In 1917, a mysterious rock was discovered by a worker of Nevada Mining Company that was estimated to be 200 million years old. The enigmatic object was found in Triassic rock near Fisher Canyon, Pershing County, Nevada. Upon doing microscopic photography, the experts claimed to have found the sign of stitching on the well-made piece of leather that was supposed to be worn by a human in the past.
The bizarre shoe-sole print rock was discovered by Albert E. Knapp in 1917. First, it was mistakenly claimed that the discoverer of the ancient artifact was John T. Reid, a distinguished mining engineer and geologist. But according to a letter written by Knapp on January 15, 1917, he found the object while descending the hill.
He wrote: “In descending the hill my attention was attracted by the fossil, which lay fossil side uppermost amongst some loose rocks. I picked it up and put it in my pocket for further examination, and on such examination came to the conclusion that it is a layer from the heel of a shoe which had been pulled from the balance of the heel by suction; the rock being in a plastic state at the time. I found it in Limestone of the Triassic period, a belt of which runs through that section of the hills.”
Later, Reid somehow took the fossilized shoe print to New York and had it analyzed by a competent geologist of the Rockefeller Foundation, who verified Mr. Knapp and pronounced it unquestionably Triassic Limestone.
In 1922, two reports on the alleged shoe print were published in the New York Times and the American Weekly section of the New York Sunday American respectively. According to the second report by W. H. Ballou, John T. Reid discovered the fossil (which was obviously a mistake). The report said:
“Some time ago, while he was prospecting for fossils in Nevada, John T. Reid, a distinguished mining engineer, and geologist stopped suddenly and looked down in utter bewilderment and amazement at a rock near his feet. For there, a part of the rock itself was what seemed to be a human footprint! Closer inspection showed that it was not a mark of a naked foot, but was, apparently, a shoe sole which had been turned into stone. The forepart was missing. But there was the outline of at least two-thirds of it, and around this outline ran a well-defined sewn thread which had, it appeared, attached the welt to the sole. Further on was another line of sewing, and in the center, where the foot would have rested had the object really been a shoe sole, there was an indentation, exactly such as would have been made by the bone of the heel rubbing upon and wearing down the material of which the sole had been made. Thus was found a fossil which is the foremost mystery of science today. For the rock in which it was found is at least 5 million years old.”
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