Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Truth about Oak Island and the Cremona Document

The following is a guest blog post by Mr. Donald Ruh, author of the 2018 book, "The Scrolls of Onteora."

"This blog was written to provide clarity about two documents that have repeatedly been the subject of past episodes, and is currently being featured on episodes airing on season 6 of the History Channel show, “The Curse of Oak Island.”  Last season, the late researcher and author, Zena Halpern, presented a map to the Lagina brothers that clearly shows Oak Island along with several words, names and phrases written in French.  Ms. Halpern appeared on the show and explained the map was related to what she called a “Templar Document”, but from here on will be referred to as the “Cremona Document.”  The Cremona Document, and the Oak Island map, were the primary subject matter of Ms. Halpern’s 2017 book, The Templar Mission to Oak Island and Beyond: The Search for Ancient Secrets: Shocking Revelations of a 12th Century Manuscript.  That 12th Century manuscript is the Cremona Document. 

Figure 1: This map which includes what appear to show Oak Island, in Nova Scotia, was posthumously given to me by my long-time work colleague and life-long friend, Dr. William “Bill” Jackson, in 2015. (Courtesy of Donald Ruh)

The reason for writing this is to ensure the correct factual information and context is known about the Oak Island map, its relationship to the Cremona Document, and the chain of events that led to confusion about the authenticity of the Oak Island map are accurately documented for the historical record.   Literally millions of people have already and continue to watch episodes of the History Channel show that have presented information about these documents that is factually incorrect. 

First, a little history about how the Cremona Document and Oak Island map came into my possession which I then shared with Ms. Halpern.  Beginning in 2006, and over the course of the next several years, I inherited several parcels of documents from a work colleague and my lifelong friend, Dr. William “Bill” Jackson.  Bill died in 2000 and left the material to me that included the Cremona Document Bill purchased in Rome in 1971, and the Oak Island map he acquired in 1994.  In 2008, Bill’s estate transferred ownership all of the original documents, and the legal intellectual rights to the material, to me as evidenced by the third page of the agreement signed by Bill’s survivors which is seen below. 

Figure 2: Page 3 of the legal document transferring all legal rights and ownership of Dr. William Jackson’s documents and research into the Cremona Document story, which includes the Cremona Document material and the Oak Island map to me.  (Courtesy of Donald Ruh)

In 2004, was when I first approached Ms. Halpern for help with an inscribed stone I found in the Catskill Mountains and she agreed to do so.  Later, she would also work closely with me on the Cremona Document material I inherited.  We formed a partnership and both signed a written agreement in 2009/2010, to write a book about our collective research.  A copy of that signed agreement between Ms. Halpern and myself is attached.

Figure 3: Page 1 of 2 of the agreement between myself and Zena Halpern we both signed in 2009/2010. (Courtesy of Donald Ruh)

Figure 4: Page 2 of 2 of the agreement between myself and Zena Halpern they both signed in 2009 and 2010.  (Courtesy of Donald Ruh)

In 2015, Ms. Halpern and I had a disagreement related to a person from Los Angeles in the television business Ms. Halpern was in contact with about doing a story related to our collective Cremona Document research.  The disagreement led to a falling out in 2016, at which time Ms. Halpern chose to forge ahead with publishing the book without me.  Around that time, she also decided to approach the Lagina Brothers with the intention of sharing the story and appearing on The Curse of Oak Island show without my involvement or participation.  Needless to say, I have not received anything in compensation for the book or acknowledgement for the content given by Ms. Halpern to the Lagina Brothers and the Curse of Oak Island program they have since presented in multiple episodes on the show that legally belongs to me. 

What the public needs to know that Ms. Halpern never knew, was the Oak Island map which came into my possession in 2015 was NEVER in any way connected to the Cremona Document material or the medieval Knights Templar.  The Oak Island map is a fabrication, most likely created by Bill Jackson as part of an assignment by the agency Dr. Jackson worked for to intentionally set up a bad guy associated with the P2 scandal in the late 1970’s.  Shortly after I discovered the Oak Island map hidden within the pages of a book by Bill in 2015, I showed the map to Ms. Halpern who immediately assumed it was connected to the Cremona Document story.  At the time, even I was unclear of the map’s association to anything until I recently found the letter below in my voluminous records that put the Oak Island map into proper context.  My only involvement in the operation was to carve the symbols on a swagger stick as directed by Bill Jackson.  The redacted portions in the letter are to protect persons involved in the P2 matter that are still living.  

Figure 5: The letter written in 1979, by Dr. William Jackson to me explained how the Oak Island map was made to create a fictional connection to the Oak Island story to entrap a bad guy involved in the P2 scandal. (Courtesy of Donald Ruh)

Certainly, mistakes were made by the late Ms. Halpern in part due to her declining health and strong desire to get the story out to the public.  However, those mistakes have resulted in false information that has already have been presented to the public on television with apparently more to come.  This letter is an attempt to set the record straight.  The Cremona Document and Oak Island mysteries are complicated and confusing enough and it’s important to get the facts straight if there is any chance of getting to the truth about these stories.

I would also appreciate the artifact (The so called “Hebrew Stone”) and all the Cremona Document related material that were in Ms. Halpern’s possession at the time of her death, that belongs to me, be returned.

Respectfully submitted,

Donald Ruh"

Mr. Ruh will be happy to answer any questions pertaining to this blog post.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A Qualified Geologist’s Peer Review of Scott Wolter’s Geological Investigation into the Kensington Rune Stone.

Yesterday, I received an email from my recently retired acquaintance, John Parks, who lives in Texas and spends the summers with his wife and family in Wisconsin.  After reading his email I called, and we visited for a good while.  He relayed how he had read, yet again, in my most recent blog post a common theme of critics falsely claiming my geological investigation into the Kensington Rune Stone had not been academically peer reviewed.  John said he would be happy to be a guest blogger to address his own peer review of my work performed roughly a year ago.  John had long ago established himself as a more than competent geologist who would be fair, thorough, and impartial in his review.  I’ll let John talk about the peer review in his own words and I’m sure he’ll be happy to answer any reasonable and thoughtful questions:

First, let me introduce myself, my name is John Parks. Back at the end of January, 2016 I was reading through one of Scott’s blogs when the subject of his work not coming under the peer review process was the subject of much discussion and some criticism. At that point I volunteered my services to Scott to be part of the independent peer review process for his work. At least as part of the work that involved geology was concerned.

 After exchanging several emails and phone conversations we concluded that I might be of some assistance to the vetting process. Several months passed, but eventually, I had the opportunity to travel to Minneapolis and meet Scott and his wife Janet. We discussed several subjects of mutual interest including the possibility of me reviewing some of his research. At that time, I inquired if it could be possible to obtain the peer edited copies of the papers/research documents that were reviewed. Scott agreed, but indicated that the documents were in storage and could not retrieve them at that time. He said when he had the chance to pull them from storage, he would email them to me.

 Scott did just as he had indicated and sent me copies of his original research papers as well as copies of the peer reviewed copies with the comments by the various reviewers on them. There was a total of nine peer reviews that Scott sent. Prior to reviewing the comments by the reviewers, I read and reviewed the two papers that Scott asked me to evaluate. It was only after I had completed my review of the papers that I then read the other reviewers’ comments. 

The five paragraphs in quotes were included in the summary of the review that I sent to Scott. It is not the detailed review that I did. That was sent as a separate attachment to Scott.

 1. “Generally, the description of your analysis of the KRS covered the major points that needed to be addressed as to the physical characteristics of the KRS. Very good review. Your methodology of beginning with a macro description of the KRS and progressing through medium-scale elements of the stone, finally ending with finer-scale details at the mineral- and elemental-levels gives the reader a through summary of the details of the KRS and how you came to your conclusions.   

 2. “I thought that the analysis of the diagenesis of the minerology (micas) in the KRS was the strongest portion of your analysis of the KRS. It was based on well-documented, technical support, such as the numerous SEM photomicrographs that were utilized. The comparison of the weathering characteristics of the KRS and the tombstones added support to your hypothesis that the KRS carving was likely not a modern (1898) hoax.  

 3. “The figures in the copy of the report that I received were sometimes fuzzy and difficult to view the items being discussed in the captions. This may have been a poor copy of the original, not sure. As noted in my review of the paper, if you add more arrows (larger and/or more obvious) pointing to the objects being discussed in the text or captions, it would add to the reader's understanding what the text is describing.

 4. “In the text, on a couple of points relating to the runes themselves, you mention the possible intent of the KRS carver. While the statements may, in fact, describe the intent of the carver, they are conjecture and there does not appear to be enough physical evidence to support the interpretation (e.g. p4, point 5 – the tapering of the KRS for that end to be put into the ground and p28 referring to the same idea).    

5. “This is a good paper and gives the reader a balanced view of the physical description of the KRS. As well as support for the conclusions concerning the age of the carving of the runes.”


 I hope that this addition of at least one reviewer’s general evaluation of Scott’s analysis of the geologic aspects of the KRS to the exchange of views contained within this blog might lead to some possible clarification of the peer review process that has been carried out on Scott’s analysis of the geology of the KRS.

 For those that are not aware of my academic and professional background I include below. This is an update to a portion of a reply on this blog from January 2016.

I shall begin with a little background about myself which would be in order, then, as well as at this time. I, like Scott, am a geologist and scientist. I received a MS Degree in Geology from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where I worked at the McCarthy Seismology Lab as a Research Assistant. Additionally, much of my graduate work was also spent in structural geology and igneous & metamorphic petrography. I studied at the Duke University Marine Geophysical Lab where I did my research for my MS thesis. Additionally, I taught for 3 years at Austin Peay State University as an Instructor of Geology. I did field research on aspects of geomorphology (co-authored several publications). My undergraduate degree was in Art with majors in Art History & Painting. I have retired after spending over 35 years at ExxonMobil in exploration and production geology and geophysics. While at ExxonMobil, in addition to my duties as Technical Team Lead and Supervisor, I taught classes in advanced stratigraphic concepts, as well as regional and field development geology.

While this is not a double-blind review (meaning that both the reviewer and the author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa throughout the review process), as some readers had mentioned should have occurred, my analysis of the papers were still an unbiased review. Both positive and negative comments were given. I did not agree with all that Scott indicated in the papers, but the science behind the geology, especially the analysis of the diagenesis of the minerology (micas) in the KRS, I considered to be the strongest portion of his analysis of the KRS (from a geology standpoint). I made no evaluations on the runes themselves from a linguistic standpoint (of which I am not qualified to comment on, other than in regard to weathering processes).

The documents that Scott sent me to review were not the chapter on the geology (Chapter 2) of the KRS in KRS – Compelling New Evidence (KRS-CNE) specifically, but two separate evaluations that together did form the core of the geologic analysis of the KRS that did make up the chapter. As mentioned above, these documents were previously reviewed by nine other individuals. These individuals were familiar with the level and background of Scott’s investigative analysis on other geologic subjects.
As far as my review of these documents, I was concerned with
  1. The process of data collection - how the data was collected and under what conditions.
  2. Were there data collected that would indicate or preclude that the KRS inscriptions were carved in the late 19th century.
  3. The collection of base-line data for comparative analysis dealing with the weathering processes and characteristics of known-age samples. And do the base-line samples have a bearing on the age of the inscription?
  4. The characteristics and morphology of the KRS in both the non-carved surfaces, in comparison to the carved runes, and the evaluation of the similarities and differences.
  5. The geologic provenance of the KRS (essentially meaning where did the rock originate).
  6. What were the conclusions derived from the data collection and analysis consistent?

The petrographic report (Pet Report SW 101203) began with a short summary of the unearthing of the KRS as reported by Olof Ohman. There was also a brief review of the initial analysis of the stone that occurred in the late 19thand early 20th century, as well as the conclusions of those investigators. This background information was later greatly expanded and added to in considerable detail in KRS-CNE. In my review I noted to Scott that at least three references should have been cited in this section, but were not. However, that oversight was remedied in the KRS-CNE when it was published three years later in 2006. These reference omissions related to work by Hjalmar R. Holand and George O. Curme.
The next section involved a general description of the KRS and its physical features. The six sides of the KRS were defined with accompanying photographs, such as the ‘Glacial Face Side’ with the first nine lines of the inscriptions. These were straightforward for the most part. However, on Side 5, named the ‘Glacial Bottom End’ Scott describes that side as “this end tapers sharply with a beveled edge that appears to have been intended to be put in the ground”. This point was outside the bounds of a description of the physical characteristics and crossing into the area of interpretation and speculation as to the intent of the carver. As mentioned in the summary at the beginning of this blog (see above point 4), while the statement may, in fact, describe the intent of the carver, the interpretation is conjecture and there does not appear to be enough physical evidence to support the interpretation. [see p. 16, KRS-CNE].
Throughout the Pet Report SW 101203, as well as the other report I reviewed (KRS 3D Report 2-20-11), I noted numerous places in which Scott was describing various physical characteristics of the KRS. Both at the macroscopic, as well as at the microscopic level utilizing photographs. In some of the cases the feature being described would be clearly identified and labeled in the photograph. An example of this helpful process of assisting the reader in understanding what is being describer can be seen as the arrows on the photograph pointing to the six indentations along the edge of the ‘Glacial Side’.  [see p. 21, fig. 16, KRS-CNE].

However, this was not done in all photographs. Two examples where this non-labeling process occurred can also be seen in the KRS-CNE. The first is the figure description at the macroscopic level of “three dark gray vertical lines on the side are weathered joint fractures.” [see p. 15, fig. 2, KRS-CNE].

The other is at the microscopic level of an SEM image showing “numerous bladed-shaped biotite and muscovite mica minerals”. [see p. 37, fig.36, KRS-CNE].

Labeling of the mica minerals on this figure, as in other unlabeled items being discussed in other portions of the papers, would have helped the reader avoid any misunderstanding of what was being described. To a geologist, a mica mineral surface is obvious. To a non-geologist it may not be so apparent.
I should mention at this point that references to pages or figures in the KRS-CNE are included here as examples. The images shown here, or referenced, were also contained in the reports that were reviewed. For those that have copies of the KRS-CNE, it should assist the present readers in following along with this recap of some of the features of the reviews I undertook without the readers having the reports themselves (Pet Report SW 101203 and KRS 3D Report 2-20-11.
The physical characteristics of the varying sides of the KRS were discussed. Variations in the appearance of the surfaces were dealt with, as well as potential source processes for the origins of those features. An example of this included a discussion of the thin (1-2 mm thick), tan-to-white triangular-shaped area in the lower left portion of the ‘Glacial Face Side’. [see p. 17, fig. 7, KRS-CNE].

This is the surface where the majority of runes are located. Scott mentions that is surface is composed of a course-grained crystalline calcite (CaCO3) and that the most likely source for the origin of this deposit is that calcite, in solution, traveled along fractures (joint system), which was parallel to the ‘Glacial Face Side’ of the KRS and deposited in the joint space. Essentially, this is hydrothermal calcite. Possibly in placed during the low-grade metamorphism that the KRS parent rock experienced. Also identified were elongate chlorite [(Mg, Fe, Al)6 (Al, Si)4 O10 (OH)8] crystals contained within the layer of calcite which exhibit, parallel to the long axis of the KRS, a preferred orientation.
The recognition of the characteristics of this hydrothermal calcite is significant because several of the runes are carved in the material. Scott described the calcite layer in regards to its relative hardness (Mohs hardness scale), of which it is much softer than the host meta-graywacke rock. It was noted in a microscopic examination utilizing reflected light exposed little difference the textural characteristics and the apparent weathering within the runes and the region adjacent to the carving. At the end of the evaluation it was noted that “Further study of the weathering of the characters within the calcite area might yield additional information about the relative age of the inscription. We have not pursued further analysis at this time sue to the reluctance of the current need for invasive test sampling within this area.”
Two points to make concerning the Scott’s comments are in order. First, a reevaluation of the calcite deposit brought an observation to light that was not initially evident, in that no apparent weathering boundary or ground line was able to be identified. This observation may bring into question whether the KRS was upright for any amount of time. This last statement was included in the KRS-CNE p. 17. It does indicate that Scott continued his evaluation of the KRS during the three years from the initial investigations to the publishing of the KRS-CNE. Second, is his statement for the resistance for “invasive test sampling”. This indicates the hesitancy to run destructive tests that would compromise the integrity of the artifact.

The geologic provenance of the KRS (where and under what conditions the stone originated) was a first order question that was addressed in the papers. Scott observed striations (scratches or gouges) that occurred only on the ‘Glacial Back Side’ surface. The circle in the middle-upper portion of the image is the core hole. [see KRS-CNE p. 19, fig 10].

These striations ran roughly parallel to the long axis of the KRS. He interpreted that the KRS was part of the bedrock with the ‘Glacial Back Side’ being the top of the bedrock surface. The remaining sides of the KRS remained in situ as part of the bedrock. He reasoned that these striations developed as the glacier moved across the bedrock digging into the underlying bedrock. Subsequent to the striations being formed at the base of the glacier, the KRS became dislodged and was plucked from the bedrock and became incorporated in the advancing ice. The KRS was then carried away from the parent rock to be eventually deposited as the glacier melted approximately 12,000 ybp (years before present). The lack of striations on the other surfaces for the KRS was reasoned to be due the nearly abrasion-free transport mechanism of being imbedding within the ice. The interpretation of the morphology of the surfaces is consistent with the known processes of glacial erosion and transport.
As part of the analysis of the KRS a single core sample was taken from the ‘Glacial Back Side’. The core measured 33 mm (1 ¼”) diameter by 50 mm (2”) long. The core site was selected to
     1. Avoid damaging the runes,
     2. Obtain a sample of the stone to determine the mineral composition of the stone and,
     3. Provide rock for thin-section analysis and additional studies of the weathered surface.
The area cored included a branching portion of one of a pair of white lineations and a likely joint fracture. [see Pet Report SW 101203, p. 30, fig. 35].

The top 13 mm (1/2”) was cut off of the core. This newly cut portion was then cut perpendicular to the top surface and perpendicular to the white lineation. Cutting of the core this way created a cross-sectional view of the white lineation which allowed the physical characteristics of the lineation to be observed. [see KRS-CNE p. 30, fig. 27].

The analysis of the whitened color was interpreted to be the result of chemical leaching of the magnesium and iron elements from the biotite minerals that are present in the stone. This analysis supports the interpretation that the two white lineations were produced from contact with a root system. Additionally, the interpretation that the organic-based origin of the lineations suggesting “prolonged contact in the ground with tree roots” [Pet Report SW 101203, p. 33] is consistent with the data. However, the term “prolonged” is not defined.

The differences between the descriptions of several witnesses of the size of the tree roots that were attached to the ‘Glacial Back Side’, approximately 76 mm (3”) and the width of the white lineations measured in this study, 13 mm (1/2”) were addressed. The interpretation for the inconsistency of the two widths relates to the active ends of the immature roots trying to acquire nutrients during an early age in the root and the later stage when bark grows around the root, increasing in width with time. Based on published research [KRS-CNE p. 33], this interpretation seems justifiable. 

Thin sections were cut from the core sample. By examining the thin sections, the KRS’s component lithic and mineralogy could be determined. The thin sections were examined under plane-polarized transmitted light using a polarized light microscope. This process is called optical mineralogy. A portion of the core was cut off and secured to a glass plate with epoxy. The small rock sample was then ground to a thickness of 0.03 mm. At this thickness, light can pass through the rock. [see KRS-CNE p. 34, fig. 31]

The thin sections were examined to determine the minerology of the KRS, which is classified as a metagraywacke. A greywacke is a type of sandstone generally characterized by poorly sorted angular grains of quartz, feldspar and lithic fragments (small rock fragments) usually set in a clay-sized matrix. It is normally a texturally immature sedimentary rock. The KRS was described as being “comprised dominantly of mostly angular, fine-grained quartz, orthoclase feldspar, and rock fragments.” [see KRS-CNE p.34]
Multiple point counts were preformed to determine the mineral composition of the KRS. The results were cross-plotted on triangular diagram with percentages of quartz, feldspar and rock fragments at the apex, against other types of greywackes. [see KRS-CNE p.35, fig. 33].

The analysis was performed by Dr. Richard Ojakangas, Professor Emeritus of Geology from the University of Minnesota – Duluth. Dr. Ojakangas’ conclusion was that the mother-rock for the KRS probably originated in the Paleoproterozoic  Amimikie Basin in east-central Minnesota, with an age of about 2 billion years. [see KRS-CNE p.35] [see KRS-CNE p.C10, plate 18].

The analysis also indicated that “elongate detrital grains exhibited a preferred orientation that [was] sub-parallel with the foliation.” [see KRS-CNE p.34]. Foliation refers to repetitive layering within the rock. The foliation consisted of muscovite, chlorite and biotite (all are sheet-like mica minerals) that makeup the matrix. Scott indicated that the “presence of cleavage, a mild foliation and the [presence of the] mineral chlorite” was indicative of low-grade metamorphism. [see KRS-CNE p.34]. An additional, secondary orientation of the micas, approximately 90 degrees to the major orientation was interpreted to represent a second metamorphic event.  This mineral analysis of the KRS is consistent with classifying the KRS as a greywacke that has undergone multiple low-grade metamorphism. [see KRS-CNE p.C9, plate 16].

After completing analysis on the macroscopic level and at the microscopic level utilizing thin-section optical polarized light microscopic examination, Scott began a study to determine additional weathering characteristics of the KRS. A chip sample measuring 13 mm (1/2”) X 6.5 mm (1/4”) X 3.25 mm (1/8”) was obtained from the ‘Split Side’ of the KRS. [see KRS-CNE p. 37, fig. 35].

This is the face with the last three lines of runes. Some of the runes can be seen on figure 35 at the top of the photograph, as well as the ‘H’ carved by Hjalmar Holand in 1907 toward the bottom of the figure. Taking a sample of the stone that has similar appearance and physical characteristics as the carvings of the runes, it is logical for additional analysis to be performed on this surface. The sample was examined utilizing scanning electron microscopy (SEM), elemental mapping and energy dispersive x-ray analysis (EDX). The facilities at the Materials Laboratory at Iowa State University were used to test the core sample and the stone chip.
The top (or originally exposed glacially eroded and weathered surface) of the core was examined utilizing a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The SEM showed fine-grained pitting that was uneven with exposed angular minerals of quartz and feldspar present. However, the softer bladed mica grains, which make up a significant portion of the rock were essentially not present. [see KRS-CNE p. 38, fig. 37].

As noted by Scott, this surface represents the glacially weathered portion of the KRS. The Wisconsin Glacial Episode, is also termed the Wisconsinan glaciation, and was the most recent glacial period of the North American ice sheet complex. This most recent glacial advance reached its maximum extent around 18,000 ybp, then started retreating, but a final glacial advance occurred about 12,000 ybp.  It may have been during this last advance that the KRS was deposited as a small glacial erratic (stones picked up by the glacier and deposited away from its point of origin. Some erratics are small like the KRS and small are as large as houses. It is logical that the weathering on this side of the KRS does reflect, at a minimum, 12,000 years of weathering.
The base of the core and the part of the chip that had been attached to the KRS were examined. These two samples represent freshly fractured surfaces and exhibit mineral faces that have not been subjected the weathering. These surfaces would be representative of surfaces from the time of the original carvings. [see KRS-CNE p. 38, fig. 36].

The SEM photograph above was taken of the freshly broken part of the chip sample. Many mica and biotite mineral blades (sheets) were identified by EDX process. No weathering is present on this fresh surface. Compare this image of the fresh surface with its many sharp mineral grains with the previous figure that shows rounded mineral grains that are indicative of prolonged exposure to the effects of weathering. 

A major portion of the paper was involved in describing the weathering characteristics of the KRS. This analysis of the different sides of the KRS was discussed and was part of the supportive evidence into the evolution of the morphology of the KRS. One question that Scott addressed and attempted to obtain, at least a qualitative answer for, had to do with the actual age of the rune carvings. There are two dates that are of major importance. The first is the date of assumed discovery of the KRS by Olof Ohman - 1898. The second, is the date inscribed on the KRS itself - 1362. 

The authenticity of the discovery will not be addressed here. However, the technique to address the comparative age of the inscription will be reviewed. The approach that was taken was to compare samples taken from tombstones found in Hallowell, Maine. In the paper reviewed there was no discussion as to why this particular cemetery was chosen over other cemeteries. It would have been appropriate for Scott to have included the reasons in his paper. That said, the paper reviewed did go into an assessment of the criteria that would be needed to do a comparative study of the weathering characteristics of the mica minerals in the KRS and weathered mica minerals from tombstones of known ages.

The weather conditions should be similar between central Minnesota and the region where the tombstone samples would be collected. The ages of the tombstones would need to cover the years in question, from 1898 to 1362. This, in North America, was, of course, not possible. At least as far as the earlier date is concerned.

The size of the mica mineral grains of the tombstones should be similar. This is important to the fact that, assuming similar conditions exist, the smaller the mineral grain (smaller surface area), the faster the weathering will progress and alter the micas.

Obtaining samples above the ground level and below the ground level would be important data points with which to compare with the KSR since it has been suggested that the KRS was “apparently shaped or ‘dressed’ prior to the carving of the inscription”. (Pet Report SW 101203, p. 33). Unfortunately, only samples above the ground were collected due to the ground being frozen at the time the samples were taken. 23 samples were obtained for the comparative mineral study. Only 3 of these samples were deemed acceptable in terms of mica grain size. Three samples are a very small data set to compare weathering characteristics to the KRS. It is recommended that additional samples be collected to be statically significant.

It should be noted that there are numerous monuments and markers throughout Europe that cover the dates that are of interest. These could be potential candidates to be utilized if an expanded comparative age-dating study were ever undertaken. It would add additional data and put more constraints on the interpretation if a search were carried out to determine if other studies in Europe have been published utilizing the SEM to evaluate mica weathering characteristics. But, in this study, the older European carvings were not considered.

Below are SEM images of the KRS (on the left) and the Abner Lowell tombstone (dated 1815) (on the right). [see KRS-CNE, p. 40, fig. 39]. As can be seen, the size of the bladed mica grains are generally similar in size and texture with sharp edges exhibited on both rock chips.

The weathered surfaces of the three rock chips from the tombstones exhibited features of decomposition of mica. These features included: sheets of biotite expanding and separating; individual edges of minerals became rounded and frayed; pitting; exfoliation of individual biotite sheets; and the development of lichen on the surface of the tombstones that accelerates dissolution of the biotite grains.

The results of the tombstone study resulted in an interpretation by Scott. That the relative age of the KRS carvings was now possible. His view was that the relative age of the KRS inscription was older than the inscriptions on the tombstones in Hallowell, Maine examined (approximately 200 years old). Therefore, the “biotite mica that was exposed at the time of the original inscription on the KRS took longer than about 200 years to completely weather away”.

His interpretation is entirely consistent, given the data that were obtained from the KRS and the tombstones.

In summary, I find the techniques in data collection, data analysis and comparative evaluation that were used in the 2003 study to be internally consistent with the interpretation that whoever carved the KRS did so certainty not in 1898, and likely earlier than the age of the tombstones studied (1805-1815).  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Cremona Document Provides Independent Corroboration of Sinclair Journals

Foreword by Scott F. Wolter

Imagine for a minute, that you played an integral part of investigating, and eventually solving, one of the most controversial historical mysteries the world has ever known.  Then imagine, after fifty years finally figuring out that you had been intentionally kept in the dark about the truth of what you had been intimately involved in.  Now imagine, that person who kept you in the dark was a childhood friend you knew your entire life.  Then, nearly a decade after the death of that close friend, they finally reveal the entirety of the mystery you had helped them solve.  To this day, Donald Ruh will tell you he still doesn’t understand everything involved with this story and there could be more pieces yet to be revealed.  Even the lifelong friend who brought Don along on this incredible journey is shrouded in mystery as I found out first-hand upon being pulled into this story in 2006.

Donald Ruh points to the carving of a goose carved into a large block of sandstone on Hunter Mountain. 

I first became involved after being asked to perform laboratory work on an inscribed stone discovered in the Catskill Mountains.  Early on in my own research, it was clear Dr. William Jackson was the key person involved in the story.  Don warned me not to dig into his deceased friend’s past and not long after an Internet search, I received and ominous note telling me to stop the searches that warned could harm Dr. Jackson’s still living family members.  Despite this warning, my search found nothing about Dr. Jackson.  Regardless, I still wanted to know more about this man and the details about how he came to possess these explosive documents, so I reached out to Don.  Don was very protective of his friend and eventually, after earning his trust, all my questions about this shadowy figure in Don’s past would be answered and shared in a highly personal and moving way, in this book.

At the time of the writing of this book, several aspects of the Cremona Document had not yet been investigated.  However, the veracity of the contents of the two-centuries-old copy of a twelfth century document had been established decades earlier by Dr. Jackson, with the assistance of Don and other colleagues.  The Cremona Document tells the story of the Templar knights who entered the extensive cave system under the walled city of Jerusalem shortly after they had captured the Holy Land.  The story tells what the six Templars found beneath the ancient city and the subsequent mission decades later to a temple in “Onteora.”  The stories are told first-person by the Templar knights who made the discoveries, and in the deposition of a historically known Templar knight, Sir Ralph De Sudeley, who led a flotilla decades later to recover ancient first century scrolls hidden in what is now the Catskills of New York.

Ironically, it was Don Ruh’s discovery of a brass device on the shores of the Hudson River, while fishing with Dr. Jackson and other friends in 1968 that started this amazing adventure.  Hidden inside a garden ornament that originated on Bannerman Island, the devise contained inserts and artifacts, inscribed with Theban script that eventually led Dr. Jackson to purchase the Cremona Document in Italy, before it could be donated to the Vatican and disappear forever.  Dr. Jackson invited Don to join him on a diving expedition off the coast of Newfoundland that led to the discovery of an ancient shipwreck. Unbeknownst to Don, it was from the twelfth century.  Convinced the stories in the document were true, Dr. Jackson asked Don and other colleagues to help search the Catskill Mountains for stone structures mentioned the document. They were all on one mountain where ancient artifacts were hidden.  Don recounts these numerous expeditions on Hunter Mountain, and elsewhere, which are as memorable as they are historic.

The brass seal etched with Theban symbols onto the surface, was discovered hidden inside a decorative lawn ornament on the shores of Bannerman Island, on the Hudson River, by Donald Ruh, in 1968.  This artifact, and the artifacts found inside it, started the incredible journal that has lasted half a century. 

Dr. Jackson died in 2000 and before his death he planned to pass on his research, his artifacts, and the remaining documents to his lifelong friend who never questioned his intentions or motives.  Don had always been a loyal friend and was the only one who took a genuine interest in his archaeological hobby and the only one who was deserving of receiving this knowledge.  In 1994, fate would play a curious hand when Dr. Jackson sold the Cremona Document to an agent directly connected to the Vatican.  However, this was far from the end of the story.  In fact, it was simply the end of an important chapter in a very long book. 

This photograph of the Cremona Document is the List of Subjects page written in Theban text that includes two Hooked X's on line seven. 

It took twenty-three years before Don assembled the many pieces of the story left by his friend that can only be told by the person who lived it.  The final and most important pieces didn’t arrive until 2017. It arrived in a package from Europe, only days before I arrived at Don’s home to review the material he had received.  We examined the pages that Dr. Jackson had retained that were key to understanding the rest of the document - likely now in Vatican hands.  If so, Dr. Jackson pulled the ultimate prank on the institution he so despised by leaving his trusted friend Don with the “Keys to the Cadillac,” in the form of numerous potential Templar treasure sites.

Arguably, one of the greatest adventures I have ever experienced all happened in one day during our climb up Hunter Mountain on July 1, 2009.  In the hotel room the night before, I was amazed by Don’s photographic memory as he recalled details of the discoveries he, Dr. Jackson, and others made in the 1970s and 1980s during numerous expeditions into the Catskills which ultimately led to Hunter Mountain.  Our hike up the mountain the next day, and to another site a few miles away, led to the incredible discovery of not one, but two inscribed stones directly connected to this amazing story.  These stones led to other adventures that resulted in many important revelations, as well as many unanswered questions.  Rarely do answers like these ever come but incredibly in 2017, another envelope from Europe arrived unexpectedly at Don’s door that held the answers to our nearly decade old questions.

There have been many times as I have spent time with Don, the artifacts, and the documents, that I sat back and marveled in amazement at what has been revealed to me that relates to my previous research and discoveries.  So much of it provides powerful evidence supporting my thesis of multiple pre-Columbian expeditions by the medieval Knights Templar order to North America, both before and after the putdown by Pope Clement V and the King of France in 1307.  Not only does the Cremona Document support that research, but it also introduces twelve new examples of the Hooked X™ symbol that connects directly to the Knights Templar and later traditions that embraced Templar ideology and philosophy.

Don Ruh and I during a visit in October of 2018. 

It has been almost a decade for me, but for Don a half a century passed before all the pieces to this immensely complicated jigsaw puzzle finally fit together.  You will be amazed by the stories told both by Donald Ruh and his lifelong friend whose life was shrouded in mystery both in life, and in death.  I am proud to call Don my friend, and honored to write the forward for this history-changing book that will leave an important and proud legacy for both of these men.

For those interested in purchasing Don's fascinating book that corroborates many aspects of Diana Muir's book about the Earl Henry Sinclair's first journal, and those to come, please follow the attached link:

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Lost Templar Journals of Prince Henry Sinclair – Vol. 1

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 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Will Francis Be The Last Pope?

Dear Readers: I have to apologize for not posting comments or responding to those comments for the past week.  It was 100% my fault.  The comments received have been posted and I will respond to each comment shortly.  Again my apologies... 

History Channel aired an interesting two-hour documentary tonight that I participated in as a commentator about Saint Malachy O'Morgair (1094-1143).  Born in Armagh, Northern Ireland, he became the Archbishop in Armagh, and first met Bernard de Clairvaux at Clairvaux Abbey, where he stayed while in France during his pilgrimage from Ireland to the Holy Land.  So impressed with the asceticism and "perfection of the religious life" of the monks at Clairvaux under Bernard, they became close friends where Malachy expressed a desire to join the abbey as a monk.  Bernard advised him to return to Ireland to establish a monastery there. (Konemann, Page 256, 2006) In 1142, he established the abbey of Mellifont in the Boyne Valley roughly a 45-minute drive north from Belfast.

What most people don't know is on the granges, or lands, of the Cistercian monks at Mellifont were three megalithic ritual temples archaeologists today call "passage tombs" for the dead.  The most famous of these is a UNESCO World Heritage Site called Newgrange.  In fact, these incredible structures believed to be over 5,000 years old, were ancient observatories the monks actually excavated in the twelfth century.  Having visited the site in 2012, it is quite clear Newgrange, which has a long stone-lined tunnel with three niches at the center, captures the light of the rising sun to the southeast on the Winter Solstice.  What few people know is the alignment of the tunnel and the deepest most niche are most accurately aligned to the planet Venus at sunrise on the shortest day of the year.  This fact is further evidenced by the eight "X's" carved in base relief into the slab of stone directly above the entrance that allows the light of Venus, and the sun, to enter the tunnel on the solstice.  Eight is the number of Earth years it takes for the planet Venus to make the five-pointed star when viewed from Earth astronomically.  It is a deeply sacred number to the Cistercians and many other cultures who embrace the "Hooked X" ideology of Monotheistic Dualism.

You might be asking what does all this have to do with the Malachy Prophecy?  The simple answer is the Cistercians, and Saint Malachy, were deeply versed in astronomy/astrology and understood the concepts associated with Precession of the Equinoxes.  Essentially astronomer priests, they received ancient knowledge passed on through initiation and ritual about the 26,000 year long cycle of the twelve primary constellations of the zodiac when viewed from Earth.  Possessing this knowledge was how Malachy knew something profound was to occur in 2012, the same year cultures like the Mayans, who also understood and venerated astronomical precession, knew the old "Great Year" would end and the new "Great Year" would begin.  It's quite possible, if Malachy in fact made the 2012 predictions, the presence of the ancient megalithic observatories on the granges at Mellifont may have had something to do with that knowledge and the prophecies.

Stained glass image of Saint Malachy at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Temple Street in Sligo, Ireland. Photo by Andreas F. Borchert, CC BY-SA 4.0,  

The octagonal shaped lavatorium that sits on eight columns with Romanesque arches survives somewhat intact at the Cistercian monastery of Mellifont that was founded by Saint Malachy in 1142.  

Author Alan Butler and I stand in front of the over 5,000 year-old megalithic structure called Newgrange in the Boyne Valley of Ireland.  This structure has a diameter of over 300 feet and is one of three such ancient observatories that capture the light of the setting sun, and the planet Venus, on the winter solstice. 

Outside the entrance to the stone-lined tunnel that leads to three chambers at the center of the  structure are large curbstones with ornate carvings of spirals and other symbols.

Above the opening that is the entrance into the tunnel is a large slab of stone with eight "Xs" carved in base relief.  The primary winter solstice alignment is for the planet Venus which the eight carved "Xs" appear to be consistent with.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Does a 1939 aerial photograph prove the Newport Tower is a Templar Church?

This 1939 aerial photograph of Touro Park shows the clearly visible, round nave of the Newport  Tower, and what appears to be the rectangular shape of a chancel running east-west on the east side.  More info about this photos can be found at the following link:  

Researcher Patrick Shekleton, noticed what appears to be a rectangular imprint in the grass on the east side of the Newport Tower.

This schematic of the Temple Church, in London, England, shows the round nave and rectangular chancel facing east that is eerily similar to what appears in the 1939 aerial photograph.

In a Gothic cathedral, such as this schematic of Reims Cathedral in France, the nave of the church is rectangular in shape and faces to the west.

This schematic of Cambridge Round Church in Cambridge, England, show an identical layout the Newport Tower likely had when first constructed in the early 1400's, minus the north and south aisles.  Image can be found at the following link:

Cambridge Round Church was built by the Knights Templar, circa 1130, and exhibits the exact same design and architecture as the Newport Tower.  Several factual pieces of evidence are consistent with the Newport Tower having a one-story ambulatory like the ones at both Cambridge and Temple Churches in England, in addition to several others such as the Charola in the round nave in the Templar church in Tomar, Portugal.  

Inside the church at the Convent of Christ Castle in Tomor, Portugal, is the beautifully illuminated, two-story octagonal tower that sits on eight heavy columns called the Charola.  It was built by the Knights Templar in 1161, and its design also mirrors the Newport Tower. 

The areas in red were built by the Templars in the 1160's and include the two-story octagonal Charola that served as an architectural archetype for the Newport Tower in Newport, Rhode Island.    

All eight stone columns in the Newport Tower have a slate slabs at the base, and at the top that serves a structural function as a capstone ledge to support the wooden trusses of the roof for the first-story ambulatory.

Clear evidence of what was a wooden, first-story ambulatory can seen with the capstone ledges atop all eight columns, at approximately eight feet above grade (yellow arrows), and the where the roof met the exterior tower wall roughly four feet above the ledges (red arrows).

This test pit was dug during the salvage archaeological dig at the Newport Tower, reportedly in the area of the rectangular shape seen in the 1939 aerial photo.  Could the layer of stones, which do not appear to be a natural glacial geological feature, be remnants of the foundation for the rectangular structure?

Recently, friend and fellow researcher, Patrick Shekleton, forwarded a 1939 aerial photograph of Touro Park and wrote that he noticed what looked like a rectangular shape image running east-west on the east side.  I didn't have to look too hard and sure enough, there did appear to be a rectangular shape in the grass apparently reflecting the imprint of the footings of structure that was once attached to the round tower.  Pat and I discussed the image and the his posting of the discovery on the Phippsburg, website.  While it is certainly possible the rectangle could be from a structure built long after the Tower was constructed, its close proximity suggests it's connected.

The image of the test pit dug during the salvage archaeological dig conducted by Chronognostic Research Foundation shows a soil horizon profile within excavation unit located to the east of the tower.  The man-made glacial stone layer was identified as a portion of a potential structure foundation: "Under these dumped layers is a layer of native stones.  The stones tell us that there may have been a structure east of the tower.  This is important because our research has shown that there were no structures around the Tower since the town's founding in 1639.  (

Let's assume for a minute there was a structure on the east side of the tower.  If so, the layout of the rectangular structure follows the exact footprint of a church constructed ONLY by the medieval Knights Templar.  The diagrams and photos above of Temple Church and Cambridge Round Church in England, and the Church at the Convent of Christ Castle in Tomar, Portugal, are the same as what is gradually unfolding at the Newport Tower.  Based on the evidence already present at the Newport Tower, such as the capstone ledges at the top of the eight columns as published in my book, "The Hooked X: Key to the Secret History of North America" (see page 185), and the remnants of two wooden posts that supported the roof that was discovered by archaeologists in a 2008 salvage excavation, each sixteen feet from from stone columns (see page 186), there was indeed an ambulatory, most likely constructed of wood, that encircled the still standing, two-story structure.  Based on the 1939 aerial photograph discovered by Patrick Shekleton, there appears to have also been a rectangular shaped chancel that connected perfectly with the long ago disintegrated wooden ambulatory that encircled the enigmatic circular stone and mortar structure.  More work certainly needs to be done, but when this new evidence is combined with the architectural design, the Masonic notched keystone symbolism, the long-range alignment to the Kensington Rune Stone (see pages 211-228), and the solar illumination of the egg-shaped keystone on the winter solstice, there can no longer be any doubt the Newport Tower was constructed by the Knights Templar sometime around the year 1400.