The Giant Stone Head That Kept Its Secret

stone head

More than half a century ago, a giant stone head was allegedly discovered deep in the Guatemalan jungles. The head was facing the sky and had unusual features resembling a Caucasian person – big eyes, thin lips and a pointy nose. The mysterious discovery caught the attention of archaeologists and researchers but was quickly forgotten afterwards.

Dr Oscar Rafael Padilla Lara, a doctor of philosophy, lawyer and notary was the first one to report the alleged existence of the giant stone head. He received a picture of it in 1987. The picture was taken in the 50s by the owner of the land who did not mention its exact location.

According to Dr Padilla, he was able to find the owners of the land where the monolith was located – the Biener family who lived 10 km (6 miles) from the village of La Democracia in the southern part of Guatemala. But Dr Padilla found out that the head was almost completely destroyed.

“It was destroyed by revolutionaries. We had located the statue too late. It was used as target practice by anti-government rebels. This totally disfigured it, sort of like the way the Sphinx in Egypt had its nose shot off by the Turks, only worse,” he said.

According to Dr Padilla, the original height of the monolith was 4-6 meters (13-19 feet), but he wasn’t able to return to the site due to non-stop military actions between rebels and government forces.

But from the picture, we can clearly see that it does not look like any of the native peoples who lived in Central America. There are no indications that the picture could be a forgery, and if the giant stone head actually existed, then we don’t know who and why carved it and put it there.

Typical Olmec stone head.
Typical Olmec stone head.

The area where the giant stone head was found also contains other stone heads facing the sky. But they were made by the Olmec civilization which flourished between 1,400 and 400 BC. Olmecs inhabited the coasts of the Mexican Gulf but their artifacts were also found hundreds of kilometers outside of their native land.


But the giant stone head in La Democracia does not look like the Olmec stone heads. Another interesting mystery is that the head may have a body, like the “moai” on Easter Island. It’s interesting to note that no one actully knows if the head really existed, but if it did, its secret remained unsolved.