J. Hutton Pulitzer

Jovan Hutton Pulitzer (self-styled as Commander Pulitzer[1][2] and formerly Jeffry Jovan Philyaw)[3][4] is an American entrepreneur and former treasure hunter[1] from Dallas, Texas,[5] known for inventing the widely-criticized CueCat barcode scanner[5] and "kinematic artifact detection" technology to find folds and bamboo fibers in election ballots.[6] His marketing work includes the online show Net Talk Live! and selling crystals.[7]

Jovan Hutton Pulitzer
Jeffry Jovan Philyaw
Known forCueCat
Websitejovanhuttonpulitzer.org Edit this at Wikidata


From 1994–1995 he was a marketing executive at Internet America in Dallas.[8] Known mononymously as Jovan, during the late 1990s he was a marketer and infomercial producer who ran the Dallas company Digital Convergence, saying he worked on Susan Powter's marketing campaign and promoting Tripledge Wipers.[8] He launched and co-hosted Net Talk Live from 1996 to 2001, a "triplecast" show about the internet that was broadcast on radio, TV, and online using RealAudio. It lasted 266 episodes and claimed to have a weekly reach of over 800 million households. The Dallas Morning News said they "do know something about computers, but spend most of the time laughing and talking about things such as where they had dinner last week."[9][8][10]


As the chairman and chief executive officer of Digital Convergence,[11] Pulitzer released the CueCat, a wired, handheld device that scanned barcodes printed in newspapers and other publications to allow readers to go directly to linked content on the then-nascent web without typing in the URL. Despite investments of $185 million from Radio Shack,[12] Coca Cola, General Motors,[4] Belo, and others, it was a commercial failure and sales never recovered after the discovery of a major security flaw and privacy breaches in 2000.[12] It was one of the most ridiculed products of the dotcom era,[11] and he changed his name following its failure.[4]

Intellectual propertyEdit

He went on to run a patent holding company in Dallas.[13] His company J. Hutton Pulitzer and Co. in the mid 2000s sold bottled rainwater under the brand Purain[14] and crystals for over $100,000.[11] He claims to have filed over 100 patents[15] and to be the most prolific inventor since Thomas Edison.[10]

Treasure huntingEdit

In 2016, Pulitzer appeared as a treasure hunter on The Curse of Oak Island on the History Channel.[5] He searched for the Ark of the Covenant and working with amateur historians from the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society he claimed that a sword found in the waters off Oak Island in Nova Scotia had "magical magnetic properties" and was evidence of Roman presence in North America and contact with the Miꞌkmaq, which a historian of that people dismissed.[1][9][16] An archaeologist and a science writer who criticized Pulitzer's claim and suggested the sword was a replica say that Pulitzer threatened to sue them.[16]

Election auditEdit

Pulitzer claims to have invented a system for detecting fraudulent ballots, which is being used by right-wing conspiracists such as Doug Logan[17][18][19] in the [20] Republican audit[21] of ballots in Arizona, intended to prove the claim that the 2020 United States Presidential election result was fraudulent.[22] There is no evidence that fraudulent ballots were cast or that Pulitzer's "kinematic marker"[23] detection system works.[22] The Georgia Secretary of State's office issued a statement rejecting a claim by Pulitzer to have hacked Georgia's voting system.[24] Pulitzer is said to be the originator of the claim that Chinese ballots with paper containing bamboo are part of the claimed fraud.[17][25][26]


Pulitzer claims to have written 300 books on history.[16] His books include How to Cut Off Your Arm and Eat Your Dog: Plus, Other Recipes for Survival.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Pulitzer says he began in marketing aged 9, selling rabbit meat to restaurants.[8] He is divorced.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "State senators hear testimony of failed treasure hunter". Albany Herald. 2021-01-03. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  2. ^ Pulitzer has no military record
  3. ^ Rogers, Tim (2021-01-04). "Jovan Philyaw (aka J. Hutton Pulitzer) Rides Again!". D Magazine. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  4. ^ a b c Stanley, Alyse (2021-01-01). "Inventor Behind the Worst Gadget of All Time Jumps Onto Trump's Sinking Voter Fraud Ship". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  5. ^ a b c Hamilton, Bretney (2016-04-05). "Dallas inventor of infamous CueCat is now -- erm -- a full-blown treasure hunter". Dallas News. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  6. ^ "Audit using unproven technology developed by 'failed inventor' Jovan Pulitzer". Arizona Mirror. 2021-04-30. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  7. ^ Celeste, Eric (2003-04-10). "Crystal Clear". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  8. ^ a b c d Bishop, Amanda; Bounds, Jeff (1999-12-05). "Philyaw's `secret' company planning new tech venture". BizJournals. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  9. ^ a b c d Sliva, Vincent (2016-04-04). "Now With More Miscues". Central Track. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  10. ^ a b Jackson, Adam (2014-12-24). "The Worst Tech Christmas Gift In History". Motherboard. Vice. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  11. ^ a b c "Where They Are Now". Fast Company. 2004-03-01. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  12. ^ a b Eborn, Andrew (2017-10-10). "The Failure Awards for defunct branding .. #9 :CueCat barcode scanner". The Drum. To add to its woes, the feline company suffered a security leak when ...
  13. ^ Meyer, Katherine (2006-05-04). "The Best of the Worst". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  14. ^ Celeste, Eric (2003-09-11). "Rain Barrels of Laughs". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  15. ^ "Pulse". D Magazine. March 2003. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  16. ^ a b c "Oak Island's Roman sword saga unsheathed". The Chronicle Herald. 2016-01-13. Archived from the original on 2016-01-16. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  17. ^ a b Woodward, Alex (2021-05-06). "Secret Chinese ballots, UV lights and watermarks: Arizona GOP recount mired in conspiracy theories". The Independent. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  18. ^ Zurcher, Anthony (2021-05-12). "Arizona recount: Why Republicans are still tallying votes". BBC News. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  19. ^ Wingett Sanchez, Yvonne; Hansen, Ronald J (9 May 2021). "Arizona Republicans worry about consequences from election audit: 'This is turning into a mockery'". azcentral. Gannett Co. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Inside Arizona's election audit, GOP fraud fantasies live on". 2021-05-10. Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  21. ^ Montini, E. J. "Yes, a guy from the insurrection is handling your ballot. Thank the Arizona GOP for that". Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  22. ^ a b Duda, Jeremy (2021-04-19). "Jovan Pulitzer, an icon among election fraud believers, will play a role in the Arizona election audit". Arizona Mirror. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  23. ^ Roberts, Laurie. "Arizona Senate's election audit is looking more absurd by the day". Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  24. ^ "Fact Check: Georgia Senate Masquerades Failed Treasure Hunter As Hacker And Election Security Expert". Georgia Secretary of State. 2021-01-01. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  25. ^ "A brief thread on Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, the crazy con man …". buzzchronicles.com. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  26. ^ Duda, Jeremy (2021-04-19). "Jovan Pulitzer, an icon among election fraud believers, will play a role in the Arizona election audit". Arizona Mirror. Retrieved 2021-05-27.

External linksEdit