Thursday, April 9, 2020

Reminiscing About the "Geologic Dream Team"


One of the good things about the Coronavirus 19 quarantine is it has created a lot of free time for writing my next book.  It has also created time to do a little rearranging of my photo files and I decided to share some unpublished photos of the geologists who provided commentary, suggestions and later academic peer  review, when I first began my investigation in the geology of the Kensington Rune Stone in 2000.  When the artifact first came into the American Petrographic Services Inc. lab in July of 2000, I had never heard of the artifact before but quickly got up to speed on it's history. 

Since I had been referred by my former geology professors at the University of Minnesota-Duluth to do this work for the Runestone Museum on Alexandria, Minnesota, it only seemed appropriate to invite them in for a cursory look and to pick their brains for ideas on how to approach the investigation.  I already had a number of ideas and wanted to run them by my professors for their input.  On July 14, 2000, the six professors invited showed up along with then liaison for the Runestone Museum, Barry Hanson.  Professor's Emeritus, Dr. John Green, Dr. Richard Ojakangas, and my former adviser, Dr. Charles L. Matsch drove down together from Duluth and Dr. Ken Harris, Dr. Robert Johnson and Professor Emeritus, Dr. Paul Wieblen from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. 

The professors spent about 4 hours examining the geological features of the stone and the inscription offering comments and ideas of what might be interesting to look at more closely at during my examination and testing of the artifact.  At one point when we turned the stone over to look at the deep glacial striations and scratches on the back side, it was Dr. Paul Wieblen who first noticed the white-colored, branching lineations.  He pointed to the marks and said, "These features kind of look like roots."  I would eventually conclude they indeed were made by the very same roots of the tree under which Olof Ohman discovered the stone.

The "Geologic Dream Team" was extremely helpful and Dr. Richard Ojakangas, one of the top sedimentary petrologists in the world, offered to perform a mineralogical point count on one of the thin sections we made from the core sample taken from the back side of the artifact.  His point counts and my points counts were pretty much the same and we agreed the original slab of stone was a meta-graywacke that originated from the Animikie Basin in east-central Minnesota of Paleoproterozoic Age (1.85 to 2.1 billion years ago).

Upon completing my initial report, Dr's Green, Matsch and Ojakangas provided written peer reviews of my geological findings along with Professor Emeritus G.B. Morey, and geologist, Terry Swor.  All found the report to be accurate and thorough.  Looking back after these twenty years I want to thank all of these accomplished geologists for sharing their geological expertise and offering suggestions as well as their support.  It was Dr. Ojakangas' work and vast experience that led to the conclusion the rock was indigenous to Minnesota and not brought along by the Kensington party from the East Coast or Europe.  I remember Dick Ojakangas once told me a colleague said to him, "If you help Scott with the Kensington Rune Stone it could damage your reputation."  Dick said he smiled at him and said, "Thanks, but I'll take my chances." 

It was the geological weathering aspects of the inscription and split side that told me they were at least 200 years old from the day Olof pulled it from the ground in 1898.  This made a late Nineteenth Century hoax impossible and therefore, it had to be an authentic artifact.  The hard science speaks just as loud today as it did then.  It's time the world accepted this amazing stone for the vitally important historical artifacts that it is.   
   

Geologist, Scott Wolter looks at a computer monitor with a magnified image on the split side of the Kensington Rune Stone in July of 2000.


Dr. Paul Wieblen points to the white lineations on the back side of the Kensington Rune Stone and was the first to say they looked like markings left by roots.  L to R, Barry Hanson, Dr. Richard Ojakangas (with camera), Dr. Robert Johnson (behind Wieblen), Dr. John Green and Dr. Charles L. Matsch (bending over in front) look on as Wieblen explains the root leaching.  


L to R, Dr. Charles L. Matsch, Dr. Richard Ojakangas, and Dr. John Green examine the split side of the Kensington Rune Stone as then Runestone Museum Director, LuAnn Patton looks on.


L to R, Dr. Charles L. Matsch, Scott Wolter, Dr. John Green, and Barry Hanson look on as Dr. Richard Ojakangas looks a feature on the split side of the Kensington Rune Stone through a petrographic microscope.


Dr. Richard Ojakangas gets up close and personal with a carved character on the face side of the Kensington Rune Stone.


The Kensington Rune Stone was examined by a team of noted geologists at the American Petrographic Services Laboratory on July 14, 2000.  L to R, Dr. Richard Ojakangas (kneeling), Dr. John Green, Dr. Ken Harris, Gerard Moulzolf, Scott Wolter, Dr. Charles L. Matsch, Barry Hanson, Dr. Robert Johnson, and Dr. Paul Wieblen (kneeling).

Saturday, November 2, 2019

America Unearthed, Season 4, Episode 2: Alien Artifacts

"Alien Artifacts" was one of my favorite episodes of the season for a number of reasons.  Not the least of which was the incredible C-14 dates on the adhesive used to make some of the artifacts.  Those mind-boggling dates beg the obvious question: Are they really that old or did someone figure out a way to make a glue that dates to eight thousand years before present and older!  In pondering this question in the days after we filmed that final scene, I have come up with possible ways to make a glue that would date that far back and I hope to have the opportunity to test my idea.  Setting the artifacts might not be as old as the testing says, what if they really are that old?  If so, then we have to seriously consider the possibility that ancient cultures in MesoAmerica did interact with extraterrestrial beings as my friend Giorgio Tsoukalos of "Ancient Aliens" fame has been telling us for the past two decades.  I've never given the idea aliens visiting us from other planets a serious thought.  That is, until now...  I'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon yet, but until we get to the bottom of how old these artifacts really are, who made them, and if the obvious reference to aliens, spaceships and the interaction of apparent aliens with early native cultures, we must maintain an open mind to these possibilities.  Irronically, the week before the episode aired, curious articles like this one appeared on news feeds: https://www.yahoo.com/news/navy-ufos-reporting-guidelines-updated-202515828.html   Was this a coincidence, or something else?  What do you think about these artifacts possibly being many thousands of years old?


Brendon Harris (left), Brandon Bouley (middle) and Janey Klebe (right with flashlight), prepare to film a scene inside a large circular cave with numerous interesting carvings deep in the jungle near Veracruz, Mexico.   


Three "alien" artifacts the JAC Detectors showed me they said they found in the cave we explored in the jungle.  The one on the lower right was clearly a fake with the cleverly carved letters "UFO".  The one on the left has a phallic shape with amateur-looking carvings that included marks consistent with being made with a hand held rotary tool. 


Thankfully, this species was NOT poisonous!


Just east of Mexico City we drove by the active volcano spewing steam into the atmosphere as we made our way to Veracruz to meet with the JAC Detectors.


Mark Russell watches as I examine one of his alien artifacts in my laboratory for areas with glue to test for age using the Carbon-14 method.


The front side of the artifact tested.


The back side of the artifact tested.


Janet Wolter and executive producer of America Unearthed, Andy Awes, behind the scenes during filming of the "Alien Artifacts" lab scenes.


This artifact of an elongated head that looks like an aliens is covered with scenes that include spaceships,  planets, designs and numerous inlays of stone.  This glue used in this artifact was C-14 tested and the result was 8620 years before present. 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

America's Stonehenge Vandalized by Suspected Ultra Right Wing Domestic Terrorist Group

On Sunday morning, September 29, 2019, I received a text message from Dennis Stone, owner and operator of the ancient historical site known as "America's Stonehenge", who wrote that his amazing site had been vandalized the previous evening.  Specifically, the vandals left a wooden cross hanging in a tree with disturbing photos and notes attached.  Not far away, they took a power circular saw and cut cryptic messages into the large rectangular slab known as the "Sacrificial Table."  The vandals also destroyed the stones supporting one end of the slab in addition to smashing stones within what is known as the "Oracle Tube." 

My good friend, David Brody, posted enlightening commentary on Facebook this past week recounting how local law enforcement believe the vandalism was likely inspired by the plot of his recently published novel, "Treasure Templari."  A clip of a local news story can be viewed here:  https://www.wmur.com/article/salem-police-investigating-vandalism-at-americas-stonehenge/29345433# 


The cross found hanging in a tree near the so-called "Sacrificial Table" that apparently offended this radical religious hate group. 


The crown jewel at America Stonehenge is what is called the "Sacrificial Table."  The stones used to support one end were smashed, most likely with a sledge hammer, causing the once horizontal table to lean.  A power circular saw was used to cut a cryptic message into the top surface. 


"I am Mark" was cut into the surface at the top, a Christian style cross was cut into the middle, and the letters "WWG1, WGA"were cut at the bottom end.

David pointed out that same night about 30 miles away in Northwood, New Hampshire, a Masonic Lodge burned to the ground.  While the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, arson is a strong possibility and could be related to the vandalism at America's Stonehenge.  David feels terrible the plot in his book may have served as the template for the vandalism which can only be described as a hate crime.  I reminded him that in the last few years three separate acts of vandalism on mysterious artifacts and sites across the country have occurred that could have been due being featured on my show, America Unearthed.  Petroglyphs in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan have been defaced, the Judaculla Stone in Tennessee was vandalized, and the Narragansett Rune Stone boulder was stolen out of the surf in 2012.  Thankfully, due to the hard work of Detective Sheila Paquette with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management - Division of Law Enforcement, it was recovered eight months later.


One of the oldest Masonic Lodges in the country in Northwood, New Hampshire, was engulfed in flames and burned to the ground on September 29, 2019.  It has not yet been determined if arson was to blame or if there is a connection to the vandalism at America's Stonehenge. (Shawn St. Hilaire/Haas News Agency)


The bird head on this ancient indigenous petroglyph in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, was scratched out by a vandal less than six months after the site was featured on my show, America Unearthed.  The vandal was able to find the site despite our efforts not to reveal its location.


In 2016, Walker Chase Wadkins, vandalized the Judaculla Rock, which was also featured in an episode of America Unearthed, and then turned himself in.


In August of 2012, the Narragansett Rune Stone boulder was stolen by the nearest resident who eventually turned the stone over to local law enforcement.

This brings me to the main point of this blog post.  While not the sole reason, one thing I believe emboldens these idiots to commit these atrocities is the marginalization, and outright dismissal by hate bloggers and close-minded academics, of these mysterious artifacts and sites that have not yet to be universally accepted as authentic.  Their negative campaign includes inflammatory language against what they believe are "frauds", "hoaxes" and "fringe" history.  These ignorant and arrogant proclamations, without factual supporting evidence, lead to confusion, indifference, and condemnation by those already with a chip on their shoulder or what's worse, people motivated by religious zealotry which appears to be the case at America's Stonehenge.  We must condemn hate mongers who prefer to generate destructive, negative messages rather than engage in respectful discourse in the pursuit of truth.  The best way to do that is to challenge them with the facts and if they continue with hateful, intentionally misleading rhetoric, simply ignore them. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

America Unearthed, Season 4, Episode 10, Exodus of the Templar's

Here we are at the final episode of the season and I have to say I think it is the best!  It's jam packed with great content and introduces three amazing new inscriptions to the world.  The evidence we document points to only one group having created all three; the medieval Knights Templar and how they made their way to North America.  Allan Dawe contacted me four years ago as our run on History Channel ended and I wasn't able to see the inscription with my own eyes.  This 4th season of America Unearthed was the perfect opportunity to see this inscription in Newfoundland, but also the identical symbol carved inside Wemyss Caves in Scotland.  European scholars say medieval "Christian monks" lived inside the caves that could have been fugitive Templar's who escaped persecution in Europe after 1307 waiting for the opportunity to escape to North America.  This is the most plausible way to describe the identical carvings on two separate continents.

I have long know of the map on the wall inside the sacristy at Rosslyn Chapel having written about it in my book, "The Hooked X: Key to the Secret History of North America."  I first learned about the secret, and sacred, method of calculating latitude with a staff, crosier, or even a stick, reading Brother Ashley Cowie's 2006 book, "The Rosslyn Matrix."  This brilliant exercise opened the door to other sacred esoteric knowledge the resonated with me as a scientist because, well, it was scientific.  Ashley's calculations of the latitudes of the four lozenges was accurate for the both the allegorical, and literal journey from the Holy Land in "Old Jerusalem" to the sanctuary of the "New Jerusalem" in North America.  

This episode looks into the beginning of the Templar's journey to establish a new home where people of ALL faiths could pursue life, liberty and happiness.  It seems our country has forgotten many of the principles and tenants our Founding Fathers established after the Revolutionary War.  That war  was fought against the tyranny of the monarchs of Europe (King of England in this case), persecution of the Roman Catholic Church, and the corrupt way the two institutions legitimized each other.  To find the motive behind the "Exodus of the Templar's" you need to look no further than our Constitution and the men who inherited the obligation from their medieval Templar brethren.  Stay tuned, as the best is yet to come!        


The morning sun breaks through the clouds as I get ready to shoot at the Wemyss Caves on the north side of the Firth of Forth in Scotland.  


The Committee Films crew prepares to shoot a scene inside the large beehive shaped caves where archaeologists say medieval "Christian monks" (fugitive Templar's?) lived at Wemyss caves, Scotland.


Author, Tony McMahon, and I pose for a pic before shooting inside the legendary medieval church in Scotland; Rosslyn Chapel. 


The amazing carving in the crypt at Rosslyn Chapel has two curved horns depicting the path of Venus as both a morning star in the east (right) and evening star in the west (left).  The four vertically stacked lozenges in in the center represent, bottom to top, the latitudes of Jerusalem, Rosslyn Chapel, Orkney Islands, and Shetland Islands.  The five-pointed star to the west represents the latitude of the Newport Tower in what the ancients called (A)Merica.   


Field Producer and writer, Will Yates, enjoys a quiet moment with the sleeping cat that guards Rosslyn Chapel. 


The "In Hoc Signo Vinces" Stone in Latin means, "In This Sign, Thou Shall Conquer". 


Archaeologist, Brad Lidge, scientist, Jerry Lutgen, and me pose for a pic inside the Newport Tower during a break in filming on a perfect April day in Newport, Rhode Island.


Despite the really good scenes I shot with my friend, Donald Ruh, being cut from the final edit due to a wealth of content in this episode, we had a great time filming together in Newport, Rhode Island. 


This panoramic view of the beautiful harbor on Long Island, in Newfoundland, Canada, was taken from the tiny secluded beach along the cliffs where the Haystack inscription can only be viewed a few hours a day at low tide.  Cameraman Brendan Harris shoot the inscription draped in seaweed on the far right. 


I was very dialed in studying the Haystack inscription for the short time we had when low tide allowed us to view it.  The line of seaweed above my head indicates the high tide line. 


The Haystack (left) inscription in Newfoundland, and the identical carving found at Wemyss Caves (right) in Scotland, are likely late medieval era symbolic representations of the Tree of Life indicating the carver's knowledge of the esoteric teachings of the Hebrew Kabbalah.   The late medieval Templar's are one group who would have understood, and venerated, these Gnostic teachings.


Production assistant, Jay Chase-Jacobus, stands on the rocky shores of the easternmost point of North America.  A large iceberg and be seen in the distance.


Field Producer, Janey Klebe, stands atop the beautiful shoreline at the easternmost point of North America, near St. John's,  Newfoundland. 


Tipster, Allan Dawe, and I pose in the beautiful secluded harbor of Quidi Vidi, in St. John's, Newfoundland, where we shoot the final scene of the episode.

















Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Forrester "Fish" at Rosslyn Chapel

Inside the small church at Corstorphine in Edinburgh, Scotland, lie the marble effigies of an important medieval married couple.  Sir John Forrester (1380-1448), 2nd of Corstorphine, lies next to his second wife Jean Sinclair, the daughter of Earl Henry Sinclair.  What makes these effigies so important is not just the individuals that prove the two clans obviously knew each other, but were literally aligned by blood.  Consolidation of money and power through strategic marriages wasn't anything new then, or now, but this particular marriage was important for researchers trying to better understand the activities of these families and their connections to the Templar's after their put-down in 1307. 

This very special blog post is a collaborative effort of myself, and my friend Steve St. Clair, in the week leading up to the final episode of season 4 of America Unearthed.  The final episode is arguably the best in a season of 10 really good shows for it reveals exciting new evidence about the fugitive Templar's activities in North America circa 1400.  During filming of the episode, I visited Rosslyn Chapel for the third time and really paid attention to the subtle carvings of mason's marks tucked among the labyrinth of incredible carvings throughout the building.  On an east-west aligned beam in the east end of the church, I noticed a familiar, skillfully carved symbol between two ornately carved floral designs.  It was the same hanging horn symbol found in the Forrester coat of arms so prominently featured in Corstorphine Church only a few miles north of Rosslyn, in Edinburgh.

The "fish" is an esoteric symbol of sacred geometry when two intersecting circles create three equidistant quadrants at the center.  The middle quadrant is a vertical almond shape called the "Vesica Pisces".  Roman Christians are familiar with the symbol when aligned horizontally as the Christian "fish" representing the ministry of the biblical Jesus.  To Gnostic Christians initiated with certain esoteric knowledge, the symbol represents something else entirely in relation to Jesus and his First Century followers.  The "fish" is one of the best examples of a symbol whose meaning is drastically different to people with opposing ideology allowing plausible deniability when challenged by both sides.

A bit of context is needed here to understand why this carving is so significant.  Sir John Forrester, founded the extant church in 1429.  His marriage to Jean Sinclair in the early part of the 15th Century establishes a few important facts.  First, it is all but certain William Sinclair of Roslin (1410-1484) would have known Sir John Forrester as his aunt, Jean, was married to him.  This also meant he would have been well aware of the Forrester coat of arms symbolism by the time ground was broken for the construction of Rosslyn Chapel, in 1446.  At 36 years of age, William would have been well versed in his families' clan affiliations and politics of the time.  Aside from the clan alliance through marriage, there would have been other affiliations such as through Freemasonry and the Scottish clan's rumored support of the Templars.

The chapel would have been at the foundation stage when Sir John Forrester died in 1448, and the beam with the Forrester "fish" was likely still at least a decade away from being installed.  William must have had the Forrester hunting horn "fish" carving made as an ode to the clan his family was clearly aligned with.  The fact the fish carving is positioned on its side, as Steve pointed out in our conversations, with the head "swimming" to the east, could be a symbolic reference to Jerusalem and knowledge of the Templars activities there in the previous two centuries.  Whatever the meaning, the Forrester fish seems to be clear evidence of the strong alliance between these two powerful Scottish families in the late 14th and 15th Centuries at the very least.
    
Only a year before my discovery of the hanging horn symbol in Rosslyn, Steve found the effigies at Corstorphine during a trip to Scotland to conduct genealogical research.  The Forrester Clan connection to the Sinclair Clan was important enough, but it was the "fish" symbol in the string of the hanging horn on the Forrester coat of arms that interested me.  In my new book, "Cryptic Code of the Templars in America: Origins of the Hooked X Symbol",  I wrote about the 2000 year-long history of the fish symbol that runs from Jerusalem, to Scotland, and eventually to the United States hidden in plain sight for those with the eyes to see.  I refer the reader to my blog of July 2nd of this year, and the picture of the letter written by General George Washington and the vertically aligned fish symbol above the "g" (God?) in his last name.  Examples of Washington's signature show he began using the curious fish symbol after he was raised as a Freemason at the age of 21.

It's time for Steve to chime in with his thoughts about the recent discovery of the Forrester fish at Rosslyn... 

DNA SNPs and Medieval Records Prove a Medieval Affinity Family

In 2018, I got a private tour of Corstorphine and found exactly what I expected to find, the armorial bearings of the Forrester family quartered with that of the Sinclair family of Caithness. 

Forrester Arms:  Argent, three bugle horns Sable, garnished Vert and stringed Gules.

Motto:  Blaw, hunter, Blaw Thy Horn.

Sinclair Arms:  Azune, a galley Or, the sail thereof Argent

Motto:  Commit thy work to God.

No mention of a fish in any records and I’ve never heard of anyone thinking this is a fish. You can tell the carvings are recently painted and not exposed to the weather. Personally, I’m not convinced the “bugle horns” are a vertical fish symbol, but I’m also no expert on esoteric symbology. My area of focus is DNA and medieval land transfer records.

My trip to Corstorphine was driven by a DNA match that showed up quite by surprise in our advanced SNP matches.  About 4 years ago, a Forrester gentleman showed up matching our Saint-Clairs of Herdmanston Ancestral lineage. This wasn’t just any match - it was proved by Family Tree DNA’s Big Y test. These tests pinpoint tens of thousands of parts of the human chromosome, so they’re irrefutable matches. Better still, they’re backed up by Y-full dating of the SNPs. And the dating is within a time frame that makes it terribly interesting.

Here’s that last paragraph in plain English:

In the definitive guide on our family, researched and written by Rondo BB Me and Gerald Sinclair, we know Henry II Sinclair of Rosslyn, 1st Earl of Orkney had a daughter, Jean Sinclair, who married Sir John Forrester of Corstorphine (Enigmatic Sinclairs, p.65). In yet another connection, William “The Waster” second Earl of Caithness, sold land called Cardain Sinclair, and the Forrester's bought it. (Land tended to stay “in the family.”  If you know Rondo, you know her research is irrefutable. That creates an interesting situation because the DNA SNP match proves that the Herdmanston line of Sinclair, and Forrester's living today, share male blood.  That much is also irrefutable.  Another way to say that is it’s a confluence of independently proven variables.

An important point to remember about Corstorphine.  When Cromwell invaded Scotland, he ran into a skirmish with, among others, the Forrester family.  Later, he took his revenge by destroying much of Corstorphine Church, including the effigies.  These were re-built in 1429, but some effigies were moved and re-carved.  The thickness of the lines holding the horns in that armorial bearing might have been carved to be thicker at that point.  Another important point to remember, Adam Forrester (d. 1405) was a wealthy merchant in Edinburgh, not a knight. He acquired Corstorphine from King Robert III and was appointed Keeper of the Great Seal in 1390 as a reward for his services.

A word about armorial bearings

In the early medieval era, the use of coats of arms had little structure. The first documented use of a coat of arms was on the Bayeux Tapestry in the 11th century, and you can see they were nowhere near as elaborate as they would become by the 14th century.  Coats of arms were granted to families by a ruling monarch.  Use by country varied, but in Scotland and England, they could only be used by aristocracy.  By the 13th century, only the person granted the coat of arms by a king could use it as it was granted.  Successive generations had to change it slightly to distinguish it from previous generations. The main way this was accomplished was by "quartering."  This practice is a great help to genealogists today because successive families would add the symbol of families marrying into one another.  Thus, the Forrester shield in Corstorphine has the Sinclair armorial quartered into it.
Scott’s discovery of what looks to be the Forrester armorial hunting horn inside Rosslyn Chapel is potentially an extremely interesting additional evidence of what we now know to be an incredibly important affinity connection.

Sources - Ancestral Findings, "The Real Truth Behind Coats of Arms and Family Crests" https://ancestralfindings.com/real-truth-behind-coats-arms-family-crests/ Accessed 2 July, 2019.

“The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland,” edited by Patrick Hanks, Richard Coates, Peter McClure https://bit.ly/2xj7yoJ Accessed 2 July, 2019.

Lewis, Samuel, "A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland: Comprising the Several ..., Volume 1"

McAndrew, Bruce A. "Scotland's Historic Heraldry", Boydell Press (March 20, 2014) ISBN-13: 978-1843832614. 


The church in Corstorphine was originally founded on these grounds in 1128.  Sir Adam Forrester added a burial chapel in 1404 and his son, Sir John Forrester 1st, founded the existing church in 1429.


In the burial chapel lie the effigies of Sir John Forrester and second wife, Jean Sinclair, the granddaughter of Earl Henry Sinclair.  Five Coat of Arms carvings adorn the lower wall with  the black engrailed cross of the Sinclair Clan (second from left, lower right quadrant).


The Coat of Arms of the Forrester Clan includes three hunting horns with wide strings in the shape of a vertically aligned fish symbol.



The Visica Pisces is the vertically aligned almond shape created when two intersecting circles are spaced creating three equidistant lengths at the center.  When this shape is aligned horizontally it becomes the symbol familiar to Roman Christians related to the biblical Jesus.  


The south side of Rosslyn Chapel is beautifully illuminated by the early morning sun on a clear January morning in 2019.


The Forrester "Fish" carving in Rosslyn is located on the south side of east-west running beam in the east end of the chapel.


Carved onto the south facing, east-west trending stone beam in the east end of the chapel is what appears to be mason's mark of the Forrester Clan hunting horn between two floral designs circled in red.


A close-up view reveals a skillfully carved hunting horn symbol of the Forrester Clan except it is aligned horizontally as opposed to vertical.  To the right is what appears to be a Templar Cross in the middle of the design. 


This north-south trending beam in the south aisle at Rosslyn Chapel have what have interpreted to aloe leaves.  This plant was indigenous to North America and unknown in Europe in the 15th Century when Rosslyn was constructed.  How did it get there?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

America Unearthed, Season 4, Episode 9, Who Was the Haymarket Bomber?

The Haymarket Affair was a story I have to confess to never having heard about prior to the start of filming the episode.  It didn't take long to get up to speed after reading numerous articles about the the history of the late 19th Century labor movement, the protests, and the events leading up to that fateful night in Chicago on May 4, 1886, when a bomb was thrown into a crowd of law enforcement officers and protesters by someone who has remained nameless; until now.  Going into the investigation, the production company researchers at Committee Films, Will Yates and Kyle Schultz, settled on a suspect prior to filming that seemed perfectly plausible.  There was new evidence in the form of newly discovered letters written by a family descendant that seemed to support that our  mysterious Haymarket bomber suspect was George Meng.

However, things changed dramatically as we began filming with various experts, historians, and members of law enforcement.  There was one person in particular, Richard Linderg, who had the most impressive argument and facts about the bombing that pointed to the most likely person was who threw the bomb that night.  His evidence and reasoning was so persuasive that I believed we had to rethink our original suspect.  By the time the interview with Mr. Lindberg was over my mind had changed.  He had convinced me the person who threw the bomb that night was a German immigrant named Rudolf Schnaubelt.  The final nail that I believe proved the new suspect was indeed the person who threw the bomb at Haymarket Square was the suspect sketch drawn by officer Detector Luis Santoyo.  The face he drew based on the witness testimony from the trial over 130 years earlier was a spot-on match to Schnaubelt.  

What I was most proud of in this episode if that we used proper scientific method, and based on the evidence and facts, it led to a different conclusion than originally anticipated.  That is the way it is scientific investigation is supposed to work.          


The Committee Films crew poses with Bleue Benton, at the Martyr's Monument in the Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.


This bronze statue erected in honor of the law enforcement officers that died during the Haymarket riot was originally placed at the Haymarket site.  Vandalism by supporters of the labor party prompted the statue to be moved to a different location in Chicago.  Looks like the artist who made the statue was a member of a certain order.  Do you know why I say that? 


Field producer, Will Yates, photo-bombed (pardon the pun) this selfie taken with Pinkerton agents, Erika Koutrakis and Tim Williams.


Haymarket historian, Richard Lindberg, poses for a photo after his sharing his historical evidence that compelled me to change the original suspect I focused on to Rudolf Schnaubelt.  This is how proper scientific method works; new evidence often takes an investigation in a new direction. 


Cook Country Sheriff's Office sketch artist, Detector Luis Santoyo, draws the face of the Haymarket bomber based on witness testimony descriptions at the time of the trial.


The picture of Rudolf Schnabelt and the artist's sketch of the Haymarket bomber made from first-hand witnesses testimony from trial transcripts from the late 1880s.


Local law enforcement and federal demolitions experts posed with me and the Committee Films Crew during filming of the test explosions at Camp Ripley in Central Minnesota.


Panoramic photo of the setup of mannequins for the test explosion of the Haymarket bomb at a demolition site on the grounds at Camp Ripley in Central Minnesota. 


This female mannequin sustained a fatal shrapnel wound through the heart during our test explosion of a replica I made of the Haymarket bomb.   


The world's foremost expert on explosives, Dr. Kirk Yeager, and I pose for a pic during the filming of the lab scene where he explained the details of our test explosion of  a replica of the Haymarket bomb.