Scott Wolter's New Templar Pirate Series Seems to Be Barry Clifford Documentary Condemned by UNESCO
As most of you are aware, yesterday Scott Wolter announced on Twitter that his new series is called Pirate Treasure of the Knights Templar and will be burned off in back-to-back Saturday episodes on the History Channel beginning September 12 at 9 PM ET. The History Channel is silent about the series and what it will cover, offering no description and no publicity, but Shaw Media in Canada, which runs the History Channel north of the border, provided a synopsis under the working title Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar back in June. The title has apparently been changed since its announcement in June, perhaps to make it seem less fringy and more he-man adventure, and maybe also because there was already a book and a three-film movie series with the same title.
Renowned underwater archeologist and adventurer Barry Clifford, along with a team of on-land explorers and experts, attempt to solve a mystery that dates back hundreds of years. Searching for the Knights Templar treasure that supposedly rests at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, the series provides exclusive access to an unprecedented discovery of five pirate ships. From exploring hidden caves and burial grounds to ancient stone structures and thick jungles, each discovery unearths clues to a fascinating puzzle.
If this isn’t the same show, it would be a remarkable coincidence to have two shows looking for the Templars’ pirate treasure debuting at the same time on the same channel. That said, to be entirely fair, I can’t prove they’re the same, nor has History returned my requests for information about the show. But since Shaw says that the show is the “Canadian” premiere of a program from the U.S. History Channel, I’m pretty sure they must be the same show. It seems that Wolter is one member of the “team” supporting Clifford in the global fringe history Avengers team tracking the Templars.
From the description, it has become quite clear why History is trying to bury the show: UNESCO recently accused the 70-year-old Clifford of being utterly and completely wrong about his alleged discovery of Capt. Kidd’s treasure off the coast of Madagascar, which was to have been the climax of a History Channel documentary series—apparently this one. With the United Nations declaring the find a case of mistaken identity, and the “silver” Clifford found nothing but lead, History undoubtedly is looking to downplay yet another controversy over faking history. It didn’t help that the producer of the documentary, Sam Brown, leveled accusations against UNESCO and claimed a widespread conspiracy against himself and Clifford.
UNESCO accused Clifford and the History Channel of actively ignoring international law and of jeopardizing real research:
The work of the film team and its lead‐explorer, undertaken in spring 2015, as well as prior work by the same explorer, was distinguished by a media‐led approach, which has not respected the regulations of the 2001 Convention, and which jeopardized the scientific understanding of the sites concerned and the preservation of the artefacts recovered.
Clifford went on to accuse UNESCO of anti-American bias and claims that academics and governments are politically motivated to suppress his research.
Indeed, back in June, when conducting the “research” for this documentary, Clifford told the Daily Mail that he had connected Captain Kidd and the pirates of his era to the Knights Templar. He alleges that he discovered Templar and Freemasonic material on land near the Fiery Dragon, an eighteenth century ship captained by William “Billy One-Hand” Condon that Clifford claimed to have found in 2013: “We also found a very early statue of Christ from the 13th or 14th century from the Fiery Dragon and masonic symbols and a Templar symbol on the beach of the careening spot directly to the west of the shipwrecks. It’s rewriting the history of the Indian Ocean,” Clifford said. The Mail added that the Fiery Dragon was part of Clifford’s documentary—undoubtedly the one now being burned off without promotion.
According to the history books, the actual ship was the Flying Dragon, captained by Christopher Condent (who went by many names), which was burned on St. Marie (off Madagascar) in 1721, where Clifford claims to have found it. Condon intentionally sank the Fiery Dragon off Madagascar in exchange for a pardon from the French, with no treasure aboard. The booty was divided among the crew, to the tune of £3,000 per crewman.
Without seeing the alleged Templar and Masonic symbols, there is no way to know how old they are or what they are, and the medieval Christian statue might well have been booty from medieval Arab voyages, which had explored Africa since the early Middle Ages. In other words, he provides no reason to suspect that the pirate ship had anything to do with the material found on the beach, and even if it did, finding Masonic symbols during a time when the Masons were active is proof of no conspiracy.
In June, Clifford believed he had found two tons of silver and unmeasured amounts of gold, but when the silver turned to lead and Clifford and his History Channel producer descended into angry rants against the United Nations, academics, and everyone who disagrees with them, it seems History decided to cut their losses, minimize Clifford, and recast the show as a Templar conspiracy series to burn off with little fanfare.
9/1/2015 03:59:36 am
Rumours of lost treasure had early origins. It seems rumours of underground passages led Edward III to send an expedition to dig in Temple Dinsley, in search of the buried fortune of the Templars, reputed to be lying there in secret vaults.(Gordon Napier, The Rise and Fall of the Knights Templar, 2011)
9/1/2015 04:53:06 am
When I first read your reply my brain transformed "Temple Dinsley" into "Temple Disney" and created vivid images of an expedition team digging in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride looking for treasure. Even though it's nowhere near the truth, I think I'm going to stick with that interpretation because it is far more amusing.
9/1/2015 06:51:36 am
1376. King Edward gives John of Gaunt the manor of Preston near Hitchin. Convinced the Templars had buried treasure at Temple Dinsley, Preston, Edward set up a Royal Commission: "To inquire touching concealed goods of the Templars in the County of, Hertfordshire". Nothing was found. (Pamela Shields, Royal Hertfordshire Murders and Misdemeanours, 2009)
9/1/2015 06:54:24 am
More here -
9/1/2015 06:59:53 am
And here - by Reginald L. Hine, 1883-1949
Duke of URL
9/2/2015 04:49:30 am
I am SOO glad I'm not the only one who read/imaged it that way!
9/2/2015 09:47:21 am
I also read Dinsley as Disney. Coincidentally, the History Channel is co-owned by The Walt Disney Company.
9/1/2015 04:46:08 am
I'd love to hear Wolter just explain what he things Templar Knights are. Because I'm not sure how he explains the discontinuity between the order being disbanded and all the activity he attributes to them in the age of exploration. What were they doing in the intervening 300 years? Why would they need to hide treasure in Africa and America if it had already stayed hidden for more than three centuries in Europe or the Middle East?
10/3/2015 08:58:33 pm
Well, you have to realize that the Templars were NOT exterminated on Friday 13th, 14th century...He makes the discovery that the templars lived on in Portugal but had to be careful as the Pope and KIng of France had far reaching eyes..All that treasure (if had not been hidden) would have raised concerns and led to the church capturing the treasure...
9/1/2015 05:16:20 am
It's just a shame History feels they need to sensationalize everything to make it watchable. I would've loved to have seen a TV show covering UNESCO's response. Seeing the testing of the artifact and divers laying grids is just boring science, but I'm sure I wouldn't change the channel.
9/1/2015 06:26:25 am
Please Lord, let Alan Butler be first mate. Pretty Please, with cherries on top.
9/1/2015 12:17:42 pm
9/1/2015 02:01:32 pm
Avast ye, Scott! It is a full moon tonight! Plenty of light to look for the Templar treasure. Bless the moon's masonic makers! Arrrrgh!!!
9/1/2015 06:29:38 am
Yar har fiddle dee dee!
9/1/2015 06:44:15 am
"It’s rewriting the history of the Indian Ocean"
9/1/2015 07:56:12 am
Of course the Templar's treasure 'disappeared' when they were dissolved - its not as if the king of France and others involved could openly admit stealing it for themselves.
9/1/2015 07:58:46 am
Scotts history Channel is owned by who? MEMBERS of the Knights of MALTA TODAY! They use Scott to blow smoke up everyone ass and put all the Bull shit history eyes on a dead Templar order that the Knights of Malta took over! Scott Wolter is a tool for the owners of his networks to give false information and they allowed him to RUINE the ANCIENT "E" symbol he claimed as an "M" for MARY! The "E" in latin means God and also means God the Savior! Millions of works of art and most all 18th century art in pre-US and US history will have is iconic symbol destroyed and its true meaning lost because of Scott the blow hard full of S--t history channel poser! Think about it, hundreds of thousands of relics with the letter "E" will now have its history meaning destroyed by Scott Wolter. Part of his plan he told me he wanted the CHURCH TO BE TAKEN DOWN! Here you go, part of his plan with his masters who use him to distract society.
9/1/2015 08:53:22 am
So, fringe history is wrong because of... conspiracy theory. Honestly, I don't think you have to dig that deep to understand why Scott Wolter has no credibility.
9/2/2015 09:49:25 am
I've long suspected that the Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company (co-owners of the History Channel) were evil, but not THAT evil!
9/3/2015 07:17:02 pm
The church SHOULD be taken down! Christianity and Catholicism have been blowing smoke up the asses of their people since their creation! The bible is so disgustingly edited, it is so sad that people actually follow it! How about the church be shown for the fraud that it is!
9/26/2015 01:37:23 pm
Why limit to Christianity? If you advocate the take down of the Christian church then you should include Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Good luck with that!
9/26/2015 07:31:22 pm
If this is nothing but fake do you all or UNESCO's care, I see a lot Blowing smoke in the above replies, If it just entertainment then you have nothing to be upset about, I think you all are nuts
9/1/2015 08:18:19 am
So, was Christopher Condent and the "Flying Dragon" the same as William Condon and the "Fiery Dragon"? That paragraph did not seem clear to me. Could there be a missing sentence?
9/1/2015 10:57:15 am
Yes, they are the same.
9/1/2015 09:24:33 am
The Knights Templar, if it had a treasure and wasn't just bragging about stuff it took from the villagers of the time, were disbanded. The treasure was then taken to the King of France and he and his people spent it. Ergo, there is no treasure left.
9/1/2015 12:19:58 pm
"The treasure was then taken to the King of France and he and his people spent it. Ergo, there is no treasure left. "
9/1/2015 12:59:35 pm
I'm not a conspiracy theorist or a frigney type, but I disagree; "the treasure" was not taken to the King of France and then spent. Why? Because the wealth of the Templars largely existed only in their ledgers, much like the money held by modern banks. Only a fraction of what the Templars had in their books physically existed; the rest was in the records of debts owed to them. It wasn't "stuff taken from the villagers of the time," it was "stuff loaned out to nobility," for the most part.
9/1/2015 12:28:21 pm
I'm all for hearty debate Jason and friends...but isn't it a little much? Kinda...borderline obsessive the time you take to try to knock down Scott, or his works? I mean...watching his show, it's interesting. It's imaginative. Of course some theories and experiments may be lacking info sometimes, and he throws in personal ideas...but hey, It's TV.
9/1/2015 12:45:10 pm
Out of the 2 million or more words I've posted to this site, you read a couple of blog posts and decided I'm obsessed? Did you miss my summer-long series investigating medieval Arabic pyramid lore and its relationship to Late Antique Greek historiography? Or my nearly 200,000-word-long exploration of the myth of Jason and the Argonauts published in 2014? Or my ongoing project of translating the medieval Akhbar al-zaman?
Jason, you ARE obsessed with Scott! You write so much about him that if you Google HIS name, YOUR blog comes up first! And, considering you did not even study a SCIENCE, how can you even refute any of his studies?!? Studying journalism and anthropology only taught you how to write and how to manipulate people.
9/4/2015 01:04:38 pm
This just in BM, from the History Channel site:
9/1/2015 01:07:38 pm
Zack, Jason has inspired me. He's inspired me to actually bother with checking my facts before making statements, and he's inspired me to investigate archeology more deeply. He's also opened my eyes to what's really going on with people like you, not because of anything he's said, but because people like you keep pulling crap like this.
9/1/2015 01:35:07 pm
Zach, if you are going to become a real geologist, then the one person you should not hold as a model is Scott Wolter. His finding and theories have no basis in any real scientific finding. He often strays outside his field and offers theories based on fringe speculation. He takes as fact and proven evidence finding based on hoaxes. He downplays peer review and refuses to disclose evidence to anyone he feels "unqualified", judging for himself those he feels are qualified. Ask, any of your professors if they feel Scott Wolter has any standing as a professional. I suspect, if they have heard of him at all, they do not reguard him as a professional in the field of geology.
9/1/2015 02:00:39 pm
Sorry. Wolter and his ilk are poisoning the well of knowledge; posing as credentialed investigators who are actually making crap up as they go along, fooling the gullible for pure profit. I wouldn't assume those that post here live here as well Zack. I have great fun in life through various, fulfilling endeavors, with friends, family and those I meet on my many journeys through life. On my down time, I'll come online and make fun of the modern day sophists. What you're doing Zack is basically ad hominem, assuming the worst in those with actual valid criticism. Like Wolter, you muddy the water, so to speak.
9/2/2015 01:49:15 am
I would much rather spend time at a party talking to Jason than any goofball who believes any of this ancient alien pseudo science garbage.
The troll Krampus
9/2/2015 11:13:11 am
Zack, nice speech. You're obviously drunk on the fringe kool-aid. Why the hell would you try to reason with "Jason and friends" to "just let it go.."? If you were really interested in facts you wouldn't let yourself get enraptured by the mystery and awe at "out of place artifacts" and imaginative shows. The "alternative/fringe" writers, "researchers" ect fullfill their narcissistic needs and grow their bank accounts with what is ultimately SCIENCE-FICTION AND FANTASY. What really urks me is that it is marketed as if it is scientific and true when it isn't. This business scheme backed by promoters such as the History channel only adds credibility to it in the minds of simpletons and the delusional. But I guess that is the point. Social Darwinism at work.
9/20/2015 04:45:50 am
Color me stupid! I like Scott's shows, he entertains me. Is that not what TV is about. I am open to all theories, hope he does more.
9/21/2015 07:45:54 am
Willy, the problem is that many, probably most, of the viewers do no research on their own and believe what they've seen is true and based on scientific fact. The truth is a majority of what they espouse is based on conjecture, theory, and in some cases outright lies.
9/30/2015 04:42:59 pm
zack, scott doesnt follow scientific or archaeological protocol, which jeopardize s the finds. he also claims job titles he has not earned or been accredited for. finally he takes speculation as fact without evidence. if u dont find a problem with this , find a new major.
9/2/2015 12:29:40 am
Jason, good job posting the UN report! They show the image of the lead ingot. If Wolter is involved in this show with Clifford, they will definitely be mentioning the symbolism on that lead sinker. The "S" shows the off set letter "T" on the end of the "S" which symbolizes the Snake and the Tau symbol. Scott has on his blog the stone carvings where he is presenting the York Rite's symbol fused with his fantasy latin hooked X. The ingot has the York Rite symbol next to the "S"! If the UN loves Barry. The UN is going to love my document that is being posted today in the "Canadian Grand Priory Newsletter" of the Canadian Knights Templar. Who are the only modern day Knights Templar that are acknowledge by the United Nations. Again, the modern Templars in Freemasonry are part of the York Rite, they climb through the ranks of their craft into the degrees of being Templars. There is a theory I do have who is behind helping Scott with this BS that opposes York Rite history or they oppose Christian Free Masonry! Not hard to figure them out because they are often on the History Channel. When my document goes online today, I will bet you this will wake Scott up!
9/2/2015 06:17:15 am
9/2/2015 06:38:57 am
9/2/2015 07:04:26 am
Are you wanting Jason to write propaganda to counterbalance your own? I'm afraid you're barking up the wrong tree.
9/2/2015 07:28:56 am
NO! Was regards to a Huge telling me to write Propaganda with UNESCO!
9/2/2015 07:40:11 am
Gary, my comment was for Hugh.
9/2/2015 10:50:05 am
Hugh appears to be a ghost! My buddy told me the other day Scott was pissed at me, good! When I was considerate and asked him to change his theory's on my evidence. Which I had been working on for five years this symbolism!
9/4/2015 01:33:34 pm
Only me, want a laugh! They have images with Barry underwater presenting the Bar and walking out on land to the people he pulled the wool over there eye! I have held silver bars that big in my hands, I did a forensic study of a Pewter bar loaded with silver US coins! The expert for the silver is Burt Boardman, who I knew since I was 9 YEARS old! The OLDEST RUNNING COLONIAL FAMILY SILVER SMITHS still today! The bar Barry has has ZERO Corrosion that a silver bar would have been encrusted! They pulled up lead and BARRY from the first minute would have known, so they tried to push it! Still a rare lead bar is very important for a wreck of such! Wonder if the guy poping up two different guys is Scott Wolter himself. Bet you!
9/2/2015 07:08:04 am
Fantasy Fiction man, I have been involved with many shipwreck sites and I have never been fond of UNESCO. Sounds like your Barry and Scotts propaganda journalist. Two, Barry hammed and melted lots of coins in Cape Cod, so don't try to tell me he's all about the history preservation. Go read the report that Jason pasted, hey if I was in Barry's shoes having legal rights to that wreck, I would have invested in many hammers for the coin brought up! Anyhow your the ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNALIST, go find out the truth!
9/2/2015 07:36:35 am
Guess you do not know much about Barry and his long gone friend Ken! Do you think their putting on displays with Pirate booty is for free for people to see? The guy would never share information when requesting support in identifying the oldest manufactured cannon in North America. You have to read about in their books, just like Scott Wolter who will tell you the same thing, go buy the book! Do you write for FREE? Well I know I do often as a public service! No Im not fond of UNESCO Controlling the worlds shipwrecks, been there with other shipwreck hunters who have brought up plenty of Gold and silver~
9/2/2015 05:28:15 pm
An exchange on a recent blog post of Scott's:
9/3/2015 04:27:03 am
"Can Scott get any more ignorant and crazier?"
9/3/2015 05:13:09 pm
Kindly be advised that it was UNESCO's archaeologist, Dr John DeBey who first announced "on camera" that the bar was silver moments after it was taken from the water. Moments after that, the bar was taken by officials and proper diagnostic testing by the October/Clifford scientists was impossible. That said, as an artifact from Kidd's Adventure Galley the bar is priceless.
9/3/2015 05:38:16 pm
Who went to this island for Glory fame? Barry went there for video money making, he is to blame for all the attention. Which brought on the theft you claimed! You should report your findings to authorities if you figured that out!
9/3/2015 06:49:40 pm
9/4/2015 09:21:46 pm
Is that you, Bob Newton?
9/4/2015 08:43:08 pm
I think we come here to see all the sycophants of these TV personalities freaking out about their beloved TV hosts. I don't speak for everyone, but for myself. I enjoy the idea of watching SW act out about conspiracies while then accidentally putting his foot in it. It is fun.
9/7/2015 04:05:35 pm
It is painful to read social media comments with horrendous grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Oh, and the rampant misuse of your/you're, then/than, its/it's etc. I expect comments on what I consider a scholarly blog to be better than what some of you are offering today. Most of you regulars are awesome, as usual. To the others...step your game up!
9/8/2015 04:59:26 pm
The link provided on Electric Scotland has the link of the Sept-2015 Canada Templars newsletter, page 55 address Scott Wolter's "M" symbolism. Thousands of people read electric Scotland everyday and the Canada Templars are a Christian charity organization who supported by Barry friends, the UN!
9/10/2015 10:53:39 am
Jason, get a kick out of Scott Wolters email he just sent me! Scott missed the point that I was not trying to get on his blog, the Christian organization is supported by Scott and Barry's friends the UN!
9/12/2015 10:07:35 pm
This show is like others, planted artifacts to get audience
9/30/2015 08:15:23 am
Just like in "Storage Wars."
9/13/2015 12:03:39 am
I can't wait for the show on Martian artifacts!
Shem ha-Mephorash 72
9/13/2015 12:13:32 am
"Without seeing the alleged Templar and Masonic symbols, there is no way to know how old they are or what they are, and the medieval Christian statue might well have been booty from medieval Arab voyages, which had explored Africa since the early Middle Ages. In other words, he provides no reason to suspect that the pirate ship had anything to do with the material found on the beach, and even if it did, finding Masonic symbols during a time when the Masons were active is proof of no conspiracy."
9/13/2015 03:28:20 am
I decided to see the show to see how bad and boring it was. Yeah it was as badly researched and as boring as I expected.
9/13/2015 03:30:11 am
I think that Scott is probably a competent geologist, but I would just like to see his shows come to a concrete conclusion instead of ending with loads of speculation. I realize that in some cases that's all he can do, but there are instances where I think he could have pushed through for a clear solution ( his show on the Grand Canyon in "America Unearthed"). I don't look at these shows for real insights, just for entertainment. The problem, is the play it off as serious science, and I'm not sure they have the background.
9/13/2015 02:38:29 pm
A recent exchange I had with Scott Wolter on his blog:
9/14/2015 08:20:28 am
Watched Scotts show, nice that they presented the bar as SILVER! Did anyone PAY ATTENTION to the Ivory Jesus relic? Why would UNESCO and the government of Madagascar allow Barry to take that to his lab in Cap Cod? Did they have permission? Did they five finger discount the relic? Do you known its a crime to transport cultural relics overseas with out permits?
Regarding Screaming Eagle's rant about grammar, spelling, and other errors on this blog...
10/19/2015 05:59:51 pm
I worked with Barry Clifford about 25 years ago and he was full of it back then. He supposedly found a cannon at a site we were working( when he was by himself) and could not find it again. I felt he was always making things up to entice investors and stroke his ego. I came close to running out of air at 90' because he didn't turn my valve on all the way and at depth it seemed like I was running out of air contrary to what my gauges read. I had an opportunity to go work with his company on the search for another wreck but felt he was too shady to work for. It's a shame that the History Channel was duped by this fraud.
12/12/2015 09:58:30 pm
Wow. Barry found two pieces of 600 year old pottery containing Masonic symbols and a Templar cross. They were both just laying there right on top at the beach. Yeah.....
12/20/2015 11:11:12 pm
Barry was not the first to find the Pirate ship off Cape Cod. My wife's uncle Jack Poole had located it years before and even had a common in front of his house. It disappeared. His house was ransacked after he died and floorboards is the attic were ripped up. The family has a photo of him and a friend bringing up the cannon. His gold coins also disapeared after his death. Clifford tried to follow him for years. I know it seems unbelievable but the family knew this long before Clifford claimed he found it. Someone please call him on it. My wife's family owned property on Cape Cod for generations and the national seashore took much of it. Poole' anseasor was a sea captain and traded for much of the property.
12/24/2015 10:09:21 am
I have to say.. I respect Jason, having just read some of his writings. But, i came across this site by being intrigued by the show involving Scott Wolter. I was curious why i had never heard about the findings in any news outlet and was interested in learning more. Having no knowledge of any of the 'actors' involved in the show i assumed it was legit. I realize it is television and entertainment but I also thought more of the history channel.
1/3/2016 05:08:25 pm
It may be a surprise to highly educated science types as yourselves but the average viewer finds all theories interesting. I don't believe every thing presented on the history channel or any channel. Give the public a little more credit. The oak island series awakened a great interest in the nights templer for me. I can't get enough. I'm just waiting for them to find something, anything..lol
1/3/2016 05:21:45 pm
1/8/2016 06:45:08 pm
I am a history enthusiasts. I think i have seen a symbol on the 40 ton bolder in mass on another show. Triangle inside triangle.
1/10/2016 03:33:58 am
I would like to see the people that make these kinds of shows take an approach more like Clive Cussler does. Mr. Cussler writes fiction which is clearly fiction and uses the profits to hunt shipwrecks. There is a separation between his speculative ideas, which are outside science, and his real life explorations. Why not write a fiction about Templar treasure and then go exploring as a separate activity as Cussler does?
2/16/2016 07:28:46 am
I was watching on the History Channel the program " New Templar Pirate Series ", and I find it very sad that the investigators don't know enough history of The Templars to be investigating any treasures. It's so sad, try to get your act together first. It would be nice if History was that simple.
2/26/2016 09:20:06 pm
As several others here who have commented on this blog, I came across it doing my own research after watching this series. I have to say, I find it interesting that several commenters state, those that believe in his false/fringe science, only believe it because they "want to". Can the same not be said of anyone and everyone who believes what they do, because to them, it's what makes most sense?
1/10/2018 06:02:16 am
I have been watching Your show an I saw the episode where You were in Portugal an it made Me wonder if You knew that 60-70 yrs. ago the Portugese White Fleet gave the Basilica RC Church in St.John's Nfld a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. It was a very big deal at the time. Good luck with all Your endevors.
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.