The final resting place of the Narragansett Rune Stone in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, after it's unveiling at the dedication ceremony held on October 30, 2015. A secured gazebo will be constructed to enclose the artifact in the spring of 2016.
This is a panoramic view of the Narragansett Rune Stone Dedication Ceremony held in North Kingstown on October 30, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Tim Cranston)
I would also like to comment on a recent article published by Professor Henrik Williams, a runologist at Uppsala University in Sweden. The paper can be read at the following link:
While Professor Williams is a very bright man and certainly an accomplished runologist, he seems to be out of his element when dealing with the five mysterious runic inscriptions discovered in North America that include the Hooked X symbol, because they do not fit the standard runic record of Scandinavia. They are the Kensington Rune Stone, discovered in Minnesota in 1898, the three Spirit Pond Rune Stones, discovered together in Maine, in 1971, and the Narragansett Rune Stone first discovered in the early 1940s. In this attached article on the Narragansett Rune Stone Williams concludes, "It seems likely that it was carved sometime between the 1890s and the 1940s." This being based on the unsaid, but his apparent "belief" that the Hooked X symbol was copied from the Kensington Rune Stone and/or the Spirit Pond Rune Stones. There is no factual evidence for this assertion and indeed there is evidence that refutes it.
Williams' conclusion is both incorrect and irresponsible. The truth is the professor is carrying on the century-plus long tradition of many "soft science" scholars, both in Scandinavia and in North America, of claiming the North America rune stones with the Hooked X are of modern origin. While I applaud the professor for making the effort to personally examine these inscriptions, which linguists in the past have not bothered to do, the reality is he didn't need to travel to three states to see the artifacts because his area of expertise did not require it. The physical state of the weathering of the inscriptions is not something he was required to evaluate to render an opinion on authenticity since he is not qualified to do so. He could have stayed in his office and rendered the same erroneous conclusions by looking at photos of the inscriptions. The irresponsible mistake that Williams and other "soft science" scholars continue to make is they believe their opinion-driven disciplines are the only ones that can answer the question about the authenticity of these artifacts. Further, for over a century they have intentionally ignored the "hard" scientific evidence of geologists who have emphatically concluded the weathering of these inscriptions are centuries old.
I have known Professor Williams for 13 years and have personally presented the details of both my own and other geologist's scientific work performed on these artifacts. The facts are he has chosen to ignore these findings instead of working together to find the answers as to what the messages mean by figuring out who carved them, when, and why. This behavior is simply the latest example of the way many scholars (not all) have treated hard scientists whose factually supported conclusions have been at odds with their beliefs. This is not the way historical truth should be decided and it is not what the people who care about the truth about our history should accept. Shame on Williams for issuing another horribly flawed, and factually unsupported opinion that it at odds with hard science. The only way we are going to get the story straight is to demand certain scholars conduct themselves ethically and responsibly. What he should have concluded based on the lack of evidence presented in his paper is what too many soft science scholars seem incapable of saying, "I don't know." Logic dictates that if hard science data is generated that is conclusive about the age of weathering of inscriptions carved in stone, than there has to be an explanation that supports the conclusion that people of that time period were here and they carved the inscriptions with an intended message for others who could also understand them. Scholars of all pertinent disciplines should work side by side to comb the historic records to unlock the keys that will shed light on these early visitors to North America. I am confident that rapid progress could be made if only this collaborative effort could become a reality instead of the current ego posturing taking center stage.