It’s been a big week for former America Unearthed host and current fringe media gadfly Scott F. Wolter. In this important moment of reckoning with systemic racism, the History Channel chose this weekend to begin making available episodes of the Eurocentric, conspiratorial, pseudohistorical America Unearthed for free on YouTube as a teaser for purchasing complete seasons, including the one featuring Wolter nodding in agreement to praise of the Confederacy and its pro-slavery terrorist group Knights of the Golden Circle. Promoting a series whose defining message is “whites were here first” is an odd way for History to honor its supposed commitment to diversity and tolerance.
Janet Wolter and Alan Butler Make False Claims about Templars, Pyramids, Gothic Architecture, and More in Podcast Interview
This past week, former America Unearthed host Scott Wolter appeared on a Freemason podcast to discuss his usual round of nonsense, devoting most of the time to reminiscing about his favorite America Unearthed episodes from the previous decade and his beloved Kensington Rune Stone claims from the decade before that. However, there were a few interesting highlights, mostly surrounding his enhanced view of goddess worship and his growing acceptance of outdated early twentieth century views of Christianity as an astrological myth.
Scott Wolter did another interview, this time with biophysicist and pyramid conspiracy theorist John DeSalvo on the Science and Paranormal Hour radio show. DeSalvo appeared on an episode of America Unearthed and claims to have lost half his listeners as a result. That’s neither here nor there, nor is the fact that I can’t stand his voice. He sounds like a midcentury children’s show clown, and for me it was like listening to fingernails on chalkboard. His habit of shouting all of his questions made it still worse, his effusive praise of Wolter notwithstanding. (Even Wolter noted that DeSalvo was blowing smoke up his ass.)
Ancient Aliens received a bump in the ratings after moving from Friday to Saturday for its fifteenth season, but the surge in Saturday ratings was short lived. The show has seen its viewership continue to decline, though not yet to the historic lows it reached at the end of its Friday run. This week, the show fell to 928,000 viewers, down from last week and down markedly from its season premiere. That’s still a cut above the 750,000-800,000 watching in its last few Friday episodes, but the trend line isn’t positive, despite the History Channel making Ancient Aliens the de facto face of its network across its multiple platforms, including its lucrative line of fan conferences, such as Alien Con and History Con.
Scott Wolter Claims His Research Will Reshape American Culture, Plans Trips to "Templar" Treasure Sites in America
Scott Wolter Embraces Atlantis, Claims Newly Translated Papers Document "Templar" Construction of the Newport Tower
I spent part of yesterday meeting with my lawyer again after I received a multi-page letter from the attorney representing the same occasional cable TV figure who has made legal demands against me for the past four years. This time, he is claiming that I am involved in a “civil conspiracy” to defame him. Anyway, it’s a long, involved thing, and that has sadly limited my time for writing today. Therefore, I will share two brief stories that are interesting, but about which there isn’t a lot to say.
Happy New Year! As we start the new year, it’s time to take stock of a few odds and ends left over from the month that just passed by. First, I will share my unalloyed joy that the offensively incompetent Unexplained + Unexplored on the Science Channel hit a series low of just 299,000 viewers on Sunday for its painfully awful effort to find the Fountain of Youth. The show has steadily lost viewers for the majority of its eight weeks, according to the Nielsen ratings, which is typically the kiss of death for a cable show. It lost 10% from its lead-in and barely squeaked by the ratings for mid-afternoon reruns of Dr. Pohl on NatGeo and the middle of the night reruns of Married to Medicine on Bravo. Of course, it’s also a show about history conspiracy theories, and cable networks love to renew those because they are considered “evergreens” that can be rerun, repackaged, and resold around the world for years to come. And it did manage to outdraw original shows on other cable channels in its 10 PM timeslot, including Oxygen’s lineup.
Perhaps more than any year in recent memory, 2019 was the year in which fringe history stopped being fringe and went completely mainstream. This year, we saw pseudohistory and conspiracy theories top the literary bestseller lists, multiply across cable channels like mushrooms on a rotten log, and attract record crowds to traveling carnivals masquerading as pseudohistory “fan” conventions. It perfectly captures the tenor of the times for the post-truth era that the very notions of fact and fiction ceased to have meaning. This was a long, hard year, both for the world and also for me personally. After dealing with family health problems, buying and selling a house (and still not being able to close on selling the old one until early 2020, nearly half a year after the sale), writing two books, and a knot of lawyers for many different developments, I am ready for this unpleasant year to end. Let’s look back in anger:
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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