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‘Ghost Tracks’ Found on Salt Flats Near Air Force Base in Utah Desert

Ancient human footprints, referred to as “ghost tracks” by researchers, have been discovered in salt flats on the Air Force’s Testing and Training Range in Utah.

The tracks, which are revealed in the ground after rain but cannot be seen when the area is dry, are believed to be from people around 10,000 years ago when scientists say that the area was a wetland. The prints, found in the Great Salt Lake Desert, change color once filled with water, making them easy to locate.

“These are once-in-a-lifetime discoveries and I feel blessed that I’ve been able to be a part of them as well as find ways in which to bring them to the public,” said Anya Kitterman, the cultural resource manager for the Department of Defense.

Thomas Urban, a researcher with Cornell University, and Far Western Anthropological Research Group archeologist Daron Duke saw the footprints while driving to another archeological site in the area. Urban has worked on a similar project at White Sands in New Mexico using radars to locate other footprints, calling the find “serendipitous.”

“We have long wondered whether other sites like White Sands were out there, and whether ground-penetrating radar would be effective for imaging footprints at locations other than White Sands, since it was a very novel application of the technology,” Urban said. “The answer to both questions is ‘yes.’”

The technology used to locate additional footprints was ground penetrating radar, also known as GPR, which bounces radio waves off of underground objects. A total of 88 footprints were found from children and adults believed to be living in the area at the time.

“Based on excavations of several prints, we’ve found evidence of adults with children from about 5 to 12 years of age that were leaving bare footprints,” Duke explained. “People appear to have been walking in shallow water, the sand rapidly infilling their print behind them — much as you might experience on a beach — but under the sand was a layer of mud that kept the print intact after infilling.”

Researchers are continuing to scan a roughly 5,000-acre area to discern whether they can find more evidence of early human civilization in the region. The new area has been termed the Trackway Site and is located near another archeological location known as the Wishbone, where archeologists found what is said to be evidence of the earliest use of tobacco by humans.

Duke said he appreciated the Air Force’s cooperation during the team’s research.

“The Air Force has been very supportive and facilitating of the Trackway find,” he said. “They have a mission to complete, and for years Hill AFB has done this while preserving and protecting the archaeological record.”

  • Bob Love says:

    There are others around the country. I found foot prints in rock on top of a mountain when deer hunting near Uvalde Tx. on a hunting ranch. When I told the people I was hunting with about it no one believed me but one of the other hunters returned to the area with me the next day. Although we didn’t find the exact spot I had been at the day before we were able to find other prints in the stone; one of the coolest things I have ever found.

  • Michael says:

    Wait, scientist, who never lie, say the area was once a wetlands. So what is now desert was a marsh? How can that be? The climate was stable and unchanging until the advent of the SUV, and in recorded history this area has been a desert. Seems like this is proof global warming occurred long before evil Americans starting driving gas-powered automobiles.

  • Carmen says:

    So what! How does this convence the idiots who keep screaming Global Warming/Climate Dictatorship Control? Who cares.

  • Rebecca Holstine says:

    I tell people here in southern NM they should be glad of Global Warming. Otherwise they would be living under a giant lake that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lake area. Just like our Organ Mountains that we are so proud of, was once part of the underwater landscape.

  • luvthablues says:

    Rumor is that one set of child’s footprints was identified as belonging to Nancy Pelosi!



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