WHAT IT'S ABOUT Brothers Jim and Bill Vieira are a pair of stonemasons from Ashfield, Massachusetts, who happen to believe in extinct 8-foot-tall giants, and in this series, they are out to prove it. First, they have to find the bones. Could that long, ancient and mysterious tunnel in nearby Goshen be the final resting place one such giant? Maybe. Maybe not. Who cares?! Jim is relentless and he wants his bones.
MY SAY On Oct. 16, 1869, a 10-foot-tall petrified man was unearthed on some land in upstate Cardiff, a hamlet just south of Syracuse. It was the sensation of the day, and soon, P.T. Barnum located his own petrified giant too. People paid good money to see these giants . . . and then the giants came crashing down.
The Cardiff Giant was one of the great hoaxes of the 19th century, yielding this priceless observation long attributed to Barnum himself: "A sucker is born every minute . . ." (A lot of other giant hoaxes sprang up before and after. Nineteenth century Americans were fascinated with them.)
With the spirit (and story) of the Cardiff Giant gently tucked somewhere inside your conscious -- and critical -- mind, by all means watch this hilariously silly and overheated series about two guys who believe there must be giants. Just don't expect to see any evidence of said giants.
Jim and Bill do seem like nice guys, while their quest is a fun -- and not entirely uninformative -- one. For example, I never knew about the Goshen Mystery tunnel, did you? It's fascinating.
But a race of tall dudes who once roamed the land and would've made LeBron James look petite? Or better yet, a race of cannibal giants that once roamed the land in search of victims? Oh, dear.
Meanwhile, heed the words of the TED Talks curator in Massachusetts who actually pulled Jim Vieira's talk from the popular lecture website (ted.com) a couple of years ago. In the letter to Vieira, she wrote: "TED's fact check found that your talk is based on a debunked popular hoax from the early 1900s and promotes a well-known and widely discredited fringe theory."