The Myths and History of Red Hair

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Aliens, Atlantis and Internet Conspiracies

Arcadia Collage (detail)

Whilst scouring the Internet for information about red hair I've came across countless strange beliefs and conspiracies. A lot of them I find fascinating. I'll reproduce some of the more interesting ones here. For the most part I've found these ideas amusing, but I must admit there's always a slight doubt at the back of my mind - after all, who am I to judge what's true and false. Maybe the truth is stranger than we'd all care to imagine.

Red-haired Aliens

One peculiar internet article I came across carried the heading, "The Master Race becomes Friendly Aliens." In it the writer explains how the "familiar Nazi agenda is still being propagated" by aliens of "Germanic, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon" stock. These aliens in question are generally called "Nordics" by the UFO community and the writer describes them thusly:

"They are all tall, Blond or Red Hair with Blue eyes. They average in height from 6' to 61/2' tall with some reported to be as tall as 8'."

The article continues, stating:

"Consistent to the reports throughout the world in regards to Nordics is the near perfect physical appearance. No one has ever reported plain or physically deficient members in their company. Just what one may expect if you had a choice in the matter through controlled genetics."

Another message board article I came across was titled "Are redhead's DNA of alien origin?" On it was posted this:

"There is another race that has branched off from this giant race, the red-haired Lyrans. Their hair was red to strawberry blonde in color. The skin tone very, very fair; these entities had a difficulty exposing their skin to certain frequencies of natural light, due to the planet they sprang from. Some of these were also giant in stature, though there were some who were average human size. Eye color was generally light to what you would now consider green, though it is a different quality of green than you see upon your world. These entities were some of the first Lyran pioneers. (Pioneers is a very kind word, for there are many worlds that consider the red-haired ones to be the invaders, marauders and the basic havoc-wreakers of the Lyran genotype)."

I've since read that the "Lyrans" are quite well-known in ufological circles and that, as the article states, they are generally seen as being red-haired. The post continues, making a link between these red-haired "Lyrans" and the redheads on earth:

"Well, to some degree we are speaking about the distant past as they interacted with your earth plane. These entities still exist but are much fewer in number. We would say that your closest mythological remnants are in your Norse mythology - Vikings etc. Some of that mythology was about actual Earth beings who were either influenced by or interacted with this red-headed Lyran strain. This is not a very common interaction on your world, not as common as that of the giants, but common enough to have made it into your mythology."

The post then carries on:

"Apparently there's a remnant of a red-haired group in the Pleiades...[t]he Pleiadian version is much more watered down. But the purebred red-head was very aggressive, violent, passionate and, to some degree, very rebellious."

The article also asks the question,

"Did these red-haired people naturally evolve as red-haired, or was there intentional manipulation somewhere along the line?"

I keep imagining an episode of StarTrek were Captain Kirk lands on a planet inhabited entirely by ginger people.

In fact, the post actually reminds me of the famous "Villas Boas" abduction case. A case concerning a young Brazilian farmer, named Antonio Villas Boas, who was apparently abducted by a UFO and forced into a liaison with a beautiful alien woman who had red pubic hair. Incidentally, I also remember watching a TV show about UFO abductions a while back that stated that there had been a spate of abduction cases in Turkey that all specified red-haired aliens.

Redheaded Rulers and Royalty

Bohemiae Rose (red)

It's amazing the number of articles I've come across on the internet that associate red hair with royalty and ruling elites. In fact, one comment I read on a blog about world political leaders stated:

"[A]nother disproportional thing in politics is hair color. the number of leaders who have red hair is actually amazing...how many of the founding fathers of the USA were redheads? lenin [and] Trotsky...malcom X...How much of the royal families? Cleopatra, napoleon, Alexander the great...seems like red hair and conquering the world go together."

The commenter also relates some of his own personal experience of living with the colour:

"[W]hen i walk sometimes past old columbian women, they cross themselves and you can hear them say in spanish things against the devil."

Another article I came across associated red hair with secret societies. The writer of this particular article linked red hair with the symbol of the rose and wrote:

"It's all about the rose. It means rose-cross, or red cross of the Templars. It is found in rose-line, or Rosslyn, the Chapel of the Sinclairs. And, as strange as this may sound, red hair is their characteristic feature."

It continued:

"It is a sign of descent from the Edomites, or more specifically, the Scythians of southern Russia, who were the Lost Tribes. They were known to the Jews of the Middle Ages as Red Jews. They later became Khazars. All the leading bloodlines of Europe descend from them. That's the point of Brown's book, that Da Vinci, painted the Magdalene with red hair, it is the ultimate signal."

I found one foray into red-hair conspiracy lurking in the review section on Amazon. It was a review for the book "Henry Neville and The Shakespeare Code" by Brenda James, a book that questions the authorship of the works of Shakespeare. The enthusiastic reviewer wrote:

"MY THEORY...!!...is that Elizabeth [the First] was not a virgin - and had at least 8 children, among them Oxford, Bacon, Neville, Philip and Mary Sidney (I think their adoptive father was Elizabeth's half brother), Essex, Cecil junior, and Southampton. You will find an act of parliament passed when she was 50 saying that the issue of her body will be her heirs - not her legally born children! If you remember that was what caused Henry VIIIs troubles - he did have illegitimate children, but tried impossibly hard to get a legal son - even changing the religion in England to do so. Every other King in Europe had tons of illegitimate children - so why not Elizabeth? Elizabeth's very first letter to Cecil, when she is 13 or 14, asks him to squash the rumours going around that she is pregnant!"

"It goes on and on ..! Elizabethan history is a whole lot more interesting to me now! Everything fits, for the first time. All those loose ends, that made no sense. Why did Leicester adopt Essex? Well, he was his own son, by Elizabeth! Why did Elizabeth make Cecil a Baron the day before his daughter was married? Because his daughter was marrying Elizabeth's own first son. It is endless - I could go on for hours! The modern world was created by Elizabeth's bastards! They were all placed by Cecil, brilliantly educated, and given the European tour. Some of the plays are quite possibly a family effort! It is a BIG story! A Hollywood blockbuster - somebody will do it one day."

"Look at the portraits of Elizabeth's children - they all have thin faces with curly orangery hair - like their parents! I believe that if both parents have red hair the children must all have red hair too. Is that right? Leicester was with Elizabeth for about 15 years. I think they found his last letter to her on the desk next to her bed when she died."

Although the tone of this review amuses me somewhat, I must admit that the issue does fill me with suspicion. I don't think the "virgin queen" had eight children, but personally, I'd be surprised if she had none either. And it is true that Henry Neville had red hair, as did Leicester and Elizabeth.

The same reviewer then wrote another piece, this time in the review section for the book "Oxford: Son of Queen Elizabeth I" by Paul Streitz, continuing on the same theme.

"Compare the pictures of Henry VIII, Elizabeth, Edward de Vere, Sir Henry Neville, and Henry Wriothesly, the Earl of Southampton. They all have red hair, and look remarkably similar. It is begining to look like Edward and the two Henrys could have been brothers!!"

Brilliant!

The Atlantean Diaspora

In many ways this continues on the theme of red-haired rulers. Of all the theories about red hair on the Internet this one seems to be the most abundant, and it goes something like this:-

All the ancient civilisations of pre-history were started and ruled by seafaring redheads, who originally came from a land over the sea, often, but not always, equated with Atlantis. The evidence for this can be found in ancient myths and in the mummified remains of redheaded people discovered around the globe.

For the most part these theories begin in ancient Egypt and are centred around the fact that many mummies have been found displaying red hair. Needless to say, these finds have led to much speculation about the origin of the ancient Egyptians and their glorious culture. The basic premise of the theory being that red-haired survivors from Atlantis at some point arrived and sowed the seeds of civilisation. As you can imagine a lot of this speculation is wildly inventive. One internet article I read, titled "Red Haired Mummies of Egypt," began with this statement:

"There were the blue-bloods of Ancient Times which extended into European Times. They actually did have blue blood, and it was not hemoglobin based but copper based. They were semi-human. There are still to this day, some animal species in South America that have copper based blood systems. There was a problem with hemophilia, and not because of intermarrying. The problem was that they started to marry outside of the copper based blood system. Hemoglobin and copper systems don't mix. That's where the laws against marrying commoners originated. Lobsters, octopuses, squids and horseshoe crabs have copper based blue blood."

Incidentally, Egypt isn't the only place where red-haired mummies have been found. They've been found as far afield as China and Peru. The Tarim mummies were found in what is now present day Xinjiang, China and some of them possessed red hair. Likewise in Peru mummies have been found with striking red locks.

Other discoveries of red-haired mummies have come in Polynesia and the Canary Islands. In fact, both these places are, or were, noted for red-haired people. The Canary Islands was the home of the Guanches, a red-haired tribe that built monuments which can still be seen on the islands today. And red-haired people have been noted sporadically throughout parts of Polynesia, including New Zealand. One internet writer relayed the following legend:

"One Kiribati legend describes eels (Serpents?) coming ashore who turned into red haired men when they swam ashore. Another legend (Bue the Ancestor) describes one of these red men copulating with a woman who was bathing in the shallows at sunrise. The legend describes the "Sun" entering her loins, suggesting a child of the sun was born to her. When this child grew up, he set sail to the East (America) to look for his ancestors."

The writer also noted:

"The Urekehu - or red heads amongst the Maori are believed to have come from a hot dry land to the East."

Perhaps unsurprisingly the writer elaborated by making reference to Atlantis.

"I am not suggesting that Englishmen came and did the Jack in the Green dance in front of the Tolai, nor that a Scottish mason jumped ship and taught these people a secret handshake. What I am saying is that Both European and Pacific cultures have a common link a long long way back in time, possibly in Atlantis 11,500 years ago...[t]he ancient culture of Atlantis was not just carried on by the Egyptians, but was also carried on by the red haired civilization of Tulapin (Terapin/Turtle Island) and were a dominant population in America until 6,000 years ago."

Of particular interest in regards red hair is Easter Island. An article in Fortean Times about the island stated:

"Ethnically, Rapa Nui are polynesian, though paler-skinned and with an anomalous genetic trait of red hair dating from before first contact with Europeans."

It should also be noted that the large statues on the island all have "topknots" of red stone. Many believe that these represent red hair.

Although I often make light of these ideas it must be said that the presence of red hair so far afield is actually quite interesting. It either suggests that red hair blossoms accidentally in populations rather easily or that there was a lot more migration in pre-history than modern experts would have us believe.

Lovelock Cave

Another interesting thing I came across on this general theme was the story of Lovelock Cave. This is apparently a cave in Nevada that was found to contain the remains of red-haired giants. The story goes that the Paiutes, a tribe of natives who inhabited the area, were at war with these giants and killed them off by ambushing them in the cave. One webpage I came across stated:

"Growing up in Nevada I had heard stories of the Sitecah from the Paiute Indians that lived in the area. They told of red-haired men and women of light colored skin as tall as 12 feet who originally lived in the area when the Paiutes had first arrived. Evidently these human giants liked to eat the Indians so they had problems making friends. The Indian tribes of the area finally joined and ambushed the giants killing most of them on the spot."

Some of the comments on the page make particularly good reading. One posted:

"Nice Hub, I asked some of the old people about these so called 'red haired giants'. I dont know what was more surprising, your hub or the fact one of our respected elders not only had a name for them but could tell me prominent ancestors who migrated hundreds of years ago to this land through the polynesian islands who were fair, had red hair and were so called giants!?!? I was gobsmacked! He was talking as if it were common knowledge!"

Another said:

"I have been a barber in Nevada for 35 years and I cut many Piaute men's hair.. I have heard the stories about the red haired giants for many years. The older ones told me the giants ate some of their great, great grand parents and the story about going to Lovelock to kill them is absolutley true (according to many of these men)."

And a final mentioned:

"I am Paiute and have heard of these giants. I'm from Oregon near the Nevada border and have heard of the Paiutes in Nevada talk of these red-head giants. I heard where these giants lived in caves and did eat some of the Natives."

I can only begin to imagine what other stories are lurking out there on the Internet waiting to be discovered.

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