Scott F. Wolter is a Minnesota
geologist who was hired in 2000 by a
supporter of the "Kensington Runestone" (also known as the "Kensington Stone") to test the
surface of the stone, which was discovered by Olof Ohman in 1898
buried under a tree on his farm near Kensington,
Minnesota - this according to Ohman's testimony.
is a 202 pound piece of greywacke rock
with a message carved in purported Scandinavian runes
about an exploratory journey to America in the year
1362, long before Columbus
sailed to the New World.
Wolter brought the Kensington Stone to his company, American
Petrographic Services in St. Paul, for the investigation.
With a scanning
he and his
staff found mica degradation on the man-made surfaces. Although
there is no geologically-defined standard for rates of mica
degradation, Wolter asserted that his investigation clearly
indicated the stone was buried at least 50 years after carving. He
also drilled a core sample from the back of the Kensington Stone,
with permission from the Runestone Museum.
Previous geologic investigation, which consisted of visual
inspection only and no chemical testing, was done in 1909-10 by
Minnesota's State geologist
, Newton Horace
Winchell. At the time, when there was little hard evidence by which
to interpret Viking
presence in the New
World, Winchell stated that "there was strong support for an
authentic Runestone date of 1362 and little reason to suspect
Wolter became intrigued with the Kensington Stone mystery and
visited the Minnesota
to examine Winchell's field notes and study
Ohman family correspondence, as did amateur researcher in
linguistics and runology Richard
. In 2004, Nielsen and Wolter traveled with the
stone to the historical museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
Wolter and Nielsen joined forces in authoring the self-published
"The Kensington Runestone: Compelling New Evidence" in 2005.
- Ragsdale, Jim "Norse? Knights? Hoax? Stone still the rage in
Kensington" St. Paul Pioneer Press December 12,
- Barry J. Hanson, Kensington Runestone: A Defense of Olof
Ohman the Accused Forger, Volumes I&II, Morris Publishing,
- Alice Beck Kehoe, The Kensington Runestone: Approaching a
Research Question Holistically, Waveland Press, 2005.
- Holy Grail in America, The History Channel
Nielsen-Wolter 2005 publication