New Zealand dig for ‘The Tall Ones’ ends in controversy

New Zealand

MYSTERY WIRE — A secretive four-year exploration to find evidence of a race of giants from New Zealand’s past just came to an abrupt end.

Even though mainstream archaeologists and scholars have roundly rejected theories about pre-Polynesian ancestors, theories have persisted about New Zealand’s first settlers.

The latest effort to discover the truth — conducted surreptitiously by tunneling under a farm south of Auckland in a community called Huntly — claimed some success, but an article published by Radio New Zealand (NRZ) on Feb. 14 spelled its end.

READ: Concerns over secret search for giants’ bones near Huntly

The dig took place under a veil of secrecy, and likely proceeded without the landowner’s knowledge or permission. The explorers say they found 2,500-year-old bones that suggest 8-foot-tall humans lived in the area. The explorers called them, “The Tall Ones.”

Archaeologists dismiss the find, and say the bones are likely from an extinct species of large birds known as moas.


Questions over whether the explorers violated burial grounds in the process has officials worried. Cultural rifts and racism surround the situation.

An associate professor of bioarchaeology at Otago University told NRZ:

It does really highlight what some New Zealanders think, in terms of pre-Māori conspiracy theories, with really racist undertones. It’s not grounded in fact, so people should be aware.

Dr. Sian Halcrow, Otago University

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