picture of easter island statue called a moai picture of easter island quarry from a distance picture of petroglyphs at orongo on easter island picture of ahu tongarike at easter island picture of large statue at ahu tongarike on easter island picture of ancient houses at orongo on easter island picture of the naval of the world on easter island picture of large statue called moai at ahu tahai complex on easter island

Located in the South Pacific, some 2300 miles (3,700 kilometers) west of South America, Easter Island is one of the most remote locations on Earth. It is a tiny island steeped in ancient mysteries. Here are found hundreds of giant heads and torsos carved from stone, known as moai. Some are up to 33 feet (10 meters) tall, and an unfinished moai is about 69 feet (21 meters) long. They boggle the imagination. How, when, and why were they carved and erected?

There are more mysteries on Easter Island than just giant heads. Easter Island is one of the few areas of the Pacific that developed an indigenous written language. The rongorongo script is a beautiful artistic creation that was carved in hieroglyphic-like characters on wooden tablets. It has yet to be definitively deciphered (although we have a compelling theory as to what it represents--see the Plasma/Ice Age page), and unfortunately nineteenth-century missionaries to Easter Island encouraged the natives to burn most of the ronogoronogo tablets.

The eighteenth-century European discoverers of Easter Island described living "giants" (men some 12 feet tall [3.65 meters] and women 10 feet tall [3 meters]). Could these stories be true? Ancient legends of giants abound throughout the world. Could there be some truth to such legends and could a relict population have persisted on Easter Island right up to European contact? Until recently such a notion might have seemed impossible, but with the discovery of a diminutive species of humans (Homo floresiensis), commonly known as "hobbits," that persisited until relatively recent times geologically (up to the end of the last ice age, and some suggest possibly much later) perhaps the notion of a relict population of "giants" is not so crazy after all.

In January 2010 I traveled to Easter Island with my then fiancée, now wife (we married on Easter Island), for a mini geological excursion in the company of Gary Baddeley and a few other friends and colleagues. We found so many fascinating things that we really would like to return for a full-scale expedition. To that end, we are currently soliciting donors and sponsors to continue the research.

Aside from the ancient mysteries of Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui), I must mention here how warm and generous we found all of the Rapanui people. They not only helped us with our preliminary research (and assured us that they will continue to help us upon our return), but they literally took us into their hearts, even arranging and hosting our wedding! Katie and I send out a big Thank You to everyone on Rapa Nui. We can hardly wait to return!

picture of rapanui dancers on easter island wedding photo of Catherine Ulissey and Robert Schoch on Easter Island
picture of rongorongotablet
Back to Top