Monday, January 2, 2023

Dick Nielsen's Dotted R

There has been quite a bit of negative chatter on the Internet lately about the Kensington Rune Stone that frankly, is not worth commenting on.  Most of the attacks are aimed at the honesty and integrity on the discoverer of the artifact, Olof Ohman.  It's disgusting really, but these people are singularly focused on their "beliefs" and rabid efforts to confirm that faith rather than relying on facts or scientific evidence.  It's personally difficult to relive the tough times that ultimately led to this post.  However, sharing difficult personal experiences is superseded by the need for transparency in the quest for truth.

In late 2005, Dick Nielsen and I published our collective 574-page book, The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence.  It really is an exhaustive work that covers every aspect of the history and controversy of the artifact and the ultimate conclusion the facts overwhelmingly supported was without any doubt, it is authentic.  The book was published in December of 2005 and we began selling copies at speaking events.  The first event was, appropriately, in Kensington, Minnesota.  We sold many copies and happily while signing books, Dick took it upon himself to add a dot in the upper loop of the "R" in his first name.  He did this to acknowledge our joint discovery of the all important Dotted R that occurs three times in the inscription.  Dick was exceptionally proud of this discovery as in his mind at the time, it proved the medieval origin of the inscription all by itself.  Let's go back and give a review:

My co-author Richard Nielsen proudly signed our book for Eleanor Gunderson in December of 2005 with an emphatic dot in the upper loop of the "R" in his first name.  He did this because he was immensely proud of our joint discovery of the Dotted R on the Kensington Rune Stone which all by itself proved the inscription was medieval.  

In 2002, after completing my geological work on the artifact and concluding the weathering was consistent with multiple centuries and therefore proved authenticity, I decide to generate a photo-library of each and every rune, letter, word separator, and number within the inscription under the microscope.  I took over 650 photos using low angle and high angle reflected light to bring out the three-dimensionality of every carved character.  During this process I noticed numerous strange punch marks and short lines added to some of the characters which I put in a separate folder.  Later, Dick went through the folder and noticed shallow punch marks in three of the "R" runes and got very excited.  He asked me, "Are you sure those dots are there and man made?"  I looked at him and replied, "Absolutely.  Why do you ask?"   Dick went on to explain how the language was coalescing in the 14th Century and modifications such as punch marks and short lines were added to indicate a change in the way the letter was pronounced.  In this case, the dot in the R's indicated something called a palatal R, a different way of saying the R sound.

He then explained this was a recently understood medieval runic feature that was first discovered in 1935 and published in 1938.  Dick, then smirked and said, "If the Dotted R was unknown to modern scholars until 1935, how did it get on the Kensington Rune Stone in 1898?"  I was confused at first, and then it dawned on me how important these few dots were.  These dots were intentionally made by the carver to acknowledge the runic convention of the time.  In 1362, not in the late 19th Century as so many skeptics have claimed because it was unknown by anyone at the time.  It then occurred to me these tiny dots that, to the best of my knowledge, I was the first ever to document since its discovery in 1898, proved the Kensington inscription was medieval all by itself!  

One of the things I am most proud of when it comes to my work on the artifact is the amazing discoveries Dick Nielsen and I made together.  It was the close collaboration between us, a geologist and an a runic scholar who was also an engineer, that produced those discoveries.

Unfortunately, something happened to Dick over the course of the next two years.  Dick became angry and bitter at the lack of attention he received over his work on the Stone that was encouraged by outside influences.  This led to a rift between us and his eventually his going his own way.  In 2008, he convinced the Runestone Museum to allow him to perform a low resolution 3D imaging scan of the artifact he then used to write papers attempting to undermine the discoveries we had made and published in our 2005 book.  Upon reading his "paper" that tried to wipe away the Dotted R as a "dropped chisel" by the careless carver, I was angry at his betrayal of our work together, to the stone, and to Olof Ohman and his family.  But I was also very sad to see Dick try to destroy the good work we had done together in an attempt to resurrect the inscription in his and Henrik Williams' vision.  That effort failed of course, and in 2016 Dick passed away a conflicted man.

What is important here is not what happened with Dick after 2007, but to remember the amazing work he did prior to ever meeting me and for the incredible work we did together that is published in our book.  I think anyone reading this blog knows that small dot in the R of Dick's first name says everything that he knew in his heart what the truth was.  It is that work that Dick should be remembered for  and his role as one of the key individuals responsible for getting to the truth about this amazing and vitally important historical artifact. 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Startling New Discovery by Hebrew Scholar Confirms the Hooked X is a Symbol for Deity/God

A couple of weeks ago a friend called with a tip about a book he thought we should read.  Terry Tilton, a Past Grand Master of Freemasons in Minnesota, Past President of the Philalethes Society, the academic branch of Freemasonry, a Biblical scholar, and a Methodist Minister, said he thought work in the book by Rabbi Mark Sameth, might have ramifications for my own research.  I quickly found the book on-line, was immediately intrigued and ordered it.  Roughly a week ago the 150-page book arrived and I devoured it in a few days.  Brother Tilton was right, the findings of Rabbi Sameth indeed have ramifications for the Hooked X symbol, my "Templar's in America" research, and my wife's Goddess research that we are still trying to make sense of.  There is sure to be a lot more to come as I consult with other researchers and those better versed in Hebrew mysticism and it's history.  That said, here is what we know for sure...      

Rabbi Sameth traces the history of The Name that first appeared in in a three-lettered form YHW around 1,400 BCE.  This was a time when dual-gendered deities were being worshiped in Mesopotamia and Egypt and the people created The Name that later (circa 850 BCE) became YHWH, or the immutable word of God "Yahwey" otherwise known as the Tetragrammaton.  According to Rabbi Sameth, the utterance of The Name and it's dual-gendered meaning had always been reserved to the priestly elite.  This is why knowledge of the meaning of The Name was unknown until recently.  Not coincidentally, this is also the time we first see the progenitor of the Hooked X symbol in the form of the crossed crook and flail on Pharoah Akhenaten and his son, King Tut's chest. 

Those who read my book, The Hooked X: Key to the Secret History of North America, (Pages 86-96) might recall I postulated the "X" symbolically represented the upward pointing peak, symbolic of the male, and the downward pointing "V", symbolic of the female.  Combined into an "X" represents the union of male/female and the concept of dualism.  I then argued the hook added to the upper right arm created a little "v" representing a child.  In this case, a daughter inside womb of her mother with the father completing the Hooked X symbolically.  I also argued the Hooked X represented what Christianity cryptically calls the "Holy Trinity."  Their definition described as the "Father, son, and the Holy Spirit" without making clear what the Holy Spirit is supposed to be.  It seems to me they're intentionally veiling the obvious missing piece, the mother, thus completing the Holy Trinity aspect of God which is what I believe the Hooked X symbolically represents    

Pharoah Akhenaten reigned in Egypt from 1353-1334 BCE.

Pharoah Tutankhamun reigned in Egypt from 1334-1324 BCE.

Getting back to Rabbi Sameth and The Name, he continues to trace the historical journey of Tetragrammaton from Egypt to Jerusalem up through today.  He also explains the philology of YHWH and how the pronunciation of the word of God is veiled within the Hebrew letters that need to be pronounced backwards.  This reveals HW to be pronounced HU ("he"); HY pronounced as HI ("she").  Here we see how the both the pronunciation and dual-gendered meaning of The Name was kept secret known only to the priestly elite and passed on only to worthy initiates "mouth to ear."  Rabbi Sameth argues the dual-gendered meaning of The Name was a tightly held secret within the priesthood, especially after the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in 70 AD.  He then explains how he learned after making the dual-gendered meaning of the Tetragrammaton discovery himself, the secret of the dual-gender nature of YHWH was previously discovered by Michelangelo Lanci, a Vatican librarian in 1827.  His work was published but, not surprisingly, quickly suppressed by order of the Pontifical Government.  

If we take a look at examples of the Tetragrammaton, we see The Name within an equilateral triangle with the point sometimes pointing up, and sometimes pointing down.  This instantly brings to mind the symbolism of the upward and downward peaks/triangles of the Seal of Solomon and the Hooked X symbol.  They mean the same thing and both contain the sacred secret of the male/female nature of Deity/God.  This makes perfect sense since the same Hebrew people were were involved with both sacred symbols representing a carefully hidden ideology.  That Monotheistic Dualism ideology began in Egypt and was secretly passed down through the Hebrew priesthood into Jerusalem and forward into the present.

After reading the book, we had a long talk with Timothy Hogan, a Freemason and Biblical scholar about Rabbi Sameth's work and the connections I saw with the Hooked X.  He agreed wholeheartedly with my idea and explained how because The Name was immutable the word "EL" was used for God and was able to be said out loud.  In Hebrew, "EL" is spelled "Aleph Lamed" or "AL" which is abbreviated to just "A" (Aleph).  Here is where things get interesting.  In Hebrew mysticism, aleph has a numerical value of one and implies the oneness of God.  Aleph is also the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet and used for "a."  The Hooked X symbol is used for "a" on all five North American Rune stones carved in the late 14th/early 15th Centuries.  I have also argued the Hooked X is a straight-lined version of the Hebrew aleph and makes sense it was used for "a" within these inscriptions.  

The conclusion to all of this is the Hooked X is analogous to the Hebrew aleph which is a sacred and secret symbol for Deity/God.  This is why the monk(s) who carved these stones used the Hooked X as a symbol of recognition for future initiates and as an acknowledgement of God to protect their sacred work; a land claim in the case of the Kensington Rune Stone.  The discovery of the dual-gendered meaning of both The Name and the Hooked X, that followed the same path through 3,400 years of time and the Hebrew priestly line, provides profound factual evidence on the veracity of Rabbi Sameth's research and our own collective research over the past 22 years.   



Thursday, December 22, 2022

New Evidence in Sweden Further Validates Kensington Rune Stone Inscription is Medieval

It was recently brought to my attention there was news posted on a hate blogger site of a recent discovery in Sweden of documents that contained some of the unique runes found on the Kensington Rune Stone including the Hooked X!  The article written by Magnus Källström reports on the discovery of a 16-page pamphlet and a commemorative wedding plaque that date back to 1864 and 1868 respectively.  Both documents were composed by a writing teacher named Eric Ström and contains runes the author of the article calls "Kensington runes."  Indeed, both documents do contain some of the unique medieval runic alphabet, or "Futhark", but no where near the entire alphabet.  See article here:

As is typical with Scandinavian scholars I have interacted with over the past 22 years, when it comes to the Kensington Rune Stone (KRS), Källström reveals his negative bias in the second sentence of the article, "Even if I believe that the (Kensington) inscription was not added in 1362 but in the 19th century,..."  Instead of being open-minded and objective, this author's analysis is doomed from the start.  He also names other Swedish scholars I have dealt with who are borderline fanatical in their attempts to discredit the Kensington inscription, but even their theories are struck down by Källström.  Let's start by taking a look at the KRS runes and the alphabets presented in the article.  The commemorative wedding plaque is first:

This wedding plague contains a message in runes reportedly crafted by Eric Ström in 1868.  The author of the article translated the runes to this: "This commemorate tablet was created during the writing school in Hänstra in the month of April in 1868."

A closer look at the runic message shows the alphabet used is NOT the same as the Kensington inscription as the author claims.  In fact, only 10 of the 17 symbols used are in the Kensington inscription.  The notable symbol that is found here and on the Kensington stone is the Hooked X.  Below the runic message is another message crafted using a Masonic box code suggesting the author, Eric Ström, was likely a Freemason.  The author translated this message to this: "Given by the author as a memory, and a reward for a benevolent treatment.  By Eric Ström." 

The runic message on the plaque contains 10 KRS runes of the 17 total used.  The most interesting is the Hooked X symbol being used for "a".  As interesting as this is, it does not prove anything in regard to the Kensington inscription only that SOME of the medieval KRS runes survived, most likely within secret Masonic and Knights Templar orders, from the 1300s to the 1800s.  More on that to come.

It turns out Eric Ström was the author of another 16-page document about the art of writing that contained examples of different writing styles and text types published in 1864.  Toward the end of the document was a runic alphabet that is eerily reminiscent of another document mentioned in the article that came forward in 2003 when the Kensington Rune Stone was on display at the History Museum in Stockholm.  I was in Sweden at that time and remember all too well when the Larsson Papers came forward and the misguided conclusions the Scandinavian scholars were quick to go public with.  But first let's first take a look at the Larsson Papers.

The first sheet contains two runic alphabets.  Interestingly, the Swedish text written above the second alphabet that begins with a Hooked X says it was written in the "Secret style."  This begs several questions about the origin of the alphabet with must be connected to Freemasonry and the Knights Templar before that.  We have a direct connection to both organizations in the newly discovered alphabet coming below.  The first alphabet is considered to be a Viking era Futhark, the second is considered to be a later Futhark, possibly medieval.  The second alphabet begins with a Hooked X symbol used for the letter "a" but has only 9 of 27 symbols found in the Kensington inscription.  Curiously, the page also contains a Masonic box code and a table of Pentadic numbers just like the numbers found on the Kensington Rune Stone and is dated using that numbering system to 1883.

The first of two pages called the "Larsson Papers" was discovered in Sweden in 2003 and is dated using Pentadic Numbers to 1883.

The second sheet of the Larsson Papers contains the same two runic alphabets, the second again was written in the "Secret style."  Only this time the second alphabet has only 8 of 27 symbols found in the Kensington inscription.  This page also contains a Masonic box code alphabet and the same Pentadic numbering system but is dated 1885.  

The second of two pages called the "Larsson Papers" was discovered in Sweden in 2003 and is dated using Pentadic Numbers to 1885.

In my 2009 book, The Hooked X: Key to the Secret History of North America, I argued the discovery of the Larsson Papers with Pentadic numbers and the Hooked X symbol proved the symbols in fact did exist and were not invented by Olof Ohman, who discovered the Kensington Rune Stone on his farm in Minnesota in 1898, as most scholars had claimed for over a century.  This new discovery of the marriage plaque and the 'art of writing' runic alphabets that begins with a Hooked X is revealing for a number of reasons, but before we get into that let's take a look at the newly discovered Futhark with another interesting Masonic box code, and a Knights Templar "Pigpen" cipher.    

Eric Ström, a writing teacher in Sweden in the mid-to-late 1800s wrote a 16-page document about the art of writing that contained examples of different writing styles and text types published in 1864.  It contained a runic alphabet with 14 of 27 symbol being found on the KRS inscription including a Hooked X.  It also contained a Masonic box code identical to the Larsson Papers.  Most notable is a Knights Templar "Pigpen" cipher that is not found in the Larsson Papers.

This runic alphabet is very similar to the two Larsson Papers' alphabets except this one has 14 of its 27 characters that appear in the Kensington inscription. Here are a few facts: First, it pushes back the earliest known use of the Hooked X in Sweden 19 years from 1883 to 1864.  Second, it has 5 more similar symbols than the 1883 Larsson Papers alphabet, and 6 more than the 1885 alphabet.  Third, the Masonic box code is the same as both found in the Larsson Papers.  Lastly, there is a very telling addition to the most recently discovered and oldest of the three documents with runic alphabets.  Below the Masonic box code is a Knights Templar "Pigpen" cipher not seen in either of the Larsson Papers.  Adding more intrigue and a smile to my face came when Källström acknowledges Eric Ström had connections to the Knights Templar, "...where in 1882 he became involved in the local Good Templar Lodge." 

I find it quite ironic this newly discovered and mysterious runic alphabet contains the most number of runes yet related to the Kensington inscription, and it is connected to a man who was a member of a Templar order in Sweden in the late 19th Century.  Try as the scholars might to put the Kensington Rune Stone to bed as a modern hoax, the evidence that keeps coming forth supports the obvious conclusion it is authentic.  These documents are now added to the voluminous pile of factual evidence, in multiple disciplines, that is consistent with the KRS being carved and buried as a Knights Templar land claim in 1362, and is arguably the most important historical artifact ever found in North America. 

The Hooked X symbol being used for "a" is found in this secret alphabet was written in an Icelandic manuscript between 1750-1850,  and was recently published.  

The Hooked X symbol is used for aleph in what is clearly a Hebrew alphabet written in an Icelandic manuscript circa 1700.  This suggests a connection to Israel and Jerusalem where we found another example of the Hooked X on the Jesus ossuary.

Carved into the lid of the Jesus ossuary from the Talpiot Tomb is a monogram of two important symbols.  One is the Hooked X, and the second, just below the intersection of the X is the Egyptian-style tau cross.  The Hebrew aleph (Hooked X) and Aramaic tau symbols likely represent alpha-omega, beginning and end.

Janet Wolter discovered a Hooked X symbol in the most likely of places, Santa Maria de Olival Church in Tomar Portugal.  There are 22 Grand Masters of the Portuguese Knights Templar buried inside this church.  The church was constructed in the late Twelfth Century.



Monday, January 24, 2022

Testing the Root Leaching Scars on the Kensington Rune Stone

In the summer of 2018, I finally got the chance to test the white root leaching "scars" on the back side of the Kensington Rune Stone.  Because of conflicting personalities, and likely fear of the results, the board of directors at the Runestone Museum would not allow me access to the core sample for this testing I had taken from the back side of the stone as part of my initial investigation in 2000 .  I had tried for nearly a decade to get the core to test the root leaching scars to prove my hypothesis that contact of the roots from the Aspen tree that reportedly were tightly gripping the artifact when Olof Ohman and his two sons felled the tree back in 1898.

The refreshing change in attitude in the board members of the Museum and the open-minded new Museum Director were the main reasons I was finally able to test the stone.  The other reason was having the support of Hollywood actor, Peter Stormare and Elroy Balgaard, who were filming a television series called, Secrets of the Viking Stone.  I appeared in multiple episodes of the two-season, twelve episode series as the scientific "go to guy " expert and suggested testing the root leaching as part of the show.  I explained that if my hypothesis was right and we were able to prove the white scars were caused by roots from the tree Olof cut down, which numerous first-hand witnesses said ranged in age from 25-30 years, then it would prove he could not have been involved in creating the artifact since he first came to America 19 years earlier.  

Peter and Elroy loved the idea and we performed the testing at the Materials Evaluation and Engineering laboratory in Plymouth, Minnesota.  The testing went smoothly and the results were conclusive.  I wrote this report about the testing a few days after we performed the work and Peter asked me if I would wait to publish it until the episode aired several months later.  Frankly, I forgot about the report until the other day when a friend reminded me about it and I decided to publish it here first.  Enjoy the report and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions. 

Kensington Rune Stone Root Leaching Core Sample Testing

By Scott F. Wolter P.G.

August 2, 2018


The Kensington Rune Stone is an artifact that was discovered in September of 1898 by a Swedish immigrant farmer named Olof Ohman on his property while clearing trees with his two oldest sons, Olof Jr., who was 12 years old at the time, and Edward, who was 10.  After cutting off the roots around the base of a 25-30-year-old Aspen tree, according to six eyewitnesses, they used a winch to bring the tree down.[1]  Still entangled within the root under the trunk was a 202-pound stone they discovered had a long inscription carved in Scandinavian runes.  Controversial from the start, the inscription has long been considered a hoax with many accusing Olof Ohman of creating it.  Some alleging he carved the inscription and placed it under the tree as part of a clever hoax.

Geological, runological and historical research has generated voluminous data consistent with the artifact being an authentic Fourteenth Century artifact has dramatically undermined the hoax theories.  The current testing was performed on the top portion of the core sample taken from the back side of the artifact and addresses the surmised root leaching believed to have produced the two white-colored, undulating and branching lineations present on the stone.  Scholars have said the lineations were produced by active roots that pulled elements from minerals in the rock as food for the then young tree.  The process reportedly involves an acid produced by the roots, and fungus in the soil that leaches and depletes the dark colored “pigment” elements, believed to be iron (Fe) and magnesium (Mg), thereby producing the white lineations where the roots were in contact with the stone. 


Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was performed at Materials Engineering and Evaluation Inc. to document the overall quantity of various elements on the surface of the core sample.  Four (4) locations were selected in the non-root leached (dark) areas and four (4) locations were selected in the root leached (white) areas.  The bulk elemental data at all eight (8) locations was collected and interpreted upon completion of the examination.

Background Information

In 2000, the Kensington Rune Stone was brought to the laboratory of America Petrographic Services, Inc., where as part of the geological investigation a 1-1/4-inch diameter core sample was obtained from the back side of the artifact.  The location of the core was chosen to include a joint fracture, a discontinuous crack and the white root leaching where it branched into two roots. 

Figure 1: Two, white, roughly parallel, undulating and branching lineations trend across the glacially striated surface and down the glacial side of the stone. (Wolter, 2000) 

Figure 2: Close-up of the area (circled in yellow) where the 1-1/2” dimeter core sample was obtained.  (Wolter, 2000)

Figures 3 & 4: The white colored branching root leaching can be seen on the top of the core sample prior to removal (left).  A side view of the core sample after extraction (right). (Wolter, 2000/2000)

Once the core sample was extracted, the top ½” was cut off and another cut was made perpendicular to the top of the core creating a cross-sectional view of the root leaching.  In cross-section, the white root leaching extended a maximum of 1.5 mm into the metagraywacke and tapered in depth closer to the edges of approximately ½” wide lineation on the surface. 

This confirms the white lineations are not a geological feature of the metagraywacke and were created by a chemical reaction that cause the color change starting at the surface and then propagating to the maximum 1.5 mm depth.

Figure 5: A cross-sectional view of the top of the core sample shows the white root-leaching extends a maximum depth of roughly 1.5 mm and shallows toward the edges. A yellowish fracture runs running sub-vertically from the top surface is unrelated to the white lineation (5X).  (Wolter, 2000)

It has long been believed the white lineations were created by contact with roots of the tree the artifact was entangled within.  Those roots were described by witnesses at the time as being 3” wide and flattened from prolonged contact with the stone.[2]  Plant physiologists and soil scientists explained the white lineations were created by the combination of a fungus present in the soil and acid produced by young roots actively leaching various elements as nutrients from the soil and rock as food for the tree.  As the tree grows, the root system expands and bark forms and the active part of the root moves on.  Based on the white root leaching scars present on the back side of the stone the bark began to form around the roots when they were one-half inch wide during the early life of the tree.

The reason the root leaching is believed to be connected to same tree Olof Ohman and his two sons discovered the artifact under, and not a tree at some time in the distant past, is due to the fact the pattern of the root leaching matches the first-hand witness testimony and the three sketches of the roots and the stone made by Olof Ohman, Sam Olson, and Olof Ohman Jr.

Figures 6 & 7: Olof Ohman made this sketch on December 9, 1909, (left) and his neighbor Sam Olson made his drawing in March of 1910 (right).  Both drawing show the main root of the tree extending straight down into the ground along the split side of the stone with the inscription side down.  The secondary roots are shown extending across the back side of the stone and then down the far side and match the white lineations still present on the back of the Kensington Rune Stone. (Minnesota Historical Society)

 Figure 8: Olof Ohman Jr. made this sketch in a letter to his brothers Arthur and John on April 2, 1957.  This sketch roughly matches and is consistent with the sketches his father and Sam Olson drew nearly half a century earlier. (Courtesy of the Ohman Family)

To generate scientific data to support the supposition of the white lineations present on the back side of the Kensington Rune Stone elemental analysis using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) on the top surface was performed by Ryan Haase at Materials Evaluation and Engineering, Inc., on July 30, 2018.  The analysis was performed on a total of eight (8) locations on the top surface of the core, four in the dark areas and numbered 1, 2, 7 and 8, and four in the white areas 3, 4, 5 and 6.  The Runestone Museum in Alexandria, Minnesota, was kind enough to make the core sample available for testing.

Figure 9: This picture is the top surface of the core sample on the platform placed into the scanning electron microscope (SEM) for analysis.  Elemental scans were performed in eight locations, four in the dark areas (1, 2, 7 and 8) and four in the white areas (3, 4, 5 and 6).

Test Results

The results of the scans produced the following elements present at all eight locations: carbon (C), oxygen (O), iron (Fe), sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), silicon (Si), chlorine (Cl), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and titanium (Ti).  The elements that produce dark color within the minerals that make up the rock, such as biotite, hematite, magnetite and pyrite, are iron and magnesium.[3]  The overall scan shows a general trend of consistency in the relative quantities of all eleven elements.  However, close examination of the scans shows noticeable anomalies in the quantities of iron and magnesium.  According to plant physiologist Dr. Paul Syltie, Ph.D., “The soil releases its stored elements, from exchangeable and non-exchangeable sites on clay (micas) or organic matter, to root hairs or to microorganisms that extract the nutrients and move them to the roots.  …the micronutrients zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), iron (Fe) and magnesium (Mn) act in part as enzyme cofactors (to make enzymes work) …  Magnesium comprises the core of chlorophyll, the light energy trapping compound.”[4]  All four areas tested in the white areas had a lesser amount of iron and magnesium when compared to the four dark areas. 

Figure 10: The bulk elemental scan of location 1 shows the elements carbon (C), oxygen (O), iron (Fe), sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), silicon (Si), chlorine (Cl), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and titanium (Ti). 

Figure 11: A composite of the bulk elemental scans of locations 1, 2, 3 and 4, show very similar quantities of the various elements.  Closer inspection of the iron and magnesium peaks show a noticeable trend.

Figure 12: A magnified view of the bulk elemental scans for iron (Fe) at locations 1, 2, 3 and 4, show a clear difference of a higher overall iron content in the dark locations verses the white (root leached) locations. 

Figure 13: A magnified view of the bulk elemental scans for magnesium (Mg) at locations 1, 2, 3 and 4, show a clear difference of a higher overall magnesium content in the dark locations verses the light locations.


These results are consistent with the thesis of the depletion of the “pigment” elements iron and magnesium due to chemical leaching of young roots in contact with the stone which produced the white, undulating and branching lineations on the back side of the Kensington Rune Stone.  Based on the testimony of multiple first-hand witnesses the average age of the tree was 25 to 30 years old.  Since the root leaching occurred during the early life of tree (less than five years), it proves the tree was in contact with stone for the full life of tree.  Therefore, since Olof Ohman didn’t immigrate to the United States until 1879, nineteen years prior to the discovery of the artifact in 1898, these test results serve as additional evidence that he could not have been involved in its creation.[5]


Syltie, Paul, Ph.D., How Soils Work: A Study into the God-Plane Mutualism of Soils and Crops, Paul Syltie, Ph.D., 2003.

Wolter, Scott F. and Richard Nielson, The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence, Lake Superior Agate Publishing, Chanhassen, Minnesota, 2006.

[1] Wolter/Nielsen, Pages 3-4, 2006.

[2] Wolter/Nielsen, Page 30, 2006.

[4] Syltie, Paul, Ph.D., Page 11, 2003.

[5] Wolter/Nielsen, Page 390, 2006.

Here are a couple of photographs of documents that give a little more context to this research.  

In February of 2003, I photographed this page from the notebook of Professor Newton H. Winchell who investigated the Kensington stone making three trips to the Ohman Farm in 1909-1910.  Winchell wrote down Ohman's description of the roots and their position around the stone, "Mrs. Ohman told my livery man that Ohman borrowed the school book after the stone was found for the purpose of deciphering the inscription.  Mr. Ohman said the main root of the tree was at the edge and went down nearly perpendicular, in that respect differing from Mr. Olson and his sketch.  I had a long talk with Mr. Ohman, and am impressed with his succinct candor and truthfulness of all his statements, and also I found he is a more intelligent man than I had supposed.  He gave me more of the details of the history of the stone than I had heard.  He had never heard of Holand till he called on him at Kensington.  Holand had no relations in the neighborhood and so far as I can find out is a stranger except since he took up with the stone." 

This newspaper article from the 1960's contains interesting recollections of the roots around stone from a first-hand witness named Clarence Larson. 

On the first page of his final 1909 report on the his examination of the Kensington Rune Stone, Professor of Geology at the University of Minnesota, Newton H. Winchell, wrote that he was not able to examine a thin section of the rock  to do a complete mineral identification and see metamorphic textures under polarized light necessary to accurately identify the rock as a metagraywacke.


Thursday, September 23, 2021

An "Academic" Hit Job on the Kensington Rune Stone

I resisted giving attention to this sad excuse for an "academic" paper, but because it made its way tangentially onto a cable television show causing confusion on the part of the public, I decided it needed to be addressed.  Let's be clear from the start, the motivation behind this paper is the fanatical "belief" of the author the Kensington Rune Stone (KRS) is a modern hoax.  The other motivation is what appears to be a deep-seated hatred of me personally, and professionally.  After a short stint working in my laboratory, this individual was relieved of his employment almost twenty years ago.  This individual also holds the distinction of being the only person I ever had to personally walk out the door of our business.

Now that I've provided a little context, let's look at just a few of the many problems with this paper.  The author purports to have earned a PhD in geology, but with so many factual errors, leaps in logic and flippant opinionated statements with no logical factual support it suggests it has been so long since this person did any actual geology, he must have forgotten basic geological principles.  There are so many problems with this paper it's hard to know where to begin, but one sentence in the abstract might be a good place to start.  The sixth sentence on line seven is refers to the geological makeup of the KRS, "This coating is consistent with stucco applied to the surface of the sandstone."

1. The rock is not sandstone, it is a Paleoproterozoic aged (1.85-2.1 billion years old) metagraywacke that originated in the Thomson Formation located in Carlton, Minnesota.  This rock name probably won't make sense to most people reading this, but in the world of geology it is a glaring sign the author doesn't understand the mineralogy and metamorphic textures so prevalent in this rock.  The difference is significant and a PhD geologist should know better.    

The face side of the Kensington Rune Stone contains the first nine lines of runic text and the naturally formed yellowish-white, triangular shaped hydrothermal calcite covers the surface of the lower left third of the stone (top).  Below is the intentionally split side containing the last three lines of text including the Pentadic date of 1362.  The "H" at the bottom end of the stone was carved by Hjalmar Holand in 1908, when he had possession of the stone.

2. Calling the hydrothermal calcite on the face side of the stone "stucco", and "applied" to the surface is mystifying.  The yellowish-white colored triangular shaped area in the lower-right third of the face side of the artifact is hydrothermal calcite deposited along a joint fracture when the stone was still part of the bedrock millions of years ago.  Arguing the obviously naturally formed calcite is somehow modern manmade plaster is absurd with no factual basis whatsoever.

Having operated a materials forensic laboratory examining primarily concrete, mortar, grout, stucco, and rock for the past 31 years, this claim is ludicrous.  Stucco contains  Portland cement and sand which is easily identifiable with the naked eye.  The author's inability to distinguish between the calcite deposited within a joint fracture millions of years ago, verses modern stucco reeks of an agenda verses incompetence.  Further, the word "applied" implies someone intentionally put a naturally formed mineralogical feature on the rock which is impossible.  Throughout the paper the author makes unsupported assertions as statements of fact when they simply are not.  It's like the "Big Lie" of the KRS skeptic arguments where the author repeats falsehoods so often he begins to believe them.  

3. On page 7 the assertion is made the stone was used as "stepping stone" by Olof Ohman, (spelled incorrectly in the paper as Olaf) when there are two direct sources that say the opposite.  The first was Olof Ohman. In 1909, Newton Winchell interviewed Olof Ohman, and wrote in his field notebook Ohman said the stone was stored "inside the shed" until the stone transferred custody to Hjalmar Holand in August of 1907 (Nielsen/Wolter, Page 237).  The second his son, Edward Ohman, who stated emphatically the stone "...was never used as a doorstep" in an interview with the Minnesota Historical Society in 1949.  Therefore, all subsequent assertions and conclusions made based on this erroneous assumption are invalid.  

This newspaper photograph shows Edward Ohman (left) being interviewed by Bergmann Richards about the discovery of the Kensington Rune Stone in 1898.  During the December 29, 1949 interview when asked about the stone being used as doorstep in front of the granary Ohman replied, "The story goes it was used as a doorstep, but it never was."  The author chose to ignore this fact to further erroneous arguments based on this decades old falsehood.

I should also point out one of the author's citations about what Winchell supposedly said about the stone serving as a "stepping stone", which Winchell never said, he attributes to the year 1915.  This is problematic as Professor Winchell died in 1914.  

The grave stone of Professor Newton H. Winchell in Lakewood Cemetery, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Winchell studied the Kensington Rune Stone from 1909-1910 and concluded, "...the said stone is not a modern forgery and must be accepted as a genuine record of exploration, in Minnesota, at the date stated in the inscription."

4. On page 9, the author seems to think it is appropriate for Professor Emeritus, Mike Michlovic, a harshly biased archaeologist who believes the KRS is a hoax, with no training in proper scientific method, mineralogy or petrology, to provide critical review of the geological weathering work performed by myself, a licensed professional geologist, and Professor Newton H. Winchell, the first State Geologist of Minnesota (1875-1900).  That's like asking a massage therapist to review the scientific work of a brain surgeon.   

5. The author also makes the claim on page 9, retired Professor of Geology, Paul Wieblen, "...have made detailed studies on it."  This is grossly misleading.  I was with Dr. Wieblen when he performed a single electron microprobe traverse on the core sample from the Rune Stone at the University of Minnesota to document its elemental composition.  That was all he did.  Dr. Wieblen never examined a thin section as claimed in the paper.  If the author is wrong about this simple fact, what other facts did he get wrong? 

6. The author's claim he examined a thin section of the KRS is simply a lie, and his write-up about its composition is pure fiction.  I maintained tight control of all samples taken from the KRS and only allowed senior petrographer, Gerard Moulzolf, and retired Professor Emeritus of Geology, Richard Ojakangas, to examine thin sections.  Frankly, I didn't trust the former employee to be competent or objective, and this paper has proven it was the right decision. 

7. The author's claim in the Introduction the inscription is not consistent with the 14th Century runic tradition is simply wrong.  All the words, runes, dialect, grammar, and dating within the inscription have been found to be consistent with the 14th Century.  Further, the author's bias is obvious in citing only critics whose outdated complaints have since all been proven wrong.    

8. Figure 4 on page 12 showing photographs portraying the similar appearance of modern stucco and the hydrothermal calcite on the face side of the KRS as some kind of proof they are the same is ridiculous.  It's like saying an image of Jesus on burnt toast proves he was the son of God.  The subsequent in-depth argument the hydrothermal calcite could somehow be modern stucco made with Portland cement is too silly to waste the reader's time on refuting.  

At this point, there are too many more problems with the rest of the paper to bother with.  It's simply dead on arrival.  

So why does it matter that the author decided to seemingly intentionally castrate himself professionally with a work of such poor quality?  The reason is word of this person's criticism of my work on the Kensington Rune Stone made its way into the season-ending cliffhanger episode of a cable television show on the Science Channel, in January of this year.  I appeared in 10 of 12 episodes of "Secrets of the Viking Stone" with hosts Elroy Balgaard, and Peter Stormare, who has appeared in many movies including the movie "Fargo." 

In the final minutes of the final episode of the cable television series, "Secrets of the Viking Stone", Peter Stormare (pictured here) and Elroy Balgaard, discuss the erroneous claim the Kensington Rune Stone was a hoax.  This cliffhanger finale intentionally left the audience with a mixed message about the authenticity of the stone.  It is hoped they will get an opportunity to set the record straight in the near future.

Throughout the series, Peter and Elroy would turn to me for historical facts and scientific information about the Kensington Rune Stone that proved it is a 14th Century artifact, carved and buried as a land claim, by the ideological descendants of the medieval Knights Templar order.  One of the guest experts on the show, and outspoken critic of the stone, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, Mike Michlovic, recommended the producers of the show contact the author of the paper who did not respond to their inquiry for more information.  This was no surprise, since writing a hit piece for an archaeological journal no one will ever read, is different than defending your shoddy work on television for all the world to see.

The mistake by the producers of the show, was taking the risk of using the fraudulent claims as a cliffhanger, in the hope of getting another season of their show.  Their plan was to rectify the situation in future episodes, but unfortunately, the plan backfired.  In large part because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the show was not green-lit for a third season.  This means the last thing the audience heard was my geological work called into question without an opportunity to refute it.  So it goes in the TV business.      

Let me be clear, I welcome legitimate criticism of my scientific work and always have.  That is why my geological work on the Kensington Stone was peer reviewed by eight academic and professional peers prior to publishing my multiple reports, papers and books.  The professional and academic review process is vital to ensure competence in the work performed, and confidence in the conclusions reached.  More especially in a case like this that has large historical implications. 

This geological "hoax" report coming from a PhD would be laughable if it weren't so sad.  One can only conclude someone supposedly this "smart" was haunted by the dogmatic pursuit of a personal agenda.  What else would motivate someone to publish such poor work that can only be described as an academic "hit job" on the Kensington Rune Stone.  Perhaps the best way to understand how ridiculous this paper is, is the fact it was published in an archaeological journal, not a geological journal.  Archaeology is an opinion-driven discipline that loves to brag about its peer review process.  Where was the proper peer review of this abomination?  This guy wouldn't dare submit this nonsense to an accredited geological journal.  Personally, I think the University of Minnesota should revoke the PhD they granted to this guy for blatant incompetence and breach of professional ethics.      

Here is a link to the paper:[0]=AT3AOZN6HoPz1tle_XckRCHX0ywvR7d15rH0q921wxif-s5yfSzHhxPs5qkYLnGY4OVDbPPAVlBAMjZIfqwaDkghoSkYeWYl5bjzuQEq3pswyJDNlhISg-lxldTF4XztaZg4xEawyql7szRdBTvECSgCnUcpCaENeJiZPMvqML7DDwmvZ_mAF7E9V4X8o4ToljGlXcCqMgWo_GChMFGF