click on above image to visit The True Wonders Museum

 

Krantz would leave no stone unturned when investigating possible Bigfoot-related items. One story that is little known about Grover Krantz, which I ran across from Doug Higley, involves Krantz and his desire to examine the famed Olaf the Giant. (Please note, no photographs of Olaf the Giant have surfaced in my search. Do you have one? I’ve interviewed various “roadside America” photographers, and none has one. People did share that they had seen the exhibit during its heyday, but can’t recall taking its picture, due to the poor lighting.)

 

Doug Higley, a specialist in gaffs and creating displays to show them, once had an old time dime museum next to the casinos near Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He tells this story about Olaf the Giant, and its relationship to the Bigfoot Mystery and Grover Krantz:

 

In 1993, I owned a big museum (5,000 square ft.) that went bust in Tahoe, called “True Wonders Old Time Museum.” Had rooms and rooms of great stuff including Grover Krantz’s papers and prints among TONS of other things. Grover was demanding we turn over Olaf The Giant to him for study. Olaf was 9 ft 3 inches tall! Grover wanted to study it for Bigfoot locomotion possibilities.

 

Olaf the Giant had been shown for countless years on the sideshow circuit. His biggest splash came during the Seattle World’s Fair where he was on display as part of Doc (Walt) Jones gregarious collection of bizarre artifacts and gag filled props. Bought by a private collector he was moved to Redmond, Oregon, and was on display at the Fantastic Museum there, until I built my place in Tahoe, where he was moved to be the star attraction.

 

Grover Krantz evidently had seen Olaf the Giant at the World’s Fair and again in Redmond. In my exhibit of Olaf hanging directly behind his huge coffin was the framed letter we got from Grover Krantz demanding (no other word for it) that Olaf be turned over to Washington State University for scientific study. (Read that disassembled.)

 

Olaf looked fantastic for an ancient preserved “specimen.” Huge head with the skin retreating back from the jaws…sunken eyes…gigantic hands withered and skin shriveled around the large bones. Krantz was entranced and thought that if he had his hands on Olaf the Giant he might discover how this Viking Giant walked and moved his bulk around his ancient world. This reasoned Krantz would be an interesting look at what a large biped like Bigfoot might have going on in the locomotion department. Problem was Olaf the Giant was MADE (manufactured) at the turn of the Century (late 1800′s) by the Nelson Supply Company. Olaf can be seen in the old Nelson Supply Company Catologs.

 

Grover should have seen that BUT he was full of “true believer” stars in his eyes…and it just didn’t dawn on him, that though the Giant was an awesome gaff, the legs were far too fleshed out for Olaf to be real. Real close inspection through the thick glass of the coffin revealed other minor flaws which “gave it away.” Olaf had been made of real skin and real bones in some areas but in others his skin was some type of “oil cloth”…a magnifier could reveal the threads and weave…but the large long fully fleshed out and non desiccated legs were the big give away that Krantz should have picked up on. But he didn’t.

 

Olaf the Giant was one of a kind and really spectacular. And a hundred years after he was built he fooled another “one of a kind,” Grover Krantz.- Doug Higley

 

Phantom Of The Midway

 

 

THE PROFESSOR who wants to study him this time is Grover Krantz, an anthropologist at Washington State University.

 

Krantz was steered Olaf's by Cliff Crook, a Bigfoot hunter from Bothhell who had been guiding to Olaf by some of his Bigfoot hunting associates.

 

Crook is interested in him because Olaf matches the description of a Russians-type Bigfoot "Tungu," who is described by some from the frozen north as being very tall and thin.

 

Since Olaf's mummified remains were allegedly unearthed in Norway in 1888, Crook feels Olaf's existence - if scientifically verified - would lend credence to the Russian Bigfoot, which in turn could lend credence to the American Bigfoot, helping to close the Bigfoot credibility gap.

 

But Krantz is interested in Olaf mostly because he is very tall "Olaf is a very interesting specimen,"  Krantz said. "from what I can tell by just looking at him, he's authentic, although it does appear his legs may have been broken once and extended to add to his height."

 

"What I'd like to do is reduce Olaf to a skeleton and use him for classroom demonstrations and study I am studying the anatomical problems of very tall people I'd like to buy him.

 

BUT ACCORDING to Ashley, Olaf is not for sale.  She's interested in Olaf mostly because he helps draw crowds to her museum.

 

He's billed prominently on the marquee out front, alongside the photographs of a man with one year of rubber-looking quadruple chins hanging down past his chest and a shot of the Great Antonio who allegedly used to inhale cigarette smoke and blow it out his ears.

 

Olaf was reportedly a big hit at sideshows around the turn of the century.  But following a long stinch at the now defunct Playland in North Seattle, Olaf's care hit the skids and he wound up in an Oregon warehouse where Ashley retrieved him for her museum 15 years ago.

 

"I use to go see him at Playland when I was a girl, and I never forgot him," she said.  "That's why I bought him when I had the chance.  I plan to keep Olaf as long as I keep the museum."

 

Article from Cryptomundo

 


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