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Mysteries

The Mystery of Kensington Runestone

The origin of the Kensington Runestone has been the subject of much controversy and speculation for well over a century now. The 200-pound rune-covered slab was unearthed in 1898 by a Swedish American farmer named Olof Ohman while he was felling a tree on his farmland near Kensington, Minnesota (roughly 15 miles west of Alexandria).

As Ohman and his 10-year-old son Edward were clearing the land, they found the stone lying face down, entangled in the roots of an aspen tree located on a small knoll. Ohman’s son was the first to notice the rune carvings on the stone, which Ohman incorrectly suspected were of Native American origin.

Little did anyone know at the time that Olof’s accidental discovery would set in motion a whirlwind of events that would ultimately change the life of Ohman and his family forever.

To say that the origin of the Kensington Runestone has been a lightning rod for debate would be a gross understatement. For more than 100 years now, the iconic stone has been studied by geologists, runologists, scientists, and linguists alike, all attempting to ascertain whether or not the rune inscriptions on the stone are indeed authentic.

The main question at the center of the debate is how a runic artifact, clearly dated 1362, could surface in North America. Several scholars and linguists have rejected the stone as a hoax, claiming that some of the runes on the stone didn’t even exist as part of the language in 1362, implying that Ohman must have carved the inscriptions himself.

Every time that this type of situation has taken place, inevitably some new series of medieval runes are discovered in Europe that correctly date the stone to the 14th century.

The old Germanic language found on the Kensington Runestone is so complex and loaded with nuances of form and structure that only a tiny handful of people with extensive training in old Germanic linguistics could even attempt to carve something of similar complexity. The likelihood of a rural farmer in 1898 being able to accomplish this type of intricate carving is essentially zero.

Within roughly twenty years of the stone’s discovery, a Minnesota-based geologist named Winton Minchell began to take an interest in the stone and performed several studies to determine its origin.

Even with the somewhat limited science of his day, he was able to conclude that the carvings in the rune stone were indeed very old, and that there was no reason to doubt that the 1632 date inscribed on the stone was accurate.

In the year 2000, another Minnesota geologist named Scott Wolter began performing scientific tests on the stone by comparing the deterioration of silicate minerals found in Colonial gravestones of similar composition and environment with the deterioration in the Kensington Runestone.

Through several rigorous tests, he was able to determine that the carvings in the stone were already centuries old by the time the stone was unearthed, and could not have possibly originated in the late 1800s.

Although Wolter’s findings do not conclusively state that the rune inscriptions were carved in the exact year of 1362, they do confirm that they could not have been carved by Ohman or anyone living during his time period.

The inscription on the rune stone has been roughly translated several times throughout the past century, and its meaning is somewhat benign; it tells the story of a group of sailors on an expedition that presumably set up camp on or close to the place where Ohman discovered the stone. The prevailing (and generally accepted) translation reads as follows:

8 : göter : ok : 22 : norrmen : po :
…o : opþagelsefärd : fro :
vinland : of vest : vi :
hade : läger : ved : 2 : skLär : en :
dags: rise: norr: fro: þeno: sten:
vi : var : ok : fiske : en : dagh : äptir :
vi : kom : hem : fan : 10 : man : röde :
af : blod : og : ded : AVM :
frälse : äf : illü.

“Eight Gotalanders (a.k.a. Geats or Goths) and 22 Northmen on an acquisition journey from Vinland far to the west. We had a camp by two shelters, one day’s journey north from this stone. We were fishing one day. When we came home, we found 10 men red from blood and dead. Ave Maria, save from evil.”

Also, on the side of the stone is the following inscription (prevailing translation):

här : (10) : mans : ve : havet : at : se :
äptir : vore : skip : 14 : dagh : rise :
from : þeno : öh : ahr : 1362 :

“There are ten men by the inland sea to look after our ships 14 days’ journey from this peninsula (or island). Year 1362.”

Many critics have accused Ohman of forging the inscriptions due to his Swedish heritage, claiming that he was looking for a way to validate the famous Swedish tales of their Viking ancestors settling in America long before Columbus.

To this end, many fame-seeking scholars, linguists and academicians have published books refuting the authenticity of the rune inscriptions, asserting that Ohman knew enough about runes to simply carve the inscriptions himself, and that he “pretended” to find the stone in order to gain notoriety.

This is a flimsy argument, especially in light of the rune stone’s linguistic complexities, as mentioned earlier. These accusations have been leveled at Ohman over and over again over the past century, although there is absolutely no concrete evidence that Ohman ever attempted to leverage his discovery of the Kensington Runestone for personal gain, financial or otherwise.

The Ohman family has never denied that the Kensington Runestone is a genuine medieval artifact, and they have staunchly maintained that stance ever since Ohman’s discovery in 1898.

The Kensington Stone now rests in a small museum in Alexandria, MN. Time and time again the academic or scholarly publications that have questioned or dismissed the authenticity of Ohman’s story have been refuted by way of new scientific findings.

Unfortunately, many scholarly skeptics and naysayers have allowed their own personal agendas to interfere with objective research, publishing biased findings that inevitably have to be retracted later.

Equally unfortunate is the negative toll that this protracted controversy has taken on many members of Ohman’s family. It is hard to believe that an innocent finding by a Swedish farmer in 1898 could be the source of a century-plus long battle rife with controversy, manipulation, deceit, and contention.

Two of the most repeated critiques against the stones authenticity are an out of time word and a claimed hidden cipher.

The criticism of an out of time word concerns the signal use of the of the word opþagelsefardþ (journey of discovery). Skeptics contend that is this is a relatively new word and did not exist in the 14th century.

Those supporting the the rune stone’s authenticity hold that the runes can also be translated as uptagelsefart (acquisition expedition). Critics argue that this would be inconsistent with how similar runes were used elsewhere on the stone. This criticism seems to assume a well educated rune smith created the stone.

The hidden cipher was first claimed by Mats G. Larsson in a paper in Saga och Sed 2010. Larson suggested that the numbers taken in sequence as they appear on the stone when reversed revealed a hidden cipher for Ohman’s signature.

8 – 22 – 2 – 10 – 10 – 14 – 13 – 62 reversed gives 8 – 22 – 2 – 10 – 10 – 14 – 13 – 62

Larsson counts the words from the left on odd-numbered lines and from the right on even-numbered lines to obtain the following:

62: öh
13: mans
14: fan
10: vi
10: ved
2: hade
22: ved
8: sten

“Öh mans fan vi ved hade ved sten”, or in English, “The Öhmans found. We kept/collected firewood at the stone.”

Note: The above is Larsons published translation and requires a mixture of Danish and Swedish. The unfiltered translation is “Ohmans found we by wood stone”

On face value this sounds pretty damming but for some reason has not been widely circulated by Bad Archeology websites. Maybe this is why. If one is allowed to mix Danish and Swedish as Larson did then you can also arrive at:

Öh mans fån(Swedish) vi ved hade ved sten(Danish) or in English “Ohmans idiot we hate the stone”

Why would Ohman call himself an idiot? Also if Larson’s alleged secret signature is correct it’s an odd one. The message, if real, seems more about finding fire wood than taking credit for the creation of the stone. Larson’s cypher may be a form of pareidolia or finding meaning based on ones personal bias.

The nuances of the accusations have changed a little over time as more evidence has surfaced supporting the genuineness of the Kensington Runestone; critics now claim that although there is no evidence that Ohman carved the stone, they still dismiss its historical authenticity. Their big argument? “It may not have been Ohman, but it was ‘someone else’.”

It almost seems as if many skeptics are willing to accept just about any other possibility except that the 1362 party actually did carve the inscriptions. Although there are many that would still attempt to refute the validity of the Ohman family’s claims, the authenticity of the Kensington Stone has stood the test of time.

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Mysteries

The Tommyknockers: Mysterious Green Men

When the inhabitants of Wales and the county of Devon went to work in the mines, they often heard strange taps there, and after they saw little green men in a mining robe and with a pickaxe in their hands. At the word “Tommyknocker”, most people recall the famous science fiction novel by Stephen King, while the original meaning of this term is almost forgotten today.

However, hundreds of years ago, Tommyknockers were no less popular than leprechauns, with which they have a lot in common. The difference is that Tommyknockers live in caves and dungeons, like European gnomes.

Most often, Tommyknockers (originally just knockers) are described in Welsh and Devonian folklore. Their name can be translated as “Those who knock” – it was believed that it was the knockers who knock on the walls of the mines to cause deadly collapses. Local miners have repeatedly heard these mysterious taps. Some are convinced that the knockers are vicious and long for death, but many of the miners themselves, who personally saw strange little men in underground tunnels, assured that the knockers, on the contrary, try to warn people about the danger and that if they hear these taps, leave in time then you can happily avoid a rock collapse.

Eyewitnesses described Tomminokers as tiny men half a meter tall, with greenish skin, normal human body proportions, and dressed in dirty clothes that looked like a typical mining robe. All tomminokers seen were men. When the gold rush began in California in the 19th century and everyone began to dig mines and look for gold, many British miners went to the United States and brought with them faith in the Knockers. When they began to meet strange little men in American mines, stories about this quickly spread throughout the states and at some point they began to call the Knockers tomminokers.

At the same time, it was believed that strange knocks in a mine might not portend a blockage, but rather indicate rich deposits of ore or other valuable minerals. And when someone heard these sounds, he set off to wander through the tunnels in search of their source. Most often, such miners then simply went missing, but there were also those who really came across a rich mine. That is why it is difficult to say unequivocally whether Tommyknockers were considered bad or good creatures. When collapses occurred, people died or disappeared, Tommyknockers were scolded, but if thanks to their knocks they managed to find a vein or get out of the labyrinth of tunnels, they were called good and thanked.

After a few decades, a whole layer of “urban legends” appeared, according to which strange knocks in mines produce ghosts of dead miners and they do this to warn the living of danger. It was after this that folklore about Tomminokers began to be forgotten gradually, yielding to faith in ghosts. Now the miners began trying to appease the ghosts and brought pieces of bread or cake with them to the mine to leave them in some niche and ask the ghosts for protection and mercy.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, Tommyknockers had almost sunk into oblivion. They were remembered only by collectors of fairy tales or by locals whose houses stood next to the mines and who sometimes also heard strange taps.

There were rumors that when the mine closes, Tommyknockers “go live” to the nearest houses and knock already there, now predicting not collapses, but the death of family members or accidents.

Today, many researchers believe that centuries ago, small children often worked in mines, including illegally, and that it was precisely the miners who faced them underground. The greenish skin of children could become so from contact with copper.

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Mysteries

Never seen before powerful Radio Burst signal coming from a Magnetar in the Milky Way

“Something like this has never been seen before.”

Astronomers working on the CHIME telescope recorded a powerful radio burst from a magnetar in the Milky Way. The peculiarity of this discovery is not only that the burst coincided with a period of increased activity of the magnetar, but also in that it resembles mysterious fast radio bursts. If the discovery is confirmed, then the magnetar will become the source of fast radio bursts closest to Earth, according to  The Astronomer’s Telegram .

Fast radio bursts  (Fast Radio Burst, FRB) – is short (up to several milliseconds), but the strong  radio pulses. Their discovery was accidental and occurred in 2007, and it soon became clear that they could be of  extraterrestrial nature. To date, about a hundred such bursts have been recorded that are associated with  neutron stars ,  blitz , the  decay of  axion mini-clusters,  extraterrestrial civilizations  and other phenomena.

In 2018, it was possible to determine that fast repeating radio bursts from the source of  FRB 121102  could occur in a magnetized medium near a rotating pulsar. Then the source of an individual fast radio burst was first determined , a second similar discovery soon followed , and then  eight more sources of repeating FRB were discovered at once. All discoveries are united by the fact that all sources of fast radio bursts are extragalactic in nature. The source of FRB closest to us is in a large spiral galaxy with a redshift of z = 0.0337; recently, it was possible to detect the periodicity for the first time in fast radio bursts from it.

On April 27, 2020, the SGR 1935 + 2154 magnetar associated with the supernova remnant SNR G57.2 + 0.8 in the Milky Way, located 30 thousand light-years from us in the constellation Lisichka, experienced a burst of activity in the x-ray range. It was previously believed that this magnetar is a source of soft gamma-ray bursts. He became the target of observations for the Swift space telescope , the AGILE observatory , the NICER telescope mounted on the ISS, the INTEGRAL observatory, and other telescopes. 

Initially, his behavior was typical for such objects, but on April 28, the Canadian CHIME telescope reported the registration of a powerful radio burst from the magnetar, which had two peak components five milliseconds long, separated by thirty milliseconds. The radio flux at frequencies of 400-800 megahertz amounted to several kilojans per millisecond. 

An analysis of the CHIME archival data from the beginning of work at the end of 2018 did not reveal any similar events related to this magnetar in the past. If this magnetar were in another galaxy, then for the earth observer the signal would look like a fast radio burst. However, scientists have yet to analyze all the data for the similarity of the flash spectrum from SGR 1935 + 2154 with the spectra of extragalactic fast radio bursts. 

Dynamic spectrum of radio burst from SGR 1935 + 2154.CHIME / FRB Collaboration

An Indian group of scientists working on the GMRT telescope (Giant Metrowave Radio telescope) published a preprint in August 2019   reporting the discovery of a kind of “copy” of fast radio bursts from the J1810- magnetar 197 in our galaxy. Giant radio pulses were also observed from the pulsar in the Crab nebula, however, their generation mechanisms are still different from those that generate fast radio bursts. The situation is similar with SGR 1935 + 2154, where a phenomenon that looks similar to fast radio bursts can be very different from it in physical mechanism.

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Mysteries

Amateur astronomer recorded the mysterious pulsating rays of light emanating from Venus

Something strange happened a few days ago in deep space. An amateur astronomer with a good telescope recorded several flashes or pulsating rays with his infrared telescope camera, which, apparently, came from the planet Venus.

The astronomer also points to a giant object that looks just like the asteroid known for its unusual shape (and some scientists consider it not an asteroid at all, but an alien spaceship) Oumuamua, which passed over Venus and wonders if this object could cause flashes or pulsating rays.

Another possibility for multiple bright flashes can be massive explosions caused by asteroids hitting the planet.

In addition to the strange flashes emitted by Venus, a dark object located near it and looking like a spaceship of gigantic aliens, a large number of UFOs flying in open space fell into the lens of the telescope.

One way or another, whatever that may be, but something very unusual happened near or on the planet Venus.

Oumuamua is the first discovered interstellar object flying through the solar system.

Or maybe it’s a spaceship?

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