Today I’d like to direct you to Rebecca Bradley’s excellent blog post dissecting Ancient Aliens talking head Andrew Collins’s fanciful claims about the Densiovans as civilization-bestowing Bible giants. Her analysis is clear and compelling and shows just how badly Collins misrepresents scientific data in order to develop a fake narrative of a prehistoric empire of overgrown wizard-sages. “Every source that Collins referenced in this paper was either misrepresented, misunderstood, or mangled at the outset,” Bradley concludes, and she has the evidence to prove it.
The example she provides from 2014 that I found most hilarious is also the one that demonstrates the shallowness of Collins’s understanding and the superficial nature of his research. Indeed, I was so confounded by it that I became interested in tracking down how Collins went so wrong. Spoiler alert: He’s lazy.
Here is Bradley’s takedown of Collins’s bad research:
Collins’ “giant skeleton found in Middleboro, Massachusetts, with ‘a double row of teeth in each jaw’” (Weston 1906:400) turns out to be that of an 17th-century settler named Mr. Richmond, “a man of gigantic stature, bold and fearless…and much feared by the Indians.” When his bones were later dug up in the course of roadworks, his thigh-bone measured 4” longer than normal, and he had “a double row of teeth in each jaw” – but with his European ancestry, he could hardly be regarded as a Denisovan hybrid or psychic shaman. It is hard to believe that Collins checked the primary source that he cites.
To this end, I can add that I’m pretty sure I know where Collins got the wrong idea, but it took me a while to figure it out.
In 2013, Nephilim-hunter Fritz Zimmerman quoted the description of Richmond’s body while omitting his name and identifying details. At first, I’d guessed Collins grabbed the quote, assumed Zimmerman fairly represented the source, and never bothered to check the original. This couldn’t be the whole story, though, since Zimmerman didn’t give a page number but Collins did, suggesting that Zimmerman and Collins were both working from the same source text.
After doing some more research, I found that Jim Vieira has also been using the mangled quotation, shorn of Richmond’s name and the colonial dating of the bones, in his online presentations and in-person lectures since at least 2013. That, in turn, led me back to his source, which was a now-defunct 2012 Blogspot blog about giant human skeletons, again without page numbers.
That, in turn, took me back to its source, gigantologist Ross Hamilton’s 2007 book A Tradition of Giants, and at last I found the original mangled origin point for all the copying. All quotations used by gigantologists are derivative of Hamilton’s truncated and misrepresented quotation, which Hamilton did indeed correctly cite to the right page number even while deceptively editing the text. He is, as best I can tell, patient zero in the creation of the ancient Nephilim giant of Middleboro, Mass. You can tell because the original reads “A few years ago, when the highway was straightened and repaired his remains were found” (emphasis mine), while Hamilton omitted the “his” to hide the truth, as do all of his copyists. Needless to say, Hamilton purposely omitted the name and date of the man whose bones they were.
For the record, here is the relevant passage from Thomas Weston’s History of the Town of Middleboro, Massachusetts (1906) with the sections quoted by Hamilton and his copyists in bold:
Among the early settlers was a Mr. Richmond, who was here before King Philip’s War; a man of gigantic stature, bold and fearless. […] A few years ago, when the highway was straightened and repaired, his remains were found, and he was re-interred. Afterward, Afterwards, his body was exhumed in presence of Dr. Morrill Robinson and others to test the truth of the tradition as to his gigantic size and strength. When his skeleton was measured [by Dr. Morrill Robinson and others,] it was found that the thigh bone was four inches longer than that bone in an ordinary man, and that he had a double row of teeth in each jaw. His height must have been at least seven feet and eight inches. There is a tradition that he was the brother of Jonathan Richmond, who, four years after his brother's death, occupied the land which he had formerly cultivated. (bracketed text in Hamilton but not in original)
As you can see, it has been deceptively excerpted and revised to create a mystery where there was none.
In later years, Hugh Newman and Jim Vieira quote the same passage in their Giants on Record (2015), again without including the name of the deceased or when he died. They undoubtedly copied from Hamilton. Frank Joseph, the former American Nazi official turned fringe history writer, included the same quotation in his Lost History of Ancient America (2016), again without acknowledging the known identity and age of the bones. Whether he copied from Hamilton or Vieira, I can’t say, but it’s obvious that the former white nationalist leader copied without consulting the original. He, too, left out the “his.”
This is the way these stories tend to grow—mindlessly repeating material without actually reading the original, to the point that a European man from the 1600s became an Ice Age Denisovan Nephilim!
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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