It’s the Most Wondrous Thing

The Story of Evansville, Indiana’s Petrified Man

Scam artists and their dishonest activities have long been with us. One of my favor research and writing projects, carried out with my old college roommate, Carl Runyon, concerned a long forgotten and colorful fraud perpetrated on the city of Evansville in 1902.

The hoax involved the supposed discovery of a petrified man in the shallow waters of the Ohio River just off the city’s busy wharfs. This true story is filled with a host of colorful characters, much like a Mark Twain yarn, and reminds us that the world is full of people ready to believe the most impossible things.