Friday, March 7, 2014

Your Daily Giant 5/8/2013

Today's Daily Giant wraps up the story of Ralph Glidden and the Catalina Island giants for now. I have a feeling there will be more to the story in the near future. I have posted three articles from the Catalina Islander in 1924, 1930 and 1937. Some of the excerpts from the articles are as follows. The famous Conan Doyle is quoted speaking of Catalina Island, "I have mentioned that an Indian graveyard was found upon the island. I had an opportunity of studying the photographs of the skeletons. One of them was a man seven feet in height, so they were clearly a very different race..." Also from February 11, 1937, pg.4, "Recent excavations made on Santa Catalina Island by Ralph Glidden, curator of the Catalina Museum of the Channel Islands substantiated the historic references to a race of Indians of gigantic stature that once inhabited this island paradise. A great funeral urn fashioned out of stone, its rim decorated with four equi-distant circles of wampum is zealously guarded in a glass case in the Glidden Museum...Glidden found a man, probably a guard, that measured seven feet nine inches in height." The stone urn which weighs 134 pounds that was buried with the giant skeleton and was described as "fashioned as skillfully as though by modern tools instead of primitive implements". The urn is still housed at the museum. Finally, in the Catalina Islander April 2, 1930 pg 6 is found, "Although the writer of this article visited many of the Catalina Indian town sites and burial places of the interior while Professor Glidden had done his excavation work during the past 17 years, a recent visit to the museum was very interesting...One of the skulls measured 26 1/2 inches, and the body with it indicated that the man was fully seven feet in height." I have been in contact with the curator of the Catalina Island Museum, John Borragina. John recently found Glidden's field notes and records, once thought to be lost, in an unmarked box at the museum as reported in the L. A. Times two years ago. John has helped to set up the following exhibit "The Strange and Mysterious Case of Dr. Glidden" which will run from May 11 (In three days) through September 29, 2013 and can only be viewed at the Catalina Island Museum. In 1962 Philip K. Wrigley purchased Glidden's entire collection and donated it to the Catalina Island Museum. The Native American Grave and Repatriation Act of 1990 granted Native Americans the right to claim the remains of their ancestors and other sacred objects. Today, museums in the United States no longer exhibit Native American remains. All of the Catalina Island Museum's American Indian remains are housed at the University of California at Los Angeles and studied by archaeologists at the university's Fowler Museum. For well over 60 years, giant skeletons were reported, photographed, put on display, analyzed, and corroborated on Catalina Island. Not just seven and eight foot skeletons but ones with massive skulls and jawbones. Hopefully, there is more to come from this story, a story difficult to ignore.

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