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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

A Mysterious Force is Keeping Distant Galaxies in Sync

If you’re someone who believes in synchronicity, then this research is for you. In a big way. Make that a BIG way. To illustrate what a big deal this is in the scientific community, the researchers take the rarely-seen stance of using the word “mysterious” in the title of their paper. Hey, that’s OUR word!

“For this mysterious coherence in large scales, we cautiously suggest a scenario in which it results from a possible relationship between the long-term motion of a large-scale structure and the rotations of galaxies in it.”

There’s that word again, this time in the abstract of “Mysterious Coherence in Several-megaparsec Scales between Galaxy Rotation and Neighbor Motion,” published recently in the Astrophysical Journal. The research was led by astronomer Hyeop Lee at the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, South Korea’s national research institute in astronomy and space science. However, the key phrase in the abstract is “large-scale structure.”

“The observed coherence must have some relationship with large-scale structures, because it is impossible that the galaxies separated by six megaparsecs [roughly 20 million light years] directly interact with each other.”

Does it look like this?

In an interview with Vice.com, Lee explains the team’s research – a study of 445 galaxies within 400 million light years of Earth – and their “mysterious” observed synchronicity where many of the ones rotating in a direction toward Earth had neighbors that were moving toward Earth, and vice-versa. There’s no known way galaxies 20 million light years apart can exert that kind of gravitational force upon each other, so the team attempted to model a dark energy or dark matter force that could link them. The answer? Large-scale structures. Here’s a definition from the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics:

“Up until the latter part of the 20th Century astronomers thought, in the words of the eminent astronomer Edwin Hubble, that the universe was “sensibly uniform.” As a result of redshift surveys of large samples of galaxies we now know that the galaxies around us are distributed in an incredible tapestry of filamentary and sheet-like structures called the cosmic web. Massive clusters of galaxies lie at major “intersections” in this web. Galaxies like our own Milky Way are usually found in groups which often lie on the outskirts of clusters or superclusters. The first really large structure, the Great Wall, was discovered by CfA astronomers in the late 1980’s and is approximately 300 million light-years across.”

A cosmic web of galaxies connected by “an incredible tapestry of filamentary and sheet-like structures.” (Let’s pause here for a moment to ponder: Which came first: the planetarium or psychedelics? Asking for a friend.) Lee told Vice.com that the “mysterious coherence” the team observed was very slowly rotating in a counter-clockwise direction. Vice.com points out that this is the latest of similar studies reaching similar conclusions about large-scale structures. In a 2014 study led by Damien Hutsemékers, an astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium, and published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile was used to study nearly 100 quasars and the results revealed that the rotation axes of 19 quasars in this group were parallel, despite being several billion (that’s billion with a B) light years apart.

Or this?

“Galaxy spin axes are known to align with large-scale structures such as cosmic filaments but this occurs on smaller scales. However, there is currently no explanation why the axes of quasars are aligned with the axis of the large group in which they are embedded.”

The evidence points to the existence of large-scale structures keeping the galaxies of the universe connected and spinning in synchronicity. The explanation obviously needs more study before it’s accepted, but it’s worth pondering – with or without the aid of psychedelics.

One more thing to ponder … Axes of Quasars would make a great name for a Pink Floyd tribute band.

Source: Mysterious Universe

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Mysteries

Internet puzzled by mysterious howls coming from the woods

© Flickr / Tyfrvmp

Sputnik

A series of strange and mysterious howls were recently caught on tape by a Canadian hunter, and netizens could not help but speculate about the nature of the sounds – with the craziest theories coming up, including those pointing to such legendary creatures as Sasquatch or Wendigo.

Gino Meekis was hunting grouse several kilometres from Sioux Lookout, Ontario on 3 October alongside his wife and grandson when the family heard the strangest and eeriest sounds, faintly resembling screams. The video, later posted on YouTube, has collected almost a million views, with people left guessing about who or what could have made these sounds.

Meekis, who was later approached for comment by Vice, is an experienced hunter accustomed to different sounds in the Canadian wilderness but even he was confused by the howls.

“When it let out the first scream, I thought it was a moose, but my mind changed when it screamed again and again”, the hunter said. He began recording the shrieks almost straight away, as well as his grandson trying to mimic them. The family retreated to their vehicle shortly after the sounds appeared to move closer, as Meekis’s wife became particularly scared of the noise.

I’ve heard many different animals in the wild but nothing like this. I grew up hunting with my grandfather for the first 12 years of my life“, Meekis said.

Although many YouTube users have suggested the sounds could be attributed to a wolf or an injured animal in distress, others alluded to the existence of otherworldly creatures, such as Sasquatch, a werewolf, or even to a malevolent folklore spirit called Wendigo.

“This is what I imagined a werewolf would sound like…” one user wrote on YouTube.

“It’s sounds like a grieving Sasquatch”, another suggested.

Some netizens, however, were not frightened by the howls captured in the video, joking that it had simply recorded the collective cry of Canadian hockey fans watching their team lose or someone stepping on a lego.

While Canadian biologists from Ontario’s Ministry of Resources and Forestry were skeptical about the otherworldly nature of the sounds, suggesting that it could be attributed to a large mammal instead, they remained uncertain of the source, with the video still posing more questions than answers.

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Mysteries

Dozens of strange lights in the sky above Honolulu

The moon was big and bright Tuesday night as many across the islands looked up to enjoy the night sky.

While doing so, some people saw strange lights.

Viewers started contacting Hawaii News Now asking about what they’d seen.

Residents statewide saw strange lights in the night sky.

Residents statewide saw strange lights in the night sky. (Source: Clau Laz)

Jon Savage, who sent us a photo of the near-perfectly aligned lights, said he saw them around 7:05 p.m. from his Oahu home.

“My wife and I were sitting in our yard stargazing when a line of bright lights came streaming across the night sky over Diamond Head in the direction of Molokai,” he wrote in an email.

He noted about 20 to 25 lights, “that resembled a Roman candle shot across the sky,” he said.

At least one viewer on Maui also reported seeing them.

Right now, we don’t know exactly what they are. The National Weather Service said nothing out of the ordinary appeared on their radar.

We’ve also contacted the Federal Aviation Administration and are awaiting a response.

Others have speculated the lights were 5G drones, or satellites similar to SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites.

Whatever the speculation may be, so far, there’s been no official confirmation.

Source: Hawaii News Now

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