Who Was The Spirit Cave Man?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 6th, 2011


A mummy found in 1940, which has been dated to 7420 B.C., was first found by the husband-and-wife archaeological team of Sydney and Georgia Wheeler. The Wheelers, working for the Nevada State Parks Commission, were surveying possible archaeological sites near Carson City, Nevada, to prevent their loss due to guano mining. Upon entering Spirit Cave they discovered the remains of two people wrapped in tule matting. One set of remains, buried deeper than the other, had been partially mummified (the head and right shoulder). The Wheelers, with the assistance of local residents, recovered a total of sixty-seven artifacts from the cave.

These artifacts were examined at the Nevada State Museum where they were estimated to be between 1,500 and 2,000 years old. They were deposited at the Nevada State Museum’s storage facility in Carson City where they remained for the next fifty-four years.

In 1996 University of California, Riverside anthropologist R. Ervi Taylor examined seventeen of the Spirit Cave artifacts using mass spectrometry. The results indicated that the mummy was approximately 9,400 years old (uncalibrated Radio-Carbon Years Before-Present (RCYBP); ~11.5 Kya calibrated) — older than any previously known North American mummy.

In March 1997, the Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of the Fallon Reservation and Colony made a Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) claim of cultural affiliation with the artifacts. Further study determined that the mummy exhibits Caucasoid characteristics resembling the Ainu, although a definitive affiliation has not been established. There is also a possible link to Polynesians and Australians that is stronger than to any Native American culture.

The findings were published by the Nevada State Museum on October 24, 1999, and received international media coverage.

In September, 2006, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada ruled on a lawsuit by the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and said that the Bureau of Land Management made an error in dismissing evidence without a full explanation. The court order remanded the matter back to the BLM for reconsideration of the evidence.

To restate this, the Spirit Cave Man (above) is thus 9400 years old and exhibits Caucasoid characteristics resembling the Ainu, long before Caucasoids were suppose to be in North America.

Of course, a similar find is found sealed in an enigma, wrapped in a like-natured mystery, that of the Kennewick Man of Washington State.

One of the first forensic reconstructions from the skull of the Kennewick Man looked extremely familiar to those who viewed it soon after its completion.

Very familiar.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

9 Responses to “Who Was The Spirit Cave Man?”

  1. wolfatrest responds:

    Make it so Mr. Crusher. Obviously an incident of time travel gone awry.

  2. DWA responds:

    And Worf is Sasquatch. We’re done here!

  3. fossilhunter responds:

    Engage. ing.

  4. mandors responds:

    Yet another instance where government and political correctness impede science. The mummy has nothing to with the tribe. The language of the federal antiquities laws are moronic. Basically, anything older than a certain date is attributed to native peoples. So if an ancient Roman centurion were somehow unearthed in Nebraska, it would be deemed a Native American for purposes of the law and turned over to the Indians.

  5. red_pill_junkie responds:

    DWA, you made my day 🙂

  6. DWA responds:

    Day-making is what we are all about, here on the frontiers of science.

    Happy holidays.

    (Odo might be Nessie. Wrong spinoff, maybe, but all that shape-shifting can only be explained one way.)

  7. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Same to you 🙂

  8. tzerlag responds:

    Could the chupacabra be neelix?

  9. NKent805 responds:

    There is a fallacy that ALL Native Americans on all the two continents have had a static evolution and that they all look the same, all have Brachycephalic Crania, and practice the same culture. When the fact is that they have the most variation in skull morphology and body shapes and height. These supposed Caucasoid skulls are in fact more closely related to other to other Paleo Indians. Amerindians are not mongoloid or caucasoid but Amerinoids. They are their own race, and that is obvious now that DNA studies have been conducted on both Kenniwick Man in 2015, and now on Spirit Cave Man this year in 2016, these “supposed caucasoid” Ainus are both of DNA confirmed Native American Heritage and both will be reburied by their modern descendants, and they have every right to.

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