Mystery Footprints Said To Be
More Than 500 Million Years Old
 
 
 
By Sally Suddock - Staff Writer
 
4-14-00
 
 
A mystery footprint found by a fossil collector in Utah two decades ago is said to be 300 to 600 million years old, another ancient mystery yet to be solved. And he apparently wasn't alone in his discovery.
 
Amateur fossil-hunter William J. Meister discovered the shale-embedded footprint impression in 1968 at Antelope Springs, and his find received national publicity after the Desert News picked up the story.
 
Commentators of the time saw the footprint as a mystery for two reasons. One is that a fossil of a trilobite was embedded in the impression, as if stepped upon and crushed. These marine invertebrates became extinct nearly 300 million years ago, after flourishing for more than 300 million years.
 
The second puzzler is the "known" age of mankind on Earth, believed to be no more than one to two million years ago. The 10.5-inch footprint appeared to have been made by a human wearing a sandal.
 
When Tucson geologist Dr. Clifford Burdick examined the site a month later, he also found an impression in shale formations that appeared to have been the footprint of a child without footwear; it was six inches in length, with spread toes and no prominent big toe.
 
And in August of the same year, a Salt Lake public school teacher, Dean Bittner, claimed to have discovered yet two more prints in the Antelope Spring area, with small trilobites nearby. He said the trilobites and sandaled wanderer appeared to have been contemporaries. Asked the Creation Research Society Quarterly, "is this proof that there were previous civilizations on Earth, or visitors from another world?

 

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