Scott Wolter Investigates Long-Debunked "Wall" for Evidence of a Lost Civilization
We’re getting our first hints at what season two of America Unearthed plans to cover, and it doesn’t look promising. According to an article published in the Rockwall, Texas Herald-Banner, the H2 pseudo-documentary series is currently filming in Rockwall, a town twenty-five miles from Dallas and the site of an infamous geological formation that has been mistaken for a prehistoric rock wall for centuries.
I first wrote about the Rockwall rock wall in May 2012, when I reviewed claims for it made by former neo-Nazi and convicted child predator Frank Joseph of Ancient American magazine in the same anthology of that magazine’s work which printed Scott Wolter’s Bat Creek Stone claim, as well as Wolter’s first attempt at “proving” the Newport Tower was a Cistercian-Templar Venus-tracking, goddess-worshiping heretical church. (Those are all Wolter’s adjectives, not mine.) Needless to say, the rock wall hasn’t changed since last year. Honestly, I can’t believe anyone is trying to revive this faded “mystery.” In fact, in checking my reference books, I can’t even find recent mystery-mongering efforts to revive this wall’s spurious claims. (It does appear in a 2005 encyclopedia of the unexplained I found on Google, though not without caveats.) It has been so thoroughly debunked that last year I assumed it was sufficient to simply cite the geology as proof of reality. Ha! How naïve of me.
In 1854, the town of Rockwall took its name from what local residents, who had been living there since 1851, believed to be a prehistoric stone wall which surrounded the town. While digging wells, they found large sections of rock that seemed to resemble manmade constructions. Several layers of buried rock were piled one atop the other, broken and cracked so that each layer resembled carefully stacked, irregular bricks, something like dry stone walls writ large. Many believed that this ancient construction was built by an unknown prehistoric people, possibly the same lost white race that supposedly built the Native American mounds.
However, in 1874, geologist Richard Burleson examined the rocks and concluded they were a natural formation. In 1901, geologist Robert T. Hull was even more specific, identifying the wall as clastic sand dykes. In 1909, the definitive study of the site was published in Science. Geologist Sidney Paige surveyed the alleged wall and determined that it was made of sand dykes that intruded in Cretaceous rock, but moreover the “wall” was not a wall but rather a series of disconnected intrusions, with few if any connected sections. More recent geological work has confirmed the same results over and over again down to the present.
Frank Joseph, in discussing the wall, cited only the most superficial examinations (those conducted by W. L. Stephenson in 1927 and Robert T. Hill in 1975) alongside Martin Kelsey and Harold Denton’s 1980s visit to the site. He seems to have deliberately left out the 1909 study from Science, which involved significant fieldwork and was the reason that later geologists did not need to study the site as extensively; they were merely confirming earlier, well-done work.
However, in 1925, a freelance tomb raider (“amateur archaeologist”) named Count Byron de Prorok, preparing to go off in search of King Solomon’s mines, swept into town and declared the wall the remains of a lost civilization. He specifically felt that the wall belonged to a North African culture, probably the Carthaginians (an offshoot of the Phoenicians). Later speculators claimed the walls resembled “pre-Inca” constructions of Peru. Not ready to let good publicity go to waste, Rockwall turned the wall into a tourist attraction and, for a time, even charged admission to see the wonder of the “lost race” during the Texas centennial celebrations.
The town’s real estate developers wanted to capitalize on the fame of the walls, so they hired geologists from the local universities to prove that the walls were the remains of a fortress of the pre-Flood Biblical giants, all the better to sell land to Christian extremists. The geologists told the real estate people that the wall was natural. Not satisfied, they asked the Institute for Creation Research to come prove the wall belonged to the giants of Genesis 6:4. Young earth creationist John Morris came out to survey the site, and even the creationist agreed that the wall was completely natural, though of course he felt it was deposited recently, according to Flood geology.
When even creationists gave up on the wall, it faded into obscurity except among New Age extremists. In 1999, architect John Lindsey told a New Age group that the wall was the remains of a 30,000-year-old civilization, and in 2001 New Age believers began to assert that a “channeled” being from another plane named Lady Kadjina had explained that the wall belonged to Atlantis. Such claims were confined to New Age spirituality until Frank Joseph tried to revive the wall’s archaeological significance in the pages of Ancient American. Frank Joseph wrote that he could not imagine any Native Americans capable of building rock walls; he proposed that the Romans built it in the first century CE.
Scott Wolter, following in de Prorock’s and Joseph’s footsteps, is spending this entire week in Rockwall with producer Maria Awes to attempt to “prove” whether the wall is an ancient construction. We have seen that geologists have understood the “wall” for more than a century, but Awes told the local newspaper that the wall is a “lesser-known” mystery that was never “quite explained”—except, you know, by 140 years of geological investigation. The newspaper fibs along with Awes by ratifying the view that the wall’s origins have “never been determined,” a clearly false statement that ignores work done from 1909 on.
Awes’s subsequent statement to the Herald-Banner is interesting for other reasons:
“We always wish we could have an open set, but unfortunately because of the nature of the material and our show that just isn’t something we can do,” Awes said. “But we know that this is an exciting thing for the town, so if anybody sees the crew or our host around town, we want them to feel free to come up and talk to us. We won’t be able to reveal any details to anyone, but we love to hear people’s stories and get their feedback. The show will most definitely be worth the wait. I think at the end of the episode, people will finally have the answers they’re looking for.”
I’ll let you chew on that for a bit. I wonder what the “nature of the material” is? Judging by past episodes, the secrecy is necessary to help fabricate evidence, do repeated retakes of “spontaneous” discussions, and avoid scrutiny or observation from those with mainstream perspectives. More likely, she meant that they needed open space and quiet to film quickly and cheaply without interruption.
Update, 2:07 PM: A thought that came to me after posting this: If they just started their "testing" of the rock wall on April 7, how did Maria Awes known before any filming began what Wolter's conclusion about it is going to be to know this will be one of their best-ever investigations? It sounds like they knew what they wanted to find before they even started looking for it. Obviously, pre-production involves planning out what the show will do, but this hints that the plans involve determining a conclusion before doing a sham investigation for the camera.
Update, 8:57 PM: Apparently Rockwall is planning to vote on whether to spend $5 million to turn to the rock wall into a park. Also, a Dallas radio host discussed the rock wall last month and claimed that it was evidence of a lost white race of mound builders who ruled ancient America before the Native Americans invaded. Sigh. This racist old claptrap never dies. It was false when eighteenth century anti-Native racists invented the claim, and it's still false today.
4/9/2013 04:35:50 am
The Ulen Sword (MN), too, was thoroughly de-bunked for years, but the locals wanted to keep the "Viking" relic for all to see. I was surprised to see it show up on America Unearthed, getting freshly de-bunked again.
4/9/2013 06:28:54 am
New Age believers began to assert that a “channeled” being from another plane named Lady Kadjina had explained that the wall belonged to Atlantis.
4/9/2013 12:51:53 pm
I think it will be interesting to see if this kind of media coverage becomes one of Maria Awes' latest techniques in the communities they visit. OHHHH.....let's create some hype and come to your town and solve a mystery! Just more deception.
The Other J.
4/9/2013 08:29:15 am
There's a strange impoverishment of imagination going on when someone like Frank Joseph or Scott Wolter can't imagine Native Americans building anything in North America, or Jim Marrs not understanding how human technology could advance by human means; yet they're able to do intellectual half-gainers to connect what they think they see with ancient Europeans, secret societies and aliens. That's really odd.
4/10/2013 04:37:59 am
That approach might work with some people on the fence.
4/10/2013 06:16:19 am
Hi Christopher. I come in peace, Bro'.
4/10/2013 07:03:49 am
No doubt the CIA (and in fact the other agencies whose budgets, manpower and missions are rather more to the cloak and dagger point these days than the CIA's has been in decades - the NSC, US Army Intelligence or what have you) pull all manner of dirty tricks, true. It's a cue to me often to ignore arguments that something was done recently "by the CIA" when in fact the CIA today mainly does things like monitor the popular press and prepare very mundane daily briefing reports which could also be done by a person with a shortwave radio.
The Other J.
4/10/2013 08:08:22 am
To be fair to Gunn here, if you're going with the 'let it happen' hypothesis, then you wouldn't necessarily expect to have an Iraqi on the plane; if the CIA or anyone else installed an Iraqi hijacker as a prerequisite for invasion, then you're getting into 'made it happen' territory. So no Iraqi needed.
The Other J.
4/10/2013 08:24:24 am
"Remember the "dodgy dossier" that Colin Powell presented to the UN? It was shown to be a plagiarized master's thesis, written in California 11 years prior, by a British news team (Channel 4 News)."
4/10/2013 10:06:33 am
Other J. -
4/10/2013 10:12:36 am
I'll append that the idea that RFK must have been shot by shadowy forces in part negates the Occam's razor notion that Palestinians are less than thrilled with US foreign policy on behalf of Israel.
4/10/2013 12:07:55 pm
This is the truth. I just spent a half-hour explaining things in detail and everything disappeared. This has never happened to me here on this blog before. I'm not touching this subject any more. Creepy.
4/10/2013 12:10:13 pm
I mean to say, disappeared from the comments box before I could post it, not afterwards. Wow, what a jolt!
The Other J.
4/10/2013 12:27:04 pm
Christopher -- I'm not taking any side of the conspiracy here. I'd like to see better evidence of any such conspiracy before I'd make a judgment. (I used to teach a comp course about conspiracy theories where my students tore these arguments up.)
4/10/2013 06:44:16 pm
Other J. -
The Other J.
4/11/2013 10:48:03 am
Christopher, I don't think either of us is being clear here.
4/11/2013 12:15:55 pm
Thanks, The Other J., for offering many points of clarification. I'll try a shorter version of what I tried the other day. First, though, let me say I'm surprised you didn't bring up the Israeli student spy issue, inasmuch as the news surrounding them disappeared from the media scene rather quickly and suspiciously, too.
4/11/2013 12:25:43 pm
Going "back" to war with Iraq was a Bush thing. Personal, and it worked. The atmosphere of 9/11 made it conveniently possible.
4/12/2013 03:40:11 am
Other J. -
4/9/2013 10:25:05 am
4/10/2013 05:24:19 am
Jonathan, here is a 2012 photo of the iron objects I found online by googling. I checked the museum site and they don't even have a photo of the weapons. I didn't realize before your question that a wooden handle is still attached to one.
4/10/2013 09:47:06 am
Thank you, Gunn. I know much more about swords than I do axes, but the two on the right in the first photo are not Medieval. They look like 19th century pieces meant to resemble Renaissance halberds.I think the museum should contact Craig Johnson of the Oakeshott Institute (the sword expert who debunked the Ulen Sword for Wolter) for his opinion. Some things can be evaluated by sight alone, no carbon testing needed. I think some of the items in that display case could easily be identified by an expert in the field of Medieval arms and armor.
4/9/2013 02:28:06 pm
Hmmm. A site with multiple, well-documented scientific studies performed over several decades confirming its natural origins, and apparently many miles from any navigable waterways; and with a long history of native American habitation, and absolutely no freaking wild-ass way there is any reasonable connection to pre-Columbian Europeans..
4/10/2013 04:31:29 am
The Other J. - That would be awesome! Comedy is sometimes the best way to get across some pretty meaty criticisms in a way that people can really relate to. I do find it odd that there hasn't even been a decent parody of "Ancient Aliens" yet --- and this certainly can't be for lack of unique characters and lampoonable material.
4/13/2013 04:01:00 am
5/4/2013 06:52:56 pm
If AU is a "pseudo-documentary series," does that make this a pseudo-intellectual blog?
12/10/2013 02:59:28 am
It's ashame that you will not give any credibility to research that doesn't fit your paradigm. The fact is, regardless of who does the research whether they have an official 'title' that you approve of, YOU weren't there when the megaliths/pyramids/rock walls etc etc were built. None of us were. So you don't really know, do you? Didn't think so. You infact do exactly what everone theorizes you do (no pun intended) : You simply go to school, get good grades, believe EVERYTHING your taught, and considering you look like George Costanza with a facelift you've realized that you can't get a girl (unless you're gay) so you decide to focus your bitterness of the academically and socially successful ..on picking apart their work...infact you've made a life of doing that. I live right next to America's Stonehenge, you've said the stones were 'tiny' ? hahahaaa Are you kidding me? Yeah some are small, but others weigh TONS. Funny how you left that part out of your interview, as you claim Scot Wolter does. I think you are more like Scot Wolter than you may realize, however I bet he's gotten far more women than you have. : )
Barbara A. Addington
7/19/2015 06:58:53 am
WOW.....Your comments sound like a bunch of left wing idiots! Do you have the experience to decide that the work of a man, so exceedingly beyond your credits of accomplishments? I think not.
4/6/2017 08:36:39 pm
Four Years Later...
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