Apr
01
2010

Unlocking the mysteries of The Lake Superior Scrolls

Scroll discovery: While paddling about on Lake Superior last summer, these two kayakers found more than just a pack of otters. They found some mysterious scrolls.
Scroll discovery: While paddling about on Lake Superior last summer, these two kayakers found more than just a pack of otters. They found some mysterious scrolls.Courtesy Wikipedia
Two kayakers skirting along the south shore of Lake Superior last summer were just trying to find a place to get out of a sudden rain burst. Little did they know that they’d soon make what could be considered the greatest archaeological discovery of the 21st Century.

While waiting out the storm inside a hollowed out cave along the rocky shores of Superior near Bayfield, Wisc., the kayakers decided to explore a little bit around their new shelter, they found a pile of five rolled up deer skins. The top two were pretty moldy and crumbled in their hands but the bottom three were intact and completely amazing. While the outer sides of the hides still had traces of deer hair on them, the inner sides were tanned to a very smooth surface and had mysterious symbols written on them.

The kayakers, 20-something guys who wish to remain anonymous as they were paddling the Lake Superior waters without the proper permits and licenses, tucked their new-found treasures into their kayaks and paddled back to their launch point. From there, they drove immediately to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. One of the kayakers was the former student of Dr. Jonathan Nordquist, a professor of linguistics at the college.

Messages from Vikings?: Initial analysis of "The Lake Superior Scrolls" show that they have no religious connotation, but appear to be epic tales of Viking adventures in the New World.
Messages from Vikings?: Initial analysis of "The Lake Superior Scrolls" show that they have no religious connotation, but appear to be epic tales of Viking adventures in the New World.Courtesy Wikipedia
Nordquist, who specializes in Scandinavian and other northern European languages, was stunned. There had always been this “side rumor” to the Kensington Runestone controversy that Viking explorers who traveled the Great Lakes had left other traces of their exploits. Unfurling “The Lake Superior Scrolls” – as they’re now being called – he found runic characters that were similar to those on the runestone, but not exactly the same. Carbon dating testing done on small sections of the corners of the scrolls found that they date back to about the year 1032, around the same time that Vikings were exploring the North American continent.

After cross-referencing runic writings found across the globe in England, Italy and Greece, Nordquist started to unravel the messages encoded on the Lake Superior Scrolls.

“Unlike the famous Dead Sea Scroll, the Lake Superior Scrolls seem to have no religious or spiritual context,” Nordquist is quoted in today’s edition of Science Illustrated, where the full findings of the discovery were announced. “Rather, they message seems to be the lyrics of song, probably sung while sailing the open waters.”

A Viking sailing song?: A linguist at the University of Minnesota-Duluth was quickly able to recognize that the characters on the scrolls were similar to Viking runes, often found on runestones around the globe.
A Viking sailing song?: A linguist at the University of Minnesota-Duluth was quickly able to recognize that the characters on the scrolls were similar to Viking runes, often found on runestones around the globe.Courtesy Wikipedia
Allowing for some differences between the original language and today’s English, here’s what Nordquist has translated a section of the first scroll to read:

Fine little girl waits for me
Catch a ship across the sea
Sail that ship about, all alone
Never know if I make it home

Ole Ole, oh no
Me gotta go
Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said
Ole Ole, oh baby
Me gotta go

“What’s absolutely fascinating is that this appears to be the earliest known version of ‘Louie, Louie’ the classic rock-and-roll song,” continued Nordquist. “And when you consider the instrumentation available to Viking musicians of that era, you can hear the root sounds of that classic song.”

An old, but effective, warrior: The text of Scroll 3 tells the tale Favre the Gray, an old but effective warrior who led Vikings to victory long after people thought he was capable. Notice the intimidating pink shoes he wears.
An old, but effective, warrior: The text of Scroll 3 tells the tale Favre the Gray, an old but effective warrior who led Vikings to victory long after people thought he was capable. Notice the intimidating pink shoes he wears.Courtesy Wikipedia
On scroll two, Nordquist has not been able to make a breakthrough with the completely different style of runic writing it carries. But the third scroll has even more fascinating information, he said.

“It appears to be an epic tale, the story of an old, but gallant warrior who led his fellow Vikings on many successful missions,” Nordquist said. “But this Viking, despite his age and graying hair, could just not decide if he’d be able to give up the Viking lifestyle. He would sit by the docks where his ship was tied up weighing the pros and cons of doing another conquest while all of his younger charges would encourage him to take on one more mission. But alas, the time passed to set the line-up of voyage. But while the supplies and weapons were being loaded on the ship, this grand old Viking – going by the name of ‘Favre the Gray’ on the scroll – changed his mind, boarded the ship and led another hugely successful mission while the displaced captain – Jackson the Younger – held a clipboard at the back of the ship.”

Further details on information gleaned from The Lake Superior Scrolls will not be made public until exactly a year from today….April Fool’s Day 2011.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

KelsiDayle's picture
KelsiDayle says:

Ha! I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I didn't get this was a joke until the very end (though I did think some shoddy detective work was at hand). Best April Fools Joke ever!

posted on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 1:03pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

almost as good as the exploding maple trees

posted on Sat, 04/03/2010 - 3:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

dude i actually thought that this was real, until favre.

posted on Fri, 04/09/2010 - 1:07pm
Isadora.Nieman's picture
Isadora.Nieman says:

I think maybe people sometimes think that if they found something that is old, we should give it to the historians to find out what they are. I have nothing else to say.

posted on Mon, 04/19/2010 - 2:42pm
Michelle H.'s picture
Michelle H. says:

Will my hometown of Kensington, MN never get any respect??? Long live K-town!

posted on Thu, 04/22/2010 - 12:02pm
big don1Anonymous's picture
big don1Anonymous says:

tihis should bebrought to Favres attention. It could ake him an ancient hero

posted on Thu, 04/22/2010 - 1:08pm
Axel's picture
Axel says:

dude this is awesome...hope you got it memorized

posted on Sat, 04/24/2010 - 8:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

that's funny... my friend believed it until i told her that they were joking. hahaha

posted on Mon, 04/26/2010 - 1:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The minute I read the title of this article I nearly laughed my head off!!! No daa it is an April Fools joke, it is classic and so commonly done.

posted on Sat, 05/22/2010 - 6:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i was all excited that for once, minnesota could get some recognition and be a part of history. then you crushed me. thanks.

posted on Sat, 05/22/2010 - 6:45pm
Phenious Ralfersen's picture
Phenious Ralfersen says:

Laugh if you will but this is a true story. Many are the hours that I myself spent in that cave reading out a storm. The scrools are gone, the time drags on and I am mad as Thor.

posted on Tue, 05/25/2010 - 5:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hey man my name is thor and im not mad at all!!! this is funny!!

posted on Sat, 08/21/2010 - 3:55pm
smileyfaces!!!'s picture
smileyfaces!!! says:

HAHAhAhahA it really is not tht funny!!!!!!!!!!!! I got it right away but wooww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 05/29/2010 - 6:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

april fools

posted on Sun, 06/06/2010 - 5:11pm
just a normal everyday weirdo's picture
just a normal everyday weirdo says:

wow idk tht lake soperior even hd scrolls tht iz kulio!!!!! but weird

posted on Sun, 06/06/2010 - 5:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i wonder what the two scrolls that crumbled said.

posted on Fri, 06/11/2010 - 4:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

LOL never read an article dated April first =P hahahahaha this was funny...

posted on Sat, 06/19/2010 - 7:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Ha, Ha! Very funny!! I didn't not notice the date until the end!

posted on Sun, 06/20/2010 - 2:36pm
The guy who will not say name's picture
The guy who will not say name says:

This joke is funny because Favre the Great once considered the vikings his enemies

posted on Sun, 06/27/2010 - 3:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

that is so cool how they could fool people like that, though wouldn't u agree that it looked a little suspicious from the beginning? i only caught the joke at the name favre and the "younger" jackson.

posted on Sun, 06/27/2010 - 4:07pm
Billy Bob joe's picture
Billy Bob joe says:

got me fooled!

posted on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 3:29pm
hugh's picture
hugh says:

I don't get it ...... What is this all about ???? Who found what and where are they now do the goverment know what is going on ? I hope so but must say if the dead sea scrolls are new or old god only know's I however do think there are people still looking for such things and maybe even on the great lakes

posted on Wed, 06/30/2010 - 2:55am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is great!

posted on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 6:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

where did they find these scrolls I wonder......?

posted on Sun, 07/11/2010 - 12:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

what a hillarious joke! i love it

posted on Tue, 07/13/2010 - 7:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

wow cool. i did not have enough time to read it all though

posted on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 3:08pm
Rylie Johnson's picture
Rylie Johnson says:

ALL HAIL FARVE THE GRAY!!! MAY HE LEAD HIS VIKING WARRIORS INTO VICTORIOUS BATTLES TIL THE END OF TIME!!!

posted on Sat, 07/17/2010 - 5:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I also have found some scrolls when I was in Wisc on the island...I am keeping them hidden, until the time is right and my one and only son will reveal them to the public on a specific date I have already picked out. Unfortunantly, I will not be here when it is revealed, so if you are 6 or younger, make sure you watch for this in your lifetime :)

posted on Thu, 07/22/2010 - 8:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

does that mean the dead sea scrolls are also an april fools joke?

posted on Sat, 07/24/2010 - 12:03pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Seriously, this is downright stupid.

posted on Sun, 07/25/2010 - 3:17pm
minnesota girl's picture
minnesota girl says:

hahaha...this was actually pretty good. it sounds like a joke my dad would tell :D i feel pretty bad that i fell for it though.

posted on Sun, 07/25/2010 - 6:06pm
Foxhall Tom's picture
Foxhall Tom says:

someone has to get this Favre

posted on Tue, 07/27/2010 - 12:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This stuff is so intresting! It so cool to see one of the oldest documents! Plus it shows the story of the different religions!! This is a great exibit!! So intresting!!! AWESOME INFORMATION!!

posted on Fri, 08/06/2010 - 5:58pm
Anonymous Dave U's picture
Anonymous Dave U says:

Is this true or is it an April Fool joke?

posted on Thu, 08/12/2010 - 4:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

what a hoot

posted on Sun, 08/15/2010 - 3:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hahahahaha! I cant wait to see this on the news :P Who comes up with this stuff?

posted on Thu, 09/23/2010 - 10:19am
A person you don't' know's picture
A person you don't' know says:

Teehee XD Funny love the story :) My dad thought it was real and then I told him it was an April Fool's Joke... XD

posted on Thu, 09/30/2010 - 5:27pm
tiana    's picture
tiana says:

i never knew that they found scrolls in lake superior HOW COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Fri, 10/08/2010 - 1:15pm
MollyDolly =]'s picture
MollyDolly =] says:

I think that this is pretty cool. its awesome that we have cool acient stuff in Wisconsin!

posted on Sat, 10/09/2010 - 1:47pm
viking reader's picture
viking reader says:

Taha....UMD's administrators would probably say to through they moldy things out

posted on Sat, 10/09/2010 - 2:56pm
Horse Lover!!'s picture
Horse Lover!! says:

This was a great April Fools joke!! You had me fooled at first!! :D Hehehe

posted on Thu, 10/14/2010 - 2:25pm
Campbell an Nett 's picture
Campbell an Nett says:

best yet

posted on Sun, 10/17/2010 - 4:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I thought this was real, but then i figured it out and i gotkinda sad

posted on Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:22pm
Belvy's picture
Belvy says:

Hahahahahahahahaha! Very funny. It alost sounded true.

posted on Thu, 10/21/2010 - 1:03pm

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