Sunday, February 6, 2022

Forgotten Accounts of Ancient Giants in Nevada


A special thanks to Dennis Guern and James Carroll for the joint research and giving their feedback on this interesting and detailed article about giant finds in the ancient Lake Lahontan/Nevada region. 

My readers know that I love to give links and show sources of info so that they can go to these places and read more, come to conclusions, form hypotheses....

We will be gathering this information and more into a report so that it can all be together in one place and will let you know how to get that when it's up. 

I have bolded key words to take note of.

Today's post comes from this source - 

Nevada Historical Society Quarterly Fall 1975

More publications for the seasons and years for the Nevada Historical Society - LINK

A long time ago an indian [sic] tribe came into this country from the southward, this an indian tribe was redheaded and they were very tall men, the Piutes fought them on the south and west side of the lake that the intruders crossed over the lake and into the cave, by the use of tule boats they were able to cross the lake easily. The Piutes followed, and when they found that the intruders who Natchez called" Umatilla's" [sic] but other Piutes refer to as the Pitt River or Modoc Indians, had taken refuge in the cave , then the Piutes gathered in council and decided that they would gather all of the sagebrush that they could get hold of that lay to the east of and above the cave and after placing this on 1 .. T Reid's Case for the Redheaded Giants the bluff above and setting it afire that they would continue to throw over lighted brush into the face of the cave until all within had perished from suffocation all the while having men so posted that any of the people within the cave trying to escape could be killed with well directed arrows. After a siege lasting several days, Natches [sic] relates that all of the intruders were killed, but other stories go on to state that the intruders were driven to the northwestward. I can only reconcile this lack of harmony in the different stories with the probable fact that where the battles took place to the southward of Humboldt Lake, it is more than probable that the intruders had their force divided into two groups', one of which went on the east side of the lake while the other went on the west side of the lake .... (MS August 8,1924, "Notes for Mr. Harrington"). 

   - about the cave -

Sarrah Winnemucca Hopkins's book, Life Among the Piutes, Their Wrongs and Claims, had been published only three years previously, and in it she relates substantially the same story as her brother Natchez had told the impressionable young man that night at the mouth of Indian Cave (1883, pp. 73 -75). 

In the morning, after it was agreed among the Indians that young Reid would be taken into the cave, torches were prepared from the tops of sagebrush. 

Reid observed that he was disappointed upon entering the main room of the cave to note that the only thing to see was piles of guano covering the floor, and in places there were cone-shaped piles about two or three feet apart extending across the center of the cave. He could just straddle the largest of the cones, with his head touching the ceiling (MS June 8, 1931). 

Elsewhere he recalls that there were four or five cones, about 2-1/2 feet or more above the surrounding guano, and that in one place two cones were so close that they blended together about a foot from their apices (MS August 29, 1931, "Notes for Mr. Harrington").

more giant bodies - 

She (a grandmother) had told Sampson that those now called "Pitt River Indians" came in from the west and the first big fight occurred to the south, near a river. Then they came northward and the next fight took place at the "Sand Hills" on the southwest border of the Carson Sink. Here many bodies were burned and buried and Sampson said he had seen them when he was a boy. Many Paiutes and intruders were killed, but the Paiutes won and the others made for the cave, most going up along the range, although some went across the lake in tule boats. They were smoked out of the cave and almost all were killed. Those who escaped went across the lake again toward Brown's Station and thence west to Pyramid Lake where they had another big fight. They finally departed westward, back to Pitt River where they had come from. 

In these accounts, the war did not last just a day or two, but went on for years. First, the Si-te-cah (redheaded tule-eaters) were confined to the Humboldt Lake area following fearful battles in the region of Carson Sink and Pyramid Lake, the last being fought at Lovelock Cave . According to some accounts, a few escaped even the conflagration of the cave and in boats made of tules fled across Humboldt Lake to Granite Point, where they were met by more Pliiutes. More Si-te-cah were killed , but those who escaped this confrontation were driven north towards the Pitt River. That this occurred during the winter time is suggested by some tales that the Paiutes had crawled over the ice on the lake to where the Si -te-cah, under constant persecution from the Paiutes, had taken to living in houseboats. These were described as being tule boats with house-like superstructures. " Virginia" Jim had been told by his ancestors that during the conflict in the tules at the edge of the lake, the Si-te-cah had called out to the Paiutes in moumful tones, " Yah-hah-nah-ho-week-ho-no," as well as he could remember it, but that he did not understand its meaning nor did the ancestors who told him of the incident. He thought it was a plea for peace .

L. H. Taylor, Civil Engineer of Reno, Nevada who was in charge of the U.S. Reclamation Project in the Fallon area known as the Newlands Project, and a friend of Reid's for about thirty years in 1927, contributed another story to Reid's growing file on redheaded giants (MS December 6, 1927). Mr. Taylor said that in 1904, at Stillwater, Nevada, a very old Indian related that the Paiute Indians had fought a battle with the people who had been in the area when the Indians came. The battle had been fought , he said, close to the" .. . Old Carson River, among the Sand Hills ... . " Reid notes that others had told him of a battle which had been fought in the sand hills on the east side of the river.

Taylor added that while he was running contour lines for the project he had seen many skeletons scattered around and one was picked up by a member of his survey crew, M. O. Layton, who took it east with him when he was relocated by the U.S.G.S. Department of Soils, Reclamation Survey, Washington, D.C. 

This skeleton had an arrow of obsidian or flint still sticking in the temple of the skull. James Hunter, former assistant to the Constable of Lovelock, had yet another account of the hostilities which he had heard from Bung-Eye-Jim. 

Apparently, over the years of hostilities, the Paiutes had sustained such losses that they sent out an appeal to many tribes of the intermountain region for each to send at least ten braves to assist in an all-out effort to exterminate the enemy. 

Cooperation seemed assured because other tribes had exterminated the redheaded people in the surrounding territories and the antipathy toward them would lend impetus to the plan for final genocide . 

Avery Winnemucca, grandson of Chief Natchez, was called upon to act as interpreter in a conversation with Abraham Mah-Wee of Nixon, Pyramid Lake Reservation, December 31, 1927. John A. Runner, government surveyor, was the witness who signed his name to the following statement by Mr. Mah-Wee: 

I believe that I am somewhere in the neighborhood of 76 years of age at this time, if anything, I may be older. I have a recollection of two small battles between the Indians and the U.S. soldiers, after which there was a larger battle at Pyramid Lake Reservation (1860) where many white men were slain. I believe that Indian Chief Natchez was about 30 years old when I was a boy about 10 years old. 

I remember hearing of the treaty that was negotiated between Nah-Mah-Gah-de'r (which means the Hunter or provider) Winnemucca and the U.S. General as to the matter of establishing the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, I was about 8 or 10 years old, or perhaps more, when this peace was concluded. I remember that Natches [sic] died about 20 years ago at the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. 

Question: Do you remember anything pertaining to a dress that Sarah Winnemucca had that was made of human hair? 
Answer: I do . 

Question: What was the color of the dress? 
Answer: It was red. 

Question: Was it a light or a dark red? 
Answer: It was a brownish red. 

Question: Describe this dress. 
Answer:  It was like a shirt dress. 

Question:  What became of this dress? 
Answer: I do not know. 

Question:  How did Sarah W. Hopkins get this dress? 
Answer:  From the Sai-te-cah (Tule Eaters) 

Question: What was the color of these people's hair? 
Answer:  It was reddish-brown, or a brownish-red. 

Question:  Did you ever talk directly to Sarah Winnemucca as to how it was that this came to be handed down to her? 
Answer: We were not inquisitive and did not ask many questions as you people do as to what happened in the past, but, I remember the dress very well. 

Question:  How long was the hair in the dress? 
Answer:  It was made up of hair of various lengths, from a few inches in length to two or more feet in length. 

Question:  Where is Sarah Winnemucca buried? 
Answer:  I heard she was buried in Oregon or Idaho, or some place afar off. (MS December 31, 1927) 

Cubet Rhodes related to Reid a story Dick Sampson had heard from his father. The elder Sampson had pointed out to his son the site of the only Toy-to-cah [Paiute] casualty he had witnessed in the battle between the Si-tecah and the Toy-to-cah. In this version of the story, the Si -te-cah were smoked out of the cave and pursued to Pyramid Lake, where they were again smoked out of refuge and driven west and north into California. Rhodes also repeated his great-grandmother's story of the Humboldt Sink when it was a lake that covered the whole country and the top of Lone Mountain stuck out as an island. She had heard it from her "father's father" who was then a boy and said the Si-te-cah were there then. Rhodes claimed that Charley Holbrook knew of a place where a giant man about nine feet tall was buried in a cave near Pyramid Lake and that there was another buried between Nixon and Wadsworth  . This man was trying to escape but some Paiutes attacked him. It took them a long time to fell him. Rhodes claimed that Dick Cowles had seen the remains of his man when he worked on the railroad there (MS October 31, 1930).

Rhodes also repeated his great-grandmother's story of the Humboldt Sink when it was a lake that covered the whole country and the top of Lone Mountain stuck out as an island. She had heard it from her "father's father" who was then a boy and said the Si-te-cah were there then. Rhodes claimed that Charley Holbrook knew of a place where a giant man about nine feet tall was buried in a cave near Pyramid Lake and that there was another buried between Nixon and Wadsworth . This man was trying to escape but some Paiutes attacked him. It took them a long time to fell him. 

Rhodes claimed that Dick Cowles had seen the remains of his man when he worked on the railroad there (MS October 31, 1930). 

About a month later, some visitors from Stillwater volunteered additional information. Sam Dick, son of Old River Sam and brother of John Dick (a.k.a. 1. .T Reid's Case for the Redheaded Giants 159 Bob Dick), told of a pile of rocks in the form of a pyramid in the next canyon northward from Coyote Canyon on the east side of East Range in Churchill County, near Job's Peak, on the trail to the pinenuts. 

*I believe we've found this 

OR (depending on description of location from Coyote Canyon above or New York Canyon below)

This monument, he said, was built by the Si -te-cah . Reid noted that his father had told him about the "Pyramid Rock" that was on the trail near New York Canyon and several white people described it as being at the head of New York Canyon near the old Indian trail. . 

Jasper Wright, another of the visitors, said that about 1920 Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins was with Yellow Tail at one of the Wyoming reservations above Riverton, near Casper, and she was wearing one of the coats with red hair. Wright was about forty years old at the time. 

Sam Dick said that the Si-te-cah dressed in those coats but the Indians did not and he added that the Si-te-cah wore some type of feather on the head as headgear (MS November 27, 1930). 

Gilbert Natchez of Nixon, grandson of Chief Winnemucca, related to Reid a story which agreed in almost every respect with that Reid had heard on that chilly wet night at the cave. He even elaborated on the story, explaining that Si-te-cah is a compound word, si-e meaning in the Paiute (or Numah, as the Indians call themselves) language "partakers of' and te-cah being translated as "tules." Thus, the name means "Tule Eaters." 

The Si-te-cah and the Numah had the same God and spoke the same language, (which later Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins also mentions in her book, p. 74). 

The Si-te-cah , a redheaded people, were made by God , then the Numah. There came a time when the children got to quarreling, the boys with the boys and the girls with the girls, so He separated them, sending the Numah to the Carson Sink and allowing the Si-te-cah to remain in the vicinity of the Humboldt Sink. 

After the Creator had separated His children, He went to a distant mountain somewhere near Walker Lake, which could be located for one by the Walker Lake Indians. Reid, however, inserts the fact that the Stillwater Indians had told him that this sacred spot was in the East Range, somewhere near Job's Peak (Yah-do-be) (area reportedly with pyramidal rock stack from si te cah). 

In any case, at this place He rested His head against a rock which to this day has the impression of His forehead and He wept in despair. A spring burst forth from the mountain where His tears had fallen . The story further claims that the footprints showing where He had traveled can still be seen. 

Natchez went on to say that after the extermination of the Si -te -cah people, it was found that a small boy had been captured and was kept by the Indians until he died. Captain John took charge of the boy and took good care of him, but he died before reaching maturity. 

Off the subject, but perhaps related, is another tale told that day by Natchez of some large beasts which had once roamed the Humboldt region. They were dangerous carnivorous animals which devoured unprotected children and he claimed that Indian mothers still threatened their children with, "Ooh-queetz will get you, if you are not good." Reid adds that he had heard similar mention of a "cave man" who would get the children if they were unruly. Another term for a terrifying child-eating beast was Pi-Ee-tsah

160 Nevada HistoricaL Society Quarterly Bow-E-An, who was known to the white residents of the Lovelock area as Skinny Dave, related yet another anecdote concerning Paiute traditions of their early history. Bow-E-An's father, Captain Dave, was known to his own people as Pas-sa. After white contact he was called Passa Dave, but no reason is given. 

Pas-sa Dave was in the fight at Pyramid Lake with the whites (1860) but ran away because he was afraid, so was not injured. Some of the Indians had firearms, but they were few and of poor quality. Then, too, there was little ammunition. Pas-sa had only bow and arrows. / Bow-E-An was born at Poker Brown Springs. His mother was known as Sis (Dave), his grandfather was Natchez, and his great-aunt was Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins. 

Captain Dave told Bow-E-An of people who had lived by the Humboldt and Carson Lakes in his great-great-grandfather's time. They had reddish brown hair. He said that some of them were about the height of Paiutes, but others were very tall. These people were called Si-te-cah which means "Tule Eaters." 

These people lived principally upon the lakes where they had boats made of tules and upon these boats there were built thatched houses made of tules. The boats could be bound together so that the people could step from one boat to the other as on rafts. However, the boats could be detached readily. 

The Si-te-cah seldom left the rafts except to procure necessities such as seeds and the stones for grinding them. The Paiutes, whom they feared , kept them hemmed in for a great many years. Long ago in Bow-E-An's great-great-grandfather's time, when Humboldt Lake was high at a place on the John G. Taylor Ranch known to the Paiutes as No-be-ach-annu (You are my friend), a Paiute stood on the lake shore and hollered to the redheaded people 

They answered and came after him with a great number of boats, perhaps several hundred, and took him to some sandy islands not far from shore. Here each took him and held him, head downward for a moment, after which they took him to their houses and kept him for two days. They then took him to the shore and released him

He returned to his people at Poker Brown Springs carrying beads, a moccasin made of badger skin, arrow points made of sea shell, foodstuff, and a small dog which had ears that stood up straight. The Paiutes did not have any dogs. Since the dog warned the Paiutes of anything coming from far off, they thought he was pretty smart. 

The Indian also brought lots of different things made of mud hen skins, such as neck bands of flowing feathers, and beaver blankets. 

This place became known to Bow-E-An's people as the "Treaty of Peace Ground." Bow-E-An was especially impressed by his father's description of the innumerable "columns of smoke" that rose from all over the Humboldt and Carson Lakes at that time. 

There were a great number of the redheaded people who in the early mornings and evenings made cooking fires, whereas the Indians ate most of their food raw having no regular time for building fires as did the people destined to become their mortal enemies.

- artifacts - 

Surely, if there were any truth to any of these stories, there would be some physical evidence of the redheaded giants. Reid's attempt to get perhaps the first salvage archaeology project in Nevada under way at Lovelock Cave with the University of Pennsylvania on hand to recover artifacts and uncovered by the Lanyard Zinc Company as the guano was mined, died "aborning." 

However, the Green boys, Art, Tot and Ed and the Pugh boys, Sam and Dave, cousins of the Greens, while hunting waterfowl on horseback along the shores of the Humboldt Sink were attracted by the clamor of birds to a small hole in the face of a cliff. Tot described the aperature as being so small that they had to wriggle in, but in they went and saw the undisturbed piles of guano. 

Deciding that nothing could be lost, they staked claims to the nitrogen deposits, although Tot said he had no intention of getting involved in the actual digging because he didn't want to "throw no shit." 

James H. Hart eventually came up with the financial backing necessary for the venture and in due course many tons of guano were hauled across Toy Flat to railhead for shipment to market. Reid procured from Hart a statement about the mining of the cave for A. L. Kroeber, University of California, Berkeley, from which Loud and Harrington excerpted the following when they were preparing their report on the archeological exploration of the cave:

 . . . working from the fall of 1911 to the spring of 1912. We drove a small tunnel into the mouth of the cave, or rather to one side of it, the natural opening being too small to work through. We took out about five carloads of guano which were shipped to the Hawaiian Fertilizer Company of San Francisco. 

We soon began to discover Indian relics, and notified Dr. J. C. Merriam of the University of California, who took the matter up with the University of Nevada and the Nevada Historical Society. 

We also wrote to the Smithsonian Institution, but they advised that they had no funds for collecting, receiving only donations. 

After some of the best specimens had been destroyed, we received word from the State Historical Society that, in conjunction with the University of California, they would send an investigator. 

This was Mr. Loud. We gave him all possible facilities for collecting. Many objects had been destroyed by the weather and others had been taken away . 

I recall many boas or ropes of fine feathers. As these lay strewn about in the open end of the cave in the way of the workmen they were irreparably damaged . Some of these boas were found perfectly preserved. 

All the Indian objects began to appear about four feet below the surface of the guanoIn the south end of the cave , "about twenty feet deep," we unearthed some skeletons

In the north-central part of the cave, about four feet deep, was a striking looking body of a man, "six feet six inches tall." His body was mummified and his hair distinctly red. There was a grass rope about his neck with a knot under the left ear. The rope was about eight feet long. The feet were bound together from the ankle to above the knees with stout rope. The mummification was complete except for a part of the abdomen. The other mummies all had red hair-l think there were either four or five. Those that appeared to be women were small, something like a Japanese woman in height. This was not altogether due to the shrinking of the bodies in mummifying, because the man was "a giant." The women had on moccasins which reached clear to the knees; the buckskin was beaded with shells. Two of them had on a kind of buckskin coat (gown) that came down to the knees. These bodies were from the deep south end of the cave. 

There were no bats in the cave when we went there to work . Besides David Pugh there worked in the cave Samuel Pugh, Hanson, Cummings, and perhaps one or two others. We screened the guano through a three-quarter inch mesh, discarding everything that did not go through the screen. Probably all objects that passed through the mesh were shipped away with the guano. 

After we got through working the cave one George Staulls worked on what was left in the cave for a while. He probably shipped out about a carload of guano. (Loud-Harrington, 1929, pp. 168, 169).

Reid, busy with his mining enterprises, took no active part in the guano activities but was avidly interested, increasingly so as the Green family began exhibiting the more spectacular finds in vacant stores in many towns in northern Nevada. The public exposure of the unusual artifacts from the cave prompted area residents to allow their finds to be shown also and what had started out as the " Green Exhibit" became the " Lovelock Exhibit," incorporating artifacts contributed by many people. 

This assemblage was stored in a shed belonging to Art Green and had been promised to the Nevada Historical Society. However, fire destroyed the shed and all it contained, except for large stone objects such as deep mortars and long, heavy pestles.

By the time the University of California sent Loud to excavate the archaeological deposits in the cave, in 1912, they had been so badly disturbed that it is a wonder that any archaeology remained to be studied. Loud was not a professional archaeologist and he simply salvaged the artifacts which had become a severe encumbrance to guano miners. 

In 1929, Reid accompanied by John A. Runner, government surveyor working out of Lovelock, visited the University of California Archaeology Building and asked to see the Lovelock Cave display . They were informed that the seventy-six boxes recovered were stored in the basement in the original shipping cases, as there was no space to display them (MS, no date, p. 7). 

In 1924 the Museum of the American Indian (Heye Foundation), New York City, sent M. R. Harrington to Lovelock to see if anything remained to be discovered in the cave and especially to attempt to find some untouched areas which could be excavated stratigraphically . He was fortunate and was able to use arbitrary levels to pinpoint artifacts and burials in space and time. 

Apparently Kroeber had to do a bit of prodding to get Loud and Harrington to get a report written for publication. In 1928 Reid wrote him a three-page summary of cave legends and mining activities. The report was finally pub- 1 .. T Reid's Case for the Redheaded Giants published in 1929, seventeen years after Loud's work there began, a rather long delay as Reid states (MS, no date, p. 1, February 11, 1933 appears on same page in text). 

A combination of radio-carbon dating and a calculated rate of deposition within the cave gives tentative occupation dates for the cave that range from approximately 2010 B.C. to A.D. 922 (Grosscup, 1957). This throws off Reid's estimate of the time of the battle being only about 250 years B. P. He of course was deceased by the time this information was available. 

It is obvious from Reid's papers that the lack of information on the findings from the tw6 excavations sponsored by professional institutions did not deter him in his determination to learn more about the erstwhile inhabitants of the cave and its environs. His inquiries continued. 

Skinny Pascal, a well-known tracker, told Reid in 1927 that he spent about two months working with Mr. Harrington" . .. at the Indian Cave south of Lovelock." Reid recorded the interview . . . . Mr. Harrington took all baskets and other things that he recovered, but he seemed uninterested in bones, we found some of those in the cave and we burried [sic] a whole skeleton that was found near the entrance in the dirt about 4 feet deep, in the northern end of the cave about midway from the east and west side. It is there yet, I feel sure. 

There are some other human bones burried there which we had unearthed, which might be recovered, if research were made for them. I have no knowledge of the people who lived here and with whom the Indians fought as Sarah Winnemucca tells about (this is not to be wondered at, for doubtless he being born at Unionville, his parents, Mandy Jack and mother were more related to the Shoshones, for which reason he associated with them in his youth almost entirely) ... (MS Dec . 19, 1927). 

The late "Tot" Green told this writer that at the time of the guano mining there were Indians working at the cave and that they became upset about the cavalier treatment of the bones uncovered. To appease these men, a man named Evans was assigned the task of having the skeletons reburied outside the cave. Green couldn't say where this was. Evans later worked with Mr. Harrington when he excavated the cave, apparently at the time Pascal was there, and went with Harrington to the Lost City excavation in southern Nevada. Evans has since died. Green didn't seem to take much stock in the Indian lore about the extermination of the redheaded people, although he said the hair was definitely "red." He said, "Must have been a big tribe! No more than seven skeletons were ever taken out of there!" (personal interview, 1968)

Early in 1928, Reid asked Bow-E-An about a story he had heard concerning some Indians who long ago had found fossilized human remains. Bow-E-An had a talk with the wife of Humboldt Joe, who told him of her experience and Bow-E-An returned with the following tale: 

164 Nevada Historical Society Quarterly When she was a girl, (she is now 80 or thereabouts) she went with several other women from their camp which was in the sand-hills below the Lovelock Indian Cave, on the shores of the old Humboldt Lake, and from that place they went to the nearest hills to search for roots which then formed part of their food, they had been in the higher hills and were returning to their camp when they passed by a small wash, very low down in the foothills and there they had seen the body of a human-being that had been (nude) completely fossilized and turned into rock. It was complete even to the hair which was turned to stone. The body was that of a large woman, very tall, perhaps nearly six feet as she describes it. 

They paid no special attention to it at the time for it was of no interest to them. At this time this old woman is so blind that she cannot see to go anywhere so she is unable to guide one to the place, but she says that it is below, (to the south of), the old Indian Cave and not so far away from where they had their camps in the sandhills bordering upon the banks of the old lake where the shores of the then existing Humboldt Lake was. She is the only living person but one she [sic] has seen this body, the others of the women who were with her are except one all dead. She recalls that the breasts were abnormally large, also the vagina .... 

Reid goes on to say that Willie Rock, Frank Rhodes and several other Indian boys had searched for the place in hopes of finding the body because Reid had offered a reward for its recovery. They believed the body had been buried by the drifting sand, but intended to continue their search. 

The one living woman , in 1928, who had been with this lady was the wife of "Whiskey Bob," and lived in Stillwater. However, she could offer no information because of her extreme age and failing mind (MS, February 21, 1928). 

About a year after this account was recorded by Reid, Charley Ellison of Stillwater added another anecdote: It was many years ago, once when I was over at Pelican Island, when I saw two mummified remains bound up together in a netting and between the remains of each there was a lot of fish placed, which perhaps it was intended that the two should eat. As near as I could judge these were the remains of girls and it appeared to me to be so strange that two had been bound up together and burried [sic] in the same netting, with the fish between them .. .. These remains, Mr. Ellison goes on to state, "had been thoroughly dried out and mummified, the skin being preserved and dried out. The hair was that of the red-headed [sic] people, which had grown long and it was at that time very well preserved. I found these remains out in the open and above the top of the ground. They had been burried [sic] in a very shallow grave if they had been burried at all, and they must have been burried, otherwise wild animals would have eaten the remains up. 

I replaced the same in a shallow grave, at the time, and I think I could go to the very spot at this time, for I well remember where it was that I placed their remains again in the ground, and I am going to this place sometime when I can get around to it to see if the remains are there yet and undisturbed . Someone may have since unearthed these remains and taken them away , but I think not, for they did not know of such 1 .. T Reid's Case for the Redheaded Giants and it is entirely unlikely that anyone would do promiscuous digging in that neighborhood (MS April 20, 1929). 

Tantalizing bits and pieces of information, skeletal fragments of an unusual nature, cunningly crafted artifacts which seemed alien in the land of hunters and gatherers, all served to keep Reid on tetherhooks, to keep him anticipating the discovery which would astound the world and draw to Nevada scientists from far and wide for research. 

In the fall of 1927; Mickey Cauley brought to him what he called a fossil, which James Mahoney had found at the gravel pit near Perth, an old railroad station near Lovelock. This was an artifact, apparently a butterfly engraved on a seashell, and Reid assumed it had been worn as a pendant. In his note on this, Reid says that it was recovered near where the remains of a woman and child had been found about a month previously (MS September 25, 1927). 

An undated note on a skeleton recovered by Reid, which had been examined by Dr. Fransden of the University of Nevada, gives the following information: 
Femur 18-1/2 inch, 14-1/2 inch 
26 vertebra 
5 lumbar above sacrum 
12 dorsal
5 dorsal
4 cervical.

I brought these bones home in a sack that is stored away in my room. About 1925 Emmet Wallace presented Reid with a skull and a femur bone which had been found near Pelican Island in the Carson Sink area. Soon after that an Indian friend , Dick Sampson, brought him a skull from the Pyramid Lake area. In each case,. there was a high ridge inside the top of the skull. 

Reid was self-taught in almost all the lines of endeavor to which his curiosity led him and he was fully aware of his own shortcomings, always seeking information and advice from authorities. 

Ales Hrydlica was the obvious anthropologist to help him with the puzzle of the skulls. Reid's research had led him to believe he possessed Neanderthal skulls. Hrydlica did not concur, simply referring Reid to Hrydlica's publications on the subject. 

However, Reid had read of unusual skulls having been found in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa and also of General H. G. Thomas's exhumation of skulls in Dakota Territory " . . . like those of the great gibbon monkey. . . ." 

BTW - Gibbon Monkey Skulls look like this 

During the summer of 1928 Reid was visited by S. de la Rue and Mary Sasse whom he claimed were well informed on the subject, having studied in museums in Europe. They took measurements of the skulls and " ... had no hesitation in pronouncing these Neanderthal. ... 

They returned to Lovelock in 1929 and told Reid that they had submitted the skulls to various authorities before depositing them with the Museum of Natural History in New York and that they were more than ever convinced of their first evaluation. Dr. Clark Wissler, then Curator in Chief, Division of Anthropology at the Museum of Natural History, in due time informed Reid that the skeletons 166 Nevada Historical Society Quarterly appeared to be of a type of early man (MS February 1, 1933). 

In October, 1930, Reid wrote Wissler concerning a package which had been shipped containing bones of an .. ancient man," and the jaw. He states that the skull had been removed previously by pothunters who had also removed a frog fetish, but missed a clay urn which had laid beneath where the head had been. Some teeth from the grave were included in the package. 

About one hundred feet north of this grave another skull had been found, which Reid described as being that of a typical roundhead Indian distinctly different from the longheaded, redheaded people  (see photo below)  represented by the remains in the shipment (Letter, October 30, 1930, to Mr. Clark Wossler, Museum of Natural History, New York City, New York). 

paracus skull

(**NOTE FROM SHARON: Paracus elongated skulls with red hair found in Peru could very well be the same people whom the Paiutes and other tribe spoke of - riding reed boats, an obvious sea culture that easily could have slipped northerly into the baja area and up through fluvial lakes from Imperial Valley California up to Nevada, settling in Death Valley, Yosemite Valley, Mt. Shasta, Pyramid Lake-Lake Lahontan.... The same reed boats seen on the culture of Lake Titicaca in the Peru-Bolivia border, Ancient Peruvians have a legend of these people coming ashore - possibly long-earreds from Easter Island.**)

In February, 1931, a Lovelock resident informed Reid of the "weathering out" of a large skeleton on the lake bed near Lovelock Cave This was excavated with great care and all the bones were recovered. Before removing it, Reid measured it in situ and it proved to be " . . . 7 feet 7 or 6 inches in height. The difference of one inch ... is due to the matter of being unable to determine if the toes, lying upward, had been bent or were erect .... " It had been buried in a shroud and covered with a dark substance, perhaps charcoal, which had been mixed with "some balsam or oil." Lying supine, the body lay with its head to the west, with the feet pointing North 77 East (MS June 1, 1931). 

The Lovelock Review-Miner, June 19, 1931, reported that Lloyd De La Montoya of California had discovered the skeleton of a "giant" on the lake bed near Toy. Reid, John Foster and Thomas J. Chapel set out across the dry flat to the site. The car hit a chuckhole and Chapel was thrown out and killed and the others were injured, but not seriously. 

Nevertheless, the skeleton was recovered. The femur measured 16-1/2" inches, compared to femurs previously found measuring as much as 19 inches. In any case, it was deduced that this man had been "nine and one half or possibly ten feet" tall. He had been buried fully extended in an excavation just barely large enough and the earth had been smoothed over with hands. Under the back" .. . was a cup-shaped depression five inches in diameter rounded out one and one-half inches deep that had at the time of burial probably contained the small precious belongings of the owner. ... " 
A letter dated June 15 , 1931, to Montoya indicates that Reid was rather upset that Montoya had departed Lovelock without alerting Reid, carrying off a "calendar stone" from the grave. Since by this time Reid had developed an exhaustive system of mathematics, all based upon artifacts from the Humboldt and Carson sinks, this was a catastrophe and he offered to pay $10 for it, or if the price were greater, he would finance the purchase somehow. There is no reply in the files. 

James J. Kjeldsen reported to Sheriff Chapman of Lovelock that he had discovered the skeletal remains of a human being on the Friedman Ranch, about half a mile directly west of the main ranch buildings. The Lovelock Review-Miner, September 29, 1939, reported that Joe Eyraud told Reid of the incident and said that an urn, or bowl, had been found along with a long pestle which Chapman had added to his collection. 1. .T Reid's Case for the Redheaded Giants 167

Reid was led to the site by Chapman, and Mrs. Vista Kjeldsen gave Reid a stone which had been plowed up near the remains. According to the newspaper account, information on the measurements of the skeleton was at that time incomplete, but the femur bone was 18 1/2 inches. Reid is quoted in the newspaper article as comparing this with the 17-1/2 inch femur of the skeleton in his possession which measured 7 feet 7 inches in total length . 

Reid said, . . . One might search in vain for a more perfect set of teeth. . . since there is not the slightest sign of anyone of the teeth having been affected in the least by disease of the teeth . . . The remains have been very well preserved . . . He had been buried under circumstances that would indicate that he had died a natural death from old age. Just how old this man may have been is conjectural, it is clear, however, that he was quite well advanced in age, since the sutures of the skull are well knitted together.

- Mt. Shasta - 

There are many things in these accounts that line up with other findings to make some truly factual history. For instance, the mention of a giant found in a cave near Pyramid Lake was a finding a researcher of solid reputation reported over two decades ago being shown by NP (Native People) in that very location sited. 

As well, The Pit River in California is said by the NP to be the original place of the Si-Te-Cah red-haired giants. It is interesting to note that it is 13 miles from Mt. Shasta. This becomes even more interesting when you realize that between that supposed "original area" of the red-haired giants and Mt. Shasta is an area that the NP spoke of the "Abode of the Devil."

LINK: The Upper Sacramento River wilderness areas surrounding Castle Crags have a number of Native American legends about prehistoric giants, who lived in underground tunnels and caves. (**NOTE: Let's take note that Death Valley reportedly had finds of the cavern-dwelling giants from long ago when the area had water - over 10,000 years ago**)

Castle Crags wasn’t the original name for the towering, fortress-like mountain of granitic stone that dominates the landscape. It was anciently known as the “Abode of the Devil”. Its name was changed to Castle Rock, then later Castle Crags when it became a California State Park.'

Castle Crags was reportedly the "Abode of the Devil" later named Castle Crags. It is 26 miles from the supposed "origin of the red-haired giants" at Pit River. The Abode of the Devil is 15 miles from Mt. Shasta.

Interestingly, in the book "Death Valley Men" the men who found the civilization in caverns under Death Valley in the Panamints reported that they had an entrance above the ancient water line which would make it over 10,000 years ago. They also reported the caverns were over 20 miles long.

LINK:  A number of old Native American legends, however, speak of giants dwelling in tunnels and caves underground in the vicinity of Castle Crags and the Upper Sacramento River, south of Dunsmuir. (**Of note, this area is the run of Dunsmuir to Shasta Reservoir and Abode of the Devil aka Castle Crags is 3 miles from this area below Dunsmuir where supposed caverns run**)

If J.C. Brown did actually find something up here as he described, this is probably the area he would have found it. The prehistoric legends of Castle Crags area validate his tale.

LINK:  In the early twentieth century, a treasure-hunter prospecting in the Mount Shasta region claimed to have found evidence suggesting that the offspring of the Annunaki–also known as the Watchers and Nephilim–may have reached the shores of North America in a remote, prehistoric era. But before he could reveal the location of their “lost civilization”, he mysteriously vanished.

In 1904, a geologist and treasure-hunter who went by the name of J.C. Brown was hired by a mining syndicate to prospect for gold somewhere in the Cascades of northern California.

During Brown’s explorations of the wilderness, he claimed to come across a rock-fall at the base of a cliff. He suspected that something may be buried underneath it, and set about clearing the away the rubble.

Hidden beneath the rock-fall, Brown described unearthing a mysterious tunnel of unusual dimensions. A passage 10 feet high and seven feet (three by seven meters) wide curved downwards into the interior of the Earth.

Deep underground, Brown described encountering a weird array of primitive machinery which he attributed to a subterranean mining operation; and also, an unusual cache of gold treasures and relics belonging to an unknown people who inhabited California in ancient times. (**This is nearly identical to the Death Valley supposed find**)

Among the treasures Brown claimed to have found, he described as golden tablets and plates, all neatly inscribed with strange hieroglyphics and cuneiform writings. Unusual tempered-copper spears fashioned out of a memory-metal alloy which remembered its “shape”, so that the spear could be bent, to the point where the head of the weapon touched the base of the shaft, whereupon it would morph back into its original state.

Brown also described a “worship room” containing statues that eerily glowed in the dark, and iconography depicting solar symbols, and unconventional crosses not of the modern type, suggestive of a Mediterranean origin.

In another chamber he counted 27 giant skeletons laid out at angles to the walls, the smallest of which was six feet, six inches (two meters), and the tallest more then 10 feet (3 meters) in height. In another chamber lay the bodies of a man and a woman, dressed in royal robes, apparently embalmed and mummified by some secret process. Brown believed them to be the king and queen of a lost race of prehistoric giants.

It was said that Brown had hidden the hole again and perhaps visited throughout the rest of his life, but was rather paranoid about others finding it, even superstitious about mysterious deaths and illnesses. He later got together a large group to see the cave and then promptly right before the expedition went missing.

LINK:  Sometime in the 1940s, two high school boys from Dunsmuir were hiking along the creek when they made an unusual discovery. They found a series of mystic carvings chiseled into large granite boulders scattered along the creekside. Some of the carvings were painted over with handprints, using some kind of reddish pigment which has long since faded away.

The boys related their discovery to a man named Frank Bascom, who dabbled in geology and archaeology, and who was associated with the U.S. Forest Service. The boys led Bascom back up to the site and more strange petroglyphs were discovered.

Photograph © Dustin Naef 2016

As some of these carvings resembled ones found in "The Lost Continent of Mu" by James Churchward, it was thought perhaps this ancient civilization was comprised of some survivors of the lost continent who made shore in California. 

Some believe, however, that the glyphs wore down so much since the 1940s that they couldn't be ancient. It might have been that Brown, who was searching for lost giants, might have marked some rocks to recall locations of interest.

Adding more mystery to this subject, the Paiutes reported red-haired giants of a brownish-red quality. Red-brown Bigfoot abound in the regions where the Paiutes reported the giants coming from and retreating to. 

Here's only a small amount of Bigfoot sightings in the area from supposed origins of the red-haired giants to Mt. Shasta - 

Here is a present-day BFRO report of BF being seen in Castle Crags area. Reports at Mt. Shasta abound! Here's just one. The Pacific Crest Trail is between Castle Crags and Mt. Shasta and here is another sighting.  Dunsmuir has a sighting report here

Yosemite Valley Native People have legends of red-haired giants living in caverns. 

"Martindale Mummy"

LINK In 1885, miners discovered the mummified remains of woman measuring 6 feet 8 inches tall holding an infant. The mummies were found in a cave behind a wall of rock in the Yosemite Valley. 

And in another location in the west - Mexico ---

LINK Magellan found in 1520 near the harbor of San Julian, Mexico. There, Magellan and his crew came upon a red-haired giant that stood nearly ten feet tall and whom Magellan described as having a “voice like a bull.” Later, Magellan learned from normal-sized natives that the giant belonged to a neighboring tribe. Remarkably, Magellan’s logs show that he and his crew captured two of these living giants and brought them aboard his ship intending to bring them back to Europe. Unfortunately the giants grew ill and they both died during the return voyage. Magellan had their remains buried at sea.

Other explorers, as well, reported tall red-haired people in that area (Central Mexico). 

If we move on to the Grand Canyon, there is a story published in the Phoenix Gazette in 1909 of a find in the canyon wall involving remains and artifacts of an ancient culture that, to the discoverer, seemed as if they were tied to Egyptians or Hindu people.

This one, like the Death Valley find, reported that there were stairs up on the rock face that went to where a higher water level once was. This would make sense as there were times with eruptions in the area that parts of the canyon were blocked up and created lakes within. Like other pluvial lakes, this area began to dry up rapidly around 10,000 years ago. 

Repeatedly, we run into the same themes - a culture of tall people, red hair, strange writing, interaction with first Amerindians who arrived here (this tall culture is reported as being here when ancestors arrived), with mining, a strong water-based technology and culture of reed boats and fishing capabilities, living often times down in caverns and caves near pluvial lake areas, usually just above the water line cave entrances. They buried their people with copper ornaments and shells, pipes, and more. 

Key areas include Pyramid Lake, Pit River, Mt. Shasta, Lake Lahontan, Lovelock Cave, Death Valley, and Grand Canyon. 

Other remains of giants reported throughout the west where the pluvial lakes had dried out but at one time supported a culture that developed great technology for living on the lakes with perhaps some of their knowledge coming to the NP either from teaching or example. 

Let's also look at the Brewer find in Manti, Utah (south of Salt Lake City in the center of the state) 

LINK:  In 1955 a man by the name of John Brewer found a set of stone stairs carved on the floor of cave near Manti, Utah. After gaining access he discovered a tomb or chamber where he found large coffins and mummies with red and blond hair of very large stature. He also found boxes with metal plates inscribed in an ancient text. He showed this to a friend, Dr. Robert Heinerman, Ph.D. in anthropology. No photos exist of the coffins or mummies. Only photos of the plates were taken. Some of the plates were made of gold, some of copper.

How about this California find? 


There have been many reports throughout the west of the cavern finds. One even came out of Missouri. 

There is so much more to share as this research unfolds. I know we've given you tons to look at so far and promise to share all the findings as we start to compare the Mt. Shasta giants with the Lovelock Giants, Brewer Cave Giants, Death Valley Giants and Grand Canyon finds.... 

- if you enjoyed this post - here's for more links, as I really like readers to be curious and seek answers  - 

Dustin Naef is author of “ Mount Shasta's Forgotten History & Legends ” Available on Amazon and other major online Booksellers. See more at:

PART 1 Legend of JC Brown
PART 2 Castle Crags Fortress of Giants 
PART 3 Prehistoric Legends of Giants 
PART 4 Investigating Castle Crags Petroglyphs

* My books can be found on Amazon *

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