I learned about The Templars’ Secret Island (New York: Barnes & Noble, 2002) from watching “Holy Grail in America.” In this book Erling Haagensen and Henry Lincoln try to tie together medieval churches on the Danish island Bornholm, the Knights Templar, the Holy Sepulchre, the Temple of Solomon, and the Ark of the Covenant.
They hypothesize that “Bornholm was laid out [by the Knights Templar] with absolute precision as a teaching aid. . . . Here would the student come to learn, and to learn not merely the mathematics and the gemoetry. Here also could be taught the underlying symbolism” (132). In other words, the student would learn the secret knowledge the Knights Templar uncovered and retrieved from Jerusalem.
While their hypothesis is intriguing, I think their extrapolation of geometric figures from the positions of the churches on Bornholm is based on too few points and requires more evidence.
They do list some interesting books in their “Bibliography”:
As I mentioned in a post on Oct. 1, I learned about Steven Sora‘s book The Lost Colony of the Templars: Verrazano’s Secret Mission to America (Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 2004) while watching a documentary about the Knights Templar in America. It was the only book referenced in the show that was available through the Jefferson County Public Libraries. After slogging through it, I can only wonder why the library system bought it.
I actually used The Lost Colony of the Templars in my on-campus ENG 1020 classes Metro as a not-credible source for the following reasons:
- The title misrepresents the content of the book. What little information there is about the colony and Verrazano’s voyage appear more than halfway through the book.
- The book is poorly organized.
- The information is not adequately documented.
- There are no visuals in the book at all. Maps would have been particularly appropriate since Sora spends so much of the book discussing various sea voyages.
However, there are some books listed in the bibliography that might be worth looking at:
- Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge
- Michael Bradley, Grail Knights in America
- David Ovason, The Secret Architecture of Our Nation’s Capital: The Masons and the Building of Washington, DC
Sunday night I watched a show on the History Channel that I’d recorded on Sept. 20: “Holy Grail in America.” The reference to the Holy Grail in the title and runes (Kensington Runestone) in the description caught my attention on (or before) the 20th, so I set the DVR to record the show, which I found fascinating when I finally watched it. (The show is scheduled to air again on Sat., Oct. 3, at 5:00 p.m. and on Wed., Oct. 14, at 10:00 a.m., time zone unknown.)
The show began with the discovery of the Kensington Runestone and traced its possible connections to other runestones and carved stones found in North America, to the Knights Templar and Cistercians, to Prince Henry Sinclair and Christopher Columbus, to the Newport Tower and Rosslyn Chapel, and to the Freemasons.
I made a list of authors and books mentioned in the show:
- Scott Wolter, The Hooked X
- Ashley Cowie, The Rosslyn Templar
- Erling Haagensen, The Templars’ Secret Island
- Steven Sora, The Lost Colony of the Templars
- Alan Butler, The Knights Templar Revealed
- Simon Brighton, In Search of the Knights Templar
I don’t know that I’ll read all of the books, if I can find them, but I did want to keep a list of them somewhere. I found Sora’s book in my county library and requested Haagensen’s book and The Kensington Runestone: Approaching a Research Question Holistically by Alice Beck Kehoe through Prospecter, which includes all the major public and university libraries in the state. I also recommended to my county library that they buy Wolter’s and Cowie’s books.
I certainly don’t accept everthing presented in “Holy Grail in America,” but I do find it interesting and want to do more research on the subject.
This afternoon I finished reading Steve Berry‘s fourth book, The Templar Legacy. I like it better than the previous three: The Amber Room, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Third Secret. It could be my interest in things medieval, but in my opinion, each book has been better than the one(s) before.
Anyone who liked The Da Vinci Code should also enjoy The Templar Legacy. In fact, I liked Berry’s book better, though I’m not sure why at this point. The plot was certainly more involved and at least as suspenseful.