The following is the foreword I wrote for the first of multiple volumes of the journals of Earl Henry Sinclair and the journals of the next fourteen generations of Sinclair's (5) and Wemyss/Weems (10) clans. The story that unfolds is nothing short of incredible:
"The personal journal entries you are about to read are the first of several installments that are either the greatest story ever told, or the greatest hoax ever sold. Very strong words indeed, but in this particular case they are more than appropriate. When first contacted about the journals of Earl Henry Sinclair and his descendants, I scoffed and deleted the emails. The third attempt included photos of one of the journal pages, and one of a lambskin map - they got my attention. The email included Diana Muir’s phone number and I gave her a call. We quickly hit it off and after hearing about what she claimed to have, I invited her to Minnesota so I could introduce her to several friends; including several Freemasons to try and vet her story.
After the meeting, Diana shared the journal entries with me and after reading them I was convinced of one thing; if there was even one chance in a hundred that they were authentic, they had to be vetted thoroughly and carefully, for they were potentially far too historically important not to. Over the course of the next two-plus years, Masonic scholar and past Grand Master of Masons of Minnesota, Terry Tilton, and I dove into vetting the journals with a vengeance. It quickly became apparent that if this were a hoax, it was a masterstroke of deviant genius that had to have involved several individuals with a vast array of knowledge in various disciplines to pull off.
If authentic, the history these documents contain is explosive and sheds important new light on many different aspects of history, as well as the individuals named in them over the course of just over four centuries (1353 to 1770). This first of three personal journal books - reportedly written by Earl Henry Sinclair - reveals many previously unknown details about his life and activities from the time he was eight years old until he was fifty-one in 1395. Some of the most interesting and important aspects of the entries in this volume include the following:
The Scottish Templars led by the Sinclair’s traveled to the “Western Lands” numerous times including Earl Henry’s father, William Sinclair II, who made the trip a total of seven times himself. Impossible to comprehend at first glance, the idea of frequent trips to North America becomes all the more plausible given the “Cremona Document” tells of Templar voyages coming to North America as early as 1179. It seems a hoaxer would be more conservative in the number of trips knowing the context of currently accepted beliefs of historians that the Templars no longer existed in the mid to late Fourteenth Century, let alone ever made it to America. The fallacy here was the idea of no pre-Columbian European contact has no factual supporting evidence and numerous documents, artifacts, and sites found in North America directly refute this erroneous narrative.
The young Earl Henry made numerous mentions of both old and new religious holidays and made numerous mentions of the ‘Great Goddess” who was central to his clan’s spiritual beliefs. These entries are also consistent with my own research into the true ideology of the Templars. The importance of the Goddess to Templars is also supported by numerous mentions within the Cremona Document. Their veneration of the Goddess lies at the heart of the success of the Templars secret medieval activities in North America - because they shared a similar ideology as the indigenous people they constantly interacted with and eventually assimilated with. Only a deeply knowledgeable person on a team of hoaxers could insert these aspects into the entries in such convincing fashion. Beyond myself and very few others, we know of no others who understand the complicated Goddess ideology of the Templar leadership.
Here is where one the most important realizations of this journal begins to emerge. In multiple entries between 1373 and 1388, Earl Henry refers to what can only be a fugitive faction of medieval Knights Templar. The “Templari” being sheltered in the Wemyss Caves are clearly supported by Earl Henry, the “Brethren”, and other important Scottish families most likely for their similar ideological beliefs and their service to King Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn in 1314. These entries suggest, along with Earl Henry’s mention of Hiram Abiff, the apparent evolution of the strict asceticism and celibacy of medieval Templarism into an early version of speculative Freemasonic ideals. The surviving Templars who had escaped to Scotland after 1307 were protected by the ruling families were no longer celibate after being outlawed by the Roman Catholic Church and monarchies in England and France. Earl Henry and the Craft’s steadfast support of the “Templari” begs the question was this when and where the rites and rituals of medieval Templarism merged into speculative Freemasonry actively present in Scotland in the Fourteenth Century. If so, this is a huge revelation and deserves to be researched in much greater depth for its potential impact on modern day Freemasonry is profound.
The revelations of Earl Henry’s initiation into Freemasonry are detailed to the point that only someone who had experienced initiation into Templar rituals themselves could have written them, if this was a hoax. While not impossible, the likelihood a Freemason was involved in such a hoax is extremely remote given this type of nefarious activity goes against Masonic teachings. If authentic, these entries have enormous historical ramifications for Freemasonry that will be studied for many years to come.
Arguably one of the most important aspects of the later journal entries involves Earl Henry meeting the Italian navigators Nicolo and Antonio Zeno. One of the most controversial documents known from this period is called the “Zeno Narrative.” A descendant in the family reportedly restored letters that were alleged to have been written by Antonio Zeno in the Fourteenth Century after having been torn up by the family member as a child. The document reports numerous factual events, most of which are consistent with the information provided by Earl Henry upon meeting them. One important fact in the journals that differs from restored Zeno documents (which state that Nicolo and Antonio were brothers) is that according to Earl Henry, they were father and son.
For me personally, the most important entries by far deal with the “thirty men” that we learn came to the Western Lands to “…establish a settlement” in the spring of 1358. It can only be referring to the party that carved the Kensington Rune Stone in 1362. The implications of the Kensington party entries are huge and appear to confirm nearly all the claims about the artifact I have made over the past eighteen years. While admittingly hopeful that the journals are authentic, due in no small part to these specific entries, it is also these entries that give me the most pause. They almost feel like they were written as a trap. On the other hand, would a hoaxer so blatantly pander to a known proponent like me by suggesting the Kensington inscription carver’s name? My collective research has proven the artifact authentic which means somebody connected to the Templars created it and the story that unfolds in these journals fits perfectly with what we already know.
I would remiss if I didn’t talk about my experiences with Diana over the past two and half years. While I am immensely frustrated with her decision to throw the original journals away, which were most likely copies of the originals, along with the lambskin map at a point of personal crisis, there is no mistaking she has done a phenomenal job of translating the Latin (and Old English in later journals) into modern English. She admits to likely making a few errors which would be suspicious if she hadn’t, but it appears she has done a masterful job of putting the entries of multiple individuals into readable modern text. Exactly how good of a job might never be fully known. However, three pages do survive from the years 1354, 1663, and 1731. Future testing of those pages should yield more information about Diana’s work and what these surviving pages really are.
I have also traveled to Tennessee to vet Diana’s story about where and how she came into possession of the journals. The archival building where she said she got them does exist and contains valuable information about the people who lived in that area at the time of, and after, the Revolutionary War and about the individuals who wrote the last six journals to be published in the future. So far, everything Terry Tilton, Diana Muir, and I have been able to vet has proven to be true and correct. However, many of the over 300 individuals mentioned by name in the journals, whether they were Templar knights, crew members, or Freemasons, have been impossible to determine. In fact, our inability to find any record of many of the individuals is exactly what should have happened. Even for Freemasons like Terry and I, who are allowed access to certain Masonic records non-Masons cannot, we were still not able to find confirming documents for many of the names listed. This begs the question of how and why a forger would make up so many names of people known to exist and others we can find no record of. That we still have many questions about these individuals actually supports authenticity of the documents. If all the names could be readily found by us, they could also be found by a forger. Details about this own research into our investigation of the journals will be presented in the future.
I invite the reader to decide for themselves if these captivating entries represent what amounts to the first installment of one of the greatest stories in the history of the world, or the most complex and secretive work of deception ever assembled. Whatever the eventual outcome, these works are nothing less than sheer brilliance."
For those people interested in a signed copy at half the publisher's price you can order directly from the author at http://dianamuir.blogspot.com/