Oh be still my fluttering heart.
From the famous scientific journal, the Mineral Wells Index, of Mineral Wells Texas we learned that the source of the fossil was, “
Baugh wrote on his website that, “The fossil was transported to a professional laboratory where 800 X-rays were performed in a CT Scan procedure. Laboratory technicians verified compression and distribution features clearly seen in both prints, human and dinosaur. This removes any possibility that the prints were carved or altered. “
Baugh told the Mineral Wells Index that, “The compression lines, the density features, do show, and there is no way to fake that,” he said. “It is possible to carve a track in limestone. But there is no way to compress the material in the rock under the track. That is absolutely impossible. That’s why the CAT scans are so important.”
First of all, a medical CAT scan uses a lower energy beam than could be useful on a sandy limestone. That is why real paleontologists use industrial facilities. The University of Houston (added 8/15/08, this was inccorect- I was thinking of The University of Texas, Austin) has a laboratory that has many years of experience with just this type of analysis. This points to the next problem; a medical facility is not staffed by paleontologists or geophysicists. Baugh has no accredited degrees either. He wouldn't know "compression lines" from his own butt crack. However, you don't even need more than the photograph from the Mineral Wells Index, which was much higher resolution than from Baugh's website, to see that this is object is a fake.
I downloaded the photo at full resolution. If you closely examine the photo, you will easily see that there are sandy lenses in the rock; four are visible in the exposed rock between the "toes" of the dinosaur print. Now look at the "human print," particularly the area of the little toe. You will see (with a little magnification) that the top most layer is penetrated by the "toe" and not compressed, and the second layer is partially exposed. The same lens is exposed across the base of the four distal toes. This could not have happend unless the "toes" had been carved out of the rock.
Returning to the "dinosuar" print, there is no compression folding of the sandy layers between the toes which is interesting. First, there must have been if this were a legitimate track. However, there appears to me to be evidence of removal of material from between the central and the medial "toe" as well as along the top edge of the "track."
There also appears to be a patina coating the bottom of the basin. This has two interesting features. First, it is pealing and cracking. This is not appropriate to a real patina. Second, the patina appears in parts of the basin and not others, nor does it appear consistantly in the "human toe prints."
(If this were a video game walkthrough, I would place a big Warning: Cheat Follows ).
Here is how to fake a patina that will look like this fake fossil: Brush the surface with vinegar, and then sprinkle with baking powder followed by baking soda, and let dry. Repeat until you are happy with the results. This is not the only way, or even the best way. But it is simple, and will fool the average fool. Especially easy if they want to be fooled.
So, having spent a little bit more time on the photo of this fake, I feel that I understand a bit more about how it was produced. A legitimate dinosaur track was found and removed. Incompetent, unprofessional "Cleaning" damaged it. An parital overprint, or simple erosion depression was "improved" by adding "toes." The faked surfaces were smothed over with a simple kitchen concoction to make a "patina." Artifact fabricators next bury the fake for a year or two, or they smear it with fertilizer and leave it exposed. This helps weather the object and obscure tool marks.
The bubble pops.
If you used the cheap kitchen patina method I mentioned above, there is the chance that the acid will create a gas bubble in a depression. This lifts the fake patina and is visable as little bumps, or they form pits.
I just enlarged the photo again, focused on the center toe of the "dinosaur." There are two obvious pits of broken bubbles created by a recently applied acid wash seen on the distal portion of the "track." Looking further, there is one more near the distal end of the medial toe.