On Saturday, October 16, 1869, William “Stub” Newell hired two men to dig a new well on his farm in Cardiff, New York. Around 11 a.m., the two men struck something solid, likely a large boulder. As they removed the dirt around it, however, they discovered that it was shaped like a human foot—except it was two feet long and composed of very hard stone. Amazed, they told the farmer what they had found and kept digging until they uncovered the nearly intact body of a naked man who measured more than ten feet tall. The men were convinced they’d found the petrified remains of a Native American giant. By Sunday morning, the word had spread and Newell’s farm was overrun by curiosity seekers, gawkers, ...

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