Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dedication of the Westford Knight Shelter

Yesterday my wife, Janet, and I attended the ceremony for the dedication of the shelter for the Westford Knight carving in the bedrock in Westford, Massachusetts.  The ceremony was attended by well over 100 people that included a 6-man Westford Firefighters pipes and drums contingent fully dressed in Sinclair Clan colored kilts who marched in precession up the blocked off main street to the delight of the attendees.  Several people gave speeches including Steve St. Clair, representing the Sinclair Clan, and Richard Gunn representing the Gunn Clan.  Many believe the pecked-style carving of a medieval sword was made by a member of Prince Henry Sinclair’s party who was reportedly in what is now northeastern Massachusetts in 1398.  The theory goes the sword with peck marks across the blade on the glacially scratched slate bedrock represent a fallen Templar knight who was a member of the Gunn Clan who traveled with Prince Henry on the legendary voyage. 

The ceremony also included the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue of a Templar Knight created by local fire fighter David Christiana.  His beautiful casting is depicted laying prone with his sword in front of his body as often seen on medieval grave slabs of Templar Knights I’ve seen in Europe.   Partially hidden beneath the blade of the sword in the fabric of the knight’s garment is roughly six-inch tall Hooked X™ symbol.  Christiana’s subtle Hooked X™ on the bronze statue is a clever analog to the actual, heavily weathered Hooked X™ symbol found in the summer of 2014 when the outcrop was being washed off.  The symbol includes two dots punched in the east and west sides of the symbol which is perfectly oriented to the upright sword as if the carver were signing his handiwork.  After examining the newly discovered carved symbol shortly after it was found last year I concluded the weathering was the same as the weathering of the sword carving and both carvings almost certainly were made at the same time.  Whether they were made six-hundred years ago and are related to Prince Henry is unknown, but until science can shed more light on the age of the carvings the current pre-Columbian theory is Templar’s in North America is as good as anything.

When it was my turn to speak I wanted to emphasize how important it was to preserve these carvings for the future when new scientific technology may be able to definitively answer the question of their age.  I commended the community of Westford for putting their time, effort and money to build the steel and plastic shelter to preserve and protect the carvings for future generations.  It serves as a shining example of what should be done to all sites across this continent that have mysterious sites, structures and carvings that could be tangible evidence of an unknown pre-contact history of cultures from across the oceans.  I told the audience that I will talk glowingly about the example set in Westford of a community that understands the importance of being committed to preserving vulnerable artifacts and sites and implore others to do the same.

North Kingstown in Rhode Island might be announcing their own ceremony about their plans to build a public shelter for the Narragansett Rune Stone.  It is hoped that other communities will support efforts to rescue the Noman’s Land Island Rune Stone from further sinking into the sea and create a permanent home where it can be protected and preserved for future study.  Other important sites like the Heavener Rune Stone in Oklahoma, need funding to redesign and build the current shelter built to allow proper air flow to mitigate the growth of mold on that has developed on those amazing carvings.   The Newport Tower is another site that has been taken care reasonably well over the years, but more archaeological work can be done there to gather additional evidence to better understand its origins.

In my opinion, yesterday’s ceremony in Westford was an historic day when like-minded people came together to honor and protect what is likely an important piece of the pre-Columbian history of this continent.    

The steel and plastic shelter designed to protect and preserve the Westford Knight and Hooked X carvings was dedicated on June 13, 2015.  A life-sized bronze statue of Templar Knight lays waiting to be unveiled to the right of the shelter.

Richard Gunn and Steve St. Clair dressed in kilts in the colors of their Scottish Clans stand next to the bronze casting of a Templar Knight created by David Christiana at right.

This life-sized bronze casting of a Templar Knight lying on a granite slab was made by David Christiana of Westford, Massachusetts.   David included a Hooked X symbol partially hidden beneath the blade of the sword (Inset).

Admittedly hard to see, the heavily weathered Hooked X™ symbol with two dots on the right and left sides went understandably unnoticed until June of 2014 when it was carefully cleaned.  This image on the left was highlighted with a cell phone flashlight from the right side.  The highlighted (in yellow) image on the right was taken of the plaster cast of the Westford Knight that was made in 1990’s and is on display in the Westford Museum only a few blocks from site.


Monday, February 16, 2015

The Templar Families and Sheep

My next guest blogger is a name familiar to anyone who studies the Templars. If you don’t already own it, get Alan’s book, Sheep: The Remarkable Story of the Humble Animal that Built the Modern World. It is a fascinating read.

While traveling through France with us on the season finale, we stopped at the Commanderie d’Arville. There we discussed how important these humble animals were to the Templars and the entire history of Europe.

I'm delighted that Alan agreed to author this blog post.

- Blog post by Alan Butler February 16th 2015 

The names mentioned by Steve in his fascinating blog are ones I have seen so often as I have travelled up and down Britain on my own research. Knowledge of the interconnectedness of the bloodlines that funded the rise and success of the Templars has always been lacking, which is why it is so important the researchers such as Steve are spending so much time and effort filling in the gaps.

As Steve said in his blog it was almost a revelation to me on the America Unearthed shoot in France to hear him mention the Counts of Champagne. So often we researchers feel ourselves to be in a minority of one and it is the true importance of this little band of historians Scott has brought together that we can shine the light of our own respective findings on the same subjects. Following Steve’s blog it was an email comment from another of our band, Bill Mann in Canada that put me in mind of a Templar symbol we saw often on the shoot in France and of something that drew these great families together.

I remember years ago, when my attention first turned towards the Counts of Champagne and I began to understand what an amazing part they and the nobles to whom they were related had played, not only in Templarism but also in terms of the gradual growth of the modern world. Something all these families had in common, once William of Normandy had settled land upon them after he became King of England in 1066 was the importance they placed upon sheep and the wool they produced.

Indeed, part of William of Normandy’s desire to ‘be’ King of England was because of its wealth, much of which had come, right back to Roman times from the raising of sheep. Britain generally is very suited to this animal and they still thrive on our moors and uplands. Those nobles who fought with William at Hastings were given vast land holdings and a large part of the wealth they drew from their English and eventually Scottish lands stemmed from large flocks of sheep.

The Counts of Champagne, through their association with the Cistercians and then also the Templars certainly did not invent sheep husbandry but they turned it into an art form. It is no coincidence that one of the main emblems of the Knights Templar was the device known as the Agnus Dei. From a Christian perspective Agnus Dei means the Lamb of God and of course in this context it referred to Jesus but I have always been sure that this picture of a lamb carrying a cross was much more than a religious symbol to the Knights Templar. It demonstrated in no uncertain terms where a great deal of Templar money came from.

At Cistercian Abbeys all over Europe, but especially in Britain and also on Templar farms, of which there were once many hundreds, countless thousands of sheep were bred on marginal land that was fitted for little else. Their wool was a yearly cash crop and after having been cleaned, spun and woven, often in Flanders, most of it found its way to a series of great markets that were deliberately set up by the Counts of Champagne. These were known as the Champagne Fairs. It was a win – win situation for everyone concerned. The Cistercian order of monks spread across Europe in record time, whilst the Templars eventually became a vast network, with fighting being only one strand of their raison d’etre.

All of this came as a gradual revelation to me in my first years of research but I eventually began to realise that what had happened represented something far more significant than a new departure in animal rearing. The very existence of wool, its importance and the high prices people were willing to pay for the best wool began to undermine the very foundations of feudal government in Europe. The wool trade was international. For example raw wool from Britain was worked into cloth in Flanders, after which some of it was sold via the Champagne Fairs to merchants in Italy. There the woollen cloth was improved, ornamented and made into rich garments, some of which found their way back, via the Champagne Fairs to Britain.

Quite quickly it became almost impossible for Kings to control events in the way they had once done. Economic power passed down from the monarchs and the great Lords to merchants and even those who were breeding the sheep. New wealth from wool bought luxury goods, books and education. A new internationalism developed to such an extent that the feudal genii could never be put back into its bottle. It is my absolute contention that this was no chance consequence and I firmly believe that the changes that began to take place in Europe and which eventually led to the Renaissance were deliberately engineered in the palaces of Champagne and other French regions as early as the middle of the 11th century.

Back in the days when I was co-operating with Canadian writer Stephen Dafoe we coined the term ‘Templar Inc’ because we began to see a vast international company, the huge assets of which were constantly being used to foster more trade and to create new opportunities. Medieval kings did not understand how such a system worked, which made it all the more annoying for the French King Phillip IV when after 1307 he never found the vast chests of Templar gold he had expected.

In their day the Templars were responsible to no authority other than that of the Pope, and since even the Pope was invariably in their debt, they had every opportunity to change the world in which they lived and operated. But none of this would have been remotely possible were it not for the sheep that in the form of the Agnus Dei they kept as their major symbol throughout their existence.

This is of course a very short version of a long and fascinating story, because it was the sheep that as good as built the modern world, long after the days of those Medieval Lords. It might come as a surprise to some readers of this blog to learn that the sheep also had a very significant part to play in the founding of a free United States. Much is made of tea taxes as a spur to revolution but far more important was the fact that farmers in the American colonies were prohibiting from breeding better sheep and were prevented from importing new bloodstock from Europe on pain of lengthy imprisonment. To men such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who were farmers themselves, this was an intolerable situation and a major stepping stone on the path to the Declaration of Independence.

If any of the readers of this blog happen to be in London any time soon, they might want to take themselves to the Temple district. This is now a great centre for legal training, though of course the original Templar Church can still be seen there. Even today, over seven hundred years after the Knights Templer were ‘supposed’ to have been destroyed, the sheep of the Agnus Dei can still be seen looking down from practically every building – as if those white-mantled knights with their illustrious family names never went away at all.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

St. Clair Sinclair DNA and the Templars

My friend, Steve St. Clair, was very excited about showing me Saint Martin des Champs in Paris. He, Alan Butler, Janet and I had many talks about why this was so important to him. In fact, he had a Power Point show with him when we met up at Troyes to educate us about why we had to include St Martin des Champs in the episode. So we did.

The connections Steve found at Saint Martin des Champs prove without any doubt that the Sinclair / St. Clair family of Herdmanston were closely connected to, and in several cases, directly descended from important Templar families.

Today, I’d like turn this space over to guest blogger Steve to explain his research. _________________________________________________

Saint Martin des Champs, Paris

Merovingian burial, Saint Martin des Chanps

The chequy armorial at Tomar Portugal, 
reminiscent of Warenne or Vaux of county Norfolk, England.

We saw several other sites besides the ones you saw on the season finale.
This is a painting at Saint-Sulpice, Paris.

First, thanks Scott for the opportunity to be a guest blogger here. Looking at the pics you’ve put up of our trip to France, I have to wonder why we didn’t include our wives in the season finale. The episodes would have been much better looking! Anita and I had great trip and a lot of fun hanging out with you, Janet, Alan Butler, and of course Maria & Andy and the wonderful crew from Committee Films.

I remember the night in the hotel’s small bar when we were all quite tired - none more than Alan who had flown over that day and had quite a drive to meet us. I pulled out my computer to show you guys a presentation about what I was finding regarding the priory of Saint Martin des Champs. Near the end, I mentioned that my greatest interest was the Counts of Champagne because it was becoming clear to me that they were connected to the Saint-Clair family. Alan, tired as he was, lit up, “The Counts of Champagne were the money behind the Templars!”

Over the course of the next couple days, Alan wasn’t feeling very well (the weather was pretty miserable), so I drove his rental car with him in the passenger seat. We had a lot of time to chat in-depth about the importance of the Counts of Champagne, the Champagne Fairs, and much more. It has been collaborations like these over the past many years that has made my own research into the DNA and history of the Saint-Clair family much more accurate, interesting, and engaging.

Many of the angry skeptics, who take pot shots at the show from the peanut gallery, don’t seem to realize how such shows are made. After commercials, each episode of America Unearthed is 44 minutes. That doesn’t leave a ton of time to go into extreme detail about the research being shown. An example is my work on Saint Martin des Champs. It took me 16 months to research and write the 6,000 word paper now on my Sinclair DNA website at this link –

That recent website post at St Clair Sinclair DNA Research is generating quite a bit of interest, both from those who welcome it, and those who are upset by my claims.

The facts are the facts. At some point, the pundits must come out with legitimate evidence to dispute my claims, or slink away with their tails between their legs. The beauty of DNA is that it doesn’t lie. People who have something to gain can attempt to bend the truth, but the data itself is brutally visible.

I’ve seen several people in our own DNA study attempt to use their results to make terribly weak claims. Yet the science of DNA always wins out, much like Scott’s research into artifacts like the Kensington Runestone and the Tucson Lead Artifacts.

Stones and DNA are both factual, scientific evidence. As Scott said in part 1 of the season finale, the fakes reveal themselves quickly, but the legitimate ones just won’t go away.

In this blog post, I want to talk about the evidence that just won’t go away in the St Clair Sinclair DNA study

Several years ago after extensive reading of medieval benefaction records to priories and abbeys, I realized that the medievalists I most admired were skirting around something. They seemed to be heavily focused on medieval people with different surnames who were donating land and money to the same abbeys. But they seemed reluctant to make too many definitive claims.

For instance, a particular abbey called Savigny in France. It was one of only a couple abbeys I have found to which the St. Clairs directly donated lands. Yet, notice the other families also donating land there:
  • Vilers (a brother of Norman St. Clairs.) 
  • Montfort (tenant and likely related to St. Clairs.) 
  • Creon (Templar family.)
  • Meulan (major land holder and likely related to St. Clair.) 
  • D’Albini (descendants of the Honour of Belvoir and to which the St. Clairs married into. Directly related to the Counts of Champagne.) 
  • Mandeville (Geoffrey de Mandeville, made a Knight Templar on his deathbed and founder of the Temple Church in London, the single most important Templar building in England.) 
  • Vaux (married into the d’Albini family. I’m directly related to the de Vaux) 
  • Bisset (witnessed the grant of land to the Sinclairs of Rosslyn and showing up in the DNA SNP matches of our Exeter Lineage.)

The clues above are why I’m so obsessed by these names. But not just because of their benefaction to abbeys and priories.

People changed their names at the drop of a hat in medieval times – move to new land, take your second name from that new land. Eventually these names stuck.

The names changed, but the DNA did not

Richard de Vilers was a brother of Haimo and William de St. Clair in about the year 1120. Those brothers gave the land of Richard de Vilers to Savigny, with the permission of Stephen count of Mortain. (Savigny was an unusually important Cistercian Abbey in the diocese of Avranches, France.) Hubert of Saint-Clair was a tenant of the count of Mortain in Somerset.
They were all related. Their surnames were not yet fixed.
So now, if you were to find two people alive today with the same DNA, yet one’s name is Vilers, and the other is St. Clair…guess what…they both descend from the same medieval family.

Finding people closely allied in medieval records
Finding two people alive today with those same two surnames
who match closely in DNA SNPs
Both are descendants of the medieval people.

This is precisely what I’ve found

But these weren’t just any connections. The Saint-Clairs of Herdmanston have connections to those at the very top of the founding of the Order of the Temple.

And it became very clear by doing detailed research into which families were giving gifts to the priory of Saint Martin des Champs in Paris. But that’s only one religious house. There are many others that I’m digging into.

We’re not just talking about DNA SNP matches:
  1. Particular families alive today are in the DNA SNP matches of the Herdmanston family. That’s SNP matches. They share paternal blood with particular families. It is irrefutable. 
  2. Those particular families fit the narrative of the Saint-Clair family. What do I mean by that? I mean if you go back and study the actual records of the Saint-Clair family, then you will understand that you must show some of these same particular families in your DNA SNP matches to make any claim of connecting to the narrative of that particular Saint-Clair family story. 
  3. The particular families who fit into the narrative of our Saint-Clair family story in medieval records of land, benefaction, and/or marriage? 
  • Mandeville
  • Wishart
  • Strathern
  • Bisset
  • Moreville
  • Redver
  • Viller
  • Warenne 
  • Vaux
  • Ashley
  • Urtaico
  • Mortimer 
  • Etc.
As Scott said about particular ancient carvings, they keep hanging around impossible to disprove. DNA SNPs combined with medieval document connections are very much like that.

Scott, Janet, and Alan, I’m delighted we got to chase the Templars through France. And I think we’re just getting started.

Steve St. Clair

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Two Brand New Medieval Hooked X's

Janet and Anita St. Clair flash the "M" sign along with a model of lady Liberty at St. Martin's des Champ, in Paris, France.

Have you ever looked closely at the tablet Lady Liberty holds in her left hand?

Inside the Knights Templar castle overlooking the city of Tomar, Portugal, is a church with an ornately decorated altar that is a near exact architectural replica of the Newport Tower.  The eight-columned, two story octagonal tower with rounded arches is the most sacred part of the church and is consistent with the claims of many researchers the Newport Tower was built by circa 1400 era Knights Templar as an observatory and a church.  

Scott poses with the Hooked X Janet found while we were shooting a scene outside the Templar Church of Santa Maria de Olival in Tomar, Portugal.  The Roman number Hooked X, was carved into the lower left corner of an inscription on a column near the entrance of the church next to the tomb of the First Grand Master of the Portuguese Templars who founded Tomar, Gualdim Pais.  

After all the microscopic analysis and high resolution imaging at the Westford Knight/Sword Hooked X, sometimes the best way to see something is with an IPhone flashlight.

Standing atop the 8 steps leading into Santa Maria de Olival in Tomar, Portugal, one is struck by the powerful symbolism in this Templar Church where 22 Grand Masters are interred.  The sacred number 8 appears multiple times (columns, windows, steps, etc.) along with the five-pointed star created during the 8-year cycle of Venus, which an important symbol consistent with their goddess veneration (Hooked X) ideology.    

At the Templar Church of Santa Maria de Olival in Tomar, Portugal, the statue in the altar is of Mary Magdalene holding a child.  Her hair is golden auburn and she wears her symbolic colors of green and red/orange.



Well, season 3 is now over and I want to personally thank everyone who supported u watching our show.  I hope you've learned some new things and were entertained in the process.  We're hoping for another season as there is so much more to explore and share with all of you; we'll see what happens!

Before I launch into comments about the part 2 of Tracking the Templars, I'd like to share comments posted on Facebook last week that were forwarded to me by a relative of the person who carved the fake rune stone seen in part 1.  It was the guy on the right without the hat who actually thought I was the one who looked like the fool in the episode.  Obviously, I would disagree and will let you decide for yourself what this correspondence means:

Billy Carney did you see me on the History channel Saturday (Name Removed)
(Name Removed)No Billy. What was the show , cause I have unlimited history channel in the web.
Billy Carney it's on the History2's website, follow the link for "America Unearthed" I'm in the green shirt. I'm in the first 20 minutes after that they move onto another subject...
Jean Carney Blakesley I just watched it.   It is nice to see that he gave you credit for finding it.  He sure changed his tune from the time that I e-mailed him before.
Billy Carney yes, he had enough on me to feed me to the lions, the History channel people probably stepped in and told him he can't do what he wants to do
Billy Carney I did carve that inscription
Billy Carney I didn't find it, I made it...
Jean Carney Blakesley No you didn't.  Not that one.
Billy Carney yeah, it was a hoax from the beginning
Jean Carney Blakesley Really.  You sure had me fooled.
Billy Carney Scott offered counsin Joe $1000 to appear on camera and talk about my carvings
Jean Carney Blakesley Did they ever pay you anything for appearing on TV?
Billy Carney not a thing, I went in the hole about a couple hundred $'s running around getting things ready for them to come here
Jean Carney Blakesley I just sent the link to my brother Jim.
Billy Carney cousin joe milked $300 out of them, that's his yellow atv in the beginning
Billy Carney coool
Billy Carney you guys were so easy to fool
Jean Carney Blakesley The above picture doesn't look like the other one.   spacing is different
Billy Carney no, same one, look closer....
Billy Carney i'll try and find a later one
Jean Carney Blakesley I hadn't watched the whole show before I made my comments.  I have to say, you are one warped individual.
Billy Carney high strung people don't like it I know.....
Jean Carney Blakesley It was one thing to try to make a fool of Scott, but to make a fool of your friends.  Not good.

Billy Carney yeah,ok
Billy Carney that's why I don't let you see my posts anymore, we're two different kinfs of people. Have fun being uptight

Billy Carney right up there with the Charles Manson murders huh ?
Billy Carney when Joe and Josh found out last week the truth we all had a good,joannie, John, well a diffeent story.....
Jean Carney Blakesley I am not an uptight person, I am a very loving, caring person who stood up for you.  I didn't block you or unfriend you even when you would go too far with some of you ribbing.  You have no boundaries.  I feel that it is a sin to waste valuable time on resources on childish behavior.
Billy Carney I begged you not to say anything to Scott and stand up for me but you couldn't be stopped....
Jean Carney Blakesley It was because I cared about you and thought that he was making a fool of you.  I guess you don't know what it is like to care for someone or someones feelings.
Billy Carney no boundaries, yeah right
Billy Carney to you it's like the OJ Simpson murders etc
Billy Carney it's a stone carving !
Billy Carney just enjoy your up tightness
Billy Carney form a support group
Billy Carney it's a stone carving !
Billy Carney one day stone carving, tomorrow murder....
Billy Carney lol
Billy Carney why have I only had these kinds of disscussions in the past year with you,Joannie and John......
Billy Carney there's your nucleus of a support group...
Billy Carney it's a stone carving......
Billy Carney sorry I brought this up Stacy, left my guard down, didn't realize Miss Uptight would see it...
What strikes me is how Billy is totally oblivious to the seriousness of his actions.  Pathetic really; but at least know the answer definitively even though I suspected him all along.
Moving on now; what is truly amazing is finding not one, but two Hooked X symbols connected with the Knights Templar.  The stand alone Roman number 10 Hooked X in Santa Maria de Olival is unquestionably Templar and the extensively weathered Hooked X proves the Westford Knight/Sword is indeed Templar (likely carved for a fallen knight)  in origin as most have always suspected.  What this new evidence does is reinforce our conclusions about the rune stones with the Hooked X found in North America.  These are important finds that need to be taken seriously by scholars.  I hold out no hope they will as to touch this research completely changes to the paradigm of known world history profoundly.  The real question is: does anyone have the courage to tip their toes into these amazing waters?  Time will tell...   

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Venus Families" founded the Cistercians and Knights Templar.

Steve and Anita St. Clair, Alan Bulter, and Janet and Scott Wolter pose along the swollen Seine River in Paris, France.

The five-pointed star of Venus in the Rose Window at Eglise Saint Remi  Chapel in Troyes, France.  It was the Monotheistic Dualism ideology of the "Venus Families" of France that prompted them to found the Cistercian and Knights Templar orders. 

This life-size sculpture of the "Entombment of Christ" was ordered by Francois Jarradin, Commander of the Hospitallers, in 1531. After residing in the Knights Templar commandery at Reims until it was destroyed during the French Revolution in 1792, it was moved to St. Remi Cathedral in 1803.  The close-up shows the still bleeding wound of Jesus after the crucifixion. 

One of several AVM's in stained glass in the Church at the Templar Commandery at Arville, France.

Scott, Steve St. Clair and Alan Butler, pose for a photo inside the Church at the Templar Commandery at Arville, France.  Is it a coincidence that a statue of Jesus is directly behind Steve?

A kaleidoscope of "M" signs adorn Mary encircled with twelve angels in this painting hanging inside the Church at the Templar Commandery at Arville, France. 

The top line of the chevron, carved next to the hoax runic inscription with the Hooked X, after I cleaned the mud out that had been rubbed into the groove to cover up it's freshly made appearance.  The mud covering up the hoaxer's handiwork can be clearly seen  in lower angled line of the chevron.    

I nearly jumped out of my chair when I first saw the photos of the serpent-style runic inscription with the Hooked X at the top.  My eyes could hardly believe what I was seeing.  I thought then this is 'too good to be true' and as it turned out, it was.  At the time, the inscription with the date of 1206 in Roman numbers, seemed to make a lot of sense.  Regardless, despite the skepticism I had at the time, I knew I had to get out there as quickly as possible to examine it. I called Andy and Maria Awes at Committee Films and said, "I'm going out there ASAP.  If you want to go with me, you better get things together quickly because I'm not waiting."  To their credit, they juggled their busy shooting schedule and off we went.  When we arrived at the site, because of how tight the shooting schedule was, I had to wait until lunch break to sneak off so I could examine the inscription carefully and uninterrupted off-camera.  I had already noticed what looked like mud in the grooves, but it wasn't until I used my toothbrush and bottled water to clean the mud out, that the cold, dark cloud of reality hit me this carving was a deliberate hoax designed to try and trick me.  Thinking about it a year and half later, I still get pissed off about it.

The trip to France with Janet, Steve St. Clair and his wife Anita, and Alan Butler, was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that turned out to be better than any of us could have imagined.  We arrived early to visit locations we knew we wouldn't have time for with the crew while shooting, and discovered a number of things that furthered our Cistercian/Templar research immensely.  We found so many new and interesting things that this planned single episode turned into the two-part adventure you just saw the beginning of.  I hope the larger than normal number of photos I posted this week will spark questions from those who read this blog as I could have written several paragraphs about each one.  I also hope this episode has opened the eyes of our viewers to some of the signs, symbols and tokens used by the Venus Families and their supporters, such as the five-pointed star, the "M" sign, AVM, the Fleur des les, the Cross of Lorraine, and the Hooked X, that are hidden in plain sight both in Europe and North America!    

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Does Bigfoot really exist?

The Committee Films crew prepares to shoot the scene where I bought my Nepal hat.

Namche Bazaar is dwarfed by the towering Himalayan Mountains that surround this tiny village.

 The wind blew snow off the summit of Mount Everest that we could see in the distance during our two day hike from Namche Bazaar.  The day after I took this picture was when the avalanche killed 17 Sherpa's on Everest.

Field producer and writer, Michelle Lappin-Day and videographer, Colin Threinen, enjoy the helicopter ride up to Namche Bazaar. 

Scott marvels at a rock outcropping completely covered with prayer inscriptions at Namche Bazaar.

I'd like to start off by saying that I never wanted to do an episode on Bigfoot.  For one thing, I didn't have much interest in the topic even as a kid.  Most of my friends would roll their eyes whenever big, harry monsters living in the woods came up.  It was never anything I had taken very seriously.  When the production company brought up the idea of doing an episode about Bigfoot I immediately said, "No way."  However, my wife, Janet, reminded me of how many times I insist on certain academics and skeptics to remain open-minded about things I think are important such as the Tucson Lead Artifacts, Bat Creek Stone, and the Kensington Rune Stone.  It didn't take long for me to soften up to the idea, but the final straw that convinced me was when Maria Awes called me and said we would be going to Nepal and the Himalayan Mountains if we did the episode.  That was it, I was in!

After watching the episode last night I was very pleased about the other concern I had doing Bigfoot was it could be credibility killer if not handled properly.  That is where the work of the production company comes and I was very pleased with the job they did.  I went in as a skeptic and I came out a skeptic.  That's not the same as saying I don't believe in Bigfoot or Yeti, it means I still haven't seen any evidence to convince me that they are real.  I am certainly not convinced, but my mind will always be open to any potential new evidence.

Without a doubt, traveling to Nepal was one of the most eye-opening and incredible experiences I will ever have.  It's hard to describe the feelings I had after leaving Katmandu in the helicopter as we flew ever higher in the Himalayas.  As the highest peaks began to appear through the haze it was staggering to realize how massive and high they were.  It was truly humbling to realize how small and insignificant we are compared to these massive mountains.  Of course, the magic moment came when I saw Mount Everest for the first time.  We were already almost at 14,000 feet during our climb to see the Yeti(Yak) scalp when I caught my first glimpse.  It was towering in the distance over twice as high as were.  Truly incredible and awe-inspiring.  Perhaps the hardest thing I've ever done was the two-day hike down (and up, and down, and up...) from Namche Bazaar, eleven miles to Lukla where the most dangerous airport in the world is.  The reason the hike was so hard was I caught the flu the day before we left and was miserable the entire hike.  Even though my head and body ached, I still took in all the grandeur and incredible geology during the hike.  It was a metamorphic geology fantasy seeing the gneisses smashed around through the tectonic forces of the rapidly rising Himalayas.  It was without a doubt the most amazing trip we've taken on America Unearthed.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that on the morning we flew out of Lukla to Katmandu, was the day the avalanche killed 17 Sherpa's guides on Everest.  A few days earlier on a hike, we'd met up with the Discovery Channel crew that was on Everest working with the Sherpa's who were killed.  We had seven Sherpa guides with us for our time shooting in the mountains and we all became very close to these kind, hardworking and fun people.  Our hearts go out to all the Sherpa families who lost loved ones on the mountain.  It's probably the most dangerous job in the world and nobody could get to the summit of Everest without the help and guidance of these amazing people.  Remember that the next time you hear about someone climbing Everest, without the Sherpa guides they wouldn't stand a ghost of chance.            

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Orion's Belt in Manhattan?

Jim Morgan (right) and Sergio Rapu watch Scott and "Trusty" prepare for a scene in Grand Central Station. 

Scott and Dorothy McCarthy stand in front of St. Paul's Chapel in Manhattan, New York. 

Jim Morgan, Colin Threinen, Scott and Raul Cadena strike intimidating poses; ohh..., I'll bet your scared!

The models on Manhattan during shooting in the lab.

There are actually twin obelisks at the east entrance of St. Paul's Chapel.  The squat pyramid at the top of the monument on the northeast side can only be seen from a distance that proves it's a second obelisk completing the symbolic entrance to ancient temples like the one in Heliopolis, Egypt. 

While it looks like it was me that made this startling discovery of the "Orion Alignment in Manhattan", all credit goes to Janet Wolter for this one.  In fact, it literally unfolded as we were filming the episode as we originally thought the alignment of the three obelisk location's formed a straight line.  Janet wasn't so sure about the slight bend in the line, and thought there had to be more. She worked with our good friend Alan Butler who helped her understand what turned out to be astronomical clues.  It was the strange depiction of the constellations on the ceiling of Grand Central Station where it started to make sense there was more going on.  While I was in the field shooting the early scenes at the Central Park obelisk from Egypt, she was working away trying to figure out why the constellation artwork and lighting of the stars seemed to be off.  She found that many people questioned the accuracy of depiction, but Vanderbilt family insisted everything was perfectly correct.  Clearly, they knew exactly what they were doing and obviously were in on the plan to create the alignment.  This would suggest he must have been a Freemason, but it's not clear if he and other members of the family were or not.  Regardless, they clearly embraced certain esoteric knowledge that was the impetus for the secret configuration of the ceiling so many people walk right by every day and never notice.  I'm sure a lot more will notice the constellations now.