Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 3 – Prehistoric Traditions of Giants and Mysterious Beings, Part Two
When I began to research the J.C. Brown mystery, I suspected that if any element of Brown’s story was true, there might be something in the historical record–or prehistoric lore of the region–that could help validate his claims.
Of all the mysteries I've explored around Mount Shasta I can't say that I've seen anything real, most of it is paranormal—I've never seen a real Lemurian, I've never seen any Lemurian artifacts, I've never seen a real UFO. But the J.C. Brown mystery is different, he might have actually found something real up here in the Crags which doesn't fit into our modern paradigm.
There's no question that Brown's tale has been embellished over the years, as all legends are, but to a certain extent the prehistoric lore of the region supports his claims.
I was as surprised as anyone to discover a great many traditions throughout California and the Pacific Northwest speaking about a fallen race of prehistoric giants, and a cataclysmic Flood which brought about their demise.
“Prehistoric legends of giants who lived in underground caves and tunnels are recorded in historical sources surrounding the Sacrament River and Castle Crags area, south of Mount Shasta.” Photograph © Dustin Naef 2016.
Castle Crag Legends
Around Mount Shasta, most of the legends about giants are concentrated around Castle Crags, and the Upper Sacramento River canyon. These are the areas where Brown would have been out prospecting, if he actually knew what he was doing.
- Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part I – The Legend of J.C. Brown
- Legends of Mount Shasta: The Abode of the Devil Part 2 – Castle Crags: Fortress of Giants
- Breaking Sacred Ground: The Confluence, and Disruption of the Balance of Origin Sites
Some versions of the Castle Crag's legends are eerily similar to the Paiute traditions written about by Sarah Winnemucca, in 1883.
“There are eerie parallels between the legends of the Si-Ti-Cah and the tales of giants who dwelled south of Mount Shasta. Inset: Skulls photographed over 30 years ago by Don Monroe claimed to be giants unearthed from Lovelock Cave.” Image Credit: Nevada BLM & alleged Lovelock Skulls photographed by Don Monroe (Fair Use).
They state that prehistoric giants used to live in underground tunnels and caves throughout the Castle Crags region, and stalked and preyed on Native Americans.
“North American giants are typically described as predatory, barbaric and violent 'wild-men' who preyed on weaker people, and eventually died out in the centuries following a catastrophic Flood.”
It is recorded in the historical record that when some northwestern Californian tribes first encountered Euro-American miners in the mountains, they wondered if these wild-looking, bearded men might possibly be the descendants of prehistoric giants who were returning to take over their lands.
Legends of Giants
Besides J.C. Brown’s claim of discovering the remains of giant skeletons, there are other tales documented in the historical record about unusually large skeletons being unexpectedly found in this region.
“A giant's grave was allegedly unearthed during building construction in the city of Redding, California, approximately 60 miles south of Mount Shasta.” Image Credit: Historical Photo – www.downtownredding.org.
A giant’s grave was allegedly discovered during excavation work being done in the City of Redding, California, by J.R. Murphy, who claimed to have uncovered a grave containing prehistoric relics and a giant skeleton, which was moved from the construction site and reburied in accordance with legal requirements. The skeleton was described as wrapped in a shroud of sugar-pine bark, which was still in good condition. It was noted that there were no sugar-pines nearer than the Pit River, indicating that the Indians had to journey far into the mountains to retrieve the bark. An arrow believed to be dipped in poison was removed from the skeleton by one of the workmen. The skeleton was a man reported to be nearly seven feet tall. His jawbone was wider than the length of Mr. Murphy’s forefinger; and his leg length from heel to hip was a foot longer than Mr. Murphy—who was himself described as a large man.
- The Lost Tribe of Clover Hollow – Oldest Civilization in the World Found in Appalachian Mountains?
- The Giants of Doddridge County: Burials of a Vanished Race – Part I
Despite the great number of legends about prehistoric giants in North America, material evidence so far remains scant—but that doesn’t necessarily prove that the legends are entirely untrue, or that we should stop looking into them, it just means that we haven’t yet fully explored all the possibilities in our own relatively short-term investigations of this mystery.
“Mysterious stone carvings hidden in the wilderness of the Castle Crags region could prove to be a clue in solving the mystery of J.C. Brown.” Photograph © Dustin Naef 2016.
In the conclusion to this series of articles, we’ll visit a mysterious site secluded in the Crag’s wilderness which I believe may be connected to the J.C. Brown mystery, and where he might possibly have found the giant’s tunnel if it does, in fact, exist…
Top Image: Castle Crags, Photograph © Dustin Naef 2016
By Dustin Naef
Dustin Naef (2016). Mount Shasta's Forgotten History & Legends.