25 August 2013

Giant skulls in Ancient America?

Daniel has returned home to California after working for the LDS Motion Picture Studio this summer. On the way, he stopped at the Humboldt County Museum in Winnemucca, Nevada. Why, you ask? There are Internet rumors about red-haired giants, their skeletons and ancient remains having been found in the nearby Lovelock Cave. One of the skulls is said to be housed in the museum. Some Book of Mormon enthusiasts are interested in legends of giants in the Americas, claiming there might be some connection to the Jaredites, although there is no scriptural requirement for it.

Stopping in at the small museum, Daniel looked at the exhibits and asked the curators about the skull. His first disappointment came when he was told that the skull and other remains were there, but that they were not exhibited and by agreement with the local Paiute tribe, could not be shown to the public because of the sacred nature of Native American remains and their tradition against their display. He was also told that the remains were of average size and there was nothing particularly unusual about them. One curator even pulled out a photocopy of an article about the Lovelock Cave remains, debunking the claims of their giant size. It seems that others had stopped by to inquire about the skull, so the museum had a prepared document to explain and refute any such rumors.

As usual, many of the websites about the giant skull make claims with very little support to back them up. The photo shown above came from one of them, but there is no way of knowing its origin or where these skulls are. The museum in Winnemucca now has no human remains on display. Besides, judging on the size of what is
apparently a quarter in the photo, these skulls seem of normal size. The only other image specifically connected to this legend is shown here. The story is that someone brought in a full-size dental cast to compare it to the jawbone at the museum, often with the description that the jawbone's teeth were twice the size of the teeth in the cast. This may be true; in the past before the agreement with the Paiutes, the museum may have allowed visitors to see Native remains. The photo seems genuine, but further observation is necessary. The ancient jaw is in front and higher up, which should make it appear larger and angles can distort scale. Also, the cast is of the teeth only, not the entire jaw, so it will obviously look much smaller. But if the dental cast teeth are outlined and overlaid on the teeth of the jawbone, it can be seen that although the modern teeth appear smaller and the width of the mouth less, the distance from front to back is almost the same. Since this comparison is limited to the angle of the photo, it may not be completely accurate, but it is enough to see that the size of the jawbone for the modern teeth would be about the same size as the ancient 'giant' jaw. Actually, the modern teeth outlines would need to be sized up as they moved forward and up to match the ancient teeth, but that was not done in this comparison. In all likelihood, the dental cast teeth and the ancient teeth may be very similar in size.

Local Paiute legends tell of an ancient people they called the Si-Te-Cah, described as red-haired cannibals. Oral traditions say that after years of warfare with them, the Paiute banded together and defeated the cannibals, the last of them being trapped in what is now known as Lovelock Cave. The original traditions say nothing of giants, but some versions mention their lighter skin. The 'giant' aspect seems to have been invented by later explorers and guano miners at the cave. The article handed out at the museum does state that conspiracy theorists will claim that evidence is being covered up, but that since science has no orthodoxy, there is no need to hide surprising finds such as this. That may be true, but there are too many examples where individual scientists ignore or marginalize finds that don't fit nicely into the current scientific thinking, or 'orthodoxy.' Supporters of the Book of Mormon have experienced this phenomenon. But the red-haired giants of Lovelock Cave appear to be no more than myth. Similar giant stories of the past have relied upon evidence that has dissipated under further scrutiny. There may have been lighter skinned, red-haired giants in ancient Nevada, but so far, the proof eludes us.

16 August 2013

More interviews and articles

Daniel's time in Utah working for the LDS Motion Picture Studio is over and he is heading home to California. During his time in Utah, he has been able to do some interviews and talk about our books. Recently, the Uintah Basin Standard newspaper interviewed him for a book review of both An LDS Guide to Mesoamerica and An LDS Guide to the Yucatán.

He also stopped by FAIR's conference in Provo, UT earlier this month to talk to a few people and see what it was all about. Tyler Livingston, who works with FAIR, later videoed Daniel for an upcoming DVD they are working on about Book of Mormon evidences.

The blog i am a reader.com also had a post about our books and Daniel supplied some personal information for it as well. Check it out to find out his favorite flavor of ice cream and who should play him if a movie were made of his life.

Click here to read the reviews in the Uintah Basin Standard.
Click here to read the blog post about Daniel and the books.

21 July 2013

Just an update

We have all been busy these days. Daniel has been living in Utah for the summer, working for the LDS Motion Picture Studio. But he has had some time to do radio interviews and try to plan some more events. He has also been asked to do a book signing, along with other authors at Education Week at BYU Idaho on Friday, 2 August. More details and archives to be posted.

Daniel's BMAF presentation on metals and gold plates is now on YouTube as a high quality video. You can watch it by clicking here.

15 June 2013

Daniel interviewed for the Provo Daily Herald

Last Sunday, the Daily Herald newspaper in Provo had an article about the development of an internal Book of Mormon maps application for tablets and phones. Jedediah McClure is taking years of study of topographic data from locations mentioned in the Book of Mormon and is working on compiling them into an interactive and animated feature-filled app. Locations will include information about what went on there, according to the scriptural account. He isn't making any attempts to match up sites with geography in Mesoamerica or any other real-world location, but his idea sounds very useful for those wishing greater understanding of its history.

Daniel was interviewed, along with Brant Gardner, for his views on Mesoamerica as a likely candidate for Book of Mormon events. We look forward to more development on this project and wish Jedediah much success. Currently, he is seeking funding on Kickstarter.

Click here to read the article at the Daily Herald.
Click here for information on the app.

12 June 2013

New radio and podcast interviews

While living in Utah, Daniel has been busy with interviews and other book-related stuff. He has enjoyed his opportunities to explain LDS beliefs and to talk about the research and finds that have gone into our books. On Memorial Day, he was in the studio with Mills Crenshaw on his show Drive Time Live on 630 am, talking about new developments in Mesoamerican archaeology, the upcoming cruise, and other related topics.

On 7 June, he was interviewed on the Ghost Whisperer podcast with Rachel Love and Connie Hansen. There were some technical issues that got in the way, but it was a very uplifting and enlightening show.

In the afternoon of Sunday 23 June, Daniel will be the guest on Truth Frequency Radio. Stay tuned for more info and links to listen live or download show archives.

Click here to listen to Daniel on Drive Time Live.
Click here to listen on Ghost Whisperer.
Truth Frequency Radio

16 May 2013

A new radio interview for Daniel

Recently, Daniel was asked to be a guest on the Mind Magick podcast with Lady Dee. This show on Culture Freedom Radio seeks to uplift, inspire, and empower on spiritual and paranormal topics. Daniel had and enjoyable time and answered many questions about our doctrine. She was quite interested as she did not know any LDS members and was unfamiliar with what we believe.
Click here to listen to the show.
Click here to visit Culture Freedom Radio.

17 April 2013

Daniel to headline a cruise to Book of Mormon lands

We are pleased to announce the details of Daniel's opportunity with Cruise Lady. He will be headlining a cruise and tour put together by Cruise Lady, and LDS tour company. This September, from the 21st to the 28th, he will be headlining the tour, giving talks and presentations while the ship is at sea, then accompanying guests to the various locations and activities on land. Stops will be in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, Belize, and Honduras. We will visit ancient Maya sites like Tulum and Lamanai. This is sure to be a great experience and the price is quite reasonable. If you are interested, sign up soon for the best rates and availability. Daniel is looking forward to spending this time with you, sharing his research, and answering all your questions about the Book of Mormon. Click the image below to see all the details and contact information.

02 April 2013

A new podcast interview

Our blog has been quiet for a while, as life takes its toll and keeps us all busy with work, family, and many other things. Daniel has been working on working his presentation on hard evidence for ancient American horses, given at last year's BMAF conference, into a final paper, complete with full references and footnotes. He is also preparing for the cruise to Book of Mormon lands by Cruise Lady, which he will be headlining. The cruise and tours are scheduled for September of this year, so clear your calendars. We will post detailed information soon.

Minister Fowler
Daniel has also been in touch with hosts for podcasts about being a guest again. Some are in the works, but this Thursday evening the fourth of April, Daniel will be on The True Gospel of Christ, a podcast on Blogtalk Radio, hosted by Minister Roderick Fowler. He will be talking about the books, our studies, and LDS views in general. This should be an introductory show with a second one planned later if all goes well for listeners to call in. You can get more details and listen to it live by clicking here.

Click here for The True Gospel of Christ podcast.
Click here to listen to Daniel live.

01 January 2013

Happy New Year

You may have noticed that the world has not ended and things are going along as usual. In fact, this Winter Solstice was just like any other, as far as we can tell. From the 22nd onward, all sorts of media sources have been saying that "the Mayas were wrong." Nothing could be further from the truth. All that happened was that a very large period of time lasting 5, 125 years ended. One cycle was over and another began. The Maya would see this as a great time of celebration (and in ancient days, blood sacrifice), but that's it. All the worry and speculation came from outside of Latin America. And have you ever noticed that everything you see about the calender (like this cartoon) actually shows an image of the Aztec calendar, which has nothing to do with the Maya civilization?

On the 21st, for the end of this calendar cycle, Daniel was the guest on a paranormal radio show, discussing the meaning of the Maya calendar. He also discussed what are called the Katún Prophecies, a group of 13 prophecies, each covering a 19.7-year period. Since the Maya viewed time as cyclical, events of the past foretold what would happen in the future, based on a recurring 256-year cycle. The prophecy for this current katún, or 19.7-year period, covering from now until 2032, predicts this: "For half there will be bread; for half there will be water. [It is] the word of God. For half of it there will be a temple for the rulers. [It is] the end of the word of God." We are not sure what that means, but the katún after that predicts blood, death, and the universal judgement of God. So maybe that's the time we should be worried about.

Click here to listen to Daniel's interview on Paranormal Talk about the Maya calendar and Katún Prophecies.
Click here to read some good information about the Katún Prophecies.