The Acambaro dinosaurs


By John Blanton

Dinosaurs went missing about 65 million year ago.  Or did they?

What if they really didn't.  What if dinosaurs were still around as late as 6500 years ago.  And if people and dinosaurs lived contemporaneously?  That would shoot holes in a lot of modern science.  Paleontology would be badly wounded.  Evolution would be DOA.  So the thinking goes.

If you could find a human fossil in the same stone with a dinosaur fossil you would have some nice ammunition to shoot down evolution.  Even better if the fossil showed a dinosaur eating a human.  If all you had were something that looked like human footprint alongside dinosaur footprints you might be inclined to shop further.  Enter the Acambaro dinosaurs.

A paper titled "Archeological cover-ups" by David Hatcher Childress describes the discovery of the Acambaro dinosaur figurines. 1 In 1944 an accidental discovery of an even more controversial nature was made by Waldemar Julsrud at Acambaro, Mexico.  Acambaro is in the state of Guanajuato, 175 miles northwest of Mexico City.  The strange archaeological site there yielded over 33,500 objects of ceramic, stone-including jade, and knives of obsidian (sharper than steel and still used today in heart surgery).  Julsrud, a prominent local German merchant, also found statues ranging from less than an inch to six feet in length depicting great reptiles, some of them in ACTIVE ASSOCIATION with humans-generally eating them, but in some bizarre statuettes an erotic association was indicated.  To observers, many of these creatures resembled dinosaurs. Childress further mentions that radio-carbon dating in  the  laboratories   of   the  University  of Pennsylvania and additional  tests  using thermoluminescence indicated the objects were made 6500 years ago.

In Atlantis Rising , David Lewis has explained the implications for modern science. 2 The Acambaro figurines, discovered in the 1940s in Acambaro, Mexico, depict fantastic creatures that resemble dinosaurs, as well as African and European men. If verified as authentic and dated to a time before modern science's discovery of the dinosaurs, the existence of the figurines would dismantle the major presumptions of modern evolutionary theory, and, in fact, much of the scientific and academic establishment. Young-Earth creationist Don Patton discussed the subject of the Acambaro dinosaurs at September's meeting of the Metroplex Institute of Origin Science (MIOS).  He has journeyed to Acambaro to view and photograph some of the artifacts, and he agrees with Lewis that this spells doom for evolution.  Most of those attending the meeting concurred.

Don was gracious enough to provide me with copies of some of his photos, which we reproduce here.  His printed brochure compares one of the figurines with a drawing from Robert Bakker's book Dinosaur Heresies (1986).  The figurine so resembles the dinosaurs in Bakker's illustration that the ancient artist must have seen one in the flesh.

Of course, modern science is not going to take this lying down, as both Patton and Childress have pointed out.  Childress explains the situation in his report: 3 A  team  of experts at another  university, shown Julsrud's half-dozen samples but unaware of their origin, ruled out the possibility  that they could have been modern reproductions.

However, they fell silent when told of their controversial source.  In 1952, in an effort to debunk  this  weird  collection  which  was gaining a certain amount of fame, American archaeologist  Charles C. DiPeso claimed to  have  minutely  examined  the  then 32,000 pieces within not more than four hours spent  at the home of Julsrud.  In a forthcoming book, long  delayed  by continuing developments  in  his investigation, archaeological investigator  John H. Tierney, who has lectured on the case for decades,  points out that to have done that DiPeso would have  had  to  have  inspected  133 pieces  per  minute steadily for four   hours,  whereas  in  actuality,  it  would  have required weeks merely  to  have  separated  the  massive  jumble  of exhibits and arranged them properly for a valid evaluation.

Tierney, who collaborated with the later Professor Hapgood, the late William N. Russell,  and others in the investigation,  charges  that the Smithsonian Institution  and  other  archaeological  authorities conducted a campaign of disinformation against the discoveries.  The Smithsonian had, early  in  the controversy,  dismissed  the  entire Acambaro collection as  an  elaborate  hoax.   Also,  utilising  the freedom of Information  Act, Tierney discovered that practically the entirety of the Smithsonian's Julsrud case files are missing.

After two expeditions  to  the site  in  1955  and  1968,  Professor Charles Hapgood, a  professor  of  history and anthropology  at  the University of New  Hampshire,  recorded  the  results of his 18-year investigation of Acambaro  in  a  privately  printed  book  entitled MYSTERY IN ACAMBARO.   Hapgood was initially an open-minded  skeptic concerning the collection  but  became  a  believer  after his first visit in 1955, at which time he witnessed  some of the figures being excavated and even dictated to the diggers where he  wanted  them to dig.

Adding to the  mind-boggling aspects of this controversy is the fact that the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia  e Historia, through the late Director of PreHispanic Monuments, Dr. Eduardo  Noguera,  (who, as head of  an  official  investigating  team  at the site, issued a report which Tierney  will be publishing),  admitted  "the  apparent scientific legality with  which these objects were  found."   Despite evidence of their own eyes, however, officials declared that because of the objects  "fantastic"  nature,  they  had  to have been a hoax played on Julsrud! Whether Julsrud was hoaxed is something Patton intends to pursue, although he thinks not.  He says he plans to excavate under the kitchen floor of the former Julsrud home in Acambaro.  This floor is original from before the time Julsrud move in, and finding similar figurines there will rule out their being recent forgeries.

Answering questions following his MIOS talk, Don explained that the figurines in question appeared to have been deliberately buried.  They were found in collections of twenty to thirty and packed in sand, and they are made from local clay, which is decayed feldspar.  Only ten percent of the figurines resemble dinosaurs.

So, what does all of this have to do with Albert Einstein, Perry Mason, and The Mysterious Origins of Man ?  Glad you asked.

Patton notes 4 In the forward to the book, Earth's Shifting Crust, Albert Einstein said Hapgood's concept could be of a "great importance to everything that is related to the Earth's surface." Earth's Shifting Crust was the original title of Hapgood's book, which is now The Path of the Pole .  His idea was that all the ice at the poles represented a spinning mass that exerted a horizontal force on the Earth's crust.  In the mid 1950s, before the modern idea of plate tectonics was developed, but while Wegener's ideas of continental drift were being floated around, Hapgood proposed that this off-center force occasionally shifted the crust, putting the poles at the equator and causing other nasty results.  Hapgood corresponded with Einstein on this topic and received encouragement.  Einstein recommended that Hapgood obtain "geological and paleontological facts."

NBC first broadcast The Mysterious Origins of Man ( MOM ) in February 1996.  Host Charlton Heston explained to the audience how a lot of standard science, such as evolution, paleontology, archaeology, and anthropology got it all wrong.  Young-Earth creationist Carl Baugh helped out by explaining the Paluxy River "man tracks."

Hapgood was there to explain the evidence of sudden Earth crustal displacement.  The "fact" that thousands of animals were frozen in short order (in geologic time) and that ancient maps showed an ice-free Antarctica (which was then frozen over very quickly) was given as evidence for this crustal shift.  Paul Heinrich has posted a review of these claims at

The creator of MOM , Bill Cote, has since produced a third program along similar lines. This latest is Jurassic Art , which deals with two topics-the Acambaro figurines and the Ica stones.

So now we are back to where we started, as James Burke would say.  A great fan of the Ica stones is Don Patton, who has presented talks on them at MIOS meetings.  The deal about the Ica (not Inca) stones is that they are black stones with serpentine figures carved into them.  Don Patton contends these are depictions of real dinosaurs done from life.  David Lewis had this to say about them: 5 The Ica stones are a collection of thousands of inscribed stones found near the mysterious Nasca Lines in Peru. Many of the stones depict Pterodactyls, T-Rexes, and humans cavorting with Stegosaurs. Who carved these mysterious stones? Some ancient artist who somehow knew about dinosaurs, or a modern prankster? The answer to those questions remains a mystery.  Except to you, of course.  Dating both the Acambaro figurines and Ica stones has proved inconclusive. Unfortunately, both the stones and figurines have been removed from their original settings, making reliable dating difficult, if not impossible. In the Peruvian case, the curator and discoverer of the artifacts, Javier Cabrera, a medical doctor, refuses to reveal the location of a cave where he allegedly found the stones, leading archeologist Neil Steede, who investigates both cases on Cote's Jurassic Art, to question the doctor's story. So, we come to the end of the tale, and we still don't know what's behind the Acambaro dinosaurs.

Are the figurines really 6500 years old?  Don Patton, who appears to finally accept radio-carbon dating, would only give the "dinosaurs" 1500 years in his talk.  A human figure he allowed 4000 years.

Are they even authentic?  If they are 1500 years old and more, then it's likely they are.  That was way before people found sport in fooling archaeologists.

If they are authentic, do they represent dinosaurs?  Some of the ones exhibited are dead ringers for dinosaurs, but they were culled from a reported cache of over 30,000 items.  Many of the figurines presented as dinosaurs required a bit of a stretch to make the resemblance.  It's possible we are just seeing some selective sampling.  Given the amount of variation apparent in the collection there was bound to be a dinosaur in there somewhere.

Research into the mystery of the figurines since the MIOS lecture has not provided further explanation, so for the time being we will have to leave it at that.  Some stories just don't have neat endings.

Oh wait.  I forgot to tell about Perry Mason, although it has absolutely no significance to the story.  Accompanying Hapgood in his 1955 investigation of the figurines was prolific detective fiction writer Earl Stanley Gardner.  The Acambaro dinosaurs, it would seem, had something for everybody.


1.  Childress, David Hatcher. Archeological Coverups?  Posted by the World Explorers Club at  In the quoted excerpt I have fixed some of the inconsistencies in spelling and punctuation.  The capitalization has been left intact.

2.  Lewis, David. Jurassic Art?  At

3.  Childress

4.  From Don Patton's untitled brochure on the Acambaro figurines.

5.  Lewis