Big Footprint Found

Harold Jackson, a resident of Cookeville, Tennessee, found an indentation on a rock on his property. It looks vaguely like a footprint... a very big footprint. 11 inches across and 15 inches long. The article says he took it home. (I assume he must have made a cast of it and taken that home.)

The surprising thing is that he doesn't think it's a Bigfoot print, though his friends do. He thinks it's a footprint of a Native American.

So how tall would this Native American have been if his feet were 15-inches long? According to WikiAnswers, a person's foot is usually 15% of the height of his body. Therefore, this Native American would have been approximately 100 inches tall, or 8.3 feet.

Cryptozoology Pareidolia

Posted on Thu Sep 04, 2008


Since it's a fossil in an area where he's also found many other Native American fossils in the past (including cave paintings) it would not be a far stretch to view the footprint as native American too(he also found what he believes may be a partial fossil of a right foot print). However, he also believes he's seeing what may be a undeveloped dewclaw at the base of the heel that might identify this as being from something other than human.
Posted by hulitoons  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  04:58 AM
It would be helpful to know what sort of rock the footprint was found in. If it is something like granite, then it's not all that likely to actually be a footprint.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  05:53 AM
I had trouble with the original link so here's the actual report from that link (he actually carried the entire rock with the imprint home) The article doesn't identify the 'kind' of rock: A Big Find: Huge fossilized footprint found
Megan Trotter
Herald-Citizen Staff
Saturday, Aug 30, 2008
Harold Jackson of Cookeville measures a mysterious footprint he found near the Caney Fork River. Herald-Citizen Photo/Camille Fliss
COOKEVILLE -- Harold Jackson of Cookeville was walking with a friend along the property he owns along the Great Falls Lake above the Caney Fork River when they both noticed something strange -- an impression in a nearby rock.

"(My friend said) 'That looks like a footprint.' I had seen it before, but I didn't think anything about it," said Jackson. "But then when my friend said that, I got to looking at it, and sure enough, (I thought), 'It's got to be a footprint.'"

Jackson pried the fossilized print up from the surrounding rock and brought it home. As he rinsed off the mud, he was impressed at the detail in the impression. Not only was the outline of the foot clear, but also the impression of the toes, the heal and the ball of the foot. Looking at it from the side, he could see where the weight of the walker had pressed the now hardened mud tightly together directly under the print, whereas the fossilized mud down deeper was not as closely packed.

After studying it closely, Jackson is still unsure of what the footprint is from, but whatever it was, it was big.

"This is 11 inches across and 15 inches (long). And my foot's about four and a half by about 10," he said.

One of his theories is that the print might have come from a Native American. In the area where he found the print, he has found many artifacts such as arrow heads, ancient tools and even cave paintings.

"But if this was an Indian, he was a very big Indian," said Jackson.

Another theory is that it is from some kind of animal, though Jackson has no ideas as to what kind of animal it might be. The print itself appears human except for something that looks like a claw mark near the heal. Jackson suggests it might be something like a dewclaw, an undeveloped claw or digit commonly found on mammals such as dogs, cattle and deer.

However, the print is clearly not from any of these animals.

"This kind-of makes me believe in Bigfoot," said Jackson.

In a recent trip back to the site where the print came from, Jackson came across what he believes may be the print of the right foot. This one is fossilized in a much larger rock - one Jackson is unable to pull out. So for now it remains where he found it.

Jackson plans to keep the footprint that he was able to pull up, however he is willing to let scientists study it.

"I'm not wanting any credit or anything for it. I just found it and thought it might be interesting to the people to see this," he said. "I've never seen anything like it."
Posted by hulitoons  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  06:50 AM
Wait a second--humans have only been in the New World for tens of thousands of years. How old is this rock?
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  09:38 AM
"Since it's a fossil in an area where he's also found many other Native American fossils in the past "

I don't think the article says that. I think this footprint is the only possible fossil.

Arrowheads and other artifacts and cave paintings are not fossils.
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  09:41 AM
Just some quick checking--it looks like the consensus is that humans migrated into the New World roughly 15,000 years ago.

Again, knowing what type of rock and how old it is would probably put the "human footprint" hypothesis to rest.
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  09:50 AM
"Not only was the outline of the foot clear, but also the impression of the toes, the heal and the ball of the foot."

Obviously a carefully-written article up to high journalistic standards!

I'll remember it next time I hear someone give the "Heal!" command to a dog.
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  09:55 AM
Couldn't be Bigfoot. Rubber is too soft to make that kind of impression in a rock.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  01:15 PM
What type of conditions would preserve a footprint? A fossil becomes a fossil b/c it becomes sealed away from oxygen (like when it is covered by water, mud, or other debris). So...something covered the foot print with enough force to keep oxygen from destroying it...but was not heavy enough to destroy the imprint. ?? Or maybe I just don't understand enough about geology to really get this. Where's LaMa when I need him?
Posted by Maegan  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  03:44 PM
They're trace fossils:
"Trace fossils, also called ichnofossils (IPA: /ˈɪknoʊfɒsɨl/, Greek: ιχνος or ikhnos meaning "trace" or "track"), are geological records of biological activity. Trace fossils may be impressions made on the substrate by an organism: for example, burrows, borings (bioerosion), footprints and feeding marks, and root cavities. The term in its broadest sense also includes the remains of other organic material produced by an organism - for example coprolites (fossilized droppings) or chemical markers - or sedimentological structures produced by biological means - for example, stromatolites. Trace fossils contrast with body fossils, which are the fossilised remains of parts of organisms' bodies, usually altered by later chemical activity or mineralisation.

Sedimentary structures, for example those produced by empty shells rolling along the sea floor, are not produced through the behaviour of an organism and not considered trace fossils.

The study of traces is called ichnology, which is divided into paleoichnology, or the study of trace fossils, and neoichnology, the study of modern traces. This science is challenging, as most traces reflect the behaviour--not the biological affinity--of their makers. As such, trace fossils are categorised into form genera, based upon their appearance and the implied behaviour of their makers."
Posted by hulitoons  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  04:00 PM
Also see:


..........An animal's footprints in the mud cannot go through any of these processes and still be preserved. Consequently when we find a fossil animal footprint we know that an animal walked on that very spot at some time in the distant past. This is one of the characteristics of fossil footprints that makes them helpful in analyzing the history of life on earth. The study of fossil footprints and other fossilized evidence of animal behavior is called ichnology, and each type of footprint, believed to represent the tracks of one species of animal, is given a genus and species name and is called an ichnospecies. ..........
Posted by hulitoons  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  04:02 PM
I rather disagree with the Native American theory,As the Footprint looks very similar to the verified Bigfoot tracks.This is Wonderful evidence for the ever growing proof of the existence of Bigfoot. Isaiah September 04,2008.
Posted by Isaiah  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  04:12 PM
"They're trace fossils"

Well--that's what this guy is asserting. In fact, his case is very weak. (Actually, his "case" mostly consists of the assertion.)

They're probably not.
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  04:23 PM
Sorry JoeDaJuggler, I was responding to Maegan's question and put in the comment what I was able find online about footprints as opposed to body fossils. The article does not say that the gentleman used that label for what he found. He found what 'appeared' to be a footprint in the rock. The reference to these in Wikipedia was labeled 'trace fossils'.
The second reference I entered is by: Leonard Brand and James Florence
Department of Biology
Loma Linda University

How either of these related to the 'find' or what that 'find' is, I have no real opinion.
Posted by hulitoons  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  04:32 PM
Leave the poor Indian with elephantitis alone!
Posted by Joe  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  10:41 PM
As long as no-one thinks it's my footprint. I wasn't anywhere near that dude's place. I swear.
Posted by fuzzfoot  on  Thu Sep 04, 2008  at  11:39 PM
First, the question is whether it is a true footprint at all. There are plenty of natural ways to get a "footprint-like" hollow in a rock. Those of you who have been to Jerusalem, to the Dome of the Rock, will know about "Mohammed's footprint".

In answer to Maeg: yes, footprints can fossilize. The Laetoli footprints in Tanzania are very well known hominid footprints preserved in a hardened volcanic mud, 3.5 million years old, left by Australopithecinae (an early human ancestor). But we have them elsewhere too. And during excavations I have personally observed many hoofprints of cows, a few thousand years old.

Basically, the footprint needs to be set in a soft wet sediment that next hardens, e.g. in mud that then dries or wet volcanic ash that then hardens. When that imprint is covered by sediments after that, it can survive.
Posted by LaMa  on  Fri Sep 05, 2008  at  02:59 AM
Posted by Big Gary: "Couldn't be Bigfoot. Rubber is too soft to make that kind of impression in a rock."


When I was living up in Joplin, Missouri, there was a doctor (who's home I was working on), had a rock with a "footprint" about 18" long x 12" wide... I LOOKED like a footprint, but he explained that he and his wife found the rock under a waterfall - the water had eroded the imprint into the rock... Sorry folks, some "strange" finds are easily explained by the natural process' of nature...
Posted by Christopher  on  Fri Sep 05, 2008  at  09:31 AM
You're right Huli, I see that it was the author of the article and not the guy who found the thing that was calling it a fossil.

"Basically, the footprint needs to be set in a soft wet sediment that next hardens, e.g. in mud that then dries or wet volcanic ash that then hardens. When that imprint is covered by sediments after that, it can survive."

Dried mud is not a fossil either. It has to become mineralized or petrified. (That is, dried mud is not the same thing as rock.)
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Fri Sep 05, 2008  at  12:07 PM
Thanks for the info, makes more sense to me now! 😊
Posted by Maegan  on  Sat Sep 06, 2008  at  10:25 AM
You can see Jesus there too
Posted by Hurr  on  Sat Sep 06, 2008  at  02:41 PM
Here's an update from that news channel, with video of an interview with the guy:
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sat Sep 06, 2008  at  05:20 PM
Wouldn't the toes be more deeply embedded though? I'm thinking of my own foot prints when I step in soft soul or mud or sand and my toes seem to go more deeply than those in the stone shown. I really have no idea though.
Posted by hulitoons  on  Sat Sep 06, 2008  at  07:25 PM
Obviously Bigfoot has magical levitation powers, Hulitoons.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sat Sep 06, 2008  at  10:36 PM
Walking in the longleaf pine forest near our home, my husband & I thought we found "Bigfoot" tracks. . . turned out to be armadillo holes filled with rainwater. Makes a good picture, though!
Posted by Beth W.  on  Sun Sep 07, 2008  at  06:59 AM
According to this article, Jackson is asserting that it's a fossil, and he does believe it's Bigfoot. :roll:

""I don't know anything about archaeology or anything, but if you look at it, it's a footprint. No animal footprint looks like that. Now, if it's a Native American, an Indian, then he was a big Indian," said Jackson. "(The print) is about 11 inches wide and about 15 inches long."
Jackson said the fossilized print clearly shows the heel and all five toes.
"It's got to be thousands of years old," said Jackson.
About half-a-dozen scientists said they want to look at the print, including Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, a famous Bigfoot professor at Idaho State University. Meldrum collects Bigfoot prints from all over the world.
Jackson said the print has made him a believer in Bigfoot."
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Sun Sep 07, 2008  at  08:23 AM
I am surprised nobody has compared it to a bear's foot - it looks very bear like to me.
Posted by Eric G  on  Mon Sep 08, 2008  at  01:45 PM
Bear with a dew claw, and pretty damn large - Could it be a Cave Bear footprint perhaps?
Posted by D F Stuckey  on  Thu Sep 11, 2008  at  06:24 PM
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