Scott Wolter was on Darkness Radio this week, and the three hour broadcast is now up for listening. It was mostly Wolter’s usual shtick, but there were a few interesting tidbits. In addition, if you’re interested in Wolter’s non-fringe activities, he talks about his work on the Pentagon after 9/11 as well as his work on concrete in criminal investigations.
In the first hour, Wolter says that he “needs” to talk to Native Americans more and expresses regret that America Unearthed does not include more Native American perspectives. (Wolter is not a producer on the show and does not control its content.) He also refers to his own Holy Bloodline research as “Dan Brown stuff,” and he thanks Brown for preparing the way for him by making Holy Bloodline research publicly acceptable. Wolter also apologized for failing to investigate the Grand Canyon more thoroughly for the Ark of the Covenant and the alleged lost Egyptian city beneath the canyon. He asserts, weirdly, that the Ark is located at Oak Island (which contradicts his own earlier claim on America Unearthed that it had been moved from Oak Island to the [fictious] castle of Henry I Sinclair on Nova Scotia), and he announced that he is no longer actively seeking the Ark.
In the second hour, the hosts presses Wolter on the supernatural, and a clearly uncomfortable Wolter says that he feels that rocks give off magnetic and ionic properties that can create strange feelings. He says that ancient people were able to “detect” gravitational anomalies when they came to the New World. Wolter also rues that America Unearthed forced him to investigate Bigfoot over his objections. He vowed years ago that he would not become a Bigfoot hunter, he said. “Obviously, I’m concerned about my credibility. … Bigfoot was a potential credibility-killer.” (Insert your own joke here.) When asked about his dream investigations for future episodes of America Unearthed, Wolter says that he hopes to investigate more about the Kensington Rune Stone and the Talpiot Tomb (the alleged Jesus tomb advocated by filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici). Wolter says that he knows secrets about the tomb that will “blow your mind” and which he wants to “reveal to the world,” but only when he can film in the tomb. (So much for wanting to get the truth out at any cost!) He also hopes to help “the folks up at Oak Island,” but he ruled out a crossover with Curse of Oak Island. (His show and that one are produced by rival production companies, Committee Films and Prometheus Entertainment respectively.)
If you read Scott Wolter’s blog post this week, you likely saw Wolter’s explanation for the obelisk alignment he presented on Saturday in the most recent episode of America Unearthed. On the show, Wolter alleged that three obelisks in New York City form a symbolic depiction of Orion’s belt stars and that this therefore represented a continuation of ancient Egyptian religious rites via the Freemasons. What is amazing is that Wolter admits that neither he nor the production team expended resources trying to confirm the alleged alignment before putting it on the air.
In fact, it literally unfolded as we were filming the episode as we originally thought the alignment of the three obelisk location's formed a straight line. Janet wasn't so sure about the slight bend in the line, and thought there had to be more. She worked with our good friend Alan Butler who helped her understand what turned out to be astronomical clues.
So what research did they do to try to confirm the “alignment”? “Janet and I checked on-line (sic) for any prior knowledge of this alignment and found nothing.”
As I showed in my review, the so-called alignment does not map correctly onto the stars of Orion’s belt:
That shouldn’t surprise anyone. Of the many places that have been accused of representing the constellation of Orion since Robert Bauval’s Orion Mystery in 1994, not one has accurately aligned to the belt stars. The alleged alignment of Teotihuacan to Orion’s belt is so ludicrous that even ancient astronaut theorists stopped making it. The further claim that the Hopi planned their entire civilization to model the constellation Orion also fails the map test, as I wrote previously.
All of these claims emerge from efforts to apply Robert Bauval’s ideas in other contexts. Bauval, writing in 1994, had argued that “the pattern of Orion's Belt seen on the 'west' of the Milky Way matches, with uncanny precision, the pattern and alignments of the three Giza pyramids!” That claim did not survive the 1990s, though fringe writers routinely fail to remember how Bauval has quietly revised and walked back his claims little by little over the past twenty years.
It’s also worth remembering that Bauval, by his own admission in The Orion Mystery, derived his idea from the inspiration of ancient astronaut theorist Robert Temple, who had argued that ancient Egyptian cities (and one in Greece) formed an image of the constellation Argo on the orders of space aliens. Oddly, no one seems to support the Argo correlation anymore, and Bauval has downplayed his use of Temple’s ideas since the mid-1990s.
In defending his Orion Correlation Theory, Bauval admitted in 2000 that there was no exact alignment, only a “symbolic” alignment, dependent on how much you believe the Egyptians wanted to map stars on the ground. We are left with only with Bauval’s flailing defense of his own theory when its “precise” correlation had been roundly debunked:
… if we give these two images to a 'scientist' who does not take into account symbolic, intuitive or sentimental motives, he or she will just compare the two 'maps' and see if there is a precise match. The answer must be no, there isn't. As the author John Gordon pointed out to me, such approach is an example of the misusing science. Because in such cases a scientist can say, with hand on heart, that something is 'wrong' when, in fact, it is right.
In other words, like Stephen Colbert, Bauval promised to “feel” history “at” you rather than demonstrate truth scientifically. This was the moment when the Orion Correlation Theory betrayed its claim to “scientific” underpinnings and became an argument about faith—one that undercut Bauval’s original claim. The original claim, you will remember, is that the Orion Correlation was so precise that it could be used to calculate the exact moment when a long lost race of Freemasons planned the site in the remote past—around 10,450 BCE (or 11,450 BCE, or similar dates he proposed over the years). But if the correlation isn’t precise but rather symbolic, how could we use that correlation to calculate a “precise” date rather than any old symbolic one? By the time of Black Genesis (2005), Bauval threw up his hands and decided that he no longer viewed “the Orion’s-belt-to-pyramids layout match as a highly precise date,” but rather targeting a “symbolic” date of sometime between 12,000 and 11,000 BCE, more or less. In other words, his hypothesis lost all of its scientific precision and relied instead on the degree of faith you have in the Egyptian engineers being precise in some things but not others.
So why is it that the ancient engineers—or in the case of the New York Freemasons, modern ones—are willing to spend centuries building monuments to Orion but failed to correctly align their buildings, obelisks, and cities to the stars of Orion?
Despite these challenges, Wolter asserts that a secret group of Freemasons were behind such alignments and have kept them secret for centuries. “Obviously, a certain group of Freemasons knew about the Orion alignment in Manhattan which m[e]ans it's been known for a long time by a very select group that knew how to keep a secret!”
I don’t think it’s very obvious at all. The obelisks don’t align with Orion and were erected over 150 years, making it highly unlikely that they were purposely aligned to Orion. Even if they were, there isn’t any reason to suggest that the alignment dates back to Egypt since Victorians were more than capable of surveying. That the alignment is imperfect is pretty good evidence that the Freemasons were not purposely trying for it, or else they were very bad at their jobs.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, 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.