Working on finding investors to develop a 5-10 season documentary on the Journals of Prince Henry Sinclair coming to America in 1395 and earlier Templars coming in 1078. If you're interested, please contact me! Working with Scott Wolter, 33deg Mason. The journals discuss the voyages, the Zeno brothers, where they got and took the Templar treasure and how part of it was recovered to fund the Revolutionary War.
There is no indication that the series has moved beyond the planning stage, but it is nevertheless a disappointment to learn that Muir and Wolter (who is actually a 32nd degree Mason) are pushing forward with a demonstrably false narrative based on dubious journals. Regular readers will recall that Muir claims to have translated the journals into English while disposing of or losing the originals.
The Henry Sinclair myth is a particularly ridiculous one. It originates with a Renaissance hoax, a fabricated account of the brothers Zeno from Venice traveling to a fictitious north Atlantic island where they met Zichmni, a Westernized prince who heard from still farther afield about a land across the sea and traveled to Greenland to establish a colony. The narrative was, by the admission of the man who published it, at best a reconstruction from memory of a medieval manuscript he had destroyed (a theme!) and was in actuality almost certainly a total fabrication drawn from contemporary accounts of Iceland, Greenland, and the northern Atlantic, as Fred Lucas proved in 1898. As an example of how poorly the hoax was constructed, it had one the Zeno brothers dying in the Atlantic in 1394 despite being on trial in Venice at the time and living until 1402.
But in the 1870s, Richard Henry Major translated the Zeno hoax text and gave it the imprimatur of scholarship, arguing in a rambling essay that it was not only a true account but that Zichmni was, as an eighteenth century speculator had suggested, Henry Sinclair. The name had been mangled by bad handwriting, the argument went, with “Zichmni” being “Sinclair.” From that starting point, in the middle 20th century Frederick J. Pohl spun a fanciful narrative of Sinclair reaching Canada, being worshiped as a god, and colonizing the New World—all based on a misreading of a Victorian book of Mi’kmaq legends he wrongly thought were all about the same culture hero. More recent writers have expanded the claim to include Templars, The Da Vinci Code, and Masonic/Christian conspiracies, all without actually proving the original eighteenth and nineteenth century speculation.
I described the whole sordid history in a 2015 article.
Muir’s journals are so dubious that even the handpicked experts Muir and Wolter used to try to authenticate them concluded they were problematic, forcing the pair to invent a new conspiracy that Victorian copyists somehow rewrote them (in Latin), thus changing the style.
But, hey, TV shows have been made of less. However, after the failure of Hunting Atlantis, cable channels may be wary of fake history shows that don’t have an alien or paranormal angle.
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.
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