There is “immense interest”, reported the Fort Wayne Daily Gazette on October 27, 1869, about the Onondaga Giant. Two sides had emerged: those who said it was a statue, and those who said it was a fossilized giant. Professor Boynton, of Syracuse, New York believed it was a statue. “We pin our faith there too,” weighed in the Fort Wayne, Indiana newspaper. (“The Onondaga Giant”, Fort Wayne Daily Gazette, October 27, 1869, page 3)
The “giant” was measured at 10 feet 2-and-a-half inches in height. A Reverend E. Owen of Fort Wayne had visited the site of the discovery. “His Giantship” had no hair on his head, noticed Owen. “It is the opinion of Mr. Owen, and indeed of most scientific men who have given it an investigation, that it is a petrified human body,” reported the Fort Wayne Daily Gazette.
Recently, “not twenty miles distant” from where His Giantship had been found, railroad workers grading “section six” of the Cazenovia and Canastota line had unearthed “the skeletons of five mammoth human beings.” One of the skeletons was reportedly eleven feet tall. This was thought to be further “proof of a giant race on this continent, and in this part of it; how far back no one can tell.”
Also cited by the Fort Wayne newspaper was an observed general tendency of fossilization in the immediate region. At the nearby Onondaga Cemetery, a human body had been exhumed and found to have become solid stone. Elsewhere in the same general region, “the corpse of a child, on being taken up was found to be petrified – solid stone.” In yet another instance, the body of a man buried a few years before was exhumed “and being found a perfect petrification, the widow had it taken home, and it is yet retained in the house, and has never been re-buried.”
“These, and other samples that might be given, prove that petrification is not uncommon in the vicinity of Cardiff, where this ten foot two and a half inches and well proportioned giant was found.”
In after years, there has been some question of why the owner of the property on which the “giant” had been found would have been “digging a well” prior to the discovery. There was a stream of water nearby, so why bother digging a well? As it turns out, however, this “well”, reported the Fort Wayne Daily Gazette, “was to have been a shallow excavation, where the water would naturally gather, for the purpose of watering [the property owner’s] cattle.”
In spite of the above indications for the veracity of His Giantship, rumors flew in Onondaga County insinuating the property owner “was in collusion with parties who seek to impose upon and humbug the public.” Not missing out on a good thing, the property owner was charging fifty cents admission apiece to all those who were eager to view the startling find.