What does Miramichi have to do with Oak Island? A question you may ask, and it is a very valid question about this quest. I believe Miramichi, New Brunswick is an important clue in a great puzzle and forms the basis for what happened on Oak Island.
The discovery of North America by Europeans can not really be attributed to any one person at any one time, yet society feels a need to label that milestone for some reason. Perhaps because it gives us a sense of place and a benchmark from which to gauge our own history. Yet, that date the academic world likes to tell us is likely wrong.
We know it was wrong when they said it was Christopher Columbus who discovered America in 1492, which was proven incorrect with the 1960 discovery of the pre-Columbian Norse ruins at L’Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland. So what else is wrong? Maybe we just haven’t yet found the ruins that will alter history once again.
How far back do we go to determine who first discovered the North American continent? You could say it was migration of humans from Asia across the Bering land bridge about 20,000 years ago. This is the theory we are told in grade school and has been imprinted on us from an early age, but another concept could be that seagoing coastal settlers may have crossed over to North America much earlier than the land trudging bridge crossers.
Yet, in order to prove this we would need to study the coastal sites of that time period for their evidence of habitation, which unfortunately now lie submerged in up to a hundred metres of water offshore. This study will likely never happen but remains could be waiting for a discovery when our technology and drive to prove this theory coincides. Until that time comes, lets look at the periods of history where actual stories tell us of people visiting our North American shores with some astonishing similarities.
According to the Icelandic sagas—Eirik the Red’s Saga, Saga of the Greenlanders, plus chapters of the Hauksbók and the Flatey Book, the Norse that left Scandinavia started to explore lands to the west of Greenland only a few years after their Greenland settlements were established.
These stories, or “sagas” as they are called describe that in 985AD while sailing from Iceland to Greenland with a migration fleet consisting of 400–700 settlers and 25 ships (14 of which completed the journey) a merchant named Bjarni Herjólfsson was blown off course, and after three days’ sailing he spotted a land west of the fleet. Bjarni was only interested in finding his father’s farm In Greenland, but he described his discovery of a new land to Leif Erikson who later explored the area in more detail and planted a small settlement there fifteen years later, which puts Europeans in North America in 1000AD.
The sagas describe three separate areas discovered during this exploration: Helluland, which means “land of the flat stones”; Markland, “the land of forests” and Vinland, “the land of wine”, found somewhere south of Markland. It was in this Vinland that the Viking settlement described in the sagas was founded, and which is thought to be somewhere in the Atlantic provinces of Canada, although this major settlement has yet to be found.
What was discovered in 1960 was a temporary Norse encampment at L’Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland, since butternuts were found there that are not, and never were, native to Newfoundland where the Norse ruins were unearthed. This means that the inhabitants of this camp ventured further south, likely into New Brunswick, but no new evidence has yet been found, nor has any expedition been ignited to find the true Vinland of the Norse sagas.
That area known as Vinland or “Hop” in the sagas, a settlement of Norse in Canada is likely in Miramichi, NB as it matches the saga description almost perfectly. From the saga description of Hop we know the following:
-wild wheat in low lying areas
-wild grapes on the hills
-wooden palisade built around farm
-on a hill
-inland lake fed by a river with sandbar to ocean
-across from large island (PEI)
-built houses above the lake on a hill, other huts near the shore
-noticed natives in boats coming from south, so settlers are on north side
-battled natives up river where they faced a cliff wall
Tomorrow we will explore this area and see what evidence we can find. A needle in a haystack, but hey, let’s try and thread this needle. We are sewing a massive quilt that threads into other visitors, visitors that later came to Oak Island.
Andrew King, May 24th, 2018