Feb 20, 2020 I Paul Seaburn

A Secret Search for Giants Has Been Going On in New Zealand

“(The world will) now never know for sure if this cave was filled by hand specifically to hide some fourteen 8'+ pre-Polynesian skeletons."

There’s a mini war of sorts underway in New Zealand over … giants! A reporter for Radio New Zealand (RNZ) has brought to light a hunt that has been underway for some time for evidence of giants that the searchers believe lived on the island prior to the Polynesians who arrived between 1250 and 1300 and developed the Māori culture. The group calls itself Tangata Whenua (Māori for “people of the land”) and, according to its website, has been secretly digging (often at night) a cave or tunnel since 2016 in the Waikato region in northern New Zealand for evidence of the 8-foot tall giants that they believe have been found before in 16 locations. The website states that the group knows of four of these sites and, earlier this month, they found what they claim is part of a femur from what would have been a being 7'10" to 8'4" tall and lived 2500 years ago. (You can read the account and see a photo here.)

“But after viewing photos and a video of the bone, multiple experts told RNZ it likely belonged to a moa.”

Moa Heinrich Harder

RNZ reporter Susan Strongman has been reporting on the secret dig that has annoyed the landowner, who says they never asked permission, and archeologists and indigenous people, who say the hunters are not archeologists and risk harming historical artifacts and human remains. Strongman raised the heat on the group by revealing the name of one member -- Rodney Davidson, a reiki practitioner from Northland. In a response on the group website and on his Facebook page, he defended the hunt, criticized Strongman and admitted that the group has stopped looking in that area, so no one will ever know for sure in the cave has giant skeletons in it. He said they will continue their clandestine searches in the other caves whose locations are apparently still secret.

"Be aware that a Reiki protection is on the cave dig and has been since the start too. It has made it,s [sic] presence felt on at least two occasions to great benefit in fact. Abuse it in anyway and there will be a ' result ' ! I have no control over this so all your choice!"

Along with the warning that a reiki aura or shield is protecting the cave, Davidson also gave out her twitter and email addresses for his supporters to send their responses – supporters whose numbers he claims have risen since she broke the story.

Meanwhile, experts like Otago University associate professor of bioarchaeology Dr Siân Halcrow agree that the bone is probably from a moa (a large extinct flightless bird resembling the emu), there is no evidence of any humans or human-like species of any size on New Zealand prior to the Māori (thus, no evidence that the Māori killed them off – a popular but unproven theory), and any searches for pre-Polynesian giants are disconcerting.

"It does really highlight what some New Zealanders think, in terms of pre-Māori conspiracy theories, with really racist undertones. It's not grounded in fact, so people should be aware."

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Archaeologist Sian Keith told RNZ that archeologists seek evidence and are passionate and thorough, so talk of coverups and secrecy in his field are upsetting. That may be true among his own colleagues, but there are plenty of stories from Egypt, Central America and other archeology sites that would disagree.

As with any war of words, deep-seated beliefs, secrecy, conspiracy theories and conflicting information, this one is far from over.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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