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Monday, January 13, 2014

Death by Television

by Sam Huntington

Pseudo-documentary is the description of a film or video production that takes the form and style of a documentary, but which does not portray actual events nor pursue a single remnant of common sense.  Rather, the producers of these kinds of films use scripted and fictional elements to tell a story.  Is not intended as satire.  It often uses fabricated sets, actors, constructed situations, and digital effects to alter scene or scenario.

With this in mind, one wonders why a pseudo-documentary should become the normal fare at, of all places, History Channel.  One would think that with somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 years of actual history (which is to say, historical records), there would be sufficient material for the History Channel without having to rely on this kind of fraud.

What come to mind are two programs that seem to air incessantly: the first is titled America Unearthed, produced by the A&E Network History 2.  The show premiered in December 2012, produced by Committee Films of Chaska, Minnesota —hosted by a Minnesota geologist named Scott Wolter.  Wolter describes himself as a forensic geologist, although we are unable to establish his bona fides.  For all we know, given the pseudo-nature of this program, the term geologist may simply mean that he took 3 geology courses at a community college.  The History Channel informs us as follows:

“While working his “day job” as a world-renowned forensic geologist and the president of the Minnesota-based American Petrographic Services, Scott Wolter began developing a new science called archaeopetrography —a scientific process used to date and understand the origins of mysterious stone artifacts and sites. The first artifact Scott studied using this new science was the Kensington Rune Stone, which he believes is an authentic, pre-Columbian land claim carved here in America by none other than the Knights Templar. The Kensington Rune Stone was the subject of a documentary special called Holy Grail in America that aired on HISTORY in 2009. Now, in America Unearthed on H2, Scott has the chance to use forensic geology and archaeopetrography to explore many other untold stories in American history, changing everything we think we know about our past.”

Believe me, there is a reason why these stories are “untold.”

Nevertheless, intrigued by the “new science” called archeopetrography, I did some research on the Internet and discovered that there is a company or a concern that calls itself American Petrographic Services, Inc.  It is located at 550 Cleveland Avenue, North St. Paul, Minnesota.  The principle officer is … you guess it … Scott Wolter.

Okay … for my truth: I get it.  Scott is a guy out to make a buck.  He somehow conned the A&E Network to air his completely inane program and in doing so, it puts money in his pocket.  I don’t have a problem with this.  In fact, I wish I could think up a neat scam, too.  Sadly, it has never been my forte.  I do wonder, however, how many people are fooled by his “forensic findings.” 

What findings, you ask?  Here’s a sampling:

  • The government may be hiding the fact that Mayans used to live in Georgia.
  • The mountains of Arizona may contain the remains of a medieval Englishman.
  • There may be evidence of giants having once lived in Minnesota.
  • Ancient Phoenicians may have traveled to America.
  • A secret society may have existed in Pennsylvania that made human sacrifices.
  • The Knights Templar may have traveled to Arizona (3 presentations on this)
  • The Denver Airport may be the location of the center for a new world order.

Again, if anyone finds such rubbish entertaining, fine.  I’m still confused about why we find this trash on the History Channel, and it makes me shudder to think how many leftist-educated morons there are in this country who were raised sucking on conspiracy theories … who are swallowing this stuff hook, line, and sinker.

Oh … the second incessant program is Ancient Aliens.  Well, at least this show is billed as “entertainment” with about the same value as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, aired on (no, I’m not making this up) The Learning Channel.  Who owns TLC?  Discovery Channel.  I don’t know about you, but I see a trend developing …


  1. Believe me, there is a reason why these stories are “untold.”

    No kidding!

    The History Channel isn't what it used to be. I rarely tune in anymore.

    1. Ellie Rosenfield said

      What stories are being"untold?" You seem to think you know the reason, so please tell us what you mean. Don't you know that "in jokes" and the like are rude shared in public.

      What has changed about that channel? I don't watch TV at all, so I have no way of knowing. What has changed and why don't you look at it nowadays?

      Do you believe it would be best if everybody just accepted whatever traditional or official versions of events are handed down without trying to learn more about them?

  2. How about "Finding Big Foot"? TV is replete with garbage and the sad part is that the producers know what sells!

  3. As one who majored in anthropology there are many unanswered questions as to who what where and when stuff happened in the u.s. But this fellow makes a mockery of those who work very very hard at trying to find answers, and diminishes the profession.

    1. Ellie Rosenfield said

      What do you think of Frederik von Daniken? What does Easter Island mean to you? Do you believe Heyerdahl proved that ancient Polynesians reached South America by balsa raft over thousands of miles of empty sea without a compass? Do you believe in the Bermuda Triangle, the Sargasso Sea. And what of that enormous chalk horse in the downs of southern England that can only be seen from high up in the air,and what about crop circles? Do stonehenge and other similar structures present no mystery to you? And what makes birds migrate? "Instinct" is no a sufficient answer.

  4. This show must appeal to the folks who think Duck Dynasty isn't scripted.

  5. Reality TV is … well, TV. Just not sure how real it is —but if our country has turned from a nation of hardworking citizens to one of idiot militias, swamp people, duck people, UFOlogists, and forensic geologists, then it is hard to imagine how the USA can compete globally in anything that matters. I do realize that every little bit helps, but given our education system today, do we really need Tribune LLC making our people dumber?

  6. Ellie Rosenfield

    I detect feelings of self-doubt, the fear of unworthiness and paranoia in Mr. Huntington's dour, overblown statements indicating suspicion and disapproval as reasons to dismiss the attractive Minnesotan's ideas as valueless.

    No one knows much. They only like to think they do, because they've got a bunch of letters after their names. It really is possible that someday some creative genius will discover that everything we've thought we known for sure for centuries isn't that way at all. Take the color red for instance. Red doesn't exist on wood, paper, glass, stone or canvas,because "red" isn't in matter. Instead its in the way certain kinds of matter reflect light. So your little red wagon is no such thing. It's far more complex. Even diamonds are now alway white, often they are yellow and come in other colors as well, but because of the way their crystals are structured, they still are diamonds. So you see much that unthinkingly take for granted is not defined by the limitations of how we see it -- or have been conditioned to see it,

  7. The first episode I saw was the one detailing the artifacts located in Arizona that were believed to have belonged to some sort of Knight Templar. I found it intriguing, but then again, I don't know much about the process of proving archaeological findings.

    I also never looked at the show from the perspective of a conspiracy theory, where the US Government wants to hide historical facts just to support their own version of history.

    Is it entirely fictitious or not? I don't know. Do I take it with a grain of salt? Absolutely. What I will add to this is that I do believe it is possible that there were Europeans here before Columbus. Perhaps it was simply by chance, with no intent or organized fleet, but possible. However, just because it may be true that the Americas were not "discovered" by Columbus does not mean the US is attempting a cover up. Even if he didn't make the discovery, without Columbus, the world would be very different.


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