The Meister Footprint


It was June 1, 1968, and rock hound William J. Meister along with some family and friends was searching for fossils, specifically trilobites an extinct arthropod from the Paleozoic a geologic era of approximately 250 to 550 million years ago when fish, land animals and plants first appeared. (The area they had chosen for the outing, Antelope Spring, Garfield County, is well known for its many fossils being part of the Middle Cambrian Wheeler Shale and Marjum Formation located west of Delta, Utah.)

It was Meister who made the discovery when he tapped the side of a rock with a hammer, cracking it open and revealing what appeared to be a fossilized sandal imprint complete with embedded trilobites. The find was later examined by Dr. Hellmut Doelling of the Utah Geological Survey, who purportedly pronounced the 10 by 3 inch object devoid of fakery but drew the line at declaring it the fossilized impression of a sandaled human foot.

On or around July 20, 1968, "flood" geologist Dr. Clifford Burdick [1] visited the site. He quickly homed in on an impression approximately 6 inches long, which he declared to be from a child wearing moccasins because the toes were barely visible, further noting that the footwear must have been new because the toes were splayed as though only recently confined. 

So is William J. Meister's footprint proof that time travel is a reality, proof that mankind existed hundreds of millions of years earlier than is presently excepted, proof that aliens visited and walked the Earth at the dawn of time, proof that creationists are correct and mankind and dinosaurs et cetera co-existed, or is it simply proof that shards of rock can sometimes assume the shape of a sandaled human foot? [2]


[1] Both Burdick’s academic credentials (the University of Physical Sciences, Phoenix, Arizona, from which he allegedly has a Ph.D., apparently doesn’t exist) and the validity of his other finds have been brought into question (indications are that the “Burdick Track” with which he was associated was carved, possibly by George Adams in the 1930s, as were other Glen Rose limestone “man tracks,” and that the conifer pollen he found in Grand Canyon shale is a result of contamination due to incompetence not fossilization).

[2] Examination by mainstream paleontologists/geologists indicate that though the trilobites are real, the “sandal print” is a spall pattern (a small chip or fragment of stone commonplace in the Wheeler Formation) and lacks the analytical features that would be evident in a real sandal print.




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