Solid Muldoon (Petrified Man)

From Kook Science

Solid Muldoon was an alleged giant petrified missing link that was reported to have been excavated near Mace's Hole in Beulah, Colorado on 16 September 1877 by William Conant. It was ultimately found to have been a kiln-fired statue made of mortar, clay, and plaster (with blood, bone, and meat mixed in for good measure) that had been manufactured by George Hull, who had engaged in the same stunt during 1869 when he inhumed and had exhumed the Cardiff Giant in New York.

Press Coverage

  • "THE PREHISTORIC MAN, Or the 'Solid Muldoon' of Colorado", Dodge City Times (Dodge City, KS): 8, 27 Oct. 1877, 

    The fossil remains of a giant has been recently discovered in Colorado, and is now being exhibited by Barnum. It is called the "Solid Muldoon." The figure appears to be that of a long but powerfully built man, lying at full length on his back, with one leg slightly raised at the knee, a large part of his head behind the ears, very large hands and feet, and a short tail distinctly visible at the extremity of his back bone. The giant measures 7 feet 5 inches in length. Persons who have seen it say it is a wonderful curiosity, having every appearance of a genuine petrifaction, which the scientists who have examined it pronounce it to be, and the said scientists estimate that the giant lived about a million of years ago, and had a tail, and was morally and intellectually a ferocious animal. His discovery is going to revive the Darwinian theory and cause a great hubbub in scientific and theological circles. If he was a living man, a million years ago, flourishing a tail, and acting like a ferocious brute, what are we going to do with our Sunday school lessons after this. It is plain that this giant is going to cause a great deal of discussion. Professors Taylor, Payne and Carpenter have examined the "muldoon" and think it once lived and had a being. In order to assist Barnum in advertising this "muldoon" the Times poet donates the following strains:

    In the transition period,
      The time we will have to guess,
    A hundred million years ago,
      Or it might be something less —
    When seaweed smiled to seaweed
      On old ocean's heaving beast,
    By wonderful affinity
      That power which made them blessed,
    They entwined their tendrils round them
      For a pillow plain meershaum;
    This led to the propagation
      Of the prehistoric man.

    They talked sweetly to each other
      In their quiet kind of way,
    And the whispering of the sea-foam
      Made them music day by day;
    But countless ages rolled along
      And creation yet improved.
    Through miocene and pliocene
      The fossils are imbued.
    The "Glacial epoch" slid away
      And Carboniferous too,
    And now it taxed creative power
      To know what next to do.

    But finally graduated
      Up to the big "muldoon,"
    Ten million years the seaweed
      Had lain silent in the tomb.

    A short stub-tail was left him,
      (Perhaps for more there was'nt room)
    Just to show how much improvement
      Between him and the baboon.
    His forehead was at first too high,
      It was higher than his crown,

    So to look much more respectable
      He had it hammered down.

    So now the chain's completed,
      The missing link we scan
    Between the seaweed family
      And the present perfect man.
    And "Darwin's theory" justified,
      Conant knows it is a sin,
    Barnum "coppers" all the monkeys now
      And plays "muldoon" to win.
    And Taylor, Page and Carpenter
      Are happy I should say,
    At least they ought to get their "whack"
      And "stand in" with the play.


    Now when people talk "immortal man,"
      Of cherubims with wings,
    Just tell them of the many they found
      At Colorado Springs.

    — J. S. S.

    A portrait of the muldoon is on exhibition at the Times office.


  • The name "Solid Muldoon" was a borrowing from a fairly common piece of slang during the time period, the name even having been used by a Cincinnati baseball team.