Thursday, January 19, 2012

Every story has a beginning IV

Yes, I’m still alive... Apologies for letting this blog lapse over the past few months but I promise I’ve had good reason. The summer campaign of 2011 exceeded all our expectations. Our dives near Jan Mayen revealed data and samples that have lent greater weight to our hypotheses.

We’ve had to hide ourselves away for months while we gather together all the data, information and remains we’ll use in our report. We hope to submit it to the Scientific and Technological Commission of the Norwegian government in a few months’ time. If we succeed in convincing them and obtaining the funds we need, after many, many years we’ll finally be able to prove a long-held dream: that the Hyperborean civilization existed.

But we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. We have to tie up every loose end and submit the most persuasive argument possible. So please be patient. I’m afraid I can’t reveal anything specific here until we’ve submitted our work. Instead, what I’d like to do is continue my tale of how this adventure began, taking up the story from where I left off in May 2011.

Volcanic fumarole located near the entrance to the Niflheim Cave.

To recap, I was taking part in an expedition with my colleagues Geir Grønvoll and Olve Raaen that involved laying a submarine cable for Nordic Communications. During a dive by one of our submarine drones, Barracuda 1, we found something unusual in a mysterious underwater cave...

Barracuda 1 stirred up the sand on the cave floor, offering us a glimpse of something unbelievable. Olve, Geir and I were astounded. We thought we must be hallucinating. Sure enough, we could see something sticking out of the ocean floor. A long structure that was definitely not formed by nature. Obviously, we sounded the alarm and immediately contacted Nordic Communications and the NTNU. The images we sent were concrete evidence that we had discovered a submarine archaeological find that not only meant the cable should be rerouted but that here was something that deserved its own research project.

Viking Drakkar render.

We didn’t expect an immediate reply but managed to stop the project for a week to gather as much information as we could and gather samples using the Barracudas, whenever possible. Our aquatic robots weren’t really designed for this type of work, but Olve managed to adapt their pincers so that they could grab objects. He also made their structure lighter so that they could carry samples back up to the surface.

Viking Drakkar illustration

During the first few days we created a work perimeter and began to clear the ocean floor of sand around the structure. This gave us a better idea of its size and scope. On the fourth day it was clear that the find was something similar to the keel of a ship. If we used our imaginations, it reminded us of a Viking Drakkar. But it had significant differences and, most surprisingly, it appeared to be older. But until we ran carbon dating tests it was impossible to know its actual age. At that point, we would never have dreamed what we were about to discover...

I’m afraid that’s all I have time for today. I hope I can share the next part of ‘Every story has a beginning’ with you shortly. Things are rushing forwards now but the hardest part of the work is already behind us. I’m exhausted but hugely excited. I get butterflies in my stomach every time I remember that any day now I’ll finally be submitting the results of my greatest research project. Remember, I’ve been working on this for almost twelve years now. Will it be accepted? Will it shake the very foundations of archaeology? Will they call me crazy? 

All I can do is wait to discover the answer to these questions... Until then, followers of Hyperborea Exists, thank you again for your constant support. There are now over six hundred of you following me on Facebook. Best wishes to you all.