The Lake Delavan excavation site was overseen by Beloit College and included over 200 effigy mounds that proved to be classic examples of 8th century Forest Culture. But the enormous size of the skeletons and elongated skulls found in May 1912 didn’t quite fit the concept of a textbook standard.
They were huge. These were no ordinary human beings.
First reported in the May 4, 1912, issue of the New York Times, the 18 skeletons found by the Peterson brothers at Lake Lawn Farm in southwest Wisconsin exhibited several strange and bizarre features.
Their heights ranged between seven and nine feet and their skulls “presumably those of men, are much larger than the heads of any race inhabiting America today”.
Above the eye sockets, “the head tilts back and the nasal bones protrude far above the cheek bones. The jaw bones are long and pointed, bearing a slight resemblance to a monkey’s head. The teeth at the front of the jaw are regular molars.”
Wisconsin Giants Mystery
Was this some kind of prank, a prank played by local farm boys or a deranged taxidermist for fun and press? The answer is no.
The Lake Delavan discovery of May 1912 was just one of dozens and dozens of similar discoveries that have been reported in local newspapers from 1851 to the present day. It wasn’t even the first set of giant skeletons found in Wisconsin.
On August 10, 1891, the New York Times reported that scientists at the Smithsonian Institution had discovered several large “pyramid monuments” at Lake Mills near Madison, Wisconsin. “Madison was formerly the center of a teeming population of no less than 200,000,” said the Times. The excavators found an elaborate system of defensive works they called Fort Aztalan.
“The celebrated mounds of Ohio and Indiana cannot be compared, either in size, design, or demonstrated skill in their construction, with these gigantic and mysterious monuments of earth – erected we know not by whom, and for what purpose we can only conjecture,” he said. the Times.
On December 20, 1897, the Times ran a story about three large tombs discovered in Maple Creek, Wisconsin. One had just opened.
“In it was found the skeleton of a man of gigantic size. The bones measured from head to toe more than three meters and were in good condition. The skull was as big as a half a bushel measure. A few finely tempered copper rods and other relics lay near the bones.”
Giant skulls and skeletons of a race of “Goliaths” have been regularly found in Midwestern states for over 100 years. Giants have been found in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and New York, and their burial sites are similar to the familiar mounds of the Mound Builder people.
The spectrum of the Mound builder’s history spans a period of over 5,000 years (3400 BC to AD 16), a period longer than the history of Ancient Egypt and all of its dynasties.
There is a “prevailing academic consensus” that we have an adequate historical understanding of the peoples who lived in North America during this period. However, the long record of anomalous finds like those from Lake Delavan suggests otherwise.
The Great Smithsonian Cover-up
Was there a giant cover-up? Why aren’t there public displays of gigantic Native American skeletons in natural history museums?
The skeletons of some mound builders are certainly on display. There is a wonderful exhibition, for example, in Aztalan State Park, where you can see the skeleton of a “Princess of Aztalan” in the museum.
But the exposed skeletons are of normal size and, according to some sources, the skeletons of giants were covered up. Specifically, the Smithsonian Institution has been accused of making a deliberate effort to hide the “bone reveal” and keep the giant skeletons locked away.
In the words of Vine Deloria, a Native American author and law professor:
“Modern-day archeology and anthropology have all but slammed the door on our imaginations, largely interpreting the North American past as devoid of anything unusual in the form of great cultures characterized by unusually behaving people. The great intruder of the old cemeteries, the 19th century Smithsonian Institution, created a one-way portal through which countless bones were transported. This door and the contents of its vault are virtually sealed to anyone except government officials. Among these bones may be answers not even sought by these officials about the deep past.”