It seems that Scott Wolter accidentally solved the “mystery” of the Hooked X® in his latest blog post, but not for the reason he thinks. It certainly does not “rock the skeptics, debunkers, and disbelievers of the five North American rune stones with the Hooked X, to their core” as he claims. In a posting on his blog last night, Wolter claims to have discovered many new examples of Hooked X® symbolism in an old Icelandic manuscript. According to Wolter, the symbol that he associates with the Holy Bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene appears as the letter aleph in an Icelandic document giving the Hebrew alphabet as well as in “secret” coded alphabets from documents dated to the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century.
What has me excited is they have also found at least two undeniable examples of the Hooked X symbol being used for the letter “a.” […] Is this conclusive evidence of a link between the sect of Jesus and his followers in the First Century, and the Templars who carved the five North American rune stones? Not yet, but this alphabet in particular is a huge piece of evidence that is consistent with this thesis.
Wolter went on to say that the documents, dating between 1700 and 1890 prove that the Hooked X® is “medieval,” despite the fact that the Middle Ages had ended more than 200 years earlier.
I invite readers to take a close look not at the Hooked X® but rather at the other letters that appear in the documents. (One example is above; Wolter posted more on his blog.) You will see that the same “hook” appears on several other letters as well, and almost always in the same position on the letter. This is because these documents were written in ink using quills, and the writer needed a small hook to get the ink flowing in order to draw a backward slanting or straight vertical line. The hook thus appears on the top of the letter “h” as well as “m” and “n,” where is disguised by the cursive form (which incorporates the stroke needed to start the ink). The hook is most prominent on the “x,” however, because the “x” has a prominent backward-slanted line.
We see the same “hook,” for example, in many pieces of old handwriting drawn with a quill. Christopher Columbus, to take one example, used the “hook” on both the letters “x” and “y.”
I think this presents one possible solution to the mystery of the Hooked X® and its appearance on the Kensington Rune Stone. According to Wolter, this unusual character, otherwise unattested in medieval Scandinavian runes, is a secret symbol of the Holy Bloodline. According to skeptics, it was likely derived from a secret code used by Swedish immigrants, as seen in the so-called Larsen Papers. But there is now a third possibility that eliminates the need for any secret codes at all. The Kensington Rune Stone’s inscription, and/or the Larsen Papers, may have been modeled on runes from old manuscripts that were written out by hand, in which the “hook” needed to draw the backstroke of the “x”-shaped rune was prominent enough that later people mistook it for an intentional part of the character rather than an artifact of the writing process. Perhaps somewhere along the line, in the generation or two before the stone was carved, the handwriting convention was mistaken for orthography after quills were replaced with fountain pens and the purpose of the hook was forgotten.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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