Smithsonian Admits Destroying Giant Human Skeletons – Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
In an effort preserve the mainstream chronology of human evolution, the Smithsonian destroyed skeletal remains of giant humans found across the U.S.
This story is a hoax based on theories about giant skeletons that have persisted for hundreds of years.
A fake news report by the World News Daily Report claimed that recently-released documents dating back to the early 1900s proved that the Smithsonian had destroyed tens of thousands of giant human skeletons in a “major historical cover up.” The article claimed that the remains were destroyed because “mainstream archeology can not admit to” their existence.
Despite the website’s disclosure that its content is intended for “entertainment purposes,” the story was quickly shared more than 60,000 times on Facebook. The website publishes satirical articles and accompanying photos in a way that makes them appear real.
But readers who were duped by the story shouldn’t feel bad. A number of websites and groups have formed around the theory that the skeletal remains of giants have been found around the U.S. since the early 1800s. The History Channel has even featured the show, “Search for the Lost Giants,” on the subject.
A speech delivered by Abe Lincoln during a visit to Niagara Falls in 1848 is often used to lend credibility to the giant skeleton theory. Speaking about the unique appeal of the Niagara Falls, Lincoln said:
“But still there is more. It calls up the indefinite past. When Columbus first sought this continent — when Christ suffered on the cross — when Moses led Israel through the Red-Sea — nay, even when Adam first came from the hand of his Maker — then as now, Niagara was roaring here. The eyes of that species of extinct giants, whose bones fill the mounds of America, have gazed on Niagara, as ours do.”
Lincoln appeared to embrace the idea that ancient giants had once walked the United States. The view wasn’t all that uncommon among influential figures of the time, either. The book “The Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee,” written by attorney and historian John Haywood in 1823, attempted to prove that native tribes of Tennessee were descendants of giant ancient Hebrews.
In his book, Haywood writes:
“In White County, a conical mound was lately opened, and in the centre of it was found a skeleton eight feet in length … With this skeleton was found another nearly of the same size, with the top of his head flat, and his eyes placed apparently in the upper part of his forehead.
The descendants of these giants, both in the old and new world, agree with each other in bulk, as their ancestors did with each other, which proves a uniform cause operating equally both in the old and new world. The decrease in bulk seems to have kept pace everywhere with the increase of warm temperature, and with the abbreviation of longevity. The giants of Hebron and Gath, and those of Laconia and Italy, whose large skeletons to this day attest that there they formerly dwelt, compared with those now found in West Tennessee, demonstrate that a change of climate, or of some other cause, has worked a remarkable change in the human system.”
Haywood was an influential and respected figure, which lends credibility to his work. At the time of the book’s publication, Haywood was a justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court, and a county in Tennessee was named after him the same year it was published. However, Haywood’s work was later criticized for inaccuracies. It’s believed that Haywood interviewed early pioneers and recounted undependable second-hand accounts of their discoveries in his books.
So, while conspiracy theories about the skeletons of giants in the U.S. have persisted for hundreds of years, nobody has actually found one. And the eRumor’s claim that the Smithsonian has plotted to keep it that way is false.