Scott Wolter Lays Claim to So-Called "Hooked X" in Podcast Blasting "Curse of Oak Island"
A week after J. Hutton Pulitzer announced on Facebook that he would not be commenting on the fourth season of Curse of Oak Island, he and business partner Scott Wolter delivered an hour-long podcast analyzing the fourth season of Oak Island. Pulitzer announced in the podcast that he has “retracted” his earlier Facebook posting. Wolter dismissed Curse, which held steady this week with 2.66 million viewers, as a “silly show,” while Pulitzer alleged that Curse of Oak Island’s production company, Prometheus Entertainment, is intentionally incorporating material originally presented on Scott Wolter’s America Unearthed, a show produced by a rival company, Committee Films. During the podcast, Wolter said that he told Prometheus Entertainment not to discuss his so-called “Hooked X®” because he had trademarked the phrase.
The pair’s thoughts about the mystery of Oak Island are not particularly relevant here, but since I do cover the business of fringe history regularly, I feel that I should share with you some of what they said about the corporate intrigue they allege is playing out between Prometheus Entertainment, Committee Films, and (through this podcast) their own new venture, Xplrr Media, LLC.
Pulitzer asked Wolter how he feels about Curse of Oak Island including reference to the symbol that Wolter is famous for having popularized, the so-called “Hooked X®,” a trademarked term for an X with an extra line on one stave that Wolter originally identified as a variant of the A-rune found on the Kensington Rune Stone, but which he has now expanded to include any cross-like shape with any bend, squiggle, crossbar, or other adornment (intentional or otherwise) on one stave.
“It annoys the hell out of me,” Wolter said. “Because, first of all they contacted me a little over two years ago, Prometheus did, a little over two years ago. I was down in Texas. I remember exactly where I was. I was speaking at a conference and I was in my car with Janet. We were just about to check in to our hotel when somebody called and wanted to talk to me about being on the show and talking about the Hooked X. And at the time I was just finishing filming season three of America Unearthed and I had no interest in being on that show because I didn’t like the show and I didn’t want them profiting from the Hooked X. I didn’t feel like … I was doing my own show. […] I trademarked the phrase ‘The Hooked X’ because I wanted to protect it. It was something that I coined, and it became synonymous with that all-important symbol. […] They called me and asked me if I wanted to be on the show. And I said no, and by the way you can’t use the phrase ‘the Hooked X’ period because it’s trademarked. And they said OK.”
Wolter then said that he told Prometheus that he did not want them “to use that symbol,” even though said symbol is in the public domain.
According to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records, Wolter trademarked the phrase “Hooked X” in 2009 only for “publications, namely, books in the field of historical artifacts.” His trademark is a word mark and it does not cover the symbol of the variant-A rune, and Wolter’s trademark application states nothing about its use on television. I have a letter from the attorney for A+E Networks stating in plain language that the network agreed that the symbol of the variant-A rune is in the public domain (having been introduced, at minimum, in the late 1800s) and is free for anyone, including me, to use at will. This was the one positive thing that came out of the network’s 2013 cease-and-desist letter targeting my book critiquing America Unearthed because of what the attorney claimed, among other things, was a violation of Scott Wolter’s intellectual property due to my use of the X-shaped rune from the Kensington Rune Stone. The network’s attorney agreed that the symbol does not belong to Wolter after I provided documentary evidence of its publication prior to 1923.
Wolter stated that the X-shaped carving shown on Curse of Oak Island is “not real” and was either created or chosen to “get around” his alleged trademark on the symbol. He claims that Curse digitally altered Zena Halpern’s map to remove hooks from the X’s on the map, though he did not say why they would do such a thing. The implication, however, is obvious.
After this, the pair refer to what I must presume is me as a “middle-aged deranged character living in his mother’s basement who has a personal affiniation (sic) with [Wolter].” Heavens! Am I really middle aged? I’m 35, and now I really do feel old. Two men two or three decades older than me said so. Pulitzer referred to what must be me as a “basement-dweller” again later in the podcast.
Just to share, I recently had a beautiful new backsplash installed in my kitchen, which I think really makes it look brighter and lighter. I had it done with 3 X 6 subway tiles because they are in keeping with the house’s original Art Deco style. I had thought about using some of the black and silver tiles I saw at Home Depot, but, man, were they wickedly expensive!
Elsewhere in the podcast, the two men use their time to settle scores against various groups, such as the New England Antiquities Research Association, for opposing Wolter’s claims about medieval history. Wolter later states that Prometheus Entertainment and the History Channel care only about money and therefore “make up this nonsense” in order to achieve ratings goals.
Not long ago, in a podcast with Pulitzer, Wolter admitted to staging and restaging parts of America Unearthed, particularly a scene using dowsing rods, in order to craft a more compelling narrative.
“I guess people buy into it,” Wolter said of allegedly falsified facts on Curse of Oak Island. “They’re making TV, and they’re making money.”
“Take the money and run!” Pulitzer said later.
11/26/2016 08:51:00 am
Honor among thieves? I think old Scott is just pissed the Lagina brothers are on season four and he only made it to three. Look it's obvious Marty doesn't believe in any of this crap and that's become part of the attractiveness of the show, we know he is laughing all the way to the bank.
11/26/2016 10:12:34 pm
If Wolter thinks "Curse of" is silly. Maybe he should watch his episode on the Lost Dutchmans Gold Mine. Which I think was the poorest thing I have ever seen.
11/26/2016 10:34:26 am
Oh, to be 35 again. I wish.
11/26/2016 11:01:46 am
Wow, Walter is accusing the Laginas of the very thing he was doing on America Unearthed... I guess people buy into it.. thanks Scott for clearing that up.
11/26/2016 11:45:36 am
I'm reminded of the scene in Spinal Tap where the one guy forbids the other guy from even looking at his guitars.
11/26/2016 11:46:47 am
I'm reminded of the scene in Spinal Tap where the one guy forbids the other guy from even looking at his guitars.
11/26/2016 11:51:46 am
And also this important story: http://www.techspot.com/community/topics/as-if-you-needed-another-reason-to-hate-metallica.6423/
11/26/2016 12:14:13 pm
Hey, at least that one turned out to be a hoax. Wolter is actually *serious*!
11/26/2016 12:20:57 pm
"Wolter later states that Prometheus Entertainment and the History Channel care only about money and therefore “make up this nonsense” in order to achieve ratings goals."
11/26/2016 01:20:35 pm
Awww! Wolter is pouty because a show based on a hoax is more popular than his TV career, based on pseudoscience/history.
11/26/2016 01:52:50 pm
I'm not sure which is the more curious. That fringe hucksters would be so protective of their false narratives rather than celebrate its near mainstream promotion or that sceptics likely comprise their core audience.
11/26/2016 01:56:02 pm
Are US patents enforceable in Canada?
11/26/2016 03:19:52 pm
Pretty much nope. According to what I've been able to find, there might be some oddball set of circs in which a court might find for the patent to be enforced, but generally the answer is going to be "Sucks to be you, should've registered in Canada too, idiot." Same for trademarks. Copyright is where it gets fuzzy and dicey and you have to figure out shit about treaties and International usage vs domestic usage vs. local usage.
11/26/2016 03:20:35 pm
"The Hooked X...something that I coined"
11/26/2016 07:56:26 pm
Wait, there's even a little more silliness. It's "TreasureForce". Spaces between words are for wussies
11/26/2016 10:32:30 pm
I always knew I would find a way to make my name sound tougher.
Day Late and Dollar Short
11/26/2016 11:50:25 pm
The real question is, does the Art Deco style appeal to your aesthetics, or are you just making the best with what you have?
11/27/2016 06:34:11 am
Truth be told, the house, built in the '20s, isn't really fully Art Deco. The original house was more traditional with Deco and Nouveau accents. (The radiators look Art Nouveau to me, but the scraps of original wallpaper I've found were as Deco as it gets.) The kitchen was probably the most Deco room. I'd never go full Art Deco. I think I'd feel like I was sitting in a cold machine, but I've tried to work with the original style as much as possible.
11/27/2016 01:22:58 am
The Curse is becoming almost as interesting as Mob Wives,,,Going back to the real science and men of intellect I can respect..Ancient Aliens...
11/27/2016 08:08:19 am
wow an hour of belly-aching, what a couple of sore losers, seems hp really finds canadians as second rate people and it gets under his skin that they are so well received in the search, his sucking up to Kevin Burns is getting quite nauseating
11/27/2016 08:26:37 am
WIPI World intellectual property institution - organization, writes that once the R is registered in a country , it is world registered as in all countries, like LEGO.
11/27/2016 12:14:04 pm
Back in the '40's there was a Superman story in which the Prankster tries to copyright the alphabet. Wolter is just continuing that proud tradition.
11/27/2016 05:49:47 pm
I would not say that Scott and his buddy popularized the hooxed ex. This is only 'popular' to a very small margin of people on the planet, who watch his show, and enjoy his people ranting about his long cancelled show. Popular he is not. Even a public figure, he is not anymore. He needs to do like Shia LaBouf and put a bag on his head saying I am not Famous Anymore. That also would be dated though, as the bag incident happened 2 years ago...like his show.
11/29/2016 11:07:53 pm
Ooooh! I smell a hissy fit coming from Wolter. The narrator on Curse of Oak Island said the phrase “Hooked X®” twice on episode 3 tonight.
12/1/2016 12:31:34 am
Scott Wolter is definitely not a wound-super-tight closet case and is nothing at all like Congressman Gary Condit who had nothing to do with the murder of Chandra Levy. Just wanted to put that out there. Still, I've never heard him comment on his whereabouts the night JonBenet was killed. He's never addressed the hooked X in the Ramsey basement either. Only a Swedish Cistercian could have pulled that off and remained undiscovered for so long.
3/22/2017 03:39:27 am
I'm a 35 year old man from Texas, or shall I say a middle aged man. It seems to me that if someone takes everything they see on TV as the truth then they are uneducated. Television was/is created to intertain so therefore it only brings an idea to our eyes and ears and it does it in a "Hollywood manner". Go educate yourselves.....read, travel, do your own research. True, we can ignite an interest from seeing it first on TV but don't be upset or surprised to find that it's mostly fictional, it's intended to be.
8/28/2022 04:16:06 pm
In regards to Scot Wolters copy right to his trade mark for the "Hooked X". When I was written my Book Heaven Holds The Answer
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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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