This past Columbus Day came and went without much fanfare. In previous times, especially in the Italian-American community throughout the nation there would be celebrations of Columbus Day in full regatta. But times have changed and a new world-view has emerged. Among those who are pointing to this new ‘Weltanschauung’ or worldview (a little nod to Oktoberfest, another festivity at this time of year), is forensic geologist and author, Scott Wolter.
His new book “Cryptic Code of The Templars in America” which was released this year, describes a different narrative than the familiar one of Christopher Columbus “discovering the Americas in 1492.”
Wolter’s new book points to evidence of a landing by Europeans at least 130 years prior to Columbus’ claim to fame.
In addition to his work as a geological forensic expert, Wolter is a TV host of his own series on the Travel Channel, called “America Unearthed.” In that series he explores histories little known or flat out ignored by historians over the decades.
At first glance, this reporter thought Wolter’s book and point of view was to bolster the presence of Europeans in the New World before Columbus. But what I discovered was that Wolter is actually showing us how so much of what we have been influenced to believe for so many years is inaccurate.
I had the opportunity to speak to Wolter. And he said almost immediately that this new book, “is my best work, I have ever done. It contains some big revelations that will amaze as well as piss some people off.”
Part of those revelations according to Wolter is that the Kensington Rune Stone found on a farmer’s land in Minnesota in the 1890’s is authentic. Despite what others have disputed, According to Wolter, it’s Rune-carved inscription notes that an exploring party landed there in the Minnesota area in 1362.
As someone who has been involved with forensic sciences for his entire career, Wolter said. “I trust rocks not the human elements.” And, Wolter pointed out that he was asked to examine the Kensington Rune Stone, it was not something he initiated on his own.
It is the human elements involved around this issue of the authenticity of the Rune Stone that caused some “screwed up conversations as Wolter referred to it, for more than 120 years” concerning this significant find.
Much of the ‘screw up’ was due to faulty and negligent scholarship. Right from the beginning as news of the finding of the Rune Stone spread out from the rural community, scholars were sought out.
Initially, there was apparent apathy towards serious study of the Kensington Rune Stone. Two scholars that were officially consulted felt unworthy or not up to the task of doing extensive research. And, while some did consider the stone ancient, others made erroneous conclusions. This eventually brought heartache and tragedy to the farmer and his family.
With the lack of definitive scholarly research, farmer Olof Ohman was accused of forgery and hoaxing.
Yet as Wolter explained, that was not so. The Rune Stone clearly shows by means of the latest forensic examinations, that Ohman was telling the truth. He couldn’t have produced such a hoax.
The intrinsic aspects to the stone itself reveal that it is clearly something from 1362. And, that the stone is native to Minnesota and not something imported from Europe as other opinions surmised. Ohman and his sons stumbled upon the stone while clearing poplar trees for farming. Their testimony stated that the stone was contained within the roots of one of the poplar trees they cut.
Wolter’s forensics confirms the Rune stone had been within the roots of that tree for some time, before Ohman and his sons dislodged it. The indentations from the tree root are visible in Wolter’s tests upon the stone itself. Hence Wolter’s comment “I trust rocks…”
The roots caused not so much an indentation, but more exactly as Wolter explained. “The roots leached out iron and magnesium elements from the rocks turning those areas where the roots were in contact with the stone, white. I would describe it more as root-leaching marks.”
University of Minnesota at Deluth, professor of cultural anthropology, Tim Roufs who knows Wolter’s work noted. “Scott is a stellar geologist… My personal opinion is that (the Kensington Rune Stone) is more likely genuine…than a fake.”
Roufs considers the Stone another piece of solid evidence, like the L’Anse aux Meadows of Newfoundland that were unearthed in the 1960s revealing as he said. “Vikings were certainly in the New World before Columbus.”
This understanding that people other than Columbus had been to the Americas much earlier, is now accepted. Still, as Wolter’s book “Cryptic Code…” points out, there was much more going on in Europe than some itchy feet of gold-hungry, glory-seeking adventurers, pushed on their journey by egotistical monarchs.
The power structures and political intrigues were more complicated than what the general public has been lead to believe, as Wolter illustrates in his 300-plus page book. While the warrior Vikings could be disrespectful of other cultures they encountered, (over time) they also had been Christianized.
Like many peoples-tribes of ancient Europe, Nordics had their own expression of the Christian faith. To say they were neither Catholic nor Protestant before the Reformation is not exactly clear. Yet, because of Scandinavia’s close proximity to Russia by way of Sweden, Nordic Churches were influenced by Orthodoxy from the Byzantine Church in the East and by Roman Catholicism in the West. This is why the reference to “Ave Maria” on the Kensington Rune Stone was suppressed by 19th Century skeptics. Skeptical scholars where ones who wanted to ensure that a Protestant presence was first and foremost in accounts of the earliest arrivals of Europeans on the North American continent.
This also served another purpose as more Scandinavians were immigrating to the United States during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
Wolter briefly mentioned the religious-political conflict of history in our chat. And that others from the 19th Century like Church of Latter-Day Saints founder Joseph Smith claimed a lost tribe of Israel made their way to North America. He too claimed to have discovered some ancient writings; etched not in stone but in gold plates, buried in America, conveniently located not far from where he lived. These plates according to Smith were the sources for The Book of Mormon.
But as Wolter noted, that claim by Smith (and others of the time) was to foster an attitude of “manifest destiny.” This type of attitude of a European superiority is what has prevailed in various forms into the 20th Century. Which then, over time promoted the sweeping accounts of Columbus and the Europeans in the New World for our history books.
Roufs agreed when I reached out to him for comment. Based upon recent excavations of ancient burial mounds in the United States and elsewhere…”What I have been taught about Columbus and the European conquest/arrival is clearly wrong. There is no doubt in my mind about that.”
The landing party of the Kensington Rune Stone, as Roufs explained…“they more likely than not met with folks around the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and Lake Winnipeg and (perhaps) along the Red River of the North.”
But also, Roufs said, “keep in mind that it is not all that far from Chicago to Cajokia. And of course once you get to Cajokia, coming from the north, it’s smooth sailing down the Mississippi to folks interacting with Mesoamerican cultures (including trading). But that’s only speculation,” Roufs said.
In Wolter’s investigating, he sees the connection of these Viking-Nordic men to an aspect of the legendary Templars. This in some ways would explain the presence of Templar customs in early Masonic organizations in the Colonies that founders like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and others were members of.
The Knights Templar, a powerful warrior-religious order was founded to defend the Christian Faith in the Holy Land. As they grew in power and influence, they came into conflict with the Church in Rome.
While the powers in Rome sought to exterminate them, according to Wolter’s study, a portion of them survived via Scandinavia. It is these Nordic Templar explorers of the Kensington Rune Stone who escaped from the persecution of Rome to the Americas.
Of course, like so much of history The Templars were not the only group persecuted to extinction. The Cathars, for example were another form of Christianity that the Church of Rome condemned as heresy.
The links to an ancient form of what Wolter mentioned as a “dualistic monotheism” was common, even in some of the earliest forms of Christian beliefs. And, that in many ancient cultures throughout the world this subtle form of monotheism of a sort was in various threads of thought as an idea in one form or another.
This is yet another reason why the study of the Kensington Rune Stone was dismissed if not suppressed for most of the 20th Century.
With Wolter’s book, much of the complexity can be examined more thoroughly. For those who enjoy history and intrigue “Cryptic Code of The Templars in America,” will provide a very thought-provoking and riveting view of Europe and its relationship to the Americas.
To learn more about forensic geologist author and TV host Scott Wolter and his new book, visit his web site.