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I am a scientist, with degrees in both geology and biology, with some
dabbling in marine chemistry. And I am so saddened by this show. It is
Sorry annaeyes12, he is no Bretz or Wegener. But his name may be considered as damning to science as Schliemann's for the damage he causes with shoddy work like this. And I am not an "angry, white men who think they know everything tell you it's not a good program". It is not a good program because it is not good science. We live and die by our reputations. Just ask Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons. Or more recently Hwang Woo-suk.
I'm not saying that there are no curiosities in the worlds, there are. And I do believe in an open mind, I have to as a scientist. We often begin an inquiry (or even just an enquiry) due to some observed phenomenon. But it takes a long time to "prove" something. Lots of digging, searching, and testing. Then having someone, or many people, retest, to validate our own work. To check us. To try to prove us wrong. THAT is the scientific method... TRYING to prove it wrong. Over and over and over and over. We (scientists) have to be EXTREMELY careful to not get too cozy with our own hypothesis. And we can't throw out random thoughts without confusing some people - look at "Global Warming" renamed as "Climate Change" - too many confused people.
This is on the HISTORY channel, which some people will assume to be reputable. Sounds reputable. (Well, until you read their program lineup.) People will believe this crap. And some of it really is crap. But maybe I am too hard on him. I remember a lot of pseudoscience as I grew up, and I enjoyed it, so maybe it will inspire some kid to be into real science someday... Maybe this should be aired with the kids cartoons? Nah, I am really not too hard on him. We live in a world where we are ignored or outright attacked about our warnings of climate change, derided and attacked about endangered species and pollution, and... wait for it... PROSECUTED FOR NOT PREDICTING EARTHQUAKES! No. I am not kidding. It happened. Italy, last year.
As long as ignorance and fantasy are held up as reality and good, things will keep declining. These pseudoscience shows are harming the real thing, and I don't like it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Scott Walter, joins the list of pushy, aggressive "pseudo-experts" with
an agenda. This time to prove Columbus was NOT the first! (YAWN)
Mr. Walter, does not want to apply for the permits to dig, or hire a recognized archaeologist to document his "finds". Mr. Walter blames the academic world and red tape, for wanting to do things by the scientific method. Yet he claims he has a valid archaeological discovery to enlighten us.
A red flag goes up, whenever, some con artist says that you do not need proper documentation, or the government will not allow this, as this is secret knowledge that will change the history books. Give us a break, Scott, as your audience is not as stupid as you wish.
Other flaws are his loud background music drowns out whatever nonsense is stated. There is a myopic view to his investigations, as only one point maybe checked.
This is just pure UNentertaining fake-science. As far as we know, all of the artifacts are modern forgeries, created for this show.
I have done my best to examine the inscription on the so-called
gravestone. Point 1: about half the runes are unrecognisable. Point 2:
Those runes that are recognisable do not go to make words in any
language known to me, and certainly not in anglo-saxon, norman french
or Latin which an englishman in the twelfth century might be expected
to have used. Point 3: I can see no evidence of the name Hurech in the
inscription. (And, incidentally this would not have been a man's
surname - surnames were NOT in general use in England in the twelfth
The rest of the 'evidence' adduced seems to be on a par with this fundamental flaw.
As to the 'entertainment value of this piece - about one third of the episode is padding - cars driving through the desert, etc..
One episode of this program, purportedly discussing the connection between the Maya and the Creek Indians of Georgia, was enough to convince me of the abject wretchedness of this also-ran. It doesn't take one very long to conclude that Scott Wolter is jumping onto the conspiratorial bandwagon. His problems are (1) he knows next to nothing about archeology; (2) his "evidence" is beneath ridiculous; and (3) the "experts" he interviews are patently non-expert. His examination of a purported Maya site in northern Georgia begins with some ominous verbiage about The Government (ooh!) refusing to allow him to access the site--although they posed no objection when he later flew over it and mapped it with LIDAR. He offers up a random pile of stones as evidence that talented architects constructed ceremonial cairns and temples and what-not--even going so far as to suggest that well-known Mayan sites in Mexico and Guatemala, in fact, looked like mere piles of rocks until archaeologists (!) came in to reconstruct them, apparently stone-by-stone. We next examine a boulder with the most primitive circles and dots-within-circles carved into it (quite poorly carved, though the glyphs incised in legitimate two-thousand-year-old Maya monuments and stelae are remarkably sharp) and conclude--along with an "expert" in Mayan archeology--that it represents a star map and a comet impact and such. (Most entertainingly, the putative university expert in Mayan archeology is entirely ignorant of the correct pronunciation of Chichen Itza.) Lord have mercy, what next? Oh, yes: we see the vaguest of ridges on the top of this boulder and are told that they are "cupules" (I think he meant "cupolas," but the expert archaeologist didn't question the term: he was evidently bluffed out by the lesser expert who vociferated more loudly. We next examine a putative Georgian artifact that supposedly resembles yonder Mayan artifact and--after being told that they're "almost identical" (which they're not)--we learn that they represent a shaman, which is interesting, given that shamans are a feature of animist religions and do not occur in Mayan culture. (The image looked like Xipe Totec or Itzamna or some deity but, alas, was whisked away before the viewer could collect a solid gawk at it.) Please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and find another way to spend sixty precious minutes of your life that can never be recovered.
I give this show a 3 just for some entertainment value, but maybe I
should give it something lower for being so misleading. History and
archaeology are full of mysteries and conflicting theories, as they
should be and all of these should be examined openly. I have the most
OPEN of open minds and am willing to belief that civilization is FAR
older - by thousands, if not tens of thousands of years, than is
That said, I watched the show last night about an alleged "Englishman" being buried in the desert with a runic gravestone and all the furor Wolter created around this. Pure codswallop. I know something about runes, not enough to read the inscription itself, but enough to know that these were probably not Anglo Saxon runes, but Nordic runes, and even if they were Anglo Saxon - Englishmen had stopped using runes in favor of the Latin alphabet by the 12th century (after the Norman conquest. No one would have used these. If someone had gone to all the effort of carving out that inscription (his buddy was carrying a chisel around with him?), it would have been in Latin alphabet (as we use now) in Old English or in Latin (Latin most likely as it was the universal tongue).
And then to go to England to allegedly hunt down this Hurech was ridiculous - there was no evidence tying Peter de Hurech to some alleged body in the American desert. While some Englishmen did use surnames at that time (my own family has an ancient surname in Yorkshire), most people did not and just went - as someone said, by Christian names or nicknames.
The episode presented no proof of any of the allegations and was as realistic as Tolkien's hobbits. It is a shame that the HISTORY channel is presenting this bunk under its auspices and giving the merest conjecture and speculation, the lustre of legitimate archaeology. This is especially bad as so many young people watch these shows and don't know any better. We need to re-learn the value of PROOF.
I was extremely excited by the idea for this show. In theory this could be an awesome series. The only problem is that there is so much emphasis on the "in theory" that the rest of the sentence is rendered meaningless. There is still so much more to be learned about man's time in North America. What are the current thoughts on NA possibly being colonized by European Paleolithic people? What happened to the Clovis Culture? etc... Instead Wolter is off chasing will-o-wisps, obvious folklore, and, putting it lightly, extremely dubious "artifacts". He is like a boy on the cusp of puberty who isn't *quite* ready to give up Santa Claus. For example, on the last episode I watched, he was searching for "evidence" that Vikings had penetrated much further west than believed. One piece of "compelling evidence" was a "giant" skeleton of a person possibly close to 7' tall!!! He spoke to a true forensic expert who patiently explained that a disarticulated skeleton in a grave can appear to be of a much larger person than it actually is due to the fact that the bones are not fit together snugly withtin the sockets. He basically disregarded that out of hand. It is also "amazing" that his pet theories always seem to hold up with the flimsiest "evidence' No doubt if he had Joseph Smith's hat, he would become very excited and claim that the indentations of the gold tablets are clearly visible. The only value in this show is for entertainment.
I have a question for the history channel, isn't Ancient Aliens enough BS for this channel? This show is an absolute joke. Its one thing to claim to be entertainment, but this show does everything it can to drag you in on the premise of "real science". Scott Walter got his 15 minutes of fame as the guy in the Kennsington Runestone show that was very good. However, its getting tiresome how all these cable stations are using one good show to spawn so many bad ones. This has become routine for the history and discovery channel. The Biography channel seems to be following suit with all the "a haunting of.." (embarrassing to watch)shows that got the go-ahead due to the very successful and very believable 2-hour special of "A Haunting in Georgia", the only "real" haunting. Don't waste you time with America Unearthed, not only is it totally ridiculous, nothing ever gets "unearthed"!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am shocked and appalled that a series such as this is shown on the
The episode concerning a stone tower's origins is just bad science. Critical alignments of stars at given times of the year only align on those critical dates. What ever the event it is it happens on that date and not several days later. We are talking about the earth and the sun or star in alignment and as everything is in motion, 24 hours later won't do it, 96 hours does not work. That is the science.
The gist of this episode claims only a certain group of people could have made the calculations for this event and built the structure, a long time before Columbus. He forgets the Aztec people built far grander structures for exactly the same stellar event a thousand years before his "chosen group". Furthermore there is no further evidence to indicate his people ever made it there or that there is any evidence of who the builders where. Certainly a puzzling structure would draw some interest from archaeologists prior to his startling discovery of this and his remarkable speculation.
All I can say is he loves to drop names and speculate a connection between a wide range of historical events and people with out proposing a shred of evidence to link them.
Pseudo science would be an exaggeration.
This speculation is not worthy of the History Channel.
I would rate it 0 (Drivel), if you scale went lower.
As a geologist this episode gives my profession a bad name.
- Who needs another Geraldo Rivera? The History channel(s) are, in airing this show, just sensationalists. Unquestionably, this is one of the worst programs and programming decisions on television. Wrapping this crap in a Historical context is just an idea for a show, it's not a good idea. Producing and airing this was unquestionably a very bad idea. Just not watching this doesn't seem an adequate response. I certainly won't ever watch anything Scott Wolter does. I've removed this channel from my DVR. Let's hope an exec at A&E demonstrates that someone there has a triple digit IQ and cancels this turkey before season 2.
At the beginning of both his book and later his movie Erich von Daniken
makes a bunch of nonsensical suppositions, then spends the rest of his
time accepting his suppositions as truths--all of which
While there is a lot of History to be unearthed in the America and, the Americas, there are much better ways to do so than following Erich von Daniken's example
You guys can do better than von Daniken if you wish! Question is; do you wish?
I hope so, indeed I had high hopes for the show as it was advertised, but so far the show is a disappointment.
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