During the1960s a pineapple plantation employee working on the island of Oahu literally stumbled into one of the greatest mysteries ever to emerge from that Pacific paradise; not to mention potential proof that the giants of old may well have been roaming the Earth as recently as the middle of the 20th Century.
At approximately 2:00 am. sometime in the early 1960s a 45 year-old (some say 25 year-old) unnamed Filipino-American man was working on an irrigation crew for the Dole Pineapple Company in Helemano, which is located on Hawaii’s third largest island of Oahu.
The almost certainly fatigued fellow — who during the long planting season worked on 24-hour shifts spread out between 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. — was busy erecting an outsized set of sprinklers when he literally “fell” into one of the great enigmas of the last century.
The stunned crew member looked up to realize that in the darkness he had plunged into a shallow depression in the soil that should not have been there. As he lifted himself up, the man was stunned to realize that the hole was in the exact shape of an immense humanoid footprint. He immediately called over his fellow crew members in order to confirm his astonishing discovery. The anonymous eyewitness was later quoted as saying:
“When we looked at the hole we saw that it was a great big footprint. I swear we measured the thing. It came out to about three feet! Anyone who has a foot a yard-long must be a real big man.”
Some of the veteran employees of the Dole plantation told the man that a “giant-man-like figure walking through the pineapple fields in the Helemano area” had been seen in the past and that many believed “a spirit that haunted the place where an old pineapple camp had been.”
Unfortunately, it seems that no one thought to follow the tracks or to make casts or even take photographs of the anomalous gargantuan print. Nor is there any mention if any other mysterious prints were discovered in the area. If the track seen by the crew that night was really the only one, than this already perplexing mystery would become infinitely more bizarre. Perhaps they were dealing with a hopping, one-legged, amphibious giant who just briefly popped up on land to steal a few pineapples? The prospect boggles the mind.
Needless to say, some modern researchers have suggest that there might be a connection between the giant footprint found at the Dole plantation and modern reports of HAIRY HOMINIDS. This, however, seems dubious. Besides the fact that there are no real BIGFOOT traditions coming from the islands, it is also extremely doubtful that such a creature would leave behind a 36-inch track!
Others have theorized that the Dole Giant might represent a visitation from an alien from OUT OF THIS WORLD. This would help to explain how such a colossal being could travel to and from the pineapple fields without being seen, but as there were no UFOs associated with the event, this hypothesis remains wildly speculative.
According to Glen Grant, a folklorist who collected native legends throughout Hawaii in his 1999 book “Obake Files: Ghostly Encounters in Supernatural Hawaii,” a cannibalistic giant named “Aikanaka” allegedly roams the pineapple fields or occasionally lies in wait (presumably for prey) on isolated stretches of road.
In Hawaiian mythology, Aikanaka — sometimes spelled Ai Kanaka or Aikane — was a earthly chief who was betrothed to the moon goddess Lona and known for his prodigious size.
The University of Hawaii-Manoa Student Folklore Project — which was conducted in 1973 — first associated the Dole Giant incident with legends of Aikanaka. It also bears noting that “Aikanaka” in the native Hawaiian tongue literally translates as “the Man-eater of Oahu.” If it were not for this entity’s apparent penchant for consuming human flesh, I would say that Dole might have a corporate figurehead to rival the Jolly Green Giant.
Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / designer / crypto historian / podcaster / co-founder of American Monsters and Cryptopia