by Terrence Aym
July 10, 2010
Many Native American tribes from the Northeast and Southwest still
relate the legends of the red-haired giants and how their ancestors
fought terrible, protracted wars against the giants when they first
encountered them in North America almost 15,000 years ago.
Others, like the Aztecs and Mayans recorded their encounters with a
race of giants to the north when they ventured out on exploratory
Who were these red-haired giants that history books have ignored?
Their burial sites and remains have been discovered on almost every
In the United States they have been unearthed in Virginia and New
York state, Michigan, Illinois and Tennessee, Arizona and Nevada.
Spanish Encounter -
And it's the state of Nevada that the story of the native Paiute's
wars against the giant red-haired men transformed from a local myth
to a scientific reality during 1924 when the Lovelock Caves were
At one time the
Lovelock Cave was known as Horseshoe cave because of
its U-shaped interior. The cavern - located about 20 miles south of
Lovelock, Nevada, is approximately
40-feet deep and 60-feet wide. (read "Lovelock,
Nevada - An Explanation")
It's a very old cave that pre-dates humans on this continent. In
prehistoric times it lay underneath a giant inland lake called
Lahontan that covered much of western Nevada.
Geologists have determined the cavern
was formed by the lake's currents and wave action.
The Paiutes, a Native-American
tribe indigenous to parts of Nevada, Utah and Arizona, told early
white settlers about their ancestors' battles with a ferocious race
of white, red-haired giants. According to the Paiutes, the giants
were already living in the area.
The Paiutes named the giants "Si-Te-Cah" that literally means “tule-eaters.”
tule is a fibrous water plant the
giants wove into rafts to escape the Paiutes continuous attacks.
They used the rafts to navigate across what remained of Lake
According to the Paiutes, the red-haired giants stood as tall as
12-feet and were a vicious, unapproachable people that killed and
ate captured Paiutes as food. The Paiutes told the early settlers
that after many years of warfare, all the tribes in the area finally
joined together to rid themselves of the giants.
One day as they chased down the few remaining red-haired enemy, the
fleeing giants took refuge in a cave. The tribal warriors demanded
their enemy come out and fight, but the giants steadfastly refused
to leave their sanctuary.
Frustrated at not defeating their enemy with honor, the tribal
chiefs had warriors fill the entrance to the cavern with brush and
then set it on fire in a bid to force the giants out of the cave.
The few that did emerge were instantly slain with volleys of arrows.
The giants that remained inside the cavern were asphyxiated.
Later, an earthquake rocked the region and the cave entrance
collapsed leaving only enough room for bats to enter it and make it
Stan Nielsen at
Thousands of years later the cave was rediscovered and found to be
loaded with bat guano almost 6-feet deep. Decaying bat guano becomes
saltpeter, the chief ingredient of gunpowder, and was very valuable.
Therefore, in 1911 a company was created specifically to mine the
guano. As the mining operation progressed, skeletons and fossils
The guano was mined for almost 13 years before archaeologists were
notified about the findings. Unfortunately, by then many of the
artifacts had been accidentally destroyed or simply discarded.
Nevertheless, what the scientific researchers did recover was
over 10,000 artifacts were unearthed
including the mummified remains of two red-haired giants - one,
a female 6.5-feet tall, the other male, over 8-feet tall.
Many of the artifacts (but not the
giants) can be viewed at the small natural history museum located in
of the myth
As the excavation of the cave progressed, the archaeologists came to
the inescapable conclusion that the Paiutes myth was no myth; it was
What led them to this realization was the discovery of many broken
arrows that had been shot into the cave and a dark layer of burned
material under sections of the overlaying guano.
Among the thousands of artifacts recovered from this site of an
unknown people is what some scientists are convinced is a calendar:
a donut-shaped stone with exactly 365 notches carved along its
outside rim and 52 corresponding notches along the inside.
But that was not to be the final chapter of red-haired giants
In February and June of 1931, two very large skeletons were found in
the Humboldt dry lake bed near Lovelock, Nevada.
One of the skeletons measured 8.5-feet tall and was later described
as having been wrapped in a gum-covered fabric similar to Egyptian
mummies. The other was nearly 10-feet long. [Nevada Review-Miner
newspaper, June 19, 1931.]