Ashfield man’s ‘giant’ talk to be taped for TV series
ASFHIELD — Did giants once roam the countryside of Franklin County?
They may have, according to author and stonemason Jim Vieira.
He’s been researching reports of larger-than-life human remains found in the county and beyond, and will present his findings at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Ashfield Town Hall.
The talk, “Mounds, Megaliths and Giants,” will be filmed for an upcoming TV series about “giant hunters,” according to Vieira.
While Vieira said a nondisclosure agreement prevents him from revealing much about the show, he did confirm that the research of he and his brother, Bill Vieira, will be its main focus.
While it may seem far-fetched that humans up to 9 feet tall with double rows of teeth once walked the Earth, accounts of their remains are recorded in reputable sources like the Smithsonian archives, the New York Times and the Washington Post, he said.
Vieira has been researching those reports for the book “Giants on Record,” which he and Hugh Newman, an author and researcher on pre-Mayan Central American cultures.
“We’re trying to come at it objectively,” Vieira said.
Rather than working on the assumption that the reports prove that giants did indeed exist, Vieira said he and other researchers will examine the reports, try to track down the remains and see where the evidence leads them.
He admits that some of the reports may contain exaggerations, or that the size of skeletons may have been erroneous, arrived at through calculations based on faulty proportions.
Vieira is certain that the majority of the reports of huge skeletons are not exaggerations or hoaxes, however.
“There are reports, by respectable citizens, describing large skeletons with anatomical abnormalities, from the Catalina Islands in California up to Martha’s Vineyard,” he said.
Vieira said the phenomena of humans with double rows of teeth has been proven and documented, and said he’s met one person with two rows of teeth himself.
Vieira stumbled upon reports of “larger-than-life” human remains while he was researching local ancient stonework.
A report from George Sheldon’s 1895 “The Town History of Deerfield, Vol. 1” described the discovery of an Indian burial site.
Several skeletons were exposed while plowing a bank on Bars Long Hill, and one was described as “monstrous,” with a skull “as big as a peck basket, with double teeth all round.” It was taken to Dr. Stephen W. Williams, who said the body would have been nearly 8 feet tall, Sheldon wrote.
Vieira was intrigued, and began to dig deeper, recruiting his brother Bill to help.
While Vieira will cover his research on giants during the talk, the “mounds and megaliths” portion of it will focus on his unrelated research into the stone structures found in the tri-state area. Many, he said, write the structures off as the work of colonists, but Vieira is certain several of them predate the colonization of New England and were likely built by Native Americans.
A camera crew caused a stir earlier this month when it flew low over the town in a helicopter, much to the chagrin of a meeting being held in Town Hall. Many present wondered if the chopper was surveying properties for the proposed natural gas pipeline that has people up in arms.
The helicopter was actually filming aerial footage of the area, to be included in the show. Friday, a less noisy film crew will set up inside Town Hall to tape the talk.
You can reach David Rainville at: email@example.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279 On Twitter, follow @RecorderRain