The intrigue surrounding the mysterious Roman sword, purported to have been found near the infamous Oak Island by a scallop fisherman some 70 years ago and presented to Rick and Marty Lagina, the protagonists of The Curse of Oak Island, a weekly reality series produced by the History Channel, has increased with the sword finally appearing on the show, as well as the publication of startling new information about Jovan Hutton Pulitzer in a new article published by Halifax, Nova Scotia's Chronicle Herald.
As the Inquisitr pointed out in a previous feature on the Oak Island sword, Hutton Pulitzer and his team have consistently referred to the year "1492" and "Columbus" as being representative of a consensus among historians and public opinion of current belief with regard to who the first Europeans to visit North America were.
A Google search asking "Who were the first Europeans to North America?" returns the answer that the Norse probably visited North America around 985. That Carl L. Johannessen, a "noted member" of the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society, with which Pulitzer is associated and which is holding a $150-a-head convention from October 7 to 9, 2016 in Harris, Michigan, could state that the Oak Island Roman sword is set to "challenge the orthodoxy of 1492" would seem to be puzzling, given that the orthodox view appears to be that the Norse were the first to visit the Western Hemisphere.
Since the Roman sword found near Oak Island first blew up in the media in early December, anthropologist Andy White, a Research Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, has published his skepticism with the sword and offered numerous alternate theories for its history, many of which point to the sword being a replica, as reported on his blog.
He has also scoffed at Pulitzer's claims that the sword has "magical" magnetic properties, writing, "I'm not even sure what to say about that."
The sword was briefly shown on last night's episode of The Curse of Oak Island. White, a qualified anthropologist, claimed that last night was the first time he had watched the show and that he finds it "flat out boring" in a blog post. He claimed that little new information about the sword was gained, except that it will be shown again next week, with analysis to be provided by Dr. Myles McCallum, an associate professor in Modern Languages and Classics at Saint Mary's University in Halifax. White writes that he is unfamiliar with Dr. McCallum's work and that he is interested to see next week's show.
The Chronicle Herald had questions about J. Hutton Pulitzer and the Roman sword, and they found answers. Perhaps most striking is the fact that J. Hutton Pulitzer is not the birth name of the man who has appeared on The Curse of Oak Island and been quoted in articles around the world. According to the Halifax newspaper, his real name is "Jeffrey Jovan Philyaw."
Under his previous name, Hutton was the inventor of a product called the "CueCat," as reported with Wikipedia. The purpose of the device was to allow consumers to scan bar codes in print media to be directed to advertisers' websites. It was described as one of the "worst products of all time" by PC World. Radio Shack and Coca-Cola were among investors who were said to have lost $185 million investing in the product.
For those who aren't aware, one of the most prestigious awards writers, photographers, and other journalists can receive is a Pulitzer Prize. The name and the word carry a certain amount of prestige, somewhat like the names Rockefeller, Carnegie, or Kardashian. In the 1990s, penny stock pump and dump boiler rooms were portrayed as taking on names similar to the names of legitimate Wall Street firms. The 2000 film Boiler Room, as listed with IMDb, followed a fictional investment firm named J.T Marlin; the name was designed to fool potential clients into believing they were dealing with the company that is now JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM).
It turns out that Pulitzer views his time spent working on CueCat as time on Wall Street.
"When I left Wall Street and tech in 2002, I basically decided I wanted to focus on my longtime passion, which was history," Pulitzer was quoted.
However, when asked if he has backed up his passion for history with academic study, and if he had a university degree in history, Pulitzer was said to become evasive.
"Is it enough that I have written 300 history books?" the Roman sword purveyor was quoted. "Is it enough that I've published over seven million words on ancient and lost history? Is that enough? Is it enough that I am a professional researcher with a specialty in forensic investigation? That I have patents in 189 countries. Is it enough that 11.9 billion cellphone devices use my patents?"
"You have to decide whether you may or may not want to participate in a hatchet job?" was what Pulitzer was said to have responded when asked "critical" questions about his background and qualifications.
Pulitzer and his team are reportedly set to issue a "peer reviewed" white paper on the Oak Island Roman sword, as reported in a blog post by the history researcher. However, Pulitzer's use of "peer reviewed" does not seem to match up with the usual process by which formal archaeological papers are published in academic journals and "peer reviewed" by other archaeologists.
The Chronicle Herald wrote, "That's not exactly the process Pulitzer has followed with the Roman sword."
[Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]