[Editors's note: The following story was based upon a report from a source running a Facebook page who claimed to be familiar with America Unearthed's production and had been relaying reliable information in the past. I spoke with a History official on 4/17 who confirmed that the source was incorrect and the incident described below never happened. Details are here.]
Apparently the H2 network and its parent, History, have decided that America Unearthed is focusing too much on alternative Christianity and Jesus Bloodline conspiracies. According to information provided to me by a source familiar with the production, History had a meeting with show star Scott Wolter on March 28 to discuss his statements about the marriage of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and the alleged Holy Bloodline descendants of Christ’s union with her. Some Christians apparently took offense to the claims about Jesus and expressed their displeasure on Facebook and in other forums. According to the source, Wolter apologized for any offensive statements, and no further action was taken.
I tried to contact History to confirm the story, but History directs inquiries to its parent company, A+E Networks. In turn, A+E requires reporters to undergo a registration and approval process that lasts 1-2 weeks before granting a reporter access to contact information for their press department. Well, I tried. They’re welcome to send me a statement if they have something to say, or, you know, make it possible for reporters to talk to them.
[Update, 7:07 PM: Now my source claims to be "legally" unable to speak about the event in question, and I have my doubts about what really happened, or if anything actually happened at all. This would be a reason why A+E might want to think about making it easier to get hold of them. Thanks to a helpful reader, I've gotten contact information for the History PR person, and I have an inquiry in to find out their side.]
This week the peer-reviewed solar system science journal Icarus published a paper by two Kazakh physicists who claim that human DNA encodes a mathematical message genetically engineered by extraterrestrial beings when they “seeded the universe” with life. According to the scientists, DNA has “precision-type orderliness”:
If you’ve been following my Twitter feed or have been reading the comments on my various blog posts, you’ll know that I’ve recently received a great deal of criticism for being too rude to alternative history speculators. According to several alternative authors and their supporters, it is wrong of me to describe the authors or alternative theories in non-neutral language, an apparent prerequisite for participating in “honest” (read: ineffective) criticism. To be honest, I didn’t think I was particularly rude to alternative theorists given what they routinely say about mainstream scientists, archaeologists and historians, though I do in fact use some non-neutral language from time to time.
We’re getting our first hints at what season two of America Unearthed plans to cover, and it doesn’t look promising. According to an article published in the Rockwall, Texas Herald-Banner, the H2 pseudo-documentary series is currently filming in Rockwall, a town twenty-five miles from Dallas and the site of an infamous geological formation that has been mistaken for a prehistoric rock wall for centuries.
I first wrote about the Rockwall rock wall in May 2012, when I reviewed claims for it made by former neo-Nazi and convicted child predator Frank Joseph of Ancient American magazine in the same anthology of that magazine’s work which printed Scott Wolter’s Bat Creek Stone claim, as well as Wolter’s first attempt at “proving” the Newport Tower was a Cistercian-Templar Venus-tracking, goddess-worshiping heretical church. (Those are all Wolter’s adjectives, not mine.) Needless to say, the rock wall hasn’t changed since last year. Honestly, I can’t believe anyone is trying to revive this faded “mystery.” In fact, in checking my reference books, I can’t even find recent mystery-mongering efforts to revive this wall’s spurious claims. (It does appear in a 2005 encyclopedia of the unexplained I found on Google, though not without caveats.) It has been so thoroughly debunked that last year I assumed it was sufficient to simply cite the geology as proof of reality. Ha! How naïve of me.
I’m sure you’ve heard the news that last week a poll from Public Policy Polling found a disturbing number of Americans believe in conspiracies large and small. Several of their findings underscore just why it’s so important to continue critically examining the claims made by cable television documentaries, popular press books, and websites about aliens and ancient mysteries.
All roads in alternative belief eventually lead back to aliens, probably because the aliens represent a modern interpretation of the ancient angels and gods. Therefore it should come as no surprise that America Unearthed’s Scott Wolter will be appearing at the Paradigm Symposium this fall, a gathering of alternative “theorists,” including a large number of ancient astronaut speculators, dedicated to “re-visioning our place in history.” What is perhaps more surprising is that the H2 network, Prometheus Entertainment (of Ancient Aliens fame) and Committee Films (producers of America Unearthed) are sponsors of the summit. This should clear up any doubt about whether the network or its production partners has any residual idea that about the value of science, historiography, or facts.
I’m going to make a confession: I’ve never seen America’s Book of Secrets before, so I had no idea what to expect going into this hour, which I am only watching because it is tied to the ancient astronaut theory. So imagine my surprise when there I am again on this show, my 2004 article “Charioteer of the Gods” used as wallpaper for a discussion of evil academics in material recycled from the 2009 Ancient Aliens pilot. Pardon my language but: FUCK YOU H2! As it happens, this show is another one from Prometheus Entertainment, the company behind Ancient Aliens, and they share executive producer Kevin Burns, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.
Since I launched JasonColavito.com in 2010, I have written about one million words on this website across the blog, articles, eBooks, and other odds and ends. Of those one million words, about 60,000 (6%) are devoted to America Unearthed, which earned me frequent complaints that I am “obsessed” with the show. By contrast, over the past three years I’ve probably written about 500,000 or more words about ancient astronauts, with more than 100,000 of them specifically about Ancient Aliens. (These are very rough estimates; some blog posts, for example, cover multiple topics.) I know for a fact that between June 2011 and June 2012, when I collected my work as my Critical Companion to Ancient Aliens, I wrote no fewer than 40,000 words on Ancient Aliens, and I’ve easily matched that in the time since. Add to that the 100,000 words on ancient astronauts contained in my Cult of Alien Gods, and the total begins to dwarf anything I’ve devoted to America Unearthed.
I bring this up because taking stock is the theme of the return episode of Ancient Aliens, S05E10 “The Von Däniken Legacy,” which takes as its focus the man who put the ancient astronaut idea into the pop culture mainstream through dishonesty and diabolical luck. It’s good, I guess, to have Ancient Aliens back, if only because its brand of fact-free lunacy is an utter delight compared to the self-serious charlatanism of America Unearthed.
It happened again today. Giorgio Tsoukalos needs to get himself a website with some contact information. He’s missing out. Today a producer for Russian state television contacted me to try to get hold of Tsoukalos because they want him for a show about aliens. Giorgio, if you’re reading this: Please try having some kind of web presence. It’s not good when I’m at near the top of a Google search for you.
I’ve been talking quite a bit about the Zeno Narrative recently because it is of primary importance as the sole piece of actual evidence that Henry Sinclair ever visited America. As it turns out, I shouldn’t have wasted so much time working on analyzing the Zeno Narrative point by point because someone else has already done so. In 1898 Frederic W. Lucas (1842-1932) published a “criticism and indictment” on the Zeno Narrative—a full length book—analyzing the Zeno story in extensive detail. A copy of the book has been posted on Archive.org.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.