Kandahar Giant Legend: Fact or Fiction?

In August 2016, a YouTuber posted a lengthy interview with a military contractor identified only as Mr. K. In the interview, Mr. K claimed to have been present during the brutal slaughter of a killer he called the Kandahar Giant. This alleged incident took place during the height of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002 when the military was engaged in fierce battles with the Taliban in their de facto capital in Kandahar Province during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

But this was no human fighter.

What is the Kandahar Giant?

The Kandahar Giant, according to Mr. K, was a 13-foot tall behemoth with fiery red hair, six fingers, and two sets of teeth. It even killed one of the Special Forces soldiers with a spear before the rest of the unit brought it down with 30 seconds of sustained gunfire. After they radioed it in, the Army took away its corpse and has hidden it ever since.

The Legend of the Kandahar Giant

In 2002, a group of soldiers went missing while on patrol in a remote mountain region of Kandahar, in the south of Afghanistan. When they failed to make radio contact for some time, the military sent in a special ops unit to investigate, though the branch of the armed forces they belonged to was never confirmed.

The Encounter in the Mountains

Source: Afgbeast/Wikimedia Commons

High up in the mountains, the unit came across a cave with scattered Army equipment around but no sign of the missing soldiers. That’s when they chanced upon the Kandahar Giant. The tale grows with the telling — some reports suggest the humanoid was as tall as 15 feet. This red-headed giant with six digits, leather moccasins, and smelling like “dead bodies” suddenly emerged from the cave and impaled one of the soldiers with a spear. The soldiers opened fire, ultimately felling the giant with 30 seconds of continuous fire.

The Military’s Response

“Between them, the squad was armed with full-auto M4 carbines, recon carbines (semi-automatic), and M107 Barrett anti-materiel rifles firing .50 BMG,” reads one report. “This much firepower concentrated on one target for one second, let alone thirty, would be extremely destructive.”

After the troops killed the giant, they loaded it onto a Chinook helicopter, which carried it to a transport plane, where no one ever saw it again. The soldiers were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements so the government could keep them all quiet. But eventually, the soldiers broke their silence because, as one of the men would later say, “the people have a right to know the truth.”

Government Denial and Conspiracy Theories

In August 2016, Snopes reached out to the Department of Defense about the “Kandahar Giant incident.” The Department of Defense told the outlet, in no uncertain terms, that they had “no record or information about a special forces member killed by a giant in Kandahar.”

Lack of Evidence

There are no press releases on the Department of Defense’s website involving either a “special forces troop” disappearing in Afghanistan or any incident involving soldiers felling a giant. This lack of evidence isn’t sufficient proof that the myth of the Kandahar Giant doesn’t exist. In fact, Snopes’ debunking of the legend has had quite the opposite effect in certain cryptid spaces, which claim that the government is “trying to hide the truth” from the public.

Claims of a Cover-Up

Source: Staff Sgt Leopold Medina Jr./U.S. Army

Around the same time that the Snopes article came out that discredited the story, self-proclaimed supernaturalist L.A. Marzulli told several right-wing websites that the United States government was covering up this “spectacular” story and that those in power had a “vested interest” in keeping the truth of Biblical prophecies from being exposed to the general public.

“People have a right to know about this stuff. If there are fifteen or eighteen footers roaming the Earth and our military has brought them down, we have a right as American citizens to know about it,” he said. “I mean, this isn’t classified military stuff. This is something we need to know. And it points back to the Biblical prophetic narrative.”

Biblical Origins Behind the Myth

According to Marzulli, the creature was a Nephilim, a group of people mentioned in the Genesis and Numbers books of the Old Testament who were said to be “people of unusually large size and strength” that could be found in the Middle East both before and after “The Flood” of Noah’s Ark fame.

Nephilim and Biblical Prophecies

Biblical scholars largely agree that the Nephilim tales were metaphors and not based on the reality of a 13-foot giant living in the desert. The only “Dan” that died in Kandahar around the time of this alleged incident in 2002 was Sgt. 1st Class Daniel A. Romero, who was killed in a bomb blast alongside three other soldiers.

The Persistent Myth

Despite evidence stacked against it, the myth of the Kandahar Giant is still said to be an “open secret” among soldiers who served in Kandahar in 2002. Several veterans who served in the region have said that from that point on, they were instructed to point their weapons high by aiming for the head “and then a little higher.”

Why the Kandahar Giant Legend Endures

The enduring fascination with the Kandahar Giant is due in part to its alignment with various conspiracy theories and its ties to Biblical prophecies. The story combines elements of military secrecy, ancient mythology, and modern-day cryptozoology, making it a compelling narrative for those interested in unexplained phenomena.

A Mix of Modern Myth and Ancient Legend

The tale of the Kandahar Giant is a modern myth that taps into ancient legends. The story’s persistence suggests a deep-seated human need to believe in the extraordinary and the unexplained. Whether seen as a cover-up, a cautionary tale, or a thrilling adventure, the Kandahar Giant continues to captivate imaginations.

The Role of Media in Spreading the Legend

The legend of the Kandahar Giant has been amplified by various forms of media, from YouTube interviews to right-wing websites and cryptid forums. This widespread dissemination has helped keep the story alive and evolving over time.

Influence of Online Communities

Online communities dedicated to conspiracy theories and cryptids have played a significant role in perpetuating the myth of the Kandahar Giant. These communities often view the story through a lens of skepticism towards official narratives, further fueling the legend’s persistence.

Impact of Debunking Efforts

Efforts to debunk the legend, such as the Snopes investigation, often have the unintended effect of reinforcing believers’ convictions. The lack of concrete evidence is seen by some as proof of a cover-up, rather than as disproof of the event.


The legend of the Kandahar Giant remains one of the most intriguing and enduring myths to emerge from the U.S. military’s involvement in Afghanistan. Despite official denials and a lack of evidence, the story continues to captivate and inspire a sense of wonder and curiosity. Whether rooted in fact or entirely fictional, the tale of the Kandahar Giant serves as a reminder of the enduring power of myth and the human fascination with the unknown.

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