Wisconsin is the ancient burial and effigy mound capital of North America. There were once many thousands of these earthworks - From Ixonia to Wautoma, the banks of the Kinnickinnick River in old Milwaukee to Oconto, Whitewater to La Crosse, by lake shore and riverbank. They are the work of successive native cultures, created over a long period of time – roughly 1st century BC to 1200 AD. As the state became settled by European immigrants in the 1800’s, a great number of these earthworks were leveled and plowed over to make way for homes and farm fields. At the same time, farmers, amateur historians and treasure hunters began to plunder and explore the mounds. They were not archeologists. However, the remnants of the far removed, alien culture they found in the earth both challenged and excited their imaginations. Sensational reports about the discoveries of the graves of “giants” began to appear in newspapers. “Beings of a much larger stature than the present generation of aboriginals”, “The lower jaw of a man at least 8 feet tall…”, “An ancient race of mankind superior in size,strength and intellect to the common red man living in the forest.” etc etc. It’s easy to see where headlines like these were going. Such finds with similar descriptions were not unique to Wisconsin. Reports of the remains giants on this continent date back to the 17th century. There were Maine giants, Virginia giants, North Dakota giants, Nevada giants, horned giants, double toothed Iowa giants and bejeweled Ohio giants, many more. The cumulative effect of these finds has given birth to a new cottage industry of giant conspiracy theorists who claim that a race of 9 foot beings once ruled North America, and furthermore, that the Smithsonian Institute has been involved in a massive 140 year cover up of their existence (“Hello…Smithsonian….can I speak with the giant bones removal team, please?”). Reasons given for this cover up are 1) Something about the secular, pro-evolution agenda of the Smithsonian vs. the literal biblical view that Giants were once in the land 2) Something about the need to believe that giant red haired white men not related to Native Americans were here first. The bones are everywhere, they said….and yet, none of these bones – not one, not even a clear, valid photo – exists today. The fact is, they may have never - as described by the heated imaginations of the 19th and early 20th century press and amateurs in the field - existed at all. It was at Lake Delavan in 1911 and 1912 that a series of amateur digs brought national attention to Wisconsin’s mounds and is to this day often cited as proof of the existence of giants. Lake Delavan was once ringed with hundreds of mounds - all from different eras of aboriginal settlement. Unearthed from a group of these mounds were 18 beings described as having oddly shaped heads, thick bones and long jaws. No height measurements were reported. The New York Times was all over the story and they blew it out of proportion. “Are these the Giants the Bible & many other civilizations have in their history and painted on their walls. The Bible in Genesis 6:4?” There is no doubt that skeletons and items of a vanished culture were found. There is also no doubt that the amateurs involved in the dig lacked the skill and knowledge to interpret their finds. In time, the bones collected from the site vanished. Of course they did - so-called profound and contrary evidence always has a way of disappearing when needed.
The giant in the photo with the two gentlemen is a fake - most likely intended for the sideshow circuit. Besides being the ancient earthwork capital of North America, Wisconsin was also home to most of its cir