Templars in the New World
Another pivotal strand of the novel is the premise that the Templars were able to launch a voyage to America prior to the voyage of Columbus. Writing in 2011, I believe the chances of validating this theory are easier than it was even ten years ago. In the past, suggestion that the Templars, or even the Vikings, had ventured across the Atlantic was also met with scorn by elements of the academic community. Sadly, these experts were oblivious to seeing what was right in front of them.
One of the locations used in this book is the Newport Tower, a curious structure located near nothing in particular in the heart of Newport, Rhode Island. The architecture of the tower is itself open to interpretation and its original purpose cannot be pinpointed with complete certainty. One of the few documented references to its existence describe it as a stone mill, owned by one Governor Benedict Arnold, ancestor of the famous man of the same name.
On face value, the structure is strange. Its appearance is out of keeping with a traditional windmill. Furthermore, the presence of a fireplace on what was once the second storey and the tendency for many of its features to fit with astrological alignments do little to convince that it was built for that purpose. True, the structure is documented as Arnold’s ‘old stone mill’. However, there is no evidence that Arnold built it.
To accept the structure as a product of colonial Newport contradicts the documented facts. Sailing the area in 1524, explorer Giovanni da Verrazano recorded the structure as a ‘Norman Villa’ confirming the tower’s pedigree as no younger than 16th century. I congratulate authors Steven Sora, Scott Wolter and Andrew Sinclair in particular for their writings on the tower. Regards the novel, the vault located beneath the tower is fictional – at least I assume it is. The descriptions of Touro Park and the surrounding area concur with my own visit and subsequent other research. Incredibly, the symbol on Perry’s statue is genuine.
In recent times other evidence has come to light supporting the Templar continuation theory, not mentioned in this novel. One impressive piece of research has been conducted and put forward by Scott Wolter regarding a strange stone found in Kensington, Minnesota. Dubbed the Kensington Runestone after its location and inspired by the inclusion of several runes of Norse origin, the find was initially claimed a forgery by the academic community (another one), claims which can now be accepted as inaccurate. For the open minded, Wolter’s findings provide persuasive proof that a party of Templars and Cistercian monks were present in modern day Minnesota in 1361.