Jerry & Kathy Wills
XpeditionsTV - Executive Producer
Kathy & I explore, video document our adventures and edit share and sell the material we have shot.
Associate host for The Kevin Smith Show.
"IMPOSSIBLE" FOOTPRINTS IN THE SANDS OF TIME OF BOLIVIA
Higher resolution images and videos below..
A new, seemingly impossible, set of human footprints has been found at approximately 14,000 ft (4,267 meters) in the Altiplano, Bolivia, in 15 million-year-old sandstone (dated by two independent geological teams).
On 31 May 2013, American researchers and documentary film makers Kathy and Jerry Wills of Xpeditions.TV, climbed to this very remote setting intending to further document a previously found footprint - only to find it was gone! 'Stolen', according to nearby villagers. Undeterred, Kathy followed the rock stratum for some distance around the mountain top, where she found two additional footprints!
Their discovery has been filmed and documented. GPS co-ordinates (see below) were transmitted worldwide to their audience and researchers following their progress.
The first footprint was discovered a few years ago and had been preserved by the authorities using a steel fence. It is sacred to the local Aymara Indians as proof they have been there forever.
This original footprint, dubbed "The Footprint of the Inca" (in Spanish, La Huella del Inka), was discovered in 2008 by Fanny Pimentel, a local tour guide, following information given to her by the local Aymara people of Sulkatiti. She photographed it and presented the data to the technical team of the “Community of the Ancestral Wisdom”, which for 30 years has studied the pre-Hispanic cultures, and has centers in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru.
It transpires that the section of rock containing this print had been removed and exhibited in the Foreign Relations Dept. in La Paz, Bolivia, by the Ancestral Wisdom researchers Freddy Arce Helguero and Dr. Luizaga-Miranda on May 29, 2008.
Ongoing inquiries, oddly, have been unable to discover the current location of the original amazing artifact.
GPS co-ordinates of the footprints’ location: Latitude -16° 46' 4.368", Longitude -68° 42' 53.856" Click Here For Map
The Altiplano (Spanish for high plain), also known as the Andean Plateau, is in west-central South America and Lake Titicaca is its best-known geographical feature.
"One of the newly-found footprints is badly worn, and is slightly smaller than the other", said Kathy Wills of Xpeditions.TV during a satellite phone interview with Kevin Smith. "The first one I found is unmistakably the left foot impression of a human!"
The second print, the one Kathy Wills discovered, is well preserved. The artifact clearly shows the arch of the foot, toe indentations, and a well-defined - a perfect indentation of the bottom and toes of the left foot. The size is approximately 8 ~ 9 European size standard.
The formation containing the footprints is sandstone and some 5 ~ 15 million years old, surpassing the age of other evidence found in various parts of the world, and corresponding to the age of the Tiwanaku Valley.
The original footprint, identified in 2008, is exceptionally well defined. So well defined that many, at first, felt it was a hoax. Because critics suggested it was too perfect and must have been sculpted in the rock it was studied by archeologists and geologists. Their conclusion is that this impression was not hoaxed. It was created long ago by a human foot stepping onto damp sand.
Kathy Wills, during an interview about the new footprints, said "We want the world to know about this discovery and its location. We hope that providing these details will help protect the site. We have informed the villagers of this discovery. They were angry someone had stolen this priceless artifact pointing to their ancient history. Now, with this discovery they are elated!"
The new footprints are in a composite of petrified sandstone and organic material. The newly discovered prints are less distinct than the previously-known example. The Wills's report the new footprints do indeed resemble modern age human footprints in size and shape, with toes clearly visible. From measurements taken at the site, one of the two footprints found is identical in size to the original, now-missing, footprint. The less identifiable footprint looks to be slightly smaller, perhaps the size of a smaller adult or child.
Why is it 'impossible'?
According to the American Journal of Human Genetics, Y-chromosomal Adam first lived in Africa approximately 338,000 years ago, according to a recent study. Supposedly he is the most recent common ancestor from whom all male human Y chromosomes are descended. The rock containing these prints is at least, and perhaps many millions of years older.
Jerry and Kathy announced Kathy Wills discovery of the new footprints on live web-radio via satellite phone on the Kevin Smith Show (Net Radio) directly from the site.
Julio Alejandro Ballivian of the Museo Nacional de Archaeologia in La Paz is looking into the present whereabouts of the original footprint.
UPDATE 1: As of Sept 2014 no one knows what has happened to the footprint. Seems it was shown at a public event and then vanashed completely. We have contacted every office we can think of since last year. There is no interested at the Bolivian side to figure out what happened to it! This 2+ million year old human footprint - perhaps the only one of its kind on earth - is gone without a trace...
UPDATE 2: As of December 2016 no further information has come to us. Kathy has researched this for several years now... The trail has grown cold. What we have learned thus far is an official from the Bolivian government ordered the footprint to be sawed out of the stratum. Government archaeologists traveled to the village and paid a local inhabitant an unknown sum of money for permission to remove the artifact.
This was allowed because anyone rightly living in this village is considered an "owner" who can make this decision without consulting with others. Land ownership means the land is owned by the community, not particular to an individual, though this is a point of contention when you discuss the subject with the locals. It seems each person has an opinion on this. The villagers were furious, though no-one seems to know who was paid for permission.
The artifact was then transported to La Paz and placed on display during a one-day news conference. Afterward, it was entrusted to a high ranking official. No one has seen it since. If anyone has a lead we ask you to contact us with information. We have no issue keeping our sources confidential. You can reach us by email: Xpeditions@mac.com