Lovelock Cave

Lovelock Cave: A Tale of Giants or A Giant Tale of Fiction?


The Paiutes, a Native-American tribe indigenous to parts of Nevada, have an oral tradition that they told to early white settlers of the area about a race of red-haired, white giants or ‘barbarians’ that their ancestors referred to as the “Si-Te-Cah.”  The story was written down in 1882 by Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, daughter of a Paiute Indian chief in her book Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims .  These “giants” were described as being vicious, unfriendly and cannibalistic.  In this story, the Paiutes speak of a great battle that took place which led to their extermination at site known today as Lovelock Cave.  During the early part of the 20th century archaeologists found thousands of artifacts inside this cave leading to a lengthy excavation of the site and leading to some speculation that the Paiute legend was real.

Sarah Winnemucca, Paiute Writer and Lecturer, alongside her father and Chief Poito Winnemucca of the Paiute Natives in Nevada. Circa 1882.

Sarah Winnemucca, Paiute Writer and Lecturer, alongside her father and Chief Poito Winnemucca of the Paiute Natives in Nevada. Circa 1882. ( Wikimedia Commons )

“Si-Te-Cah” or Saiduka literally translates as “tule-eaters” in the Northern Paiute language.  The tule is a fibrous water plant, which according to legend, the giants wove into rafts to escape attacks by the Paiute.  They used the rafts to navigate across what remained then of Lake Lahontan, an ancient lake that once covered most of northern Nevada during the last ice age. As the Paiute tale goes, after years of warfare, all the tribes in the area joined together to rid themselves of the Si-Te-Cah.  One day, as the tribes chased down the last remaining red-haired giants, they took refuge in a cave.  The Paiutes demanded their enemy come out of the cave and fight, but the giants refused.  The coalition of tribes proceeded to shoot arrows at them while starting a large fire at the mouth of the cave.  The smoke drove out a few who died in a hail of arrows while the rest were all either burned alive or asphyxiated.  Over time, the entrance to the cave would collapse leaving it accessible only to bats and cut off from human contact.

Lovelock Cave, known also as Bat Cave, Horseshoe Cave, Sunset Guano Cave and Indian Cave is located 20 miles south of modern day Lovelock, Nevada.  It’s a very old cave that pre-dates humans on the continent and in prehistoric times was underneath Lake Lahontan.  In 1886, a mining engineer from Lovelock named John T. Reid was told of the legend by local Indians, who took him to the site to prove it existed.  Reid was unsuccessful in getting an archeological dig started immediately but two miners, James Hart and David Pugh, realized the value of guano as an ingredient of gunpowder, and created a company to start digging it out in 1911.  They stripped a layer of guano from the cave approximately three to six feet deep, using a pick and shovel with little regard to the artifacts, and shipped some 250 tons of it to the Hawaiian Fertilizer Company in San Francisco. 

The outside of Lovelock Cave

The outside of Lovelock Cave ( Wikimedia Commons )

Alfred Kroeber, founder of the University of California Anthropology Department was contacted by Hart and Pugh when they reported finding prehistoric artifacts.  This spurred the first archeological dig of Lovelock in 1912 led by L.L. Loud also of the University of California.  A second dig took place in 1924 and after finishing the excavations, Loud collaborated on a report that was published in 1929.  What L.L. Loud found was nothing short of amazing.  Approximately 10,000 archaeological specimens were uncovered including tools, bones, baskets, and weapons.  According to the report, 60 average-height mummies were unearthed.  Duck decoys (among the oldest known in the world with feathers still attached) and a sandal over 15 inches long were excavated.  A donut-shaped stone with 365 notches carved along the outside and 52 corresponding notches inside was found, which some scientists believe is a calendar.  Interestingly, radiocarbon dating done on follow up visits found vegetable material dating back to 2030 B.C., a human femur dating to 1450 B.C., human muscle tissue dating 1420 B.C., and basketry dating back to 1218 B.C.  Archaeologists concluded from this that human occupation of Lovelock cave, by this culture, started in 1500 B.C.  Today's anthropologists call the people who lived in the area the Lovelock Culture with the Period lasting some 3,000 years.  Many archaeologists believe that the Lovelock Culture was replaced by Northern Paiutes.

Pictures are some Duck Decoys, circa 400 BC – AD 100, they are on display at the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institute.

Pictures are some Duck Decoys, circa 400 BC – AD 100, they are on display at the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institute. ( Courtesy of Ernest/Amoroso .)

There is some debate as to the veracity of the claims made regarding the Lovelock Giants.  During the initial excavations, there were reports of mummified remains being found of two red-haired giants—one, a female 6.5-feet tall, the other male, over 8-feet tall. However, no such evidence remains.  In Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins book, Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims , she does not mention giants but does refer to ‘barbarians’.  Skeptics claim that chemical staining by earth after burial was a likely reason why mummified remains have red hair instead of black, like most Indians in the area.  A study done at the University of Nevada indicates the “giants” were about six feet tall, and not up to 8 feet tall as had been claimed.  

Image of the Natives fighting off the Red Haired Giants at the Lovelock Cave, Nevada.

Image of the Natives fighting off the Red Haired Giants at the Lovelock Cave, Nevada. (

To others, the uncovering of 15” sandals at Lovelock Cave is proof enough that the Paiute tale is real.  In an article published in the Nevada Review-Miner in 1931, in February and June of that same year, it was reported that two very large skeletons were found in the Humboldt dry lake bed near Lovelock, Nevada.  One measured 8.5-feet tall and was later described as having been wrapped in a gum-covered fabric similar to Egyptian mummies.  The other was supposedly nearly 10-feet long.  Some other evidence for the Lovelock Giants includes a set of images showing a handprint, more than double the size of a normal man’s hand imprinted on a stone bolder in the cave which was released by Bigfoot investigators MK Davis and Don Monroe in 2013.  Along the Peru/Bolivia border skulls have been found near Lake Titicaca, with claims being made they were from giants with reddish hair and elongated skulls.  The legends tell of the Uros Indians making reed boats and living on islands on Lake Titicaca similar to the Paiute.  The Incas apparently drove them to live this way much like the Paiutes’ ancestors apparently did to the giants at Lake Lahontan.

Today, many of the original artifacts found at Lovelock (but no giants) can be viewed at a small natural history museum located in Winnemucca, Nevada.  Objects such as the duck decoys are housed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., and the basketry and bones belong to the Nevada State Museum.   The site is significant in an archaeological context because it is an example of evidence that turned up, and was scientifically analyzed to confirm the legend that Paiutes elders told tribal children for years, even if not everything was entirely accurate and accounted for.  The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California published a paper on Lovelock cave in 2005 had this to say:  “The site has been extensively pot-hunted and many materials remain in private collections. Lovelock Cave, despite years of destruction, is one of the most important sites in the history of North American archaeology.”  Lovelock Cave was officially designated a historical site in 1984.

Featured Image: Photo taken of the lovelock Cave interior, Nevada, 2013. ( Wikimedia Commons )


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"Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology 103 Kroeber Hall, #3712 Berkeley, CA 94720 - 3712 Phone: 510/643 - 7649 Fax: 510/642 - 6271 Http://hearstmuseum.berkeley .edu/ 1 LOVELOCK CAVE FORMERLY KNOWN AS SUNSET GUANO CAVE (NV - CH - 18)." Accessed May 12, 2015.

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Riley, Brendan. "Seek to Clarify Indian Myth about Tribe of Cannibal Giants." YesterYear Once More. 1976. Accessed May 12, 2015.

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By Brian Hilliard


tmrchpmn's picture

These red-haired, white giants are more like nephilim, and are not the same as Sasquatch, who are actually much older, and were here way before us.


Barry Sears's picture

I have been shown why animal sizes, including larger human species have evolved and changed. The reason is correlated to the evolutionary process of the World structure and formation.

I have been studying the movement of the planets theories. This is looking at data and evidence especially the evolutionary process with respect to the movement or life-cycles of the planets. Ultimately this is reviewing the planets rotation and revolution relative to the distance from the sun. This deduces a natural pattern or life-cycle, organic process for the natural movement and formation of the planets.

With regards to the position of Earth relative to the sun, there are only a few options to consider. The first is the Earth has always been at the same distance from the sun. This is difficult to imagine considering it's formation. Next the Earth is moving away from the sun, but as the planets didn't evolve from the sun considering vast periods of time, especially for the closest planets to the sun, then this suggests, additional movements. Last the Earth is  moving slowly towards the sun. Another option is that it is a combination of both movements, towards and away, so what could change a planets direction?

To consider these options it is easier when imagining endless and vast amounts of time, speeding up the process into seconds. Very briefly if we look at the options over vast amounts of time we can determine the likelihood of our options. We can then review the evidence supporting the options. This is very important for the data produced by the fossil coral counts indicating a 420 day year at approximately 420 million years ago.

Have all of the planets randomly gathered about our sun in their perfect distances and spacings and are they all moving away from the sun, perhaps moving in different directions?The planets can't be forged from the sun so if they are moving away from the sun how long has this been happening?

It is theorised that a much more natural organic process is also possible. Around the luring of thousands of suns, scattered through thousands of Galaxies, the luring of these burning balls provide an opportunity where cosmic dust and rocks or simple smaller collisions are drawn together and begin a process moving towards the burning luring mass. We are going to look at this simple process of which the Earth and our other planets are in a natural progressive cycle, through phases moving towards the sun.  

If you analise the coral data assuming Earth is at the same distance from the sun, then a year would be the same revolution but at 420 days, each day would be 20 hours and 51 minutes.

This is a difference of 3 hours and 9 minutes. Now digital time suggests the Earth's rotation is slowing at a rate of 2 milliseconds per hundred years. This is one second for 500,000 years. If this rate is constant then for 3 hrs and 9 minutes or 11,340 seconds it would take the Earth 56.7 billion years to change this period of time. As these figures don't work alternative factors must be involved.

Alternatively. Each of our planets have rotation numbers relative to the distance from the sun. The smallest number of rotations and smallest revolution are closest to the sun and they get larger in number the further from the sun. Here are the number of days each planet has on each planet;

Mercury  1       Venus 1        Earth  365      Mars 670       Jupiter 10504      Saturn 25292 

Logic suggest by looking at these rotation numbers, that a planet with 420 days would be situated roughly a quarter of the distance closer to Mars. It is suggested that this coral is 420 million years old approximately. If this is the situation then this suggest that we move slowly towards the sun and we would expect the Earth to be in a warming motion. Although 420 days would be logical here the revolution period would also be longer so time would be longer relative to time now. Temperatures would also be cooler. When we consider our fossil records we have reconstructed a situation where animals are hairier and fatter better suited to cooler temperatures. This can be seen through the animals that have become smaller and adapted to warmer temperatures as close as 10,000 years ago. Considering a larger time shift, our dinosaurs are also larger directly connected to the shift in time and environmental conditions, longer days and longer years. 

When studying dinosaur records you can see how distinguishing features from different regions around the globe are still apparent today in the smaller life forms and also move through the recent extinct larger animals. It appears the link between the evolutionary cycle of the Earth moving closer and faster towards the sun is compressing the evolutionary expression of life on Earth, over vast periods of time. 

Send a link to the article about the red haired giants [email protected]

In Georgia on tibee island in the sand dunes are Giants with red hair a quick Google will lead to a real news paper article from the late 1800s now it's fenced off for safety reasons in for bird eggs or so they say out side Cheyenne wyoming in table mountain a rancher found giant skulls 

I have visited the cave and spoke with many people in Lovlock regarding the "giants". There were some very large skulls found in the cave and I spoke to people who actually saw the skulls.

They used to be in the local museum in Lovelock but were moved to Reno and after that Winnamucca.

If you are going through Nevada make a point to visit the cave. There are other caves in the area as well but none as famous as the Lovelock Cave. Next time I am in Nevada I want to explore the Spirit Cave.


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