You’ll recall that America Unearthed decamped to Rockwall, Texas to investigate a geological formation called a clastic dike that local residents have tried to represent as a prehistoric artificial wall since its discovery in the nineteenth century. Most recently, local businessmen have tried promoting the formation as the remains of the antediluvian civilization of the pre-Flood giants, a claim that even creationist geologists like John Morris have debunked as categorically untrue. (I have a fuller discussion of the history and geology of the formation here.)
Well, filming is apparently complete, and the Rockwall Herald-Banner is reporting on the production. It’s an enlightening and somewhat depressing article.
Here’s what happened:
…cast and crew of the national television show spent five days tunneling 45 feet down into the earth to uncover a piece of the massive limestone wall-like formation, whose origins have been debated since a group of settlers first discovered it in 1952 (sic).
We know that there are countless rumors surrounding this piece of history, and so our goal here was to bring in the most qualified experts possible and just present the straight scientific facts to the people [watching the show]. (brackets in original)
Here’s another bizarre tidbit: The rock wall site is owned by Rob Cameron, who told the newspaper that he had to receive permission from the History Channel (I assume he means Committee Films) to allow guests onto his own land before the production team “had to” cover the site again. (I am not familiar with Texas excavation laws, so I do not know the rules for uncovering rocks in Rockwall.) Those must be some air-tight contracts the production uses. I can’t imagine signing away all rights to access my own land to preserve the secrecy of a digital-tier cable show.
Cameron threw a wrap party to celebrate filming and to give high-ranking dignitaries the chance to tour the wall site. Among the guests was 90-year-old Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), the chairman emeritus of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology! (He currently serves on the committee as a regular member, but no longer chairs it.) It shouldn’t surprise me that a member of the science committee is touring an alleged Biblical “giant’s” fortress or outpost of Atlantis; it’s par for the course nowadays. On the plus side, less scrupulous advocates can now assert that there is a U.S. government conspiracy to suppress the truth since a “high ranking government official” visited the site and then it was immediately reburied—to keep the public out! But seriously, the attendance of Rep. Hall belies Wolter’s repeated claim that the U.S. government is working to suppress the truth and block him from conducting research.
Other guests included a number of local dignitaries, including the town’s mayor, David Sweet, and the district attorney, who identified the wall as the central point in forming identity of the town. Here’s what Sweet had to say, and I think it just about sums up the story of the rock wall:
One of the neat things about Rockwall is that, no matter what the truth is, whether it’s man-made or a natural occurrence, it’s always going to be a part of our history. Long after the experts have given us their definitive answers, I think people will continue to speculate and pass down the legends for generations to come.
Since the late 1800s, Rockwall residents have been trucking in experts of all stripes with regularity to try to create a case for why their town should be a pre-Flood, pre-Columbian archaeological tourist destination, and to this day they’re still upset that science—and even the fake science of creationism!—fails to play along. Now, it’s Scott Wolter’s turn.
I can’t wait to see what he has to say; I sincerely hope that he’s able to recognize a clastic dike when he sees one.