Apocalypse Island

Natural rock outcroppings on Robinson Crusoe Island are not Mayan "monuments."

James Turner, explorer

Jim Turner of Apocalypse Island - 
Jim Turner is an unscrupulous purveyor of disinformation. He claims that he was not responsible for the History Channel taking up over an hour and a half on his journey to the island out of this two hour program or for trying to hide its identity (Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile) or for asserting that it is uninhabited and inaccessible (it has a town, regular ferry service from Valparaiso, Chile, and an airport with charter flights from Santiago, Chile). Even if this is true, he is still guilty of claiming the obviously natural basaltic rock outcroppings are Mayan "monuments." He never mentions that there is no sign of pre-Spanish human presence on the island (see archeologist Simon Haberle's comment), no sign of human shaping of the rock formations (see the comment of Jeff Salz, who accompanied him). He never mentions that the island is 3500 miles from the nearest Mayan area, the coast of Guatemala (that is the distance from London to New York) and over 400 miles from the nearest point on the mainland of Chile. The idea that the Mayans could have known of the island's existence is preposterous, that they could have reached it in their canoes is even more ridiculous. Many people commenting on the program have called it a hoax or a scam which wasted two whole hours. Since Turner is appealing for people to donate money (up to $500) to continue his "research" on these "monuments," he is committing fraud. I sincerely hope no one falls for his hype. See the Wikipedia article on "Apocalypse Island" for more information. 

Comment by Mike Nassau from the "JIM TURNER" board at IMDB 



 Our poll on the best term for Jim Turner is now closed.

"Snake Oil Salesman" got 68% of the vote. 

"Charlatan" got 21% and "Huckster" got 10%. 


In the poll on the best term for the "Apocalypse Island" show,

"Scam" got 50%, "disinformation" got 20%, "fraud" 20% and "hoax" 10%.




Jim Turner joined our site recently in order to post his answer.

In this he says "I would also like to point out that the photo in the upper right hand corner of the Photo Gallery, the very one the site administrator has used in her profile, is of a formation 90 miles west on Isla Alexander Selkirk known as 'Tres Torres' or Three Towers."  If he realizes this very similar formation with the same pattern of a tall erect structure with a long, lower one above it is natural, he must realize the formations he keeps claiming are made by Mayans are also natural.


 Various posters on the many forums discussing the "Apocalypse Island" program have suggested that Jim Turner is just incredibly naive, gullible and ignorant and is not willfully misleading people out of greed.  As long as he keeps asking for sizable donations on his website, we will stay with the view that he is an evil con-man trying to defraud those who will believe him.  




See our LINKS page for scam reports on Jim Turner.



Here is a biography of Turner by a believer:

Charles Wharry - My Blog

Apocalypse Island – The Official Website of James Turner, Explorer 



James Turner was  born November 8, 1970 in Niagara Falls, Ontario to Richard and Jennifer Turner and would later reside in Brampton, Ontario where he completed high school.  After four years of study at the University of Toronto (University College), Jim graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, specializing in Philosophy with a minor in Literary Studies. During his senior year Jim worked on The Gargoyle, the University College newspaper, co-producing a bi-weekly Supplement section covering a wide range of topics.

Two days into the new year of 1995, Jim departed from New York for a 5-month road trip to Mexico and Central America with his future wife, Jennifer, a recent UofT graduate in Archeology. Although completely ignorant of the existence of the ancient Mayan site of Palenque in southern Mexico, the pair would nevertheless arrive there before the end of their first month of travel. The site was to become the focus of Jim’s later graduate studies and a topic of ongoing research that continues to the present day.

During the 5-month trip numerous ancient sites were visited throughout the region, including Teotihuacan, Monte Alban, La Venta, Palenque, Tikal, Chichen Itza, and Uxmal. A burgeoning interest in Mesoamerican archeology developed in Jim, primarily focused on the site of Palenque. After more than 3 months spent in Paris after the Mexico trip, Jim and Jennifer separated and he returned alone to Palenque days before the end of the year. In 1996, with a backpack loaded with textbooks on the ancient Maya, Jim set to studying the Palenque ruins first-hand for the next four months.

While studying in Palenque Jim met a Chilean woman, Francisca, and a romance developed. Later that year in September Jim traveled to Chile to visit Francisca and explore South America. A month later Francisca left to live with her father in Cairo, Egypt and Jim found himself landing upon the shores of Robinson Crusoe Island the day before his 26th birthday.

On the night of November 17th, while attending a lobster cookout on the beach, Jim and three acquaintances witnessed the fiery reentry of a doomed Russian satellite originally bound for Mars. Many other islanders also witnessed the crash and the Chilean government began emergency procedures to attempt to locate and recover the plutonium batteries aboard the satellite in an effort to prevent radioactive contamination. Two weeks after the crash a cholera-like illness swept over the island, at the same time as Jim began to discover dead birds on what were by now well-known paths. After an intense bout with severe stomach cramps, Jim began to suspect that radiation poisoning was responsible for the illnesses and avian deaths.

After attempting to explain his hypothesis to the authorities in hackneyed Spanish, Jim departed for the uninhabited western side of the island which would have been protected from the effects of the radiation by virtue of the island ridge and the wind and water currents. Around midday on Friday the 13th of December, 1996, Jim made camp on the Plains of El Yunque and looked up to see the megalithic monument depicting the Mayan Sun God.

Unprepared for such a discovery, he was without any camera equipment. He drew sketches of the monument and studied it from a distance on several occasions until near the end of the month. The expiration of his tourist visa forced him to return to Santiago and leave for Bolivia at the beginning of the New Year.

In 1997, after almost two months of travel through Bolivia and Peru, including visits to La Paz, Lake Titicaca, Cuzco and Machu Picchu, Jim was convinced by a traveling companion to return to the island to photograph the monument. This second trip to the island consisted of only two days and one night, long enough to take several rolls of film of the monument and its surroundings. The light and shadow effects were visibly different from what had been observed several months earlier, the first indication that the monument contains intentional alignments to the annual stations of the solar cycle.

A third trip to the island was undertaken at the end of 1997 with the intention of capturing the light and shadow effects of the December solstice. Jim spent more than a month on the island during this trip. One of the highlights consisted of a summit of the monument on the day of the solstice. The month was spent studying the monument, taking photos, and researching through textbooks for an interpretation of the monument.

Jim returned home to Toronto and began making plans to travel to Colombia for the total solar eclipse of February 26, 1998. The successful observation of this eclipse from the village of Turbo on the Gulf of Uraba in Colombia provided an experiential link to the eclipse imagery recorded in the Palenque inscriptions. Shortly after returning from Colombia, Jim was reunited with Jennifer and the pair spent the next year in Southampton, UK, where Jennifer completed a Master’s of Science degree in Archeological Computing. Jim took advantage of the university libraries to further his research on Robinson Crusoe Island and the monument.

Upon returning to New York, Jim enrolled at SUNY Albany in the Anthropology department where he began his graduate degree in Mesoamerican Archeology in 2000. A strong showing on the GRE afforded him a teaching assistantship that provided a tuition waiver and monthly stipend. After completion of the required coursework Jim began his thesis research under the supervision of John Justeson, a renowned Mayan scholar and linguist and decipherer of the epi-Olmec hieroglyphic writing system, the oldest in Mesoamerica and a precursor to the Mayan hieroglyphs. Jim’s thesis introduced a potential  Mayan zodiac derived from the Dresden Codex Venus Table and he was awarded his Master of Arts degree in 2005.

Recent years have contained a number of important astronomical events that were observed by Jim in the course of his research. A total lunar eclipse occurred on his birthday in November, 2003. He traveled to Italy in June 2004 to witness a rare transit of Venus, the first in over a century. A transit of Mercury occurred on his birthday in 2006 but, due to inclement weather, was unable to be seen. Instead, Jim spent the day arranging a work space and officially launched what would become the Apocalypse Island Project in an effort to document his travels and the discovery of the island monument, along with the insights the monument had provided in his interpretation of the inscriptions at Palenque and the Mayan calendar. This work continues to the present day.