(C) 2008, Glen J. Kuban
Part of Kuban's Paluxy Website at
In the spring of 1999, the New Mexicans for Science & Reason (NMSR) posted a website showing photos of
a dinosaur skeleton next to a strange humanoid skeleton, with the former apparently fossilized
in the process of eathing the latter.
The NMSR authors lamented the apparent government suppression
of the fossil discovery, which soon became known as Oņate Man
("Onate Man" or "Onyate Man" in English), and then waited for public and creationist reactions.
Many observers expressed skepticism or called it a likely hoax,
although a few creationist groups gave it guarded but favorable coverage, and a few individuals promoted it
as exciting new evidence of dinosaur/human coexistence. As related on
the Pandasthumb.org website, on May 7, 1999, creationist speaker Kent Hovind, a.k.a. "Dr. Dino" urged an audience to
study the convincing new evidence. Subsequently NMSR posted an article revealing that it was
April Fool's prank--one of their annual stunts.
Hovind soon stopped using the case.
Many saw signs from the start that something was amiss. Not only did the bones (which were sculpted and cast) look
bluish and overly glossy, but the description included a number of puns and plays-on-words. Some anti-creationists claimed
afterward that the prank showed how some creationists are too quick to accept sensational claims; whereas creationists
emphasized that many had shown restraint and proper skepticism. Others complained that it was an unkind trick.
Although some people are occassionally "taken" or confused when they stumble on the orignal site (or mirrors of it), it has become
a fairly well known internet hoax, and as far as I know, no groups continue to seriously promote it.