Oklahoma’s Viking Runestone Is Now World Famous, But Logically Fake
If you weren't aware of it, and why would you be, Oklahoma is the home of a now-famous landlocked Viking runestone that very well could be ancient, but it's not without its own shenanigans.
On the edge of a little town called Heavener, OK lies a park dedicated to the history of Oklahoma's only runestone. A giant boulder with an inscription on it dates back to a time no expert can agree on.
Some say it's ancient, which wouldn't be completely out of the question. There are several runestones found across the United States, most famously the Kensington Stone found in Minnesota and the Norman's Land stone off the coast of Massachusetts. Experts seem to agree that the Norman's Land stone is fake, created in the 1900s... The Kensington Stone seems to have been created in the 1800s... but the Oklahoma runestone is still up for debate.
Apparently, when it comes to this stone, there is a chance it dates back to the 900s... That's the 10th century... but again, experts, scholars, and scientists can't confirm it.
They all seem to agree that it's likely something created by a Swedish immigrant in the 1800s, but the examination of the marks makes that a hard assumption to declare. After all, there are no stones found to be this early even in Iceland and Greenland, and that's where Scandinavians eventually settled, but that creates another problem with our perceived history.
I know I learned about Leif Erikson and his journey to the Americas long ago, but history isn't that simple. The story about Vikings discovering this land before Columbus did is now taught as a myth that came from the discovery of the various famous East Coast runestones that were proven fakes... but nobody can agree conclusively that the Heavener runestone is a fake, so what gives?
Here it is plain and simple... While the runestone outside of Heavener does exist, the lack of Norse evidence is so lacking, it's only logical to assume it's a very good fake. In an archeological study, there wasn't a shred of physical evidence tying the story to history.
"Why would anyone fake something like that?" I don't know, but it's not the first time.
If your school ever took a field trip to the Alabaster Caverns in Northern Oklahoma, as you take the guided tour, there is a place of shenanigans deep inside. There is an inscription on the cave walls written in pencil signed to some person with a date in the early 16 or 1700s... but pencils weren't invented until 1795. Logic would suggest a student on a class field trip decided it would be his own hilarious little joke.
It's been over 20 years and I still remember that story, so there's at least some sort of fame in every solid attempt of historical forgery...
All the same, the Heavener runestone is still a unique and interesting thing to behold.
If you'd like to go check it out, it's huge by the way, Heavener is quite a drive out into Meth-Country Oklahoma, but it'd be worth the trip if you're into that kind of stuff.