Funny things happen. Iím from Saint Petersburg Florida currently and was telling my colleague a story.

 

Years back I worked  for a man  who told me an interesting story that I told her. She looked things up on the internet and found your website.

 

During the 80ís I worked for a man that led an interesting life, he was always telling me true stories of all the things he did in his life. He bought his wife in  Morocco just after WWII while stationed there as an electrical engineer for the Navy.

 

Once he walked up to me and asked me if he had ever told me about his Petrified Man.. I answered no and the following is what he told me.

 

After leaving the Navy he relocated to Mulberry Florida. The biggest Industry in the area was phosphate mining.  He worked there and was promoted to dragline operator. As you probably know draglines dig up the dirt.  The buckets are so large they can hold a car just to give you an idea the size of the machines.  He told me one day he arrived for his shift and the dragline was not moving.  A bad sign that more than likely meant the machine was broken and it would be a bad day for him.

 

As he got out of his truck he noticed all the fellows off to one side looking at something. He approached the men and discovered why everyone stopped working.  On the ground in front of him the dragline had placed a few things that were dug up around 60-80 feet below. The first was a canoe if I remember correctly was about 20-30 feet long and had broken in half during excavation. I questioned the wording of canoe, he said like a native American canoe, but it was petrified. I spoke up and said it probably was not native American era, which he replied oh no it had to be much older to be petrified. Nearby was a second canoe completely intact and the guys were focused on something else. A petrified man, I cannot remember how tall he said it was but it was larger than the average man (maybe 9-12 feet tall) the man was complete and not broken. Then the shift supervisor drove up yelling and complaining why everyone had stopped working. They showed him the items they found and he told them to push it back in the hole.

 

I ask why he would say something like that and he told me the supervisor said if the news got a hold of it they would make them stop digging phosphate. He then asked if he could just take The petrified man home, the supervisor said it was ok Just for them to get back to work.

 

The next day he arrived with a trailer and used the dragline to load the petrified man. He wanted to take the unbroken canoe but no one knew what had happened to the canoe.

 

Mr. Buckner took it home and loaned it out to a museum in Ohio for a couple of decades Then the museum contacted him and indicated that they were not longer interested in keeping  the piece on loan. His brother asked what he was going to do with the petrified man and he

did not really know, so he gave it to his brother whom had lost both legs in WWII. Mr. Buckner Ďs  brother found some interest from Ripleyís believe it or not and had displayed it in Orlando.

 

I was really interested and asked if he knew if it was on display. He said they rotated their pieces And the last time he went it was not on display. I was really surprised that my colleague found your website and the stories are almost identical. The gentleman passed some years ago his  name was Omar Buckner. I always wondered what his petrified man looked like and now maybe  I know.

 

Thanks for posting the stories, Iím not certain that it is the same one but it is very coincidental .

 

Thanks for creating your website!

 

Charles Watson - Tampa Bay Times - Saint Petersburg, Fl

 


 

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