Tracking Down Man Tracks
Special Report, November 2, 1967
Robert E. Gentet
On pages 173-175 of The Genesis Flood are some unusual material about the supposed discovery of human and dinosaur footprints found together. I will quote from the 1961 edition of this book. It says:
"In Figures 10 and 11 are shown some remarkable footprints found in a Cretaceous limestone formation near Glen Rose, Texas. In this formation are found both human and dinosaur footprints, close together and in some cases overlapping. The pictures were made by Mr. Clifford L. Burdick, a practicing mining geologist of much experience and of excellent geological education, who says: 'The May 1939 issue of NATURAL HISTORY, published by the American Museum of Natural History, has an article by Roland Bird, of the museum, with photos of human and dinosaur tracks they dug up there and shipped to New York. It is reported that they even dug up a dinosaur track superimposed upon a human track'" (pages 173-174).
The May 1939 issue of NATURAL HISTORY is available through the Pasadena library [note: now on the internet!], and we have copies of Mr. Bird's article entitled "Thunder in His Footsteps." Anyone carefully reading the article will discover that only THREE human-like footprints are mentioned in the article. TWO of them were not even seen by Mr. Bird at Glen Rose. Rather, he saw them in Jack Hill's Indian Trading Store in Gallup, New Mexico! He also found some fake dinosaur tracks there and wrote: "The dinosaur footprints were found as represented and, like the 'mystery tracks,' they were fine specimens – too fine. I had every reason to suspect the entire lot had been fashioned by some stone artist….It was learned both types came from Glen Rose, Texas (pages 255-256).
Mr. Bird then went to Glen Rose and located the dinosaur tracks in the river bed. When he inquired about the supposed "man tracks" a Mr. Ryals led him to the ONLY "man track" visible at that time. Mr. Bird's account in NATURAL HISTORY records the event as follows:
"Finally after jumping from stone to stone we stopped at a shallow hole with a muddy bottom. Ryals sloshed a shovel back and forth and then stood back whiled the current washed the surface clean. I watched closely as the outline of a foot took form, something about 15 inches long with a curious elongated heel. What I saw was discouraging in one sense, enlightening in another. Apparently it had been made by some hitherto unknown dinosaur or reptile. The original mud had been very soft at this point, and the rock had preserved faithfully this element of softness, but the track lacked definition in which to base conclusions. There was only the one, and though my eyes itched to see a good one, the overlying ledge covered any possible next print. Ryals said he knew of no others exposed at present" (page 257).
The above quotation is in total agreement with the statements a Mr. Charlie C. Moss personally gave us. Mr. Moss has lived in Glen Rose all his life and now has the opportunity to show to people the dinosaur footprints still plainly visible in the Paluxy River bed. THE GENESIS FLOOD statements implying that the supposed human tracks are still visible in the Paluxy River bed are highly questionable. Neither Ryals nor Moss could lead us to any print in the river bed today. No indication that even ONE so-called human footprint is now visible in the Paluxy River bed exists! But, there are prints plainly visible of two different kinds of dinosaurs. The "man print" that Ryals showed Bird is not there today. Ryals said it had been eroded by the river. Furthermore, we could find no indication that Bird or any other scientist has ever dug up any of these supposed man tracks, as Burdick seems to claim. Burdick's statement that: "It is reported that they even dug up a dinosaur track superimposed upon a human track" is not based upon the NATURAL HISTORY article. NATURAL HISTORY says no such thing. Neither did Ryals nor Moss tell us any such thing.
Burdick also claimed that Bird's article has "photos of human and dinosaur tracks they dug up there and shipped to New York." Anyone who examines Bird's article will only find pictures of DINOSAUR prints in the Paluxy River – some of which were excavated and are on display today in New York. We could find no evidence that any picture was ever taken of ANY of the supposed "man tracks" in the river bed. Bird's article DOES contain a picture of the two FAKE man tracks that were seen in the Indian Trading Store in New Mexico. If one compares this picture in NATURAL HISTORY with the prints that Mr. Burdick has, as shown in THE GENESIS FLOOD, it is seen that both appear to be the same prints! Apparently, he now has these "man" prints from the Trading Store – or, at least, reproductions of them!! Bird, Moss, and Ryals all agree that the prints in the Indian Trading Store are all hoaxes!
Moss told us that a local resident named George Adams had a unique hobby. He liked to take home limestone rock from the river bed and carve out fake dinosaur AND human-like footprints. These prints that Burdick has are probably from George Adams, just like many other fake prints that have been manufactured by this now deceased man! We even bough a print of one of these fake human tracks from a Carroll Hulsey who runs a junk and salvage store three miles east of Glen Rose.
ALL these prints now in circulation are obviously hand-made for several reasons: (1) They do NOT shown any ridges around the perimeters. The REAL dinosaurs' prints do. Any object with that much weight steeping into soft mud will naturally push up mud around it and in some cases the mud will even flow back into part of the print. This is easily seen today by examining the dinosaur prints still in the river bed. These characteristics are NOT present in the human-like prints shown in THE GENESIS FLOOD or in any we saw while at Glen Rose. (2) The toes of the "man prints" that Burdick has are all the same length!! The little toe is just as long as the big toe! (See figures 10 and 11 on pages 174-175 of THE GENESIS FLOOD, and compare with picture shown on page 256 of "Thunder in His Footsteps.") (3) The toes are not at the same depth in the rock as the rest of the foot, as one should expect. (4) Neither print – either the left or the right foot – shown any arch!
Apparently someone else also checked up on the original NATURAL HISTORY article and brought this to the attention of the authors of THE GENESIS FLOOD, Morris and Whitcomb. Perhaps the authors themselves checked up on Burdick's statement, for in the 1965 edition of their book they have almost thoroughly revised this section of their book! Here is what they now write about these alleged human prints:
"In Figures 10 and 11 are shown some remarkable footprints found in a Cretaceous limestone formation near Glen Rose, Texas, photographed by Mr. Clifford L. Burdick, a practicing mining geologist. Roland T. Bird a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History, carefully examined the rocks pictured in Figure 11 and reported as follows: 'Yes, they apparently were real enough. Real as rock could be…the strangest thing of their kind I had ever seen. On the surface of each was splayed the near-likeness of a human foot, perfect in every detail. But each imprint was 15 inches long.'"
Anyone checking up on Morris' and Whitcomb's use of Bird's statement will readily see that the quote is talking about the prints Bird saw in the Indian Trading Store in New Mexico –not the single print he saw in the river bed at Glen Rose! Bird says:
"…It was learned both types [both the dinosaur and human-like prints that Bird calls fakes] came from Glen Rose, Texas."
And, they probably did! But, not from genuine prints excavated out of the river bed! But, they came from the handiwork of George Adams or who knows who else. Bird told the store clerk:
"I'm afraid your Jack Hill has found himself a pair of fake footprints," and later he wrote: "I had every reason to suspect the entire lot had been fashioned by some stone artist."
We now know that this stone artist's name was probably George Adams who wore a 14 or 15 size shoe according to Mr. Moss's personal statement to us! Mr. Ryals told me by phone on 11/1/67 that he went to New Mexico to personally see these tracks at the Indian Trading Store and he came away believing that they were HAND-made, carved out of rock by some stone artist, just like Bird from the American Museum plainly said he believed.
It is also very important to notice that in Morris' and Whitcomb's rewrite they slyly admit that the prints Burdick now has came from the Indian Trading Store in New Mexico:
"Roland T. Bird, a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History, carefully examines the rocks pictured in Figure 11 and reported as follows…."
But WHERE did Bird examine these prints? Morris and Whitcomb proceed to quote a section from Bird's article that deals with the "man prints" he saw in the Indian Trading Store! The strong implication is that Burdick got the two prints in New Mexico for there is no evidence that there were any prints visible in the Paluxy River bed when Burdick and other Seventh Day Adventists went to Glen Rose to check. We discovered that many Seventh Day Adventists have come to Glen Rose and the surrounding area trying to locate more of the supposed "man tracks" – but without any success!
That something is fishy about the whole story is obvious. In the (SDA publication) SIGNS OF THE TIMES for May, 1955, Burdick writes:
"Please recall Mr. Ryal's [sic] reference to the whole trail of giant human tracks above the fourth crossing until the river flood took them out."
The writer corroborated his statement when at Glen Rose on a field trip. And old resident, Mr. Charles Moss, told us that these (dinosaur) tracks were visible in the river bed from about 1920 to 1930. Here is written testimony of Mr. Moss, given on the 18th of December 1950:
"This is to certify that I, Charles Moss, Glen Rose, Texas, personally saw and inspected from about 1920 to 1930, on the north bank of the Paluxy River, six miles northwest of Glen Rose, Texas, one-fourth mile west of the ford on the river, about fifteen tracks or footprints of apparent giant human beings. The tracks measured about eighteen inches from heal to toe, the toes being plainly marked. The tracks were six feet apart, then eight to ten feet, as he started to run. Then only the toes and balls of the feet were in evidence on the eight-inch layer of limestone along the river bed. About 1930 a flood came on the river and excavated and carried away all the stratum with the footprints. Downstream later could be seen fragments of rock slabs turned upside down in the stream. It is possible that with proper power machinery these slabs could be turned over and new footprints found. Or the bank on the bend of the river could be excavated. (Signed) Charles Moss."
Moss plainly told us a number of times while we were at Glen Rose on October 27 and 29, 1967, and over the phone to me on October 31 that the TEN "man tracks" that he saw were only visible from about 1910 or 1911 to October 1918 when the overhanging stratum on which they were found was washed downstream and buried upside down.
On October 31, I asked Mr. Moss about this so-called "testimony." Mr. Moss told me he did sign such a statement, but HE THOUGHT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT DINOSAUR PRINTS! It is possible that Burdick and others did not tell Mr. Moss what the paper he signed really said. Mr. Moss appears to be a very kind, friendly, and generous man, but he seems to trust people too much! This was obvious by his actions when we dealt with him. In conclusion, the supposed "proof" given in THE GENESIS FLOOD is shot full of holes when one carefully investigates its claims.