Southeast Kansas

Fossils and Mineral Safari

Safari Highlights


This event starts in the Kansas City Metropolitan area, and progresses to the area of Pleasanton, Kansas. Along the way we visit a number of fossil sites and gather coal samples. The Pleasanton area still has some active coal mining ventures underway.


Recent CSA Fossil Hunt

Our typical fossil hunt strategy is to let the state pay for most of the excavation. Though that is not the only approach we take, in many places, it affords the most fossils for the time expended.

Here, part of our safari is spread out along US 69 South of Kansas City, Mo.

Living Fossils?

Evolutionists use the term "living fossil" as a smokescreen to disguise from the unwary, either that a creature hasn't changed in "several hundred million years," or that they once considered it extinct, often for millions of years, only to find it alive and doing quite nicely. There are hundreds of both types of living fossils.

But, frankly, we often use the term simply to represent something found on a fossil hunt that often holds more interest than dead things, at least to some of the youngsters. Lizards and toads usually end up in this category, though some of the lizards we find look very much like dinosaurs.

Mr. Fossil (Bob Farwell) talks about the formation of coal. To make a long story short, it doesn't take millions of years (pun intended).

The U.S. Highway department does a very nice job of opening up rock for us to find fossils in.

Everett J Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Musem that we will visit in Joplin, MO

Some of the many fossils we find on the trip.
More fossils we found on the trip.


The mid-day meal is at a public park in Kansas, where we enjoy brown-bagged lunches, and fellowship with the other Safari-explorers.


Following lunch, we continue to Mineral, Kansas, to the last operating site of Big Brutus. It is a museum piece now, as coal mining activities in this part of Kansas have ceased, due to depleted reserves, and high water table. All the remaining coal is below water in this low-lying area.


Note: Big Brutus is a symbol of Coal Mining in South/East Kansas, and therefore worth mentioning here. Though we have visited it in the past sometimes our safari takes us a little farther from it. Consequently, we don't always get the chance to visit this site.


Big Brutus is Huge!


Standing 160 feet tall and weighing 11 million pounds, Brutus is a monster. (Note the man near the base)


Brutus was constructed in 1962 at a cost of $6.5 million. Brutus was brought to the sight in pieces and put together right there. The machine ran entirely on electricity, and had a maximum crawl speed of .22 mph--about 1/4 of a mile per hour. [Photo and Caption courtesy of Kansas Photo Tour.]


Viewing Brutus should give you some idea how big the world's coal deposits are. Even with Brutus, SE Kansas coal could no longer compete with other huge deposits with even more modern equipment. Following a tour of this exhibit and the small Coal Mining Museum on the grounds, our Coal Discovery Safari has an instructional session, in which the origin of coal and other fossils is discussed in the light of GOD's word. These phenomenon are believed to be the result of a catastrophic event, combining the effects of hundreds of volcanic eruptions worldwide, followed by a world wide flood. This is known to Bible students as Noah's flood. We read in Genesis 7, verse 11:

"In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month: it was on that day that all the fountains of the great abyss burst forth, and the floodgates of the sky were opened."

("Fountains" is believed to be a reference to volcanoes and hydrothermal geysers gushing up from below, and the collapse of a surrounding canopy of water to the surface. Even without the canopy theory associated with the "waters above" in Genesis I, there is far more than enough water to flood the earth. It is widely believed by scientists of all religious persuasions that the tallest mountains are all much younger than the others, and the deepest ocean trenches are also younger, therefore, before the Flood, the earth was more smooth. Depending on how smooth it was, the surface waters available today could cover it to a depth of well over 5.000 feet.)

For forty days and forty nights heavy rain poured down on the earth. On the precise day named, Noah and his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of Noah’s sons had entered the ark, together with every kind of wild beast, every kind of domestic animal, every kind of creeping thing of the earth, and every kind of bird.


Pairs of all creatures in which there was the breath of life entered the ark with Noah. Those that entered were male and female, and of all species they came, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.


The flood continued upon the earth for forty days. As the waters increased, they lifted the ark, so that it rose above the earth. The swelling waters increased greatly, but the ark floated on the surface of the waters. Higher and higher above the earth rose the waters, until all the highest mountains everywhere were submerged, the crest rising fifteen cubits higher than the submerged mountains.


All creatures that stirred on earth perished: birds, cattle, wild animals, and all that swarmed on the earth, as well as all mankind. Everything on dry land with the faintest breath of life in its nostrils died out.


The LORD wiped out every living thing on earth: man and cattle, the creeping things and the birds of the air; all were wiped out from the earth. Only Noah and those with him in the ark were left.


The waters maintained their crest over the earth for one hundred and fifty days,"

Genesis 7: 11 - 24 (NAB)

We learn that the fossil evidence surrounding us in Kansas agrees exactly with what would be expected as a result of a world wide flood: During and after the great flood, mats of floating vegetation sank to the bottom, covering the bottom and some trees that were still erect. In between layers of sunken vegetation, layers of silt, and dead sea creatures sank to the bottom only to be covered with more layers of sunken mats. In some places the matted vegetation was several hundred feet thick. Here in Kansas the layers are not that thick, and are fairly close to the present surface of the ground. As more weight accumulated above the vegetation it began to coalify.


The coalfields we see today agree with this flood model. One of the incredible phenomenon found around the world, is a large number of vertical tree trunks covered in layer after layer of sediment. These are called "polystrate trees". At times, coal, limestone, sandstone, or shale sedimentation surround the trunks. These vertical trunks, and countless other "polystrate fossils," can only be explained by a rapid inundation by sediment placed so fast that the once-living things did not have time to decay before they turned to coal or rock. The polystrate trees cannot be explained by the slow accumulation of sediment over millions of years. The conventional explanation of the origin of coal, that it formed over millions of years by decaying swamp matter, does not work, it does not explain the observed evidence.


Following a session of instruction and fellowship with other explorers, we return to our homes to share the excitement of discovery with friends and families.



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Thursday - 07/18/2024