This morning A+E Television Networks (AETN) and I concluded an agreement so I may resume publication of Unearthing the Truth, which will be back on sale next week after I have had new cover proofs printed and approved. Of course it isn’t as easy as just saying yes to them. Originally, they demanded that I specify twice in the book’s promotional text that the book was unauthorized. Naturally, after I agreed they must have decided that it was too easy because just before concluding the agreement they changed the terms and demanded that I add the word “unauthorized” a third time to the promotional text, even though I went above and beyond their original demands to place on the front cover a disclaimer that the book was not produced or endorsed by A+E—as though I’d want anyone to think I was associated with them after all this.
Last week Scott Wolter appeared on Red Ice Radio, a program run by Henrik Palmgren, a Swedish conspiracy theorist. I didn’t say anything about it last week because, as you might guess, I was a bit preoccupied with A+E’s cease and desist order. Now that I’ve had time to listen to the program, I was shocked by how Wolter accidentally revealed some rather disingenuous goings on over at A+E Networks, the parent of History and H2.
Most of Wolter’s interview was a recap of his Hooked X® book and the first season of America Unearthed, which I will not revisit. Below are some of the other highlights along with my thoughts about Wolter’s comments on Red Ice Radio.
Information continues to dribble out about the Rockwall, Tex. “rock wall,” the allegedly manmade brick wall erected by Atlanteans, Carthaginians, or Biblical giants that looks suspiciously like a limestone clastic dyke (because it is, according to 125 years’ worth of geological analysis). As you will recall, Scott Wolter and the America Unearthed crew descended on Rockwall last month to “investigate” the origins of the geological formation. In yesterday’s Rockwall Herald-Banner, we learned more information about this dig.
A+E Networks (AETN) and I have reached a tentative agreement on the publication of a revised cover for Unearthing the Truth. Despite the fact that AETN does not own the rights to the variant A rune (“Hooked X®”) design or to Scott Wolter’s book, The Hooked X®, the network informed me that although I agreed to all of their other terms and conditions unconditionally, they would not permit me to print new copies of my book without removing the variant A rune (“Hooked X®”) because of the alleged “substantive similarity” between my book cover and Wolter’s, on whose behalf they claim to be acting. Because they do not own the rune, they gave me a choice: remove either the rune or the U.S. map from the cover. While I strongly disagree with their action, their threatened lawsuit would have prevented me from printing the book for months, or possibly years, at high cost while I waited for a court to tell them that they have no standing vis-à-vis Wolter’s book since they are not the rights owner nor (so far as they represented themselves to me) his legally designated representative for such rights.
Since I was slapped with a cease-and-desist order last week, I’ve been researching the “Hooked X” and Scott Wolter’s claim of ownership. As we’ll see in a minute, he actually has a trademark on the hooked X—well, the words “hooked X” anyway!
Yesterday I saw a huge uptick in the number of comments left on my America Unearthed reviews, and naturally I wondered why. As it happens, A+E Networks, the parent of H2, gave America Unearthed a tryout on History yesterday, exposing the show to a potential audience that averages eight to ten times the size of H2’s audience. The program also began an international run on several foreign broadcasters. To paraphrase A+E’s lawyer, it’s surely “no coincidence” that the network tried to quash my America Unearthed book not long before this launch.
Before I was so rudely interrupted with A+E Networks’ cease and desist order, I was planning to discuss the Ciudad Blanca story a bit more. So, here is what I originally planned to write yesterday, delayed by one day:
On Thursday, I discussed the question of whether archaeologists discovered Ciudad Blanca, a legendary lost city in Honduras. I must confess that in writing the piece, I intentionally left out an important part of the story in order to focus on the fact that the existence of a myth of legend is no barrier to archaeological interest in a topic. The part I left out? The “legend” of Ciudad Blanca is a modern fabrication drawn from a number of sources. That story, being long and complex, is justifiably the subject of a separate discussion, one that casts additional light on the workings of “alternative” history.
This afternoon I received a letter from the law firm representing A+E Television Networks ordering me to cease and desist sale of Unearthing the Truth on the grounds that the book could be mistaken for an authorized edition and that its cover violated Scott Wolter’s intellectual property. According to the lawyer, Wolter is asserting that the “hooked X” design, of the letter X with an added line on the upper right stave, belongs to him and that other uses of it are a violation of his book cover design for The Hooked X: “Your book cover copies the unique cover and especially the ‘X’ with a ‘tail’ used on Scott Wolter’s book, ‘The Hooked X.’ … it is clearly not a coincidence that you copied his book cover…”
I have been given seven days to comply or face a lawsuit.
One of the refrains we hear repeatedly from fringe writers is the claim that archaeologists are unwilling to take folklore, myths, and legends seriously and reject efforts to seek out the truth behind stories of lost cities and vanished civilizations. Well, apparently events are transpiring in Honduras to give the lie to the idea that archaeologists don’t care about such things. At the America Geophysical Union meeting in Cancun yesterday, archaeologists presented the findings of exciting new technology that let them penetrate the Honduran jungle in search of the legendary Ciudad Blanca (White City), also known as Xucutaco.
In 2003, Dan Brown breathed new life into the claim that Jesus fathered a Holy Bloodline of Grail Kings with his international bestseller The Da Vinci Code, and in 2009 he sparked new interest into claims that the Freemasons were hiding a religious secret amidst the monuments of Washington, D.C. You will, I trust, recognize these claims as embedded in the fabric of America Unearthed, whose first season roughly paralleled the Da Vinci Code (and explicitly referenced the parallels), and whose second season is filming this week in Washington, quite possibly in search of (sigh) Freemason mysteries. Therefore, I have a passing interest in Brown’s newest thriller, released yesterday, Inferno, which takes for its inspiration a portion of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
According to the CBS affiliate in Washington, DC, America Unearthed is filming scenes in downtown Washington this week alongside (but unrelated to) production of the next Captain America movie. This suggests to me one of three things: (a) Scott Wolter is planning to accuse the federal government of suppressing the truth about ancient white colonizers of America; (b) he’s exploring “Freemason” influence on the layout and design of the nation’s capital, like Brad Meltzer, Dan Brown, and Graham Hancock before him; or (c) both (a) and (b). I wonder how the phallic symbol of the Washington Monument fits in with his belief in the Sinclair-Templar-Freemason worship of the “sacred feminine.” After all, Ancient Aliens already told us that obelisks are giant electro-penises ejaculating free energy into the aliens’ world power grid.
But enough of that.