Here’s a medium-sized city, that to this day, owes its existence to the white rock that it is founded on gypsum. A 10’4″ block of gypsum mined from this location was responsible for one of America’s greatest hoaxes that started in 1868. An atheist, tobacco tycoon (George Hull) shipped the block to a stone carver in Chicago. He paid him to carve a 10′ statue of a man complete with pores to mimic a fossilized giant of a man of which the Bible spoke of often. The carver was paid and sworn to secrecy. Next the finished project was shipped off to Cardiff, New York and secretly buried on his cousin’s farm without his knowledge. The next year, under the guise of digging a well on the property, the fossilized man was uncovered. People came by the wagonload and paid money to see the giant, endorsed by religious figures and theologians on faith alone. Archeological scholars debunked the story, but the people came in such numbers, the Cardiff Giant was sold to 5 businessmen. P.T. Barnum wanted in on the action, but the owners refused to sell it to him even at a handsome profit, so he hired a man to make a wax mold and covertly made a plaster copy. Barnum then took his own copy and he displayed it as the original, accusing the Cardiff hulk as being a hoax. The 5 owners sued and finally the whole hoax was exposed on 12/10/1869 by the man who started the whole scenario to begin with (George Hull). The lawsuit was dismissed by a judge that said that you cannot sue someone for a fake, when yours is, in reality, a fake. There are, to this day, the original 2 giant effigies of a theoretical 10′ man on display in 2 different locations: New York and Michigan. There is also a replica in Dodge City, Iowa. Perhaps, in the future, on the mall in Washington DC, the 3 can be reunited as a tribute to our American history, to show its diversity and never-failing ability to impress the tar out of its citizens. A classic example of truth, justice, and the American Way of life. LIES! 

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