THROUGHOUT cultures all over the world, there have long been legends of giants living amongst us, colossal beings that our ancestors saw and even worshipped, but these creatures seem to have been lost to time and regulated to pure myth. Yet is there any chance that true giants really did exist at some point? There have been many theories of this and even supposed evidence dug up from time to time in the form of bones or even full skeletons of giants, and one of the most sensational such claims of its time was made on a tiny island lying just off the coast of California. Was this land once roamed by real giants?
Lying just off the coast of the U.S. state of California, around 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles, is the quaint Santa Catalina Island, also called simply Catalina Island. The 22 mile by 8 mile island is part of the Channel Islands archipelago and incorporated into Los Angeles County, and it also has a rather colorful history. Originally settled by the Gabrielino/Tongva tribe of Native Americans in around 7000 BC, the island was claimed by Spain in 1542 and later it passed into the possession of Mexico and after that to the United States. Catalina Island was long used as a base of operations for a variety of nefarious sorts, including smugglers and otter poachers, until it was eventually turned into a tourist resort in the 1920s by the tycoon William Wrigley, Jr., of the chewing gum empire. Although the island is now a popular tourist destination and frequently visited by vacationers from nearby Los Angeles, which lies only an hour boat ride away, there is another odd facet of the island’s history that mos
t people may be unaware of.
In 1896, a 15-year-old boy named Ralph Glidden, moved to Catalina Island with his family, where he would go on to find work as a carpenter before developing a burgeoning interest in the various Indian artifacts and middens and burial sites to be found scattered about the Channel Islands after he purportedly stubbed his toe on a human skull while looking for pearls on San Nicolas Island. He then became obsessed with such things and became an amateur archeologist of sorts, going on to organize numerous excavations to uncover ancient burial sites on Catalina Island between the years of 1919 and 1928.