He may not have climbed any beanstalks, but Jim Vieira is hard at work attempting to track down giants. He believes that there may, at some point, have been a race of people who were more than seven feet tall, perhaps had two rows of teeth, and lived in America. That may sound crazy, but Vieira doesn't talk "like a nutty conspiracy theorist," writes Nina Strochlic at the Daily Beast. And while he doesn't have any bones to prove his theory, it's not a theory the 48-year-old dreamed up on his own. It's based in part on century-old reports in the New York Times and elsewhere: "A Giant's Remains in a Mound," the paper reported in 1883; five years later, the St. Paul Pioneer Press told of seven 7- to 8-foot skeletons that were uncovered.
And in 1895, a historian in Deerfield, Mass., wrote of being told about a "head as big as a peck basket, with double teeth all round," the Recorder reports. The VP of the New England Antiquities Research Association contends those reports have largely been "shown to be hoaxes associated with staged finds to gather attention to a particular community as a tourist attractions." And as bones, there aren't any; Vieira believes they've disintegrated or been lost. Many experts have dismissed his claims (to wit, video of his TEDx talk was later pulled down by organizers who ultimately deemed it as not up to scientific standards). Either way, Vieira's interest has won him and his brother a show on the History Channel, Search for the Lost Giants. That's not his only job: He's also a stoneworker by day, and it's his research into unusual stone structures that got him into giants in the first place, a show bio notes.