Among the Deceived
This is from our fourth day of mudfossil hunting in Arizona. We were on our way from one area of the state to another and noticed a sudden change in geology near a little pullover along the road so we whipped off the road into the pullover and jumped out to take a quick look. We did not have time to explore much of it at all. Just a quick run through it. The area was full of standing columns and features that, at first glance, I thought were man-made structures, but were not man-made. I have no doubt we could have spent the day in that area and, in the future, we may be able to return to it.
One of my friends had located in his spotting scope a cave hidden in a cliff face in a remote area so we headed out to find it. What we thought would be a fairly simple and quick hike turned out to be just a bit more than we expected. Along the way, we noticed that we were walking through sections of petrified or fossilized tree stumps, ranging in diameters from roughly 3' to about 12'.. We walked through some areas conspicuously littered with large numbers of round stone balls, ranging in diameters from roughly 8" to about 5'. The largest of the round stone balls we found are around the 13 minute mark of the video and the smaller ones are before that. All I could see was an ancient forest of junipers or cedars, some with, by today's standards, absolutely enormous trunks. To me, the round stone balls looked like fossilized juniper berries. The friend who was with me saw it as one gigantic tree, just like the one we had discovered on Day 3, and that the "stumps" we were looking at were simply branches. After reviewing the video to edit it, I lean in the direction of my friend's theory that it was, indeed, one gigantic tree, over which we hiked. We first stumbled into the petrified "stumps" about 1/2-mile into our hike and those "stumps" continued for about another mile. There was a brief section after that, during which we got out of the petrified wood. But as we got closer to where we had to descend to the cave, we climbed down into what appeared very strongly to be another gigantic tree lying almost parallel to the one above, pointed in the opposite direction (back in the direction from which we had come), underneath the one over which we had walked hiking in. It is difficult to explain without a drawing, but based on what we saw, it appeared to be two gigantic trees that were roughly 2 to 2-1/2 miles apart at the bases and they either fell or were felled directly at each other, the tops of each overlapping the other a little. As difficult as it is to type this, based on what we observed, the trees would have been over a mile tall. I can't explain it. I'm only stating what we observed. Such thoughts stagger the mind, but based on at least our initial observations, that appears to be what we were hiking over. The two caves we found would have been cavities in the tree that was on the bottom.
We found this while hiking out from looking at the object in the previous video. One of us will be returning to the area to retrieve this object soon so I am hoping to have a better look at it on video. I forgot about our fourth day out. That, too, proved interesting. We got well off the beaten path and stumbled upon a petrified forest of trees, some of which are quite large, even by today's redwood standards.
Because we covered so much ground on our third day, I sorted the footage into three sections. My background is natural sciences. The object in this video has turned my understanding on its head. We had two incredible finds on day 3. That we found both on the same day made it the most remarkable day of mudfossil hunting we have had to this point. Out of respect for the privacy of those in our party, I have edited out much of my footage, but one of us will soon be returning to look further at this object and shoot more extensive footage of it. Our second big find on day 3 will be the subject of my next video.
For what it's worth, I've recently started experiencing difficulties uploading footage and my computer, which never crashes, has started crashing, but only when I try to upload a video. Maybe it's nothing, but wanted to mention it in case I suddenly stop uploading videos. I have every intention to keep exploring and to keep adding to the discussion of mudfossils.
We found a lot of interesting mudfossils during our exploration of Arizona. I'm bummed that I'm having to severely edit my footage because in those cuts are a whole lot of the really cool ones we found. Anything cool will attract a crowd. All of us who were hunting for them swarmed on the cool ones we found and I did not think to shoot a separate video without everyone in our party gathered around them. Part of the learning curve, I suppose. We're headed out to a different region soon and I will remember to do that so I can show more of what we find. I have at least four more to edit and post, the last three of which are some of the most interesting fossils or mudfossils I have found to date. I'm working on those, but time is a bit sparse right now.
These are some clips of mudfossils that we found in a riverbed at the base of a ridge that would become, in my world, a monumental mudfossil discovery. I'll get to that find in the next video. Like the previous vids, we found a lot, but because of editing, this is a tiny sample of some of the stuff we found.
We decided it was time to load up and go look at mudfossils in a different part of the country. We chose to check out some areas of Arizona to see what we could find. We covered a lot of ground and hiked a lot of miles. My footage has a lot of hard edits in it out of respect for the privacy of people who helped us get access to and help us narrow down the areas in which we will most likely find the things for which we are looking. Because of the edits, I will be able to show only a small sample of what we found. We found a lot of interesting stuff. Some of it is very similar to mudfossils in other regions of the country and some of it is distinct from other regions. I am weeding through and editing footage as time permits, but I will post the videos as I finish them. One find in particular stands as a stark challenge to everything I thought I knew about the natural world of the United States long before it was the United States, but the evidence is what it is and I am still trying to sort it out. I will make a note on that video when I upload it.
I drove the road that winds its way through the abdomen and up through the neck of what may or may not be a gigantic mudfossil creature. I tried to find a way to get over to what I believe is the only exposed eye, but there was no public access to it. I hope to get permission from whoever owns the land to one day walk to the eye and see if there is anything geologically distinctive about it. I apologize that some of the footage is herky jerky, but I am unaccustomed to carrying the camera in my hand as I walk around. Plus, I left the image stabilization on, thinking it would be better, but I'm guessing I should have turned it off. Anyway, if you are into mudfossils you may find a few of the things I found interesting. Or you may think this is like watching grass grow in real time. I'm fine with either.
The long weekend afforded me time to revisit what may be a gigantic fossilized bird or some other kind of creature. Or it may be a wild goose chase. A few weeks ago I was there, but tried to cover as much ground as possible so I would know where to focus my time on return visits. The sheer scale of this creature, if it is in fact a fossilized creature, makes it quite difficult to observe. I am like an ant trying to observe a house. I don't know what I am observing, but I have seen enough to be confident that it is not random layers of soil and sediment that has been laid down over millions of years or simply belched out of a volcano. Based on my observations, what I'm finding doesn't fit the randomness of the geological narratives I once (mostly) believed. My goal is not to persuade anyone one way or another, but to simply offer what I am observing on a platform other than Youtube in the hope that perhaps something I have seen helps others in the discussion of geology in general or mudfossils specifically to keep the discussion and learning moving ever forward.
Over time, we have packed out quite a few potential mudfossil stones to destroy the gear in our packs, makes our backs hurt, and to also be able to look at them more closely when we get home. We have run across several that look like lungs or something similar, but all of them have been too big, too heavy, and too far of a hike out for us to want to try to pack them out. I have been intending to make a few videos to show a sampling of what we have collected so far in the hope that doing so furthers the discussion of mudfossils and the typical geological narratives. This first video is a cross-section of unusually lightweight, odd stones we find.
About six months ago, a friend of mine mentioned a place he thought I should explore. When he slid a map over in front of me, something caught my eye. It was the outline of what appears to be a gigantic creature. I don't know if it is one or what it might be if it is. It resembles a bird, a dragon, or possibly another creature. Or it may just be a bunch of different rocks. This place is not a close drive for me so I had to wait for the right opportunity to go take a look. This weekend was free so I went, skeptical I would find anything more than a pretty area to hike, but was pleasantly surprised to find some things I had not yet found east of the Mississippi River. I don't yet know what to make of the things I found, but am hoping to return to the area to focus my attention on the areas where I found things that I believe to be interestingly different from the geological narrative. Because this trip was a haul and because the area is so large, my goal for this trip was to pick the areas I believed most likely to have interesting geology and to cover as much ground as I could through those areas to figure out where to come back to on a return trip. After a weekend of pounding through trails as fast as I could, these five videos are a sample of some of the things I found.
Created 2 months, 1 week ago.
I have, for as long as I can remember, been disposed to questioning the "facts" around me. With age, I have realized how strongly we tend to force the truth to fit between the parking spaces of our particular worldview. Most of us view as hostile the notion that we can be deceived. I am unabashedly a follower of Jesus because I have questioned and challenged the Bible and Jesus to show me that they are both real and accurate for nearly 40 years now and I have found them to both be real and accurate. My formal background is in the natural sciences and theology. My passion since the age of 11 has been the cultures of ancient Mesopotamia, particularly the religion of those areas and, more precisely, the giants mentioned not only in the Christian Bible, but also throughout the world's cultures. The subject of giants is greeted with hostility and cognitive dissonance throughout most Christian circles in the United States so I have kept my investigations moving along but below the radar unless someone broaches the subject. The subject of giants in the secular scientific and historical circles is one that experience has shown me to be a taboo. I do not view other people's positions along their particular journeys through this life as a personal threat and have never stayed away from examining a large host of subjects, many of which those around me viewed as hostile to my faith in Jesus. I'm not afraid to ask questions or to question what I believe. Three decades ago, I was praying and told God the most liberating words that have yet left my mouth - "Jesus, I am among the deceived." People know I have spent much of my life examining the obscure so they mention things to me once in a while that they would like my take on. Someone mentioned a youtube channel titled "Mudfossil University" to me several months ago so I started coursing through Roger's videos and, as much as I wanted to dismiss the subject and return to the routine of my life, the more I watched and listened to what he was presenting on mudfossils the more I wanted to make my own observations, which I have been doing. I started this channel to have a place to dump some of the video that I have been shooting while investigating the subject. I am not a tech guy or videographer by any stretch of the imagination, but perhaps my observations help further someone else's journey into the subject. If not, there is nothing lost.