February 2, 1870

On This Date in TWISTED-HISTORY.com! in 1870, the “Cardiff Giant” was revealed as a fraud and nothing more than carved gypsum. The 10 foot tall “Giant” was discovered on October 16, 1869 on the farm of William C. Stub” Newell in Cardiff, New York as some workers were digging a well. Almost immediately thousands of people made the journey to the farm to see this odd sight and even continued to do so when Newell started charging 50 cents a head to view the colossus. Speculation was that it was one of the giants mentioned in Genesis 6:4 and that it had drowned and became petrified during the Great Flood. Others thought it was a statute created by an unknown Jesuit missionary to impress the local Indians.
The truth is even better. It was created by a New York businessman named George Hull. He had earlier gotten into an argument with a Methodist minister about whether the Bible should be taken literally. Hull didn’t think so, but the minister was adamant that it should, even the passage that said “there were giants in the earth in those days.” Hull immediately had an idea about how he ‘could make some money and poke fun at the Biblical literalists.” He had some stone mason carve this 10 foot tall man, convinced Newell to bury the statute on his farm and then dig it up. Newell was also told not to “Say a damned thing about what it was. Let the damned ‘thumpers’ make their own assumptions.” Newell never said what it was or supposed to be, he just followed Hull’s instructions and said it looked like a 10 foot tall ‘petrified’ man.
What is still very interesting, is that even after the truth came out, there were and still are people who believe it is a petrified giant man from before the flood and that the government instigated a conspiracy to cover up the truth.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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