IN SEARCH OF...PAGE 1
From 1976 to 1982 a pseudo documentary ran on syndicated television series enthralling people like my Pop and Uncles. It was called IN SEARCH OF... and pretended to be an actual documentary.
The subjects of this documentary were Extraterrestrials, Magic & Witchcraft, Missing Persons, Myths & Monsters, Lost Civilizations, and Strange Phenomena. In short, everything that interests fans of Horror, Thriller, Mystery, and Suspense.
After the Coming attractions teaser of the show, Series Producer Robert L. Long as well as Executive Producers Jim McGinn and Alan Landsburg (the show creator), gave everyone a caveat.
The growing Star Trek fan base was brought in by host, Leonard Nimoy.
Sounds intellectually fair doesn't it?
But Leonard Nimoy would only tell a whole show of half-truths and plenty of misdirection, which would naturally lead us in a false direction. Note my parentheticals in the following paragraph.
During "Mayan Mysteries" Nimoy tells us that Mayans are different from all other humans.
Long, McGinn, and Landsburg were clearly neither picky or fussy and cared nothing for such things as fact. Such intellectual dishonesty tickled Rod Serling to no end, but he died before he could host the series himself. So IN SEARCH OF... went in search of someone else and found Leonard Nimoy.
After the show intro and commercial break we get into the story. The Season 2, Episode 4, In Search of... Mayan Mysteries, begins with host Leonard Nimoy saying, "The Biblical story of Genesis and the Theory of Evolution agree."
They do What?!?
"In the beginning, out of the void, came light: the great creative force." Nimoy intones. "Eventually light separated from darkness, creating the first day."
E-freaking-gad! But that's what you get from a series which was launched by two pilots, both of which were about renown hoax and huckster, Erich Von Däniken.
"I am not a scientific man, and if I had written a scientific book, it would have been calm and sober and nobody would talk about it."
In "...Mayan Mysteries", their expert is Pre-Columbian Scholar and Poet, Al Reista (good luck finding anything on this guy), who seems educated and rational enough. He throws out some loopy stuff about how the Mayans lived, but it's acceptable because that was their craziness, not his.
All of the Mayan raids against neighboring tribes: their love of human sacrifice; their constant butchering bloodshed upon others as well as themselves, is the loopiness that is balanced by their advanced technology of the period (though centuries behind what was going on in the East).
"They were the first to invent the number zero."
The concept of nothing; of an initial beginning, from which all advanced math starts. In reality, Sumerians invented the concept of zero and put it to practical use about 4,000 years ago. Mayan's discovered it less than 2,000 years ago (250 - 310 AD).
"They invented the wheel, but had no practical use for it."
Why the Mayan priests abandoned their civilization, nobody knows. Long before their "cycle" was supposed to be over, they left en masse.
When Spaniards came hundreds of years later, they found the cities but also found a Mayan people utterly incapable of the technology to build such cities or even understand how to maintain them.
All that is certain. But then Al Reista pops up with his theory. He dismisses such "easy answers" as natural disasters, famine and disease.
Because, according to Riesta, "...the Mayans could predict earthquakes."
"The Mayans used their psychic powers to control the weather."
Nimoy takes this all with utter gravitas, telling us that Al has reached a startling conclusion.
The Mayans, you see "...went over to the east, into the Red Sea, and in Nepal became the Essenes."
Oh, and "Jesus was a Mayan."
The shit you say!
While Al admires the bloodthirsty Mayans for their "Communist / Socialist society", the show openly accepts Al's unsupported fluff in the gullible New Age-speak of the period.
The earthquake predictions, psychic powers, the Essenes and Jesus-is-a-Mayan are all part of Al's faith-based personal belief, substantiated by squat, and you just have to accept that it is true, because Al is the show's hired expert!
The fallacy of authority indeed!
Oh, and he's also a poet.
At the end of every show, Nimoy let us know that "In Search of... cameras are traveling the world seeking out these great mysteries. This program is the result of the work of scientists, researchers, and a group of highly skilled technicians."
Yeah. Sure it was. Maybe highly skilled film technicians and audio recorders.
Yet for 6 long years a significant slice of the world bought into what IN SEARCH OF... was selling.
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