In 2005 while reading the diaries of Lewis and Clarks and the journey of discoveries trip west up the Missouri, I was amazed by a remark made by an Indian chief. In North Dakota where the river turns west they made their winter camp in 1805 with the Mandan Indians and met Sheheke, chief of the Mandans. While being questioned about where this mysterious tribe had come from, he said; our ship became stranded in a lake on a mountain top or island after a great flood or storm; I stopped and thought about a place in northern Minnesota that fit that description...
So three months and three books on the Mandans later, I found a mistake in a book on Sheheke that again led me to this same lake again. And so here the real story begins and many great mysteries begin to unwind. Here in this small lake the children of the first settlers told a story of how they found a ship in this lake when the lake which had been a swimming hole had dried up during the dry years of the late 1800's.The story had been scoffed at and almost lost and forgotten because this small lake is not accessible even by canoe and no ship could have ever gotten in to this lake....
Then with the help of a badger we found an earth home in the hillside and a beach that was 15 feet above the present day water level. A few weeks later I would be out with my metal detector and walking the fields and in a moment of frustration and thinking how stupid I feel for thinking that after years and years of looking for Viking artifacts by Marion Dahm and many others that my chances of ever finding anything cool was almost nil..... I had a beeping and found a small encrusted clump of iron. After a month in a reverse electrolysis bath a 6 inch long Viking harpoon tip appeared. Now I knew I was on to something.
Here in this small lake a ship of Vikings had become stranded and the birth of the Mandan Indian nation had begun. Here a thousand years ago VIKINGS had landed in VINLAND and found the wild grapes and here too is the real source of the Mississippi River and evidence of the flood and a ten mile long rip in the earth where the water broke over the moraine and began carving a river valley... Here the Vikings had discovered America and stayed, a thousand years ago, and near here too is the Kensington Runestone.
So as spring approaches, and when the ice goes off the lake, the search begins with 5 underwater cameras... There is a Viking ship to find...
The whole story of the Mandans and the Vikings and the Great inland ocean and the storm that left them stranded in this lake and the stories of Lillie and the ship she had seen in the lake and all other discoveries will be posted here as they become available and all comments and questions are welcome.