Part One of the two-part Season 3 finale of America Unearthed aired last night on the History Channel H2. The episode was entitled, ′The Templar′s Deadliest Secret – The Chase′. As you may know, Scott Wolter, forensic geologist, has a working hypothesis that the Knights Templar came to America well before Christopher Columbus, who, himself was probably a Templar as well. Four years ago, Wolter published a book exploring the meaning of the ′Hooked X′, a symbol similar to Scandinavian runes. Scott has found several examples of Hooked Xs carved on stones in America that may predate Columbus by two or three hundred years. He believes that the Templars may have brought evidence of a secret that is very similar to the plot of the Dan Brown novel, The Da Vinci Code. That Jesus was married and his wife, Mary Magdalene, gave birth to children to whom Jesus was their father. This is why the Catholic Church ordered the arrest and execution of the Knights Templars on Friday, October 13, 1307.
The show begins with Scott traveling to rural southwest Pennsylvania to check out a stone. Wolter got a tip from a fellow named Bill Conway that he found a stone in the woods that had a Hooked X along with other carvings. Scott meets him and Bill′s friend, Butch Laney, who apparently watches the show. The carving includes a snake formed in a circle. Inside the circle are runes that spell out the letters TSNMFRAD and Roman numerals MCCVI, or 1206. In the center of the carving is a Templar style cross.
Scott has no idea what the letters spell. Whether it is a code or not does not matter, because Wolter determines that the carvings are a hoax! The weathering is faked by means of mixing local mud with some glue. Scott does not come right out and accuse Bill and Butch of trying to trick him, but he implies it in a round-about way. Both bumpkins deny any knowledge of the hoax. The result is that the first 20 or so minutes of the show have been wasted. Since Scott is in the neighborhood, he calls a friend of his, Steve St. Clair to arrange a meet. But Steve is in France investigating the connections between his family and the Knights Templar. So Wolter decides to fly to France and join him.
They hook up, for Hooked Xs, at the Troyes Cathedral, the site where the Templars were made an official order by the Catholic Church in 1129. They chat about the origins and purposes of the Templars, as well as how the St. Clair family built Rosslyn Church, featured in ′The Da Vinci Code′. Steve takes Scott to the Commanderie D′Arville, which served as a Templar training and logistics center. Another buddy of Wolter′s, Alan Butler, joins them there.
Of the 20,000 or so Templar members at their peak, only about 1,000 were actual armed knights. The rest were involved in commerce, namely agriculture. Butler tells how the Templars cornered the wool market in Europe. He also adds that Leonardo Da Vinci spent some time at the Commanderie, too, though he was thee long after the Templars had gone underground. Once more, we are treated to the whole ′Code′ thing about Jesus and Mary Magdalene being the upper and lower halves of the Hooked X, with the hook representing their child.
But Scott has a new twist to share with his buddies! He has discovered a second symbol! In the chapel of the Commanderie, Scott points out a statue of Jesus, underneath a rose, therefore Subrosa, and draws their attention to the right hand of Christ. He is making an ′M′ sign with His fingers. Turns out that every statue and painting in the place also has the M sign, too! Since extending the index and pinky fingers outward, while holding the two middle fingers together, is very unnatural, there must be a purpose!
Wolter then shows them, using his iPad, pictures from another church in France with Templar connections. Again, the M sign plays an important role in the artworks. Including a life-sized sculpture of Mary Magdalene and several Apostles at the burial of Christ. Mary is depicted as being very, VERY pregnant! This leads to Butler pointing at a statue in the Commaderie chapel which 99.999% of Christians would assume is the Virgin Mary holding the Baby Jesus. Butler exclaims, ″Who is THAT?″ Scott Wolter answers that its actually Mary Magdalene with the offspring of her and Jesus! To be continued next week on Part Two of the Season 3 finale of America Unearthed.