Did giants walk the Earth?
Ashfield man convinced serious, scientific study is warranted
AP file photo
Jim Vieira in his Ashfield office with old media reports of giants. Recorder/Paul Franz
Jim Vieira at his stone sculpture at Double Edge Theater in Ashfield.Recorder/Paul Franz
Old media reports Recorder/Paul Franz
Old Media reports Recorder/Paul Franz
Old media reports Recorder/Paul Franz
Jim Vieira in his Ashfield office. Recorder/Paul Franz
Jim Vieira in his Ashfield office sorrounded by old media accounts of giant humans. Recorder/Paul Franz
It’s been said that “history is written by the victors” and, for stone mason James Vieira, that may explain why so many astonishing ancient stone structures in New England are written off as merely Colonial root cellars or “rock piles cleared by farmers.”
“Archaeologists tell us all these stoneworks in New England are Colonial,” says Vieira. “But that would be an absolute aberration, because there are similar stoneworks all around the country.”
For several years, Vieira has been filling Ashfield Town Hall, as well as other venues, with audiences eager to see his slide-show presentations of precolonial stone formations that align with solar equinoxes and other astronomical features.
But Vieira has moved on to an even harder-to-believe phenomena: historic documentation of 7-foot to 9-foot tall humans — many with double rows of teeth — found in burial sites here and elsewhere around the world.
Today, Vieira is also researching and compiling historical reports for a book, “Giants on Record.” He is a co-author with Hugh Newman, an author and researcher on pre-Mayan culture in Central America. He is also a frequent guest on History Channel specials. This new book is to include hundreds of historical reports of giant skeletons all around America.
“The researchers I have worked with have compiled over 1,500 accounts (of giants) from town and county histories, Smithsonian Institute literature, all the newspaper accounts — including the New York Times, the Washington Post and archaeology and anthropology bulletins,” Vieira said.
Vieira’s Main Street office walls are plastered with old newspaper accounts of such discoveries. He also blogs on his Facebook site: Stone Builders, Mound Builders and the Giants of Ancient America. This website features a “Daily Giant,” which is a photograph or newspaper clipping about giants, burial mounds or earthen man-made structures.
About five years ago, when Vieira was researching ancient stonework in local histories, he came across this passage, on Indian burial sites, in George Sheldon’s 1895 “The Town History of Deerfield, Vol. 1, (Page 78):”
“At the foot of Bars Long Hill ... many skeletons were exposed in plowing down a bank and weapons and implements were found in abundance. One of these skeletons was described to me by Henry Mather, who saw it, as being of monstrous size — the head as big as a peck basket, with double teeth all round.” Mather, who was about 6 feet tall, made the comparison and says the thigh bones were about 3 inches longer than his own. The skeleton was examined by Dr. Stephen W. Williams, who said the owner must have been nearly 8 feet high. In all the cases noted in the paragraph, the bodies had been placed in a sitting posture, facing the east.”
That first account led Vieira to many more accounts, most of them discretely buried deep in histories, as if their authors were embarrassed. Subsequently, Vieira said he’s found reports documenting human skeletons with double rows of teeth and at least 7 feet tall, in Martha’s Vineyard, Middleboro, Hadley, Newton, Concord, N.H., and in Rockingham, Vt.
Vieira also found this account in the History of Montague, 1910, page 61:
“Indian skeletons were exhumed on L Street near the falls in 1873. And on the opposite shore, Mr. Smith dug out seven skeletons buried in a sitting posture, each about 7 feet in stature.”
“I started to compile dozens of these accounts. Then, I met with Ross Hamilton at a conference and realized that other authors have made similar finds all around the country,” Vieira said.
Ross Hamilton is author of several books, including “The Mystery of the Serpent Mound,” “A Tradition of Giants, Wonders and Mysteries of the Great Serpent Mound” and “Star Mounds: Legacy of a Native American Mystery.”
Vieira admits that some accounts of giant remains have been revealed as hoaxes, but he doubts that so many accounts could all be fakes.
Additionally, those who discount historical accounts of giant human skeletons argue that a likely explanation is that the bones found came from large, long-extinct animals, not humans.
“How can all these accounts exist, many by respected individuals and scientists all around the country, through decades of time?” asks Vieira. “It’s worth exploring; the only case I’m making is, it’s worth exploring.”
Vieira said many of these reports were “often obscurely buried historical documents describing strange anomalies, in an era of inefficient communication.”
Vieira says there were thousands of burial mounds all around the country when the first colonists arrived. He says that several explorers, including Hernando de Soto (1497-1542), Francisco Vazquez de Coronado (1510-1554) and Capt. John Smith (1581-1631), wrote about live encounters with Native American tribal leaders who were 7 feet tall or taller.
“There are sites all over North America that shatter (conventional) beliefs,” he said. “First, negative evidence doesn’t get known; what supports accepted theories gets taught. Others don’t appear in textbooks,” Viera said.
“We rely on observational accounts for so much historic record. But we throw out accounts that don’t line up with current theories.
“If I were an anthropologist, I’d be called ‘a nut.’ I would lose my tenure and couldn’t teach. You get rewarded for toeing the line and you get beaten down for telling it like it is,” said Vieira. “That’s just the nature of society.”
“I’ve interviewed over a dozen people who have seen, first-hand, skeletons and mummies 7 to 8 feet tall in museums and private collections around the country, that have now been taken down from public view because of NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) laws,” said Vieira.
Vieira hopes that advances in DNA testing and analysis will someday help to verify findings of giants reported around the world.
Vieira said he had been fascinated by stone structures since childhood. “When I was 7 to 8 years old, I started to have vivid dreams about Stonehenge and megalithic sites,” he said. “I started to study anomalies. I started to read voraciously. I knew there was something disturbingly wrong about what we were told our reality is.”
But it was a hike through the Hawley State Forest, about 25 years ago, that turned Vieira into what some of his interviewers have called “a stone detective.”
Vieira was hiking with his brother and they found a serpentine stone wall that seemed to undulate along a 20-foot “glacial erratic.” (A glacial erratic is stone that is carried into an area by glaciers and which is not native to the site.) At the end of the wall, the last stone had the shape of a serpent’s head, with a carved eye and iris, he said.
Soon after that, Vieira read the book “Manitou: The Sacred Landscape of New England’s Native Civilization” by James W. Mayor and Byron E. Dix. The book “lit my mind up,” says Vieira, who began studying New England’s caves and “Stonehenges” and looking into historic records documenting such structures.
According to Vieira, there are stone ruins all around the country and earthen mounds that seem to have a “shared school of mathematics.”
“This ancient America was like a geometry blackboard, with these incredible structures everywhere,” said Vieira.”The entire planet is filled with megalithic ruins that have not been deciphered.”
Some of the stone structures he has explored are completely aligned with autumn or spring equinoxes. Some consist of dry-laid stone that is so perfectly cut, you can’t slide a sheet of paper between them.
Thanks to the Internet, Vieira predicts there will be “a tsunami of evidence” to point out anomalies that contradict conventional explanations.
“All the independent researchers do it for the love of it. I do it to connect with people, to give them a broader vision of reality,” he said. “You go where the evidence leads and you uncover the truth only for the goal of uncovering truth, not for self-promotion. There’s new technology, new findings every year.”
Besides giving local talks, Vieira has written articles that have appeared in “Ancient American: Archaeology of the Americas Before Columbus” and in local publications. He also gave a presentation at the Shelburne Falls TEDx in 2012.
Staff reporter Diane Broncaccio has worked at The Recorder since 1988. Her beat includes west county. She can be reached at: email@example.com or: 413-772-0261, ext. 277.
Staff photographer Paul Franz has worked for The Recorder since 1988. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261 Ext. 266. His website is www.franzphoto.com.