Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum
Do fossils harbor rocky secrets? Can petrified chunks of brown and gray sediment turn our world topsy-turvy, leaving our core beliefs splayed like an unlucky plant-eater in a slab of sandstone?
Joe Taylor thinks so. Joe is an artist, a Creationist, and a believer that the Earth has been populated by human giants and unacknowledged monsters. "We have a lot of evidence," said Joe, and it's difficult to argue with him, since it's on display in his museum.
The Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum, "the largest Creation Fossil Museum in the world," according to its literature, fills an old downtown department store in Crosbyton, Texas. It is low-tech and hand-built, mostly by Joe.
Glass-fronted cabinets are packed with bones, skulls sit on chairs, mounted skeletons poke their heads through the drop ceiling. Plaster dust and the smell of shellac drifts from workrooms where Joe and his staff restore, mount, and replicate fossils.
"I got into paleontology through art," said Joe, "because the Creationists didn't have any bones." At the time Joe was painting rock album covers in Hollywood, then decided to use his artistic talents to help "anti-Christian atheists" at the La Brea Tar Pits. It changed his life. "I thought, I'll go out and dig this stuff up myself."
Joe has since unearthed hundreds of creatures buried across the flat range land of West Texas: mammoths, zebras, camels; giant salamanders, sloths, and crocodiles. One window of the museum is filled with the horns of the World's Largest Bison, 11 feet across. Joe contends that the extinction of behemoths such as these disproves Evolution.
That theme is echoed in Joe's recreation of an immense human leg bone that reportedly belonged to a 15-foot-tall ancient giant. Joe told us that the bones of human giants are dug up all the time, but that pro-Evolution museums refuse to display them. Why? "If Goliath is true," Joe said, "then maybe the need for a Savior is true, too."
More mundane anti-Evolution evidence is showcased in Joe's "Tons of Dung" exhibit, which asserts that the world's abundant supply of dino crap could have only been fossilized by a massive, rapid flow of mud produced by Noah's Flood.
Another display features Joe's replicas of fossilized human footprints. Since human footprints can't be millions of years old, Joe reasons, all fossils must only be a few thousand years old. "Evolutionists have resorted to such explanations as, 'They were made by aliens,' 'They were made by dinosaurs with human feet,'" reads the accompanying text. Another display shows an in situ photo of a fossilized human footprint "within dinosaur tracks," then a second photo of the same footprint after it had reportedly been smashed with a iron bar by "conspicuously disturbed" evolutionists.
Despite the us-vs.-them tone of some of Joe's exhibits, Joe himself comes across as a reasonable fellow, open to new ideas. That's evident in his even-handed approach toward Bigfoot and other creatures, which he regards as no more mysterious than the ones that he digs up. "We're not afraid of the strange," he said as he pulled back a curtain to reveal a stuffed, blood-sucking Chupacabra on loan from another Creationist museum. The animal looks like a dog, but it would not make a good pet, said Joe. "They still have too much wild, and you're still meat."
We asked Joe if he had visited other Creationist museums, and he said that he had in fact helped to set up the Answers In Genesis museum in Kentucky. But the two parted ways when the museum changed Joe's diorama of paleontologists unearthing bones in a desert. "A lot of the Creationist museums are just ignorant," he said. "I had it set up perfect... and they came in and threw dust all over everything! You would never do that!"
Joe views his restorations and replicas as art, and nearly every exhibit in his museum can be copied by him and is available for purchase. Human footprints run up to $200, and the giant leg bone can be yours for $450.