Saturday, June 4, 2016

Kensington Rune Stone: Theories Verses Facts

In the last couple of years there has a surge in the number of people with theories about the Kensington Rune Stone.  Some have been supportive of authenticity and some have not.  Recently, a KRS researcher and local attorney in Minneapolis, David O.N. Johnson, wrote comments on a blog addressing the recent surge in theories and if the "evidence" supporting these ideas would meet the criteria of admissibility in a court of law. 

Quoting Johnson,  "My head is spinning with the multitude of “theories” currently being advanced under the guise of “factual”. I don’t have any problem with advancing one’s theory, but I still expect that something resembling a fact needs to be advanced in order to give any valid theory some credence. After reading the latest pontifications, I fully expected the next “theory” to maintain that space aliens came down to rural Minnesota and zapped a piece of greywacke with its inscriptions. I guess they must have done so to trick all the Scandinavians of the area into believing it was real.

Anyway, I digress. The common theme being presented is that “evidence” exists, so the rest of us rubes should pay attention. Maybe I shouldn’t opine on a legal basis for factual material, but I am going to do so anyway. Most of these theories lack an evidential background. In legal forums evidence must be supported as factually based. What has been asserted with regard to Masons, Freemasons, Swedish Monks, various non-existent stones, documents, and self-serving statements. When questioned on the evidentiary basis, the most common response is silence or the common refrain “look it up on the internet”. The internet is not the original source material, thus in my opinion and as a legal practitioner, such “evidence” would have no value."

In the interest of full disclosure, Johnson is a supporter of the authenticity of the artifact, but his point about the veracity of the factual evidence required to support ANY theory is 100% correct.  This has been the primary argument behind my own research since I first laid eyes on the stone in July of 2000.  I've pontificated, ad nausea, about the process of scientific method, collection of factual data, interpretations based on those facts, and then drawing conclusions that will stand up to scrutiny in a court of law, under oath.  I'm sure I don't need to remind the regular readers of this blog about my three decades of operating a materials forensic laboratory performing what are essentially, autopsies on problem concrete and rock primarily in the construction industry.  I have testified, under oath, dozens of times to my scientific findings and conclusions related to these cases, and understand what meets the criteria of factual evidence as well as any lawyer trying these cases.

What I thought I'd do is encourage those with an opinion or theory about the Kensington Rune Stone, or any other related artifact or site, to present their ideas and let's see how it stands up.  I also encourage other researchers, be it from the professional or academic world, or from amateur researchers with questions about what constitutes factual evidence that meet acceptable criteria for acceptance in a legal case.  In the end, we all want a consensus on the authenticity of the artifact that the academic process for the past 118 years has been unable to produce.  Nearly everyone has an opinion about its authenticity, but do what they consider to be "facts" or "evidence" really meet the required standard to support their opinion?

One recent example of erroneous theory was offered by a geologist with a PhD.  One would assume such a seemingly educated person would understand how they needed the appropriate facts to support their theory, but it turns out they did not.  In this particular case, the person claimed the white calcite on the face side of the Kensington Rune Stone (and dozen or so runes carved into that area) would have dissolved away by exposure to acidic water if shallowly buried at Rune Stone Hill on the Ohman Farm.  To be fair, my understanding is this person has not been a practicing professional geologist for many years so their "rock" skills don't appear to be that sharp and they clearly do not understand the known geological facts relating to the artifact that pertain to this theory.  The glacial till where the Kensington Rune Stone was found is "limey" or has a higher than neutral pH (<7).  This would quickly neutralize any acidic solution produced by the decomposition of the organic material and not attack the calcite.  In fact, the relatively high pH conditions of the glacial till at Rune Stone Hill actually promotes the accumulation of secondary calcite as found on the bottom back end of the artifact.  How a trained geologist with a PhD could make such a mistake is unclear.  However, the obvious negative bias of this particular individual appears to have clouded their judgment.  Clouded judgment in all academic disciplines due to various forms of personal bias have dogged the Kensington Rune Stone research to this day.

There are many who have accused me of being biased and to a certain degree this is true.  I have been biased by the voluminous factual evidence primarily associated with the rock itself.  I have always trusted what the rock has to say, not the flawed logic and unsupported assertions by individuals driven by one form of personal bias or another.  I challenge readers to offer their specific theories, ideas, evidence, and facts and let's see if they hold up to scientific scrutiny.  They don't have to be related to the stone itself or geology, it can be about who carved the stone, Olof Ohman, or anything else related to the artifact.  Let's have some fun and see how you do!

The relatively coarse-grained, white, triangular-shaped calcite on the face side of the Kensington Rune Stone was deposited by hot hydrothermal solutions moving between fractures in the greywacke millions of years ago when the stone was still part of the bedrock. (Wolter, 2004)

The very fine-grained, white, calcite coatings on the bottom end of the back side of the Kensington Rune Stone were deposited by cool groundwater solutions when the artifact was within glacial till deposits after being deposited by glaciers roughly 10-12,000 years. (Wolter, 2000) 

This granite glacial erratic boulder was deposited at what is now the Ohman Farm near Kensington, Minnesota, by a mile-thick sheet of glacial ice roughly 10-12,000 years ago.  The limy glacial till deposits at the farm allowed relatively thick, white calcite coatings to develop on the surface of this and many other glacial boulders in the area including the Kensington Rune Stone. (Wolter, 2000)  

These three pages are from Newton H Winchell's 76-page report he submitted to the Museum Committee of the Minnesota Historical Society, in April of 1910, entitled, "Report on the Kensington Rune Stone."  On page 21 Winchell discusses his observations about the lack of weathering of the runes carved into the hydrothermal calcite on the face side and the secondary calcite on the bottom back end of the stone.  This led him to conclude the stone had to have been buried immediately after being carved because he also concluded the artifact was genuine.

Newton H. Winchell wrote his emphatic opinion on the authenticity of the Kensington Rune Stone in this letter dated December 15, 1909.
This broken tombstone in Maine was one of the important monuments sampled and examined for the relative-age dating work I performed on the Kensington Rune Stone.  Recently, a debunker inferred that I fabricated the 1815 death date of the individual marked by this monument.  It clearly states the infant son of Abner and Hannah Lowell died that year.  Since the name of the decedent isn't visible I used the name of his father for this monument sample who died many years later.   

Monday, May 23, 2016

Structual Condition Assessment Handbook and Forensic Science

It occurred to me recently that many people are confused about what a "Forensic Geologist" is and why I call myself that.  For 25 years prior to being the television host of America Unearthed I ran a materials forensic laboratory as a licensed professional geologist (Minnesota License #30024).  In January of 1990, I founded America Petrographic Services, Inc., after working as a concrete petrographer for five years prior to that, and still operate the company as it's President.  As I've explained many times in my lectures, or when asked what I do for a living, my response is, "I perform autopsies of concrete and rock."  This is a pretty accurate way to describe the work I do which is primarily using laboratory analysis and testing to determine the cause of concrete failures and poor performance.  Because of the vast number (several thousand projects) and variety of concrete and rock problems I have investigated over the past 31 years, it has resulted in my being considered one of the world's experts in material forensic science. 

This experience and notoriety in the construction industry is why American Petrographic Services Inc., was assigned to perform all the forensic analysis work on the fire damaged concrete at the Pentagon after 9-11.  It was truly an honor to be involved that work which will likely define my legacy more else I have done or ever might do.

In the late 1990's I was approached by the lead editor for a book project, Robert Ratay, to write the chapter about concrete for a book published in 2005 titled, Structural Condition Assessment Handbook.  Bob had a lot of people he could have asked to write that chapter and it was an honor and a privilege to be selected.  For those interested in learning more about the process of forensic investigation I encourage you to read the chapter I wrote in this book.  Keep in mind the process of investigation into the Kensington Rune Stone, and other mysterious artifacts and sites, is no different than process of investigating problems with concrete, mortar, rock etc.  You can read more about the book at the following link.  

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Unassuming Crown Jewel of Washington, D.C.

Literally yards from the north side of the Capitol building sits a quiet, unassuming red brick structure called the Summerhouse.  It was built in between 1879-1881 and designed by the famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted.

Alan Butler and Janet Wolter stand on either side of the southwest entrance to the summerhouse.  The drinking fountain can be seen in the middle of the structure where mounted police still water their horses while patrolling the Capitol grounds.

Janet Wolter peers into the grotto build into the ground on the east side of the structure where a spring constantly flows from the grotto.  On the winter solstice, the rays of the setting sun enter the cave in an allegorical union between the male Deity in the heavens and Mother Earth. 

The subject of his blog post is about what my wife, Janet, Alan Butler, and I consider to be the hidden crown jewel of Washington D.C.  It's called the Summerhouse and resides on the northwest side of the Capitol grounds.  It was constructed of red ochre brick in 1879 and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who was the landscape architect who designed the Capitol grounds.  Olmsted was also on the team that designed Central Park in New York City.  This unassuming structure goes virtually unnoticed by the millions of visitors to the city every year, yet it is arguably one of the most important historical structures in the entire city. 

Janet and I had first noticed the structure during a shoot for the documentary film for History Channel, Holy Grail in America, several years ago and knew immediately it was something special.  But it wasn't until we were filming an episode for America Unearthed, with Alan Butler, that we had time to investigate it.  It didn't take long before its complexity and importance became apparent.  While the three of us all put our heads together to unravel it's secrets, it was Janet and Alan who really dug in to flesh out the bulk of the important historical details.  For the those interested in reading more about their discoveries as to what the Summerhouse does, please click on this link to their website:

One of the important discoveries we made together directly connects to research I've presented in one of my previous books, The Hooked X: Key to the Secret History of North America, and will be presented in detail, and in proper historical context, in my upcoming, yet untitled, new book I hope to publish in early 2017.  Many of the subjects I've posted blogs about in the past year will be discussed in the new book and put into proper perspective relative to the incredible story all three of us have published several books on that rewrites not only the history of the founding of the United States, but important aspects of world history.  I encourage the reader to look at Janet and Alan's new book, America: Nation of the Goddess, for other important discoveries they have made in Washington D.C., New York City, and other cities across the U.S.  For copies of any of our autographed books go to: 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Kensington Rune Stone Deception Disguised as "Scholarship"

Figure 1. Swedish Professor, Henrik Williams, and I posed for a photograph after a public debate he moderated that Dick Nielsen and I participated in with Swedish scholars about recent discoveries concerning the Kensington Rune Stone.  The debate took place in Hudiksvall, Sweden, in February of 2004. 

Figure 2. This is the first of forty pages of Professor Henrik Williams' written peer review of the runes and language chapter of the book I co-authored with Richard Nielsen titled, The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence.  In 2005, the professor was in complete agreement the Dotted R on the Kensington Rune Stone proved runologically the artifact was of medieval origin.  Williams' entire peer review can be seen here:

Figure 3. Page 218 of our Compelling New Evidence book includes oversized runic fonts of the modified characters on the first six lines I documented microscopically in 2002.  These dots or short strokes were added by the carver after carving the original inscription.  Both Dick Nielsen and Henrik Williams reviewed the physical modifications and agreed they existed when the book was published in 2006.

Figure 4. At a book release party for our book, The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence, at the Wolter home in November of 2005, Dick Nielsen (far left) explains our joint discovery of the Dating Code, Grail Code and the Dotted R to friends and family.  Pictures of the characters modified by the medieval carver, that I photographed in 2002, were taped above the windows for Dick to use as visuals as he explained the discoveries.  Specifically, pictures of the three Dotted R's can be seen above my head.

Figure 5. At book signings, Dick Nielsen occasionally dotted the "R" in his first name due to his great pride in the discovery that authenticated the Kensington Rune Stone all by itself.   

Figure 6. This internal document was generated by Runestone Museum board members immediately after Henrik Williams angrily departed from the museum after Dick Nielsen had been denied access to see the Kensington Rune Stone.  Both had been warned, in writing, a month prior that Nielsen would not be allowed to see the artifact after denying the Museum access to the Kensington Rune Stone 3D imaging data they had allowed Nielsen to generate in November of 2008. 

Figure 7. There are at least 25 symbols in the transcription of the Kensington Rune Stone inscription that have been intentionally changed by Professor Henrik Williams and Richard Nielsen and then published on Dick Nielsen's personal website in May of 2010.  Several physical aspects of the inscription, such as punch marks and short lines intentionally made by the carver, have been removed (14 circled in red) and others have been added that simply don't exist (11 circled in yellow).  The alleged basis for these changes is the 2008 3D imaging data that to this day, Nielsen and Williams will not allow anyone else to review.  A clean version of this document can be seen here: 

Figure 8. This photograph of the notes made by Henrik Williams of the first three lines of the actual Kensington Rune Stone was taken in November of 2003.  One can plainly see three of the four modified "Grail Prayer" runes ("g", "r" and "l") were observed and documented by the professor (circled in red).  He and Nielsen apparently now believe these features don't exist.  The obvious question is why?

Figure 9. The top image in low angle reflected light is of the word "waR" on line 6 of the Kensington Rune Stone inscription.  It has a man-made, diamond shaped punch mark in the upper loop of the "r" rune which is called a “Dotted R.”

Figure 10. Using the Keyence 3D digital microscope, I mapped and measured the dimensions and depths of the man-made depression in the upper loop of the “Dotted R" in line six.  It measured 555 microns in depth and this extremely rare rune all by itself, proves runologically, the Kensington Rune Stone is a genuine medieval artifact all by itself.  Williams agreed with this conclusion in 2005, yet has since changed his mind after trying to make this man-made punch mark, and many other physical features on the artifact, go away.  The question is: Why the sudden reversal and attempt to remove these physical features from the historical record?

For those of you who are familiar with my work on the Kensington Rune Stone, you are well aware my opinion is the stone is a genuine medieval written record, carved in stone as a memorial and a land claim that also chronicles a journey made by ideological descendants of the Knights Templar and at least one Cistercian monk, to what is now Minnesota in 1362, as dated by the carver.  The stone was  discovered in 1898 wrapped in the tree roots by a Swedish immigrant farmer named Olof Ohman.  I am one of two geologists, the other being Newton H. Winchell, to have studied the weathering of the inscription and declared it a genuine medieval artifact.  Because the inscription is highly weathered, this makes it impossible for anyone in the settlement years of the late 19th Century to carved it as a hoax. 

The primary subject of this blog is the publication of a transcription of the Kensington Rune Stone (KRS) inscription by Professor Henrik Williams and Richard Nielsen that intentionally omits certain man-made features previously documented and adds others that are not present on the stone.  Based on this flawed document, Professor Henrik Williams and Richard Nielsen then published a series of papers with new interpretations of various aspects of the inscription.  Most notably they have “flip-flopped” from their previously published interpretations saying now the "Dating Code," the "Grail Code," and the "Dotted R" no longer exist.  The crux of the issue is there are physical features within two dozen carved characters within the KRS inscription that Nielsen and Williams have deceptively tried to remove from the historic record, and in other cases have added features that simply don't exist.  The obvious question is why?

There are likely multiple reasons for this carefully crafted plan to try and alter their acknowledgement of the physical characteristics of the KRS inscription which they both previously agreed were present, but apparently now are trying to make the "Dating Code" and the "Grail Code" disappear from the historical record.  You would have to ask them what purpose is served by doing this, but I suspect it was for personal reasons and/or to conform to some arbitrary academic standard.  In any case, the two codes were based on sound speculation that Dick Nielsen and I proposed and published in our 2006 book, The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence.  These two codes are relatively straightforward, and consistent within the known context of the inscription; a medieval land claim and a memorial carved by a Cistercian monk.  We could certainly be wrong, but the Dating and Grail codes account for all the modified runes and Pentadic numbers as they must, if we are correct.  However, the point of this posting is not to argue the veracity of these two codes, it is to bring attention to the fact that Nielsen and Williams have conspired to publish a document that effectively erases these important codes they apparently no longer agree with. 


Most disturbing of all is their claim the man-made dot in the rare “Dotted R” rune on line six, which proves the KRS is a medieval artifact all by itself, doesn’t exist.  Reversing their opinions as to what the physical marks on the stone imply is certainly their prerogative, but to now deny the still physically present marks were ever there is not.  As a licensed professional geologist with full knowledge of the physical aspects of the KRS inscription I cannot sit idly by and tolerate two non-geologists make such physically impossible claims.


To fully understand and unravel this convoluted story one has to go back to 2002 when I generated the first microscopic photo-library of the entire KRS inscription using both high and low angle reflected light.  I took a total of over 600 photographs and created a separate folder for what I called, "odd runes" that I discovered as I was taking pictures.  

Several characters contained punch marks and short lines, both adjacent to and within the already carved grooves of the inscription.  As a geologist, my job was to simply document ALL the man-made marks present on the surface of the stone.   It was upon detailed examination and study of these purposeful modifications to certain characters, a number of important interpretations were made.  In addition to the Dating and Grail Codes, a number of very important runological and linguistic discoveries were also made by Nielsen and Williams which included, "har", the "Dotted R" and the "Dotted Thorn."  It was Nielsen, in fact, who originally speculated these marks were a Dating and Grail codes imbedded within the inscription by the carver.  While Williams fully acknowledged the presence of the physical modifications, he did not endorse they were secret codes.  I suspect this was due to his concern about how he would be viewed by his ultra-conservative colleagues, but I don’t know that for sure.  However, Williams did agree the Dotted R existed and proved the KRS was a medieval artifact.  Regardless, Nielsen enthusiastically published the codes in our Compelling New Evidence book in 2006.  He also enthusiastically showed them in a presentation he made to 30+ friends and Wolter family members at our book release party. 


After a series of events in 2006 that included personal difficulties between us, Nielson made an announcement to me that our personal and professional relationship was over.  The reality was he had “switched sides” and likely hoped to be accepted into the academic community and by Williams, so he had to renounce his belief in the KRS codes.   It has been well demonstrated that academicians like Williams, simply will not accept there was pre-Columbian contact in North America by the Cistercians/Templars, whom the codes clearly imply authored the stone.  


Footnote: For those interested in reading more about the interpretations of these discoveries please read the following sources: The "Dating Code," pages 59-64 in Compelling New Evidence and pages 34-37 in The Hooked X: Secret History of North America; the "Grail Code," pages 62-67 in The Hooked X; the word "har", see Williams' discussion on page 536 in Compelling New Evidence; the "Dotted R," pages 49-58 in Compelling New Evidence and pages 31-33 in The Hooked X; the "Dotted Thorn," page C-1 in Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers: The Mysteries of the Hooked X.   


The first step in the apparent plan to erase the record of the codes, and the Dotted R, started when Nielsen approached the Runestone Museum about having a low resolution 3D imaging study performed on the artifact in 2008.  He then submitted a contract that gave himself exclusive access to the imaging data while at the same time denying anyone else access including the Runestone Museum.  Unfortunately, because of their misplaced trust in Nielsen, the contract was not reviewed carefully enough by the museum and they did not realize they would have no access to the data until it was too late.  Subsequently, this was why the Museum denied Nielsen access during Henrik Williams’ visit to the museum in September of 2010.  Prior to that visit, Nielsen and Williams had written a series of "academic" papers based on the 2008 3D imaging study that to this day, only Nielsen and Williams have been allowed access to, and then published the papers on Nielsen's personal website.  These papers tried to essentially “unacknowledge” the physical modifications I had previously documented thereby making the codes go away.


Most disturbing of all is they have tried to erase all three Dotted R’s in the inscription that by themselves, prove the KRS is a medieval artifact.  In my opinion, these “scholars” are trying to reverse all the important progress made in our study of the KRS, in an apparent attempt to manipulate history.   

Prior to Williams’ 2010 visit, they even tried to recruit the grandson of the KRS discoverer, Darwin Ohman, into helping get Nielsen into the museum.  When Darwin reached out to the Museum attempting to help Nielsen gain admission, they responded with a list of demands he refused to comply to.  These events prompted an angry email by Williams upon his return to Sweden.  A copy of the original email sent to Darwin can be read here:  Shortly thereafter, Darwin became so disenchanted and frustrated he decided to write about his feelings regarding the conduct of Nielsen and Williams:   Here is another link to a response by Darwin to a blogger's questions about the conduct of Williams and Nielsen: 


One can see in the attached handwritten review of the KRS runes and language chapter in our Compelling New Evidence book that Professor Williams was in agreement the modified runes existed back in 2005, as well as what the implications were for the Dotted R’s.  Williams himself said the man-made dot in the Dotted R proved it was, "...a medieval artifact."  For those interested in reading several reviews of the manuscript which included three linguists and runologists, Henrik Williams, Professor Michael Barnes and John Bengston.  The links are here:


Because of all this deception, I re-examined the physical modifications on the KRS including the all-important Dotted R, using the latest high resolution microscopic 3D imaging in 2011/2012.  Based on these results it is my professional opinion these physical features are definitely a man-made.  A link to my report on the Dotted R examination can be seen here:


The overriding question is why did Williams and Nielsen suddenly change their minds and set out to try to reverse their prior acknowledgement of the physical marks using deceptive tactics veiled as academia?  Instead of respectfully considering my report on the high resolution 3-D imaging work performed on the Dotted R, Williams wrote an angry response that summarily dismissed the factual evidence.  Again the question is why?


By altering their opinions of previously-accepted man-made markings on 25 characters, and by not sharing their 3D imaging “evidence” they claim justifies these alterations, Nielsen and Williams open themselves up to accusations that they are more concerned with “being right” than “getting it right.”  As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.  The KRS deserves better, especially from those who hold themselves out to be “experts in the field.”  Although the true reason as to Henrik Williams’ alteration of his initial findings may never be known, his actions are all too typical of what has occurred through academia whenever an unorthodox conclusion is put forth.

For far too long, formal institutions have demanded retractions from both individual researchers and tenured professors and the like, whenever their conclusions have not conformed to an accepted historical fact or theory.  As a result, many professional careers have been ruined, along with the lives of those individuals and family members who unknowingly have been swept up into this ever-increasing trap of non-conformity.  This behavior is exactly what I witnessed in my interactions with Swedish scholars during my five trips to Sweden between 2003 and 2006.  This is the exact opposite of what academic institutions should be encouraging.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Hooked X's and Ancient Runes Found in Old Icelandic Manuscripts

This Hebrew alphabet contains the Hooked X symbol for "aleph" and is from an old Icelandic manuscript that dates to between 1700-1890. 
This secret coded alphabet contains an unmistakable Hooked X symbol for the letter "a."  It's one of several hundred alphabets from old Icelandic manuscripts that date between 1750-1850. 
This alphabet contains what looks like another Hooked X symbol for the letter "a."  This Icelandic manuscript dates to between 1700-1890.

This alphabet from 1780 contains yet another apparent Hooked X symbol for "a."

These are only nine of at least one hundred and twenty examples of the "X" symbol being used for the letter "a."  Below is the only example I had previously seen of the "X" symbol used for "a" in a secret coded alphabet from a 15th Century Cistercian Germanic manuscript I published in my "Hooked X" book in 2009. 

Two examples of complicated sigil drawings from the Icelandic manuscripts that incorporate runes and Masonic box code symbols (left), and a heavily Christian influenced drawing (right) that were both used for witchcraft and ritual magic.


These sigil drawings incorporate heavy Masonic symbolism (left) and what appear to be two Hooked X symbols in the upper right part of the upper arm (right).

One of the two Larsson Papers, dated to 1883 and 1885, using the same pentadic numbering system as found on the Kensington Rune Stone, which also contains two runic alphabets written in the "Secret Style."  These alphabets which include the Hooked X for "a", along with the alphabetic box code were clearly Masonic and prove the Larsson Papers are related to both known medieval Cistercian secret coded alphabets and the recently published Icelandic secret alphabets that lean heavily on ancient runes.

These two examples of the Hooked X are found in medieval Icelandic manuscripts from 14th (Right, 1300-1400) and 15th Centuries (Left, 1490-1510). 

This circa 6th century Anglo-Saxon brooch with eight symbols carved into the outer ring include a Hooked X at the 2:00 o'clock position.  It was excavated next to a skull in Old Hunstanton, in Norfolk, England in 1900.

Little did I realize that while on my trip to Rhode Island for the dedication of the new home for the Narragansett Rune Stone, I was just being introduced to the tip of an important iceberg of new information that is going to rock the skeptics, debunkers, and disbelievers of the five North American rune stones with the Hooked X, to their core.  Before the ceremony started, Steve DiMarzo and Valdimar Samuelsson visited briefly with me concerning a recently discovered cache of Icelandic manuscripts dating back to the tenth Century that contained literally hundreds of secret coded alphabets, many using unique and mysterious runes.  Since the dedication, Steve, with his dogged determination has been scouring every page of every manuscript, and Valdimar, with his historical knowledge of the use of runes in Iceland, and ability to read the Icelandic text, has led to several important discoveries.  As of this past weekend, Steve has already found 120 examples of secret alphabets that use the “X” symbol for “a”, as well as all the runes on the Narragansett Rune Stone. 

A couple days after initially posting this blog, I received additional information from Valdimar after he had researched the history of the use of runes in Iceland.  He then sent me the following:
"Scott, after reading on runes, especially from the book ‘’Galdrar á Íslandi‘‘, chapter ‘‘Rúnir og rúnagaldrar‘‘, by Matthías Viðar Sæmundsson, he says: Scholars have denied that use of runic letters in Iceland were used as much as Björn M Olsen claimed. Olsen (14 July 1850 – 16 January 1919) was an Icelandic scholar and politician.  If he is right, then Runic letters have been used from the time of early settlement, around 870, to what we call brennuöld 1674 when they burned people with runic knowledge.  In 1641 another scholar ‚‘‘Jon The Learned‘‘, said that many runic books had been in use before our famed Snorri Sturluson (1179 – 23 September 1241).  He wrote most of our Icelandic sagas some believe from old rune books.  Based on this, it is only the mainland European academics, both then and today, who deny that Iceland had, in fact, used runes even longer than written in this book.  Now we see evidence today this is true with all these manuscripts dated after those claims mentioned here."
This is important new information as it shows the ongoing attempts by scholars to stubbornly maintain an untenable position about not only the continued use of runes (and the Hooked X) which began in at least the 9th Century, by individuals and secret societies not only in Iceland, but no doubt in mainland Scandinavia and other parts of Europe. 

What has me excited is they have also found at least two undeniable examples of the Hooked X symbol being used for the letter “a.”  One of these two alphabets uses the Hooked X as the symbol for “aleph”, the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  This alphabet might be the most exciting of all because it provides a direct link between the same Hooked X seen on five North American rune stones, with Hebrews in Jerusalem where we recently found the Hooked X on the lid of the “Yeshua, son of Joseph” ossuary in the Talpiot Tomb.  Is this conclusive evidence of a link between the sect of Jesus and his followers in the First Century, and the Templars who carved the five North American rune stones?  Not yet, but this alphabet in particular is a huge piece of evidence that is consistent with this thesis.


I consulted with a friend in Arizona named Ed Martinez, a Freemason and an Eastern Mystic, who looked at some the manuscripts with complicated symbols using ligatures and offered the following insights, “They are complicated symbolic instructions for magic, incantations, and rituals that were very Christianized, yet retained Pagan traits.  These are sigil drawings using ancient Germanic and Nordic runes for witchcraft and ritual magic.”  He also said, “There are obviously Hebrew influences along with both Pagan and neo-Pagan ritual influences, and also very clear Masonic connections.”  Ed also pointed out there are both Nordic/Swedish and Germanic influences in the manuscripts which we also have within the Kensington Rune Stone inscription.  According to Samuelsson, "These coded “invisible” alphabets and complex ritual magic symbols were used for centuries by certain groups of people in Iceland, but were hidden away when Bishop Odd Einarson made it illegal to use runes.  In 1625, the Roman Catholic Church began burning people who used witchcraft runes."  Considered heretical by the Church, these documents were hidden from Church authorities only to surface again now for the world to see.  There is a lot of research to be done on these documents, but even with this initial study some incredible new knowledge is coming to light.      


It’ll be interesting to see what scholars like Henrik Williams, Professor of Runology in Sweden, will say about these mysterious runic alphabets.  He is already on record saying the Hooked X is modern despite being aware of numerous examples that date back at least two millennia.  The Larsson Papers, which first surfaced in early 2004, contained similar secret alphabets with the Hooked X and proved scholars for the past century were wrong that the Hooked X never existed.  Instead of admitting it, they claimed an immigrant could have had these documents and carved the KRS inscription.  Never mind that you still couldn’t carve the KRS with the Larsson Papers, the consistent position of Williams and his colleagues is to ignore hard science and maintain the KRS is a hoax at all costs.  These newly published Icelandic alphabets and the other documented examples prove definitely the Hooked X is not only medieval, but is the key to amazing hidden history whose time has come to be revealed.


My guess is the linguists will stubbornly remain entrenched in the foxhole of denial that to date has been rooted in non-scientific thinking and arrogance.  I would love nothing more than to see them prove me wrong.  For those interested, the manuscripts can be viewed here: 


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Narragansett Rune Stone Dedication Ceremony

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. 

The interpretive signage that includes historical photos of the Narragansett Rune Stone.

Speaking on behalf of the nine elderly witnesses who signed written affidavits that helped preserve the integrity of the Narragansett Rune Stone, Peter Bruno gave an emotional and moving speech. 
As the final speaker I made sure to acknowledge the vital contributions of Detective Sheila Paquette, who tried unsuccessfully to hide in the crowd, and Steve DiMarzo, who helped preserve the integrity of the stone by finding the nine elderly witnesses who had seen the inscription as early as 1945 and having them all sign written affidavits. (Photo Courtesy of Tom Helmer)

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)

It was a perfect October 30 day as an excited crowd gathered that would eventually swell to roughly 150 people.  Janet and I arrived a couple hours before the ceremony and found the Narragansett Rune Stone inscription right side up with the boulder it was inscribed on perched at a 45 degree angle and partially buried below-grade with fist-sized cobbles surrounding within the perimeter of a recently built wooden fence.  This certainly isn’t the final structure scheduled to be constructed to protect the inscription from weathering and secure it from vandalism.  That construction is planned for next spring, but as we stood looking at the tarp-covered boulder with new landscaping and fencing I could help feeling sense of relief and pride.  Through the efforts of many people, including nine brave now-elderly people who had signed written affidavits attesting to having seeing the inscription prior to 1963, when some clown claimed to have carved the inscription in hopes of seeing it dismissed, the historic day I had long hoped for had arrived. 

Familiar faces began to trickle in and we greeted them with smiles, handshakes and hugs.  Rick Lynch and David Brody were some of the first and we reminisced how far we had come since that Christmas Party in 2011, at the home of one the residents of the Pojack Point neighborhood where the stone was then located.  We were there to lobby support from the homeowners for their support in getting the stone out of the water and to a more secure location.  We knew that to have any chance of getting this done we needed the support of the local residents.  The words I spoke were barely out of my mouth when one of the residents angrily piped up and said, “That stone belongs to me.  I can do anything I want.  I could take it out of the water tomorrow.”  Right then, I knew were in trouble. 

When the three of us first received word the stone was missing about six months later, we all knew instantly who the prime suspect was.  It took about year for Detective Sheila Paquette and her colleagues to recover the stone that had been removed with heavy equipment by the angry neighbor.  It was returned and temporarily stored at a secure indoor facility belonging to the University of Rhode Island where it would reside for almost two years until it was moved to its final resting place.  It was in that secure facility that Janet, researcher Jerry Lutgen, and I first saw the artifact since it had been stolen.  It was also the first time I had a chance to examine the clean inscription without the having to brush away barnacles, seaweed and crabs crawling over it or having to wait for low tide to even see it.  At least twice in the past I tried in vain to closely examine it as waves lapped over the inscribed characters.  This visit in September of the 2014 was the one and only chance I’d have to carefully examine not just the inscription, but the entire boulder to get a better sense of the geological aspects and weathering which was more advanced than I originally thought.  It also gave Jerry a chance to test his RTI (Reflective Transformational Imaging) technology. 

As the garage door slammed shut after completing our three-hour time scouring the stone we knew the next time we’d see the stone was today.  After the speeches and glad-handing was over, I took one last look and noticed the three deep gouges made from the heavy equipment the neighbor used to remove the stone from the water.  On one hand they were a tragic reminder of the damage that has been done by arrogance and ignorance.  However, the fresh-looking gouges served as excellent control marks that by comparison, makes the inscription look as old and weathered as it is.  I couldn’t help but smile at the irony of how the three gouges were symbolic of the contrasting views of the controversy and how we should all look at them as an opportunity to make lemonade out of three big lemons.

Runologist's Conclusion about the Narragansett Rune Stone

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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hooked X/Tau Cross Monogram on the Jesus Ossuary Lid

I've been sitting on this discovery for over a year thinking I would publish it in a forthcoming book.  I changed my mind realizing it would be at least another year before I would be able to complete the necessary scientific work that would complement this discovery.  I still plan to perform this work, but decided to announce the discovery, via the photos and paper below, and get the discussion going now as comments I receive may have impact on the scope of the future research.

The implications of this discovery are potentially huge and certainly supports my past fifteen years of research.  I'm pretty damned excited about this and I hope you will be too!

Figure 1. Photograph of the front of the Yeshua (Jesus) ossuary (IAA accession no. 80-503).  Its perimeter dimensions are 62.7-65.0 x 25.4-26.0 30.5-31.0 centimeters. (Internet)

Figure 2. The “Hooked X/Tau Cross” monogram carved on the lid of the Yeshua (Jesus) ossuary. (Photograph courtesy of Charles Pellegrino)

  Figure 3. The Hooked X (red)/Tau Cross (yellow) are highlighted to show it’s actually a monogram of two symbols. (Wolter, 2014)

Figure 4. A second photograph of the “Hooked X/Tau Cross” monogram carved on the lid of the Yeshua (Jesus) ossuary that includes the faintly visible second symbol which is a low-angle chevron (circled in red). (Photograph courtesy of Charles Pellegrino)

Figure 5. The drawing of the Hooked X/Tau Cross monogram (Page 223 in L.Y. Rahmani’s book) shows the vertical line of the Tau Cross is slightly off to the right when compared to the actual carving with both carvings oriented upside down.  However, the drawing shows the correct relative position of the chevron symbol that also appears on the lid. 
Figure 6. Drawing showing the relative position of the Hooked X/Tau Cross symbol on the lid of the Yeshua (Jesus) ossuary as drawn by Scott Wolter after examining the ossuary while on display in the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition in Los Angeles, California, on March 18, 2015.  

Figure 7. The inscription carved in Aramaic on the narrow side of ossuary IAA #80-503 reads “Yeshua bar Yehosef”, (Jesus, son of Joseph) and has a large “X” carved at the beginning of the name as Hebrew and Aramaic are read right to left. (Internet)

Figure 8. The Hooked X symbol occurs twenty-two times on the Kensington Rune Stone; it is used for the “a” sound within the Old Swedish runic inscription discovered in Minnesota in 1898.  This example is found in the second word on line 6. (Wolter, 2002)

Figures 9 & 10. Egyptian Pharaohs Tutankhamen and his father Akhenaten both have the crossed Crook and Flail across their chest which was the earliest known representation of the Hooked X symbol and the ideology of Monotheistic Dualism it represents. (Internet)

Figure 11. This example shows the Egyptian Ankh which is actually a Tau Cross with an egg-shaped handle. (Internet)

Figure 12. One of the most important symbols in Royal Arch Freemasonry is the “Triple Tau” found on this Masonic apron within the Delta and the circle, both considered symbols of the Deity within the Craft.  (Wolter, 2015)

Figure 13. The Triple Tau symbol occurs twice on this mid-1600’s era grave slab in the floor near the altar in the church of the ruined St. Augustine Monastery in Old Goa, India. (Wolter, 2015)
Figure 14. This stylized example of the Christian “IHS” symbol appears on the exterior of the “Bom Jesus” Basilica in Old Goa, India.  This symbol dates back to the Second Century and could be origin of the Triple Tau symbol found in Royal Arch Freemasonry.  (Wolter, 2015)
Reconsidering a Mark on the Lid of the Talpiot Tomb’s Jesus Ossuary
By Scott F. Wolter P.G.
The lid on the “Yeshua bar Yehosef” (aka Jesus, son of Joseph) ossuary from the First Century C.E. “Talpiot Tomb” in Jerusalem, has a prominent mark that has received little attention.  If mentioned at all, it is typically referred to as a star and usually dismissed as something insignificant, such as an alignment mark.   A careful examination of the mark reveals that it is actually not a star.  Rather, it appears to be a combination of two symbols, one resembling a Tau Cross and the other a so-called “Hooked X”.   This paper will build a case for this interpretation and demonstrate why this is an important discovery.
The so-called Talpiot Tomb was discovered when it was revealed during blasting of the bedrock comprised of a white calcareous chalk called Nari,[1] during construction of apartment buildings in March of 1980.  Excavations of the tomb were performed under the supervision of archaeologist, Joseph Gath, and a plan diagram of the tomb with elevations was made by an assistant archaeologist and surveyor, Shimon Gibson.  Gath discovered ten ossuaries within the six tunnels (called kokhim) during his excavations, but only nine were cataloged and entered into the collection at the Israeli Antiquities Authorities (IAA, nee IDAM) storage facility.  Recent geochemical testing has confirmed the so-called “James Ossuary” is also from the Talpiot tomb and is this missing tenth ossuary.[2]
Seven of the ten ossuaries are inscribed with names; six in Hebrew/Aramaic and one in Greek.  The name inscribed in Greek (IAA no. 80-500) arguably translated as “Mariamene, who is Mara” may refer to the biblical Mary Magdalene.  The six names carved in Hebrew/Aramaic are as follows:
(IAA no. 80-501) “Yehuda, son of Yeshua” (Judah, son of Jesus)
(IAA no. 80-502) “Matya” (Matthew)
(IAA no. 80-503) “Yeshua, son of Yehosef” (Jesus, son of Joseph)
IAA no. 80-504) “Yose” (Jose/Joseph)
(IAA no. 80-505) “Marya” (Maria)
(IAA no. 80-509[3]) “Ya’aqob son of Yoseph, brother of Yeshua” (James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus)
This amazing cluster of names carved on burial ossuaries from a single tomb has led many (including the author of this paper) to conclude this is the family burial tomb of the biblical Jesus, other members of his family and potentially his wife Mary Magdalene.  Much controversy and research on the inscriptions carved on the ossuaries has occurred in the wake of the discovery over the past 35 years, but very little has been said about the marks carved on the lids, including two marks on the lid of the “Yeshua bar Yehosef” ossuary.  Although sketches of these two marks carved on the “Yeshua bar Yehosef” lid were published in 1994,[4] photographs taken by Charles Pellegrino in 2005 are the first-ever photographs of the marks to be published (Figures 2, 3 and 4).  This paper appears to be the first attempt to interpret the meaning of the mark that some had taken to be a simple star.
The Discovery
In May of 2014, a fellow independent researcher named Jerry Lutgen, introduced the author in an email that included five photographs taken by Charles Pellegrino, of a mark inscribed on the lid of the “Yeshua bar Yehosef” ossuary (Figure 1).  In this email Pellegrino described the mark as, “…a seven pointed star with one of the points diverging into a "V."”  Immediately upon reviewing the photos the author saw not a single “star” mark, but two very familiar symbols intertwined into a single monograph and wrote the following in his response to Lutgen and Pellegrino:
“The "star" carving on the Jesus ossuary lid looks like a monogram to me of two separate symbols; a "T" and my Hooked X.  Of course, I may be seeing what I want to see, but the top bar/line of the "T" is slightly below the intersecting lines in the middle of the X.  What do you think?”
Soon after sending the email it occurred to the author this “T” was most likely a Tau Cross, so that the mark was actually the combination of a “Hooked X” and a Tau Cross.  The rationale for reaching this conclusion is presented below.
Pellegrino pointed out there are actually two separate marks carved on the Yeshua ossuary lid, the Hooked X/Tau Cross monogram and a chevron.  He also pointed out there are no known photographs of these marks on the lid other than Pellegrino’s.  The second mark carved on the lid, a low-angle (approximately 25 degrees) chevron, does appear faintly in one of the photographs sent by Pellegrino (Figure 4).  The faintly visible chevron is confirmed by its position relative to the Hooked X/Tau Cross as drawn in a sketch that appears on page 223 of the L.Y. Rahmani’s, catalogue.  The up-side down orientation of the Rahmani sketch confirms the lack of understanding of the meaning of the Hooked X/Tau Cross symbol.  However, the author’s drawing of the Hooked X/Tau Cross monogram (Figure 6) showing its centered positioning on the ossuary lid suggests the carver intentionally placed the symbol at the top end of the lid immediately adjacent to the short side of the ossuary with the inscribed name, “Yeshua bar Yehosef”, and a large “X” symbol carved in front of it (Figure 7).
On March 18, 2015, the author personally viewed the Yeshua ossuary lid, while it was on display in the Dead Seas Scrolls exhibit in Los Angeles, California.  The ossuary section of the exhibit included the Yeshua ossuary which was positioned with the Hooked X/Tau Cross symbol clearly visible only a few inches from the Plexiglas divider.  However, the direct overhead lighting made viewing the chevron symbol very difficult although the more deeply carved Hooked X/Tau Cross was clearly visible.
“Mason’s Marks” or “Maker’s Marks”       
One of the arguments sure to be made against the Hooked X/Tau  Cross interpretation for this mark will be that it is a known  practice to use marks, such as small X’s or “star-like” marks on ossuaries as a way to align the placement of the lids onto the limestone burial boxes.  On pages 19-21 of L. Y. Rahmani’s Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries, he discusses these marks found on approximately 40% of the ossuaries listed in his catalogue.  Rahmani states, “Most of the marks on ossuaries are incised or drawn with charcoal.  They usually occur in pairs, one on the lid and the second on either the narrow side or rim of the chest or occasionally on the chest’s long side.”  The Hooked X/Tau Cross symbol does not have a corresponding mark on the rim or narrow side and looks to have been carved with considerably more care and skill than the aforementioned chevron as well as the name and “X” symbol carved on the narrow side of the chest.  Nearly all the examples of paired or single direction marks in Rahmani’s catalogue are rather crudely made.  In Kloner and Gibson’s article they termed the two marks on the Yeshua lid to be “maker’s marks” writing in a footnote, “Indeed, some of the marks may have been made by family members at the same time they inscribed the names.”[5]  In light of this it’s possible the carver of the Hooked X/Tau Cross monogram could have been the maker of the ossuary, a family member at the time of interment, or even an intruder into the tomb at an unknown date.  Further, because of the differences in the quality of the carvings it appears certain that whoever carved the Hooked X/Tau Cross was not the same person who carved the Yeshua name and the “X” on the ossuary. 
Interpretations of the Hooked X Part of the Monogram
The upper symbol within the monogram is an “X” with an extra bar added to the upper right arm that forms a well-known and controversial symbol called a “Hooked X” (Outlined in red in figure 3).[6]  The author coined the term “Hooked X” in 2002, and has written extensively about the symbol which first became known to him during his examination of the Kensington Rune Stone (Figure 8), discovered in Minnesota in 1898, at his materials forensic laboratory, American Petrographic Services, Inc., beginning in July of 2000.[7]  The Hooked X symbol appears twenty-two times and is used for the letter “a” and “a” sound within the Kensington inscription that is carved using medieval Scandinavian runes.  Since its discovery in 1898 scholars noted that the “Hooked X” symbol had never been seen used in a runic inscription (which led to their persistent belief it was a hoax).  Subsequent research by the author, various scholars, and other researchers into various aspects of the artifact, including the geology, runes, language, dialect, grammar, dating and history of the discovery has provided voluminous evidence consistent with it being a genuine medieval artifact.[8]   
Four more runic inscriptions were subsequently discovered in North America that included the Hooked X symbol.[9]  Three rune stones were found buried together at Spirit Pond, Maine, in 1971, and a two-line, nine character runic inscription with a Hooked X carved into a multi-ton sandstone boulder in Narragansett Bay that was documented as early as circa 1945.  Two of the three Spirit Pond Rune Stones are dated to 1401 and 1402 (twice) using the medieval Easter Table dating method.[10]  The Kensington Rune Stone is dated to 1362, once using Pentadic numbers in Arabic placement, and 1362 again by plotting singled out characters within the inscription into the medieval Easter Table.[11]  The Narragansett Rune Stone has no discernable date within its inscription. 
The author has written three books that chronicle his research into several controversial artifacts that include all five North American rune stones with the Hooked X, and numerous other examples of the Hooked X found in Europe.  Based on the fact the Hooked X is found associated with only the Medieval Knights Templar order, the associated Cistercian religious order and modern Freemasonry, the author has concluded the symbol served a dual function in the known examples.  Besides being used for the “a” sound, the symbol also occurs used as the Roman numeral ten.[12]  In his 2009 book, the author proposed the Hooked X was also symbolic of a religious ideology called Monotheistic Dualism that dated back to at least circa 1350 B.C.E., and the time of Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten.  The author also suggested a very early rendition of the Hooked X symbol was the crossed Crook and Flail (Figure 9 & 10).
The presence of the Hooked X symbol on the ossuary of what many scholars now accept as the First Century biblical Jesus could be evidence that is consistent with many researchers’ belief in his Egyptian heritage.  It could also provide an important clue to the true religious ideology that Jesus, his apparent wife, Mary Magdalene and their followers were teaching.   
Interpretations of the Tau Cross Part of the Monogram
The top horizontal bar of the “T” shaped Tau Cross appears to have been intentionally carved just slightly below the intersection of the two longest lines forming the Hooked X thus creating two separate symbols carved together into a single monogram.  The Tau Cross also has Egyptian origins starting off as a large “T” shaped flood gauge for measuring the water level of the Nile River.[13]  The lifeblood of the people of Egypt was directly dependent on the rise and fall of the Nile.  If the water in the spring was to low there would be drought and famine among the people.  If too high, floodwaters would destroy their stores and homes leading to destruction of the people.  The T-shaped flood gauge became an important symbol of life and later a talisman in Egyptian culture believed to avert evil and ward away sickness and disease.  A loop was added to the Tau Cross making it one of the most common and important symbols in all of ancient Egypt; the ankh was symbolic of eternal life (Figure 11).
Curiously, the Tau Cross is one of the most important symbols in Royal Arch Freemasonry where three Tau Crosses are joined together where the bottom ends are joined at a central point to produce what is called the “Triple Tau.”  The Triple Tau is found within a Delta and a circle; both considered symbols of the Deity, in the top center of the flap on the Masonic apron of a Royal Arch Freemason (Figure 12).  One can’t help but notice both the Triple Tau on the Masonic apron and the Hooked X/Tau Cross on the Yeshua ossuary lid are both in the same relative position; centered at the top.  The Royal Arch Degree of Freemasonry deals with the legend of the Knights Templar digging down nine levels under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where they reportedly found treasure.  Some rumors say the treasure included gold, scrolls, maps, navigation instruments, the Ark of the Covenant and the Delta of Enoch, a triangle of gold with the immutable name of the Creator inscribed in Hebrew letters, Yod, Hey, Vuv, Hey, inside a cube of agate.[14]
The Triple Tau symbol dates back to before the official origin of English Freemasonry in 1717 (Figure 13).[15]  One can’t help but wonder if the symbol is somehow connected to the Christian “IHS” symbol that began in the First Century as “IH” which is identical to the Triple Tau symbol.  The original meaning of the symbol was the “T” over the “H” emblem which meant Templum Hierosolymӕ or the Temple of Jerusalem.  The symbol can also be seen as “I” over “H” and a First Century Christogram of the Greek letters, I (iota) and H (eta), the first two letters for the name “Jesus.”  Reportedly, an “S” was added in the Second Century creating the well-known symbol of the Christian “IHS” (Figure 14).  
Interpretation of the Monogram Taken as “Alpha-Omega”
Many have speculated the Hooked X symbol is a carved-into-stone with straight lines version of the Hebrew “Aleph,” the first character in the Hebrew/Aramaic alphabet.  The Tau is the nineteenth character in the Greek alphabet, but it is also related to the Hebrew Taw (and Aramaic Tav) which would have been the last character of the Hebrew Alphabet.  If so, the monogram on the lid could be equivalent to “Alpha-Omega, the beginning and the end.”  It’s long been known in the Bible that Jesus said, “I am the beginning and the end.”  Perhaps this pre-C.E. 70 symbol is evidence that this biblical passage was accurately recorded, as spoken by Jesus.    
The discovery of the Hooked X/Tau Cross on the lid of the Yeshua ossuary from the Talpiot Tomb could turn out to be as historically important as the recent inclusion of “James” ossuary as a tenth ossuary discovered in, and looted from the Talpiot Tomb.[16]  The author’s fifteen years of research into who carved the Kensington, Spirit Pond, and Narragansett Rune Stones led directly to the medieval Cistercians, the Knights Templar, to modern Freemasonry, to Jerusalem at the time of the Crusades and the biblical Jesus and the evolving theory that he was married to Mary Magdalene.  To find what appears to be the Hooked X carved on the lid of the Yeshua ossuary could be a major historical discovery that is consistent with much of the speculative research the author has already published.  The Hooked X/Tau Cross discovery and it’s apparent connection of the Hooked X to the American Rune Stones, the Cistercians/Knight Templar, and Freemasonry could also be interpreted as factual evidence that is consistent with the Talpiot Tomb being that of the Biblical Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and other family members.  However, a lot more scientific work on the lid carvings needs to be done.  Several important questions need to be addressed. When were the carvings made?  Were the symbols carved onto the lid at the time of interment or were they added later when the tomb was entered at some point after it was no longer used for burials as some have suggested?  The author is hopeful of performing a number of scientific procedures, including three-dimensional digital microscopy on all of the ossuaries in the near future in order to shed more light on these and other questions.  

[3] Charlesworth, 2013, Page 43.
[4] L.Y. Rahmani, A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries in the Collections of the State of Israel, Jerusalem, 1994.
[5] Charlesworth, 2013, Footnote 23, Page 39.
[6] The phrase “Hooked X” was trademarked (Register No. 4,380,468) by Scott F. Wolter on August 6, 2013.
[7] The details of the investigation into the geological aspects of the Kensington Rune Stone performed by Wolter can read in his 2006 book listed in the bibliography.
[8] Hundreds of articles, papers and books have been published about the Kensington Rune Stone since its discovery, but the geological findings led geologist, Newton H. Winchell, the first State Geologist of Minnesota (1875-1900), to conclude the artifact was genuine.  On December 15, 1909,  he wrote to the Museum Committee of the Minnesota Historical Society, “I have personally made a topographical examination of the place where the Kensington rune stone was found, and of the region northward to Pelican Lake where the skerries are located, to which the inscription refers, and I am convinced from the geological conditions, and the physical changes that the region has experienced probably within the last five hundred years that the said stone is not a modern forgery and must be accepted as a genuine record of an exploration in Minnesota at the date stated in the inscription.”
[9] Wolter, 2009, Pages 71-96.
[10] Wolter, 2009, Pages 76-78.
[11] Wolter, 2009, Pages 34-37.
[12] Wolter, 2013, Page 214.
[13] Jones, 1957/1991, Page 235.
[14] Mackey, 1921, Page 244-5.
[15] At least five examples of the Triple Tau symbol were found by the author on early to mid-1600’s era grave slabs in the ruined church in the St. Augustine Monastery (four examples), and in the St. Francis of Assisi Church (one example) in Old Goa, India, in May of 2015. Both churches and the monastery were built by the Portuguese Templars then called the Order of Christ.  
[16] Charlesworth, 2013, Pages 43-45.
Charlesworth, James H., The Tomb of Jesus and His Family: Exploring Ancient Jewish Tombs Near Jerusalem’s Walls, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan/Cambridge, U.K., 2013.

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