giants of the Pacific islands:
- The old men told me legends of giants but
I did not believe that they could
at Nan Madol where skeletons
of giants are said to have been found
"Terry" Dahl sailed his small yacht alone from Norway
to the Pacific Ocean, starting in Oslo in 1983. For four years
he sailed between seldom visited islands until Coco Loco was
run into by a ship in Solomon Islands. The old men on the
islands loved to tell him their old legends about giants.
Terje thought they were interesting but believed they were
fairytales like the trolls of the Norwegian
mountains. But now - so many years later - he is wondering
if the legends could be rooted in facts!
When I was sailing my yacht Coco Loco from one remote island
to another in the Pacific the old men always called me to
their house to have a chat. Very often they would tell me
their old legends, and I told some of the Norwegian fairytales.
I was not interested of giants in
those days. I liked better to learn about the old way of living
on the islands; their traditions and culture. But so many
times the conversations ended up with legends, and their legends
almost always involved giants. And I soon realized that the
islanders all over the Pacific, and not only the old men,
believed that the giants had lived. Their legends about them
were not fairytales but true stories! Yes, it used to be the
duty of the old men to teach their children the legends because
the stories were their history books.
I did not, unfortunately, write down
all the legends I was told. For me they were just fairytales
like those about the trolls in Norway. I did not at that time
realize that so many legends have a root in the real happenings;
but had been changed quite lot by being passed from person
to person through what might be hundreds of years.
stone gods of Marquesas Islands and Tahiti
The first island where I cast anchor in the South Pacific
(after crossing the Atlantic Ocean, going through the Panama
canal and stopping briefly on Galapagos Island) was Hiva Oa
in the Marquesas islands. Here most yachties coming from Europe
did their immigration clearance to French Polynesia instead
of sailing to Tahiti; and no wonder after a about a month
did not, as far as I remember, talk with any old men about
their legends on Hiva Oa but I had a look at some of the of
old statues of stone.
In Panama I had found my countryman
Thor Heyerdahl's book
"Fatu-Hiva - Back to Nature" (1974) in a second
hand shop, and during the crossing I had been reading it.
He and his young wife Liv had settled down in the jungles
of Fatu Hiva, but had become sick and had travelled to
Oa to see a doctor.
arriving Fatu Hiva
Heyerdahl's hut stood
Heyerdahl became interested
in the ancient stone statues on the island and old chief Tei
Tetua on Fatu Hiva later told him that they depicted his ancestors;
white skinned people that had come from a dry, hot country
in the east. This was the very start of Heyerdahl theories
of migration in the Pacific. He later saw
very simular statues in South America and heard stories about
a white skinned and bearded sun God that had come from another
land in the east and later sailed out into the Pacific: Kon-Tiki.
"Tiki" is also what the
islanders of Marquesas Islands have been calling their statues
for centuries. They are also said to depict Gods.
I took a picture of an ancient stone statue called Tiki Takai'i
on Hiva Oa. It is about 2.50 meter tall and has six fingers.
I sailed to Fatu Hiva and saw simular statues there. I also
visited the place where Heyerdahls hut had been standing on
an ancient stone platform.
Tahiti is the main island in French
Polynesia and outside the Paul Gauguin museum in the capital
Papeete I saw a stone statue simular to those of Marquesas
Islands. It is also about 2.50 meter tall and has six fingers.
learned that it came from the island of Raivavae in the Austral
Islands and that the men that were ordered to move the statue
to Tahiti had been terrified the spirit of the God should
harm them (some are said to have died)! I took a picture and
touched the statue but I did not feel any fear!
The stone walls and fish traps of Huahine
my way to American Samoa I stopped on another of the outer
islands of French Polynesia: Huahine. I rented a scooter and
motored around the island - and were impressed by ancient
fish traps and platforms/walls of stone. I wondered if the
Polynesians of the island had made this because the people
seems to have no traditions in building in stone but I did
not ask anybody, as far as I remember. I have now learned
that the legends say that a demigod, the giant Hiro, was the
man behind many of the structures, Yes, his gigantic canoe
had even cut the island in two!
wall at Huahine
gigantic footprint in Samoa
and Moso's footprint
On the outer island of Sawaii in Samoa I heard the legend
about a giant called Moso; and I found the way to what is
said to be his footprint; on the north-west coast of the island.
"May Moso eat you!" is an
expression you can hear even today, when people quarrel or
parents are scolding their children. Moso hat is said to have
jumped from Samoa to Fiji - and his footprint is where he
took off (you will find simular footprint in Fiji where he
landed). A tribe of giants, the Hiti, is said to have lived
in Samoa before a great flood.
Giant footprints in a lagoon in Tuvalu
yacht Coco Loco and I visited the outer atoll of Nanumea in
the small polynesian country of Tuvalu.
and footprints in the lagoon of Nanumea
The people showed me the "footprints"
after a giant in the shallow water close to the beach in the
lagoon: Four deeper and somewhat circular areas a in the coral-reef
where he should have landed after fighting with another giant
in the sky. The prints were after his feet and hands.
footprints and old gods of Kiribati
I had before I left Norway read the book "The Stones
of Kiribati" by Erich von Däniken and I thought
it would be fun to find the large footprints and graves he
has seen in the village of Banraeaba on Tarawa, the main atoll
found the village and it discovered what was said to be footprints
of a giant, his wife and children in a schoolyard. They all
had six toes. The largest footprint was about one and a half
meter long and an early missionary had planted a coconut palm
in the middle of the footprint to try
to make the people forget their old un-Christian believes.
The kids were not afraid but just played on top of them and
had great fun showing them to the white man. A few years earlier
nobody would have dared gone near the footprint, they were
considered to be sacred and taboo.
foot and footprint
Von Däniken was also shown a
5 meter long grave in where a giant was said to buried, but
he was unable to examine it. I did not manage to find the
grave, but was later shown an open space in the bush that
was very dangerous to visit because of the spirits the old
I sailed to the outer atoll of Butaritari
and a man named Baraniko befriended me and took me to his
house. His father-in-law was an old man named Kauriata. He
told me that Butaritart had visits of giants in the older
days. They could fly through the air and were so tall that
they had to bend the coconut-palms away where they walked.
I told Kauriata about the Norwegian
mythological gods of Valhall, that they had a pig called Særimne.
That the gods cooked the pig and ate all the meat, but that
the meat had grown back the nest morning. Kauriata
shook his head in surprise and told me it was almost the same
with their old gods: they had a special fish. They ate the
meat on one side, turned the fish around and ate the other
side. When they turned the fish around again the meat had
grown back! So they just kept on turning the fish!
giant princess of Marshall Islands
fishing net at Lae
On the small outer atoll of Lae in Marshall Islands I was
told an old legend of a huge, hollow cylinder of timber that
came drifting across the ocean a long, long, long time ago.
The cylinder drifted ashore on Lae
and there were giants inside. They islanders were very afraid
of them, but since the giants were weak from drifting across
the ocean the villagers managed to kill them.
They then discovered that one of
the giants they had killed was a princess, and they regretted
what they had done. So even today the islanders throw a piece
of food in the water to ask forgiveness when passing by the
islet where the giant princess is buried; when they go out
the passage for fishing in the ocean.
I went fishing with the islanders
in a open boat and they told me the legend when we came close
to the islet. We went ashore and they showed me the place
where the princess should have been buried in the bush but
it was not marked in any way. When we sailed out the passage
one of the men threw some pieces of bread in the sea as an
The mysterious ruins of Nan Madol in Micronesia
the island of Pohnpei (Ponape) in Federated States of Micronesia
(FSM) there are some very interesting ruins called
Nan Madol. I visited them two times when I sailed Coco Loco
from island to island.
in Nan Madol canal
and Nan Madol wall
This "ancient city of stone"
is built on nearly 100 artificial islets with tidal canals
between them; situated on the south-eastern side of the island.
Bones of giants have supposedly been found both inside the
ruins and also in the dense forest on the adjacent larger
The local people of Pohnpei were
afraid of the mysterious place and said it was full of ghosts
and bad spirits.
One legend says that it was two young twins,
Olsihpa and Olsohpa, that had made Nan Modol. And they did
it on one single one night by making the stones fly. Well,
this would have made it more easy to transport the basalt
logs from the on the other side of the island, because some
of them are 50 tons or more; to too heavy to have been transported
on bamboo rafts as mainstream researchers say!
Olisihpa and Olosohpa were said to
have come from far away across the ocean and they were much
taller than native islanders. Their offspring with the local
women became the chiefs of the island, the Saudeleur.
of the sailing but more gigantic adventures in the Pacific!
Loco was run into and damaged beyond repair by a ship in the
Solomon Islands in 1987. I took plane to Norway to see family
and friends - and to publish a book about my adventures. But
I had a return ticket in my wallet - I was not ready to leave
the islands and the people of the Pacific!
Sonia and Terje
After three months in Kiribai I travelled
on to Tuvalu - and met a girl on the outer island of Nukulaelae.
"I am getting married - are you coming?" was the
telegram to my parents. They came in time for the wedding
and they also visited the house Emma Toematagi and I were
building in local style on a uninhabited island on the coral-reef,
three kilometres across the lagoon from the village of about
grave of the giant Tevalu
grave of Te Valu
I enjoyed the simple island life on our island: Fishing, growing
a few vegetables in the sand and feeding our chicken and pigs.
And after two years we got a daughter, Sonia.
One day a father and son archaeological
team from Japan came to Nukulaelae. They wanted to dig in
the middle of the main village but I told them that in the
old days the village was on one of the other islets, Niuoko.
Nobody was living on Niuoko anymore,
but in the bush the Japanese were shown a overgrown grave
in the dense bush. It was very large; about 3.5 meters long
and 1.5 meter wide.
The islanders agreed that it had to
be the grave of Tevalu (Te Valu). A very old legend (as told
by my father-in-law and another old man on Nukulaelae) said
that he had been a giant that had lived on this islet. Tevalu
was a bad giant, he used to snatch children playing on the
beach; kill and eat them.
The legends said that two brothers,
who aimed at his eyes with their fishing-spears while he was
sleeping, finally managed to kill Tevalu.
The islanders first wanted the archaeologists
to open the grave, but then changed their minds: It was too
dangerous! And a violent storm the same evening convinced
them that they in the future should not make any attempt to
disturb the grave of Tevalu!
giant kings of Tonga
and the backrest
Salote in London
of Fiji, 2.30
was not so easy for us to get permanent permission to live
in Tuvalu, even if I was marred to Emma, and at one stage
we had to leave the country to re-apply for our visas. We
travelled to Tonga, where I had never been before.
Ha'amonga'a Maui is a stone trilithon
on the main island of Tongatapu. It is constructed from three
coral limestone blocks. It is about 5 meters high, almost
1.5 meters wide and almost 6 meters long. The
legends say that the trilithon was made by the demigod Maui
because no ordinary islander would be able to carry and construct
a kind of gate of such heavy stones. One legend says the stones
are from the from Wallis Island about 600 kilometers away
and that Maui brought them to Tonga in a giant canoe.
Just some meters away from the trilithon
is a standing stone called "Maka faakinanga". The
meaning is "stone to lean against" and is said to
serve as a backrest for the king. Well, to use this stone
as a backrest he must have been extremely tall!
The royal family of Tonga used to
be proud of descending from the giant gods, and they kept
their blood by marrying within the family. They are still
very tall; king Tupou IV who died in 1996 was 2 meters tall
and his mother Queen Salote just ten centimeters shorter!
Yes, many of the chiefly families
of the South Pacific can trace their family back to the giants
and some have reddish hair as the giants supposedly had. They
are often very tall and it also seems common that they are
more European looking with lighter skin, even if they can
trace their families back to long before the explorers arrived.
Not giants but climate refugees
loved our island-life but suddenly something unexpected happened:
We got cyclones with waves that tried to wash us to the sea.
In Tuvalu - a country that is too close to equator to have
cyclones. Well, there are no mountains to climb on the flat
atolls of Tuvalu - and we had our little daughter. We moved
to Norway in 1995. And was called "the world's first
climate refugees" by media all over the world.
Olav, Terje and Sonia
But Norway was too cold for us and
too far away from our friends and family in Tuvalu so after
some years we decided to try to move to Australia. And this
time we also had a son: Olav.
tribe of ancient giants in New Zealand
staying in New Zealand to apply for our permanent resident
visas to Australia I contacted Martin Doutré, an american
born privat researcher that for many years had studied what
he believes is pre-Polynesian structures.
He showed me carved large stones
and shaped hills but explained that the mainstream scientists
refused to even have a look at what he had found. One of the
reasons might be that the Maori of New Zealand today refutes
that there were anybody living in New Zealand before they
arrived even if many of their legends tells about the people
that was there before them like the tribe of giants called
Te Kahui Tipua; most probably because it is big money involved
when it come to the traditional ownership of land.
Martin also told me about a
female archaeologist who used to be a close friend of him.
She had been working in the USA, and one day they dug up giant
bones. All of a sudden the us-army turned up and the archaeologists
were ordered to dig the bones down again and say nothing about
what they had found. Well, later she happened to tell Martin
about it and he put the story on his web-pages. The woman
lost her job - and Martin a friend.
always wanted to see the giant statues of Easter Island
have always have wanted to travel to Easter Island to see
the giant statues there. But I have never had the chance or
enough money. But it was when I did some research on the statues
("moai") to write an article for Norwegian internet
magazine Sydhav ("South Seas") that I discovered
that some of them had six fingers. Strange.
Thor Heyerdahl of the Kon-Tiki fame,
who led his first archaeological expedition to Easter Island
in 1955-1956 had noticed the same on one statue but decided
unimportant. A pity, because he should have seen that some
of the simular looking stone statues he took pictures of in
San Augustin in Colombia
in South America also had six fingers!
Well, I thought it was very strange
that old stone statues should have six fingers, and guess
what I discovered; so did many ancient statues all over the
One legend on Easter Island is telling
that the first people on the island had come over the ocean
from west while another is telling that they had come from
a hot and dry land in the east. They should have been 7 ½
to 8 ½ feet tall (2.30 to 2.60 meters) - survivors
after a world wide catastrophe.
Roggeveen, the Dutch explorer, was th e
first European to sight and visit the island; on Easter Sunday
in 1722. He wrote that there were three distinct groups of
people on the island; dark skinned, red skinned, and very
pale skinned people with red hair.
explorer captain James Cook visited Easter Island in 1774,
and his seamen described that some of the people on the islands
were so tall that they could walk upright between their legs.
I have written, so far, about 20 Norwegian
articles about Easter Island because the mysteries
of the statues and the legends might give a clue to who these
tall people where.
No large bones has, as far as I know,
ever been found on the island, and just a few Caucasian-looking
New DNA-testing of chicken, sweet
potatoes and people has showed early contact between Easter
Island and South America. The resin on a mummy from Peru shows
early contact from the west - all the way from Papua New Guinea!
say something about the future you must know the past"
The DNA-testing had shown that Thor Heyerdahl's
theories about migration were not the wild fantasies some
mainstream scientist claimed.
Heyerdahl never mentioned giants, and I
guess that was wise; it was a very complicated puzzle he was
trying to put together and to bring in giants would have made
people believe that he totally had lost his wits. Especially
in a country where giants just are trolls of the fairytales!
But we know that Thor Heyerdahl came everywhere across legends
of white skinned and blond giants that often were called Gods
- and he followed the traces after them all the way from the
Pacific islands to the Caucasus Mountains! He called them
Thor Heyerdahl was first of all was
a scientist, and he lead archaeological expeditions all over
the world up til he died in 2002. His main goal was to research
on our cultural origins and he always had a team of well-respected
archaeologists with him.
and Six Fingers
All over the Pacific I had heard legends of giants and was
surprised that the islanders always claimed them to be true
stories and not fairytales. But I did not try to figure out
if there could be any truth to the legends before I discovered
that so many ancient statues had six fingers! And that the
very often depicted local Gods and that also were very tall
- what we can call giants!
I made two web-pages under my Sydhav-domain
to learn more, Giants
Fingers. And I have learned a lot about giants and
can no longer doubt that a race of very tall humans have lived:
Two of the world's most renowned researchers
on ancient human species, professor Abesalom Vekua and professor
Lee Berger, are convinced that humans have been through a
period of gigantism. They can even show us bones after them!
But this was long time ago: Vekua
says the bones found in the Borjomi Gorge is at least 25.000
years old and Berger says that the tall
human race in South
Africa lived for about 300.000 years
are the bones?
the legends in the Pacific about giants cannot be that old,
can they? And where are the proof - where are the bones after
the giants on the islands?
grave? Nan Madol
Well, Rotuma is an isolated island
far north of the main islands in Fiji, and during the Second
World War coast watchers shall have uncovered shin bones over
1 meter long, and other soldiers shall also have found caves
filled with giant human bones. No bones remain today, but
two bones after one giant shall have been kept for people
to see until quite resent time. You can see what is said to
be graves of giants, looking like dolmen; made with large
tell that giant bones were found in Nan Madol of Pohnpei,
but no bones are on display. The story goes that the German
governor Victor Berg in 1907 defied a royal ban, opened a
sealed tomb of former rulers and found skeletons two to three
meters tall. A wild storm ensued and the next morning the
In Kiribati and Tuvalu there are some
very large and old graves after what is said to be giants
but the people are afraid and will not let anybody open them.
In Tonga you can see the large pyramidal
tombs of ancient kings/gods, so called "lagi" ("heaven")
but they are not allowed to be touched/excavated.
Many of the pyramidal structures and
standing stones that you could/can see on Tahiti, Raiatea,
Huahine and so many of the islands in the Pacific are connected
to legends of giants: Often they are said to have been their
graves or temples. But again: No bones.
The same goes for New Zealand. It
has been written that some people living less than three hundred
years ago were very tall and it is a fact that people in the
families of these giant Gods are tall still today. According
to the local newspaper, a very large skeleton was found about
7 feet below the surface on the Saltwater Creek spit, Timaru
south of Christchurch, in 1875. But - the bones are gone.
at Thor Heyerdahl
Mainstream scientists once laughed at Thor Heyerdahl's migration
theories. And it is first these days, through DNA-testing
of sweet potatoes, chicken and people, that we start to understand
that Heyerdahl was a brilliant scientist and not only the
said that the legends more often are ancient history books
than fairytales. More
and more often the archaeologists discover that the places
and event described in legends in fact did exist.
just have to understand that the stories have been changed
over time, that they had a different view of the world than
we have today and that they used other words to describe what
they saw and experienced!
of course, the world might have changed too!
So many legends, from all over the
world, tell that the giants were survivors of a global cataclysm.
The books have always told us that we have had no such world
wide catastrophes but this view seems to
Something definitely happened about 12.000 years ago; evidence
clearly shows that we had a global climate change, with a
mass extinction where almost half of the earth's animals died
What happened? Well, there is physical
evidence that a comet hit our planet at the end of the last
ice age, so this could be the culprit. But Robert M Schoch,
famous for dating the Great Sphinx to a much older date than
previously believed, asks if solar outburst could have caused
strong electrical discharges that hit Earth; melting glaciers,
cause water to evaporate and then precipitate as torrential
rain. He believes that the melting of ice sheets kilometres
thick would release pressure on the crust and cause catastrophic
earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity around the globe.
Thor Heyerdahl asked me on the phone if we humans might have
gone extinct almost to the last man, one or several times.
And he wondered if we could have been the culprits ourselves,
as so many legends and religious scriptures say. Well, I have
in another article asked if the Denisovans, a newly discovered
archaic human race, could have had been first giant kings
of Egypt, and if their advanced technology "capsized"
The legends of Egypt tells about several
periods for humanity. "Zep Tepi" ("First Time"),
was founded by "Builder Gods" who came from an island
that sank during a catastrophic flood. They recreated civilisation
You will find same all over the world.
And many places, like old Mesopotamia, the time before the
catastrophe is called "Golden Age". This was a time
of peace and prosperity, with food enough for all without
farming. It was a time when the Gods walked among the people.
And these Gods were giants.
Scratched the surface
have just scratched the surface when it comes to legends of
giants in the Pacific, because I have only looked into the
few examples where I have personal experience.
Of course it seems silly to believe
that four hollows in a lagoon can be from a giant falling
from the sky, but so many legends tells that the giants could
fly. Might be they had a technology that made flying easy
without the need for a large plane? And the footprints in
Kiribati do not have been set in stone by the giant's and
his family's feet but made with tools by people who wanted
to remember/show how big the giants were! The legends have
root in reality but it might have been in a reality different
to what we experience today!
To understand the legends of giants
in the Pacific and else I believe that we must take a closer
look at all the megaliths all over the world - from ancient
statues to dolmen and pyramids. It is hundred of thousands,
might be millions, of them; and so often we have no good explanation
on how they were made, by who and what they were for. Were
they made by a race of humans that had a more advanced technology
than we have today - were they made in a hidden time we just
have started to uncover - was the Golden Age real?
© Terje Dahl
do you think?
have the following comments on your article about
the giants of the Pacific":
are the ideas, thoughts and facts our readers have sent in:
I write to thank you for a wonderful
website concerning history of Giants. I am from the
Marshall Islands and there is also ancient folklore
stating that our islands were dropped from a Basket
by a Giant. This story is found in German Anthropology
(Augustin Kramer is one of them) and is also a famous
folklore. One island specifically Namdrik Atoll which
you can look up is described as being dropped from a
Giant and stepped on by a Giant and that's how it got
its shape. If you look at the shape of Namdrik Atoll,
it literally looks like a Heel of a foot. Our story
of our origins pertaining to a Giant Race is also found
in parts of Micronesia.
Very interesting info from your
visits in the Pacific with the giants' tombs and legends.
By the way, I'm also a great fan of the brilliant scientist
Thor Heyerdal. The subject of a giant race is real info
and factual. But the officials and too many mainstream
archeologists and anthropologists are lying to the public
about these facts! They are so afraid of loosing their
power/control over peoples' minds. One day everybody
will know the truth! Keep up your good work Terje!
Very interesting article, are
you still living in Australia? I am a New Zealand researcher
and former civil engineer and have been studying megaliths
around the Pacific and the world for that matter. My
theory, which I shouldn't claim as mine because its
been around for a while, is that there was indeed a
great flood as all cultures seem to recall and most
likely around 12000 years ago. I believe a lot of these
structures are remnants of this civilization which have
since been reclaimed by locals and graffiti'd with their
names. Of course through my studies I have also come
by many tales of giants and white races also.
I believe the most challenging
evidence we have against the current history taught
by science is the structures throughout the Oceania
region, along with well documented "advanced"
stone cutting and fabrications found around the rest
of the world. Oddly, there too seems to be a systematic
ignorance for people to fund studies into this. My theory
which is a conspiracy theory of sorts is because the
technology used was so advanced and if re-discovered
would put a lot of businesses out of profit, but would
make a much happier world.
There is a very old and
almost eradicated book here in New Zealand that speaks
of two mythical races. The faery race, which some would
call the Patupaiarehe which is a Celtic or Norse like
race, but another they call in this book the Twighlight
people. The twighlight people, were very tall and came
from the stars. Aliens or Gods? It is hard to say.
The Timaru remains were documented
in the papers but another case harder to find are caves
near port Waikato. Rumors I have heard say that the
caves there were sealed off because it was dangerous,
but this was only shortly after a whole bunch of giant
skeletons were found up there. There should be some
trace of this on the internet left anyway.
Come on with more comments, folks!