The Underground City Hoax

Back in 1885, The Monitor at Moberly, the newspaper for Moberly, MO, reported that coal miners discovered an elaborate underground city, complete with statuary, utensils, and even a skeleton of a giant.

Recently, this story was “dug up” and reposted on the internet by several people this year, but the earliest I saw in 2015 was by Kristan Harris on the website of a radio station in Milwaukee. See, City Found 350 Feet Below Missouri City, Giant Skeleton Found for a couple graphics of the original newspaper articles from 1885.

This is an interesting meme of pseudoarchaeology since a few things are going on that simply intrigue me.

First, there’s that odd habit proponents of pseudoarchaeological ideas have of digging through and regurgitating 19th century news articles. ¬†Somehow science was better before the discipline of archaeology even existed and the poor observation and reporting of the 19th century become more trustworthy with age. No question is offered as to “why we don’t know more about” whatever 19th century claim was being made (giants, lost cities, so-called “out of place artifacts, etc.). Where are these “artifacts” now? Why can we not test them or evaluate them?

Second, that theme of “giants” seems to be finding attachment to all sorts of crazy archaeological claims. I think the majority of the “giant” proponents are specifically referring to the “nephalim” -those fallen angels of biblical mythology.

Third, the gullibility of those that read these memes is utterly fascinating. They don’t for a second stop to wonder if it might all be a hoax or some sort of misinformation.

Oh, did I mention that the underground city of Moberly, MO was an April Fools joke that the Moberly Monitor published?

About Carl Feagans 398 Articles
Professional archaeologist that currently works for the United States Forest Service at the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. I'm also a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army and spent another 10 years doing adventure programming with at-risk teens before earning my master's degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.


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