Our current focus is an educational documentary titled:

“Civilization Before Civilization”

The ORACUL Team, led for this particular project by Dr. Robert Schoch and Catherine Ulissey, is pleased to be working with filmmakers Bill Cote, Carol Cote, and Sean Adair. Bill was the Director of the Emmy-winning documentary The Mystery of the Sphinx, which was hosted by Charlton Heston and first aired on NBC in 1993 (it featured Dr. Schoch’s geological analysis of the monument that scientifically pushed back the age of civilization by many thousands of years). Carol and Sean were both part of that production team as well. ORACUL is pleased and privileged to reunite these creative and accomplished individuals for this project.

We began this endeavor of making an educational documentary with a 2019 Kickstarter campaign, which brought in funding to get us started. We commenced with preliminary filming in Egypt, prior to our two 2019 educational tours, documenting some important historic sites and conducting interviews.

Upon returning to the United States, we continued with interviews and began preparations for filming in Turkey. (Please remember, endeavors such as this take time. We are volunteers with normal/daily life responsibilities that sometimes take precedence to our not-for-profit passions and endeavors – and gaining official permission to film at ancient archaeological sites in foreign countries is neither easy nor simple.)

With permissions for Turkey obtained in the fall of 2019, and logistics worked out, we embarked on a filming trip there in early January 2020, which thankfully went smoothly and well. Even more important, the crew returned safely home before the Coronavirus erupted globally, causing a cessation in travel and altering our lives unimaginably.

During the summer of 2022, ORACUL resumed filming, conducting interviews with prominent scientists and scholars whose work and ideas move in tandem to ours and the message we wish to present in the film. During the summer of 2023, we conducted additional important interviews. Please see below for a little more information on these production strides.

Using footage we obtained prior to the pandemic, our crew put together this little trailer, with the primary goal of raising more funds for completion of the film. So as to avoid unnecessary expenditures, we did not hire a professional voice-over artist to narrate the trailer. Rest assured that for our final film we will.

And following recent strides, including obtaining several important interviews, here is Trailer #2.


We could use some major philanthropic support. If you know anyone who might be interested in contributing to the film, please do let us know.

Below are some photos of the film crew working in Turkey, January 2020.

Above: Robert Schoch, Bill Cote, and Sean Adair – filming in Cappadocia on a very cold day (on the left, trying not to slide down the cliff).

Above: The film crew at Göbekli Tepe (left) and Çatalhöyük (right), Turkey.

Above: The unglamorous work of capturing B-roll: Sunrise over Cappadocia (left); Sunset on our way to Şanlıurfa (right).

Above: Catherine Ulissey and Bill Cote overlooking Red Valley at sunrise (left); and a wet and “chilled-to-the-bone” group (Bill Cote, Carol Cote, Robert Schoch, Catherine Ulissey, Manu Seyfzadeh, and Sean Adair) departing Harran (right).
For some 360° images/videos created by Sean Adair during our filming trip to Turkey, please see the Thank You page of our website.

Filming an Interview with Prof. Witzel, February 2020 (just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Boston area).

Interviewing Professor Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit, Harvard University, about material in his book The Origins of the World’s Mythologies (2012, Oxford University Press), February 2020. For more information on Prof. Witzel, see his website.

Interviewing Dr. Joscelyn Godwin and Dr. Paul LaViolette.

In July of 2022, ORACUL filmed interviews with Dr. Paul LaViolette, who has done considerable work on solar activity at the end of Earth’s last ice age (supporting Dr. Schoch’s independent work on the subject), and Dr. Joscelyn Godwin, Professor Emeritus of Colgate University, ORACUL advisor, and author and expert on ancient traditions, esoteric knowledge, cycles of time, and more. Both interviews went very well, and we are now focusing our attention on obtaining interviews with a plasma physicist and other scholars who can contribute to the complex discussion regarding Göbekli Tepe and “civilization before civilization”.

A Conversation with Plasma Physicist Dr. C. J. Ransom.

In August of 2022, ORACUL filmed an interview with retired plasma physicist Dr. C. J. Ransom. Dr. Ransom received a Ph.D. in plasma physics from the University of Texas at Austin, worked in the aerospace industry for over three and a half decades, and has analyzed the effects of plasma discharges on various materials (including the formation of craters and spherules). He has also studied atmospheric plasma phenomena (auroras) that ancient people evidently saw in the skies during periods of unusual solar activity and under different geomagnetic environments than today. Such plasma phenomena were recorded around the world in ancient petroglyphs and incorporated into myths, traditions, and iconography. Dr. Ransom discusses these topics, and much more, in his book Auroras, Petroglyphs, and Pagans (2018).

ORACUL Interviewed Dr. Ian Hodder Regarding Çatalhöyük and Göbekli Tepe.

In August 2023, ORACUL interviewed Dr. Ian Hodder at Koç University, Turkey, where he is currently a Professor (part time) in the Archaeology and History of Art Department; he is also the Dunlevie Family Professor, Emeritus, at Stanford University. From 1999 to 2021, Dr. Hodder was Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. Prior to Stanford, Dr. Hodder held a number of other positions, including Professor of Archaeology (1996–99) in the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge. From 1993 to 2018, Dr. Hodder was the lead archaeologist at Çatalhöyük in central Turkey. Dr. Hodder has lectured and published widely, with numerous articles, monographs, reviews, and books to his credit, including: Symbols in Action (Cambridge 1982), Reading the Past (Cambridge 1986), The Domestication of Europe (Oxford 1990), The Archaeological Process (Oxford 1999), The Leopard’s Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük (Thames and Hudson 2006), and Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things (Wiley and Blackwell, 2012). During his outstanding interview with ORACUL, Dr. Hodder discussed the interpretation and significance of Çatalhöyük and Göbekli Tepe, placing these sites within the context of the archaeology of Turkey and the development of human society and civilization more broadly.

The banner image at the top of this page shows Bill Cote and Sean Adair filming Dr. Manu Seyfzadeh and Dr. Robert Schoch at the El Ruha Hotel in Urfa, Turkey, January 2020.

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