Information continues to dribble out about the Rockwall, Tex. “rock wall,” the allegedly manmade brick wall erected by Atlanteans, Carthaginians, or Biblical giants that looks suspiciously like a limestone clastic dyke (because it is, according to 125 years’ worth of geological analysis). As you will recall, Scott Wolter and the America Unearthed crew descended on Rockwall last month to “investigate” the origins of the geological formation. In yesterday’s Rockwall Herald-Banner, we learned more information about this dig.
Be sure to take a gander at the photograph attached to the article, which shows the property owner using heavy equipment to “excavate” this supposed proof of prehistoric advanced civilization by smashing it (or at least the rock surrounding it) to pieces while the film crew records the destruction. Science! Hyundai provided the production with “two monster track hoes and a reticulating loader” for unearthing the limestone dyke. Theoretically, of course, one would be a bit more careful if one were actually looking for proof of a lost race of wall builders or the only physical proof of Biblical giants or Atlantis ever found. If the article’s tone is to be believed, all involved are leaning toward a natural geological explanation.
“Regardless of what it is, it is an amazing, weird, cool thing,” Wolter told the paper. “I can see why people really got excited about it. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
So why are they smashing the wall? To study the pieces of it for paleomagentism, the record of the magnetic field of the earth at the time the rocks formed.
“The theory is, if this is a natural feature then all the arrows should be pointing in the same direction because the rock was all made at the same time,” Wolter said. “If it’s a man-made feature, as they put the blocks in they would be rotated and they would not line up, so the arrows should be random going in all directions.”
Also, because this is “serious” science, no one is allowed to know the results of the investigation until the show airs later this year. Wolter will not be conducting the tests himself, but rather merely observing the work of John Giessman, a UT-Dallas geologist who has researched paleomagentism and rock magnetism extensively. Ironically, Dr. Giessman has devoted his career to advocating for the importance of science and combating public misunderstanding of science. I wonder if he ever watched the show.
One of the more interesting takeaways from the article is that Scott Wolter and the producers of the show told the paper they were not familiar with the Rockwall rock wall until someone from the town called their tip line (yes, they have a tip line) to ask them to investigate. According to the son of the property owner, a man named Adam Nix of the Collin County Historical Foundation contacted History about bringing the show to town.
This is especially interesting since last year an article about the Rockwall rock wall appeared in an anthology of Ancient American magazine articles (The Lost Worlds of Ancient America, 2012) that included not one but two articles by Scott Wolter himself. Is he not familiar with the books he appears in, or the magazine he writes for?
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.
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