as these immense
sizes pop up again and again in well-respected newspapers.
1. West Hickory, Pennsylvania, 1870 - 18ft
The headline of this chart-topper reads: "The Cardiff Giant
Outdone: Alleged Discovery of a Giant in The Oil Regions."
This report originally came from the
Oil City Times in 1870 and underneath the immense armor,
it revealed some startling anatomic oddities, and a skeleton
that reached a staggering height (the tallest example we have
"They exhumed an enormous helmet
of iron, which was corroded with rust. Further digging
brought to light a sword which measured nine feet in
The report continued that they had
"…a well-preserved skeleton of
an enormous giant… The bones of the skeleton are remarkably
white. The teeth are all in their places, and all of them
are double, and of extraordinary size."
It was estimated to be 18 feet tall,
and the bones were being prepared to be sent to New York.
Clearly, however, this could be an exaggeration, as 18ft is
unheard of in the historical record, but the matter-of-fact
description is intriguing.
Interestingly the discovery was
reported to be buried 12 feet below a mound, so it could suggest
a deep antiquity, however tall he was.
The report from
1870 describing an 18-feet-tall giant skeleton.