Man Tracks on the Paluxy River

The ‘Taylor trail’

From Bad Archaeology, click to follow link

So I recently came across this vid while flipping thought YouTube the other day:

Man Vs. Archaeology Episode 1. (http://bit.ly/o4Mw0D)

It sounded familiar, as if I had heard someone debunking it before…When I realized I’d heard it on MonsterTalk over a year ago (http://bit.ly/q7PBmo).  Kenneth Feder talked about the Cardiff Giant and human foot prints found along side dinosaur ones in the Paluxy River in Glen Rose, TX. As you can see in the vid, Creationists claim that the man tracks are proof that humans and dinosaurs co-existed.  They put together a pretty convincing argument…until you realized there is more then what they are showing you.  If you watch the next vid, Episode 2 I believe, the “expert” they find to interview about the tracks claims that some “unknown individuals” were seen vandalizing the footprints. There-by allowing him to dismiss anything that would make the footprints look funny as vandalism. But I might be getting ahead of myself a bit. Let’s find a safe place to start…

The Paluxy River.

Located in Texas, it is a tributary, formed by the convergence of the North Paluxy River and the South Paluxy River and flows a distance of 29 miles before joining the Brazos River just to the east of Glen Rose, Texas.[1] It is best known for numerous dinosaur footprints found in its bed near Glen Rose at the Dinosaur Valley State Park. Dozens of various dinosaur tracks can be seen fossilized in the banks of the river [2]. To my knowledge, all of the tracks have been identified, including the mysterious “Man Tracks” we’ll cover here.

Man Tracks?

The Paluxy River “Man Tracks” were first discovered in 1908 and rose to popularity in 1938 when they were used as a tourist trap during the Great Depression [2]. Zana Douglas, admitted it was a hoax [3]. The Adams family had originally found many of Glen Rose’s real dinosaur tracks and sold them to tourists in the 1930’s for around $15 to $30 each. When the supply ran low, George Adams, carved more, some with human footprints[3]. Zana said her grandfather, George Adams, was an excellent sculptor [3].

These “human foot prints” caused a bit of a stir and drew the attention of Paleontologist Ronald Bird. He went and investigated them in 1938 and the “human” tracks were found to either be those of a bipedal dinosaur (there are clear claw marks) or chiseled forgeries made by the locals to draw crowds [2].

Sometime in the 1970’s the foot prints were re-discovered by the Creationist movement, even going as far as to make a movie (Footprints in Stone, 1973) to tout the ‘evidence’ of a young earth [2]. This was debunked by Berney Neufeld in 1975, when he wrote about his investigations and identification of the elongated tracks that were mistaken for human prints [5].

In 2009, researcher Glen J. Kuban, published his analysis showing the prints are those of an Upright Dino, the long foot-like depression being it’s elongated metatarsals as it walked plantigrade (heel-down) [4].

Where does this get us.

What do we have here then? We’ve got a printed confession, identification of forgeries, and actual identification of real dinosaurs. That’s pretty open and closed. So what made me so interested in the vid on YouTube? The date.

According to the posting date of the First episode of Man vs. Archaeology the show went live on Aug 5, 2011. The guy hosting is pushing the claim that the tracks are real, his expert wants you to think they are as well, and anything that looks weird is really just vandalism. He also makes some claim about “lost” evidence, which is a huge red flag.

Two of the biggest claims that conspiracy theorists and their like make is that their evidence was either 1) Tampered with in order to disguise the truth, or 2) just out right stolen/lost/covered up so no one can see it. That way, when you ask for their evidence they can plausibly say they can’t show it to you. Not because it doesn’t exist, but because it’s been manipulated or stolen.

And So.

First, I think the name of the show is rather, I don’t know, silly. Man vs. Archaeology, is he getting into a boxing ring with the entirety of the field? Is he going to debate some personification of the field in an open forum? He does have catchy theme music, and a really nice intro, once you’re past all the religious stuff that screams  CONFIRMATION BIAS!!!!

Second, talk about beating a dead horse! I mean, how debunked does this have to be? This was put down in the 1930’s! It was debunked again in ’75 and 2009. Then to try and wave all that away with claims of vandals with crowbars? Come on.

Resources:

[1] “PALUXY RIVER,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rbp17), accessed September 06, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

[2] Feder, Kenneth L. 2010. Encyclopedia of Dubious Archaeology: From Atalantis to the Walam Olum. Santa Barbara, CA. ABC-CLIO, LLC,

[3] Kennedy, Bud. 2008. “Human footprints beside dinosaur tracks? Let’s talk”. Fort Worth Star-Telegram. p. B02. (http://bit.ly/nCW8JQ)

[4] Kuban, Glen J. 2010. “The Paluxy Dinosaur/”Man Track” Controversy” (http://paleo.cc/paluxy.htm), accessed September 06, 2011.  Published by Glen J. Kuban.

[5] Neufeld, Berney. 1975. Dinosaur Tracks and Giant Men. Origins 2(2):64-76.  Geoscience Research Institute. (http://bit.ly/nVu3F6)

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Categories: Weird Archaeology | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Man Tracks on the Paluxy River

  1. Robert Mullen

    If anyone was going to excavate footprints to sell for a profit they will surely take the best , most defined available and if this went on for years what will be left to examine. Texas didnt purchase the property until 1969 which gave it some protection but the damage was done. There is one saving grace to the proponents and Human footprint hopefulls, there are supposedly some trackways that led right into the side of the riverbank and upon excavation into the riverbank more tracks were found. We need some University Archeology Dept. to mount and Archeologic dig and see what can be found still buried.

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    • ShojoBakunyu

      @Robert Mullen: Hey, dumbfcuk, there was already an investigation… Legitimate archaeologists have already been over the site AND THERE IS TESTIMONY OF FRAUD from those that started the claims. You can’t get more debunked than this without building a time machine and going back to video tape the Adams family actually carving the footprints…

      Did you actually READ this article or did you just skim the title?

      “In 2009, researcher Glen J. Kuban, published his analysis showing the prints are those of an Upright Dino, the long foot-like depression being it’s elongated metatarsals as it walked plantigrade (heel-down) “

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      • Look, it is a known fact that those of us in each camp interpret ALL evidence in light of our worldview, where no ROCK SOLID (no pun intended) evidence to the contrary exists. Frankly I do not believe that I am the by product of monkeys getting jiggy with it, my great-great grandaddy, or farther back was not an animal. I believe that my very existence SCREAMS intelligent design. Every house has a builder, its that simple. Evolutionists have their own reasons for believing in such, and denying a Creator and any evidence along with it. Absent seeing how these prints were formed, we will never know and only presume – suffice it to say, significant bodies of folks want the opposite side of the argument proved wrong. There has never been an observed species, from one to another transformation. And ridiculous notions to compensate have been trumped up – Punctual Equalibrium, to name one. And now, all birdies are suddenly related to dinosaurs too.

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  2. Pingback: The 10 Most Not-So-Puzzling Ancient Artifacts: Impossible Fossils « Archaeology Fantasies

  3. Pingback: The 10 Most Not-So-Puzzling Ancient Artifacts: Impossible Fossils « Archaeology Fantasies

  4. Sauropod tracks. I honestly don’t see how sauropod tracks look like human tracks at all.

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  5. Finn

    Peter, you state every house has a builder – what about caves? Those are natural-built, by random forces, and then co-opted into being a house.

    Also, of course all birds are being linked to dinosaurs – it would make even less sense were only, say, half the birds to be linked to dinosaurs, and the others to… what? Elephants? Whales? Tree frogs?

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