Last night on The History Channel H2, another new episode of America Unearthed investigated ′The Desert Cross′. In 1924, a lead cross was found buried outside of Tuscon, Arizona by Charles Manier. Later, he and another fellow lawyer and WWI buddy, Charles Bent, dug around and found 31 other lead relics, including more crosses, swords and religious ritual items. The ′experts′ thought the discovery was just a fraud, especially one cross inscribed in Latin indicating it was made in 800 A.D.. Scott Wolter, and his son Grant, probe the authenticity of the items, some of which are obviously the Cross of Lorraine, a known symbol of the Knights Templar and modern Freemasonry.
Arriving in Tucson, Scott and his son, Grant meet up with Chuck Bent, grandson of Charles Bent. They visit a historical archives site to inspect the 32 lead objects dug up from the Arizona desert. Using 3-D imaging, Scott details the items, finding signs of caliche, a calcium-carbonate sediment indicating long-term exposure to limestone. He also finds malachite crystals, formed from copper carbonate hydroxides. Another indicator that the objects are probably very old. Bent takes them to the location where they were discovered and the Wolters secure samples to study and test. Scott is also concerned about the Latin date of AD DCCC, 800 A.D., and if such an inscription would have been used in the 9th Century?
The inscriptions themselves are translated and describe how Theodorus, a ruler of a pre-Templar sect in southern France in 775 A.D., traveled across the seas, presumably to the New World. Scott Wolter next sets out to learn if the objects were carried from the Old World, or if they could have been made locally. It turns out that there is a lead mine in Yuma, just a few miles away. The gang visits the mine and finds plenty of lead ore still about.
Back in Minnesota, Scott notices the Cross of Lorraine on the Exxon sign at a gasoline station. He calls Bill Mann, an expert on Freemasonry. Mann explains that the Exxon logo was the creation of Raymond Loewy, an artist and industrial designer who also gave us the distinctive shape of the Coca-Cola bottle. Loewy was alleged to be a Freemason. Mann shows other examples of Exxon′s logo that Loewy was considering, some which have the double-X forming the Square and Compass symbol.
Scott and his son test the samples taken from Tucson. The results do indicate that the relics had been buried for at least a couple of centuries, disproving that they are recent fakes. Grant verifies through his research that the dating system of A.D. was being used in the 9th Century. Scott returns to Tucson to inform Chuck Bent of the good news. His grandfather was not part of any hoax. So America Unearthed scores one for the Desert Cross, showing that the relics found near Tucson, Arizona in 1924 may be items left behind by members of an early sect of the Knights Templar.