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The Land Before Time—PART 22: The Truth about the Great Smithsonian Cover-Up

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On December 3, 2014, one of the World Wide Web’s most popular and misleading articles of all time was published by World News Daily Report: “Smithsonian Admits to Destruction of Thousands of Giant Human Skeletons in Early 1900s.” In this article, it was claimed that the U.S. Supreme Court had issued a ruling that the Smithsonian was to release classified papers to the public proving their cooperation in the covert concealment/destruction of gigantic human bones in order to uphold our mainstream concepts of human evolution. This so-called evidence—involving, but not limited to, a “1.3 meter long human femur bone” unearthed in Ohio and brought to the court hearing—would, the article said, “help archaeologists and historians to reevaluate current theories about human evolution and help us greater our understanding of the mound builder culture in America and around the world…[and further states that] after over a century of lies, the truth about our giant ancestors shall be revealed.”[i]

Not surprisingly, an article of this sensational magnitude immediately found its way to social networking newsfeeds and lay-media outlets, showing over sixty thousand shares on Facebook alone within weeks of its publication. The Internet was bombarded with whispers of “proof” that we humans could not have evolved in the way we have been told by science.

The article was, however, riddled with lies. Let us take a quick look at only a short list of untruthful declarations that the public was victim to.

Source: The inside sources quoted were a Mr. James Churward and Mr. Hans Guttenberg, “spokesman” and “director” of the “American Institute of Alternative Archeology” (AIAA). Both these men, and the institute they belong to, are completely fictitious. They do not exist. Effectively, these men and their organization were chosen from thin air to pack a punch of authority upon the article.

Dating: Any and all dates associated with the Supreme Court ruling are entirely ambiguous, as the article only states that the classified documents were from the “early 1900s.” This presents an issue, since “classified documents” also did not exist heavily during this time. The very first classified documents, according to our Central Intelligence Agency: 1) detail invisible ink writing techniques used by the Germans during WWI; 2) are dated to 1917–1918; and 3) are “the only remaining classified documents from the World War I era.”[ii]

Removing the ambiguity from the equation and assuming these bones documents might have been slightly later than the “early 1900s” still delivers us to assume rationally that while the classification system was still in its infancy, the Smithsonian museum bones would have been small beans to the powers that be whose responsibility it was to conceal issues of national security during a wartime era. It was only because of the war that our nation began to utilize classification, and it wasn’t for another several decades that matters such as these claims of hidden/destroyed bones would have been “classified” to begin with.

Public record: Anything the Supreme Court rules on would be made a matter of public record. If the AIAA (that organization that doesn’t exist) had truly pressured the Smithsonian to come clean on their cover-up—if the Smithsonian really did converge in a messy legal battle over defamation that ended when the Supreme Court got involved and ruled that the Smithsonian release their classified documents—then this obscure World News Daily Report would certainly not be the only media company carrying the headline. A matter of such importance to the scientific community as the complete and public overhaul of evolutionary science would have been on the news all over the world. As it stands, verification of these referenced documents, and any court proceedings involving this case, cannot be found in any archive anywhere, governmental or otherwise.

Image: The photo of the femur bone “uncovered in Ohio in 2011 by the American Institute for Alternative Archeology” was 1) taken in Turkey, not Ohio, and 2) photographed in the 1990s, not 2011. The photo has been passed and shared around the Internet as early as 2008.

Disclaimer: For those of you who may wish to believe that the article is filled with truth, but that the website’s editor merely did a poor job of outlining the story and linking to the correct course channels, the site’s disclaimer is the final nail in the coffin:

Information contained in this World News Daily Report website is for information and entertainment purposes only.…

This website may include incomplete information, inaccuracies or typographical errors.…

WNDR shall not be responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this website or by any technical or human error which may occur.

WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website—even those based on real people—are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.[iii]

That pretty much sums it up. Anything even remotely resembling truth on their website is, by their own admission, “purely a miracle.” This final tone of sarcasm on their part is not lost on the readers who seek real truth in a world where a completely falsified article can be memed and shared over social network sites and lay-media coverage over sixty thousand times within weeks just because a bored online blogger gets a kick out of weaving tall tales.

Tragedy of Misinformation

Articles like this one from the WNDR are capable of bringing about international attention, but unfortunately, they are also capable of initiating a great wave of skepticism and dismissal over a subject that does hold some truth. Regardless of how many people instantly jumped at the bit to be sure everyone on their news feed heard about the Smithsonian cover-up of giant human bones, when the source of such material is corrupt, it only renders a greater public disregard for any facts that can be proven on the subject. And when the true facts are later represented, those who were jaded by the first wave of lies aren’t interested in being duped again, so they ignore the evidence, assuming everything is erroneous even when it can be proven true. Real archaeological investigations delivering astronomically large bones inspire reactions such as, “Oh, yeah, I heard about that ‘giant bones’ deal. It’s all a scam.”

This tragedy becomes far worse when other media sites pick up on the headline and repost or rewrite a similar report that links back to the first (which has happened hundreds of times, in this case). It merely becomes mounting evidence that the entire story—and all the claims therein—are based on the product of wild imaginations. Ultimately, what World News Daily Report has done by blasting “entertainment” (their words) to the nation is a great disservice to those in the historical and scientific fields who have made it their lives’ work to expose what the Smithsonian really may have hidden away.

I do not intend to waste any time with irrelevant “shame on you” diatribes against a site whose staff may not have any clue as to the injury they have heaped upon real discovery and investigation, as that is not the purpose of this work. However, no case study on such an issue as this could be considered complete without the unbiased disclosure of fabricated and insincere reports—and the damage those falsehoods lend to a more serious society of people who seek truth in a day when quick-share impulses launch colossal impairment upon accuracy—alongside what is faithfully factual.

This certainly is not the only source of misinformation on the topic of giant human bones and the involvement the Smithsonian had in concealing the evidence. Many, many other books and articles have assisted in the public’s rejection of the facts through errant reporting, and innumerable photo-shopped images have surfaced depicting dig sites with human skulls the size of school buses (and here, too, once people are informed the images are faked, they turn to immediate disbelief of any information that is real). An entire book could be written that responds to and debunks these lies, but, again, that is not the purpose of this work. Perhaps, then, the best place to turn our focus to is to the historical reports and the official Smithsonian receipts and records. Before we get into that, however, let us take a moment to reflect on something I ran across early in research that points to a peculiar and threatening mainstream trust the people of this nation place in the Smithsonian, even when it knowingly exhibits incorrect information.




National Disregard for Truth from the Benevolent “They”

As the research included within this series attests, the fact that oversized humans walked the earth in ancient times—some of whom were so large they hardly identify as “human” by comparison—is not at all far-fetched, and we have likewise found proof at times that they were violent cannibals. Though theories of origin range all the way from the corrupt-DNA Nephilim of Genesis 6:4 to systematic human evolution that somehow produced a strand of people who grew to towering dimensions (the latter of these theories conflicts with both science and common sense), history and archaeology simply produce too much witness that they were existent for us to write them off. The proof is not simply in bodily remains, but also in material possessions that defy use by ancient peoples of regular size, as well as cultural phenomena surrounding them (hieroglyphs, ancient documents, legends, etc.). Add to this the increased intelligence executed in the architectural and agricultural sites of wonder associated with these cultures that completely flouts all we know of the early, nomadic human groups, and we have a recipe for the treasure hunt of the century.

The questions are then presented: Where are these remains, and why are they not displayed for the public? Why aren’t they in a museum somewhere? Wouldn’t the Smithsonian be the perfect place to house these items of interest?…

Is it possible that the Smithsonian has cooperated with a cover-up?

First of all, let us not assume that everything the Smithsonian says or features is accurate. It, too, has a disregard for complete, transparent truth.

I did not originally intend to involve much of the following in this chapter, as it appears at the onset to be unrelated to the subject of large human bones. I like to be thorough, however, so I did a little fact-checking in order to bare a quick example of the proverbial shrug that the Smithsonian offers when pressed for strict adherence to precision. Quickly, though, this little side-assignment became much more than that.

One visiting the administrative headquarters building known as the “Castle” (the Smithsonian Institution Building, formally) will see the tomb of James Smithson, whose monetary donation to the United States government founded the site despite the fact that Smithson never once set foot on North American soil. His epitaph, so beautifully engraved upon the front panel of the tomb, says, “Sacred to the Memory of James Smithson Esq. Fellow of the Royal Society, London, who died at Genoa [Italy] the 26th June 1829, aged 75 years.” However, it is common knowledge that James Smithson was not seventy-five years old when he died. The exact calendar date of his birth is unknown because his mother hid her pregnancy and labored in secret, but we do know for certain that he was born in the year 1765 in Paris, France. This would place him at the age of sixty-three or sixty-four at the oldest, and this updated age-of-death information not only appears on the official Smithsonian Institution Archives website,[iv] but also in the book An Account of the Smithsonian Institution: Its Origin, History, Objects, and Achievements[v]—written by Cyrus Adler, commissioned by the institution itself, and published via its own printing channels. (And this is not to mention the numerous historical sources that confirm this age outside the Smithsonian.) Yet, no correction to the date has been displayed on the tomb.

If the Smithsonian is aware of the date discrepancy of its own founding donor, as its own published materials expose, then is it not an affront to the integrity of the institute as proclaimed reporters of historic fact that the venerated tomb displays that he was seventy-five when he died instead of just displaying his true age to visitors? If we cannot trust the very exhibition of this most celebrated forefather—what some would consider the most important thing on view in the entire museum, as it bespeaks of its very own origin—how many other of the museum’s displays or claims are untrustworthy?

And yes, one might argue that this error is a small concern when compared to concealed giant bones, and that would be correct. Comparatively, this is a very petty thing to be worried about. But bear with me as I canvas what I learned from looking into this. It represents a symptom of a much larger issue. I had senior staff researcher Donna Howell call an information specialist at the Castle building to get a response on this, and her findings were interesting—not because she uncovered a major conspiracy, but because she was given an excellent example of the precise global naïveté that I was hoping to address early on in this chapter.

After being on hold for several minutes over the automated system, a woman named Maryann came on the line. The conversation was a well-anticipated dead end. I knew I wouldn’t get much info over the phone, but I had Donna call nonetheless, because it was the line to the generic title “information specialist,” so I just assumed the one who answered the call might know something about it at least. If nothing else, I was sure we would be redirected to the appropriate department or person equipped to answer. However, a couple of this nice and helpful woman’s responses forced a raised eyebrow:

MARYANN: Information center, this is Maryann, how may I help you?

DONNA HOWELL: Hello, I was curious about the tomb of your founding donor, James Smithson. It’s on display there at the Castle, correct?

MARYANN: Yes, his tomb is here.

DONNA HOWELL: Oh, good. I thought so. We’re working on a project and noticed that the age of death on his tomb was incorrect. Do you know someone I can ask about this?

MARYANN: Um, uh, um. [She stammered for probably ten seconds straight.] What now? The date is incorrect?

DONNA HOWELL: His age is, yes. It says that he died at seventy-five, but he couldn’t have been older than sixty-four at most.

MARYANN: No, if it says he died at seventy-five, then that would be the age he died. [Her tone was kind, but firm.] It wouldn’t say that on his tomb if [she interrupted herself]— Is there a reason you believe we’re incorrect?

DONNA HOWELL: Oh, actually, it’s in your own literature. I have it pulled up in front of me on your website, as well as a book I have here, published by the Institution in 1904.

MARYANN: [Momentary silence.] You mean we are the ones saying the dating on the tomb is incorrect?

DONNA HOWELL: Yes, that’s right. The story goes that Smithson’s nephew wrote the epitaph and it was engraved that way, but it’s still showing the wrong age. Is it still this way for sentimental purposes, or because it’s considered to be an artifact in itself, or…?

MARYANN: Uh, you know, I don’t know. I don’t think I can answer your question. I don’t have that information. If the display says he was seventy-five years old when he died, then that’s the age [she interrupted herself again]— I mean, it’s what the tomb says, right? We would certainly only give the correct information there. Um. Uh… We don’t just have people on the phone ready to talk about James Smithson.

DONNA HOWELL: I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have assumed that you guys would know the answer to such an obscure question off the cuff. The title “information specialist” threw me off. That was probably a term that referred to scheduled tours or something. Do you know who I might be able to call or email?

MARYANN: Well, I mean we are the specialists here to— We do have information on— I tell you what, why don’t you just send your question in over email?

DONNA HOWELL: Sounds good. [Donna took the info from her and then bravely plugged one last thought.] While I have you on the line, do you happen to know if there is a plaque on display in that room anywhere that corrects the information for visitors? I mean, it’s the Smithsonian. I know the Smithsonian has very high standards of reporting only what’s true. Doesn’t it create an issue that the very founder’s information is in error and that people might be misled? Wouldn’t some think that other information on display there is inaccurate if they learn that this one is?

MARYANN: I don’t believe there is another plaque, no. Just what the tomb says. I understand why you would be concerned, but it is just the date of his age. Everything else here is true. [!!!]

DONNA HOWELL: Oh, of course. I didn’t mean to insinuate there was a conspiracy or anything. Well, this email is helpful, thank you!

Donna ended the call on a cheerful note and let Maryann get on with her day, and then immediately followed up with an email to the address she provided. She received an email back a few days later saying that her question was forwarded to the curator, but the curator never responded.

But readers should not assume that we are patting ourselves on the back just because we were able to prove that a person named Maryann at the information center didn’t know about the tomb of James Smithson. I am well aware that you cannot rely on even the most trained employees of an institution to be able to answer every question about every display on command, and Donna said as much to her during the call. The only thing this short talk confirmed to me was that our national—no, global—attitude toward historical accuracy is yielding, lenient, and far too quick to trust anything a plaque says at a museum somewhere. Maryann was absolutely so sure and so trusting that information on the tomb was accurate, just because it was posted by the Smithsonian authority she works for. Maryann’s response to the display essentially translates, “No, if the Smithsonian said it, it must be true, because they only speak the truth. And if there is an error, then it’s an irrelevant one. No big deal. Just a date. A typo. But everything else is true.” Such a quick conclusion bespeaks of substantial naïveté.




Never mind the fact that the tomb has been in its current location since the celebratory escort by the United States Cavalry in January of 1904, and that the Institute has known about the discrepancy since. We’re not talking about a commemoration panel for some unremarkable personality put up yesterday that the staff hasn’t had a chance to correct yet. We are talking about the exhibition of an errant fact regarding the most important individual behind the Smithsonian that the institution has deliberately ignored for 112 years, and the only way the members of the public would know they have been misinformed is if they dig into the small print and do their own independent research. (And again, if they are keeping the original “75 years” age on the tomb because the stone with the inscription is itself an artifact, then a nearby panel should explain the discrepancy.)

There are times, as proved by this experience, that we treat truth like plastic that can bend when it’s not really considered an important affair. We respond with, “Well, it is just this insignificant detail, but everything else is true. Let’s not be petty.” Why is “everything else” true? Because the illustrious and benevolent “they”—that authority who has the reputation for the last word on the respective subject—have said so. And there have been times the “they” have “said so” to the fatal detriment of the trusting public.

Remember what people first said about cigarettes? “No, cigarettes aren’t harmful. They wouldn’t be allowed to sell them if they were dangerous.” In this case, the “they” might be referring to the tobacco companies or the trust in FDA protection, but the people inhaling carcinogens prior to their doctor’s cancer diagnosis were convinced the powers-that-be were ensuring the product’s integrity. Recall what was said of asbestos originally? “No, that’s ridiculous. Asbestos isn’t causing cancer. They said that was all just a ridiculous rumor. They wouldn’t be allowed to insulate buildings with asbestos if exposure to it was making people sick.” In this case, the “they” would have been the manufacturing companies who wanted to continue cutting cost corners regardless of the death count, but hordes of people were made ill or died when the powers-that-be took as long as they did to unveil the dangers. And consider Wall Street prior to the Great Depression. “Trust me, investing in these stocks is completely safe. Everyone is investing today, and they said the economy is brighter than it’s ever been and only shows signs of continual growth and prosperity.” The “they” here might have been anyone from the nation’s richest stock brokers to the Wall Street Journal to President Hoover to the society around everyone in general who had begun living lavish lifestyles, but soon the entire country fell into one of the largest economic travesties we’ve ever witnessed in world history because the powers-that-be weren’t as Johnny-on-the-spot or transparent as they presented themselves to be.

They said the earth was flat. They said the Titanic would never sink. They said the Jews were living happy lives in Nazi concentration camps.

They posted that Smithson died at the age of “75 years,” and Maryann initially pronounced that if they said “75 years,” then it was true, and even if it wasn’t, everything else was…because the Smithsonian is the “they” of the last word.

“They” are not always the final authority, even though “they” are often trusted as the final authority.

And as small a detail as the information on the tomb of Smithson may be, where does one draw the line? Who discerns what is irrelevant and inconsequential from what is important? Is there a strict rule about what false information is allowed versus what is not? Has the same individual who deemed the great late James Smithson’s tomb a trivial matter also marginalized the feelings of those who say their Native American national exhibit “inadequately represents the persecution of Native Americans” (which has also been a major ongoing concern)?[vi] What about all the voices that have cried out against the inaccuracies of their African History exhibit?[vii] Were those insignificant details as well?

It’s not just Maryann. It’s not limited to the offense that a representative of the “company of truth” has no idea the lie that greets every tourist that enters their main facility, or that she doesn’t consider it a big deal. Like I said only pages ago, this is a symptom of a much bigger problem.

I can’t possibly be the only one who finds that thread of thought unsettling, especially when unquestioning and assumptive sentiments such as “everything else is true” come from those who are representatives of “an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men”[viii] (the Smithsonian mission statement in James Smithson’s will).

Ultimately, we have to accept the fact that when the injury of misinformation is added to the intentional neglect of the all-knowing “they,” then piled atop a public that will consider the last word of the authority gospel, we arrive at an equation that spreads distortion like a brush fire. Add to this years and years of the public’s cultural familiarity with, and acceptance of, the skewed concept, and we arrive at a day when anything that challenges the national “truth” is immediately marginalized or written off as the ramblings of a conspiracy-theory madman despite supporting evidence. It’s an age-old social science: When people have largely adopted a way of thinking into their society and slowly built a universal worldview around it, they will not easily receive modifications to that worldview—even when the worldview is based on inaccuracy in the first place. They don’t want to hear the truth, because it means letting go of all they’ve known or believed in up to that point, so they hold on to what’s familiar, what’s comfortable, always referring back to some “they” authority to support them when questioned.

Let us not be ignorant and assume the evidence of enormous human bones—and the challenges those bones produce toward our mainstream evolutionary worldviews—is all nonsense just because some “they” says so.

They say we came from monkeys. They say there are no giant bones that oppose mainstream evolutionary science.

But they are lying, and the proof of that is penetrating.

UP NEXT: Smithsonian’s Bright Beginning

[i] “Smithsonian Admits to Destruction of Thousands of Giant Human Skeletons in Early 1900s,” December 3, 2014, World News Daily Report, last accessed November 14, 2016,

[ii] “Secret Writing: CIA’s Oldest Classified Documents,” April 28, 2016, Central Intelligence Agency, last accessed November 14, 2016,

[iii] “Disclaimer,” World News Daily Report, last accessed November 14, 2016,; emphasis added.

[iv] “James Smithson, Founding Donor,” Smithsonian Institution Archives, last accessed November 14, 2016,

[v] Cyrus Adler, An Account of the Smithsonian Institution: Its Origin, History, Objects, and Achievements (Smithsonian Press, 1904), 5.

[vi] Paul Ruffins, “American Indian Museum Still Facing Criticism for Historical Inaccuracies,” December 14, 2010, Diverse Education, last accessed November 14, 2016,

[vii] Marc Morano, “Smithsonian Displays ‘Feel Good’ History of Africa while Trashing America,” July 7, 2008, CNS News, last accessed November 14, 2016,

[viii] George Goode, The Smithsonian Institution: 1846–1896; The History of its First Half Century (Washington, DC: De Vinne Press), 19–21.

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