A set of islands off the coast of California have been revealing ancient mysteries for over 13,000 years, which researchers are still attempting to solve. These islands are home to more than 2000 varieties of plants and ancient animals. Santa Catalina Island, also known as Catalina Island, is one of them and is located 22 miles from Long Beach.
Catalina Island’s history is fascinating. Native American tribes known as the Gabrielino-Tongva were the first to settle there around 7000 BC. The island was given its name and given Spanish royal status in 1542 by the Spanish explorer Juan Rodrguez Cabrillo. Then, in 1846, Mexico took control of it. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, a real estate speculator from the United States bought it. The old burial mound was allegedly discovered in the early twentieth century by a man named Ralph Glidden, who moved to the island with his parents in 1896
Before becoming interested in the Indian artifacts and ancient burial sites he discovered on the Channel Islands, he worked as a carpenter. He found multiple ancient burial sites on Catalina Island between 1919 and 1928, discovering human bones and corpses.
During the excavation, Glidden asserted to have found 800 burial sites, a profusion of Indian artifacts and antiques, and thousands of ancient Indian bodies. He then sold and traded these finds to museums and collectors. Around 800 gravesites on the island are said to have been discovered by him, along with thousands of artifacts and 4,000 human skeletons.
In 1924, Glidden founded the “Catalina Museum of Island Indians,” where he displayed his findings to the public. He called his “Indian museum” a “strange and weirdly stunning institution” with shoulder-blade cornices and windows lined with toe, ankle, wrist, and finger bones. The shelf brackets for the skull-lined shelves were made from leg and arm bones. The ceiling panels were decorated with shoulder blade rosettes and human vertebrae.
The most bizarre of Glidden’s claims was that he discovered a mythical prehistoric race of fair-skinned blue-eyed giants who formerly inhabited Santa Catalina and its neighboring islands, with adult men towering 7 to 9 feet in height.
“Glidden claims overwhelming proof that a fair-skinned, fair-haired, highly intelligent race of great stature lived on Catalina Island, off the southwestern coast of California, perhaps three thousand years ago, and that his excavation of a massive cache of skeletons, domestic utensils, urns, wampum, and other artifacts is quite out of the ordinary class of Indian discoveries,” writes Mysterious Universe. A skeleton of a young girl, clearly of top-level, was encircled by the skeletons of sixty-four kids in a large memorial service urn, and more than three thousand other skeletons were discovered in various parts of the island, virtually all of 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 nine feet two inches tall.”
Curiously, a human skeleton measuring 8 feet tall was found in 1913 by German Dr. A.W. Furstenan. When brought to the surface and exposed to air, this object that had been discovered in hard black sand mostly deteriorated, leaving just the undamaged foot, jawbone, and skull. Additionally, according to another account, a 7-foot-tall skeleton with double rows of teeth and six fingers and toes was found. Multiple rows of teeth were common in the human remains found in the Channel Islands. Larger human remains that are believed to be from a particular race have also been found on San Nicolas Island in great numbers.
“Concerning the ‘giants’ of Santa Catalina Island,” stated John Johnson, Ph.D., an anthropology curator at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, “these accounts are fictitious, as far as I have been able to discover.” For example, a vintage photo of Glidden in the background and the burial in the front only gives the impression that the skeleton is a giant.”
According to historical records, Glidden’s career was brief. He said that the allegedly gigantic skeletons he found were ritualistically interred. He believed that the natives worshipped them as deities. In the mainstream media, his results were regarded with skepticism and were derided as a money-making plan. According to other stories, he supposedly bought the fake skeletons from a curio store on Broadway in Los Angeles. A supernatural investigator named L.A. Marzulli supported Glidden, stating that a thorough examination of one of his photographs, which depicts an 8.5-foot-tall skeleton, appeared to be real. He added that one of the enormous skeletons had six fingers that were clearly visible.
At the age of 87, Glidden died in 1968. He is said to have sold his collection for $5,000 to the Wrigley family, who then donated it to the Catalina Island Museum.