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Crystal Dey, Forum News Service, Published September 18 2013

Runestone resurfaces in ‘La Merica’

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – The controversial Kensington Runestone, purported as evidence of early Norse exploration into Minnesota, has been unearthed in the literary society once again in “La Merica: The first true history of the colonization of the Americas.”

Released earlier in 2013, the book by Arthur Faram explores histories of the Vikings, Celts, Knights Templar and Freemasons. Faram claims to provide solutions to the Kensington Runestone and Newport Tower mysteries through his research.

“I was directed to the Kensington Runestone from the geometry involved in the Newport Tower in Newport, Rhode Island,” Faram said.

According to the author, the tower was built to direct people to a North American survey marker at Inspiration Peak, west of Urbank in Otter Tail County, and the location of the Kensington Runestone.

“I was performing work on the Newport Tower when I was led to these two important parts of American history,” Faram explained.

Faram described his book as telling the story of the history that led up to the placing of the Runestone and why the people who made the Runestone were forced to move south due to hostile Norse explorers who were attempting to colonize the west coast of the Mississippi River.

“This may all sound strange because it does not conform to current history,” Faram acknowledged. “That is the point of the book.”

Faram said there are many stones similar to the Kensington Runestone including the Narragansett Runestone, which he said recently disappeared in Newport, R.I.

“There is a group in this country that does not want the fact that the Norse were here noticed,” Faram said. “They destroy any evidence of their presence.”

Faram says his work involves “geoglyphology,” mathematical reference to physical objects. Faram is a historical analyst with a background in computer analysis.

Defraud dispute

The story widely known to residents of the Alexandria area in central Minnesota is that 10-year-old Edward Ohman found the 200-pound Kensington Runestone on the Olaf Ohman family farm in 1898. The point of contention is whether the Norse runes, including the year 1362, engraved on its surface are original or forged.

In a recent article, Steven Wilden, historian and architect for the Public Works Department of the U.S. Navy, refers to the Kensington Runestone as an example of “lack of expertise or fraud labelling of inscriptions in America.”

The stone was condemned as a fake by O.J. Breda, professor of Scandinavian languages from the University of Minnesota, not long after its discovery.

The Kensington Runestone has been generally rejected by the academic community as a hoax for 100 years. However, Wilden wrote that Dr. Gabriel Barkay, Israeli archaeologist, points to the Kensington Runestone as an example where linguistic or paleographic variations should not be automatic grounds to condemn an artifact.