The Newport Tower

The Newport Tower
Medieval stone tower ... in Rhode Island. Does it look like any other Colonial structure you've seen? Recent carbon dating of the mortar indicates 1400s construction date (see post below).

The Westford Knight Sword

The Westford Knight Sword
Medieval Battle Sword ... in Westford, Massachusetts. Can anyone deny the pommel, hilt and blade punch-marked into the bedrock?

The Spirit Pond Rune Stone

The Spirit Pond Rune Stone
Medieval Inscription ... in Maine, near Popham Beach. Long passed off as a hoax, but how many people know the Runic language? And how is it that some of the Runic characters match rare runes on inscriptions found in Minnesota and Rhode Island? Carbon-dating of floorboards at nearby long house date to 1405.

The Narragansett Rune Stone

The Narragansett Rune Stone
Medieval Inscription ... in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. This Runic inscription is only visible for twenty minutes a day at low tide--is this also the work of a modern-day, Runic-speaking hoaxster?

The Westford Boat Stone

The Westford Boat Stone
Medieval Ship Carving ... in Westford, MA. Found near the Westford Knight site. Weathering patterns of carving are consistent with that of 600-year-old artifact. And why would a Colonial trail-marker depict a knorr, a 14th-century ship?

The Kensington Rune Stone

The Kensington Rune Stone
Medieval Inscription... in Minnesota. Forensic geology confirms the carvings predate European settlement of Minnesota--so did Runic-speaking Native Americans carve it?

The Hooked X Rune

The Hooked X Rune
Medieval Runic Character ... on inscriptions found in Maine, Minnesota and Rhode Island. But this rare rune was only recently found in Europe. This conclusively disproves any hoax theory while also linking these three artifacts together.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Westford Knight--Head?

This post is, admittedly, less than scientific. But for years I have been visiting the Westford Knight carving and have never really clearly seen the "head" of the Knight. The sword is clear, but for the head and body and shield I sort of have to squint my eyes and use my imagination. Then last week I received a bunch of photos and, voila, there he was, staring up from the rock. Here is the image, plus a drawing (very rough, sorry) showing what it is I see:

Comparing this to the rubbing and some of the older drawings and photos, this head is in the same spot as the other renderings, but this head is turned a bit to his right whereas the head in the rubbing appears to looking straight up:

Again, not a scientific analysis but I have had a lot of questions about this so I wanted to share this image.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Brody new novel: "The Oath of Nimrod"

In September the 4th novel in my "Templars in America" series came out. This is a continuation of my exploration, using actual sites and artifacts, of the untold history of North America.  Site/artifacts included in this book include America's Stonehenge, the Bat Creek Stone, the Grave Creek Tablet and burial mound, the Vinland Map, the Narragansett Rune Stone, Judaculla Rock, the Newport Tower, the Westford Knight, and Burrows Cave.

In "The Oath of Nimrod," protagonists Cam and Amanda return for another adventure, this one triggered by hundreds of giant human skeletons unearthed in burial mounds across North America in the 19th century.  A secret CIA brainwashing program in the 1960s known as MK-Ultra and a mysterious blood oath made by blindfolded Freemasons also fuel the plot.
The book is available on Amazon (link below) as well as on Kindle and Nook:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Update: Hooked X on Westford Knight Carving

In late June I posted some images of what appear to be a Hooked X or Forked X on the Westford Knight carving. On August 31 researcher Jerry Lutgen, along with geologist Scott Wolter, came to Westford to photograph and examine the mark.  I won't try to describe Jerry's work other than to say he uses digital imaging to create 3D images and models of the carvings he studies.  Here is a color image of the Hooked X mark:

As Jerry explained it to me, because the rock is not a flat surface, the thing to focus on here is the comparative depth of the lines in question, not their absolute depth. What we are looking for is a consistency in the relative depth of the lines in question (this consistency shows a manmade origin rather than a naturally occurring one). 

Looking at the X (you may need to zoom in), the "hook," and the 2 "word separator" dots on either side, we see that the upper left stem, the lower left stem, the upper right stem, the "hook" stem and the left dot all contain light blue "punch" marks within the green-colored surface. The lower right stem and the right dot are solid green amid the yellowish/orange-colored surface. Looking at the color chart on the right of the image, we see that all the carved lines/dots in question are approximately one to one-and-a-half color gradations in depth--in other words, carved or punched at a relatively similar depth.  Again, this points to a manmade origin.

We can next compare the Hooked X mark with the sword portion of the carving:

This sword area is a relatively flatter surface, and we see that the punch marks are mostly light green amid a yellowish surface (around the pommel) or dark green amid a light green surface (near the cross-guard). Again, we have a carved/punched depth equal to approximately one color gradation.

Scott Wolter has not reviewed all the data yet, but he and I had a long telephone conversation on September 26 and his preliminary conclusion is that it is 85-90% likely that the mark is indeed a manmade Hooked X carved at a time contemporaneous to the sword carving. As I understand it (and Scott has not reviewed this post), this conclusion is based on the following factors:

1.  The orientation of the mark is perfectly consistent with the orientation of the rest of the carving.

2.  The "word separator" dots are equally spaced on either side of the mark and positioned similarly to separator dots in other runic carvings.

3.  The carving depth is consistent within the Hooked X itself and also consistent as between the Hooked X and the sword (see above).

4.  The weathering profile within the Hooked X mark is consistent with the weathering within the sword carving.

5.  It is extremely unlikely that a Hooked X mark and a pair of separator dots, all appearing in the proper orientation, would somehow naturally form on the face of the Westford Knight carving.

When I asked Scott why this only added up to 85-90% certainty, he laughed and said that his only hesitation was that finding a Hooked X on the Westford Knight carving was simply "too good to be true."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

1325 Date on Newport Tower?

I visited the Newport Tower last Friday to investigate claims that the date "1325" appears on the Tower and is its likely date of construction. I came away unconvinced.

Researcher Gary Gianotti identified two different locations on the Tower which he believes contain the 1325 date. First, on a capstone of a northern-facing pillar (see pair of light-colored rectangular rocks; capstone in question is the one to the right):

We visited at night and were able to bring a latter inside the fence to closely examine the capstone. We wet it down and examined it using low-angle light, which tends to best highlight carvings in stone. While I could see a "1" mark and part of what might be a "3" next to it, I did not see the "2" or "5". That is not to say the date did not at one point exist--I simply can not see it now.

In addition, a second smaller stone on the inside of this pillar contains some carvings that Mr. Gianotti believes reflect the 1325 date.

Again, after wetting the stone and examining it with low-angle lighting, I could see what may be a series of 3 dates one atop the other; the top one I believe reads 1826 and the bottom one 1848; I did not see the 1325 date on the middle one as Mr. Gianotti does.

Mr. Gianotti also has identified what he believes to be Anglo-Saxon runes on the right side of this smaller stone, which if validated may provide clues to the Tower's origin.

I commend Mr. Gianotti on his research, and look forward to investigating more of his findings.

I was joined on this investigation by past and/or present NEARA Board members Steve DiMarzo, Rick Lynch and Jim Egan.

[Photos courtesy Gary Gianotti and Steve DiMarzo.]

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hooked X on Westford Knight Carving?

As part of the Westford Knight preservation project, Westford firefighter David Christiana, along with Shane Greenslade, recently thoroughly cleaned the Knight carving.  While examining it, they noticed a small carving a few inches to the east of the blade of the sword that may be a mark commonly referred to as the Hooked X or Forked X.  The carving appears to be weathered and at a depth comparable to the sword carving.  On either side of the X can be found single dots (perhaps to frame it or mark it).  Image attached, both with and without overlay (courtesy David Christiana).  Anyone have any insights or comments?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rebuttal to David K. Schafer’s Westford Knight Report

Rebuttal to David K. Schafer’s Westford Knight Report
For a number of years, a “report” or “survey’ has been floating around the internet, purportedly written by a David K. Schafer, Curatorial Assistant for Archaeology at Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, in which Mr. Schafer questions the validity of the so-called Westford Knight carving in Westford, Massachusetts.  I wanted to take a few minutes to respond to this report since, like many things on the internet, it seems to have taken on a life of its own.  A link to a summary of the report can be found here: 

First, although the summary of Mr. Schafer’s report has been cited dozens of times, I can find no evidence the actual report exists.  If there is such a report, it has never been published or even posted on the internet.  Although the summary, which first appeared in 1998, states that the report “will be published in the Massachusetts Archaeological Society Bulletin as well as some regional publications,” 16 years have now passed; I think it safe to conclude that this was an erroneous statement.  In addition, the summary states that this was a “preliminary” report—presumably more research was needed before the report could be finalized.  (In fact, nowhere in the summary does it confirm that Mr. Schafer even visited the site—he may have been working from photographs.)  Finally, based on private correspondence I have seen, Mr. Schafer acknowledged in 2004 that his report was written in a “tongue in cheek” manner and was never intended to be made public.  In short, what has been circulating on the internet is a summary of an unpublished “preliminary” report posted by a third-party who claims to be an acquaintance of Mr. Schafer, a report that Mr. Schafer apparently later distanced himself from.

Second, many critics of the authenticity of the carving rely on Mr. Schafer’s statement that “the flat bedrock [upon which the Knight is carved] would have been buried under 1-3 feet of soil” during the 14th century because the bedrock is located in what would have then been a hardwood forest.  What Mr. Schafer failed to note is that the bedrock in question abuts an ancient Native American trail running up Prospect Hill in Westford and cutting through any such forest—it is entirely possible that frequent use of this trail would have exposed the bedrock and prevented the soil buildup described by Mr. Schafer.  Mr. Schafer was apparently unaware of this trail, which changes the area topography and presumably would have changed his analysis. 

Third, Mr. Schafer concluded with “the simple fact that the town historian has evidence that the ‘T’ was made by two local boys in the late-19th [sic] century.”  This conclusion may be ‘simple’ but it is hardly a ‘fact.’  It is apparently true that two local boys added to the carving in the late 1800s by inscribing a “peace pipe” to the area near what many believe to be the face of the Knight.  But this “peace pipe” was carved into the bedrock rather than pecked into the bedrock as was the case with the rest of the carving.  More to the point, Mr. Schafer failed to acknowledge (probably because he was unaware) that the carving was written about in the town history as a mystery of unknown origin in 1873—at a time when the oldest of the local boys in question was only a toddler.  See Elias Nason, Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts (B.B. Russell, 1874), at page 542.  The dates simply don’t work for Mr. Schafer’s conclusion.  In fact, the 1873 reference and a later 1883 reference describe the carving as a mysterious historical oddity even then, and postulate the images were carved in the past "by some Indian artist."  Ibid.  Since the Native Americans were all forcibly removed from Westford and surrounding areas in the late 1670s, any such Native American work would presumably have to predate that decade.

Fourth, Mr. Schafer acknowledges that the sword area of the carving (what he calls a “T”) is manmade using some kind of punching or pecking technique.  He does not, as some opponents of the carving’s validity assert, claim that the entire carving is comprised only of natural striations in the bedrock.

In conclusion, it is time that scholars, researchers and members of the media stop relying on Mr. Schafer’s so-called report.  The report is flawed, factually inaccurate, incomplete and not intended for publication; it has no place in the ongoing and important debate regarding the validity of this historic artifact.  Much has been written about the Westford Knight—those who continue to rely on Mr. Schafer’s report rather than seek out more legitimate sources are being either intellectually lazy or intentionally biased.

In place of Mr. Schafer’s report, I offer an analysis of the Westford Knight carving compiled by Joseph A. Sinnott, the former Massachusetts State Geologist for twenty-two years who also served as the Director of the Massachusetts Underwater Archeology Board:

“After a lengthy and detailed study of the rock outcropping in the field it is my considered opinion that a pecked and etched image of an historical event has been employed on the bedrock.  I can discern the outline of a sword, a sailing vessel, etc.  Natural or glacial markings such as striations, grooves, polishing and weathering are all apparent on the rock but do not diminish the stature of the image placed there at a much later date.”  [Letter dated October 14, 1999, addressed to Massachusetts Historical Committee.]

As Mr. Sinnott states, the carving on the bedrock displays a historical event.  It is up to modern researchers and scholars to determine exactly what that event was.  To do so requires the use of legitimate source material.

David S. Brody
March 26, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"The American Templars" film released

“The American Templars,” a full-length "indie film" based on my Cabal of the Westford Knight novel, has been released and is available for purchase on Amazon, here:

In the next few weeks Amazon will also offer rental and download options.  The film has been modified and enhanced based on feedback from the October screening.  Viewers should not expect a Hollywood-quality production, but this is a fun, action-packed movie and a great way to spend two hours.  Some violence and adult language.