The internet is an amazing resource for exposing literary wrongdoing. In trying to finalize the translation of the Xisuthrus flood narrative from Berosus (Armenian Eusebius, Chronicle 7 = Greek Eusebius in George Syncellus, Chronicle, p. 28) that I’m using for my anthology of ancient texts, I was trying to revise and correct I. P. Cory’s translation, which while accurate is a bit difficult to read due to its antiquated language. In so doing, I discovered that Cory didn’t write it. He copied it verbatim from Jacob Bryant’s 1776 translation in vol. 3 of his New System, though he did correct errors. For example, he replaced Jacob’s identification of the god warning of the flood as Dis (Pluto) with Jupiter, neither of which is, strictly speaking, the correct translation of the Greek word used, “Dios,” though Jupiter is closer since Dios is an inflected form of Zeus, whom Cory gave in the then-standard Latin equivalent. Anyway, I started checking out more of his translations and discovered that more than a few are plagiarized from earlier works, including most of the Berosus fragments from Bryant, with only minimal indication of borrowing. So far as I can tell, no one since publication of Cory’s work in 1828 has ever identified Bryant as the originator of the Berosus translations.
On the other hand, the internet also gives us bizarre claims that make me very sad. Today’s case study comes to us from Ghost Hunting Theories, where paranormal investigator Sharon Day wants to know whether Bigfoot is a descendant of the prehistoric Nephilim-Giants. Because of course he is. “You might be surprised how this all works together like a precision puzzle,” she writes. Not really: It is a creationist version of the Ancient Aliens episode from two years back that claimed Bigfoot as an ET creation and also related Sasquatch to the same Nephilim/Watchers/giants Bible complex and also argued that Bigfoot was a devolved Bible giant.
She begins by arguing—based on what?—that Bigfoot has a skull shaped much like that of a modern gorilla, and that the prominent brow ridge and pointed skull must therefore be reminiscent of the “elongated” skulls of Peru. She also claims that the bones of ancient giants prove that they stood at the same eight-foot height as Bigfoot. And what bones might those be? I first thought she must be referring to the bones of mastodons, mammoths, and ground sloths that have historically been mistaken for those of prehistoric giants, though in the next section, when she compares a map of Bigfoot sightings to places where newspapers reported the discovery of giant bones (hint: the maps look the same because they mark places where people live) that she is instead referring to secondhand reports from newspaper hoaxes.
She cites the Castelnau Giant as the only officially-recognized discovery of the bones of a human being that stood eleven feet high. Although creationists imply that a complete skeleton had been found in a Bronze Age tumulus in Castelnau in France in 1890, the excavator, Georges Vacher de Lapouge, found only three fragments, which he believed came from an 11-foot man. However, upon later examination, pathologists argued that while the individual involved was likely very tall, the oversized bones were probably pathological gigantism, similar to “Elephant Man” syndrome, and not an actual representative of a healthy race of 11-foot humans. I have no idea what became of the bones.
After this, she sites yet another website as proof that the Hyksos kings of Egypt were giants:
…after creating havoc, this Hyskos tribe were banished to the Caucasus mountains where they lived in caves and reverted to animalistic behaviour. After 2,000 years the Egyptian Moses went to the mountains and civilised these giants teaching them how to cook and build and write. Moses gave them the laws from their creator, Yacub [the 10 commandments] sorcery, dark magick and how to divide and conquer the nations. Curiously, they were told that after 4,000 years, they would be destroyed.
The claim that the Hyksos rulers came from and returned to the Caucasus has a small basis in fact, since some scholars think that these conquerors of Egypt came originally from Armenia rather than from the Levant as most assume based on their use of Canaanite names. However, they were driven to Canaan, not to the Caucasus, and I have no idea where the claim that Moses had anything to do with them in exile came from, except that some Islamic lore claimed that Moses had dealings with the giant Og, and of course Moses sent men to spy on the giant Amalekites (Numbers 13:27-33).
Anyway, Day presents some secondhand accounts of Native American legends of giants, Day asks whether assemblages of sticks and twigs in the woods could be communication from the giants—and whether unnamed elites “know what the symbols mean but won’t share it with the public because it gives away the lives of the giants.” Yes, it is sticks in the woods rather than, say, the existence of giants near where people live, work, and play that will really give the game away. She enters into evidence the Grave Creek Stone (a Victorian hoax) as a “giant” artifact despite its miniscule size, and she claims that in an audio recording from Ohio you can hear a Bigfoot utter the name “Adena,” which she doesn’t quite understand is not what the “mound builders” actually called themselves, much less that they were not a race of Bible giants.
The point of all of this is that, if we believe Sasquatch to exist, then they had to have a lineage. That lineage very likely has been uncovered in the only other tall race we know of in America - the ancient giants.
The logic is unassailable: If we assume that the Nephilim were real giants and we assume that Sasquatch exists, then naturally the two must be connected even though red-haired, blue-eyed cannibal giants and oversized vegetarian gorillas share nothing else in common beyond an appearance in fringe believers’ mystical-conspiratorial worldview.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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