Were Norsemen the first Europeans to explore the Minnesota-Great Lakes and surrounding area more than a century before Christopher Columbus? Some scholars and fervent theorists believe so and are ready to fortify their beliefs with proof. 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.
SECRETS OF THE VIKING STONE premieres Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 10pm ET/PT on Science Channel. In addition to watching SECRETS OF THE VIKING STONE on Science Channel, viewers can join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #SecretsoftheVikingStone and following @ScienceChannel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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, Minnesota, 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.
With naysayers questioning its authenticity, citing the fabricated inscription and timeline discrepancies, and supporters turning to historical evidence such as possible 14th-century Scandinavian expeditions to North America, the Kensington Runestone has divided many and has remained a source of debate among historians, experts, linguists, conspiracy theorists and scholars since its discovery.
Meeting with passionate enthusiasts around the country, Stormare and Balgaard leave no stone unturned as they meet with descendants of Ohman to learn more about the family’s dark history and the stone’s discovery, work alongside leading archaeologists to survey new sites and unearth new evidence, and hear new ground breaking insights from top forensic geologists who have dedicated their careers to the stone.
SECRETS OF THE VIKING STONE blends truth with fantasy, science with theory, and puts scholars and skeptics together in the same room to determine whether the Kensington Runestone holds the key to rewriting history as we know it.
SECRETS OF THE VIKING STONE is produced for Science Channel by Viking Brothers Entertainment and Nordic Entertainment Group. For Viking Brothers Entertainment, Glenn Lund and Peter Stormare are the directors and Nina Lund and Mando Stathi are the producers. For Science Channel, Lindsey Foster Blumberg is supervising producer.