A pretty stunning visual on why you DO NOT build nuclear reactors 100 fucking meters from the pacific ocean coast of Japan (or near any other major fault line for that matter). Give video a second to really take off….wow.
Just how bad is this situation? There are actually three different ongoing disasters – each more grave and challenging than the previous one – which must be considered when assessing the awesome destruction to the GOM by the Oil & Gas Industry.
I. A single gushing well at 7o – 100,000 barrels per day of hydrocarbon effluent for 87 days into the GOM at the Macondo Prospect along with two smaller rogue wells
II. Numerous leaks and seeps within five to ten square miles of the Macondo well with an aggregate outflow of an unknown amount of hydrocarbon effluent per day into the GOM
III. Countless gushers and spills, leaks and seeps, throughout the Gulf of Mexico, where drilling has been conducted for many decades, with an aggregate outflow that can not even be estimated, but is well in excess of any guesstimate which would ensure the slow and steady demise of the GOM.
These folks make a strong case for the shit being very deep indeed in the Gulf.
Geological evidence shows that (India) had been drifting independently for about 100 million years at the time, but the organisms in the amber are closely related to other species found in northern Europe, Australia, New Guinea and tropical America, the researchers report online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
That means the fauna of India didn’t evolve in isolation, said study researcher David Grimaldi, the curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
“There must have been some connections between India and Asia that geologists aren’t accounting for,” Grimaldi told LiveScience.
How about this … the geological evidence is wrong, and India was not drifting independently after all? That’s what the Expanding Earth theory guys say.
In other words, the Expanding Earth theory is totally heretical and not accepted by the mainstream, but they are the only people in the world right now who are not surprised by the “unexpected India-Asia ties.” But plate tectonics is so entrenched there is zero chance of it being falsified by this finding. But at least we may say that the Expanding Earth theory has gained a point in its column.
The earthquake was followed by a boom in UFO sightings, but sixteen cases occurred on the night of the tragedy alone (some of them accompanied by significant visual material) which have been subjected to study by UFO researchers.
Pretty big news, but I thought it should be here. australian news link Billion tons, dude. WTF.
New blurry Hubble images of Pluto nonetheless show that its surface is wildly dynamic, moving scientists to sound like they’re using hyperbole:
“[With Pluto] you are looking at the surface in the Solar System that has the biggest changes of anything we’ve ever seen.”
That’s not even hyperbole. Whatever the nature of these extensive, rapid surface changes, they dwarf anything visible on the other solar system bodies.
Marc Buie said the exact mechanism was a mystery … “It’s close to springtime on Pluto. In the fall, it will be so much further away from the Sun, and so much colder. Things that boiled up in the spring will condense.”
“We think that these things are driven by seasonal processes on Pluto,” said Dr Buie, “But it’s a little bit of a surprise that you would see this big of a change this fast because the seasons take 248 of our years to progress.”
Space probe flyby in 2015!
New research has officially “over turned” the “Primordial Soup” theory of the origin of life. It had an 80-year run where it was the dominant paradigm.
But the geochemical energy of hydrothermal vents is the new hotness:
“Textbooks have it that life arose from organic soup and that the first cells grew by fermenting these organics to generate energy in the form of ATP. We provide a new perspective on why that old and familiar view won’t work at all,” said team leader Dr Nick lane from University College London. … “It is time to cast off the shackles of fermentation in some primordial soup as ‘life without oxygen’ — an idea that dates back to a time before anybody in biology had any understanding of how ATP is made.”
Someone be sure and tell Tommy Gold, whose eye has been on deep sea vents for some time, in relation to the origin of life. Gold’s “Deep Hot Biosphere” theory (presented in a book of that title based on this paper) argues that life teems at the vents because it is upwelling from deeper inside the planet. Life’s true origin is in the geological depths, by Gold’s reckoning. And Gold is no slouch.
So, glad to see we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty, and this “primordial soup” nonsense doesn’t have to get in the way any more.
Still panspermia to contend with too, re: origin of life. Remember, even if panspermia champion Fred Hoyle was wrong about why the primordial soup idea was incorrect - it turns out it is incorrect anyway. So seems to me that Hoyle’s modern-day panspermia work should be given a second look. Because he wasn’t just criticizing the primordial soup theory, he was also advancing a positive case for panspermia, before it was cool as it were.
[The biographical side note I would offer is that Gold and Hoyle were close associates and shared a similar cognitive style - in that each found it fruitful to simply invert the common idea and see where it leads you. Don’t be too surprised if they turn out to have been right about everything.]
News video report at this link.
This is of particular interest to us at Gonzo Science as reports of BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) phenomena have multiple scientific explanations.
Zeitoun was previously the scene of some famous BVM reports (over a Coptic Church as in the current flap). They were correlated to distant seismic phenomena by Michael Persinger, which seemed to support his Tectonic Strain Theory (TST)of the paranormal (wierd lightshows and psychological effects from geophysical-electromagnetic causes). The TST was later retrofitted by Paul Devereaux into the Earth Lights theory.
This current BVM report makes a pretty good case for a simple mass hysteria explanation, however - certainly not unheard of in these cases and we have a first-hand witness of BVM mass hysteria in our Black Casebook. At any rate, it looks like the so-called “doves” that appear to luminously accompany the Virgin in these reports may simply be disregarded as white pigeons flying around. And the one piece of footage here of the glow that is reportedly the Virgin is not even in the air - it’s easily seen as a light source sitting on top of the church.
If this is the same thing that happened the first time around, Persinger may have been correlating it with seismic data for nothing, and the criticisms of him overreaching may have some merit.
The Gonzo Science CD has a pro-TST track about this, number 3 at this link, and yes that’s “Sweet Jane.”
When analyzing these quakes, she and her colleagues found that the mini-temblors were much more likely to occur at times when tidal stresses tended to shear the fault in the direction that it normally breaks — that is, when the Pacific tectonic plate is being pulled to the north-northwest relative to the North American tectonic plate, which lies to the east of the fault. In a sense, the added stress on a fault poised to slip acts like the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
When tidal stresses act in the other direction and therefore tend to relieve stress on the fault, the frequency of small quakes drops substantially.
That’s a new wrinkle.
Subglacial mountain range mapped, yields surprises:
The group has told a major conference in the US that the hidden mountains are more jagged than previously thought.
They are also more linear in shape than the sparse data collected in the past had suggested.
This latter finding hints at a possible origin for the mountains whose existence has perplexed scientists for 50 years.
“If you have a linear structure it makes them more like the Alps or the Appalachians,” explained Dr Michael Studinger from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University, New York.
“These are mountain ranges that formed by the collision of tectonic plates.”
The alternative to the plate tectonics theory (the expanding earth or expansion tectonics theory) says the origin of mountain ranges is from from the expanding earth increasing in circumference, and this process buckles and folds the continents as the planegt expands beneath them, which results in mountains (from Neal Adams’ site):
On the upper surface of the continental plates compression results in folding and mountaining.
Fun stuff. Be sure to check out his animations if you haven’t already.
Also should mention that as far as the hidden features of Antactica goes, remember Graham Hancock said there’s Atlantean pyramids under the ice … we tried to find out more from our man in Antarctica the Noble Hobo, but he never found any leads…
Contriving abiological origins for all phenomena just got a little bit trickier (cough cough Martian Meteorite cough cough).
“…it is possible that the strength of faults and earthquake risk is affected by seismic events on the other side of the world.”
Possibly supports Persinger’s Tectonic Strain Theory of the paranormal, which has been dinged by some, including anomalist William Corliss, for connecting luminous phenomena with distant tectonic events. Now that objection seems somewhat blunted.
Scientists can’t yet make theory match observation in this case:
Dr Lefevre says the chemistry of the Martian atmosphere is still a mystery.
…”We put the dynamics and chemistry as we know it in the model and tried to match the measurements….The problem is if we just take into account the photochemistry as we know it on Earth and if we put it in the model, then we cannot reproduce the model and that was a surprise.”
“The current chemistry as we know it is not consistent with the measurements of methane on Mars.”
Later the guy makes a big caveat saying the measurements are limited, so they’re trying to confirm it. And so…
Dr Lefevre says that if the variations are confirmed it would mean the Martian surface is very hostile for organics. But this would not necessarily exclude the possibility that life or the remnants of past life persist below ground, where conditions could be more benign.
I wonder if he’d have more luck using an alternative model of evolution where life evolves underground first.
Excellent excellent excellent documentary about a highly controversial project from my recent backyard.
H.A.A.R.P. is the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, a project being funded by the USAF, US Navy, U of Alaska and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It is located in remote Alaska wilderness a few hundred miles Northeast of Valdez, AK in an area called Gakona. Most simply be labeled as an advanced Tesla technology.
The critics claim that underlying its stated goals lies the potential for advanced space warfare offense and defense capabilities, weather control, terrestrial geomagnetic control (earthquakes/eruptions), biophysical interference, and worst of all mind control through synched bioelectric frequencies.
The instated public relations tool and head of the project play stupid when it comes to accusations, respond in denial and ignorance, and claim that notions of these accusations are completely unfounded. No surprises there.
Critics range far and wide, and interviewed in this short 50 minute piece are the original head of the project, plasma physicists, biophysicists, electromagnetic specialists and Nick Begich, Jr. Brother of US Senator Mark Begich.
Watch and think and decide, but I for one have never wanted a tinfoil…no, make that iridium foil hat more in my life.
Conventional estimates of dinosaur body weight may have been greatly inflated:
…a mathematical mistake involving logarithms meant that the dinosaur estimates were much too high, according to Dr Packard’s team.
We’ll be watching this story to see if this is a solid piece of science, or if dino mass estimates are being scaled down to avoid the embarrassment of having to rejigger the theory of gravity.
At issue is the rest position of the long-necked dinosaurs, and as the article says, there’s “more than one way to assemble a dino-skeleton”:
….”But we can be confident that they held their heads upright.”
Many scientists, however, still maintain a more horizontal view.
And a recent paper, published by Australian scientist Roger Seymour in the journal Biology Letters, went even further.
It suggested that the creatures would not actually be able to lift their heads up to eat from high trees, because this would raise their brains so far above their hearts that their blood pressure would have to be elevated to a dangerous - possibly lethal - level.
But Dr Taylor is not swayed by this argument.
They can argue all they want, it’s all a moot point if gravity used to be weaker.
With photos. Some speculation these anaerobic ecosystems may exist in the other Great Lakes too.
Hidden beneath the U.S. West’s Great Basin, scientists have spied a giant blob of rocky material dripping like honey.
…the blob is between about 30 miles and 60 miles in diameter (between 50 km and 100 km) and extends from a depth of about 47 miles to at least 310 miles (75 km to 500 km) beneath Earth’s surface.
The team thinks this drip started some 15 million to 20 million years ago and probably detached from the overlying plate only recently.
At first, it was hard for the team to reconcile their discovery with what scientists knew about the region. Over the past tens of millions of years, the Earth’s crust in the Great Basin has undergone extension, or stretching.
I for one welcome our new blob overlords.
This is a surprising find, and as usual with surprising finds, it is flummoxing some in the affected discipline:
If the hypothesis is true, it would revolutionise our ideas of what’s happening far below our feet. Independent scientists contacted by New Scientist were split, with some scornful …. several geologists contacted by New Scientist said they could not explain how the enormous pulses of heat required could be generated in the core.
Whatever you do, don’t switch paradigms! But if you feel like shopping around, here are a couple of alternatives that are only made more plausible by this new data: Planetary Expansion Tectonics and the Exploding Planet Theory.
This is something anticipated by Dr. Michael Persinger’s theory that tectonic strain fields, sometimes aggravated by far away earthquakes, can cause outbreaks of piezoelectric phenomena that are then misidentified as UFOs, ghosts, or the Virgin Mary. (Among other things, Persinger correlated the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Zeitoun Egypt with seismic activity 400 kilometers away.)
Persinger’s theory (and the whole Earth Lights theory connected with it) has been strengthened by this finding. Which is to say, this finding is not surprising to Michael Persinger at all, and his theory just got bolstered pretty good. No more whining about the long distances involved - seismic effects are now understood to have a global reach.
The comfortable scientific and scholarly worlds of history, archaeology, runology and Scandinavian linguistics were all rocked by developments in 2001 surrounding a single stone in west central Minnesota.
The Kensington Runestone, thought for over 100 years to be a hoax, now stands verified as a genuine artifact commemorating the deaths of 10 medieval Scandinavians in Minnesota in the year 1362.
A recent piece of linguistic scholarship by Dr. Richard Nielsen has hit the scene, which seems to demonstrate conclusively that the Kensington Runestone inscription is genuine. Nielsen’s 75-page paper took 12 years of research to write, and was published in the spring 2001 issue of Scandinavian Studies, the peer-reviewed journal of Scandinavian linguistics.
Nielsen’s work has been joined by long-overdue scientific testing on the surface of the stone, coordinated by chemist and design engineer Barry Hanson.
Nielsen and Hanson’s findings reveal more than just the authenticity of a runestone, however. Their work points plaintively at 100 years of scientific incompetence and knee-jerk skepticism regarding this valuable historic artifact. The shock waves are just beginning to reverberate through the scientific world.
A Partial Chronology of the Kensington Runestone
1362 The stone is erected by medieval Europeans on an expedition to the center of North America. The inscription was probably carved by a priest from the Swedish island of Gotland, who was also familiar with the law codes of Vastergötland.
1820-1880 Numerous unusual runeforms are discovered and documented by various linguistic scholars. These same runeforms, when later discovered on the Kensington Runestone, are declared “impossible” by various “experts” in their debunking of the stone, even though the discovery of these runeforms predates the discovery of the Kensington Runestone itself.
November 1898 Olof Ohman and his 10-year-old son Edward are winching over trees to clear their land in Kensington, Minn. They unearth the stone. It spends its first couple of months displayed in a bank window.
January 1899 A translation is attempted, by Olaus Breda at the University of Minnesota, from a hand-rendered copy of the inscription. Although he never sets eyes on the stone, and states that he is not an expert in runology or the language of Old Norse, Breda yet comes to the conclusion it is a forgery. He makes his recommendation to the university: Do not procure the stone for further study. He is later cited as an expert.
February 1899 The stone is sent to George Curme, professor of Old German at Northwestern University. Curme and his amateur geologist associate John Seward study the stone for several weeks. Curme states that although he is not an expert in the language or the runes, his opinion is that the stone is a hoax because it contains double dots (similar to umlauts) over a few of the runes, and the invention of umlauts came after the date on the stone. Curme is later cited as an expert. It is eventually discovered that double dots were a medieval convention indicating vowel lengthening or insertion of a letter. For his part, Steward observed that the carved-out features of the Kensington Runestone showed as much age as the weathered surface of the stone. This is what is expected from a stone that has been hewn out of a rock and then carved; the rock’s surface and its inscription have been exposed to weathering for the same amount of time. Steward’s observation is ignored by future skeptics.
March 1899 The stone is returned to Ohman. It languishes in his shed for several years.
August 1907 A University of Wisconsin historian, Hjalmer Holand, becomes aware of the stone, studies it, and concludes it is a genuine medieval artifact. Over the years Holand clashes bitterly with the establishment over the authenticity of the stone.
July 1909 Ohman, his son Edward, and several neighbors all give signed affidavits stating the circumstances of the stone’s discovery, the weathered and aged appearance of the inscription, and the way the roots of the tree had grown around the stone “in such a way as to exactly conform to the outlines of the stone” (affidavit signed by Ohman neighbor Nils Flaten on July 20, 1909).
1910 The Minnesota Historical Society designates a committee to study the stone. The committee’s study, based on both language and the geological features of the stone, concludes that the stone is authentic. However, there is some dissent among the membership and the trustees over the issue, and prominent members of the Minnesota Historical Society publicly dismiss the stone many times over the years, continuing to implicate Ohman in the process. The Illinois State Historical Society issues a 20-page report claiming the stone is a “modern inscription.” The report stops short of implicating Ohman as the carver.
Summer 1911 Holand takes the stone to Europe to have it examined by Scandinavian language experts. Their conclusion: It is a fake. The stone is also exhibited in several U.S. cities.
1929 Harold S. Langland, president of Stanley Ironworks in Minneapolis and trained in the physical sciences, studies the stone for two months and concludes it is authentic because the carved-out parts are just as weathered as the rest of the surface of the stone.
1935 Olof Ohman dies.
Early 1940s The managing editor of the Minnesota Archeologist, R.H. Landon Ph.D., has the stone coated with engine oil and scrubbed with a powerful solvent, in an attempt to “clean” it. No one knows how much damage this may have caused to the testable features of the stone’s surface.
August 1967 The infamous “Gran tape” is made, recording an interview with Walter Gran, wherein it is alleged by many that Gran claims his father, a neighbor of the Ohmans, “confessed” on his “deathbed” that Olof carved the stone. There is no actual confession related on the tape.
1963 Hjalmar Holand, one of the few lifelong defenders of the stone, dies.
1968 Theodore Blegen, who had initiated the making of the Gran tape above, publishes a book “debunking” the Kensington Runestone. The book alludes to a scandalous tale on the Gran tape and helps to cement Ohman’s reputation as an unscrupulous forger.
1973 The BBC films a skeptical Kensington Runestone documentary, which leans heavily on the bogus Gran tape as its source.
1976 The director of the Minnesota Historical Society, Russell Fridley, publicizes the Gran tape in his articles in Minnesota History.
2001 After raging for years, the controversy is settled by the linguistic scholarship of Dr. Richard Nielsen, and simultaneously, by the scientific studies spearheaded by Barry Hanson, in concert with American Petrographic Services of St. Paul and scientists at the University of Minnesota’s department of geophysics.
The Story of the Stone In 1898, just outside of Kensington, Minn., farmer Olof Ohman found an intensely enigmatic artifact ensnarled in the roots of a tree. It was a large stone tablet, weighing over 200 pounds, and covered with medieval Scandinavian runes. The inscription on the stone, which now resides in a museum in Alexandria, Minn., reads: “Eight Goths and 22 Northmen are on this acquisition expedition from Vinland far to the West. We had traps by two shelters one day’s travel north from this stone. We were fishing one day. After we came home I found 10 men red with blood and dead. Avé Maria deliver from evils! I have 10 men by the inland sea to look after our ship, 14 days’ journey from this island Year 1362.”
Many features of the Kensington Runestone were so far outside the experience of the experts of the day that it was quickly branded a hoax. Ohman’s life was never the same. His reputation was destroyed, and he and his family endured a virtual reign of terror that, arguably, helped drive his daughter to suicide. And the stone itself, like Ohman’s reputation, has remained an object of derision ever since.
The reputation of Ohman (who died in 1935) seems to finally be cleared, but only after a terrible human cost was exacted upon him and his family. Olof’s last surviving son is quoted by family friends as saying (in a 1995 interview conducted by Ove Pederson with Ione and Einar Bakke) that discovering the stone was the worst thing that ever happened to the Ohman family.
A long line of scholars examined the stone’s inscription and saw unfamiliar runes, grammatical structures and numerical notations, and nearly everyone loudly pronounced the stone a fake, and a poor one at that. Such words were impossible for the 14th century, they said. However, the unknown numbers, letters, words and sentence structures ascribed to Ohman’s criminal genius began to turn up in authenticated Scandinavian texts almost immediately after the stone’s discovery. Indeed, several “unknown” runes had turned up even before the stone’s discovery, yet went completely unrecognized by the top scholars of the day.
If the experts had done the proper research at the time, the stone could have been well on its way to authentication. Ohman’s reputation and family could have been saved. Instead, the story of the discovery of the Kensington Runestone, America’s first known written document, will go down in the annals of linguistic shame.
How it Happened
Olof Ohman was a man with 36 weeks of education, nine children and a marginal farm. Hanson wrote in his book The Trail of Olof Ohman, “Olof Ohman’s character, after endless scrutiny by people who were trying as hard as they could to show the KRS as a modern forgery, survives unblemished. Every person who knew Ohman said the same thing; he was honest, he was honorable and he would not or could not have carved the inscription, nor would he lie to his sons as part of any conceivable activity he might be engaged in.” And yet this unlikely hoaxer got stuck with the reputation of perpetrating a brazen fraud. How did it happen? What was the case against Olof Ohman and the stone, and how did the notion of a hoax falsely perpetuate itself for so long?
The case against the authenticity of the stone was primarily made using linguistic arguments. It is not too far off the mark to suggest that the way the linguists handled the case of the Kensington Runestone provides a study of how not to approach a scientific anomaly. The geological analyses of the stone have always supported its medieval pedigree, with the geologists in question always
adopting a “wait and see” attitude toward the disputed runes. As we now know, this was apparently the correct approach.
Thirty-two experts in Scandinavian linguistics have declared the Kensington Runestone inscription fraudulent over the past 100 years. Ten of those experts actually published papers and/or books about the stone. One thing that helps explain their stunning collective failure is that most of them hailed from the small, closed, conservative world of European linguistics. When seen from this stodgy milieu, the stone was nothing short of an outrageous affront. In addition, at the time the stone was found, the linguistic study of medieval runology was actually a fairly young science, and in many ways, woefully incomplete. Looking back on it now, this is obvious, as the past 100 years have seen developments in the field that, perhaps, could not have been anticipated back then. For instance, old manuscripts have been continually uncovered, yielding previously unrecognized medieval runeforms, words and elements of grammatical style. There are still piles of medieval writings that present-day scholars have not even been able to get around to studying yet. However, in 1898, the most accomplished experts of the day were at the pinnacle of their profession. And no stone from America could tell them otherwise.
The Kensington Runestone contains 23 different runic letters (or “runeforms”), which are used to write an inscription of 46 words and 7 numbers. Eleven of the runeforms, and more than a dozen of the words, were unknown to the experts of 1898. In addition, the numbers on the stone failed to conform to the proper notation conventions as they were then known. For these and other reasons, time and time again, the case was made for fraud. Once the first couple of investigators had proclaimed the stone to be a forgery (and they weren’t even experts, see sidebar), it seems as if the taint of scandal became so intoxicating to the academic community that the stone simply couldn’t get a fair hearing for the hysteria. Once it was “known” to be a hoax, whole reputations and careers were made by trashing the stone and its few defenders.
The way the Kensington Runestone, and Olof Ohman, became objects of scorn says more about the psychological opposition to fresh ideas than about the proper conduct of science. The way some of the experts comported themselves, in the face of the unknown, does a disservice to the ideals of the scientific method. Personal attacks took the place of data collection. Sloppy scholarship and unreferenceable claims became the order of the day. Invoking “the experts” took the place of doing actual research. The general attitude toward the Kensington Runestone was one of contempt, as evidenced by Professor Jon Helgason’s remark to Kensington Runestone “debunker” Erik Moltke, which Moltke quoted in a 1951 article for Antiquity magazine: “In my opinion the inscription on the Kensington Stone is such that no philologist with any self respect could in any decency write about it.” The stone posed an effrontery to these men’s sense of expertise, and Moltke’s contempt for the stone was as great as Helgason’s. But rather than thrusting his nose up in the air and ignoring it, as Helgason deemed to be the proper response, Moltke expressed a more aggressive opinion as to how one should approach the anomaly. “There has been so much fuss made about this inscription that a stop must be put to it,” Moltke wrote.
Sloppiness and hubris pervade the quality of scholarship that the stone has been subjected to through the years. In his zeal to “put a stop to it,” Moltke resorted to some extremely heavy-handed rhetoric, as when he wrote of the stone in 1949, “See what an abortion it uses as an a-rune.” In addition, Moltke claimed that the n-rune had gone out of use by 1100 and that was reason enough to declare the Kensington Runestone a forgery. But the n-runeform as shown on the stone was later discovered to have been in use well into the 14th century, as documented by various scholars since J.E. Liljegren found one in 1832. When this information became known, both Moltke and another skeptic, Sven Birger Frederik Jansson, quietly dropped it from their list of complaints. As for the a-runeform, it is found on the Lye Church inscription from medieval times on the island of Gotland.
So many of the runes, flatly declared to be “impossible” in 1898, could have been found with a little research. The runes in question simply hadn’t made it to the runic dictionaries yet, but they each existed in referenced works, and in principle, they could have been found. Simply put, the Kensington Runestone was never seriously studied by those most qualified to do so. It was merely written off, when in reality, it had much to teach. It is hardly an exaggeration to suggest that if the stone had been subjected to serious scrutiny and authenticated in 1898, it would have advanced our knowledge by 100 years in the fields of Scandinavian linguistics, runology, history and the archeology of North America. As it stands, some doors in these fields are only now beginning to open, but the keys have been available for four generations.
A case in point: One of the most prominent Scandinavian linguistics texts cited in the Kensington Runestone controversy was Old Swedish Grammar with Inclusion of Old Gotlandic, published by Adolf Noreen in 1904. Moltke, and others, heavily utilized Noreen’s text to “debunk” the stone in a series of articles in various scholarly journals. However, whereas Noreen’s book was “a monumental achievement for its day,” according to Einar Haugen and Thomas L. Markey’s 1972 book The Scandinavian Languages: Fifty Years of Linguistic Research (1918-1968), it “has not been reprinted since it first appeared and, as many texts not readily accessible to Noreen and his readers have been published subsequently, it is badly in need of revision.”
Of course, in fitting with the overall pattern of the Kensington Runestone story, Moltke became one of the prime “experts” invoked by others as they dismissed the stone, even though he had used Noreen’s outdated linguistic text from 1904 as the basis for his own conclusions made as late as the 1950s. This is currently cause for no small degree of embarrassment in scientific circles, as all of those who ever built a house of cards against the Kensington Runestone, in part by citing Moltke’s (and others’) “expert” work, now find themselves on the wrong side of the issue, and their arguments hopelessly outdated.
Many of the claims made against the inscription on the stone appeared in the form of unreferenceable claims, which often take the form of something like, “This word is impossible for the 14th century.” Stated authoritatively by an “expert,” this type of claim appeared to carry weight, and inevitably became cited by others in lieu of citing actual data. This is why Nielsen’s paper is considered so significant. It represents the only comprehensive paper on the language of the Kensington Runestone yet published in a serious professional journal. Each claim is referenced, and each bit of data has been verified by the reviewers.
When it was discovered that Ohman owned a couple of books that contained runes, the experts went wild. Here was the clincher for them. The books, each published in Stockholm in the late 1800s, were The Well-Informed Schoolmaster by Carl Rosander and Sweden’s History From the Earliest Time to Our Time by Oscar Montelius. It was claimed that Ohman had used these books as the source material for his hoax. However, as is the case with so many other arguments leveled at Ohman and the Kensington Runestone, the accusation that he used these books was never seriously investigated, but merely thrown onto the pile of already-existing accusations. If the issue had been seriously looked into, it could have been easily exposed as an impossibility. The runes available to Ohman from the Rosander and Montelius books account for only half of the runes on the stone. And of the remaining runes, many of them were unknown to anyone in 1898; not just to the uneducated farmer, but to the most educated Scandinavian linguists in the world.
Then there is the case of the so-called “deathbed confession.” While it has done much to prejudice the public against the stone’s authenticity, it is quickly revealed to be the only real hoax of the entire Kensington Runestone saga.
It seems that in the late 1800s there were some neighbors to the north of the Ohman farm by the name of the Gran family. In 1967, Theodore Blegen, one of the arch-nemeses of the stone, persuaded a nephew of Walter Gran to do an audiotaped interview which became known as the “Gran tape.” Gran was 4 years old when the stone was unearthed, so he didn’t remember much about those days. But he did manage to spin a tale, on the taped interview with his nephew, about how his father, John Gran, made a “deathbed confession” in 1927 (40 years before the interview). The “confession” allegedly concerned Ohman forging the Kensington Runestone.
The story was published in 1976, in a series of articles in Minnesota History by Russell Fridley, director of the Minnesota Historical Society. The BBC even got in on the act when it used the “confession” as part of a documentary about the Kensington Runestone “hoax.” The trouble is, the spectacular “deathbed confession” is neither.
John Gran was not on his deathbed when he allegedly uttered these things. Walter Gran said that John Gran’s deathbed confession happened in 1927, but John Gran did not actually die until 1933, six years later. Some deathbed!
There is not even a confession: Walter alleged on the tape that his father said, “Go ask Ohman,” and then when Walter did so, Ohman said essentially nothing.
The so-called “Gran tape” contains nothing of scientific value that bears upon the authenticity of the stone. Somehow the myth of it has grown to include a deathbed confession, when really there is only innuendo.
Compounding the issue, Walter Gran’s very truthfulness was not given glowing endorsements by his friends and neighbors in subsequent interviews with them. One of them said in a 1979 interview with Ted Stoa of Fargo, N.D., “I didn’t take too much stock in what Walter said at times.” This same sentiment was echoed by Iona and Einar Bakke in a 1995 interview conducted by Ove Pederson.
The Gran tape struck a particularly unscientific blow against the authenticity of the stone. As the story blossomed, the unfinished science of the stone became overshadowed with gossip.
Authentication The “unknown” runes, words, grammatical quirks, and numerical notations of the Kensington Runestone have all since turned up in medieval Scandinavian texts. What has been needed for some time, in order to settle the issue, is for someone to put it all in one place for the world to see. This has finally happened, and all of it has been extensively documented. Nielsen’s article seems to sound the death-knell on the case against Ohman and the Kensington Runestone.
Hanson also has played no small role in the authentication of the stone, complementing Nielsen’s linguistic work with some impressive scientific studies. Interestingly, of the scant few in the
Kensington Runestone debate who have come down on the side of the stone’s authenticity, it was mostly those citing geological concerns. The geologists looked at the stone and said, in effect, “This thing’s ancient! There’s no way it could be a modern forgery!” The linguists never paid them any mind, and if they did it was to ostracize them and to minimize the geological evidence. Geological considerations have supported the stone’s great antiquity since N.H. Winchell, state geologist of Minnesota, and others (including the state geologist for Wisconsin) first examined the stone in the early 1900s.
Since that time, however, the linguists have dominated the debate and successfully marginalized the issue of the stone’s geological features. That is until Hanson came along and wondered: What has been discovered upon examining the stone with a microscope? To his amazement, he learned that no one had ever attempted it. For that matter, no one had ever so much as recommended that this basic piece of science be conducted.
Hanson realized that this represented a huge gap in the history of the Kensington Runestone controversy, and got to work. First, he published his recommendations for physical testing of the stone in the winter 2001 issue of the peer-reviewed history periodical Journal of the West. Then, having been granted exclusive authority by the owners of the stone to coordinate its scientific testing, Hanson contacted various people in the fields of geology, chemistry and geophysics. Work was initiated by Scott Wolter at American Petrographic Services in St. Paul and continued at the University of Minnesota Department of Geophysics, where an electron microprobe analysis was conducted on parts of the surface of the stone. American Petrographic Services oversaw the conducting of some scanning electron microscope work at Iowa State University on the same samples. The investigations are just beginning, but the initial results indicate that the original geological assessments of the Kensington Runestone by Newton Winchell in 1909 are correct. In other words, the stone is authentic, and it had been in the ground many decades before Olof Ohman moved onto his land near Kensington.
Skeptics Slow to React
Among longtime Kensington Runestone skeptics, the reaction to Nielsen’s May 2001 paper (and its supporting evidence from Hanson’s testing) has been slow in coming. There are rumors that some have started to turn, and a couple of them have dug in their heels, but for the most part, a great silence wafts over the critical landscape. What are we to make of this silence?
Hanson is arguably in the best position to understand the skeptical reaction, since his book, The Trial of Olof Ohman, examines every skeptical word ever written about the stone. As Hanson sees it, part of the problem in getting a quick reaction out of the 10 or so most prominent Kensington Runestone skeptics is that Nielsen’s paper went further in tracking down dozens of medieval source documents than any scholars had ever done before. These documents include diplomas, letters, law codes, and various legal and official documents. Hanson explains, “No one, living or dead, has ever studied or even is aware of, in most cases, these critical documents. Without them one has no basis to comment on the KRS language.” And therefore, it seems, no one is.
There is also the matter of the peer-review process, which has taken the Kensington Runestone controversy to a new level. Much of the controversy has played out over the years in popular books and magazine articles, where assertions do not have to be rigorously double-checked and scrutinized. By publishing in the peer-reviewed Scandinavian language journal Scandinavian Studies, Nielsen now has the high ground. Reviewed by, among others, Prof. Michael Barnes of University College (one of Europe’s foremost experts in Medieval Scandinavian and runology and Secretary of the Viking Society to boot), Nielsen’s paper essentially has the blessing of some of the establishment. Before Nielsen’s paper, it may have been a little easier to take potshots at the stone and its defenders. But the playing field has changed, and the skeptics must now find it necessary to go through a more rigorous process in order to properly attempt an answer to Nielsen’s evidence. No wonder the skeptical reaction has been muted. Scandinavian Studies has put the paper on its Web site to elicit discussion.
The Kensington Runestone, ghettoized for so long, is officially playing with the big boys.
The Tip of the Iceberg What are the implications of an authenticated Kensington Runestone? What new avenues of discovery have been blown open by this scientific blockbuster?
Whoever the carver was, he was part of an “acquisition expedition” of eight Goths and 22 Northmen from the year 1362, smack dab in the middle of the North American continent. The Goths would have been from what is now western Sweden, and the Northmen could have been from anywhere else in Scandinavia.
In his article in the Journal of the West, Hanson, building upon previous work by Nielsen, speculates that the origin of the expedition may actually be related to the strange disappearance of a settlement in Greenland over 600 years ago: “It is known that the Western settlement in Greenland had a bad series of winters starting in 1308 … In 1341, the settlement was discovered gone by Ivar Bardson, the bishop at Gardar in the Eastern settlement. There was no sign of violence or devastation; there were even some stray cattle roaming around. Some 1,500 people simply left in their boats, with many of their possessions. No one knows where they went, but it is suspected that these same people regularly visited the Ungava Bay area for wood, caribou and fish. They also probably were familiar with the Hudson Bay area, because there is evidence that they were at the Chesterfield inlet for iron and other parts of the Bay for polar bears and eider down. Based upon the types of fur they are known to have, it is strongly suspected that these Greenlanders traded with the natives of the region. … Travel up the Hayes or Nelson rivers would be quite possible for the ‘Greenlanders.’”
When asked to speculate further about the people who carved the stone, Hanson explained that his guess is that “they were from mainland Europe but associated somehow with the Greenlanders that had migrated from the abandoned Western colony. … There most likely was an existing population of (the Greenlanders) in the area of the stone. Other artifacts including two boat hulls have been reported in this area, at approximately the 1,370-foot elevation. … 1,370 feet is the same elevation as remnant shore erosion features at KRS hill (water levels used to be higher in the area and KRS hill used to be an island). I think they took their time doing the stone. The KRS hill maybe was the ‘home base.’” Hanson thinks that other artifacts will be found in the vicinity of Kensington Runestone hill and possibly to the east a few miles.
Is there any other existing evidence to support this new view of early European penetration into North America? In addition to the reports of actual ancient boat hulls mentioned above, there is a plethora of hitherto unacknowledged artifacts that may soon be getting a second look in the wake of the stunning resolution to the Kensington Runestone controversy.
For instance, there are the triangular holes of the Whetstone Valley in South Dakota and many more in western Minnesota. These consist of hundreds of unexplained triangular holes, 5 to 7 inches deep, in large rocks all across western Minnesota and northeast South Dakota. They do not appear to be blasting holes made by pioneers. Could they be mooring holes?
There are also the so-called Chippewa Valley axes, periodically plowed up out of virgin soil. Mostly in the hands of private collectors, these ax-heads could represent medieval-era, hand-forged, precrucible steel, and have no known counterparts in any mainstream American museum. At any rate, they have never been properly identified or studied.
There are also what appear to be habitation sites, discovered two or three feet underground via the remote sensing emitted infrared technology developed by Marion Dahm of Chokio, Minn.
And lastly, of course, there are about half a dozen other runestones. They are all smaller and less well-known than the Kensington Runestone. But after what happened to Olof Ohman, is it any wonder that the discoverers of these other stones might have chosen silence, instead of scrutiny?
Chevron dunes are not formed by wind. Chevron dunes are not oriented in the direction of the prevailing wind, they can form where there are no beaches, and they contain grains larger than 2 mm in diameter. Chevrons are produced by megatsunamis originating from point sources, i.e. landslides, impact craters, and volcanic explosions. We have assembled data on chevrons worldwide. Most are best explained as the result of tsunami generated from large impact cratering events. We now have data confirming an impact origin of two chevron sources. In the Indian ocean, chevron dunes in Western Australia, India, and Madagascar point towards the 29 km Burckle Crater at 30.865S, 61.365E. The impact ejecta from Burckle crater contain meteorite fragments, impact glass, oceanic mantle fragments, and impact spherules. The impact spherules are >200 microns in diameter, consistent with a 29 km crater. The impact glasses have no K and cannot be continental in origin. In the Gulf of Carpentaria, we found impact ejecta that contain impact glass and meteoritic material: merrillite, high Ni metal, and probable melted carbonaceous chondrite .
This sentence suggests the wave from this impact may have raped its way through the middle east all the way to the Mediterranean.
In the Mediterranean, a megatsunami source near the Rhone delta is of undetermined origin.
They point to two other craters, here and here, both of which are smaller in size (11 and 7 miles respectively) that may be responsible for the Australia dunes, but not the Madagascar ones.
The best part about this is that they think it happened around 4,000-5,000 years ago. A list of deluge myths from around the world. The longer we keep looking, the more “myths” we are going to discover as true. Sometimes you don’t even need to look for it as when it shows up illuminating the entire sea, as far as you can see, underneath your oceangoing vessel. In my mind, this calls into question even further certain aspects of a few individuals work that has been derided by science for their heretical interpretations of mythology. Not saying that myths can be taken as literal accounts of something that happened, but that there had to be some source for the story, whether it be a metaphorical teaching, or an event that was described the best a people could understand it.
A geologists’ debate overwhelmingly finds nearby drilling, not far away earthquake, is to blame for East Java mud volcano disaster:
For two years, the Lusi crater has been oozing mud - enough to fill 50 Olympic size swimming pools every day.
The eruption began at 0500 on 29 May 2006 in the Porong subdistrict of Sidoarjo, Eastern Java, close to Indonesia’s second city of Surabaya.
All efforts to stem the flow have failed - including a network of dams; channelling into the sea; and an ambitious plan to plug the crater with concrete balls.
Some geologists believe Lusi could continue to erupt for decades.
The mud flow has razed four villages and 25 factories.
…. the drilling firm strenuously denies that its activities were in any way responsible for the disaster.
They must keep saying this, out of respect for their shareholders.
My initial feeling is that this could have implications for Plasma Cosmology and possibly a mechanism for Earth expansion, as in particles from the sun being directed to Earth’s core through magnetic fields, thereby accreting mass.
During the time it takes you to read this article, something will happen high overhead that until recently many scientists didn’t believe in. A magnetic portal will open, linking Earth to the sun 93 million miles away. Tons of high-energy particles may flow through the opening before it closes again, around the time you reach the end of the page.
“It’s called a flux transfer event or ‘FTE,’” says space physicist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. “Ten years ago I was pretty sure they didn’t exist, but now the evidence is incontrovertible.”
Approximately every eight minutes, the two fields briefly merge or “reconnect,” forming a portal through which particles can flow. The portal takes the form of a magnetic cylinder about as wide as Earth.
Pay attention to his last question.
There are many unanswered questions: Why do the portals form every 8 minutes? How do magnetic fields inside the cylinder twist and coil? “We’re doing some heavy thinking about this at the Workshop,” says Sibeck.
Although they don’t say it, this article supports the ejection theory of planetary and other solar system bodies over the current paradigm.
The analysis showed that surprisingly, during the formation of the solar system, when dust and rubble in a disk around the sun collided and stuck together to form ever-larger rocks and eventually the planets we know today, even objects much smaller than planets — just 160 kilometers across or so — were large enough to melt almost completely.
“Now we’re realizing that many of the things that were forming planets were mini-planets themselves, with crusts and mantles and cores.”
So could they please explain how dust “sticks” together, forming a relative turd sized body, and it becomes molten? Nope, not pressure, too small. Nope, not gravity, too small.
That could change theorists’ picture of how the planets themselves took shape.
You really would think so, wouldn’t ya?
Now if we look at the ejection model, and go off of the assumption that all planets were spit out of the sun, to which smaller bodies and moons were spit out of, this info snuggles in nice and comfortable.