For quite some time I have been collecting information on million-plus year old out-of-place-artifacts (aka ooparts) and thought it might be fun to list them in a blog. So, I started with fossilized footprints for this blog and I will move onto more interesting human-made artifacts for the next blog.
So here are footprints in the mud—uh, fossilized mud:
Photo reproduced in many places on the www
This footprint comes from what is know as the Permian layer, dated to 250-290 millions years ago.
The first of two great extinction events occurred about 252.2 million years ago, wiping out most of life on earth. This human would have walked before that time.
The print was discovered in New Mexico and was authentic enough for the Smithsonian to publish an article about it.
Sometime after that first extinction event 252.2 million years ago, someone may have left a shoe print which is said to show a “well defined sewn thread” and “indentation, exactly such as would have been made by the bone of the heel rubbing upon and wearing down the material of which the sole had been made.” (I am unable to find a picture with enough detail to show sewn seams.)
The statement was made by Dr. W.H. Ballou in 1922. The article that was cited is said to be from the New York Sunday American. Dr. Ballou also published in Scientific American.
Opposing opinions: The major critic of these million year old human footprints is Glen J. Kuban. He has shown some examples of natural rock formation he calls “similar” to this print. To me, his examples were not convincing.
This is Michael Tellinger in South Africa next to a print almost too big to believe, yet there it is.
The movement of the earth plates has pushed the print up vertically and you can see where toes pushed the mud ahead of the foot. Mr. Tellinger has done a nice (short) YouTube on this piece which is dated to around 200 millions years ago at a minimum. (The print, not the video.) It—the print—might be billions of years old according to Mr. Tellinger.
Humans walking with Dinosaurs
Print posted on many different websites
This is the Delk footprint from the Paluxy riverbed in Texas. It certainly looks like a dinosaur print over a human one. It has been dated to the Cretaceous period 145-65 million years ago.
The second of the two great extinctions occurred 65 million years ago, so he—or she—would have walked the earth before that event.
Is it real? Unfortunately most information on million year old human prints is found on Creationist websites. They are cited as evidence that earth was created in 7 days.
What does critic Glen J. Kuban have to say about this print? His final arguments center around the creationists’ inability to provide “convincing proof” of their theory. But there are other theories that would account for the authenticity of these prints.
Later debunkers claimed the fossil was “carved” as Kuban found the back of the dinosaur print to be too wide. Wouldn’t a dinosaur slosh and slide in the mud?
You would need, I think, an impartial geologist to affirm or debunk the hoax theory.
There are reported to be trails of these prints up and down the river, but the pictures I found of larger sections of the Paluxy riverbed showed no more than puddled indentations in the rocks.
Here are more close-ups attributed to the site:
This next print is attributed to an 1885 article in the American Anthropologist and is said to be in Brea, Kentucky:
Some questionable shoe prints:
Here is another picture of a fossilized shoe print, this one found in sediment 15 million years old. One website says it was discovered in a seam of coal in Fisher Canyon, Pershing County, Nevada. (Ah, wait: the youngest coal is 250 million years old.)
Searching further, I find a creationist website states this print was discovered in northern Washington state, this time in rock dated to 10-15 million years ago.
Yet another website claims the print to be 200 million years old and from Urumqi City in China.
Again there are reports of defined stitches and a wear pattern consistent with walking, but no clear detailed internet pictures are available.
I am skeptical about this one, I must admit.
This 290-355 million year old print is said to have a crushed trilobite embedded in the sole of the shoe. The trilobite is real, but is that a shoe?
Again evidence for the authenticity of this print comes from creationist websites. As a single example, this does not convince me. However, Dr. Clifford Burdick, a “creationist geologist” states there are other human prints in the area, including one of a child, but no pictures were shown.
If that is a shoe, it is very flat, so I remain undecided about this one.
If you do a search of “million year old human prints,” there are many other examples on the internet, but I have chosen the most convincing ones.
To put these footprints into perspective, there is an accepted Lucy-like human left footprint that dates to 3.7 million years ago. Not 15 million, or 30 million, or 300 million, or even a billion years old.
It is hard to imagine all these prints are coincidental, or are faked. And with two great extinction events intervening between 290 million and 15 million years ago, it does seem plausible that humankind has prospered only to go nearly extinct more than once on the earth.