A production starring ancient astronaut theorist David Childress is seeking $20,000 in donations to fund an Afrocentric documentary on the Olmec. In a poorly written press release distributed online yesterday, producer Lee Sullivan announced his and David Childress’s belief that the Olmec became the guardians of the Ark of the Covenant in 600 BCE and directed interested fans to his website, whose URL misspells the name of the Olmec, testifying to the care with which he is approaching this bizarre hypothesis.
As of this writing, $325 has been pledged to the campaign since it launched on September 17.
As with so many of Childress’s early claims, that one, too, is no longer operative since joining Ancient Aliens full time and embracing the ancient astronaut theory he for so long claimed to find illogical.
Sullivan states that the Ark of the Covenant passed through Barilles, Panama and was stored in the volcano of Chiriqui. He attributes the claim to “some researchers.” One of them is Edna Houx, a UFO witness who lives near Barilles and claims that a heavily stylized statue found there depicts a Chinese man riding on the shoulders of an African man. According Houx, the Ark was found in Barilles (and apparently covered up somehow), though she did not tell travel writer Jim O’Donnell who did the discovering.
Sullivan takes Houx at her word and believes that Panama was colonized by Chinese and African explorers who bequeathed their superior culture to the barbarous natives while leaving behind no Old World artifacts, objects, or plants. Sullivan describes his first meeting with David Childress, which he said occurred when Childress barged into a classroom where Sullivan was contemplating Panamanian prehistory, looking for directions. “I realized that was the person who might have the answers to this question” of the Chinese-African origin of New World civilization. He tried to chase down Childress, who had already sped away, prompting Sullivan to show up at a Childress book signing in Arizona. Childress, according to Sullivan, agreed to participate in Sullivan’s documentary if Sullivan would buy two of Childress’s books. The two subsequently went on a world tour of ancient sites, though at whose expense Sullivan does not say.
Sullivan asserts that the New York Times calls David Childress “the Indiana Jones of our times.” A ProQuest database search of the New York Times from 1851 to today failed to turn up any results for this alleged quotation, or anything similar. The phrase “real-life Indiana Jones” was part of Childress’s self-written promotional materials during his “maverick archaeologist” phase in the 1990s, before being called out for calling himself an archaeologist without possessing a degree in the subject or working professionally in the field. That claim, too, became inoperative after he joined Ancient Aliens.