Bolivian Footprints from the Deep Past

I first learned of the extremely old Bolivian footprints, which are attracting international attention, at the Earth Transformation Conference on the Kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii in May of this year. I had been invited there to speak about my book Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory. It was my first visit to Hawaii in about fifty years. Last time I was there, I was about eight years old, and my family was on vacation. We went to Ki­lauea, the volcano that is the home of the Hawaiian fire goddess Pele. Our Hawaiian guides had me offer some fruit into the fire pit of the volcano, and then they gave me a Pele amulet and told me Pele would protect me whenever I went into the realm of volcanoes. About fifteen years later, I found myself at a US Navy weather station in Iceland. That was in 1972. I heard that the volcano Hekla was erupting, so a buddy of mine and I rented a Land Rover and drove across black sand deserts and glacial streams to get to Hekla. During the Middle Ages, Hekla was considered the gateway to hell, and later Jules Verne made it the site of his novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. Anyways, we parked our Land Rover and hiked about a mile to a lava flow. We looked around for awhile. Then we climbed to the top of a small hill by the flow and started to eat lunch from our backpacks. Just then the earth started to shake, and we ran off the hill all the way back to our vehicle. Then we turned, looked, and saw the hill on which we had been sit­ting explode with fountains of lava as a plume of ash rose into the air. It was a minor eruption, but nevertheless pret­ty awe-inspiring. My buddy looked at me and said, “We were lucky. We could have been killed.” Remembering Pele, I said, “Maybe it wasn’t luck.” I told the story as part of my lecture, in which I also mentioned some of the archaeologi­cal evidence for extreme human antiquity.

The next day, May 17, I heard Luis Fernando, a UFO researcher from Bolivia, give a lecture titled “Extraterrestrial Guides: The Great White Brotherhood in the Andes and Lake Titicaca.” Luis spoke in Spanish, using a translator. During the talk, he mentioned that in Bolivia he had recently learned of some discoveries that were very much in line with my forbidden archaeology work. Some researchers in Bolivia had discovered footprints like those of modern hu­man beings near Lake Titicaca. They were many millions of years old. That evening I had dinner with Luis and some other people from the conference at the home of the gentleman who had translated for him. On the patio, overlook­ing the Kona coast, I heard some more from him about the discoveries.

When I returned to Los Angeles, I began to receive press reports about the Bolivian footprints, in English, Span­ish, and Italian. On May 29, 2008 the Bolivian Agency of Information (ABI) published a report (translated into Eng­lish) that gave some important details about the discovery. These details were announced by researchers at a press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in La Paz, Bolivia. Thus far I have learned the following. The foot­prints were originally discovered by villagers near Lake Titicaca. They called them footprints of the Incas. A woman named Fanny Pimentel, described as a consultancy worker, took photographs of the prints, and gave them to re­searchers. Researcher Jorge Miranada said one of the footprints is 29.5 centimeters (11.6 inches) long and could have belonged to a human being 1.7 meters (5.6 feet) tall, weighing about 70 kilograms (154 pounds). According to the re­searchers, the footprints were found in a Miocene formation, about 10-15 million years old. The Miocene extends from about 5 million to 20 million years ago.

If the initial reports hold up, the Bolivian footprints are a significant addition to our understanding of the antiqui­ty of the modern human species. According to most scientists today, humans like us came into existence about 150,000 years ago in Africa, having evolved from more primitive, apelike ancestors. The Bolivian evidence joins a huge body of contrary evidence showing that humans like us have in fact existed for far longer periods of time. We have to keep in mind also that most scientists now believe that humans like us did not leave Africa until about 60,000 years ago, and that modern humans first entered the Americas about 15,000 years ago. So the evidence from Bolivia not only contradicts mainstream scientific ideas about the origin of the human species but also contradicts current mainstream ideas about the peopling of the Americas.

The Bolivian footprints join a large body of evidence showing that humans have existed in the Americas for many millions of years. I will give some examples (detailed discussions can be found in my book Forbidden Archaeology). The oldest North American evidence goes back hundreds of millions of years. Scientific American (1852) reported that a beautiful metal vase was found 15 feet deep in solid rock as workmen were excavating a foundation for a build­ing near Dorchester, Massachusetts. According to modern geologists, the age of the formation in which the object was found is about 600 million years. In 1968, William Meister was splitting open pieces of shale, searching for fossils near Antelope Springs, Utah. As he split open one piece, he found inside a print that exactly resembled a human shoe print, complete with a heel worn in the appropriate place. The footprint contained a trilobite, a fossil characteristic of the Cambrian period. According to modern geologists, the age of the formation in which the shoe print was found is over 500 million years.

In the year 1862, a scientific journal called The Geologist reported that an anatomically modern human skeleton was found 90 feet below the surface of the ground in Macoupin County, Illinois. The formation in which the skeleton was found is about 300 million years old. According to the report, above the skeleton was a thick unbroken layer of slate rock. That the rock layer was unbroken indicates that the skeleton could not have come down from some high­er, more recent level. Interestingly enough, according to the Morrisonville Times (June 11, 1891) a gold chain was found in a piece of coal about the same age, 300 million years. In 1880, Josiah D. Whitney, chief government geolo­gist of California, stated in a report published by Harvard’s University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (The Aurif­erous Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California), that numerous human bones and artifacts had been discovered in the California gold mines, in formations that modern geologists say are up to 50 million years old (Early Eocene).

In 1886, workers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, found an anatomically modern human skull in an excavation, about 36 feet below the surface. Above the skull was a thick layer of limestone rock. This layer of rock was unbroken, which means the skull cannot have come from some higher, more recent level. According to modern geologists, the age of the formation in which the skull was found is between 1.0 and 1.5 million years. At around the same time that the Buenos Aires skull was discovered, a collector for the Museum of La Plata found a human veterbra, or modern type, in Early Pliocene formations (3-5 million years old) at Monte Hermoso, Argentina. In 1909, the discovery was report­ed in a scientific publication by the respected Argentine paleontologist Florentino Ameghino.

In 1889, a small human figurine was brought up from a depth of over 300 feet as an artesian well was being drilled near Nampa, Idaho. The formation from which the figurine came is about 2 million years old. In 1915, Carlos Ame­ghino announced the discovery of artifacts characteristic of those made by modern humans at the Miramar site in Ar­gentina. The objects were found in layers of rock about 3 million years old. In 1921, a human jaw fragment was found in the same formation. Just a couple of years ago, archaeologists Silvia Gonzalez reported that human footprints were found near the Valsequillo Reservoir in central Mexico. According to geologist Paul Renne (2005), radiometric dating gave an age of about 1.3 million years for layer of volcanic rock containing the footprints. I could go on and on, but I think that’s enough to make the point.

The recently discovered Bolivian footprints fit into a whole pattern of evidence showing the extreme antiquity of a human presence in the Americas. And there is much more evidence from other parts of the world as well. Unfortu­nately, all of this evidence is absent from current textbooks of anthropology and archaeology because of an ongoing process of knowledge filtration that operates in the world of science.

Michael A. Cremo is author, with Richard Thompson, of the underground classic Forbidden Archaeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race. His latest book is Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory (see


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