Puckett's Cave Giant

From Kook Science

The Puckett's Cave Giant was an alleged giant skeleton that was claimed to have been excavated by Billy Harman from Puckett's Cave near Steelville, Crawford Co., Missouri during 1933. The skeleton was described in a report by Guy Forshey for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sunday Magazine as having a length of 7.5 ft. (2.28 m.) when laid out, from which R. C. Parker, a local physician, was quoted as extrapolating to a measure of 8 ft. (2.44 m.) in height while alive, further supposing the individual had a very slender build and a small head with sloping brow, the skull measuring 20 inches in circumference, which Forshey referred to as a "pinhead," adding that a "20-inch dome perched on the shoulders of a giant eight feet tall must have looked tiny indeed."

Forshey's story noted that people in Steelville had reached out to Aleš Hrdlička, anthropologist at the U.S. National Museum in Washington, D.C., to have him investigate the find, but it is unclear that Hrdlička ever did.

Dramatis Personae

  • Caleb Guy Forshey (1894-1934), journalist with St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sunday Magazine;
  • Billy Harman (1917-1986), discoverer of the skeleton;
  • Rainey Cowell Parker (1870-1952), Steelville physician;
  • Layne Willard Eaton (1916-1988), a 6-foot-tall fellow photographed next to the skeleton to compare heights;
  • Aleš Hrdlička (1869-1943), anthropologist with the National Museum, solicited for assistance;
  • Gerard Fowke (1855-1933), field explorer with the Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institute, who spent time in Missouri from 1911 through 1916, during which time, according to Guy Forshey, he discovered cave-dweller remains and evidence of cannibalism.

Press Coverage