Today was to have been the premiere date for Hunting Atlantis, a new series from Morgan Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment in which volcanologist Jess Phoenix and genre novelist Stel Pavlou were to have explored various hypotheses for the location of Atlantis before deciding that Pavlou was right to tie Plato’s allegory to the alleged flooding of the Black Sea around 5000 BCE, despite matching none of the details of Plato’s fictitious story. The Discovery channel, fresh off purchasing Warner Media, pulled the show without explanation and replaced it with an extended episode of Expedition Unknown.
Discovery pulled all references to the program from its website, and Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment does not list the show among its projects. Phoenix scrubbed the series from her social media feed. Discovery was still promoting the show just a couple of weeks ago. The change came swiftly enough that many major publications still listed the premiere episode in tonight’s TV listings.
Hunting Atlantis generated controversy online after critics (myself included) pointed out that the Atlantis myth has long been used in support of colonialist, imperialist, and racist narrative, including the Spanish conquest of the Americas, the Anglo-American expansionist colonialism the Age of Empires, and Nazi searchers for the Aryan homeland. Pavlou also attracted attention for a series of tweets, now deleted, defending his views in intemperate language.
Shot on location around the Mediterranean, Hunting Atlantis could not have been cheap to produce. But the optics of glorifying a narrative long used to support white supremacy also didn’t look great the same week that competing channels were honoring the victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Hunting Atlantis, not least because they already spent the money to shoot the show. But for now, we should take the win. It’s one less front for science and reason to fight during the media’s period of UFO insanity.
Speaking of which: After arguing for months that he should be taken seriously as an ex-government official blowing the whistle on UFO incursions, Lue Elizondo popped up in an advertisement for “4Bidden Disclosure,” a $200-a-head online discussion with Ancient Aliens stars Linda Moulton Howe, Nick Pope, and Richard Dolan; radio host Jimmy Church; and Billy Carson, who sells videos of himself discussing ancient astronauts, OOPARTS, remote viewing, and “how to raise millions of dollars for your business.” That last video series, incidentally, costs $220, which already tells you how to raise millions of dollars.
Between Elizondo’s appearance at this circus and his recent guest spot on Josh Gates’s monster-hunting paranormal reality show Expedition X, where he attempted to hunt underwater aliens, alleging that there are secret underwater bases of unknown origin, it’s hard to take Elizondo seriously as a sober analyst of national security threats.
The mainstream media—here’s looking at you ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, Fox News, New Yorker, Politico, etc.—need to stop whitewashing Elizondo’s ties to the entertainment industry and fairly present his circus act alongside his claims to secret UFO knowledge.
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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