If you were lucky enough to see the world premiere of “America’s Oldest Secret,” you might be wondering “What the heck was that all about?”
Venus alignments that don’t actually occur? A laser X? Earthquakes moving the alignments in the Tower? The Statue of Liberty? Huh?
So what if most of Jim Egan’s wry comments ended up on the cutting room floor. It doesn’t matter. My mother thought I looked great in my clean blue sweater. And I can chalk another entry off my bucket list. And they did say the words “Tower authority Jim Egan” and spelled out “J – O – H – N —- D – E – E,” and included my quip about the “Knights in the 1200’s enjoying laser light shows.” I put up my best single-handed defense possible against a Templari assault from all sides.( What you don’t see in each shot is the video crew of 8: Three cameramen taping from three different angles, the sound technician holding a boom microphone over our heads, the director, and three production assistants running around setting up lights.)
If the host was the anti-hero, and Jim was the unsung hero, the real hero was… The Tower. It looked great. The mini-helicopter shots over the treetops showing the Tower nestled in the park were mystical. The wide-angle shots that turned the Tower into an eight-legged spider were mysterious. The time lapse of the night sky was stellar. The patch of light creeping along the egg-shaped rock was primal. And the magnetic Cumberlandite in the south pillar made you wonder.
That’s magical stuff. And a million people got to see it.
If nothing else, the America Unearthed episode sparked imaginations. It got people thinking about history. And the better we understand history, the better we will be able to envision our future.
Curious folks from all over America are still scratching their heads asking, “OK, just what is the solution to America’s Oldest Secret?” And when they come to visit the Tower, the History Channel won’t be here. Jim Egan and his museum will.
– Jim Egan, March 11, 2013, Newport RI