Photograph of runestone researcher Gloria Farley standing beside the Heavener Runestone in 1948. Due to Farley's efforts, Oklahoma established a state park at the runestone site just outside of Heavener, Oklahoma. Photo courtesy: Oklahoma Dept. of Tourism.
First discovered by a Choctaw hunting party in 1830, the massive stone now known as the Heavener Runestone has always been shrouded in mystery. Standing like a 12-foot billboard, the face of the stone contains etchings of letters that have been identified by some experts as early Scandinavian runes. They said the letters were carved in the stone by early Viking explorers who settled near the present-day city of Heavener, Oklahoma. Based primarily on the research of Gloria Farley, the state of Oklahoma established a 50-acre state park to protect the stone, and the surrounding area.
Now another theory has come to light on just who may have carved the stone. It's a theory that's attracting the attention of scholars nationwide. And this theory says that the Heavener Runestone is not a Viking marker, but is a monument to a 17th century explorer.
Come along with Scott Thompson, The Oklahoma Traveler, and examine the evidence for yourself, and explore the "Mystery of the Heavener Runestone," today at 5:00PM only on KOTV - The News on Six. Oklahoma's News Leader. After you watch Scott's story, check out the companion web page at kotv.com. Just click on the OKLAHOMA TRAVELER button on the left hand side of your screen on the kotv.com homepage and click the link. Read exclusive articles written by both researchers as they present their theories on the Heavener Runestone.
Historian Lee Woodard of Sallisaw, Oklahoma points out a feature of the runestone to KOTV's Scott Thompson. In his new book, Woodard theorizes that the Heavener Runestone was not carved by a Viking explorer, but was carved in honor of a 17th century explorer. Photo courtesy: KOTV -The News on SIx.