Nestled in the rolling hills of North central Texas is a little town called Glen Rose. This little town, with a population of around 2300, has been a tourist attraction since the mid 20th century with the discovery of dinosaur fossil footprints along the banks of the Paluxy river that runs through the town. Old Indian legends from the area around Glen Rose say that giant turkeys and men used to leave their footprints in the stone river bed.
The little town started down the track of contention when in 1908 a massive flash flood tore through the Paluxy river causing Volkswagon sized boulders to be washed down the stream. The flood caused the river level to rise 27 feet. The erosion that resulted from the flood exposed new layers of rock along the bed and shores of the river. Not long after the flood, fossilized dinosaur footprints were found by a local resident named George Adams who thought them to be giant turkey tracks. When these footprints were shown to Robert McDonald, a local school teacher, they were determined to be a type of carnivorous dinosaur. George’s brother Ernest Talbot Adams, a highly intelligent man, knew about the tracks too. Robert Summers grew up in Glen Rose and was a close friend of “Bull” Adams as he was nicknamed.
“Bull” Adams was friends with another resident named Charlie Moss and in 1909, on their numerous swimming excursions in the Paluxy river, Bull showed Charlie another set of tracks. He referred to them as “giant man tracks”. According to Mr. Adams there was a clear set of at least 9 of them in the location known as the 4th river crossing near the waterfall several miles up the Paluxy river from Glen Rose.
At least 15 local people testified to seeing the same set of tracks in that area which became known as the 4th crossing tracks. Mr. Moss said this about the tracks, “they were so plain that you could see where he was walkin’ and then he got up on the balls of his feet and commenced to run.”
Around 1910 Charlie, taking an interest in the tracks from Bull, also found what he thought were giant elephant tracks. They turned out to be large five toed sauropod tracks which were that of a long necked plant eating type of dinosaur now given the name Paluxysaurus in the nearby Dinosaur Valley State park brochure.
In 1918 another flood occurred, not as bad as the 1908 flood, which washed away additional rocks exposing more of the layers. But unfortunately the 4th crossing “giant man tracks” were swept downriver never to be seen again. Mr. Moss, a young man at the time and just back from the first world war, claimed to have found another set of what he described as “giant man tracks” in the location called “Blue Hole” which is now in Dinosaur Valley State park. The tracks were referred to by locals as “Charlie’s tracks”. Later these tracks too were washed away in another flood in the early 30’s. Another local resident of Glen Rose with property up against the Paluxy river, named Emmit McFall, claimed to have first seen the “giant man tracks” in 1923 when he was 28 years old.
Mr. McFall’s grandfather Emmit used to have a sign out advertising to the public to come and see the giant man tracks which were more prevalent there than any place along the river. He would charge a small fee and would give tours to people along the banks of the Paluxy river behind his house.
At this point in time the idea of man and dinosaurs living together at the same time was not so strange, after all the theory of evolution was not being taught widespread throughout the public school system and in fact in the 20’s some state’s had laws prohibiting the teaching of evolution. So the idea that man and dinosaur living together was not such a strange phenomenon and residents in and around Glen Rose thought nothing of the “giant man tracks”. The Bible even talks about there being giants in the earth in the days of Noah and afterward. Additionally, in Job 40:15 God describes to a man named Job a creature that Job saw similar to a large dinosaur type of creature the Bible named as “Behemoth” which had a tail like a cedar tree. But in the 20’s generally, most people did not reject the giant man track evidence around Glen Rose because of the Bible’s description of giants like Goliath of Gath.
When the stock market crashed in 1929 and the great depression hit many people did just about anything they could imagine to earn money. One of the obvious things to do, around a tourist town based on dinosaurs like Glen Rose, was to sell fossil footprints from the Paluxy river bed. Many locals like Jim Ryals chiseled tracks out of the river bed and sold them to tourists. The going rate was $2.40 a day for work on extracting a track. It would take days to extract a track. Mr Ryals said that he would hold the chisel and his wife would use the hammer remove the tracks.
The public, at the time, was mostly interested in dinosaurs so it was generally the dinosaur tracks that were taken out of the river. However, after some time, a few of the giant human like footprints were taken out and sold too. Jim Ryals was one of the main people to extract some of the best tracks including giant human ones. He claimed to have extracted at least 100 dinosaur tracks and around 15 human tracks from the river bed over his lifetime.
A very clear and pristine human track was extracted by Mr. Ryals and then sold to a Doctor Cook in Cleburne TX.
Thousands of people claimed to have seen the track which was on display at the Cook medical clinic in the wall there. Unfortunately upon Dr. Cook’s death it is believed by his son that the track was stolen and has been missing to this day.
Over time in the 1930’s, George Adams got the idea to carve some of the tracks, both dinosaur and human, and sell them too.
According to Jim Ryals, “It was fairly easy to recognize a carved track over a real one. The carved ones were generally flat with no mud push up around the sides and no compression lines within the rock.” As far as researchers can tell less than 6 human tracks were known to have been carved. However, the fact that some were carved doesn’t discredit the real ones that have been seen, photographed, and recovered.
Dr. John Morris of the institute for creation research made this comment, “These counterfeit tracks do not, of course, disprove the genuine tracks. In fact, it could only have been the existence of genuine tracks that made the manufacture of counterfeits profitable.” John Morris
Morris makes a good point. Additionally, why would people start carving human tracks if there were no originals there initially to give them the idea?
Eventually, in 1938 A couple of human footprints taken from the Paluxy river ended up in an Indian trading post store front window in Gallup, NM. A field explorer for the American Museum of Natural History in New York named Roland T. Bird was passing through NM on a nationwide search for dinosaur tracks. He entered the store and examined the human footprints, which he thought were carved, and said this, “
“Yes, they apparently are real enough. Real as the rock could be . . the strangest things of their kind I had ever seen. On the surface of each was displayed the near-likeness of a human foot, perfect in every detail. But each imprint was 15 inches long!”—*Roland T. Bird, “Thunder in His Footsteps,” in Natural History, May 1939, p. 255.
Bird referred to the human like tracks as “mystery tracks” in his writings. After talking to the store clerk he found out that two more dinosaur prints from the same rock layer were in another of Jack Hill’s stores in Lupten. Bird headed for Lupten that evening. He was excited to see the clear dinosaur prints and was told they all came from the Paluxy river Near Glen Rose TX. These leads prompted him to stop in Glen Rose TX on his way back to New York to examine the track claims for himself. After stopping in at the town square he was told to talk to a Jim Ryals who knew all about the dinosaur and “mystery tracks”.
Bird traveled to Mr. Ryals house which was along the banks of the Paluxy river in the area now owned by Dinosaur Valley state park. After interrupting Mr. Ryals chopping wood for the winter, Bird immediately inquired about the “mystery tracks”. Jim Ryals looked puzzled and then said, “Oh you mean the giant man tracks.” Ryals was reluctant but took Bird to the river where he was shown the “giant man tracks”. The track he was shown was not as clear as the ones in the store front window and so Bird remained skeptical. He then asked about the dinosaur tracks and Mr. Ryals told him where he could find them. Bird also got in touch with “Bull” Adams who also showed him the dinosaur tracks along with numerous other residents. After spending at least a week in Glen Rose he found, some believe was shown, a long trail of sauropod tracks.
This event put Glen Rose on the map. Bird was impressed with the size, number, and clarity of the sauropod footprint trail in the Paluxy and began his intense study and research of the area. Eventually, 7 train car loads of dinosaur tracks were extracted from the river and shipped to the American Museum in New York to form a large dinosaur display that exists there to this very day.
Sadly, according to a Reverend xxxxx near the trail of sauropod tracks Bird extracted was a trail of human footprints which he chose to ignore and leave behind in the river bed. These tracks were extracted and sent to Columbia Union College.
Part of the problem Bird and others had with the man tracks was that many were giant. This did not fit into the paradigm of evolution which says that man started out small and got larger over time. However, for Christians, it fits perfectly within the Biblical view point. The Scriptures say in Genesis, “There were giants in the earth in those days.” Just before the story of the global flood of Noah.
The May 1939 Natural History magazine article was the first and last time Bird mentioned the human tracks in his writings of the Paluxy fossil tracks but that was all it took. A geologist and member of one of the first Creationist organizations, the Deluge Geological Society, named Clifford L. Burdick was inspired by the article and decided to investigate the Glen Rose tracks.
Burdick began his search for the human prints he saw in the article taken from the store front window in 1945 and managed to locate them in a small museum in Arizona. Later in 1950 he published a short article entitled “When GIANTS Roamed the Earth: Their Fossil Footprints Still Visible!” in the Seventh Day Adventist periodical Signs of the Times.
Burdick continued to research and document the tracks throughout his lifetime. Footprints, both dinosaur and human, were found and extracted from the river bed. The primary reason they were extracted were because when exposed to the weather they were subject to serious erosion due to the carbonic acid that built up on them. They would be preserved if extracted.
Burdick continued to write and speak on the “giant man tracks” that existed in the river bed and in 1961 photographs taken by Burdick of the tracks appeared in the book “The Genesis Flood” by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris. This book was admitted by Ken Ham to be the inspiration for the start of the modern creation science movement and eventually the popular ministry called Answers in Genesis. Burdick, seen here, is holding one of the human tracks and dinosaur tracks he obtained from the AZ museum. However, due to pressure from skeptics and aetheists the tracks were claimed to be carvings and the pictures were removed from later editions of “The Genesis Flood”.
In 1964 Dr. Billy Caldwell a geologist from Fort Worth Texas had an interesting encounter with one of the “giant man tracks” from the Paluxy river bed.
The real print that Bill Osborne sold was last seen at the 1965 New York World’s fair. It has never been seen since. Probably, like many artifacts that go against the mainstream belief, it was bought up and hidden forever or destroyed. Dr. Don Patton a geologist and researcher in Biblical Archaeology has experienced numerous stonewalling, disinfo, and even destruction of evidence when it comes to evidence that supports the Biblical viewpoint.
Eventually, after Dinosaur Valley State Park was created, in the late 70’s a state law was passed that disallowed any stone removal from the riverbed. Thus, chiseling out tracks from the river became illegal.
The human track claims really took off when in 1968 Reverend Stanley Taylor from Peoria, IL, who heard about the human tracks in the Paluxy river through the writings of Clifford Burdick and other groups, decided to come down and investigate for himself. Stan Taylor conducted numerous interviews with old timers, shot 16mm film, and even extended the existing human footprint trails by excavating the overburden along the bank of the river. Fresh new human and dinosaur tracks were found in the same rock layer next to each other and one the trails was named the “Taylor Trail” after him. A film called “Footprints in Stone” was made using a 16mm camera and released in 1972. This film showed numerous people putting their feet in the tracks with near perfect fit. For at least a decade this film was shown to numerous church and school groups across the country.
Dr. Patton also took students down to Glen Rose to see the tracks.
Additionally, Dr. Cecil N. Dougherty a chiropractor that moved to Glen Rose, specifically because of the tracks, spent 17 years investigating them and photographing him. In 1971 he came out with a book called “Valley of the Giants” which gave descriptions, locations, and pictures of the giant human foot prints.
But the real controversy didn’t begin until a graduate student by the name of Carl Baugh came to Glen Rose in 1981 to excavate some of the dinosaur tracks. Dr. Baugh was a Christian but believed in evolutionary theory and cleaved to the idea that man and dinosaur were separated by 65 million years of time and so was not expecting to discover the shocking revelation that changed his paradigm.
Upon his revelation of human footprints next to dinosaur, several Fort Worth and Dallas news agencies contacted him. He was also contacted by the National news media ABC & CBS.
This, finally, got the attention of atheist groups and individuals. Several teams came down to see the tracks. A very young Richard Dawkins even showed up in the town of Glen Rose to belittle the so called “human footprints”. But the biggest antagonist of the human tracks was a computer programmer named Glen Kuban. If one Googles “Paluxy river tracks” Kuban’s website is one of the first of many to come up. He and Ron Hastings, a science teacher in TX, first went down and investigated the Paluxy tracks after the human track claim made national news in 1982. They took pictures, measurements, and gathered data finally concluding that the tracks were a type of dinosaur track called a tridactyl metatarsal track. They pointed out that tridactyl prints were seen in most of the prints in the “Taylor” trail. The atheists cried foul and that the prints were dinosaur prints and not human. Kuban was recognized as humanist of the year for his conclusion. John Morris of the Institute for Creation research got involved and traveled to Glen Rose to examine the tracks more closely. He came to the conclusion that the evidence was not decisive enough to be called human. The pressure was enough to cause the producers of the movie “Footprints in Stone” to take it out of production. While, it was true that tridactyl prints in the Taylor trail existed, Dr. Baugh explains:
Upon examining the tracks closely it can be seen that, at the time the prints were formed, the human came after the dinosaur, was following them, stepping in, and around the tridactyl prints. This, as it turns out, is even more definitive evidence that man and dinosaurs literally walked together at the same time. One of the best prints that were found around the tridactyl prints at the Taylor trail was -3B.
The -3B track was so good that Don Patton began convincing many people during his presentations that dinosaurs and man existed contemporaneously. In August of 1989 Don was giving a presentation in Dayton TN and explains:
In 1999 Mr. Kuban was asked by Dr. Aaron Judkins if he would take a lie detector test regarding the destruction of the tracks at the Taylor site. He said if Don Patton would take a lie detector test he would too. Dr. Patton took the lie detector test and successfully passed. Mr. Kuban never showed up to take his test.
Another accusation from skeptics and evolutionists was that the prints were eroded tridactyl metatarsal footprints. The dinosaurs were walking on their heels, or metatarsal, not putting much pressure on their toes and after the prints were formed the toe impressions were slowly eroded and filled in.
The problem with this explanation is that the metatarsal tracts, after erosion, should be symmetrical about the vertical axis. If you were to draw a vertical line down the center of a tridactyl print dividing the outline in half, this vertical line would be called the line of symmetry. A print or image is said to be symmetrical if you cut it in half and the mirror image of one half matches the other half. This doesn’t happen with the majority of the footprints claimed to be human. A human footprint is assymetrical. Cutting a human footprint in half and then taking a mirror image of each half doesn’t match up. The majority of the human footprints show a clear indication of a left-right pattern even if the toes aren’t clearly distinguishable in some.
Another problem with the eroded tridactyl print theory is that the eroded print should not show indications of the arch of a human foot. A human foot curves inward where the arch is. A tridactyl foot does not.
But this counter evidence didn’t stop the humanists and establishment media from discrediting the tracts. Many ideas of how the human like footprints could be explained away were presented.
And finally, even the Dinosaur Valley State Park brochure mentions the types of tracks found in the park area. Interestingly, the tridactyl prints are missing from the brochure. If these dinosaurs were common to the area why aren’t their tracks listed on the brochure? Why would the theropod tracks remain so clear with definitive toe prints while the tridactyl’s have eroded?
The clear bias in the mainstream quickly became obvious.
The modus operandi of the evolutionists for the Paluxy human footprints appears to be as follows, if the track in question has been extracted from the river bed then it has been carved. If it is found in situ with dinosaur tracks then it is a dinosaur track and not a human footprint. The idea that man and dinosaur lived contemporaneously is simply unacceptable to them.
The national news media, books, magazines, and universities have no problem endorsing evolutionist Mary Leakey’s find of the Laotoli human footprints in volcanic ash from Africa. One of the footprints seen here shows only a vague asymmetric shape with no clear toe prints, heel, or arch. But this was acceptable as a human footprint to the evolutionists because there were no dinosaur tracks found nearby. Mary Leakey’s discovery first appeared in a National Geographic Article in April 1979 titled “Footprints in the Ashes of Time,”
And she said this regarding the determination of the height of the individual making the human footprint:
“An anthropological rule of thumb holds that the length of the foot represents about 15 percent of an individual’s height.”—*Mary D. Leakey, “Footprints in the Ashes of Time,” National Geographic, April 1979, p. 453.
The artist that did the painting for the cover of the magazine took the liberty to paint a walking ape like humanoid with ape like feet showing the big toe of the footprint extending out to the side based purely on imagination and not science.
But it wasn’t just the Taylor trail that Dr. Baugh was walking on. To date he has excavated over 90 human footprints with various teams using video and documentation. Over the years he has obtained a number of artifacts buried from the global flood of Noah.
In 1984 Dr. Baugh obtained another print from the Paluxy through Clifford Burdick and so called by the same name. Burdick found the track during construction of the route 67 bridge that crosses over the Paluxy river in the 1960’s. This print is currently located in the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose where Dr. Baugh set up in the early 1980’s when he decided to spend a lifetime here researching and examining the tracks.
One of the most startling discoveries to come out of Glen Rose was found at the turn of this century. A 72 year old resident of Stephenville TX and amateur fossil hunter, Alvis Delk, was walking along a tributary of the Paluxy river bed when he came across a fairly large fossilized rock with a dinosaur footprint in it.
The rock was lodged between several other rocks and after about 45 minutes of work he was able to get the slab loose. He took it home and stored it with the rest of his other finds he had accumulated through the years.
In 2008, he was working on a ladder at his house when he fell and injured his back fairly severely. He needed money to pay off his medical debt and decided to sell the track to Dr. Baugh’s creation evidence museum in Glen Rose Texas. He took a soft brush and started to clean the dust and dirt off of the slab when it revealed a startling image. Within the tip of the dinosaur footprint was the outline and shape of a human foot. The rock clearly displayed all five toes, instep, and heel partially penetrated by a three toed theropod type of dinosaur probably the popular acrocanthasarus common to the area.
Unintentionally, Mr. Delk increased the value of his fossil find exponentially when he sold it to Dr. Baugh’s Creation Evidence museum.
Another significant print that Dr. Baugh obtained in 2010 was the OW Willet print which was taken out of a limestone ledge along the banks of the Paluxy river in the 1950’a at a location along the river where the current Dinosaur Valley State Park is located. Mr Willet’s family was in possession of the print for 60 years and finally decided to sell it to Dr. Baugh’s museum. Here is the print that was taken out of the rock back in the days when it was legal to do so.
Retired park rangers have told people that they used to have yellow paint sprayed around the human tracks and would point them out to the public when they came to visit. But after evolution became popular in the 70’s they were forced to tell the public that there were no human tracks in the park. When we investigated Dinosaur Valley State Park we were told by the park interpreter Kathy XXXXX exactly that.
Audio clip of Kathy saying there are no human tracks in the park.
Dr. Aaron Judkins a Biblical Archaeologist from the Glen Rose area showed us the hole in the rock layer where the Willet print was taken from.
Just past the hole where the Willet track was removed was the fairly eroded remains of two more tracks hidden in plain view in the park where tourists walk every day oblivious to the significance of the fossil formation they step over.
But the human tracks aren’t just a local phenomenon. It is a world wide occurrence.
Another interesting track that was found by Dr. Patton in NM can be seen here.
Human fossil footprints in ancient rock have also been found in OK, KS, UT, AZ, Australia, Africa, Europe, and Russia. One of the biggest known locations of dinosaur tracks is in Turkmenistan. There are estimated to be over 1500 dinosaur tracks there and several investigators claim that at least four separate trails of human footprints have been seen there too. Dr. Patton was trying to get over there to investigate the human footprint claim.
Another example was that of the Meister print.
When Mr. Meister first found the print he took it to a geologist to examine it. The geologist offered him a quarter of a million dollars for the print. Mr. Meister asked “What are you going to do with it if I sell it to you?” The geologist stated, “I’m going to destroy it.” “It destroys my entire life’s work as a geologist.”