Isle of Man Examiner, 3rd June 1935.
ARCHAEOLOGIST KILLED IN ACCIDENT
It is with regret that the Isle of Man Examiner has to announce the sudden death of one of Britain’s most eminent archaeologists, Professor Ralph Carmichael.
Always a controversial character, Professor Carmichael was studying Viking archaeology on the Isle of Man when he discovered the so-called “Rune Stones of Pooilvaaish”. Some doubt has been cast on the authenticity of these stones, and he was reluctant to release them for independent analysis: perhaps now the stones will have their provenance verified.
The Professor was also being investigated for alleged financial misdemeanours, but it is thought that his death was an unfortunate accident and there is no hint of suicide.
Isle of Man Examiner, 15th August 1935.
ARCHAEOLOGIST RUNE MYSTERY
The mystery surrounding the death of archaeologist Professor Ralph Carmichael has deepened following the revelation by police that the ancient stones he was studying (the “Rune Stones of Pooilvaaish”) had apparently been hidden by him just prior to his accident.
An English archaeologist and friend of Prof. Carmichael, Prof. George Westergaard, was looking forward to studying the stones in a bid to verify their authenticity but it appears that they were not found when Prof. Carmichael’s effects were cleared from his Isle of Man residence. The only clue to their whereabouts is in some runic texts which are in an ancient Danish script, but which do not appear to give a complete or exact location.
Also, a couple of scraps of paper were found in Prof Carmichael’s wallet with coded rune characters drawn on them – Prof. Westergaard is convinced that these hold the clue, if only the cipher can be understood.“Ralph was investigating the landing places of Vikings in the south of the Island” said Prof. Westergaard. “I believe he’d found one using the coded rune stones as a guide and was looking for evidence of a subsequent battle. He’d mentioned to me that he was going to search the battle site for artefacts to prove that the rune stones were genuine. I suspect he’d hidden the stones in case they were stolen before he had finished with them.”.
The death of Prof. Carmichael has been confirmed as a bizarre accident. It seems most likely that a freak wave caught the Professor off balance when he was out on rocks near Strand Hall, and he was drowned before his assistant could reach him. Although it is alleged that he was illegally using research funds to buy archaeological treasures for his own collection, Prof. Carmichael always strenuously denied the charges and was not thought to be worried about the ongoing police investigation.
The text on the scraps of paper was as follows:
N 54° 04.79a W 004° 4b.8cd.
ab: from decoding the first rune character to give two digits.
cd: from the second rune character.
The second is at
N 54° 04.9e0 W 004° 44.0fg
ab: from decoding the first rune character on the stone to give two digits.
cd: from the second rune character on the stone.
f=(a x 3),
On the stone at the cache, two further rune characters are to be found. The Landing Place is at N 54° 04.edc where e=a+b (rune 1) and cd=rune 2.