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.


  1. "Lincoln's Secret Assassins" was a good episode with a bit of intrigue and joviality. I first heard about the KGC controversy from Brad Meltzer's Decoded series several years ago, and I think it's important to keep the awareness alive. Your approach, connecting the details of Lincoln's assassination, the Confederate's potential involvement, and the gold and weapon caches, added this awareness that is often overlooked. There may be no courtroom-level evidence, but that doesn't mean the controversy should not be investigated and discussed. The detractors will condemn such activity, however I believe it's very important to not let such controversies collect dust. Good show and just my 2-cents worth.

    1. you are wrong and what are you talking about

    2. Kenny,

      I agree there is a lot more going on here than most people realize. I also agree that it needs to be made public as other people may decide to probe further and possibly discover important new information that could shed additional important light on this history.


      Can you be more specific about who is wrong about what?

  2. Off topic, but I think you'll enjoy this -

    What an extraordinary story. About the time Helge Ingstad was finding L'Ance aux Meadows, Jørgen Meldgaard, archaeologist at the Danish National Museum, had to lie to his academic sponsors. He acted interested only in native research, yet his real goal was to look for Norse evidence in North America. (see page 10 and others in this PDF). He had a hunch and wanted to follow it. The only way he could, and still maintain his income, was to lie.

    My god, he even carried a copy of the Icelandic Vinland Sagas on his trip. They would have drummed him out of academia for reading that book.

  3. Steve,

    I’ve heard versions of this story and others of how dysfunctional academia can be. I've been waiting to post a blog about this subject for a while and now might be a good time. Today especially, since a Minnesota state politician, Representative Joe Atkins, introduced a bill into the Minnesota Legislature designating the Kensington Rune Stone discovery site at the Ohman Farm which is currently a County Park, a State Historic Site.

    I helped Joe with some of the history and facts, and warned him the close-minded academics will no doubt come whining and complaining to try and repeal this bill.

    It's just the latest example of the deep-seated problems with the academic process that haunted places like L'Ance aux Meadows site for decades. Of course when the archaeologists took over control and "they" started discovering things did it finally become accepted. The academic process is horribly flawed in the Humanities disciplines which includes Archaeology. One of the reasons is they don't receive formal training in the scientific method, and it shows.

    And they are the ones who call me a "pseudoscientist?"

    1. Scott, as to your comment to Steve dated April 1, 2014 at 4:42 PM....

      "The academic process is horribly flawed in the Humanities disciplines which includes Archaeology. One of the reasons is they don't receive formal training in the scientific method, and it shows."

      Could you please explain exactly what your version of the "scientific method" is and how it differs from and is superior to the "flawed"methods being taught to current Archaeology students?

      What advice would you give to current Archaeology students who have made such a poor choice in deciding to become formally educated within the field they are interested in?

    2. Anonymous,

      First, I never said the field of archaeology was a poor choice for a vocation; it is an admirable one. However, it is not a hard science discipline which is a fact. It is also primarily archaeologists who are most vocal against virtually anything that supports pre-Columbian contact; even in the most obvious cases such as the Kensington Rune Stone, Spirit Pond Rune Stones, Newport Tower, Bat Creek Stone, and the Tucson Lead Artifacts.

      In many of these cases there is no archaeological aspect to discuss, yet many "arch's" still feel compelled to offer an opinion when it is completely inappropriate. A good example is our own Minnesota State Archaeologist, Scott Anfinson. He readily admits that he knows nothing about geology, nothing about runes or Old Swedish, yet he still tells the public he believes the KRS is a hoax. He has no evidence whatsoever to support his opinion and still feels compelled to say something. With such profound historical implications for our state and our nation at stake you would think he would know better.

      I can give you many examples of poor scientific investigation methodology and inappropriate interpretation of factual evidence. I would direct you to the unsolicited statements of the Smithsonian Institution about the Bat Creek Stone on this blog as further evidence of scientific method run amok in archaeology.

      The single biggest issue with archaeologist's I have dealt directly with is they start off their investigations with a working hypothesis: anything suggesting pre-Columbian contact in North America cannot be. A true scientist starts off every investigation with a blank slate and let the evidence lead the investigation.

      I would love to see the archaeologists I'm talking about (knowing that there are some very good ones out there) get up on a witness stand and testify to their findings. They would be embarrassed.

    3. Hi Scott. The best way to prove you are is set out to try and prove you are wrong. Most archaeologists are open to the idea of pre-columbian contact. The issue is your evidence is very soft at best. Dating a rock is not dating the modification of the rock. You say lines such as 'the lichen means its old'. But it is known that by simply dabbing milk onto a boulder can promote lichen growth. You also make large leaps with no evidence. Your location of Vinland was a joke. While I understand for your series you have to simplify at one moment you are looking at runes saying that if there was a dig it could show the true age, the next scene you're saying its definately 11th century, despite the fact you have nothing but stylistic grounds to claim this. From this you say then that Vinland is definately on an island you can't visit based on a single rock yu now can't see. Vinland is definately in North America and could very well be in the USA. But your work has turned the legitimate search for the location of Vinland into a joke. You have shown complete dishonesty in the scientific method, dishonesty in your education (like your fictional Masters you hadon your resume for years) and dishonesty towards what members of the academic community are trying to achieve. Years from now you will realise you wasted a great deal of your life, that you were used for quick ratings. You have allowed yourself to be no better then Big Brother or Ancient Aliens. A geologist you may be, a media whore most definately but a genuine researcher of the scientific method you are not. Now let's count how long until you remove this post.

    4. Dear Anonymous #1,

      First, most archaeologists I’ve dealt with are certainly not open to pre-Columbian contact. Second, I completely disagree with your comment the evidence is soft in cases such like the Kensington Rune Stone, the Spirit Pond Rune Stones, the Tucson Lead Artifacts, the Bat Creek Stone and Newport Tower to name a few. On the contrary, the evidence is consistent and conclusive, so deal with it. But then, if you were as objective and scientific as you want us to believe you would already know this if you’d read and understood the research I and others have published. This means you either haven’t read it or aren’t as open-minded as you think.

      Why insult me and the readers of this blog by suggesting I don’t understand the difference between dating a rock and dating modifications to it? And please don’t lecture me about honesty in scientific method or my honorary degree. I’m a licensed professional geologist who’s operated a materials forensic laboratory for 30 years and if you had read my response to the hate-blogger’s miss-leading post about my honorary Master’s degree you’d have thought twice about posting your silly comments. Regardless, my academic qualifications are irrelevant anyway; the scientific work I perform is based on the factual evidence generated which support the conclusions I reach. My licensed professional status ensures accountability for the work I perform which is horribly lacking in certain disciplines of academia.

      Ratings are very important for any show on television and I’ll be the first to admit we are unable to present the evidence to the level of detail that I’d like. However, I’m thrilled to be able to present the evidence we do to the world who have been lied to for over a century and had their faith miss-placed in academia who have bungled the truth about the history of the this country and beyond.

      Contrary to your beliefs, I can assure you that I will look back years from now with great pride and satisfaction for the work that the production crew, the network, and I have done on this program.

      I’m pretty sure nobody has a gun to your head forcing you to watch it. If it pains you so, you are free to watch something else

  4. You need to do an episode about Eastern Native American/Cherokee DNA. I had my DNA mapped through because of rumored Native American heritage. My results did not show Asiatic Native American, but did show West Asia: Caucasus - in reading further I found that several people with known Native American heritage have had the same Middle Eastern/Caucasus results and negative for Asiatic Native American...Just thought this would be an interesting topic.

    1. Chuck,

      An episode about various Native American DNA would be very interesting. What I want to know about your Middle Eastern DNA is when in your family line did you acquire it?

      I'm not a DNA expert so I won't pretend to know more than I do. However, I know people who do know a lot and it would fun to hear their perspective.

      Stay tuned; we might go down that road at some point!

  5. I'm not really sure when I acquired it, but it is <1% - and could be an overlap of my 28% Eastern European. My "Native American" could end up being Bohemian. The <1% could suggest a 4-6X great grandparent. I also realize that if it is Native American, I may not have inherited the Asiatic DNA. The following link has comments posted by individuals with known Native American Heritage and 7-9% Caucasus and 0% Asiatic Native American:

  6. The following links contain information about the subject - some good and some not as good.

  7. Off topic, sorry, but what of the Vinland map? It seems to add to the theory of others having been in North America prior to Columbus.

    1. Tess,

      I have the Vinland Map on my list of shows I'd like to do. Stay tuned as I think we'll look at it sooner or later.

      Good suggestion!

  8. I'll be back from a long filming schedule very soon and will answer any missed questions / comments. Thanks.

  9. Have you had a chance to look into the 10 million found? Was it in fact KGC gold?

  10. Omar,

    We touch on this trove found in California in an episode this coming season.

    Stay tuned!

  11. Hi Scott,

    Can you tell us if you found any more clues? Did using the ground penetrating radar reveal anything? Are there any updates on the trove in California?

  12. I believe the golden treasure trove from Saddle Ridge, California was too late to have been KGC. However, and old find in Baltimore of 5,000 gold coins was almost definitely KGC. Read all about that in the new book Knights' Gold.