F. A. Mitchell-Hedges

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from F.A. Mitchell-Hedges)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

F. A. Mitchell-Hedges
Born Frederick Albert Mitchell-Hedges
(1882-10-22)22 October 1882
London, England
Died 12 June 1959(1959-06-12) (aged 76)
Newton Abbot, Devon, England
Cause of death Heart attack
Other names Mike Hedges
Known for Crystal Skull
Spouse(s) Lillian-Dolly Agnes Clarke
Children Anne Marie Cuillon (known as Anna Mitchell-Hedges)

Frederick Albert Mitchell-Hedges (sometimes known as Mike Hedges; 22 October 1882 – 12 June 1959) was an English adventurer, traveler and writer. Mitchell–Hedges was most known for the discovery of the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull which claimed to have found with his adopted daughter Anna Mitchell–Hedges in Lubaantun, Belize. However the Crystal Skull, along with many of his other findings, are still in question and in some cases unreliable based on more recent evidence.[1][2]

Personal life[edit]

Born in London, England in 1882, Mitchell–Hedges attended school until he was 16. During his younger years, he worked for his father, John Hedges, in his stockbroker company. While Mike expressed interest in exploring at a young age, John was against the idea of his son traveling, making their relationship a difficult one. After a trip to Canada, he married Lilian–Dolly in 1906. The two mostly lived apart from each other and while they had no children on their own they adopted Canadian orphan Anne Marie Le Guillon, today known as Anna Mitchell-Hedges. Mitchell–Hedges continued to travel well into his later years until he died in 1959.[3]


Shortly following his 16th birthday, Mitchell-Hedges took his first trip with Brooke Mee on an expedition to Norway. The trip lasted three weeks and upon returning to London Mitchell–Hedges had high hopes of becoming an explorer.[3]

After marrying Lilian, Mitchell–Hedges took a trip to Canada where he met and eventually adopted Anne Marie Le Guillon. He continued to travel through northern and Central America. He found himself in Mexico where he was captured by Pancho Villa and worked as a spy, then in New York and back to Central America. Mitchell–Hedges also had a growing interest in the lost city of Atlantis which continued to influence his curiosity for travel.[3]

While on his many excursions, Mitchell-Hedges repeatedly made claims of having "discovered" Indian tribes and "lost cities" that had already been documented years, sometimes centuries, before. In addition, Mitchell–Hedges made claims of finding "the cradle of civilization" in the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua, and stated that the Bay Islands of Honduras were remnants of the lost civilization of Atlantis.[4][5]

For a time in the 1930s the adventurist had a weekly radio show out of New York City on Sunday evenings. Talking over a background of "jungle drums", Mitchell-Hedges would tell dramatic tales of his trips, usually including narrow escapes from death at the hands of "savages" or from jungle animals ranging from a jaguar to a vicious attacking iguana.[6]


The crystal skull at the British Museum (ID Am1898C3.1 ), similar in dimensions to the more detailed Mitchell-Hedges skull.

Among other findings, Mitchell-Hedges' claim to fame was his "discovery" of a "crystal skull". He claimed to have found it with his daughter Anna at the Maya ruin of Lubaantun while on an expedition to British Honduras (present-day Belize) in the 1920s. However, he made no record of the skull until the late 1940s which was around the same time a crystal skull was auctioned off by Sydney Burney at Sotheby's in 1943. Controversies continued when identical measurements were found between Sotheby's skull and Mitchell–Hedges' skull, leaving the authenticity of this artifact questionable at best.[7]

Mitchell-Hedges' crystal skull was retained in the possession of his adopted daughter until her death on 11 April 2007. Prior to her death, the skull was only shown to the public periodically, making it hard for the skull to be accessed and tested for authenticity.[8]

However, since Anna's death the skull has been examined thoroughly and despite many previous claims, the skull has been dated as post Columbus era. Based on microscopic evidence, the skull's tool markings are a result of modern equipment and not of tools found in ancient Maya sites.[9]


Mitchell–Hedges is said to have inspired the well known character Indiana Jones. However, neither George Lucas nor Steven Spielberg—co-creators of the successful concept and franchise—have indicated that any specific individual inspired their character, other than the generic stock heroes popularized in the matinée series and pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s.[10]

Published works[edit]

Books and other titles written by Mitchell-Hedges include:

  • Battles With Giant Fish
  • Danger, My Ally
  • Land of Wonder and Fear

Concerning Land of Wonder and Fear, prominent Maya archaeologist J. Eric S. Thompson commented that "to me the wonder was how he could write such nonsense and the fear how much taller the next yarn would be". (Maya Archaeologist, J. Eric S. Thompson, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1963)


  1. ^ "The UnMuseum - Eerie Crystal Skulls". www.unmuseum.org.
  2. ^ "crystal skull - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com". skepdic.com.
  3. ^ a b c Garvin, Richard. "Mitchell - Hedges: Man in Search of a Myth." The Crystal Skull. New York: Doubleday & Company Inc., 1973. Print.
  4. ^ "Archaeology Magazine - The Skull of Doom - Archaeology Magazine Archive". archive.archaeology.org.
  5. ^ Preston, Douglas J. (2017). The Lost City of the Monkey God : a True Story (First ed.). New York: Grand Central Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 9781455540006. OCLC 949143481.
  6. ^ Garvin, Richard. "Mitchell-Hedges: Man in Search of a Myth." The Crystal Skull. New York: Doubleday & Company Inc., 1973. Print.
  7. ^ Digby, Adrian (July 1936). "Comments on the Morphological Comparison of Two Crystal Skulls". Man. London: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 36: 107–109. doi:10.2307/2789342. ISSN 0025-1496. JSTOR 2789342. OCLC 42646610.
  8. ^ MacLaren Walsh, Jane. "Legend of the Crystal Skulls." Archaeology 17 June 2008. Web. Accessed 1 August 2014.
  9. ^ MacLaren Walsh, Jane. "Legend of the Crystal Skulls." Archaeology 17 June 2008. Web. Accessed 1 August 2014
  10. ^ "Making Raiders of the Lost Ark". Raiders News. 23 September 2003. Archived from the original (archived web page) on 7 December 2003. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  • Garvin, Richard. "Mitchell - Hedges: Man in Search of a Myth." The Crystal Skull. New York: Doubleday & Company Inc., 1973. Print.
  • MacLaren Walsh, Jane. "The Skull of Doom." Archaeology 27 May 2010. Web. Accessed: 30 July 2014.
  • MacLaren Walsh, Jane. "Legend of the Crystal Skulls." Archaeology 17 June 2008. Web. Accessed 1 August 2014.
  • Ancient Aliens Debunked. Dir. Chris White. 2012.

External links[edit]