Kristan Harris posted this silly story today with the headline "Human Skeleton with Horns Discovered by Coal Miners Underneath Knoxville, TN." After an introductory paragraph that asks the pressing question of whether a race of horned humans once roamed the planet, Harris transcribes a 1921 article from the Bismarck Tribune about a petrified 6'4" giant allegedly found in a coal mine in Scott County, Tennessee. The alert observer will immediately note that, contrary to the headline of Harris' story, the horned being was "petrified" rather than a skeleton, and it was found in Helenwood (Scott County), not Knoxville (Knox County). But those are trivial details when we're talking about the Devil walking the Earth. So let's move on.
When I read the Bismark Tribune story, my first thought was "Hey, this is in the 1920s - surely there's a photo of this thing somewhere." It took me a few minutes, but I found one. It is on a National Park Service website for the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area along with the story of how Cruis Sexton built the "Devil of Scott County" out of clay and charged people money to see it. You can find other tellings of the story by Googling "Helenwood Devil" or "Devil of Scott County." This was an obvious hoax that was used to bilk the gullible.
And it's still fooling the gullible today. The story has its own page on the Greater Ancestors World Museum website (without the photo of the clay statue but with the photo that gets passed around as the purported horned skull from Sayre, Pennsylvania, apparently just as an illustration of what a horned skull would look like). Maybe since I have now made the giantology community aware of this photo and the story that goes with it (it took me a couple of minutes with my phone while I was watching two kids - not exactly serious scholarship), the GAWM can make a replica of the "horned giant" to go along with its replica of the imaginary skull with three rows of teeth.
"Sexton believes the object may be an image of an old tribe of Indians or cliff dwellers."
So there you go. Even the guy who built knew it wasn't good enough to pass off as actual human remains. But the giantologists of today have promoted it, sight unseen, to a fact of prehistory that they say should upend everything we've been taught. Good luck making that argument.
"There was exhibited last week at the Somerset Fair an object that attracted several thousand people into a small tent. They each paid 25 cents admission fee. Some came out and said the whole thing was a fake, while others said they would not have missed it for a dollar. Anyway, it was the biggest drawing card at the fair. The object that is attracting so much attention was found by Crusie Sexton while digging for coal near Helenwood, Tenn. It has the appearance of a petrified form, about five feet, ten inches long, large head with horns, large nose and ears, wings reaching to ankles and teeth showing. The arms are long and slender and are crossed over the body. The hands have extra long fingers and the ankles are enlarged. Mr. Sexton, who made the find, was in the city this week and made an affidavit that he found the object in the ground about five feet below the surface. He dug it up and removed it to Helenwood where it created such excitement that he put it in a box and charged admission. IT is said that the sum of $25,000.00 has been offered for it. It is owned by Mr. J.C. Pemberton of Oneida, Tenn., now. The form is now reposing in a box with iron bands around it, four pad locks on the box, nails driven in the lid and a guard standing watch. A professor from an eastern university says it is some ancient idol of an early race. Anyway, whatever it is, the owners bid fair to get rich."