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.   

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Who Carved the Waubansee Stone?


The Committee Films crew with guest Scott Mastores (second from left) after wrapping the final shoot.

One of four base relief carvings on towers made of Indiana Limestone on the Michigan Avenue Bridge, over the Chicago River, has an interesting five-pointed star on a Native American shield.  Along with other interesting symbols within the carvings, does it reflect the ideological leanings of the artist, Henry Hering, or perhaps of the ones who commissioned them? 

Scott, field producer, Paula Engelking (left side) and guest, Dr. Scott Mastores, with his daughter Katie, pose with the Waubansee Stone at a secret location outside of Chicago. 

A closer view of the face carved on the Waubansee Stone shows the hole in the mouth where water was designed to flow from the bowl on top.

A piece of glacial field stone from the Ohman farm in Kensington, Minnesota, where the Kensington Rune Stone was discovered in 1898, is mortared into the outside wall of the Chicago Tribune Building in downtown Chicago.

Just like the Rock Wall in Texas, when we began shooting this episode I was a little surprised I had never before heard of the Waubansee Stone.  In fact, there is sparse information about it on the Internet or in books.  It's one of those artifacts that slipped through the cracks of history and its origin truly is a mystery.  As we pursued the investigation, it quickly became clear to me this was not the creation of a bored soldier at Fort Dearborn 200 years ago, who carved the face on this stone that at one time was originally eight feet long.  I also read where the local native tribes reported the stone was upright with one end three feet in the ground like a megalithic standing stone.  It might have been erected to mark the important, and very ancient, portage route to the Mississippi River from Lake Michigan.  It seems perfectly logical to speculate the standing stone could date back thousands of years as an important marker for the ancient Copper Culture, both from Europe and for indigenous people to have used this portage to transport their valuable cargo.

It's difficult for people to imagine these days, but the landscape of the Great Lakes region in the post-glacial period two to five millennia ago looked much different than it does today.  In fact, at one point of what is now the Chicago River that flows into Lake Michigan, the river likely flowed directly out of the lake to the Mississippi.  As the continental ice sheets melted back, lake levels were constantly changing.  Isostatic rebound of the earth's crust from the removal of the immense weight of the ice also created dramatic changes in lake levels and the flow of rivers and streams over the past five thousand years.  Remember, because of differences in water levels in the past, there almost certainly were easier travel routes for larger vessels between the individual Great Lakes than they would be now.  Excluding of course, modern canals and locks. 

In any case, the most likely scenario for me is the Phoenicians, and/or whichever ancient cultures in the America's that were involved in the early mining of copper in the Lake Superior region.  I'm certainly open to other possibilities, such as the Mayans, Aztecs, or some other early Native American group as the carvers of the mysterious face, but I'm not at all receptive to the notion that a soldier with the advanced skills, appropriate tools, and time on his hands at Fort Dearborn had anything to do with it.  Therefore, this makes the Waubansee Stone one the most historically important and valuable  artifacts in North America.  In my opinion, it should be front page news and I'm hopeful that it will soon be prominently displayed for the American public to see and ponder.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The La Verendrye Stone Mystery

Looking down the nave of St. Sulpice Church in Paris, France.

Scott and historian, Tom Backerud pose with the Du Luth Stone while shooters Brandon Boulay and Colin Threinen prepare the next scene.

Can you spot the five Committee Films crew member setting up for a shot amongst the Hoo Doo's on a rainy day in Writing on Stone Park in Alberta, Canada. 

Episode writer Will Yates, poses with the Du Luth Stone on a hot July day.


I really enjoyed this particular episode for a couple of reasons.  First, it was fun to bring the story of the mysterious La Verendrye Stone to a wider audience.  I wrote about the stone and the possibility of it being another land claim stone placed by the Knights Templar at about the same time as the Kensington Rune Stone in my 2006 book, "The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling new Evidence" (pages 228-236).  One of the reasons it fascinated me so was because early KRS researchers, Hjalmar Holand and Newton H. Winchell, also believed the La Verendrye Stone was likely another runic inscription.  They had made plans to travel to Paris to search for the inscribed stone, but as fate would have it, a negative vote by the Museum Committee of the Minnesota Historical Society, by one vote, squashed the funding for the trip and to purchase the Kensington Stone for $5,000.  An interesting twist of fate is if the vote had been favorable it almost certainly would have been considered genuine as the negative votes were based on the now proven erroneous opinion of the linguists.  Holand eventually did travel to Europe, but was never able to make headway finding the artifact.  I guess he and I have that in common...

Of course, the star of this episode is the amazing and absolutely authentic Du Luth Stone that was actually brought to my attention several years ago by local residents who asked me to keep it quiet.  Their reasoning was they didn't want the public to know for fear of someone defacing or stealing it.  The other reason is the landowners wanted to keep it quiet for both security and privacy reasons.  I kept my end of the bargain until a couple of years ago when they allowed me to publish my weathering study in my latest book, "Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers: Mysteries of the Hooked X", (pages 72-79).  Note: If anyone is interested in a pdf version of my full report just send me an email and I'll forward it. 

Historian Tom Backerud was impressed enough with the inscription and felt it was very important to not just Minnesota history, but North American history.  Strangely, the Minnesota Historical Society's current position is they, "don't believe it's real because they don't think he (Du Luth) was in that area."  This is truly mind-boggling as it is well documented that he was in the area.  Further, the MHS haven't even taken the time to look at the inscribed boulder.  And people wonder why I get frustrated with academia and certain institutions.  Even the harshest skeptics will find this attitude hard to defend.  We're hoping to find a permanent home for the artifact that is very important to the early history of Minnesota.  Call me bias, but I think the City of Duluth would be appropriate.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Great Walls in China and California

Scott and Mr. Dong at the incredible Great Wall.

Scott poses for a photo with family who came to watch the California Walls shoot.  (R to L) Scott's sister Danna Kiefer, brother-in-law, Kevin Kiefer, niece, Katie Kiefer, and childhood friend Ken Amundsen  


Rear Admiral Zheng Ming poses with Scott in front of a bronze statue of Admiral Zheng Hu. 



Our Chinese interpreter, Crystal, waits inside the stone and fired brick bastion along the "wild" portion of the Great Wall in China.


Rear Admiral Zheng Ming holds court with interpreter Crystal and the Committee Films crew.

The opportunity to travel to China was amazing and it was everything I hoped it would be and more.  Aside from the long flights, the trip was worth it just see the Great Wall which included special access the "wild" portion overgrown with vegetation and not maintained.  Walking along the wall in both areas we visited was one of those surreal moments trying to take it all in.  The wall is so big and imposing it's hard to imagine how it was constructed to snake though the highest and most rugged parts of the mountain peaks.  It is simply amazing.

Both of my guests in China were wonderful; especially Rear Admiral Zheng Ming.  He is 82 years old and a hero to the Chinese who was so knowledgeable, kind, and humble.  He was so happy to have us there to talk about Chinese exploration and was genuinely thrilled to have Americans' learn about their history.  The morning we left to fly home, the admiral got up at 4:00 a.m. and was waiting to meet us in the hotel lobby to see us off.  We were all genuinely touched by this man whom the Chinese have every right to be very proud of.  The Chinese are also very proud of their historical hero, Admiral Zheng Hu.  I am embarrassed to say I had not heard of him prior to filming this episode.  His accomplishments on his seven voyages are staggering and the lack of knowledge in the United States about this amazing explorer says a lot about how Eurocentric our education system is.  It's understandable to a point, but this is one man we should be learning about in history class.

I was also unaware of were the mysterious stone walls in California prior to filming that were brought to my attention through the tip line.  Since there is no known historical record of the origin of the walls, and it appears the surviving local native tribes have no intact oral stories about who made them, they truly are a mystery.  To me, the two most plausible explanations are local natives built them, but have lost the knowledge of the ancestors work.   The could also have been built to mark territory by a visiting culture most likely from the Far East.  Having been built primarily at the top of the mountains, it seems unlikely they were constructed to keep in livestock or to keep out advancing enemies.  Because of their tradition of building walls just like these along with the more massive sections of the Great Wall, the Chinese are a legitimate possibility to have created them.    

More important than the origin of the California stone walls was the incredible map evidence both Dr. Gunnar Thompson and Dr. Lee shared with me.  The detail displayed in the geography of North, South, and Central America could only have been obtained through detailed mapping by cartographers from numerous pre-Columbian voyages to these continents.  The skeptics are going to mash their teeth and their keyboards trying to explain away the Chinese component of the early history of the America's.  I'll bet many Native American tribes have knowledge preserved somewhere about the highly advanced navigators from the Far East who almost certainly visited BOTH sides of our continent.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Captian Kidd has nothing on pirate Pat Croce.

Members of the Committee Films Crew and the ship captain wait for the fog to lift before we set off to find Kidd's treasure.

Scott encounters a feisty pirate outside Pat Croce's Pirate Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.   

Hundreds of silver coins welded together into one solid chunk due to hundreds of years on the bottom of the ocean.  This treasure was recovered from the shipwreck of the Emperor Aurangzeb, son of the Great Mogul who built the Taj Mahal and was discovered by film writer Arthur C. Clarke.  (Courtesy of Pat Croce and his Pirate Museum) 

Scott and guest Bill Scheller pose for a photo while searching the Maine coastal island for clues to Kidd's lost treasure.

The personalized key guard on the treasure chest of Captain Kidd that was made in Leith, Scotland. (Courtesy of Pat Croce and his Pirate Museum)

The crew prepares to shoot a scene in the Astor Mansion's octagonal-shaped library filled with old books.

Scott and Janet at Nina Bouphasavanh and David Scheller's wedding in early November.  Congratulations to the happy couple.  (Photo by Adrian Danciu)

Even though I was certain we wouldn't find a chest filled with Captain Kidd's gold and silver, I have to say I was surprised to see so many interesting artifacts directly connected to or that personally belonged to him.  Pat Croce's Pirate Museum was a surprisingly satisfying payoff at the end of the investigation for a couple of reasons.  Besides the artifacts, the Pirate Museum had a lot of amazing gold and silver along with many other real treasure artifacts recovered from shipwrecks dating back to the 1600's.  The other treasure was Pat himself who is a ball of energy, knowledge and passion that was difficult to match.  We hit it off immediately and I think the scene we filmed together was the first and only time the director asked us to turn back the enthusiasm a little bit.  It was great fun and I hope we can find another excuse to work with Pat in the future.

Bill Scheller was another wonderful guest who also happens to be the father of the then fiancĂ© of the "Kidd" episode writer, Nina Bouphasavanh.  In November, we attended David and Nina's wedding and had a fantastic time along with Bill and the rest of the crew.

When it comes to Kidd's "treasure" it's impossible to know if he ever stashed any of it and if the note he passed on to his wife lead to anything tangible.  I suspect it did and only she knows if the numbers in the note made sense, but if it was at that latitude/longitude in Maine there is one other possibility that I doubt people have considered.  Everybody assumes that if it's up in Maine somewhere, why does it have to be on Deer Isle or any other island for that matter?  Maybe Kidd was more clever and "buried" it underwater?  Instead of digging a pit and burying the treasure on one of the small, easily accessible islands, maybe he intentionally sunk a smaller boat or simply threw a treasure chest or secure box full of riches overboard at a location he thought he could later find again?  That could explain why the treasure hasn't been discovered and is still out there somewhere?