“THE WEREWOLF OF DEFIANCE” and 3 More Strange True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

THE WEREWOLF OF DEFIANCE” and 3 More Strange True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

Find Weird Darkness on the free Spreaker app: https://www.spreaker.com/show/weirddarkness, or look for it wherever you listen to podcasts: https://linktr.ee/weirddarkness
Listen to ““THE WEREWOLF OF DEFIANCE” and 3 More Strange True Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: Defiance Ohio is a small town that reported a rash of werewolf sightings in the early 1970’s, and it’s a legend that still persists to this day. (The Werewolf of Defiance) *** What would happen if the First Lady of the United States disclosed that she believed she traveled with extraterrestrials to Venus? That’s exactly what happened to the First Lady of Japan! (First Contact With The First Lady) *** The island of Guam is well known for the part it played in World War II – but 120 miles northeast of Guam is the tiny island of Tinian, and while it too had a part in World War II, it also contains secrets millennia old of a people that might have existed before the oldest people recorded living there. (The Mysterious People Before Time) *** Robert Nelson had no professional background in medicine or refrigeration, he didn’t even have a college degree, but this everyday TV repairman found himself in the center of the cryogenics movement – and that’s when things started to get messy. (Cryogenics And The TV Repairman)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“Cryogenics And The TV Repairman” by Marco Margaritoff for All That’s Interesting https://tinyurl.com/yaowv6j6
“First Contact With The First Lady” from AncientCode.com: https://tinyurl.com/yxww2yv2
“The Mysterious People Before Time” by A. Sutherland for AncientPages.com: https://tinyurl.com/yyuzyu4g
“The Werewolf of Defiance” from ArmedWithSilver.com: https://tinyurl.com/y4zlhnxh (Defiance werewolf, Toledo Blade” newspaper articles: Article One= https://tinyurl.com/y3dtkx4v, Article Two= https://tinyurl.com/y2q2c8tl, Article Three= https://tinyurl.com/y5l89z25; Defiance werewolf, Crescent News” newspaper article:https://tinyurl.com/yya7vyku; “Werewolf Shamans In The Ancient Woodlands…” published paper:https://tinyurl.com/yxka58st)
Ohio Police Capture Drunken Local Werewolf” by Jack Dickey for Deadspin.com: https://tinyurl.com/y6rpckbv
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(Dark Archives episode from January 26, 2021)

00:18:31.320, 00:29:03.723,

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT…..

STORY: THE WEREWOLF OF DEFIANCE==========

July 25th, 1972. It’s 4am in Northwestern Ohio. The moon is nearly full and a railroad worker is connecting up train cars when he spots two huge, hairy paws on the ground and looks up. What he will later tell the police he saw will spark a brief but intense bout of hysteria in the small town of Defiance.

Defiance, Ohio, is located around 50 miles south of Toledo. The town enjoys warm summers and freezing, snowy winters. Notable people from Defiance include a 24-time World Horshoe Champion and actress Michelle Burke, who played Connie Conehead in the 1993 movie Coneheads. The town has a punk rock band named after it, Defiance, Ohio, and the City of Defiance website describes the town as “a great place to live”.

It was here where rumours of a man beast started circling in the summer of 1972. The story of the dogman of Defiance is always told in much the same way.

Railroad worker Ted Davis was on the Norfolk and Western train tracks near fifth street on July 25th when he encountered the creature. He was working when he spotted two large, hairy paws on the ground in front of him. He raised his eyes and saw a huge, hairy creature, 6-8 feet tall, hunched over slightly and wielding a large wooden board. The creature struck Davis on the shoulder before running off into the woods.

A few days later, on July 30th, Both Ted Davis and another railroad worker, Tom Jones, spotted the creature again. This time it was at a distance and they saw the beast crawling through some bushes. The thing ran away when it was seen and the men heard a scream coming from a nearby road in the direction that the creature had bolted.

The men reported these incidents to the local police, who began an investigation.

Less than a week after the initial encounter, a third sighting occurred. A grocery worker was driving home late one night when a large dog-like creature ran across the road in front of him.

These accounts were reported in two local newspapers, The Toledo Blade and Defiance Crescent-News. Once the story got out, people started feeling like the werewolf was behind every corner. A few frenzied reports of possible werewolf activity later and then just as suddenly as it started, the werewolf fever died down and the reports stopped.

The unusual thing that sets this sighting apart from other cryptid sightings of dogmen and werewolves was that these encounters were reported in newspapers and taken seriously by the police. While the police were not convinced that the assailant was a half-man half-dog creature, they did believe that there was likely somebody going around in a mask or costume trying to scare people.

Descriptions of the Dogman from various sightings describes it as:

  • Tall, between 6-9ft
  • Very hairy all over
  • Wearing dark blue jeans and a dark coloured shirt
  • Barefoot with large hairy paws and claws
  • Bipedal, but was often seen hunched over
  • “Ran from side to side like a caveman in movies” – Toledo Blade
  • Described as a man with an animal’s head, or like an upright wolf

The main sources used for the story are the articles published in the Toledo Blade on August 03, 1972. The first article, titled “Werewolf case in Defiance not viewed lightly by police”, written by James Stegall, used direct quotes from the witnesses to report the incident, although there are some inconsistencies even within this one article. If you’d like to read the articles though, I have links to them in the Essential Web Links section of the show notes.

The feature in the Blade stated early on that “one man, a train crewman switching trains, said that he was approached from behind and was struck on the shoulder”. This man they are referring to was Ted Davis, which we know despite the Blade saying that the police were not releasing the name of the witnesses at this point, because the other train crewman (Tom Jones) only saw the beast from a distance.

Later in the same article, however, The newspaper used another quote from Davis after writing “When he first confronted Mr Davis the creature ran away before he (Mr Davis) could say anything. “I was connecting an air hose between two cars and was looking down, I saw these huge hairy feet then looked up and he was standing there, with a big stick over his shoulder. When I started to say something he took off for the woods.” “. It is unclear, therefore, whether or not the wolf man actually assaulted Ted Davis or if it simply ran away after scaring the man.

The follow up article in the Blade was titled “Defiance Residents Suspicious of Their Werewolf” and goes on to say that most people in the area didn’t believe it was a werewolf, but rather a man in a costume or “Just some nut running loose“. This article also adds to the confusion by stating that “One man said it hit him on the shoulder with a board.“, again referring to the Davis incident, as this was the only reported close encounter with the creature.

There are also included interviews from some residents of Defiance in the area where the werewolf was reported to be seen, which gives us an idea of what the atmosphere at the time was like.

“Police were called to one woman’s house adjacent to the traintracks. She had not seen it, but reports about it put her “in a state of shock” “

“They say he has hair all over and he’s about 7 feet tall. From what I’ve heard I can say this guy is ugly as hell.”

“If I see him (the werewolf) the police are going to find out who he is. That’s because they’ll have to take him to the hospital to get the buckshot out.”

The Defiance Crescent-news, another local newspaper, also published a report on the sightings on August 2nd – I’ll link to this article in the show notes as well. Written by Ellen Armstrong, this news story took a less serious approach to the incidents, opening with a quote from the 1941 feature film “The Wolf Man” and suggesting the police may be “armed with silver bullets and sharpened stakes“.

This version also reported that “one man was attacked and struck on the shoulder with a two-by-four“, making it unclear if Ted Davis was indeed assaulted or not.

The Crescent-News made statements such as “Two of the incidents occurred last week and one last night. None has happened during a full moon.”, obviously intending to further question the legitimacy of the claims by poking fun at the idea of a werewolf running around, but the first incident took place on July 25th, 1972, The day before a full moon. The Blade also wrote “Ted Davis … Said that the large figure which they said was between 6 and 8 feet tall has appeared twice under a full moon” and quoted Ted Davis as saying “When we’re working in Defiance, the moon is full“.

The Crescent-news also reported 3 more minor “sightings” on the 4th of August but none of these complainants actually saw a werewolf and it seemed to just be the product of panic in the community. One woman reported scratching at her door, telling the police that if whatever it was got inside, she would shoot it. This highlights the panic and hysteria that some people experienced as a result of these sightings, yet there have been many other residents who said that they hadn’t heard anything about the werewolf, or had heard very little and weren’t concerned.

Most other sites that summaries the events of the 1972 sightings state that the first man was attacked and hit on the shoulder, or possibly on the head, with a 2×4. Several other sites also say that the other two sightings were in fact attempted attacks, but the witnesses managed to escape. These could both be the result of storytellers telling the most exciting version of a tale, but it’s not completely without grounds as both newspapers at the time did report an attack at least once.

Despite the hysteria around the sightings, by mid-August all signs of the werewolf had vanished and no more incidents were reported. Was this because a person in a costume became too afraid when there were threats of violence towards them, with residents suggesting that they would shoot a werewolf on sight if it were to approach them or their property? Or did a real dogman simply move on from this area.

Defiance was not the first or last town in Ohio to report a sighting of these elusive dogmen. In the follow up article about the Defiance werewolf there was a brief mention of a man, Harold Annon, having spotted an ape-like creature walking upright on River Road, north of Tiffin, a town about 70 miles east of Defiance. It was “Covered in hair with wolf-like ears and fangs“, 6-7ft tall, and hunched over. When the site was later checked, no signs of tracks or disturbed vegetation were seen. Was this another sighting of the dogman, misinterpreted as a large ape man?

An episode of Paranormal Witness titled The Cabin focused on the possibilities of werewolves in London, Ohio. Dogman Encounters is a website used to report dogman sightings in the USA and features several contributions from Ohio and most other states. What is suggested to be archeological evidence of werewolves has been found and written about in a paper titled “Werewolf Shamans in the ancient woodlands of the Eastern United States,” which I’ll link to in the show notes, and there have also been a few False Alarms – like this one from June 8th, 2011:

* * * * * * * * * *

OHIO POLICE CAPTURE DRUNKEN LOCAL WEREWOLF

People of the greater Cleveland area, we get it. You miss LeBron and you’re upset that he might win a championship. Noted. But that’s no excuse to let wolfmen roam free. This young 20 year-old wolfman is likely especially spry, and he claims to have a military background. If you’ve ever played discount video games, you know that combination is a red flag.

Here’s Fox 8’s story on the matter:

“Lorain County Sheriffs deputies had received a call of a man acting angrily and becoming violent with campers and animals. When deputies arrived at the scene, according to the report, they found Stroup passed out in a trailer. Deputies say Stroup smelled of alcohol and when he was eventually were able to wake him up, he began growling at them. Stroup was placed under arrest for underage consumption and told authorities that he had blacked out from drinking too much vodka that evening. According to the report Stroup went on to say that ever since he was scratched by a wolf in Germany he blacks out when the moon comes out and goes on the attack.”

The Morning Journal has more:

“Deputies found Stroup passed out inside a trailer filled with knives, swords and other edged weapons, the report said. When Stroup awoke, at first he only growled at deputies. When he spoke, his words were slurred and in a thick Russian accent. He told a deputy he was going to kill the deputy’s cousin Keith, but the deputy did not have a cousin named Keith, according to the report.”

Spooky, scary. Especially for you, Keith.

* * * * * * * * * *

Whether the dogmen are real or fictional, there have been many people who were inspired by the stories of them. The YouTube channel DOGMAN NARRATIVES is a channel that brings stories like this to life by animating and telling them in an entertaining narrative. The author Linda S. Godfrey has written several books on the subject of werewolves and other cryptids, and on August 4th, 2016, the first ever Dogman Symposium was organized by Ken Gerhard and featured several expert speakers on the subject of dogmen encounters.

BREAK==========

When Weird Darkness returns… Robert Nelson had no professional background in medicine or refrigeration, he didn’t even have a college degree, but this everyday TV repairman found himself in the center of the cryogenics movement – and that’s when things started to get messy. That story is up next.

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>

STORY: CRYOGENICS AND THE TV REPAIRMAN==========

In 1962, Bob Nelson was just an average TV repairman. But he did have one distinguishing characteristic: an odd obsession with the theory of cryonics.

Nelson, like all “cryonauts,” believed that humans could be frozen after they died and revived in a distant future where scientists had found a cure for aging. So together with a crew of enthusiasts he met at a convention, Nelson began to plan and execute his own cryonics program.

He soon found himself at the center of a nascent movement — and the crew managed to freeze its first man in 1967.

But how, exactly, a high school dropout with no scientific background reached such unprecedented heights is a story for the ages. Even though Bob Nelson wouldn’t quite accomplish what he set out to, his story is nonetheless like science fiction.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1936, Bob Nelson’s early life was rough. His father, Elvin Nelson, left before he was born and his mother was an alcoholic. Nelson’s stepfather, meanwhile, was a mobster named John “Fats” Buccelli who was imprisoned for the so-called $3 million Brinks Robbery in January 1950.

Nelson proved to be resourceful when it came to fixing 1960s television sets, but his real passion lay between the pages of Dr. Robert Ettinger’s seminal 1962 book, The Prospect of Immortality. Ettinger theorized that death was more like a disease than it was an inevitability and it could be cured. He added that a man could be frozen today and then thawed centuries into the future where the technology to achieve immortality existed.

Nelson was obsessed with this notion and he became president of his local Life Extension Society in Los Angeles in 1966. He even got to meet Ettinger before the doctor died of cancer and was cryonically frozen himself, which only proved to inspire Nelson more.

Nelson told This American Life in 2008 that when he heard an advertisement for the first meeting of the Suspended Animation Group, an organization that believed in cryonic freezing, “I remember going and thinking ‘I’m not going to be allowed in’ because I’m not a scientist… I went in and I came out voted president.”

And so in 1962, he became the president of the Cryonics Society of California (CSC). The nonprofit largely consisted of dreamers eager to be preserved in order to experience the idyllic future promised by 1960s science-fiction.

Unfortunately, nearly everyone involved in the venture was a complete amateur. Many of them were old or sick and thinking of their own deaths. Even the scientists that Nelson consulted were skeptical about the feasibility of cryonic preservation. Nonetheless, the organization found a volunteer in 1966.

That volunteer was a 73-year-old psychology professor named Dr. James Bedford. Before dying of kidney cancer, he agreed to have his body put on ice so that “experts from the Cryonics Society of California” could then process it for immediate freezing.

But Nelson’s group was not prepared for the undertaking. For one thing, Bedford’s cryonic capsule (or coffin), was still being built in Arizona when he died, so Nelson had no choice but to ask two “pothead friends” for help. Bedford’s body was literally put on ice collected from the freezers of neighbors to keep him from decomposing before the coffin could be finished.

“When we froze Bedford, man had never been on the moon, there had never been a heart transplant, there was no GPS, no cellphones,” Nelson recalled. “I called up and said, ‘I have a problem and I need your help.’ Sandra [Stanley] said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘I have this frozen guy and no place to put him and it’s going to be two or three weeks.’”

Nelson then drove a chilled Bedford stashed in the back of his truck to his friend’s place. “It was crazy. I look back at it now, and I think, ‘Oh my God.’”

Bedford was officially frozen when the coffin capsule was finished. He was injected with medical-grade antifreeze through the neck, oxygen was pumped through his system with a machine called an iron heart, and then he was placed into a coffin-shaped capsule filled with dry ice.

Despite the group’s inexpert efforts, the fad caught on and a thoroughly under-qualified Nelson quickly had his hands full.

Besides experience, Nelson’s organization lacked money. They were forced to freeze their subjects in dry ice and boxes lined with styrofoam. None of the few other organizations that existed in the field of cryonics even had doctors or morticians.

Nelson at least had the help of mortician Joseph Klockgether, who was responsible for injecting the bodies with the proper fluids and then storing three of those bodies packed in dry ice in his mortuary. But even he grew uncomfortable with their situation by 1969.

By May 1970, Nelson had purchased an underground vault in Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth outside Los Angeles. Here, he planned to preserve the bodies of nine volunteers all from the Society. These included Luis Nisco, Helen Kline, Steven Mandell, Pedro Ledesma, Russ Stanley, Mildred and Gaylord Harris, Marie Phelps-Sweet, and Geneviève de la Poiterie.

Marie Phelps-Sweet was the first woman to be cryonically preserved. She was followed by Geneviève de la Poiterie, an eight-year-old girl who died of cancer, who was the first child to be frozen. They were placed in one tank together, while two other tanks held four and three people each.

Across the decade, Nelson’s meager funding ran out and he constantly faced problems regarding ice replacement and irrigation. Cryonic subjects today are cooled slowly over a three-day period, but Nelson couldn’t afford such luxuries, nor had the medical know-how to even consider it.

In March 1979, Nelson locked the vault and walked away from the venture altogether.

Inside that Chatsworth cemetery he left nine bodies in liquid nitrogen capsules that, without regular maintenance, would melt and leave the bodies to decompose. The cemetery eventually covered the entrance to the vault with turf and denied having any records of it.

“When I did put the lock in the vault, I was heartbroken,” said Nelson. “I went out into the desert and had a ceremony and said goodbye to these people. I did the best that I could.”

He and his business partner, mortician Joseph Klockgether, were consequently sued by families of the (un)frozen for a total of $800,000. He later settled. “They [the prosecution] presented me as someone who was trying to start a new religion,” said Nelson. “Someone trying to bring back the dead. A brilliant attack. I couldn’t get over it.”

Mentally exhausted and financially drained, Nelson washed his hands of cryonics, moved, and changed his name.

Bob Nelson revisited his tumultuous life in cryonics in his 2014 memoir, Freezing People Is (Not) Easy. The premise garnered Hollywood’s attention, where a comedy film currently idles in pre-production.

As for the study of cryonics, in 2016, MIT graduate Robert McIntyre successfully  froze and revived a rabbit. The rabbit was revived with all of its synapses and cell membranes intact.

And as for the frozen body of Dr. Bedford, his body was moved several times before being rehoused by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in 1991. When he was first removed from Nelson’s care, he was found to be a miraculously “well-developed, well-nourished male who appears younger than his 73 years.”

The Alcor facility in California currently holds 148 frozen corpses. Only time will tell if Nelson was in over his head — or ahead of his time.

 

BREAK==========

When Weird Darkness returns:

The island of Tinian is almost invisible even on modern maps. But those who know their history know it was important to both the U.S. and its allies during World War II, as well as the Japanese – it was a prime spot for launching bombers from. But the history of Tinian goes back much further than that – to a time when there was no time, when people created large monoliths – and we still know almost nothing about these ancient of ancient people.

But first – in 2009 the First Lady of Japan was ridiculed for her belief not just in UFOs and extraterrestrials, but that she had actually met the aliens – and had even been taken to Venus in one of their spaceships. So why didn’t we hear about it? Surely something that outlandish would’ve made international headlines… right? That story is up next when Weird Darkness returns.

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>

STORY: FIRST CONTACT WITH THE FIRST LADY==========

What would happen if the First Lady of the United States disclosed that she believed she traveled with extraterrestrials to Venus? It would no doubt create quite the international media sensation, right? Well, that’s exactly what happened in the case of Japanese First Lady Miyuki Hatoyama. However, did you hear about it at all?

In 2009, then 62-year-old Miyuki Hatoyama, wife of Japan’s Prime Minister-elect, Yukio Hatoyama, came under scrutiny for what she wrote in a book entitled, “Very Strange Things I’ve Encountered.”

Hatoyama wrote about an experience that happened to her two decades before: “While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus,” she explains in the tome she published. “It was a very beautiful place, and it was very green,” she wrote.

The retired actress and author of cookbooks also claimed to recognize the actor Tom Cruise from another life. “I believe he’d get it if I said to him, ‘Long time no see,’ when we meet,” she said in an interview.

When she told her now ex-husband at the time, he told her it was probably just a dream. However, she said that her new husband, Yukio Hatoyama, would no doubt have reacted differently. The divorced singer and dancer met the multi-millionaire while working in a Japanese restaurant in San Francisco. They married in 1975. “My current husband has a different way of thinking,” she wrote. “He would surely say ‘Oh, that’s great.’”

Stanford University-educated Yukio Hatoyama, also 62 at the time, is the grandson of a former prime minister. According to Reuters, he earned the nickname “the alien” for his prominent eyes.

According to the Independent, the nickname comes from the couple’s unconventional approach:

“Though Mr Hatoyama is a multi-millionaire and the fourth generation of his family to rise to the top of the Japanese political world, his appearance is unconventional by rigid Japanese standards: his hair is unruly and he rejects the navy uniform of the political world in favour of suits of brown and moss green. It is this refusal to bow to convention, as well as his tendency to drop conversation-stopping remarks – like his call, during the election campaign, for a ‘politics full of love’ – that long ago led other Japanese politicians to dismiss him as an uchujin, an alien. Though not, presumably, the one who took Miyuki to Venus.”

One would think that this story about travels to Venus might have been more prominent in world news, but it seems to have barely made a blip on the radar. One reason may be that Japan’s approach to the idea of extraterrestrials is so different from western countries.

From the beginning, ancient stories tell of alien-like beings, including the ancient Dogu, alien-like figurines representing gods from the sky.

Ancient Aliens Season 12, Episode 14 explored this, and the primary religion of Japan called Shintoism. The beliefs connect Japan to a mystical past involving celestial beings called Kami.

In 2007, the Japanese government stated it “has not confirmed the existence of unidentified flying objects believed to have come from anywhere other than Earth.” Then Japan’s defense minister said there were “no grounds” to deny outright the existence of alien-manned UFOs.

BBC News reported that despite a lack of evidence “Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura later told reporters he believed they [UFOs] were definitely real.”

However, despite that admission that article noted: “Japan has not yet planned what to do should aliens arrive here.” “*A member of the opposition asked the government what its policy was to deal with UFOs. *He said work should begin urgently to try to confirm whether or not they exist because of what he called “incessant” reports of sightings. *The Japanese civil service swung into action.

In a statement it said that should a flying saucer be spotted in the country’s airspace, a fighter would be scrambled to attempt visual confirmation.”

By 2015, Defense Minister Gen Nakatani answered a question about UFOs during a budget session. He had a very different answer:

“When the Air Self Defense Force detects indications of an unidentified flying object that could violate our country’s airspace, it scrambles fighter jets if necessary and makes visual observation,” Nakatani responded earnestly. “They sometimes find birds or flying objects other than aircraft but I don’t know of a case of finding an unidentified flying object believed to have come over from anywhere other than Earth.”

STORY: THE MYSTERIOUS PEOPLE BEFORE TIME==========

Not every ancient civilization is as famous as the Egyptians, Romans, or the Maya, just to name a few. In a remote region of the world, there was once an interesting ancient culture that left behind intriguing stone structures. The location of their home was a small place, barely visible on our modern maps, but their legacy is of great historical value to those interested in unsolved ancient mysteries.

We enter a region few people are familiar with. We will be following in the footsteps of our ancestors and examine their myths, legends, unusual buildings and surprising knowledge of advanced ancient technology.

It was one of the key focus areas during World War II when the United States was fighting Japan and Tinian became one of the most important operational bases in the Pacific.

That’s how we remember this piece of land surrounded by the vast waters of Pacific Ocean.

Tinian is a small island in the Marianas group, located in the Central Pacific. Most of us know this place as it was described in history schoolbooks. Those dramatic events of World War II will forever remain an important part of Tinian’s history and heritage, but it is still only a part of this island’s long history and its neighbors in the Mariana group.

The most striking, prehistoric feature of Tinian are strange monoliths still standing today.

How long back does the history of Tinian go and how old are the monoliths that can be also found on other Mariana Islands?

The height of constructions “latte” varies widely, but the maximum is about 8 feet with the exceptions of the 16-foot high House of Taga on Tinian and the unfinished structure that would have been perhaps 18 feet high.

The inhabitants of the islands came to be known as the Chamorros. Their culture is very old and the name of its people is still applied to them.

Can we believe the “latte” were created by the ancient Chamarros themselves?

According to the official explanation the stone latte… “were created with two pieces; pillars and capstones carved from land and sea resources, including limestone and brain coral.

Basalt tools such as adzes were used to chip the stone while rubble was removed with wooden shovels and by hand…”

The largest latte can still be found on Tinian where some of these most intriguing columns measure more than eight feet in diameter with shafts in excess of twelve feet in height!

At the same time, it is said that the Chamorros, who lived in villages located along or in the vicinity of the coastline were fishermen and farmers.

“…They were expert outrigger-canoe builders and skilled as sailors. In fishing, they used nets, spears, and hooks and lines; they also gathered shellfish from the reefs. As farmers, they raised yams, taro, bananas, breadfruit, sugar cane, and coconut palms… Their tools were  “…of stone, shell, bone, and wood, for metal was unknown. After the first contact with European ships, iron was eagerly sought after. Pottery was extensively manufactured….” (Spoehr, A., Marianas prehistory: archaeological survey and excavations on Saipan, Tinian and Rota, 1957)

These ancient people were familiar with advanced technology that allowed them to produce perfect holes in stones.  Similar ancient stone with holes have been discovered Egypt, Syria, Sumatra and Malta.

The hardness of stone did not limit the ingenious skills of the prehistoric builders!

Large basalt mortars (so called lusongs) are found at several ancient sites throughout the Mariana Islands and are associated with the cultivation of rice.

However, the holes drilled in them are much older. Do they remember “before-time-people”?

Over an extended period of time, the remarkable pyramidal structures were apparently occupied by islanders who found them already standing there. The Chamorros (descendants of the ancient Chamorros) have never tried to take credits for relics from times long gone.

Instead, they ascribe the artifacts to the “spirits of the before-time people”.

“They were built by people who came to the island before them…” they say.

The ancient latte stones formed the base of the House of Taga, as they were named after one of the Chiefs of the Mariana Islands during the Pre-Spanish period.

What was the true, prehistoric name of the structures if they had any? No one knows this.

The unusual structures were described for the first time by Lord Anson during his long voyage around the world, 1740-1744.

“…there are in all parts of the island” he wrote. “… a great number of ruins of a very particular kind; they usually consist of two rows of square pyramidal pillars, each pillar being about six feet from the next; and the distance between the rows being about twelve feet; the pillars themselves are about five feet square at the base and about 13 feet high…”

Interestingly, in his accurate description of the structures, Lord Anson never mentioned the name “House of Taga”. Why?

Standing artifacts of Tinian Island must have belonged to an advanced society that existed long before the rise of ancient Chamorros, a distant and long-gone culture we know nothing about.

The ruins of the once magnificent ancient buildings were constructed with unknown prehistoric technology. How could our ancestors accomplish something so extraordinary? Once again we find evidence that our history books are missing an important story. This story could shed more light on our intriguing distant past.

The island of Tinian along with the Hawaiian Islands, Easter Island, Tahiti and thousands other rocky islands scattered throughout the Pacific may constitute the only surviving remnants of a great lost island that existed thousands of years ago.

As we know the vast area of the Pacific is full of ancient traces of a mysterious, prodigious culture that left impressive marks in form of ruins of ancient statues, temples, cyclopean walls, peculiar arches, columns and pyramids built with stones weighing 90 tons or more!

The monoliths known as stone latte are magnificent, intriguing, very unique and constitute an outstanding and ingenious work of unknown skilled craftsmen who lived on the island long before the Chamarros.

Why did those who constructed these building leave so many unfinished megaliths? These ancient giant stones are scattered all over the place. Why was the work abruptly stopped? Did the inhabitants fear something was threatening their existence?

Who were the builders of the structures and for what purpose were they erected? Despite many speculations, there has been little agreement on what they represent exactly.

The method of erecting the pyramidal pillars remains a matter of speculations. The use of wheel was long unknown in the region. No apparent method of lifting latte stones from quarries can be suggested.

The stone columns and capstones situated on top of the stone uprights, found on Tinian originate from a coastal quarry located about 4,000 feet south of the site. Several similar prehistoric quarries have been discovered on the island.

From there, the quarried stones were probably moved to the beach, loaded onto wooden rafts perhaps or other floating structures, transported by sea to other islands and then dragged several hundred feet inland to the erection site.

The precise use of these huge pillars, hewn from solid rock or reef coral, also remains a mystery.

Estimated “weight of a typical stone column is approximately 14 tons (!), assuming a 14-foot column length, 4.5 x 3.4-foot average plan dimension…” (W. N. Morgan, “Prehistoric Architecture in Micronesia”)

However, if we focus on some Pacific island legends, which have been long time concealed in oblivion and hidden in regional libraries, we learn that once upon a time, strange men lived on the islands.

They were great, strong, and powerful.  They could perform gigantic feats beyond those of the normal man…”  (Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library, 1971)

They prided themselves having tremendous physical strength and other superhuman abilities.

“…They are as large as giants, and of so great strength, that it has actually happened that one of them, while standing of the ground, has laid hold of two Spaniards of good stature, seizing each of them by one foot with his hands, and lifting them as easily as if they were two children…” (Thompson’s collection 1945, p. 8)

Who were the “Before Time People”? Were they really disembodied souls, demons or spirits? Who were “monstrous, ogre-like figures that lived on the islands? (Van Peenen 1974)

Apparently, they must have been there long before the Spaniards arrived. Was it a god-like race of giants who ruled the islands?

The puzzling pyramidal pillars with capstones on the Mariana Islands have a message left for future generations of humans and for us, today. This is the ancients’ undecipherable message in stone that we probably cannot decode. But have we ever tried?

Digging up the forgotten past is only for those who are ready to embrace truth, even an inconvenient truth.

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