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Cantua Canyon 7 Foot Petrification

1890.12.16 - The Evening World

A Petrified Giant

He Is Seven Feet Lenz, Weighs 600 Pounds, and a Perfect Stranger.


FRESNO, Cal. Dec. 15.-The petrified body of a man has been brought here from Cantua Canyon, about sixty miles from town. The body was discovered by two men named Packwood and Barrett, who were building a dam. Part of the foot was exposed, and when the whole body was exhumed it was found to be wonderfully preserved. The body lay on a rock covered with earth, parts of it being buried to the depth of twelve feet. The body was straight and measured seven feet in length. The man was physically perfect. The face is clearly defined, the nose, eyes, forehead, mouth, and chin being natural. The neck is long and rests on muscular shoulders. The arms are long and shapely, the left being folded high on the breast, with the hand resting on the throat, while the right comes diagonally across the body and rests on the stomach. The hair is gone, but the ears are clearly outlined. The hands are perfect, the nails and wrinkles in the skin of the fingers being as natural as life. The same may be said of the feet, the tendons and contraction familiar to physicians in cases of death from strychnine.

The body weighs about six hundred pounds, showing the petrification character of the discovers, preclude the idea of any deception like the “Solid Muldoon” giant fraud in Colorado. The curiosity will be sent to the California Academy of Sciences.

  1. The Evening World. (New York, N. Y.), 16 Dec. 1890. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress
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  3. Researched by Chris L Lesley
  4. The Evening World (New York, New York) 16 Dec 1890, Tue  • First Edition  • Page 1
  7. Researched by Eric Richards

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Physicians Say It Is Genuine, but Are Unable to Determine Its Race.

Special Dispatch to the CHRONICLE

FRESNO, December 13.-This evening two men named Packwood and Barrett came in from Cantua canyon with a remarkable curiosity, namely, a petrified man. The men are from Fresno, but have land at Cantua canyon, which they were engaged in cultivating. One of them saw a foot protruding from the ground, and, upon investigation, they unearthed the body of a man. They found that it was petrified when they attempted to lift it, it being as much as they could do to carry it to their wagon. As it was, they let it fall, and a foot and leg were broken off.

Packwood and Barrett brought their strange find to Fresno and deposited it in the rear room of a drug store here, and but a few are being permitted to see it. Your reporter saw the petrified man this afternoon. He is remarkably well preserved, and even the lines on the back of the hand are visible. The left hand rests on the breast, the right on the stomach, which is depressed. The head is of a good size and the features are of the Caucasian type. The man measures nearly seven feet in length.

Physicians have seen the petrifaction and declare it genuine, but have not determined upon the race he belonged to. Your reporter examined the portion broken off and found it somewhat porous. From appearances, the petrified man is a genuine curiosity. He was found in a district noted for its petrifactions.

  2. Researched by Eric Richards

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