Local commercial fisherman and self-proclaimed amateur paleontologist Steve Culbreth lives on a boat in Pillar Point Harbor and first moved to Half Moon Bay back in 1984 from Santa Cruz. He says he's been studying Mesozoic bedrock on the Pacific coast for over a decade. Fossilized rock and bone, which he says have traces of predatory dinosaurs, have been found in and around Half Moon Bay, including Ano Nuevo, Pescadero Beach and Pillar Point. Many show traces of teeth and claw marks of meat-eating dinosaurs, he says.
"The California Geology book shows the ages of the bedrock where it's exposed," he said. "Some of the creeks have met the mesozoic bedrock that were watershed areas due to the erosion from the increase of elevation of what were once low hills and broad estuaries that trapped the floating meat scraps from the dinosaur feeding activity."
Culbreth says he also recently found the remains of a "large sauropod carcass, which is unprecedented in California."
He contacted many experts early on with his findings and was "rebuffed by all," he said. He spoke to a county geologist and a geologist from the California Academy of Sciences, who actually visited one of the sites, and they both said his theory was implausible because the meat would have broken down.
"The California Academy of Sciences geologist informed me that there were no dinosaurs in California, and won't help me bring this to light," he said.
The curator of the U.C. Berkeley department of Paleontology, Dr. Kevin Padian, also shut down his theory as did paleontologist "Mary Schweitzer's colleagues who said they were igneous," explains Culbreth, "but not even close," he says.
Regardless of what the experts say, Culbreth is convinced he's onto something.
"The geologic community really doesn't have a clue about these rocks," he says, and his discovery "will give the world a more complete picture of the Mesozoic and also the geology of these deposition sites."
Whatever the case, Culbreth continues to collect and study rocks found in the area and created a PowerPoint slideshow "The Secret Life of Rocks" that highlights his collection. His Photobucket site can be found here.
"The advancement of this science will be of interest to all," he said, "and will help promote our local youth into the sciences in general."
All photo captions posted in the slideshow were written by Culbreth.
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