Saturday, August 13, 2011
The Cardiff Giant
The sensational tale of the legendary Cardiff Giant is just about as weird, as surreal, and as convoluted as any tale could possibly get. And, without doubt, it remains one of the most infamous and audacious hoaxes in American history.
Essentially, the giant was said to be nothing less than a 10-foot-tall purported “petrified man,” uncovered on October 16, 1869 by workmen engaged in digging a well behind the barn of one William C. “Stub” Newell in Cardiff, New York.
In reality, however, the giant was nothing of the sort at all. It was actually the creation of a New York tobacconist named George Hull, an atheist, who decided to create the mighty-form after a heated argument with a fundamentalist minister – a certain Mr. Turk - about the passage in Genesis 6:4 to the effect that giants once roamed the Earth.
And while Hull is long-gone, the Cardiff Giant most certainly is not!
I was very pleased to see the legendary Goliath in person a couple of years ago in its present resting place: the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Yep, that's my picture of the behemoth above, who, unsurprisingly, didn't have much to say at all. Indeed, he just lay there, totally stone-faced...Well, what do you expect?!