Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Geology, geology, geology in the Superstition Mountains!"


Field producers Nina and Michelle relax between takes.


Lots of visible gold in this sample Ron Feldman says came from the Lost Dutchman's Mine.


Ron Feldman with son's Josh and Jessie and Scott.


Lost Dutchman, Jacob Waltz, is buried in a lonely part of the cemetery.


The photograph sent anonymously after I returned from the shoot shows rich gold ore inside what appears to be the secret location of the Lost Dutchman Mine in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona.  

The Lost Dutchman Mine mystery was a really fun episode because I had the chance to do several days of hard rock geology in the field.  It brought back memories of my first job out of college as a field geologist looking for gold in Northern Minnesota with Mapco Minerals.  Even though it was fun to be prospecting out in the desert, searching for clue's to Jacob Waltz's "honey hole" of gold ore was tough to do.  It seemed like everyone I talked to thought they had it all figured out when clearly they didn't.  Some thought the gold was a rich ore deposit while others thought it was a cache of gold bars, coins, or placer nuggets mined from a different location altogether.  As you saw in the episode, some are convinced the Peralta Stones are definitely connected to the Lost Dutchman Mine when in fact, there is no clear indication on the stones it even is a map to a gold mine. 
I've received a lot of emails from people who think they know where the gold mine is in the Superstition Mountains.  While there definitely is gold in those mountains, I wasn't certain during the search that anybody living today knows where the mother lode is for certain.  If they did, why would they say a word to anyone about it?
On the other hand, the photograph sent anonymously to me after we shot the episode clearly shows a spectacular amount of veins of gold inside what appears to be quartz host.  The occurrence of gold in this photo could very well be the source of the sample Ron showed me that he said came from the Lost Dutchman Mine.  One thing I know for sure is this large, gold-rich quartz vein was not from the Mammoth Mine Ron took me to.  Even though Mammoth Mine was a reliable gold producer for several years, based on this photo (if legitimate) and the geology I saw, it can't be the Lost Dutchman. 
What I can conclude is if the site in this photo truly is the mine where Jacob Waltz got his gold, the Lost Dutchman was, and apparently still is a gold-rich deposit and someone out there knows where it is.  Maybe one day they'll take me there?  If I had to wear a blind-fold so as to never reveal it's location, I'd be happy to so I could answer the question of it's existence once and for all. 

Judaculla Rock and the Red Bird Petroglyph

Storyteller Tim Hall, Scott, and Nathan Queen in front of the Coffee Shop.
Colin Thrienen shoots overhead footage from a ledge above where the Red Bird petroglyph boulder fell from the wall and rolled onto the highway. 

After filming on the final day in Kentucky I was taken to the cave where Chief Red Bird was buried.

The Committee Films crew lights the Judaculla Rock for night time filming.

Two of our guests in this episode, Lisa Dawn Frady, and Tim Hall, are veterans who served with distinction in our Nation’s military.  Since we weren’t able to acknowledge and thank them for their service during the broadcast, I’d like to do it here.  Thanks to both of you, and to all of our veterans along with those currently enlisted who serve in our military.  Your sacrifice is greatly appreciated and it’s people like you that allow people like me the freedom to run around playing “Indiana Scott.” 
Both the Red Bird Petroglyph and the Judaculla Rock are sites I’ve known about for several years and was excited to do an episode on.  Leslie Kalen showed me the Judaculla Rock the first time and told me that her people’s ancestors, the ancient Cherokee, had carved the symbols covering the stone over a thousand years ago.  My first impression was that it was probably the most amazing Star Map petroglyph I have ever seen.  The one exception is the Peterborough Petroglyphs site in Ontario, Canada.  I had the pleasure of visiting this site this past summer and was educated about its history by an Ojibwe, Mide’win medicine man.  Geologically, the blue soapstone Judaculla Rock and the coarse-grained, high white marble in Peterborough are highly unusual rock types.  It seems obvious to me that the ancient Native people who carved these amazing glyphs understood that.  Both sites are considered very sacred as well they should be.   These sites were used to teach those deemed worthy knowledge about the heavens and the ancient stories.
The petroglyphs on the Red Bird boulder are different and seem to be more like an important sign post with mostly Native messages dating back to the distant past.  There could also be Old World script there as well, but I think the most of the symbols on the Red Bird petroglyph were carved by the Cherokee.    

Ironically, just as we were about to begin filming the episode, one of the people we contacted to be a guest, Pisgah National Forest Archaeologist Scott Ashcraft, declined to appear on the show and then tried to get our access to film the Judaculla Stone denied.  In what was clearly an attempt to control the public dissemination of information about what the Judaculla Stone is, Mr. Ashcroft called everyone he could, including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, to try and derail our filming.  Fortunately, his attempts at sabotage were unsuccessful, but this is yet another example, that hit very close to home, of an academic being territorial to the point of taking disparate action that only served to undermine his own credibility.
I wonder what he thought of the episode?  I’d love to hear from you Scott.  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Davey Crockett and Secrets from the Alamo

At the beginning of this episode I was skeptical of the premise Crockett could have survived the Alamo.  However, things got interesting quickly when the land deed and the newspaper articles began to open my eyes.  The chances are very good that he did survive choosing then to live out his days after the Alamo in a quiet, low-key lifestyle.  This begs many questions and speculation as to why?  If he did survive and went on to live a secret life, why would he sign his real name on the land deed?  Perhaps it was to ensure the property would legally stay in the family.  One thing that impacted me was the land deed was signed by the President, James Buchanan, another Mason, who likely knew Crockett was alive and made sure the land transaction was approved for a “Brother” who had served his country with honor and distinction even then, and deserved a peaceful and quiet retirement.  .

Like many American icons, when you dig deeper into their past to try and understand who they really were, you are often surprised.  I found it interesting to learn that his grandparents were killed by Indians whom he despised as a very young man.  Later, he became very ill at one point and was nursed back to health by Natives he lived with and came to understand.  This led to a better understanding and appreciation of Native culture.  When he eventually became a United States senator, he was an avid supporter of Native American rights which created a rift between he and President Andrew Jackson.  This contentious relationship may have played a role in Crockett’s desire to disappear when the opportunity came after the Alamo.

Our theory that both Crockett and Santa Anna used the Masonic sign of distress to save their lives takes on added significance when you consider that Crockett likely wasn’t the only person whose life was saved at the Alamo through Masonic connections.  Our guest at the Scottish Rite Temple in Minneapolis, Jack Roberts, who also happens to be a Texas native in addition to a Freemason, relayed a legendary story about how two of the three only known survivors walked away from the Alamo.  Those survivors were the wife, Susanna, and infant child, Angelina Elizabeth, of Captain Almaron Dickinson.  According to Jack, the legend within the Craft is before the final assault, Captain Dickinson reportedly gave his Masonic apron to his wife and told her to cover herself with it when the enemy captured them.  There are a couple of versions of this story you can read at these links, but the premise of soldiers and their family members surviving vicious battles throughout history due to Masonic affiliations is nothing new.

If Crockett did survive and live on, the question becomes why did we never hear about it?  There are all kinds of possibilities, but one idea that makes sense to me is the United States Government propaganda machine didn’t want news to leak out about any survivors. They likely feared the now famous slogan, “Remember the Alamo” might not been the powerful inspiration it came to be had a famous person like Crockett been known to survive.  That all the soldier’s died at the Alamo served to ‘fuel the fire’ of soldiers in subsequent battles that led to important victories.

Part of me that wants to believe this courageous American hero did survive, and at the age 50 after the bloody battle at the Alamo he decided he had had enough.  If anybody out there has any more clues that could shed additional light about Crockett, I’d love to hear about it.

Director Raul Cadena gets serious at the altar in the Scottish Rite Temple in Minneapolis.

Joy Bland's husband, Mike Hartzell, Will Yates, Brandon Boulay, Joy Bland and Scott.

Archaeologist Michael Arbuthnot gets his drone ready for a flight
at the suspected Davey Crockett property.

An interesting AVM keystone at the entrance to the Alamo.  
Which Mary was it supposed to honor?

An arrowhead found by Scott near the homestead of Davey Crockett.

Scott proudly diplays his jasper arrowhead.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

So what about that “Apparently Non-Existent” Honorary Master’s Degree?

Shortly after the premier of our show America Unearthed in December of 2012, an internet “debunker” wrote a blog intimating that I was falsely claiming I had received an Honorary Master’s Degree in Geology in 1987.  The blog was cleverly written so as to not outright assert I was misrepresenting my qualifications, but it certainly did give readers the impression I was somehow claiming to be somebody I wasn’t.

Unfortunately, this misleading post has made its way to the top position on Google when people search for my name looking for information about me.  Even though I responded to the post explaining how and why I received the degree, my response was at first left up on blog, but has since been removed thereby furthering the myth the blogger created.  Because I often receive sometimes nasty criticism generated by this particular blog post, I felt I should re-address the issue head-on in a blog post of my own.  While the debunker’s post falls just short of the bar necessary to initiate legal action, future events could change the current situation.

Another reason I felt compelled to address this subject, is that the person whose idea it was to recognize me way back then recently passed away.  Professor Emeritus, Charles L. “Charlie” Matsch, died suddenly on April 20th of this year at the age of 83.  I owe much of whatever success I’ve had in my career to Charlie who steered me toward geology when I was clueless freshman at the University of Minnesota at Duluth (UMD).

The late Professor Emeritus Dr. Charles L. Matsch and I pose for a photo after my lecture on Lake Superior agates at the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the spring of 1987.  Charlie and my other former professors gave me a “sympathy” Honorary Master’s for my 1986 book, The Lake Superior Agate.

In August of 1983, I completed my 6-week geology field camp classwork and was ready to begin my job search.  Charlie contacted me about interviewing for a position as a field geologist with a Mapco Minerals.  Due in part to Charlie’s recommendation I was hired.  It turned out the first project was in Northern Minnesota where I was hired to traverse and map the glacially scoured bedrock.   The job also required that I slog my way into a seemingly endless number of swamps to hand drill through the floating bogs up 30 feet down to the underlying bedrock to collect basal clay samples looking for gold.  It was a physically demanding job, but I was in good shape after four years of playing college football and I really enjoyed being in the woods.  After three months the Minnesota project ended and I was offered a full-time position that was to begin in January in Nevada.  I was excited to get my professional career going as were my parents, Barbara and Fred.

Upon returning home to the Twin Cities in November, my father, a pilot with Northwest Airlines for the past 25 years said, “You’re no longer a dependent, so you get one more pass to fly anywhere in the world so you better make it good.  Where do you want to go?”  With over a month before I started the next field assignment in Nevada; I was excited to take the trip of a lifetime.  One of my favorite hobbies was scuba diving and decided I wanted to go the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  Being close to my father, I asked if he wanted to go with me.

Our plan was to be gone for three weeks and over the first eight days we were in Hawaii, Japan, and China before arriving in Cairns, Australia.  After hustling our way onto a boat and camping out the night before, we arrived on the dock the next morning for the three-hour trip to the Great Barrier Reef.  This was the moment we were waiting for and after the boat was anchored in a tidal channel on the reef, 25 or so snorkelers jumped into the water for a spear-fishing contest.  Once the snorkelers were clear, my father and I excitedly jumped in with our scuba tanks.  Within minutes of entering the water we became separated in the murky, sediment-filled water flowing out to sea with the tide.  After searching for several minutes, I grew annoyed wondering where he was and headed back to the boat.  As I climbed onto the boat, a few of the snorkelers were just setting him down after pulling him from the water.  I knew instantly that he was gone.  Exactly why my father, who was an experienced diver, died from saltwater drowning that day is still a mystery.

Needless-to-say both my family and my world changed forever.  After my return I was in no condition to take the job with Mapco and over the next two years I struggled trying to find my career and my confidence.  To help work through the grief and guilt, I spend countless hours in local gravel pits collecting agates, and my thoughts, trying to understand what had happened.  I immersed myself in everything agates and at one point was inspired to write a book about agates by my agate mentor, George Flaim of Duluth, Minnesota.  Thanks to George’s prodding I embraced the project and with the input of many people along way, including Charlie and my other UMD professors who reviewed my geological research on the various types, modes of formation, microscopic features, glacial distribution, and history of collecting Lake Superior agates, the book was published in the fall of 1986.

My agate mentor, George Flaim, and I posed for a photo while negotiating a deal in his basement in Duluth, Minnesota, sometime around 1990.

It was a proud and defining moment in my life which helped me move on emotionally from the tragedy with my pride and confidence restored.  The following spring, I was invited by the University to give a lecture at UMD about my agate research.  Janet joined me for the lecture and afterward my former professors peppered me with technical questions that I answered.  After the lecture they invited me to the professor’s lounge where Charlie announced the honorary degree complete with a whipped-cream topped cup of coffee.

The degree was certainly not officially recognized by the University, nor was it ever portrayed to be.  It was simply an acknowledgement that my professors were proud of me for fighting through a tough experience, producing something scholarly, while getting my life back on track.  I have always portrayed it as an honorary “sympathy” degree.  However, it was an honor I was proud of back then and am still proud of today.  The misleading blog post put my now elderly retired professors in an awkward position at being questioned about their kind gesture so many years ago.  To have this important moment portrayed as somehow dishonest to try and discredit me and my research, only serves as further motivation.

In the future I’m sure we will all look back and recall these “Wild West” days of the Internet.  I was prepared for the personal attacks and attempts to marginalize and dismiss my work on the controversial subject matter we investigate on the show and in real life.  People like this aren’t really interested in the truth; they are interested in turning the attention onto themselves so they can espouse their own personal “beliefs.”  In my view, the worst offender of bias and miss-information on the Internet is Wikipedia.  This on-line resource that so many people in the world rely upon simply cannot be trusted; especially when it comes to topics about archaeology and the controversial artifacts I had researched extensively, such as the Kensington Rune Stone, the Tucson Lead Artifacts, and that Bat Creek Stone.  They are portrayed as fakes in spite of the obvious and overwhelming factual evidence consistent with authenticity.  The world is being manipulated by “Wiki” on these topics and it needs to be stopped.

Shortly after the show premiered, bogus references casting my research in an unfounded negative light began to appear on my Wiki bio page.   I tried unsuccessfully to remove it only to have it reappear.  Eventually, I demanded they remove the bogus information or delete my bio completely.   I’d rather people not have a Wiki bio than to have one sentence in it that was false.  An infuriating and condescending week-long debate ensued among the Wiki reviewers and only after threatening legal action did they finally remove my bio completely.

The same situation is currently happening to a brilliant researcher and friend, Charles Pellegrino.  Charlie has also had his academic credentials questioned by Internet hackers who have posted false information on his Wiki bio page.  Charlie lost his cousin on 9-11 and along with other families who lost loved ones that day has endured harassment and threats by 9-11 “Truthers” whose motives are despicable, and who are openly in charge of his Wikipedia biography.   Charlie has also had research on the Titanic and the Talpiot Tomb unjustly criticized by those whose “beliefs” on these subjects are contrary to the factual evidence he and his colleagues have worked hard to document.  He has also reached the point of frustration and disgust that he has demanded to have his Wiki bio page removed permanently.

At the end of day, all this banter about scholarly degrees, peer review, academic journals, and fraudulent Wikipedia articles are nothing more than a smokescreen by skeptics and debunkers who offer no meaningful contributions, and try to control and cloud the discussion with misleading and mean-spirited deception and nonsense.  The bottom line is the soft-science academic “consensus of opinion” approach to history where there is little to no accountability has failed to find the truth.  It’s long past time we put aside the “Myth of Columbus” and defer to the facts.  Instead of the court of academic opinion, the factual evidence concerning our history should be considered in a court of law under oath by professionals who understand proper scientific method, ethical practices, and most importantly, accountability.              

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Ohman Stone Musical: Art Imitates Life

Yesterday, Janet and I attended the Minneapolis Fringe Festival play, “The Ohman Stone” written by Sheridan (Tom) O’Keefe.  Darwin Ohman, his wife Ginny, and his son Brian, saw the play and afterward we all met for a beer with the cast to congratulate them on a moving and thoroughly entertaining performance.  Darwin and I will both admit the play struck nerves particularly close and along with much laughter also brought a tear to our eyes more than once.  Many months ago, Tom Contacted Darwin and I after reading my book, The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence, to discuss certain aspects of the book and how it could be made into a play.  It was clear Tom was very passionate about getting two important aspects to the KRS saga across in his play; first was the obvious authenticity of the artifact, and second, the devastating toll the often maniacal detractors had on the lives of the Ohman family.  Tom and his cast succeeded on both accounts.

The play includes real-life deceased characters who were on both sides of the authenticity debate that appear as ghosts.  On the pro-authenticity side were Sven Folgelbald, the scholar-preacher who taught the local schoolchildren, including the Ohman children at one point, who died a year before the KRS was discovered and was played by Jim Christensen; Hjalmar Holand, who championed the authenticity of over fifty years and was played by Mark Olson, Newton Winchell, the First Minnesota State geologist whose 1909-10 investigation concluded the KRS was genuine was played by Daniel Wolfe, and of course, the discoverer of the artifact, Olof Ohman, played with a convincing Scandinavian accent by Tom O’Keefe.  The three skeptics were Erik Walgren, the Professor of Scandinavian Languages at USC , Theodore Blegen, former director of the Minnesota Historical Society and author of the 1968 book, Kensington Rune Stone: New Light on an Old Riddle, played by Ron Giroux, and the real-life villain obsessed with proving the stone a fake, Johan Holvik.  The Wahlgren and Holvik characters were played by women, Holly O’Keefe, and the Hitler-like persona many who knew Holvik said he reminded them of was humorously played by Jenni Charrier.  The entire cast did a great job of distilling a lot of KRS evidence and finformation into a concise and entertaining presentation.

The other main ghost character was Amanda Ohman, played by Emily Stephenson, who brought the torment and tragedy of Amanda’s finals days to heart with her beautiful singing.  The only living character was a scientist named Brian Storm, played by Andy Rakerd, and was based loosely on, well, me.  It was really strange to watch the play unveil much of my own research in such a different venue.  We all laughed, sang along, and fought back tears as the debate, and romance, unfolded.  Anyone who sees the play will be struck by the clear and obvious conclusion reached on the authenticity of the artifact.  Attendees will also be moved and disturbed by the passionate portrayal of the abuse suffered by the Ohman family as a whole and by Amanda Ohman from a maniacally obsessed Johan Holvik.  

The play prompted me to go back and read the chapters in ‘Compelling New Evidence’ (pages 133-186) I’d written about the scandals perpetrated by not just Holvik, but of the conspiracy of lies, deception, and incompetence in the so-called scholarship of the likes of Wahlgren, Erik Moltke, Einar Haugen, Birgitta Wallace, and sadly, my former co-author Richard Nielsen.   The play told the story of the human tragedy that results when, scholars in this case, are more concerned with being “right” than getting the “right answer.”  The cast did a beautiful job of demonstrating how facts trump the beliefs of so many scholars who abused (and continue to abuse) their positions of perceived authority and credibility.  In an age where science and technology rules, I’m often dumbfounded how so many intelligent people still don’t understand the basic principles of evidence and logic.  It just goes to show how far we as humans have not progressed.

As I sipped my beer at the Bulldog Bar, I watched as Darwin laughed with the cast after their stirring performance.  It was nice to see his generation enjoy the positive attention his father and grandfather rarely saw.  Darwin knows the truth as does his son Brian and daughter Kari.  They, and other Ohman descendants will pass on the great family legacy that will be enhanced as more and more of the public, and eventually academia, come to realize the truth behind this amazing discovery.   One hopes that Olof, Amanda, and the rest of the Olof and Karin Ohman Family have found peace in “Valhalla” already knowing what the world is only now beginning to truly understand.

Amanda & Ida Ohman Circa 1915

Amanda 1920

Darwin Ohman, Sheridan O'Keefe (Olof Ohman) and Scott

Hjalmar Holand Circa 1900

Ida & Amanda Circa 1912

Johan Holvik Circa 1950

Newton H. Winchell 1901

Scott and Emily Stephenson (Amanda OHman)

Theodore Blegen

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reviewing Peer Review

While waiting for our flight to the other side of the world for our latest Seasons 3 shoot on America Unearthed, I decided to write a blog post about the subject of so many posts: peer review. For years I’ve heard academics complain about peer review of my work on the Kensington Rune Stone and other “taboo” artifacts. They argue and posture hoping they can somehow negate the conclusions I’ve drawn. The fact is all my work has been peer reviewed by some of the most competent, qualified, knowledgeable, objective, and experienced professionals and academics one could want in the hard science disciplines of geology and engineering. The problem skeptical archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists, and historians have is they are trying to assert that the “academic” peer review process is the only acceptable way to truth. Besides trying to frame the argument to their distinct advantage, they couldn’t be more wrong.

Academic peer review in principle works well to a certain degree; if you have the luxury of time and are in an environment immune to the problems commonly seen in academia such as territoriality, competition for funding, runaway egos, intimidation, threats of retribution, favoritism, and ordinary personal pique. In the fourteen years I’ve been involved in the investigation of mysterious artifacts and sites I’ve encountered all of these failings in my dealings with many academics. They insist there is no legitimacy to my or anyone else’s work unless I have gone through the process they dictate is the only acceptable way. Readers of this blog know what I’m talking about.

If this review process is so perfect, then why has it not been able to accurately answer the question of the authenticity of the Kensington Rune Stone, Bat Creek Stone, Spirit Pond Rune Stones, the Newport Tower, and Tucson Lead Artifacts? The fact is academic peer review and publishing process has failed miserably. Further, defenders of the “faith” refuse to look inward and take a critical look of their sacred process to try and figure out what went wrong. Instead, they turn a blind eye to obvious failures, dig their heels in and attack those who dare to question. Allow me to present a particularly egregious example I have been personally involved in that still has reverberations with on-going research.

In 2006, Richard Nielsen and I published our 5-year collaborative work titled, The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence. Nielsen and I became close friends and the collaboration of his runological and linguistic work and my geological work on the artifact produced voluminous new factual data and discoveries that were all consistent with the artifact being a genuine medieval artifact. Shortly after our book was released, financial and personal issues - details of which can be found on the Internet - prompted Nielsen to publically announce that our professional and personal relationship was over. The details of the “breakup” are not important. What is important is the well-documented course of actions Nielsen then chose to pursue.

Nielsen reached out to the academic community in Sweden by admitting he was “bad” for working with the lowly professional geologist and asked forgiveness. Once accepted by one scholar in particular, he then went about things the “academic way” and set his sights on the Runestone Museum. Using the goodwill generated by the previous five years he gained their trust and suggested research that in principal was a good idea. He proposed a digital 3D scan of the artifact using the latest technology. This was performed in November of 2008. In the cleverly worded contract he drafted for the museum, he made himself the sole benefactor of the entire digital data-base. He then refused to provide a copy of that data. To date, that data is still not available to anyone except his sole Swedish academic contact and his then girlfriend/advisor who both apparently believe this is the proper “academic way.”

Now armed with the 3D data base, Nielsen then wrote and published on his own personal website a series of “academic” papers essentially undoing our joint KRS work and bashing me personally. When I eventually read these papers that I assume were “peer reviewed” by his Swedish colleague, it was obvious to me what was going on. Nielsen’s plan was to try to undermine everything I had done and paint himself as the now worthy “academic” and resurrect the KRS in his image. Crazy as it sounds, this story is true. Hardly bitter or angry (well, I was angry when I read the garbage he had written knowing full well he, too, knew it was crap), I feel sorry for my former colleague for the damage he’s done to himself and the Kensington Rune Stone. As of April of 2014, Nielsen still has not released the digital 3D data to the Runestone Museum or any other competent researchers, academic or otherwise.

So what do we take away from this sordid affair? Well, one of the unfortunate events is opportunistic skeptics cite Nielsen’s bogus research as legitimate criticism of my work. I’m sure most don’t realize the “research” they cite is blatantly bias, never had legitimate peer review, and self-published on his own website. Even the writer of a blatantly anti-diffusion page on Wikipedia felt it was appropriate to use Nielsen’s “academic” work to criticize my research on my own Wiki page. Upon deleting the garbage I was chided for editing my own page which incited a debate among the Wiki editors.

With Darwin Ohman
next to a modern rune stone
I carved to commemorate
the 2006 book:
“Kensington Rune Stone:
Compelling New Evidence.”
After a week of condescending discussion of my demanding that they either delete the fraudulent citations or remove my Wiki page altogether, they removed my page. No doubt they were quite happy to see any mention of the “heretic’s” KRS work go dark. So much for the academic peer review process in this case. For readers interested in an unbiased take on this latest sad chapter in the history of the Kensington Rune Stone, I suggest Darwin Ohman’s, Taking a StandClick Here. Darwin takes no pride in writing this article but felt it had to be done.

Let’s get back to peer review. I’m quite sure most academics don’t fully understand what we do in the professional world with regard to peer review which I would argue is just as thorough, faster and, in cases like the Kensington Rune Stone, is more accurate and reliable. The reason I’ve been the principal geologist in over 7,000 forensic projects in almost 30 years is because we have to produce. Academia doesn’t have deadlines and the review process can take years which I don’t believe has produced a better end product.

The other major difference between academic and professional peer review is accountability. As licensed professionals we have taken an oath to perform our work professionally, ethically, and to protect the health and welfare of the public. If licensed professionals are found guilty of incompetent work or unethical practice, we risk losing our license to practice. Further, we are required to testify to our facts, interpretations and conclusions in a court of law under oath. What accountability does a tenured professor have?

When all is said and done, I’m fully prepared to testify and defend my peer-reviewed work on all the artifacts and sites I’ve published results on. I’m really tired of listening to “academic” bloggers and Amazon power-trippers using arrogant posturing and name-calling trying to claim sovereignty over scientific method and the peer review process. Instead, we would all appreciate it if these people would stop trying to dictate what they think is proper scientific method and start practicing it. If you are truly curious about the Kensington Rune Stone and other artifacts and sites, then ask intelligent questions and let’s discuss it like adults. If you don’t “believe” they are genuine, then be happy in your “faith” and take your complaints somewhere else.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

America Unearthed - Lincoln's Secret Assassins

The Lincoln Assassination is one of those historical events that as you dig deeper into the characters involved and behind the scenes, the more interesting it gets.  John DeSalvo opened my eyes to the almost certainty there was a much larger conspiracy behind the murder of the president than most people realize.  The vast network of people involved in the Knights of the Golden Circle and the sophistication of their operation was impressive.  It’s fascinated to imagine what the country, and indeed the world would look like had the South Confederacy won the Civil War and the goals of the KGC realized.  That so many believe there are still supporters of this group around today is a reflection of the commitment to the cause of its members and their literal and ideological ancestors.

Once again I was able to meet some interesting and very knowledgeable people like my friend John DeSalvo, Mark Stout, and Warren Getler.  Warren has delved deep into finding the locations of the hidden KGC gold and silver stashes and proved to my satisfaction the KGC still has vast wealth hidden in many locations that is still being guarded by loyalists.

This episode also gave me a chance to again work with another good friend from Minnesota, Don Shelby.  I know Don enjoyed sharing the history behind his ancestor and Confederate General, Joe Shelby.  It was also fun for both of us to get on horses for one of our scenes even though I don’t consider myself a cowboy.  Don was very comfortable riding and had a near permanent smirk watching me try to keep up with him.  After a long and successful career as an investigative journalist and local television anchor, he didn’t agree to appear on our show “to be on TV.”  He’s doing for fun and all of us associated with America Unearthed appreciate the opportunity to work with a real pro!

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the uncanny coincidence of the airing of our episode with the announcement of the discovery of 10 million dollars in gold coins by a couple in California.  While not enough information has been released to know for sure, I wouldn't be the least bit shocked if the cache was related to Knights of the Golden Circle.  If this was a KGC cache of gold, there likely are many more out there!

Warren Getler and Scott pose at the statue of Albert Pike in Washington, D.C.

Don Shelby and Scott Clown for the camera.

Do you think Director Raul Cadena is proud to be from Texas?

After a long day of filming Don Shelby reaps the benfit of Raul's muscle power.

An enhanced image of a scene on horses being filmed along the Rio Grand in Texas.