Minnesota’s Infamous Kensington Runestone Explored in New Science Channel Series
A piece of central Minnesota history allegedly tied back to the Vikings of the 1300's is going to be the center of attention on a new Science Channel show.
The Kensington Runestone is a 202-pound stone tablet that was discovered by Olof Öhman, a Swedish immigrant in Solem Township in Douglas County. The stone was said to be unearthed when Olof was clearing a field in 1898 and is inscribed with a record left behind by Scandinavian explorers in the 14th century.
The authenticity of the stone has been widely debated:
Some Norwegians claimed the stone was a Swedish hoax and there were similar Swedish accusations because the stone references a joint expedition of Norwegians and Swedes. It is thought to be more than coincidental that the stone was found among Scandinavian newcomers in Minnesota, still struggling for acceptance and quite proud of their Nordic heritage
The stone tablet will be the focus of the new TV show, Secrets of the Viking Stone.
In an all-new Science Channel series, SECRETS OF THE VIKING STONE, actor Peter Stormare, known for his role in FARGO, and history enthusiast Elroy Balgaard set out to solve the mystery of the famed Kensington Runestone – an artifact that, if proven authentic, could rewrite the history of North America.
In order to film the show, the crew made multiple visits to the Runestone Museum in Alexandria as early as 2018. In 2019 they even did a dig in Runestone Park in Kensington as part of the filming and research process.
The show will focus on the family that originally found the stone, and put scholars and skeptics together to unearth new evidence about it.
Secrets of the Viking Stone premieres Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 10 pm ET/PT on Science Channel, and everyone is encouraged to join in the conversation across social media using the hashtag #SecretsoftheVikingStone.