No, Native Americans are not Giant Hybrids: Legends of the Lost Ep 3

Bronze Statue at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

Oh man, what to say here, what…to…say.

I want to skip the play by play here mainly because the issues Fox brings up in this episode are just…infuriatingly stunning. 

Again, when I comment here on Fox, it’s based purely on what she’s saying and how she’s saying it, and not on her gender, appearance, or the stereotypes around her past professions. 

Up to this episode we’ve learned a lot about Fox and her opinions and beliefs about American and World History. We’ve learned that she deeply believes in new age style spiritualism, to the point of being a religious tourist as often as possible, shopping various religions and cherry picking what she wants to take away from it. We know she buys into the idea that myth is fact, and if the bible says something, then it must be true (this becomes painfully apparent in this episode). We know that she views know archaeological hucksters as authorities in topics they are simply not qualified in (nor have they attempted to become qualified in). And we know that she starts each episode off with a bias and tries to hammer facts into her preconceived conclusions.

This episode on Giants, because that’s what it is, is no different. 

I know I usually do a play by play, So here’s the show in brief. 

Fox begins in Pennsylvania at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter learning about the (still) debated idea that there is evidence for human settlement dating to pre-Clovis times. Yes, this is a real archaeological debate, and yes there are people on both sides. I’m not going into it here, but just be aware, there is a debate.

The Meadowcroft Rock Shelter archaeological site.

We then jump to San Diego, CA. Qualcomm Institute and their simply bad-ass lab there and we get to see all the cool things acrchaeology can do and investigate with proper funding and new technology. We learn about the 130,000 year old skeleton that was recovered from an underwater cave, and I have to wonder out-loud, WHY AREN’T WE PUTTING OUR OWN PROGRAMS ABOUT THIS OUT THERE?! THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME!

Cerebro is real.

Ok, over it.

We jump to the Channel Islands to the Bella Luna and the researchers that pilot her looking for evidence of the earliest occupations of America. And again, yes there is a lively discussion in archaeology on how exactly the Americas became populated. Jennifer Raff has come on the Archaeological Fantasies Podcast several times to talk about genetic evidence and what it tells us about the peopling of the Americas. So yes, there is a kind-of controversy here as well, not that Fox spends any time trying to discuss it, or examine it, or interact with it at all.

No, she’s too busy trying to claim credit for “discovering new evidence” for things she didn’t and also didn’t spend any time trying to understand. 

Then Fox jumps off the deep end and takes us all with her.  It’s also here that I completely lose my cool with the program.

Fox goes to Malibu, CA. to meet with two people she advertises to us as Native Americans, and I’m really sorry folks but there is no easy way to do this…

Problems with the above statement:

  • Two Native Americans do not speak for the 2.6 million Native Americans who live in the United States alone. 
  • One Native American tribe’s oral tradition is not the same oral tradition for the 562 Federally recognized tribes in the US alone. 
  • Even if we believe what Riverwind says and agree that there are a whopping 3 whole tribes that have giants myths in their oral traditions, you still have 559 who apparently do not. So that kinda negates that whole “All Native Americas have myths about giants” argument right there. 
  • And then, of course, there is a the Riverwind’s themselves. 

Chief Joseph Riverwind is listed on a skeptical watchdog site, New Age Frauds and Plastic Shamans, as being a New Age fundamentalist who pushes religious/Ancient Alien ideas, like Native people believing in Nephilim/giants that apparently came to Earth from the Pleiades and Orion’s belt (Colavito 2017).

The dog whistles for this are clear when Fox interviews the couple. Joseph Riverwind making blanket statements about all Native Americans. His twisting of clearly biblical stories and dressing them up with native sounding concepts, to make it seem like there is a lost Christian element to all Native American oral traditions. Laralyn Riverwind calling giants another ‘species’ that inhabited the Americas before Native American ancestors. The concept of giant ‘Hybrids’ that were evil. 

And so on, and so on…

What you are actually hearing is Transoceanic Master Race drivel and Ancient Alien racism being dressed up as Native American oral tradition. Fox is banking on no one doing research into the Riverwinds, their work, or their claims, and hoping that if she show you that these two Native Americans believe in giants, then all Native Americans do and therefor giants must be real! 

I wish I could say this was the low point for the show, but it’s not…oh it’s so not. 

We go from the Riverwinds to Jim Vieira from Search for the Lost Giants, to listen to him try and sell us all on the idea that there is evidence of giants. He provides nothing that hasn’t been debunked by other people on other shows and again reiterates the biblical tie-ins of giants. 

Then he brings up Denisovans. Vieira is impressed that there is a small percentage of Denisovan DNA in Native American DNA and I really need to get Jennifer Raff on to explain all this. But basically Vieira throws a bunch of buzz words at Fox who nods along eagerly and it sounds very science-y. So then…Fox says:

“50,000 years ago, a large human like species called Denisovans populated the Asian landscape these ancient giants migrated into the Americas and interbred with humans creating giant hybrids, and in fact traces of Denisovans genetics have been found in Native Americans” (Fox 2018)

That is a direct quote from the show. 

I just…don’t have words. 

The last bit of the show goes over the whole Cerutti mastodon from California again. It overlaps with the Solutrean Hypothesis that I’ve addressed before and am not going to rehash here. (Links below in the Resource section.) 

In conclusion:

If you can’t tell from the tone of this article, I’m not ok with the statements of this show. The show starts off as the others have, showing us actual archaeology with dubious voice overs hinting at what Fox is planning on twisting the show into. Then it just jumps off the deep end with both feet making unjustified claims based on no evidence whatsoever and presenting people in positions of authority who have no business being there. 

Fox is either ignorant of the implications of the claims she is making in this episode, or she is aware and is fine with them. Suggesting that Native Americans are somehow in-human because they are a giant/human hybrid is something straight out of the colonial era. It’s that exact kind of thinking that led to the atrocities that Native Americans faced at the hands of settlers and then the US Government. To hear that kind of racist rhetoric coming from a TV show in 2018 is beyond upsetting. I could rant for pages on this, and I’m really tempted to, but the reality is, there are too many people who are now watching this show and thinking “Oh archaeologists think giants predate Native Americans and also Native Americans are a different species than white people.” And no, that’s not hyperbolic, if you think that then you haven’t been paying attention. 

Anyway, before I go off the deep end. I have nothing nice to say about this episode. Thank you for reading. 

Resources: 

Colavito, Jason

2017    Did The Nephilim Build the Pyramids or Were They Woolly Mammoths? http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/did-the-nephilim-build-the-pyramids-or-were-they-woolly-mammoths. Retrieved 12/2018

Archaeological Fantasies Blogs and Podcasts: 

No CBC hasn’t proven that ‘White’ Europieans made it to America ‘First’.

CBC, The Solutrean Hypothesis, and Jennifer Raff – Episode 92

The Solutrean Hypothesis – Episode 31

DNA in Archaeology with Jennifer Raff – Episode 50

Olmecs and Ancient DNA with Jennifer Raff – Archaeological Fantasies ep 98H

Fringe Archaeology and Giants – Episode 3

Giants! With Andrew White – Episode 6

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