Last night on The History Channel H2 we had Part 1 of America Unearthed – Tracking the Templars. The show begins with forensic geologist Scott Wolter getting a phone call from Paul Roberti, a colleague from Rhode Island. Roberti reports that the Narragansett Runestone is missing! Scott wonders how a 3-ton boulder the size of a pool table discovered in 1984 along the shoreline of Narragansett Bay by fishermen can suddenly vanish. Arriving at the crime scene, Roberti shows Scott photos indicating that the rune stone, one of only five in North America with a Hooked X inscribed upon it, was dragged away inland. Since the Templar stone vanishes was on state property, the authorities have been notified. Wolter ponders if the theft has anything to do with the Knights Templar and potential clues to the Holy Grail? He begins his own quest to unravel the mystery!
Scott discusses the situation with Roberti, explaining that he has seen the Hooked X on five rune stones in North America. Three are located in Maine, one in Minnesota, the infamous Kennsington Runestone, and the now missing Narragansett stone. The marking also appears in sculptures at the Rosslyn Chapel in England, made famous in the Dan Brown novel, ′The Da Vinci Code.′ That chapel was built by the Sinclair family, whom many believe are somehow related to the bloodline of Jesus Christ. The Kennsington Runestone was left by 30 Knight Templar travelers in Minnesota back in 1362, if you believe Wolter′s analysis. In 1307, the Templars were made outlaws by the Pope and the King of France, but many escaped their death sentence. The Templar fleet of ships, along with their vast treasure, left France for safer climes. Did they find such in North America?
Wolter believes that the Templars did explore North America in the 14th Century, predating Christopher Columbus. However, there is plenty of evidence that Columbus himself may have been a Templar! He had married into the Sinclair family and his three ships from his 1492 voyage all flew Templar symbols. Some believe that Columbus knew darn well that he was not going to sail to Japan or China, as he had promoted to the royalty of Spain for funding.
Scott returns home to Minnesota and visits the Kennsington Museum. His task is to use his 3-D camera to make a detailed image of the stone′s markings, including some mysterious dots, punch marks, which seem to have been deliberately placed by certain letter symbols. Four in particular spell the word GRAL, a Medieval spelling of GRAIL. The camera seems to confirm that the dots are man-made, not just some quirk of natural weathering.
Wolter talks with Jeremy Lutgen, an expert on an artifact known as the Talpiot Tomb. Discovered in 1980 near Jerusalem, many believe that the stone box was a burial container for the bones of Jesus Christ and his family. Ten limestone Ossuaries, some bearing the names of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Maramene (Mary Magdalene) and Judha, son of Jesus. Another has the name Matya, perhaps a daughter? Scott is most intrigued in the tomb as he finds an early example of a Hooked X inscribed on it. Another symbol related to the Christ, a ′chevron-circle′, was later found on some 12th Century coins minted by the Templars, who were Europe′s first international bankers.
Next, Wolter talks with Templar-Freemasonry expert, Joe Rose. Joe tells Scott about a mysterious document known as the Copiale Cipher, a 105-page manuscript from the 18th Century that was only decoded in 2011. The document is a manual describing the rituals and ceremonies of a secret society within a secret society. A group of elite Freemasons known as the Oculus Order. The Oculus Omni is the ′All-Seeing-Eye′, presumably of God, or Lucifer, depending which team you are playing on. Wolter examines a copy of the cipher and notices among the symbols the Cross of Lorraine, another hold-over from the group′s Templar roots.
Joe Rose tells Scott about a monument in England at Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire. The sculpture made by Flemish artisan Peter Scheemakers in the mid-18th Century is a reverse image of the famous Shepherds of Arcadia painting by Poussin. Two differences, however is the added feature of an object which resembles the Talpiot Tomb, along with a strange, coded inscription on the bottom of OUOSVAVV. Many have tried to decipher the code, including Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens, but to this day it remains unsolved. Scott travels to the UK to see it for himself and meets with Templar expert, Alan Butler. Wolter notices that the coded letters also have the same type of punch marks found on the Kennsington Runestone! Butler says that some think the code translates to Oak Island in Nova Scotia, alleged site of where the Templars may have buried their stash of treasure. Also known as ′The Money Pit′, many have tried to discover it′s secrets, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt!
Wolter informs Butler that the Narragansett Runestone is missing. Scott also tells Joe that his next stop is to check out the Newport Tower, located just 30 miles from Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. Could this structure be another clue left by the Knights Templar in North America? Does it point the way to finding the Holy Grail or the Templar′s treasure cache? Tune in next week for another fun episode of America Unearthed on The History Channel H2 as Scott Wolter continues Tracking the Templars!