The Acambaro Figures - Famous Fakes and Frauds

Click Here to Return to the main page Click Here to email me! Click Here to Search The Web Site
Metal Detecting
Metal Detecting Forum
My Best Metal Detecting Finds
All About Metal Detecting
Identifying Metal Detecting Finds
Famous Metal Detecting Finds
Exhibitions & Events - What's On
Searching For Julius Caesar
Metal Detecting Clubs
Metal Detecting Books, Magazines, Essential Reading
Useful Metal Detecting Links
Metal Detectors
The Latest Metal Detectors
Metal Detector Reviews
Metal Detector Accessories
Treasure Hunting Book Reviews
Metal Detecting Rallies (UK)
Metal Detector Manufacturers
UK Metal Detector Dealers
Metal Detectors & Treasure Hunting - The Law
Getting Permission, Finds Division Agreements etc.
The Treasure Act
The Portable Antiquities Scheme
The Receiver of Wreck - Salvage Law etc.
Web Site Stuff, Buy Books
Metal Detecting UK Site Updates
Metal Detecting Blog
Metal Detecting Forum
Metal Detecting Book Shop

The Acambaro Figures are figurines found at an archaeological dig under the direction of Waldemar Julsrud in Acambaro, Mexico in July of 1944.

They are small, ceramic figurines which some have claimed resemble dinosaurs. They are sometimes cited as an anachronism, or as OOParts. However, there is overwhelming evidence that the figures are a modern hoax(Isaak 2004)[1].

Some young-earth creationists and opponents of evolution believe that these figures stand as credible evidence for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans, something that would disprove evolution and offer support for a literal interpretation of the Bible.[2] However, there is virtually no reliable evidence for the validity of the Acambaro figures as actual ancient artifacts, and they are accepted by practically no credible scholar of archaeology or palaeontology, and the motives of many who do support them are questionable.[3]

History of the Acambaro Figures

The Acambaro Figures were uncovered by a German immigrant named Waldemar Julsrud. According to Dennis Swift, a young-earth creationist and major proponent of the figures, Julsrud was a hardware salesman who stumbled upon the figures while riding his horse. Julsrud hired a Mexican farmer to dig up the remaining figures and paid him for each figure he brought back. Eventually, the farmer and his assistants brought him over 32,000 figures. These figures were representations of everything from the supposed dinosaurs to peoples from all over the world including Egyptians, Sumerians, and even 'bearded Caucasians.'[4]

The figures attracted little attention from scholars and scientists, and when Julsrud began to assert that these were accurate representations of dinosaurs created by an ancient society, he only alienated himself further from serious scientific investigation. Tabloids and popular media sources had been covering the story however, and the figures were steadily becoming somewhat famous. It wasn't long before an astute professional took notice. Archaeologist Charles C. DiPeso was working for the Amerind Foundation, an anthropological organization dedicated to preserving Native American culture. DiPeso examined the figures and determined that they were not authentic, and a product of local modern day farmers. He published his results in the journal American Antiquity. The accuracy of his investigation is often scrutinized by supporters of the figures.[5]

Julsrud was quick to gain supporters for the authenticity of the figures. Charles Hapgood, pioneer of pole shift theory, became one of his most high profile and devout supporters. Other people have come to the defense of the figures. Earle Stanley Gardner, the prolific fiction writer and creator of the character Perry Mason, came to Julsrud's defense claiming that the 32,000 figures could not possibly have been produced by a single person or group of people. This was in defence against accusations that the figures were a hoax played on Julsrud.[6] The figures continue to draw attention. They have been cited in some pseudoscientific books such as Atlantis Rising by David Lewis. Don Patton, another young-earth creationist, has emerged as their staunchest supporter. He has proposed some new lines of evidence, including the figure's resemblance to the dinosaurs depicted in Robert Bakker's book, Dinosaur Heresies.

Evidence for the Figures

Supporters of the Acambaro Figures believe that several pieces of evidence prove that the figures were not only 6500-1500 years old, but created from first hand experience of dinosaurs and the cultures that the figures apparently represent.

Radiocarbon and Thermoluminescence Dating

Don Patton, another young-earth creationist supporter of the figures, has provided what he claims to be accurate radiocarbon dates for the figures ranging from 6500 years to 1500 years.[7]

The labs that produced these dates have claimed that they were inconclusive, but Dennis Swift claims that once the labs discovered what it was they were dating, they retracted their original dates in order to keep with the science community's agenda of suppressing 'real' knowledge.[8]

Evidence from the Excavation

Supporters cite many individual's firsthand accounts of the excavation and the matrix from which the artifacts were discovered. According to Swift, the area surrounding the figures was clearly an ancient strata. If the figures were planted as a hoax, there would be evidence of disrupted strata.

Resemblance to Dinosaurs

The most widely used line of support for the Acambaro Figures is their resemblance to the dinosaurs featured in Robert Bakker's book Dinosaur Heresies. It is claimed that the resemblance of these figures to these drawing is evidence that the figures were made from first hand experience. The figures are too accurate to be anything but first hand representations.

Evidence that the Figures are a Hoax

Circumstances of the Figure's 'Excavation'

The very circumstances from which the figures first appeared are dubious. Julsrud claims that he paid the farmers for every figure they brought him. This alone gives the farmers motive to create their own figures and disguise them as ancient artifacts.

Condition of the Figures and the Excavation

According to DiPeso, the surface of the figures was practically brand new. They showed no characteristic evidence of having been in the ground for at least 1500 years. If they were authentic artifacts, they would be scratched and marred from the rocky soil, which is characteristic of artifacts found in that area of Mexico. Also, these were apparently inexperienced people digging up these artifacts. DiPeso mentioned that he saw them actually crush through authentic artifacts to reach the figures, yet none of the figures uncovered displayed any such marks. Other evidence includes fresh manure found under the ground, fingerprints found under the ground, and black fill from other strata was discovered in sterile red earth, which points to previous tampering with the site.[9]

The Number of Figures and their Condition

The sheer number of perfect figures found is evidence for a hoax. Over 32,000 figures were found, and all of them in perfect condition except for a few that were cleanly broken, obviously to create the illusion of antiquity. If these were authentic antiquities, they would not be preserved with such perfection in such an inhospitable environment. Pottery is almost always uncovered as fragments called sherds; nowhere has 32,000 unblemished ceramics been uncovered with none of them in fragments and all of them in perfect condition (cleanly broken in two does not count as fragments).


  • Mystery in Acambaro: Did Dinosaurs Survive Until Recently? by Charles Hapgood ISBN 0-932813-76-3

External links


Famous Treasures Lost & Found
Famous Treasure Finds in the United Kingdom
Famous Treasure Wrecks, Spanish Galleons
Pirate Treasure - Hidden Plunder
Treasure Maps, Codes & Ciphers
Lost Gold & Silver Mines, Caves & Tunnels
Nazi Gold - The Spoils of War
The Treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau
Lost Biblical Treasures
The Treasure Hunters
Digging For Relics of War
Danger!!! - A Serious Warning!!!
Digging For Battlefield Relics
Visits to Famous Battle Sites
My Military Metal Detecting Finds
Battlefield Digging Links
Gold Panning
Back Garden Gold Panning
Gold Panning & Prospecting in the UK
Gold Panning & Prospecting In Europe
Gold Panning & Prospecting Equipment
Scuba Diving
Training & Equipment
Treasure Hunting Underwater
Wreck Diving Around The UK
Underwater Archaeology
Underwater Treasure Hunting Links
Collecting Coins & Artefacts
Coin Collecting - Numismatics
Collecting Artefacts & Antiquities
Cleaning and Photographing Coins and Artefacts
Fakes, Frauds and Forgeries - Dangers In Coin and Artefact Collecting