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.
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:
("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.)
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.
Sunday - 06/04/2023