LDS Filmmaker Seeks To Change History Books With TV Documentary

“All I want to do is to change what the history books say (and what the public believes) about Columbus, and about the cultures and peoples of ancient America.” That’s the goal of LDS filmmaker Robert Starling. And if he can find enough like-minded investors to help finance his upcoming 6-hour television documentary miniseries, he might just do that very thing…

His project is called They All Discovered America, and with it he hopes to dispel the myths of an alleged “Columbus Conspiracy” that has shaped the generally-accepted view of pre-Columbian American history for over a hundred years. “I want to overcome the “Establishment” doctrine that is taught in classes from elementary school on up”, says Brother Starling, “and that is that some Mongolians wandered across the Bering Strait around 12,000 years ago, and that except for a few wandering Vikings in Nova Scotia there were no other significant  voyages or migrations to the Americas until Columbus arrived in 1492. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth.”

At 1973 conference, Middle East scholar Dr. Cyrus Gordon (far right) along with ISAC founder Dr. Joseph Mahan (far left) examines tablet with Sumerian writing (circa 2800 BC) found by Mrs. Joe Hearn (L) in her garden in LaGrange, Georgia. Photo by Robert Starling

The former NBC writer-producer hopes to begin shooting soon on his TV project, which will be shown on either PBS or one of the major cable networks such as the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, or the Learning Channel. It will bring to light many evidences and artifacts discovered over the last century indicating numerous pre-Columbian contacts between the Americas and many cultures around the world. The project will involve an extended shooting schedule of 12-14 weeks in the U.S. coupled with 2-3 weeks in Central and South America and a similar effort in Europe and the Middle East.

Robert Starling films a 1973 interview regarding links between the
Yuchi indian tribe and the Hebrew Feast of the Tabernacles described in Leviticus 23.

“We’ll be presenting a non-stop flow of fascinating material that will boggle the mind of the audience” says Starling. “There were migrations and visits to the Americas from at least as early as 3,500 BC, by peoples from Japan, Scandinavia, China, Sumeria, Phonecia, Egypt, Wales, Celtic Ireland and Scotland, the Minoan island of Crete, the north African city of  Carthage, and many others.

Brother Starling will be videotaping interviews for his documentary in late October when he attends the annual conference of the “Institute for the Study of  American Cultures” (ISAC), a nation-wide organization of scholars and historians dedicated to uncovering the truth about the pre-Columbian history of the Americas. He is on the Board of Directors of ISAC, which is located (ironically) in Columbus, Georgia. “We usually hold the conference sometime close to Columbus Day”, he revealed with a smile. “It’s sort of a positive way to protest the ‘No Outsiders Before Columbus (NOBC)’dogma that prevails among most ‘Establishment’ academics.”

Stone box and tablet with Ten Commandments in Hebrew found in a burial mound in 1860 by David Wyrick. Photo by Robert Starling

Although research has revealed a great interest in this kind of “diffusionism” among general audiences both in the U.S. and worldwide, it will be of special interest  to Latter-day Saints. “There are evidences of at least three migrations of Israelite or Hebrew  peoples to the Americas in addition to the three voyages from the Middle East that are described in The Book of Mormon”, says Starling. “That kind of information doesn’t “prove” the Book of Mormon to be true but it definitely places its voyages in a credible historical context more easily accepted by people who now believe the “isolationism” taught by proponents of the Bering Strait theory”.

Brother Starling, who until recently was on the staff of the LDS Church  film and video production department, has dreamed of doing this documentary for over 30 years. “I was producing and directing programs for the Alabama Public Television Network when we filmed a symposium on “diffusionism” in Georgia in 1973″, he said. “I was impressed with the amount of research that was presented, and the fact that most people are totally unaware that America’s history as a “melting pot” of nations began thousands of years ago.”

Starling later achieved considerable commercial success with a theatrical feature documentary he conceived for his employers at Schick Sunn Classic Pictures called In
Search of Historic Jesus.

“That film was produced for about $1.8 million and has earned over $22 million in box office receipts, NBC network and syndicated television sales and videocassettes”, he said. “I believe They All Discovered America also has the potential to reach a large audience.”  .

Bat Creek Stone discovered in 1885 in Smithsonian archaeological dig in Tennessee. Hebrew writing dates to 135 AD.

They All Discovered America won’t be just educational,” says Brother Starling. “It will be six hours of ‘info-tainment’that will include dramatic re-enactments of key historical moments in discovering America’s multi-cultural past. We’re also going to have some fabulous music for the series especially composed and performed by Enoch Train, representing musically the various nations who came to ancient America.”

In summarizing his “mission,” the filmmaker quoted Oscar Wilde who said, “Of course America has been discovered many times, but it has always been covered up.” Brother Starling plans to take off those covers and let in the light of truth for a worldwide audience to see.

For more information on “They All Discovered America” or ISAC and its October conference, contact Robert Starling at (801) 824-2843 or starlingRD@earthlink.net.