Conspiracy Theories

Knights in Kensington? Aliens in Austin? Why not?

This month, the History Channel will air The Holy Grail in America, a Minnesota-made documentary suggesting that the famous Kensington Runestone—dug up by farmer Olaf Ohman in 1898 and covered in cryptic script—is actually evidence that the Knights Templar discovered America 100 years before Columbus and brought with them the Holy Grail. If this proves true, it’s probably only a matter of time before historians blow the lid off these other secrets about famous Minnesota icons.

» Paul Bunyan Statue:
Erected in 1937, Bemidji’s 18-foot-tall Paul Bunyan statue was taken down shortly after the Bay of Pigs for “restoration.” Historians now believe the beloved lumberjack was retrofitted as a CIA killing machine. Although there is no mention of Bunyan in the Warren Commission report, JFK assassination experts now theorize that the “magic bullet” may have ricocheted off Babe the Blue Ox, who was grazing contentedly on the grassy knoll.

» SPAM: In 1947, the Roswell Daily Record reported the Air Force “capture” of a flying saucer, which is believed to have contained the extraterrestrial biological entity know as J-Rod. UFO experts have unearthed new findings that J-Rod was not kept at dry, dusty Area 51, but instead was immediately moved to Austin, Minnesota, and placed under the care of the Hormel Corporation, whose SPAM product is packed in the soothing gelatin J-Rod needs to survive.

» The World’s Largest Ball of Twine: New evidence suggests that “farmer” Francis A. Johnson of Darwin was a direct descendant of Adam Weishaupt, founder of the Bavarian Illuminati. Johnson, a closet cryptographer and known harpsichordist, single-handedly amassed the 17,400-pound ball of twine, whose intricate, fibrous weavings are believed to contain important, counterrevolutionary instructions should the United States ever lapse into monarchy.

» Spoonbridge and Cherry: In 1969, sculptor Claes Oldenburg’s oversized public art caught the eye of NASA operatives looking to hide—in plain sight—props from the faked Apollo missions. Oldenburg’s 1974 sculpture Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks uses the Apollo 15 lunar rover, but not until 1985 was Oldenburg able to repurpose the original Apollo 11 capsule into Spoonbridge and Cherry and install it at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.