The Giant of CardiffAnd there's this interesting tidbit:
Category: History of Science
Posted on: January 28, 2009 6:13 PM, by Brian Switek (Laelaps blog)
Given the speed at which information travels these days it is not surprising how quickly we forget hoaxes and humbugs. Every year people get their 15 minutes of fame by claiming to have seen ghosts, aliens, or fanciful creatures, but these far-out tales quickly fade away. This past summer, for instance, Matt Whitton, Rick Dyer, and "professional Bigfoot hunter" Tom Biscardi claimed to have in their possession the corpse of a Sasquatch.
Media outlets, particularly FOX News, picked up the story and ran with it but it was quickly determined that it was all a hoax. The story held the public's attention for about a week and quickly faded away, but there have been more famous hoaxes that, while they are unfamiliar now, were widely known for decades after they were perpetrated.
In October of 1869, on a farm not far from Cardiff, New York, Gideon Emmons and Henry Nicols dug into the loose soil to begin making a well. They did not get far before they struck something large, but they had no clue what it was until the soil fell back to reveal a gigantic human foot. The owner of the farm, William Newell, was brought out to oversee the dig and soon the team uncovered a super-sized human form. News quickly spread of this 10-foot-tall curiosity.
The fact that the giant had been outed as a hoax did not stop some from trying to divine ancient secrets from it, however. Alexander McWhorter, a Yale graduate student, was sure he found Phoenician letters inscribed upon the idol. ...Alas, no.
More on the Cardiff Giant here. Additional entertaining giant hoaxes are noted here. And posts on another giant (Og) are collected here.