There’s new evidence that Vikings landed in North America long before Columbus. First, Texas engineer Richard Nielsen, who has spent 17 years studying the controversial Runestone, says it’s definitely a genuine Viking artifact. And Lauren Taylor writes in the May issue of Fate Magazine that Maine Coon Cats are related to the feisty casts brought by the Vikings to the Americas.

Joe Albert of echopress.com quotes Runestone Museum director LuAnn Patton as saying, “Basically, he has found documentation showing that every rune and word on the Runestone can be found in 14th century documents.” She’s talking about newly-discovered early Scandinavian documents, or land deeds, that show the same kind of writing as on the Runestone.

The Kensington Runestone is a slab of gray stone, 36 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. It was found entangled in the roots of an old tree, on the property of Minnesota farmer Olaf Ohman in November of 1898, and is currently in the Runestone Museum in Alexandria, Minnesota, close to where it was discovered. The words on the face of the stone say: “Eight Goths and 22 Norwegians on a journey of exploration from Vinland very far west. We had camp by 2 rocky islands one day’s journey north from this stone. We were out fishing one day. After we came home we found 10 men red with blood and dead. AVM save from evil.” The part along the edge says: “Have 10 men by the sea to look after our ships 14 days’ journey from this island. Year 1362.” If it’s genuine, it’s one of the longest ancient runic inscriptions in the world.

One of the arguments used to discredit the Runestone has been that the words on it are too recent to have been carved in 1362. But when Nielsen studied documents dated between 1350 and 1375, he discovered that words used on them were the same as those on the Runestone. Also, some of the details on the stone would have been unknown in America in 1898, making it less likely to have been a hoax. Nielsen says, “One hundred years ago it was impossible to solve the Kensington Runestone mystery. I have been blessed with data.”

Sweden has never accepted the authenticity of the Runestone, but that’s changing?The National Museum of Antiquities in Stockholm plans to do an exhibit and study of the it in the fall.

Nielsen still doesn’t know what all of the words on the Runestone mean, which is another reason to think it isn’t a hoax. He says, “I can?t imagine a forger putting in words that nobody would understand.” And the last piece of evidence that Vikings discovered America comes from the cats they left behind. Maine Coon Cats have been found to be genetically related to Scandinavian cats?even more evidence that mankind has been voyaging to far places for a very long time.

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