by Graham Hancock (Author of Fingerprints of the Gods)
It is my great pleasure and honor to introduce this abridged edition
of Forbidden Archeology.
Let me say at the outset that I believe
this book to be one of the landmark intellectual achievements of the
late twentieth century. It will take more conservative scholars a
long while, probably many years, to come to terms with the
revelations it contains. Nevertheless, Michael Cremo and Richard
Thompson have put the revelations out there and the clock cannot now
be turned back. Sooner or later, whether we like it or not, our
species is going to have to come to terms with the facts that are so
impressively documented in the pages that follow, and these facts
Cremo and Thompson's central proposition is that the model of human
prehistory, carefully built-up by scholars over the past two
centuries, is sadly and completely wrong. Moreover, the authors are
not proposing that it can be put right with minor tinkering and
adjustments. What is needed is for the existing model to be thrown
out the window and for us to start again with open minds and with
absolutely no preconceptions at all.
This is a position that is close to my own heart; indeed it forms
the basis of my book
Fingerprints of the Gods. There, however, my
focus was exclusively on the last 20,000 years and on the
possibility that an advanced global civilization may have flourished
more than 12,000 years ago only to be wiped out and forgotten in the
great cataclysm that brought the last Ice Age to an end.
In The Hidden History of the Human Race Cremo and Thompson go much
further, pushing back the horizons of our amnesia not just 12,000 or
20,000 years, but millions of years into the past, and showing that
almost everything we have been taught to believe about the origins
and evolution of our species rests on the shaky foundation of
academic opinion, and on a highly selective sampling of research
results. The two authors then set about putting the record straight
by showing all the other research results that have been edited out
of the record during the past two centuries, not because there was
anything wrong or bogus about the results themselves, but simply
because they did not fit with prevailing academic opinion.
Anomalous and out-of-place discoveries reported by Cremo and
Thompson in The Hidden History of the Human Race include convincing
evidence that anatomically modern humans may have been present on
the Earth not just for 100,000 years or less (the orthodox view),
but for millions of years, and that metal objects of advanced design
may have been in use at equally early periods. Moreover, although
sensational claims have been made before about out-of-place
artifacts, they have never been supported by such overwhelming and
utterly convincing documentation as Cremo and Thompson provide.
In the final analysis, it is the meticulous scholarship of the
authors, and the cumulative weight of the facts presented in The
Hidden History of the Human Race, that really convince. The book is,
I believe, in harmony with the mood of the public at large in the
world today, a mood which no longer unquestioningly accepts the
pronouncements of established authorities, and is willing to listen
with an open mind to heretics who make their case reasonably and
Never before has the case for a complete re-evaluation of the human
story been made more reasonably and rationally than it is in these
Devon, England, January 1998
The unabridged edition of Forbidden Archeology is 952 pages long. It
thus presents quite a challenge to many readers. Richard L. Thompson
and I therefore decided to bring out The Hidden History of the Human
Race—a shorter, more readable, and more affordable version of
The Hidden History of the Human Race does, however, contain almost
all of the cases discussed in Forbidden Archeology. Missing are the
bibliographic citations in the text and detailed discussions of the
geological and anatomical aspects of many of the cases. For example,
in The Hidden History of the Human Race we might simply state that a
site is considered to be Late Pliocene in age.
Archeology, we would have given a detailed discussion of why this is
so, providing many references to past and present technical
geological reports. Readers who desire such detail can acquire
Michael A. Cremo,
Pacific Beach, California, March 26, 1994
Introduction and Acknowledgements
In 1979, researchers at the Laetoli, Tanzania, site in East Africa
discovered footprints in volcanic ash deposits over 3.6 million
years old. Mary Leakey and others said the prints were
indistinguishable from those of modern humans. To these scientists,
this meant only that the human ancestors of 3.6 million years ago
had remarkably modern feet.
But according to other scientists, such
as physical anthropologist R. H. Tuttle of the University of
Chicago, fossil foot bones of the known australopithecines of 3.6
million years ago show they had feet that were distinctly apelike.
Hence they were incompatible with the Laetoli prints.
In an article
in the March 1990 issue of Natural History, Tuttle confessed that
"we are left with somewhat of a mystery." It seems permissible,
therefore, to consider a possibility neither Tuttle nor Leakey
mentioned—that creatures with anatomically modern human bodies to
match their anatomically modern human feet existed some 3.6 million
years ago in East Africa. Perhaps, as suggested in the illustration
on the opposite page, they coexisted with more apelike creatures. As
intriguing as this archeological possibility may be, current ideas
about human evolution forbid it.
But from 1984 to 1992, Richard Thompson and I, with the assistance
of our researcher Stephen Bernath, amassed an extensive body of
evidence that calls into question current theories of human
evolution. Some of this evidence, like the Laetoli footprints, is
fairly recent. But much of it was reported by scientists in the
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Without even looking at this older body of evidence, some will
assume that there must be something wrong with it—that it was
properly disposed of by scientists long ago, for very good reasons.
Richard and I have looked rather deeply into that possibility. We
have concluded, however, that the quality of this controversial
evidence is no better or worse than the supposedly non-controversial
evidence usually cited in favor of current views about human
In Part I of The Hidden History of the Human Race, we look closely
at the vast amount of controversial evidence that contradicts
current ideas about human evolution. We recount in detail how this
evidence has been systematically suppressed, ignored, or forgotten,
even though it is qualitatively (and quantitatively) equivalent to
the evidence favoring currently accepted views on human origins.
When we speak of suppression of evidence, we are not referring to
scientific conspirators carrying out a satanic plot to deceive the
public. Instead, we are talking about an ongoing social process of
knowledge filtration that appears quite innocuous but has a
substantial cumulative effect. Certain categories of evidence simply
disappear from view, in our opinion unjustifiably.
This pattern of data suppression has been going on for a long time.
In 1880, J. D. Whitney, the state geologist of California, published
a lengthy review of advanced stone tools found in California gold
mines. The implements, including spear points and stone mortars and
pestles, were found deep in mine shafts, underneath thick,
undisturbed layers of lava, in formations ranging from 9 million to
over 55 million years old. W. H. Holmes of the Smithsonian
Institution, one of the most vocal critics of the California finds,
"Perhaps if Professor Whitney had fully appreciated the story
of human evolution as it is understood today, he would have
hesitated to announce the conclusions formulated [that humans
existed in very ancient times in North America], notwithstanding the
imposing array of testimony with which he was confronted."
words, if the facts do not agree with the favored theory, then such
facts, even an imposing array of them, must be discarded.
This supports the primary point we are trying to make in The Hidden
History of the Human Race, namely, that there exists in the
scientific community a knowledge filter that screens out unwelcome
evidence. This process of knowledge filtration has been going on for
well over a century and continues to the present day.
In addition to the general process of knowledge filtration, there
also appear to be cases of more direct suppression.
In the early 1950s, Thomas E. Lee of the National Museum of Canada
found advanced stone tools in glacial deposits at Sheguiandah, on
Manitoulin Island in northern Lake Huron. Geologist John Sanford of
Wayne State University argued that the oldest Sheguiandah tools were
at least 65,000 years old and might be as much as 125,000 years old.
For those adhering to standard views on North American prehistory,
such ages were unacceptable. Humans supposedly first entered North
America from Siberia about 12,000 years ago.
Thomas E. Lee complained:
"The site's discoverer [Lee] was hounded
from his Civil Service position into prolonged unemployment;
publication outlets were cut off; the evidence was misrepresented by
several prominent authors . . .; the tons of artifacts vanished into
storage bins of the National Museum of Canada; for refusing to fire
the discoverer, the Director of the National Museum, who had
proposed having a monograph on the site published, was himself fired
and driven into exile; official positions of prestige and power were
exercised in an effort to gain control over just six Sheguiandah
specimens that had not gone under cover; and the site has been
turned into a tourist resort. . . . Sheguiandah would have forced
embarrassing admissions that the Brahmins did not know everything.
It would have forced the rewriting of almost every book in the
business. It had to be killed. It was killed."
In Part II of The Hidden History of the Human Race, we survey the
body of accepted evidence that is generally used to support the
now-dominant ideas about human evolution. We especially examine the
status of Australopithecus. Most anthropologists say
Australopithecus was a human ancestor with an apelike head, a
humanlike body, and a humanlike bipedal stance and gait. But other
researchers make a convincing case for a radically different view of
Australopithecus. According to these researchers, the
australopithecines were very apelike, partly tree-dwelling creatures
with no direct connection to the human evolutionary lineage.
In Part II we also consider the possible coexistence of primitive
hominids and anatomically modern humans not only in the distant past
but in the present. Over the past century, scientists have
accumulated evidence suggesting that humanlike creatures resembling
Gigantopithecus, Australopithecus, Homo erectus, and the
Neanderthals are living in various wilderness areas of the world. In
North America, these creatures are known as Sasquatch. In Central
Asia, they are called Almas.
In Africa, China, Southeast Asia,
Central America, and South America, they are known by other names.
Some researchers use the general term "wildmen" to include them all.
Scientists and physicians have reported seeing live wildmen,
dead wildmen, and footprints. They have also catalogued thousands of
reports from ordinary people who have seen wildmen, as well as
similar reports from historical records.
Some might question why we would put together a book like The Hidden
History of the Human Race, unless we had some underlying purpose.
Indeed, there is some underlying purpose.
Richard Thompson and I are members of the Bhakti vedanta Institute,
a branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness that
studies the relationship between modern science and the world view
expressed in the Vedic literature of India. From the Vedic
literature, we derive the idea that the human race is of great
antiquity. For the purpose of conducting systematic research into
the existing scientific literature on human antiquity, we expressed
the Vedic idea in the form of a theory that various humanlike and
apelike beings have coexisted for long periods of time.
That our theoretical outlook is derived from the Vedic literature
should not disqualify it. Theory selection can come from many
sources—a private inspiration, previous theories, a suggestion from
a friend, a movie, and so on. What really matters is not a theory's
source but its ability to account for observations.
Because of space considerations, we were not able to develop in this
volume our ideas about an alternative to current theories of human
origins. We are therefore planning a second volume relating our
extensive research results in this area to our Vedic source
At this point, I would like to say something about my collaboration
with Richard Thompson. Richard is a scientist by training, a
mathematician who has published refereed articles and books in the
fields of mathematical biology, remote sensing from satellites,
geology, and physics. I am not a scientist by training. Since 1977,
I have been a writer and editor for books and magazines published by
the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.
In 1984, Richard asked his assistant Stephen Bernath to begin
collecting material on human origins and antiquity. In 1986, Richard
asked me to take that material and organize it into a book.
As I reviewed the material provided to me by Stephen, I was struck
by the very small number of reports from 1859, when Darwin published
The Origin of Species, until 1894, when Dubois published his
on Java man. Curious about this, I asked Stephen to obtain some
anthropology books from the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries. In these books, including an early edition of Marcellin
Boule's Fossil Men, I found highly negative reviews of numerous
reports from the period in question.
By tracing out footnotes, we
dug up a few samples of these reports. Most of them, by
nineteenth-century scientists, described incised bones, stone tools,
and anatomically modern skeletal remains encountered in unexpectedly
old geological contexts. The reports were of high quality, answering
many possible objections. This encouraged me to make a more
Digging up this buried literary evidence required another three
years. Stephen Bernath and I obtained rare conference volumes and
journals from around the world, and together we translated the
material into English. Writing the manuscript from the assembled
material took another couple of years. Throughout the entire period
of research and writing, I had almost daily discussions with Richard
about the significance of the material and how best to present it.
Stephen obtained much of the material in Chapter 6 from Ron Calais,
who kindly sent us many Xeroxes of original reports from his
archives. Virginia Steen-McIntyre was kind enough to supply us with
her correspondence on the dating of the Hueyatlaco, Mexico, site.
also had useful discussions about stone tools with Ruth D. Simpson
of the San Bernardino County Museum and about shark teeth marks on
bone with Thomas A. Demere of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
This book could not have been completed without the varied services
of Christopher Beetle, a computer science graduate of Brown
University, who came to the Bhaktivedanta Institute in San Diego in
For overseeing the design and layout of this abridged edition,
Richard and I thank Alister Taylor. The jacket design is the work of Yamaraja Dasa. The illustrations opposite the first page of the
introduction and are the much-appreciated work of Miles Triplett,
Beverly Symes, David Smith, Sigalit Binyaminy, Susan Fritz, Barbara
Cantatore, Joseph Franklin, and Michael Best also helped in the
production of this book.
Richard and I would especially like to thank the international
trustees of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, past and present, for
their generous support for the research, writing, and publication of
Finally, we encourage readers to bring to our attention any
additional evidence that may be of interest to us, especially for
inclusion in future editions of this book.
Correspondence may be addressed to us at Govardhan Hill Publishing
P. O. Box 52, Badger, CA 93603.
Michael A. Cremo
Pacific Beach, California,
March 26, 1994