Gallery I

Pygmies, Giants And Devils

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Strange Skeletal Remains of Humanoids

By James Donahue

Among the great mysteries confronting archaeologists throughout the world has been the unearthing of human skeletal remains that do not fit the contemporary mold.

Most folks remember the sensational news stories about the discovery of the “Hobbit” bones of the tiny people who once lived in remote jungles of Indonesia. These pygmies, who stood no more than three and a half feet tall and had heads about the size of a grapefruit, are believed to have been an ancient race of people that disappeared about 13,000 years ago.

That was a contemporary discovery that made news. But consider some of the other finds in past years that few of us have ever heard about, for obvious religious-driven reasons we suppose.

Among the more curious discoveries were the giant skeletons with horned skulls uncovered by a team of researchers in a mound near Sayre in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, in the 1880s.

The team, that included Dr. G. P. Donehoo, state historian for Pennsylvania and high official in the Presbyterian Church, Professor A. B. Skinner of the American Investigating Museum, and Professor W. K. Morehead of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, said they found several skeletal remains measuring about seven feet in height.

The spooky thing about the skulls of these skeletal remains is that they all contained horn-like protrusions just over the brow region. Other than the horns and the unusual height, the skeletons appeared to be anatomically similar to the skeletons of contemporary humans, the researchers said.

It is said the remains were sent to Philadelphia for further examination at the American Investigating Museum and were never seen again. There are some who believe they were locked away or perhaps even destroyed because they suggested that living devils walked the ground in Pennsylvania about 1,200 A.D.

There have been various recorded findings of giant skeletons of humans with yet another odd trait. They had large skulls with double rows of teeth. Seven such skeletons, all buried in a sitting position, were found in a burial mound near Clearwater, Minnesota, in 1888. The skulls showed low, sloping foreheads and distinctly prominent brows.

Similar remains of more giants with double rows of teeth were reportedly uncovered during the excavation for a basement under a new home in Medina County, Ohio, in 1881, at Detroit in 1889; Jefferson County, New York, in 1878, and Lampock Rancho, California, in 1833. There were many other findings throughout the North American continent.

The skeletal remains found in California were true giants, as the story goes.. Soldiers who were digging a pit for a powder magazine said they found the remains of a 12-foot tall man. There were double rows of teeth in the skull.

While a photograph of a horned skull has been produced, the Skeptic Magazine questions the truth in many of the stories. That is because no photos of these strange skulls or skeletons have ever been made public and no one seems to be able to provide detailed information as to just who found them, or what happened to the bones.

It is true that newspaper editors of that period enjoyed creating amazing fictitious stories of incredible discoveries and events that made interesting reading for subscribers, but were nothing more than elaborate hoaxes, or at best, works of fiction. There seemed to be no code of ethics among journalists then, so a lot of falsely created stories got in print that have had a twisted effect on contemporary historical research.

Yet the stories of abnormal skeletal remains, and especially the giants of old, have persisted. It makes us wonder if there wasn’t at least a kernel of truth to some of them.