Giant Skull Openly Displayed at Harvard in ca. 1929!

Whatever happened to this giant skull, pictured on display at Harvard Medical School, in ca. 1929? Was it suppressed as part of a worldwide cover-up of Nephilim bones by nefarious atheist scientists?

No. The picture is of anatomist Harris Peyton Mosher (1867-1954) with a giant teaching skull. Harris Mosher was, at the time, Professor of Laryngology at the Harvard Medical School and Chief of Laryngology at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

According to Dr. Robert A. Jahrsdoerfer (MD), Mosher was “a Goliath in the field of otolaryngology and a living legend in his time” (“A Century of Progress: Harris Peyton Mosher: The Man Behind the Award”, Laryngoscope 106 [November 1996]: 1323-1325).

h/t: @PaleoAnthropology+

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Ancient misinterpretation of large bones as mythological giants

A new study provides a useful survey of ancient and early modern discoveries of large bones which were misinterpreted as the remains of giants. (They usually, in fact, belonged to mammoths and whales.)

Marco Romano and Marco Avanzini, “The skeletons of Cyclops and Lestrigons: misinterpretation of Quaternary vertebrates as remains of the mythological giants” Historical Biology (June 2017): 1-24.

The article provides a host of examples. But the short section on biblical giants on pp. 3-4 contains many errors: a quotation from Genesis 6.4 is wrongly cited “Genesis 6.3”. The term “nephilion” should be Heb. “nephilim” or Ar. “Nephilin”. The Anakim are wrongly identified as Amorites in Numbers 13, which is rather the result of a conflation with the differing account in Deuteronomy 1. It has “cube” instead of “cubit”. It confusingly alternates between arabic and roman numerals for the same biblical citations (e.g. “Deuteronomy 2, 10-11”, but “Deuteronomy II, 10”). The phrase “one the vanquished kings” should be “one of the vanquished kings”. It has Italian “Giosuè” for “Joshua”. The citation “Number XXI, 33” should be “Number[s] [XXII], 33”.

Note also earlier studies on this subject by folklorist Adrienne Mayor and biblical scholar Brian Doak.

Believing the Giant Skeleton Myth

There is a popular internet meme involving fake photographs allegedly portraying skeletons of giant humans. You’ve probably seen a few of these photographs before, for example, the one on the left below (beside the original photograph on the right):

Left: Hoax Giant skeleton photograph; right: The original photograph from a dinosaur dig in Niger, Africa, by the University of Chicago (1993)
Left: Hoax Giant skeleton photograph. Right: The original photograph from a dinosaur dig in Niger, Africa, by the University of Chicago (1993)

A recent article published in the journal SAGE Open asks: what are the characteristics of people likely to believe that the discovery of giant human bones is true?

Participants, drawn predominantly from central Europe, were presented with the following form of the myth:

giant-skeleton-found-in-indiaRecent exploration activity in the northern region of India has uncovered the skeletal remains of a human of phenomenal size. This region of the Indian desert is called the Empty Quarter. The discovery was made by the Indian Division of the National Geographic Team, with support from the Indian Army as the area comes under the jurisdiction of the Army. The exploration team also found tablets that suggest the giant belonged to a race of superhumans that are mentioned in the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic poem from about 200 BC. The government of India has now secured the whole area and no one is allowed to enter except National Geographic personnel.

The National Geographic confirmed in 2007 that the story and accompanying pictures were a hoax. The results of the 2016 study showed that significant predictors of belief in the Giant Skeleton Myth were Openness to Experience, New Age orientation, and anti-science bias:

Results showed that women, as compared with men, and respondents with lower educational qualifications were significantly more likely to believe in the giant skeleton myth, although effect sizes were small. Correlational analysis showed that stronger belief in the giant skeleton myth was significantly associated with greater anti-scientific attitudes, stronger New Age orientation, greater religiosity, stronger superstitious beliefs, lower Openness to Experience scores, and higher Neuroticism scores. However, a multiple regression showed that the only significant predictors of belief in myth were Openness, New Age orientation, and anti-scientific attitudes.

(Viren Swami, Ulrich S. Tran , Stefan Stieger, Jakob Pietschnig, Ingo W. Nader, and Martin Voracek, “Who Believes in the Giant Skeleton Myth? An Examination of Individual Difference Correlates”, SAGE Open (January-March 2016): 1–7, published online 5 January 2016, DOI: 10.1177/2158244015623592)

Thanks to Aren Maeir, director of the archaeological dig at Tell es-Safi/Gath (Goliath’s alleged hometown), for alerting me to this study. Aren also amusingly notes that, “every few months, I get an email asking me about th[ese] finds”!

 

Julius Thompson’s Grigori Anime

Julius Thompson is developing an anime film on the Grigori. The name “Grigori” is the Slavic for the Watcher angels who first appear in the book of 1 Enoch (ca. 300 BCE) and later in the biblical book of Daniel (ca. 163 BCE).

Thompson has an expanded definition of the grigori, however, including various gods, angels, monsters, giants and heroes mentioned in ancient literature from the ancient Near East and Greece. The Watcher angels Semjaza and Azazek are joined by the antediluvian patriarchs Enoch and Methusaleh, the Mesopotamian Gilgamesh (described as a giant in Enuma Elish) and the Annunaki, and the Greek Medusa and the Minotaur – among others. In recent decades, a number of writers influenced by ancient alien theories or speculation on the biblical end times have made connections between such diverse figures, and attributed supernatural powers to them. It will be interesting to see what Thompson does with these kind of traditions in his anime fiction.

As the first teaser trailer shows, Thompson’s Grigori will draw on the (spurious) accounts of the discovery of giant bones – stories told in ancient Greece 2600 years ago, as well as on the internet today:

Here’s Thompson’s illustration of Genesis 6:4,the highly allusive verse which – in the following two thousand years – has generated a mass of legends about Watchers, giants, and demons:

Grigori anime

It will be interesting to see how this project comes together. Looks like there will be lots of fighting, anyway:

epic_battle_scene__the_grigori

 

Matthew Chrulew on Nephilim (Genesis 6:1-4)

Matthew Chrulew, author of The Angælien Conspiracy
Matthew Chrulew, author of The Angælien Apocalypse

Matthew Chrulew’s short novel The Angælien Apocalypse (Twelfth Planet Press, 2010) reads as though it may have been written as a collaboration between Erich von Däniken (Chariots of the Gods?) and Garth Ennis (Preacher). It’s a fun and clever account of what transpires when the world finds out that the ancient-aliens-in-the-Bible conspiracy theorists were right all along. Chrulew is a philosophical ethologist at the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University, where he leads the Posthumanism and Technology research program.

One of the highlights of The Angælien Apocalypse is this summary of Genesis 6:1-4, in the mouth of one of the main characters, Miguel:

“I’m sure they’ve gone through the regular scriptures with you: Ezekiel 1, Matthew 24, Revelation 4. But did they mention Genesis 6? The flood? The Nephilim, Joke [Joachim]. Did they mention them? It’s all there in the Bible: how the sons of God fucked the daughters of men and their kids busted arse all over the joint. Giant freaks, Joke. That’s why there was the flood: once they were around, God in His holiness had to do it, to purge those unholy powerful motherfuckers….

“The angælians almost got what they wanted that time, Joke. All of the Earth was wiped out – except for Noah and his crew. God decided to save a human remnant – and I bet that mightily pissed them off. So this time – this time they mean for him to take out the whole lot. That’s the Cherubim’s real plan, Joke. To cross-breed mongrel Neo-nephilim so when Jesus comes in divine judgement he can’t help but get all wrathful on our corrupt and violent arses…

“They’ve been jealous ever since we were created, ever since Lucifer was first banished to this star system. They want their favourite spot back, right next to the big guy. And so they mingle with the seed of men, manipulate the races, just like it says in Daniel 2.”

The idea that demonic seed has corrupted the human lineage is widely discussed in ancient alien lit, such as in the works of Zecharia Sitchin.

The idea that Lucifer/Satan/’Azaz’el was jealous of God’s creation of humanity, and conversely that the angels resented their resulting loss of status, may be found in ancient interpretations of Genesis 6:1-4, such as the Life of Adam and Eve (12-16) and Questions of Bartholomew 4.53-57.

 

Believing in the Nephilim with L.A. Marzulli: On The Trail of The Nephilim

L.A. Mazulli, On The Trail of The NephilimProphecy in the News recently interviewed L.A. Marzulli about his book On The Trail of The Nephilim. It is interesting to consider what drives a theory which many would dismiss as conspiratorial or, conversely, to consider the contextual and social factors which make it compelling to Marzulli and to many of his readers.

According to Marzulli, discoveries of giants skeletons in Ohio and Indiana have been covered up by the scientific community, because it contradicts the presuppositions of their Darwinistic worldview:

It comes down to this: that we are – academia, and the scientific community runs under a Darwinian worldview, a Darwinian paradigm. Everything is filtered through that… through Darwinism. And unfortunately, or, I should say, fortunately for us, as Christians, these skeletons go against the Darwinian paradigm. It makes no sense.

Similarly, on the L.A. Marzulli website, the summary of the book describes scientists and archaeologists as involved in a “cover-up”:

This book is the culmination of a lengthy search for the physical evidence of the Nephilim, the Giants of Old Testament lore. A significant cover-up has taken place over the years, reducing these double-digit, gigantic hybrids to the dustbins of history. You’re going to read about the organizations behind this Darwinian-flavored scheme and why they hate the bones and skulls of the Nephilm so much. They’ll go to incredible lengths to make this evidence disappear!

So there is a double thrill of secret knowledge: both in the ‘knowledge’ of giant skeletons and the confirmation that the Bible reveals the truth about the past.

Another comment by Marzulli shows how his theory reduces the dissonance caused by Yahweh’s genocide of entire nations, during what the book of Joshua presents as the Israelite settlement of the land. How does he reconcile the image of the Israelite God in Joshua – disregarding the lives of entire peoples and killing men, women, and children alike – with the Christian conception of a loving God who wishes to save all people? You, quite literally, demonize the enemy:

The theory is, as Joshua and Caleb pushed into the Promised Land, we see all those different tribes: Nephilim tribes – Nephilim, Anakim, Rephaim, the Canaanites, Perizzites – all these Nephilim tribes. And I believe each one had, perhaps, a different physical charactistic.  So as Joshua and Caleb come into the Promised Land, what we see, in my opinion, is this diaspora. The giants realise, the Nephilim realise,  the mandate has gone out to wipe them all off – men, women, children. And remember, these are demonic, hybrid beings, they are Nephilim. And no grace and mercy is shown by a loving – the same loving God in the Old Testament that we serve today – no difference. The judgement is severe, its final, and the giants see this, know this.

The explanation not only takes account of the Anakim and Rephaim mentioned in Numbers 13-14 and Deuteronomy 1-3, but other peoples usually not considered giants – even the Canaanites. And so the theory that the people of the land were all demonic hybrids safeguards the Christian God’s loving nature.

A further impetus for Marzulli’s theory comes in the form of the widely held idea that elements from the beginning of time will be repeated at the end of time: the Urzeit/Endzeit association. One reason these ancient ideas are so thrilling to Marzulli and his readers is that they foreshadow, and appear to provide evidence for, the end of time, including the expected return of Jesus, God’s destruction of all enemies (including the demons and Darwinians):

Jesus says, sorts of admonishes us, gives us a very clear warning: it will be like the Days of Noah when I return – I’m paraphrasing – it will be like the days of Noah when the Son of Man returns – which immediately begs the question: what differentiates the Days of Noah from any other time in history. And of course it’s the presence of the Fallen Angels coming down, having – doing the unspeakable – having sex with the women, and creating this hybrid entity or being known as the Nephilim. In my opinion, this has happened all through our history. The first incursion, of course, is Genesis 6. But then there’s another incursion. We see the same penalty meted out to Sodom and Gomorrah: wipe them all out; there’s not a shred of grace or mercy with Sodom and Gomorrah. We see the same thing again when they push into the Levant, when Joshua and Caleb go into the Promised Land, the same idea: there’s not a shred of grace or mercy.

Here the eschatological expectation is combined with a further apologetic explanation for God’s lack of grace or mercy shown towards the original inhabitants of the Promised Land.

Although regularly dismissed as a fringe or conspiracy theory, we can see ways in which L.A. Mazulli’s theory gains credibility by appealing to other important beliefs of the wider Christian community and offers dissonance resolution in respect of conflicts and doubts regarding evolutionary science and ethical doubts concerning the conquest narratives which have also concerned a much wider section of contemporary Christians.

Fossilized Footprint of God Found! Evidence of Biblical Giants Discovered in South Africa!! Those Who Deny it have Western Enlightenment Presuppositions!!!

The Weekly World News, which in 1993 reported the discovery of the skull of Goliath complete with a stone embedded in its forehead, again has the scoop:

The giant foot print, discovered in rough granite,  is considered by many religious leaders to be The Footprint of God.   It is 4 feet long.  The location of this footprint has  been a deeply sacred, mystical and spiritual place among African knowledge keepers – and a well-guarded secrete.  A footprint that is 4 feet in length means that who or what left it behind must have been approximately 24 feet tall.

… Also discovered near the footprint are giant bones, crystal skulls, strange carvings and sculptures in forms that do not fit into the contemporary view of history and possibly offer evidence of other 15 foot tall giants in the prehistory on our planet.

– Tap Vann, “The Footprint of God”, Weekly World News, 10 February 2012

While the Weekly World News identifies the owner of the footprint as God, pioneer South African rapper Michael Tellinger has a different theory. Tellinger believes that the footprint was made 200,000,000 years ago by an ancient giant alien. In his book Slave Species of God (2005), Tellinger explains that the extraterrestrial giants were called Anunnaki – adapting Zecharia Sitchin’s adventurous theory of the origins of humankind.

To take up Craig Keener’s line of argument, those who deny the veracity of this traditional African knowledge about Giants are obviously blinded by their Western Enlightenment presuppositions … and they’re clearly racist too.