A Rockhound’s Discovery - Is It An Alien Fossil or an Ancient Native American Carving?
Is This an Alien Fossil?
An Extinct Species or an Alien Fossil?
I found this odd egg shaped rock while walking in the Sonora desert. On the flat side, it's about two inches long by one and five-eighths inches across and about an inch thick. It looks very ordinary- until you turn it over! There, looking at you, is a perfect tiny face! Is this a fossil of a long extinct species of bird or animal, or is it a true alien fossil? Some say it's an ancient Native American figure rock. What do you think?
Below is the story of how I found this unusual rock with its strange embedded face.
Rockhound or Rock Collector - I Just Like Rocks
I hesitate to call myself a rockhound because I know so little about geology. I can’t say I’m a paleontologist, either, though I enjoy collecting fossils when I can find them. I seldom have a clue about what I’ve found.
Nevertheless, rocks fascinate me. I love to collect colored rocks or shinny rocks, unusual rocks or rocks with fossils, smooth egg shaped rocks or bumpy, brain shaped rocks. I like to inspect them to see if there’s some fossil hidden in the rock. I like to clean them up and admire their colors. Spraying the rocks with water, I can see what they would look like polished. I enjoy the way the sun strikes them and turns them pink or orange in the sunset.
What is this fossil faced rock?
RVing in the Desert - A Rockhounds Paradise
As we frequently spend our winters RVing in the Southwest, I have almost unlimited opportunity to collect rocks. Usually parking on BLM land, we set up our RV campsite on the stone and dirt desert floor. Like other snowbirds parking in the desert for the winter, we often outline our camp with rock that we've found nearby.
The land near Quartzsite, Arizona or on the California/Arizona border near Yuma is perfect for hiking or exploring in our Jeep. Following the old mining roads, we often find beautiful white or pink quartz, obsidian and even bits of turquoise. Sometimes I find rocks with shinny copper or gold colored flakes in them and imagine that I’m finding treasure. If only it were that easy!
If I knew more about rocks, I could tell you what the pink ones are and why some of them are bright green or orange. But it doesn’t matter all that much to me, as I look at my rock collection as one would look at a collage or art project. Our campsite often sports little piles of rocks that I’ve picked up on our hikes and brought back to admire. When we head back east, I usually sneak 20 or 30 pounds of rocks into the RV to take home with me to display in baskets or jars or on my garden wall. (Shades of Lucille Ball in the Long, Long Trailer!)
The back view of the face fossil rock
A Surprising Find for My Rock and Fossil Collection
Last winter we enjoyed the mild weather at the Imperial Dam Recreation Area on the California/Arizona border near Yuma. On one of our Jeep treks to the Castle Dome area, I was lucky enough to find a geode that I broke open to expose some pretty quartz crystals. After this serendipitous find, I walked with my eyes glued to the ground looking for that perfectly shaped rock that might prove to be another geode.
The open area across from our campsite was covered with smooth rocks coated with desert glaze. They were shades of orange, brown, yellow and black with a sprinkling of other colors here and there. Sometimes I would find white chalcedony that I always picked up with the thought of making jewelry someday. Other times, there were tiny stones in other pretty colors that fascinated me.
The Face in the Rock
One day as I walked through this area, I spotted a small oval rock with an odd little impression on it. Thinking it might be a fossil, I picked it up to get a closer look, but couldn’t make out if it was a fossil or just some odd shapes pressed into the rock. When I turned it over, however, I couldn’t help but give a yelp of surprise. There in the rock was a tiny, perfectly formed face!
Seriously, What Do You Think?
What is this?
What Do You Think This Is?
Oh, my gosh! This was definitely a little creepy! Is it a fossil of a small animal bird? Is it an alien preserved in stone? It seems to be something that became trapped in a rolling bit of mud eons ago and eventually turned to stone. But WHAT? Being the imaginative sort, I like to think that I found something unique and other-worldly. Maybe it is an alien fossil!
What do you think this is?
NOTE: If I find out, I will post the answer below.
This article Copyright ©2011 by Stephanie Henkel
Could this be a carving?
Books about Fossils
New Information on Fossil Rock Carving
Feb. 3, 2012
I received an email from a man in New Mexico who had an interesting suggestion. Here's what he said:
"Wow! Really weird looking. Definitely looks like the work of an intelligent being.
Years ago, I saw something similar to your rock here in New Mexico. It was stated that it was a carving likely made by an Indian Medicine Man 100s or even thousands of years ago. You might want to show it to an expert in Indian artifacts - but never let it out of your sight."
Now I am interested to know whether anyone else thinks this might be a carving of some sort? ~ sh
Feb. 20, 2012
Here is the most promising identification of the rock to date from Dolores Pompa. She writes:
"I am an enrolled Apache. What you have found is a figure rock or "pierre figure" according to achaeologists. This rock was purposely incised and it resembles an owl in my opinion. These rocks were used to resemble spirits in my culture.
I have a figure rock here from AZ. It is an old man's head. It is very large and unique.
Look at the site PortableRockArt.com. You will find it interesting."
and in another email:
The website is very interesting. What is very sad though is that these rocks and pebbles are spiritual and represent the souls of those who have passed. We have had these incised pebbles going back many thousands of years and our diyin used these in ceremony and sometimes they were buried with us. Especially the owl which is our messenger of the spirit world. It is something that people collect and don't understand what they are holding and the potential for problems can develop."
Thank you so much Ms. Pompa! This is most helpful! -sh
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