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Production of Mayan documentary steeped in intrigue

The documentary “Revelations of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond” has descended into disarray, with its executive producer accused of fleeing with two dozen hard drives and 10 computer towers containing the film’s footage, according to documents obtained by TheWrap.

The documents allege that San Francisco-based philanthropist and author Elisabeth Thieriot filmed without a valid permit on federal ground in Mexico and fled with the footage.

The documents are based on complaints filed by the film’s producer, Raul Julia-Levy, who also accused three others, Eduardo Vertiz Mascarenas, Emiliano Chaparro Martinez and Eduardo de la Cerda, of stealing footage and equipment.

“She ran away with the footage,” Julia-Levy told TheWrap. “She was informed not to leave the country, but she did. We are extremely sad and disappointed that Mrs. Thieriot did this, and we will pursue this with all the arms of the law.”

A story that was already bizarre – with claims of classified archeological discoveries, dire predictions and extraterrestrial contact – has also grown to include allegations of fraud and a producer/director some allege is not a celebrity’s son but a con man.

Julia-Levy himself appears to have lost control of the project he launched. Others still involved with the film now suggest that he is not, as he claims to be, the son of actor Raul Julia – a charge Julia-Levy said is both false and irrelevant to his complaints about Thieriot.

Another of the film’s producers, Sheila McCarthy, referred TheWrap to a 2007 Los Angeles Times article casting doubt on Julia-Levy’s identity and deflected inquiries to an attorney who would not speak on the record.

Thieriot, the Polish-born wife of former newspaper publisher Charles Thieriot, did not respond to emails sent to her through her website and her Facebook page.

Julia-Levy declined to discuss the recent events in detail, but claimed that potential losses could reach into “hundreds of millions of dollars” if the film is not released.

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