Geologist and researcher Scott Wolter discussed the discovery and significance of the Kensington Rune Stone. Found by a Minnesota farmer over a hundred years ago, the 202 lb. rock contained Runic (letters in the old Norse alphabet) inscriptions. Initially dismissed as a hoax, the authenticity of the stone has been debated over the years. It wasn't till the 1960s that it was discovered that the style of the Kensington Stone inscription matched those on stones on a remote island off Sweden, called Gotland, and this strengthened the case for authenticity, he noted.
Dated 1362, the inscription refers to a party of 30 who had traveled "far west of Vinland." This suggests that established history is wrong, and westerners made it to America, far before Columbus, Wolter said. He speculated that the travelers came to Minnesota possibly to take advantage of fur trade or to make land claims.
He further posited that the travelers could have been Knights Templar, who during this time frame were being persecuted and perhaps were motivated to seek out new lands. As a secret society, the Templars may have kept their voyages to the New World hushed up, he added. Wolter mentioned that other rune stones have been found in North America, and they will be the subject of his next book.