By John Hecht
An underwater Maya city, a millennia-old landing pad once used for spacecraft, and human contact with extraterrestrials. These may sound like the makings of a blockbuster Hollywood film but they’re actually the alleged discoveries behind the documentary Revelations of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond.
Los Angeles-based producer Raul Julia-Levy, the son of actor Raul Julia, is billing the movie as a game-changer. “It is the most important archaeological finding in the history of mankind,” he says. “It’s going to open the eyes of humanity and elevate the consciousness of every human being on the planet. I guarantee it.”
Revelations is set to begin production next month deep in the jungles of Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Campeche, at the Maya ruins of Calakmul. Julia-Levy, who is producing alongside Ed Elbert (Paraiso Travel), says the mother of all secrets will be revealed at the Calakmul archaeological site, though he declined to specify what could possibly trump the aforementioned findings.
The underwater Maya city, which Julia-Levy describes as “a city that was built under water, and not a sunken city,” was found at the bottom of a lake in Guatemala, according to the producer. He says audiences will see underwater shots of the city.
Further stretching the mind, the actor-turned-producer claims the documentary also unveils a 3,000-year-old spacecraft landing pad that was allegedly built atop a rock structure capable of holding electromagnetic energy.
Julia-Levy won’t divulge the production company and distributor backing the 3D documentary, however, he says they are “major” Hollywood players. An official announcement of the project is expected in the coming weeks and a tentative release date has been set for August.
A collaboration between archaeologists, scientists and the governments of Mexico and Guatemala, Revelations is the fruit of a decade of research that purportedly draws on classified information.
Initially, acclaimed Mexican documentarian Juan Carlos Rulfo (Those who Remain) was attached to the project, but he recently exited the venture due to conflicting schedules with his other films. Producers are yet to announce his replacement.
The documentary comes at a time when the Yucatan Peninsula has seen a flurry of Maya-themed productions. Some depict apocalyptic scenarios tied in to alleged prophecies that hinge on the end of the Maya calendar.
Experts have dismissed such notions. They point out that Dec. 21, 2012, the exact date when the 5,126-year calendar cycle comes to an end, in no way signals Armageddon. In fact, they argue that the calendar resets with each new cycle. But that hasn’t stopped many TV producers from focusing on the doomsday aspect.
In recent years, TV crews from Mexico and the world over have flocked to Maya turf to explore the matter first-hand. Nat Geo, Discovery Channel and History are just some of the production companies that have filmed on location in the region.
Even the Mexican government is seizing the moment to make a strong push to promote tourism with an ambitious cultural program dubbed Mundo Maya.
“It’s exploding in all directions,” says Rene Blanco, head of production at Cancun-based production services company Riviera Maya Films. “It’s going to be a huge year because everybody is working to exploit the end of the world theory.”
Be that as it may, Julia-Levy insists that Revelations does nothing of the kind. He calls it a historical documentary that shows a deep respect for Maya culture.
“The problem with most of the productions going on now that are related to the Maya theme is that they’re doing them in an erroneous and irresponsible manner,” he says. “This documentary is going to shake the world.”