CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

The Monster That Stoked Americans’ Devotion to Faith Over Science

How a New York Farmer's Elaborate Hoax "Proved" Giants Roamed the Earth

One Sunday afternoon in October of 1869, Stubb Newell, a farmer in upstate New York, invited his neighbors over to view the remarkable discovery he made while digging a well on his Cardiff farm. When they arrived, he showed them the body of a ten-foot-tall “petrified” man, lying at the bottom of a shallow pit where Newell had instructed workmen to dig.

The giant was a magnificent sight: A stone man naked in repose, seemingly at peace. It could hardly have been hyperbole when a newspaper reporter wrote: “Men left …

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