Single Source

15 Nov

Frontispiece to Viaggio intorno al mondo fatto dalla nave Inglese il Delfino comandata dal caposqadra Byron (Florence, 1768), the first Italian edition of John Byron’s A Voyage Round the World in His Majesty’s Ship the Dolphin . . .  (London, 1767) [Rare Books Division].Imagine, after the first successful touchdown on the moon, that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin returned to Earth with tales of moon giants.

“One day we suddenly saw a naked man of giant stature on the shore of the port, dancing, singing, and throwing dust on his head. […] When the giant was in the captain-general’s and our presence he marveled greatly, and made signs with one finger raised upward, believing that we had come from the sky. He was so tall that we reached only to his waist, and he was well proportioned…” – wikipedia

In 1520, the Magellan expedition, having reached South America, may as well have been on the moon – and who would doubt the first people to manage to make it from the Pacific to the Atlantic?

What if the follow-up Apollo missions also made the same claims?

More from the article:

In 1579, Sir Francis Drake’s ship chaplain, Francis Fletcher, wrote about meeting very tall Patagonians.

In the 1590s, Anthonie Knivet claimed he had seen dead bodies 12 feet (3.7 m) long in Patagonia.

Also in the 1590s, William Adams, an Englishman aboard a dutch ship rounding Tiera del Fuego reported a violent encounter between his ship’s crew and unnaturally tall natives.

That would seem to seal the deal – I mean, basketball coaches should be swarming the place like Farmville spam on a Facebook page, right?

The people encountered […] were in all likelihood the Tehuelches, indigenous to the region. Later writers consider the Patagonian giants to have been a hoax, or at least an exaggeration and mis-telling of earlier European accounts of the region. – wikipedia

How much of an exaggeration?

The men’s height ranges from five foot ten to six foot four. The women’s height is on average five foot six but can be close to six foot in some cases. – mnsu.edu‘s Tehuelche page

Say what you will about the robotic exploration of distant planets, but the Mars Pathfinder would never have claimed to have encountered twelve foot tall Martians.

(Unless it did.)

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Single Source”

  1. bmj2k November 15, 2010 at 13:56 #

    I wonder what Richard C. Hoagland would say about any of this? http://www.enterprisemission.com/

    • JRD Skinner November 15, 2010 at 14:01 #

      My understanding is that he’d probably think the giants were hollow, and had tiny people living inside them – either that, or that they were Russian space-Nazis.

      • bmj2k November 15, 2010 at 20:03 #

        Hoagland is a more than a bit a kook, but he tells the truth as he sees it, at any rate. (Problem is, he sees it in such a deluded way.) NASA, on the other hand, is way too political for me to trust.

      • JRD Skinner November 15, 2010 at 21:24 #

        I’ve heard him on Coast to Coast a few times – like most Coast to Coast guests I wish I could believe his reality, if only to make the universe that much more fantastically bizarre.

        It’s tough to know what to make of NASA these days – I suspect that the future of humanity in space is largely reliant on private enterprise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: