Walter McCrone and the Vinland Map
In 1965, Yale researchers discovered a map that was known to have been produced at least fifty years before Columbus’ first journey to America. The map, which showed Vinlandia Insula, the Island of Vinland or Newfoundland as it is known today, was part of a small medieval volume, the Tartar Relation. The Tartar Relation had originally been bound together with the Vinland Map and another medieval volume, the Speculum Historiale. Wormhole alignments between the map and both volumes clearly showed that they had been all bound together at one time. The Tartar Relation volume was reliably dated by contemporaneous references to the Katatas people (Mongols) who dominated one end of the Eurasian land mass. There were also references to a certain bishop of Gada and Greenland that further corroborated the dating.
The map was significant because it supported archeological finds of Norse landings in Newfoundland as well as medieval Icelandic chronicles, the Graenlendinga Saga and Eirik’s Saga. The map was chronological proof that by the time Columbus made his famous journey of discovery, some people in Europe clearly knew about North America.
In 1972, Walter McCrone, who would later debunk the Shroud, examined some particles of ink and found titanium anatase, a material scientist discovered in the 1920s. He thus concluded that the map was a recent relic-forgery.
Several people doubted McCrone’s conclusion including George Painter, the curator of ancient documents of the British Museum. In 1985, physicist Thomas Cahill, of the University of California at Davis, analyzed the map using a newly developed process, Particle Induced X-ray Emission, and found only minute traces of titanium anatase, amounts that were consistent with what would be expected in the common green vitoral ink of the 15th century.
As with the Shroud, McCrone had found the substances that he claimed were there. They are there. But they are there in amounts too miniscule to support his conclusions. Columbus, who did not discover that the world was round, did not discover America ahead of the Norsemen.
Yet, myths and doubts about the Vinland Map persist. Why? Because a scientist had proven it was a hoax and PBS television reported the results of McCrone’s findings. There was very little reporting about the Cahill’s later findings at Cal-Davis.
More information is available from links at Shroud of Turin Story and at A Forensic Science CSI - Pictures of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin
© 2004 Daniel R. Porter, Bronxville, New York