History Channel to Launch New "In Search Of..."; Plus: Scott Wolter Marks Three Years Since End of "America Unearthed" with Radio Interview
The History channel has greenlighted a ten-episode revival of In Search of… starring Zachary Quinto, taking over the hosting role originated by Leonard Nimoy in the 1977-1982 original. Quinto was selected because he, like Nimoy before him, played Mr. Spock in Star Trek. In announcing the decision yesterday, the network said that the revived series would explore “dynamic” subjects “such as alien encounters, mysterious creatures, UFO sightings, time travel and artificial intelligence.”
Given that this is the History channel, the home of Ancient Aliens and The Curse of Oak Island, I can’t say that I hold out much hope that the new series, whose title changes from In Search of… to In Search Of without the suggestive ellipses, will offer anything new about these well-worn subjects, nor that they will treat them as anything more than titillating fodder to feed the perpetual mystery machine that is paranormal television programming.
The network cited the success of Ancient Aliens as a key factor in its decision to commission another series scraping the bottom of a well-worn barrel of ancient mysteries already covered on the aforementioned series. “To this day, the investigations conducted in this series remain relevant and a source of public obsession,” History vice president of programming Eli Lehrer said. “Now with Zachary’s passion and prevalence in the science fiction genre, the groundbreaking series is back for a new audience.” This is the second time in recent weeks that Lehrer has cited popular interest in space aliens and conspiracies as the driving force behind programming decisions made at the network. He previously said the same thing about Templar conspiracies, suggesting that History’s executive suite hasn’t quite worked out the connection between the drivel they broadcast and public awareness of history. If you don’t educate the public, it’s no wonder they express “interest” in the crap you make available.
Quinto said that he was “excited” to be revisiting the earlier In Search Of series with “advancements in science and technology” to help him reach the same inconclusive non-answers. “HISTORY is the perfect home for this unique and compelling series,” Quinto said, truthfully. More truthfully: I doubt he said any of it. It reads like something that the PR team asked him to sign off on.
The network omitted any mention of the earlier revival of In Search of… on Fox, hosted by Mitch Pileggi at the tail end of the X-Files phenomenon, in the fall of 2002. They also omitted to mention that the History Channel, and before that, parent network A&E, attracted its original audience of paranormal enthusiasts in large measure due to repeats of the first In Search of… series, which made A&E and then History cable’s home for paranormal and fringe programming in the 1990s, setting the stage for today. A&E even commissioned a sequel series, Ancient Mysteries, starring Leonard Nimoy because of the success of In Search of… reruns.
The History channel demonstrated its commitment to quality by wrongly stating in its press release that the first In Search of…, which launched in 1977, was hosted by Rod Serling before his death. Serling died in 1975. He had hosted In Search of Ancient Astronauts and its two sequels, a series of TV movies that inspired the creation of the series, which he was originally intended to host, but he was never the host of the In Search of… series. It’s probably worth mentioning that both Ancient Aliens and In Search of… got their starts as adaptations of the same book, Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods, before branching off into all-purpose investigations of anything vaguely “mysterious.”
A+E Networks, the parent of the History channel, must be truly desperate for the new series to have positive press. They actually sent me the press release and promotional materials yesterday morning, at the same time the rest of the media received them. Either all is forgiven after that time they tried to sue me over my book criticizing America Unearthed, or else they really want the word out everywhere.
Speaking of the desperate search for new TV series… The former star of America Unearthed, a show that aired on History’s defunct sister channel H2, Scott Wolter said on his blog Sunday that he would like to host a globetrotting show unearthing ancient mysteries from around the world. The next day, he appeared on AM950 radio’s Matt McNeil Show to talk about “life after America Unearthed,” a program that went off the air three years ago today.
In the interview, Wolter revisited claims he made on the show as far back as 2012, using most of the same words and the same bullet points that routinely uses in describing the episodes of his series. McNeil, however, is nearly as bad as Wolter, claiming that new discoveries about history are only accepted if “big universities” like Harvard, Yale, MIT, and Oxford are involved in their discovery. He asserted that cable television shows provide equally valid scientific analysis and should be accepted based on the data broadcast on air. Basically, he thinks Scott Wolter’s claims should be accepted because he thinks what he saw on screen was suitably scientific compared to the opaque scientific work found in journals. McNeil even suggests that “academic resentment” is preventing Wolter from being hailed as a paradigm-busting titan of science.
The pair also discussed Wolter’s key hobbyhorse, the Kensington Runestone, a Victorian hoax purporting to be a medieval Norse tablet, tied to the opening of a visitor’s center at Rune Stone Park in Minnesota. Wolter said that “people” (meaning scientists, historians, etc.) are “fearful” of the Templars and refuse to admit that only the Templars had the means and the resources to carve the Runestone. He adds that scholars have “fear in their hearts” that the Templars might not have been orthodox Roman Catholics, because I guess somehow universities are just chock full of true believers in orthodoxy, which is why Fox News is on such a tear about how atheist liberal professors are turning students’ minds to mush. Wolter adds that he believes that the Templars’ ideology was “compatible with Native Americans’ [ideology].”
You can tell that this is Minnesota radio, however, because McNeil simply assumes that listeners are familiar with the local runic curiosity, and know its backstory. You’re not likely to find that outside of Minnesota. He also lets slide Wolter’s claim that Kensington, Minnesota, where the stone was found in 1898, is the exact geographic center of North America. According to a 1928 U.S. Geographical Survey calculation, that honor actually falls to Rugby, North Dakota, though a more recent claim—made by an academic no less!—put the location at Center, North Dakota. Either way, it’s not Kensington, Minn.
Wolter concluded his discussion of the Rune Stone and Templars by saying that he believes that the only way one can accept his claims as true is to turn off one’s critical filters and to “realize you don’t know everything and to let this information come to you.” I’ll leave it to you to insert your own jokes. He added that no one outside of the fringe community truly understands who the Knights Templar really were. He claims that the medieval order is grossly misunderstood, and that academic treatments of them are incorrect and incomplete because they do not include Native American religious influences. He claims that Native Americans have told him that the Templars are their blood brothers.
“How come we’ve never heard that before? How come academia hasn’t gone down that road?” Wolter asks, apparently unaware that his friend David Brody spilled the beans two months ago and accidentally revealed that the Native American who supposedly admitted all this is a young man who was referring to twentieth century fringe history books, not to preexisting oral traditions.
He closed out the interview with a discussion about why “respect” is for him the most important virtue in any interaction—a common theme from a man who feels that opposition to his incorrect claims is automatically a personal insult—and he rehearsed his history of playing football in college and for a semi-pro team, another key pillar of his personal myth. This tied in to the official reason for his appearance, promoting a charity ball game.
He finished out the interview by teasing, for the third year in a row, a future book or television project which he alleges will be tell “the greatest story I’ve ever been involved in, and that includes every episode of America Unearthed.” As has been the case for three years, this involved no details and had no firm release date, only a vague request to “stay tuned.”
1/31/2018 09:56:53 am
10/27/2018 07:23:34 am
1. America was discovered between 1300-1200 BC by Phoenicians, the Greenland Sagas commenced in 1200 BC.
10/28/2018 12:28:45 am
Well,Mr. Sinclair. It seems to me that you have an impressive list. Do you have ANY proof of what you're saying? If you do,I'd like to hear it. I sincerely doubt you do but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and give you some chance to prove it. Otherwise,me and a bunch of other people are going to conclude that you're just making all this up.
10/28/2018 08:07:48 am
Mr. Marino, yes there is endless amounts of proof. I spent nearly 20 years compiling it. Have written several books of my own using the information which is available in the history books, vatican archives, and physical monuments which explain their existence. If you or others would like to discuss, let me know how to contact you. My email is PPCpress@aol.com
10/28/2018 11:54:30 pm
Well,Mr. Sinclair,here's the thing. There haven't been any real archaeological proof to back up what you're saying. A lot of it's pretty controversial and,in the words of others,fake. Most people like me would find it a little unbelievable,considering the ships that they had in ancient times.
10/29/2018 12:58:51 am
Mr. Marino, I don't think you are getting the point of my post. The list was put together by all the genetic proof, the physical proof, and the historical records proof. I'm offering you a dialogue so that you may obtain that proof. Nearly 20 years of studying cannot be conveyed to you over a single post. Skeptics are simply people who haven't done any studying. I was at one time a skeptic, but interested in the field. I discovered some information was faked, but it was to satisfy skeptics like you who wanted something more than logic games. For example, monks created logic puzzles to help people become logical. When civilizations were conquered, their records were turned into logic puzzles. Such as mythology. Truth concealed by fiction. If you research a topic and find out what it is based on, history fits together like a fine tuned puzzle. Such as... Every order of Knights corresponds exactly to a Mesoamerican society. Check the dates, they are identical. The historical records you agree with tell of the fall of societies in Europe, and the emergence of another in America at exactly the same time. Most people call this resurrection. Mythology, novels and movies have been telling the tales for centuries. All you have to do is put them together along with the archeological records. And boom... you have proof. It has been proven over and over so many times that skeptics like you seem to the ones that look like crazy people. Let me know how to have a chat room discussion with you, and get involved with the truth!
10/29/2018 10:43:56 pm
Now,Mr. Sinclair. Don't think I'm disparaging you. I'm not. But,what I'm getting at here is that a lot of this stuff seems pretty hard to believe. Have you ever seen ANY of the boats that were around in Ancient Greece,Egypt,or Rome? They may have been great in the Mediterranean Sea but I doubt they would have fared well in the open Atlantic.
10/30/2018 12:24:29 am
Mr. Marino, your concern is valid outside of the fact that teenage girls have crossed the Atlantic in little teeny tiny personal water craft. Moreover, your comment on falling off the edge of the earth. If you had discovered two huge continents with no civilized life forms... would you tell everyone and not keep it to yourself? No you wouldn't, you would tell everyone that they would disappear and be eaten. Primitive man would believe you... and their fear would keep them from the worldly discovery while you colonize the continents. A Macedonian frigate could easily make it across the Atlantic in calm to choppy waters. But, as you said... the sea is not always kind. The Kraken will get you on the way there, or on the way back. Which is the first key information on why Carthage and the Phoenicians moved to Norway. The coast of America was discovered, no one wanted to make the trip back. So, they followed the coast to icy waters. Knowing this area, they traversed the narrower seas to Greenland and back to what are now the Scandinavian countries. A relatively short trip was now available to the smaller ships of the time. But, once again, you must not have much knowledge of Phoenician dreadnoughts. The Templar dreadnoughts are much like the ones Christopher Columbus used. His ships were based on captured Templar ships. The Phoenician ships were much larger and built on the design of a cabin which was built on a Viking ship to hold up in during stormy conditions. Paintings from 250 BC show the ships, and are sufficient evidence for you. Ol' Nessie herself is well thought of in folklore for her trips to America from Scotland. The original was built from Egyptian wreeds. Let me know when you want to chat!
10/30/2018 12:44:27 am
Look on your internet search engine with 'Trireme' & 'Tunisia' to get a pretty good idea of what the Phoenicians were sailing at the time.
1/31/2018 10:37:48 am
I have always thought that almost every "fringe" subject we have seen in the last forty years originated on "In Search of." The episode where they warn of the coming Ice Age is especially precious.
1/31/2018 10:54:40 am
"Everyone do a little word searching and see if there is even another forensic geologist attempting to date rock art.................. "
1/31/2018 10:46:11 am
Templars are all the rage on History Channel these days. Tonight will be a "documentary" on them as a companion piece to their Templar drama show Knightfall which will follow. Then you've got the Oak Island boys now going full blown Templar in their nonsensical pursuit of a long known hoax, pushing a piece of lead (the Island's "greatest discovery"???) as their tie-in. It's actually quite comical to watch them stretch for connections, yet pathetic knowing the misinformation they're spreading irresponsibly to the highest number of cable viewers for the night of their weekly broadcast. At this point, now downright lies.
1/31/2018 10:51:23 am
Jason, why do you say I "accidently" revealed something? I put this on my blog. I understood that people might read it. And the Native American tribal chief I quoted joined the Air Force in the late 1970s, making his age at least in the mid-50s, yet you try to minimize him and his opinions by referring to him as a "young man." Not a big deal, but consistent with your overall sloppy work...
1/31/2018 10:59:53 am
Curious counselor, do you believe Wolter's "science" is ignored due to an academic conspiracy or because it could never sustain the rigors of competent academic, scientific peer review, or even the scrutiny from a middle school science teacher?
1/31/2018 12:18:10 pm
I said "accidentally" because your interpretation of what he said differs markedly from a plain reading of the statement, which in turn contradicts the extraordinary claims made for it. To wit: He never says that the Templars are part of Native oral history; he said that his research into fringe history led him to interpret a (probably not very old) oral account that way. If you didn't realize what he really said, then you accidentally provided information you didn't mean to.
1/31/2018 02:23:59 pm
Judging solely by appearances, Indian by way of Africa:
1/31/2018 08:04:52 pm
Jason, this explanation is convoluted and self-serving even by your low standards. I call bullshit. Maybe your sycophants will buy it, but I bet even they are shaking their heads with this one...
1/31/2018 08:26:18 pm
Sycophants, really Davie ? I take it you had to look that word up, seeing as how you can't even spell your own name right.
1/31/2018 10:26:53 pm
Gotcha with typos, Jim? Whatever.
2/1/2018 03:49:19 am
"Judging solely by appearances, Indian by way of Africa:"
2/1/2018 02:18:28 pm
I'd be interested to know how they distinguished between "Swede" and "Finland". Sounds like we have another fake Injun on our hands.
1/31/2018 10:51:27 am
I always enjoyed most of his show. He did debunk things on it and looked at other stuff I wasn't aware of as well. His focus on the Templar aspect became annoying though.
1/31/2018 10:33:41 pm
I'd be interested in hearing you name just one thing Wolter has debunked.
1/31/2018 11:00:12 am
So, Scott Wolter wants to host another "Globetrotting series "investigating" ancient mysteries from around the world. If I were a channel executive I certainly wouldn't pay to send Scott Wolter on paid vacations around the world, then when he finally returned putting him on film of him standing in front of ancient sites scratching his balls and babbling on about how all of these things are somehow tied to the Knights Templar.
Gunn at Risk
1/31/2018 11:24:50 am
Some readers here already know that I am almost completely at odds with Wolter over many of his findings, since I'm a Kensington Runestone purist, meaning I take the inscribed story at face value, as a true story being told factually. I would like people here to know that not all believers in the KRS are as "far-out" in their views as Wolter is.
1/31/2018 12:32:02 pm
The Templars were not monks and very few of them were knights. Facts are stupid things.
1/31/2018 03:16:26 pm
I would point out that "offspring of monks" is no more or less "crazy" than "offspring of Popes," and we have definitive proof of the children of several Popes. And I'm not even talking about "people with the last name Pope." Borgia, maybe, but not Pope.
1/31/2018 04:08:32 pm
Sorry, no, but it's stupid facts time again. Most Templars were NOT ordained, and none of the Knights were.
2/14/2018 11:32:57 pm
I’d like to see the compelling evidence that you have that proves it’s utterly rediculous to think that any of the Templar knights could’ve had offspring. We’re you there? No? Okay, so shut the fuck up already because you truly don’t know a damned thing more than anyone else. You can read a bunch of garbage on someone else’s written account or opinion, and that’s it. It would seem that you should stop replying on this blog completely, until you’ve watched the bar scene in “good will hunting” and realized how it applies to you in this forum.
1/31/2018 01:05:46 pm
"...My point is that if the Catholic Church was involved in any of these medieval explorations, BEFORE the time of the KRS (1362), there is a good likelihood that the Templars were involved, too, as monk-muscle (you heard it here first.)...."
1/31/2018 01:12:04 pm
Wish they had an edit key... I meant to say AN not AC. It was AMERICANEGRO who observation on "facts" I was requoting. Sorry, AMERICANEGRO. I believe in giving credit where credit is due
1/31/2018 01:28:41 pm
Not a problem. Does "monk-muscle" sound a bit Christopher Street to anyone else?
1/31/2018 02:19:38 pm
MONK- MUSCLE - " Gets you out of the cloister, and into the bars !"
1/31/2018 11:36:55 am
Unfortunately the Catholics involved w/ the KRS are more closely associated with Marquette University and NOT medieval Europe.......smh. To me the reasons for the scam are more interesting than the tripe being presented as history on shows like In Search of and America Unearthed.
1/31/2018 01:06:57 pm
"To me the reasons for the scam are more interesting than the tripe being presented as history on shows like In Search of and America Unearthed."
1/31/2018 03:19:15 pm
Exactly! EXACTLY this! I would LOVE to see a show that followed ancient hoaxes and gave you THAT history, because that...that is SO much more fun and interesting than "LOOK! ANOTHER RACIST CONSPIRACY TO PROVE THAT ONLY WHITE MEN ARE INTELLIGENT!"
2/1/2018 08:40:12 am
It would be a great program: intrepid debunkers confronting nonsense with facts. I'd watch for sure.
2/1/2018 10:20:06 am
You know, it could work. The Mythbusters had an incredible run, and they're on their second generation of hosts. If they did a Mythbusters: History Edition it would bring an already established audience to the table.
2/1/2018 10:43:22 am
2/1/2018 11:48:21 am
Okay, we need to figure out how to pitch it.
2/1/2018 01:03:25 pm
It would probably have to be something close to "Adam Ruins Everything" on TruTV, with its millennial hipness. Ever catch that show? It's not without its own interpretive bias, but it certainly is a debunking show that seems to be catching on.
2/1/2018 01:55:37 pm
I haven't seen that, but I'll check it out. I have fond memories of watching Mike Wallace chase people into their offices on 60 Minutes.
2/1/2018 02:11:04 pm
2/1/2019 10:24:35 pm
Sounds like you got fucked in the ass by too many white men.
1/31/2018 02:53:37 pm
Question for my fellow readers: how successful do you think this new In Search Of series will be?
1/31/2018 04:47:43 pm
How successful? Given the glut of fringe programming and continued lack of evidence for such things as Bigfoot in an age where nearly everyone carries a handheld movie camera on their person... I think they'll have an uphill climb. Unless of course Quinto shows up in character as Mr. Spock.
1/31/2018 05:25:11 pm
Given the glut of the "we don't never find nothing" shows, it probably gets viewership for the first few episodes and then free falls.
1/31/2018 10:16:51 pm
FYI, a new series of Cosmos with NDT called "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" is scheduled for spring 2019.
1/31/2018 04:43:15 pm
Does this sound familiar ?
1/31/2018 05:08:24 pm
What he should have said was "All the things that I think I know about the Templars historically, is quite frankly wrong." There's your show Scott!
2/1/2018 03:29:21 am
So,the History Channel's going to try to revive "In Search Of..." I hope it does better than the Mitch Pileggi version. I think the reason that the Leonard Nimoy version worked while the Mitch Pileggi version didn't was because the Nimoy version came at the subject matter in a rational,sober way,even though much of this stuff could be considered extremely batty. The Pileggi version of "In Search Of..." felt too sensationalistic and silly and I can see why it didn't last long.
Gunn at Risk
2/1/2018 12:43:19 pm
For the overly-combative and woefully ignorant here:
2/1/2018 12:57:11 pm
Wow, you found something on the internet that you can read to support your crazy ideas. Didn't see that coming!
2/14/2018 11:39:22 pm
Monk - noun. (in Christianity) a man who has withdrawn from the world for religious reasons, especially as a member of an order of cenobites living according to a particular rule and under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. 2. (in any religion) a man who is a member of a monastic order: a Buddhist monk.
2/1/2018 01:42:46 pm
Alrighty then.... let's address those pesky catholic vows ( small c deliberate ) in the practical, rather than religious sense.
2/2/2018 02:31:12 pm
Sometimes I just have to shake my head and sadly laugh over how much trust and faith some delusional fans place in the XplrR duo to seek advice from them.
9/26/2018 03:29:24 pm
Regarding Scott Wolter,
11/24/2018 04:43:39 pm
Sounds like you guys above me here are more interested in oneupmanship... i’m putting forth the theory that all you idiots that pretend to know anything about the past without being there- is why you’re sitting in your moms basement with one hand in your boxers and the other one on your tandy PC watching midget porn..
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter 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.