Skip to comments.Unlocking Minnesota's 'DaVinci Code'
Posted on 05/24/2005 9:45:19 PM PDT by FreeManWhoCan
Kensington, Minn. (WCCO) Researchers have found new evidence of a secret code concealed on the Kensington Runestone, one of the most controversial pieces of Minnesota history.
The rock was found near Alexandria, Minn. a century ago. It bears an inscription that places Norwegians here in 1362.
Were Vikings exploring our land more than 100 years before Columbus? Or is the Kensington Runestone an elaborate hoax?
New research suggests the rune stone is genuine, and a hidden code can prove it.
"Eight Goths and 22 Norwegians on an exploration journey ... 10 men red with blood and dead ... 14 days journey from this island ... year 1362."
The Kensington Runestone's carved words have haunted the Ohman family for more than 100 years.
Olof Ohman has been accused of authoring Minnesota's most famous fraud. The farmer claimed he found the stone buried under a tree in 1898.
Critics believe the language on the rune stone is too modern and that some of the runes are made up. They say Ohman carved it himself to fool the learned.
The Ohman family's faith in the stone has never wavered, however.
"I just never had any doubt," said grandson Darwin Ohman. "I mean, I was very emphatic about it. Absolutely it's real. There's no doubt."
"(Critics are) calling (Olof Ohman) a liar," Minnesota geologist Scott Wolter said. "If this is a hoax, he lied to his two sons, he lied to his family, lied to his neighbors and friends and lied to the world."
Wolter and Texas engineer Dick Nielsen believe hidden secrets are carved in the Kensington Runestone.
"It changes history in a big way," Wolter said.
In 2000, Wolter performed one of the very few geological studies on the Kensington Runestone. He said the breakdown of minerals in the inscription shows the carving is at least 200 years old, placing it before Olof Ohman's time.
Wolter's findings support the first geological study that also found the stone to be genuine, which was performed in 1910.
"In my mind, the geology settled it once and for all," Wolter said.
Linguistic experts believe some of the stone's runes are made up, but Nielsen said he found one of the disputed runes in a Swedish rune document dating back to the 14th century.
"If they were wrong about that, what else were they wrong about?" Wolter said.
Wolter documented every individual rune on the stone with a microscope.
"I started finding things that I didn't expect," Wolter said.
Wolter discovered a dot inside each of four R-shaped runes.
"These are intentional, and they mean something," Wolter said.
Wolter and Nielsen scoured rune catalogs and found the dotted R's.
"It's an extremely rare rune that only appeared during medieval times," Wolter said. "This absolutely fingerprints it to the 14th century. This is linguistic proof this is medieval. Period."
Wolter and Nielsen traced the dotted R to rune-covered graves inside ancient churches on the island of Gotland off the coast of Sweden.
"The next thing that happened is, we started finding on these grave slabs these very interesting crosses," Wolter said.
Templar crosses are the symbol of a religious order of knights formed during the Crusades and persecuted by the Catholic Church in the 1300s.
"This was the genesis of their secret societies, secret codes, secret symbols, secret signs -- all this stuff," Wolter said. "If they carved the rune stone, why did they come here? And why did they carve this thing?"
Wolter has uncovered new evidence that has taken his research in a very different direction. He now believes the words on the stone may not be the record of the death of 10 men, but instead a secret code concealing the true purpose of the stone.
Linguists single out two runes representing the letters L and U as evidence Olof Ohman carved the stone. They are crossed, and linguists say they should not be. A third rune has a punch at the end of one line.
"Maybe they're saying, 'Pay attention to me,'" Wolter said.
Each rune on the stone has a numerical value. Wolter and Nielsen took the three marked runes and plotted them on a medieval dating system called the Easter Table.
When we plotted these three things we got a year: 1362," Wolter said. "It was like, oh my God, is this an accident? Is this a coincidence? I don't think so.
"We think, if its the Templars, they confirmed the date which is on the stone -- 1362 -- by using a code in the inscription."
But why would Templars come to America, carve this stone and code the date?
"If it's the Templars, who were under religious persecution at the time, that would be a pretty good reason to come over here," Wolter said. "Maybe the rune stone is a land claim.
"I'm sure a lot of people are going to roll their eyes and say, 'Oh, it's "The DaVinci Code,"' and if they do, they do. This is the evidence, this is who was there, this is what the grave slabs tell us. It is what it is."
Wolter and Nielsen said they expected their work to be criticized. The developments in their research are too recent to have been reviewed by other rune stone experts.
The pair are preparing a book, "The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence," for future publication.
Interesting. I love stuff like this. Gets the imagination going.
"It changes history in a big way," Wolter said."
Not such a big way. I think it's reasonably
clear the history of this continent did not
start in 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean
But the university history folks--the establishment--
are reluctant to acknowledge that.
For example, there are various Indian tribes that
are clearly caucasians rather than Asians or
otherwise. The Euchees may be one such tribe.
And some believe the Pimas of the southwest
and Mexico are in fact Etruscans. I don't know a lot,
but apparently there were people running around the Americas
way before that lost Italian thought he'd discovered
India. (But I don't buy the LDS point of view, either.)
"Eight Goths and 22 Norwegians on an exploration journey "
Friends of yours?.....:)
And then there are the runes found in Oklahoma..
They're recycling THAT old fraud again? Please, don't anybody be so gullible as to purchase the upcoming book, or buy the argument. It belongs with "bigfoot" and "Nessie" hoaxes.
There's some in Harrisburg PA and Winchester VA, too.
There are things that look supiciously like "cup marks" in the granite boulders near my house.
I have a greenstone 3/4 groove stone hammer/ax that resembles those found in ancient Europe.
[free Kennewick man!].....;))
Sorry...ping didn't work.
"Eight Goths and 22 Norwegians on an exploration journey "
Friends of yours?.....:)
The Knights Templar were formed to be a military arm of the Catholic Church with the purpose to organize for the Crusades. They were in effect monastic knights who became fabulously wealthy thanks to the many benefices they received from wealthy nobility.
Philip IV, also known as Philip the Fair, had them all arrested on the night of October 13, 1307. Their trials lasted 7 years at the end of which time all their property had been confiscated and most of the knights and leaders put to death.
By 1362, the Templars were long gone so any connection to this Minnesota monolith is pretty much ruled out.
To say that the Templars were persecuted by the Catholic Church is also somewhat misleading. In 1305 a French cardinal was elected pope as Clement V and was forced to move to Avignon by hostile Romans.
As Clement was under the protection of Philip IV, he was largely forced to go along with Philip's plundering of the Templars.
Fascinating video and story.
I like Thor Heyerdahl's Ra and Kontiki, and I buy what the Book of Mormon says.
The "L" and "U" are for Lena and Uley or now pronounced Oley. The stone is most obviously the codex for all Oley and Lena jokes in the world. Uff da!
Maybe I missed the size and weight of the stone? But, was a genuine stone brought over by an enterprising immigrant and planted?
There is a College Prof. at Moorhead State U. who thinks it's bogus, and the Star and Tribune has generally printed negative opinions. However, as the evidence has mounted, the tide has swung towards authenticity. I have come to be of that opinion.
Wolter started his investigations as a non-believing skeptic. He is a forensic geologist who tests concrete failure and the like. He concluded that the stone had been inscribed when it was dressed, and that it had been in the ground for greater than 200 years, which would predate Ohman, the farmer who found it.
This was done scientifically by measuring the oxidization of one of the several types of Mica that are found in Graywakke(sp?). If the Stone is bogus, then this fact must be explained, no?
There have been other skeptics who have pointed to Runic flaws. All now have been proven to have been in use in 1362. If it is a fake, then Ohman would have had to be an expert in medieval Runes. He had a 6th grade education. Was he just lucky?
If a theory is true, then all the little facts will affirm the theory. If one arises that cannot be explained by the theory, then the theory is wrong and needs to be reformulated. An example is, if OJ is guilty, then he must have owned size 12 Bruno Maglie shoes.
It looks like the ancillary facts are lining up in support of "genuineness."
If you wish to call it a fraud, then explain how the above facts work in your scenario, in an equally credible or more credible fashion.
If you can, I will gladly come over to your side.
***and I buy what the Book of Mormon says.***
Even though the Apostle Paul says...
Even though WE or an ANGEL from heaven preach any other dortrine unto you other than what we have preached, let him be accursed...Galatians chapter one.
Notice he warns them to beware if HE suddenly changed his doctrine.
But then lets not turn this into a religious thread so lets keep on the subject of VIKINGS in America.
I read a book back in the 1960's titled THEY ALL DISCOVERED AMERICA which gives claim to lots of pre colombian European discoverers, another book claims America was origionaly discovered by the LOST FLEET of Alerxander the Great, Still another claims the Chineese were here first.
So may claims to be researched, so little time.
Put me in the 'don't know' column.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest -- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
The Kensington Rune-Stone:
Authentic and Important:
A Critical Edition
Edward Sapir Monograph Series
in Language, Culture & Congnition, Vol 19
by Robert Anderson Hall, Jr.
Cornell University Professor Emeritus of Linquistics
Richard Nielsen, Rolf M. Nilsestuen
The Kensington rune-stone is genuine:
by Robert Anderson Hall, Jr.
Medieval Latin Abbreviation TechniquesIt should be pointed out now that not only would an amateur forger have failed to produce the form of AVM presented on the Stone, but an expert forger probably would have similarly failed. Erik Wahlgren is a leading expert on medieval Norse runic writing. Wahlgren must be expected to be acquainted as well with Medieval Latin. Yet Wahlgren, upon reviewing the superscript mark with the "V" failed to notice it as an example of medieval abbreviation convention. The reason for this failure is simple, Wahlgren is not acquainted with Latin paleography. Very few people anywhere are. Few professors of Latin at the University level will claim more than brief exposure to Latin manuscripts. It is an esoteric field that is not necessary to study to deeply study Latin, including Medieval Latin. Few scholars of Latin are given the opportunity to study from these manuscripts and become acquainted with the conventions of abbreviation... Beyond this, however, the tools necessary to become acquainted with Medieval Latin paleography were not readily available in 1898 when the Kensington Stone was found.
Mysteries of History Solved
I dunno .... with a present day family member named "Darwin" it seems possible that these are hoaxsters using a clever gimmick to make themselves more appealing to scientists who will now take their "discovery" seriously.
The Kensington Rune Stone:
Compelling New Evidence
and Scott F. Wolter
Do you think he makes runes out of his mashed potatoes?
Templars, eh? Hmm. Well, all I can say is, if they sailed into the sunset, heading thisaway, the literate rune writer would not have been invited along; except as protein. Unlikely he'd have survived as far as Minnesota.
But, one man's meat is another man's bosun. Yo ho ho.
Actually, the Templars in France were gone; surviving Templars hid out in other places, such as Scotland. According to the Keepers of Odd Knowledge (KoOK), they also rescued a substantial chunk of wealth. On of the theories about the money pit at Oak Island is that it is the treasure of the Templars.
Kensington runestoneIn 1354 King Magnus Erikson of Sweden issued a letter of protection (or passport) to Paul Knutson for a voyage to Greenland. The Western Settlement of Greenland had been found abandoned (but for some cattle) a few years earlier and it was believed the population had rejected the Church (and its ownership of the local farms, which had been gradually acquired in payment of various fees), reverted to paganism and gone to what is now known as North America. In 1887 the historian Gustav Storm mentioned the journey, suggesting it returned in 1363 or 1364. This appears to be the first published work that documents a voyage to North America matching the date on the stone. It has since been confirmed by a 1577 letter from Gerard Mercator to John Dee, which excerpts an earlier work by Jacobus Cnoyen (now lost) describing a voyage beyond Greenland that returned with 8 men in 1364. Cnoyen also mentions that a priest accompanied the voyage and wrote an account of it in a book called the Inventio Fortunate which is cited in a number of medieval and Renaissance documents, although no copy remains... Nielsen also noted that the dialect found on the Runestone was an a dialect unlike the far more common e dialect spoken by most Swedes including Ohman. This dialect was used primarily near the Bohuslan region of southeast Sweden, next to the border of Norway and near a Danish area. According to Nielsen the language on the stone appears to combine dialectic forms from intersecting languages.
That's an interesting way of putting Clement's relationship with Philip IV. This is the same Philip IV who essentially broke Pope Boniface VIII. It was "protection" only in the same sense that the mob provides "protection" for businesses that pay them off.
outside of my bailiwick.
It is clear that you have strong feelings about it but I have always found it interesting and I would like to know more.
and you base this statement on what exactly?
You don't see any evidence of Templar influence in the Peasant Rebellion?
Minnesota has the Mesabi Iron Range, one of the largest iron deposits in the world..
However, they were well south of the iron range, and west of what is presently Minneapolis / St. Paul..
In fact, they were close to entering the Dakotas.
Somewhere down in that area of MN is the source of "pipestone", which was/is considered sacred by the native cultures..
That is a possibility for their ventures, but for the life of me, I can't imagine what Vikings would find valuable or desirable in pipestone..
The notes concerning an expedition searching for lost colonists is about the most viable explanation I can think of..
I totally discount the idea of some sort of Templar expedition..
and you base this statement on what exactly?Barbara Tuchman's Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century has a pretty good account.
Southern Methodist University's Online Encyclopedia has a footnoted account here.
Columbia University has a brief account here.
There's quite a bit of information about the Templars in general and the fall of the Templars at TemplarHistory.com
And so on.
There is ample proof that Columbus had a map given to him...that placed another land or island out in the Atlantic (which he assumed was Asia). Wherever the map came from...is left to question. The same is true for the Vikings...there is no solid proof other than tales. And even the recent stories of Chinese ships in the 1300s making their to the west coast of America or Mexico...cannot yet be proven.
The impact though...when one finally does show that someone else arrived prior to Columbus...will force a major rewrite of every school book in America. Our whole perception of the "great journey" will go down the drain. And perhaps that is a major reason why no one is easily buying the viking story.
Walkingfeather, I've authored or coauthored three history books, with a fourth coming out. You ask for my credentials as an expert on Scandinavian history. Might I suggest you instead start wondering about the credentials in Scandinavian history, or any other kind of history, of "geologist" Scott Wolter and "engineer" Dick Nielson?
I am a student of all these claims, my favorite (being a Scots-American) that of "Prince Henry of Orkney" (Henry Sinclair, Earl of Caithness in Scotland), who was supposed to have voyaged to America circa 1400 (with an Italian-Polish crew!) and carved the Sinclair coat of arms on a rock in New England. The latest book I've seen was about an asserted Chinese voyage to America. These claims are all amusing. I suggest anyone interested read Naval historian and Columbus expert Samuel Eliot Morrison and his debunking of them.
It IS an intersting yarn. Just take it with a grain of salt.
Thanks I will check them out.
I've posted some comments elsewhere. I'll just say here that I'd WANT the stone to be real. Heck, I WANT that "Scottish discovery" of America in 1400 to be real. Or the claim that Coluumbus was Jewish (as one recent book "proved") or that Columbus was an illegitimate son of a Portuguese prince (as another recent book "proved"). Produce ONE reputable historian (NOT an "engineer" or a "geologist") to endorse the book's thesis, a person who doesn't stand to profit from the "authentication" of the stone via a book deal.
When I first saw the stone, about 15 yrs ago, I had no opinion until I carefully read the text and looked closely at the runes. When I saw the Latin script abbreviation "AVM", more precisely "AV:M", I was convinced. I realized the author had had some Roman Catholic Clerical exposure. Ohman, a devout, Swede Lutheran, would not likely have known of this.
My father was the product of a German Catholic and Swede Lutheran marital union. From my own experience, Swede Lutherans do not venerate Christ's Mother with nearly the fervor the Catholics do.
I reasoned that "Ave Virgo Maria" or "Ave Maria" coming from his chisel would be about as likely as Rap Artist composing 'Celeste Aida.' There is just too much social distance. It could happen, but naaah!
Templars or no, I am not surprised that the little Bruno Maglie-like details are adding to the weight of evidence.
I was wondering what they may have been doing that far west, ---
It's very easy to explain if you look at a globe and imagine Greenlanders trying to go south along the coast of America.
-- The most direct southerly route from Greenland is into Hudsons Bay and up the main north flowing river, -- the main branch of which ends up being the Red River of Minnesota, where the runestone was discovered.
What a hundred Historians say will not alter a concrete scientific fact. But a fact will alter what a hundred Historians say, honest ones anyway.
Facts aren't what we want them to be. They are what they are.
A lot of Anthropologists endorsed Piltdown Man. They did not stand to profit from their endorsement. That didn't make Piltdown Man authentic.
Wolter, in my firsthand opinion, is an honorable man. Please do not attack his findings in an ad-hominem fashion.
My opinion has been tipped in a direction of "genuine". I'm not yet betting the farm yet, though.
The Stone is 36"x18"x6", and of granite-like material. It could have come by train, wagon, travois or boat. It's not native to the Kensington area and came from a considerable distance. It would have been a lot of trouble to to transport by wagon or travois. Train would have been expensive for a joke. In 1898, there was no navigable lake.
Thus the enterprising immigrant would have needed time, 14th century runic knowledge, money, strength, a chisel, stone carving skill, patience and a warped sense of humor. Sound like any body you know?
So, they came into Hudson Bay, to the SW shore, up the rivers to Lake Winnipeg, then South, against the current all the way UP the Red River, all the way to the SD / ND border and were moving EAST or South or SE..
Actually, if they made it all the way to the headwaters, they actually came almost straight East from there, to where they buried the Kensington stone..
Which on foot, would probably be about 10 days journey..
If the travel was done during the spring, they may have been able to take some advantage of the massive flood plain to travel..
Spring flooding would also explain their description of burying their marker on an island
That part of Minnesota is fairly flat, and dotted with many lakes.. not quite as much as farther north and east, but still well covered..
Sunken Civ's post in #31 notes that 8 returned, in 1364, to Sweden..
Considering those 8 survived and returned, one would expect that colonization of some sort would have occurred...
Reports of a land that vast and rich would have driven people crazy with desire..
There should have been veritable flotillas of Swedish and Norwegian ships headed to America (Vinland)..
Yet, this didn't happen...
Just more conjecture, more questions..
You have me interested. Is there a specific title by Samuel Eliot Morrison you recommend?