New Science Channel series looks at Kensington Runestone in ‘Secrets of the Viking Stone’

There are those who believe Minnesota’s connection to Scandinavia goes much further back than settlers by the name of Olson or Swenson. Some scholars and theorists say Norsemen were the first Europeans here a century before Christopher Columbus landed on the Atlantic coast. They cite the Kensington Runestone as a solid piece of proof.
A new Science Channel series spotlights the Runestone, which was discovered by a Minnesota farmer in the late 1800s. “Secrets of the Viking Stone” premiered Sunday, Jan. 3, at 9 p.m. The series features actor Peter Stormare, best known as the taciturn tough guy in the movie “Fargo,” and history enthusiast Elroy Balgaard.
According to a Science Channel news release: “Throughout their deeply personal, often humorous journey across the country to uncover the truth about the founding of America through meetings with scholars, skeptics and sensationalists alike, Stormare and Balgaard dive deep into the story of the Kensington Runestone and its controversial history. Discovered in 1898 by a Swedish-born resident Olof Ohman in Kensington, Minn., the Runestone, a large stone slab, was found under the roots of a tree with an inscription in an alphabet unknown to scholars at the time. Its discovery was published in a Swedish-language newspaper in Minneapolis, which quickly launched one of the greatest mysteries in American history.”
“Secrets of the Viking Stone” blends truth with fantasy and science with theory, according to Science Channel, as Stormare and Balgaard meet with “passionate enthusiasts” around the country. You can watch the full episode at www.sciencechannel.com.
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