By David S. Brody
Little did I realize how a random 2006 conversation with my elementary-school daughter would change my life.
“Daddy, who discovered America?” she asked.
Suspecting she was learning about the Vikings in school, I played along. “Christopher Columbus,” I answered.
“Wrong!” she said. “It was Prince Henry Sinclair from Scotland. He came to Westford in 1399.”
We were living in Westford, Massachusetts at the time, a bedroom community 25 miles northwest of Boston and an equal distance from the Atlantic coastline to the east. Westford boasts the highest hill in eastern Massachusetts, and is not far from a major river (the Merrimack) leading to the Atlantic, so it was not unreasonable to assume ancient explorers would have found their way here. And, even as a child, I had wondered why Europeans stopped exploring North America in the years between the Norse explorations and Columbus. But a Scotsman by the name of Prince Henry Sinclair in Westford a century before Columbus? This I had not heard before.
So I dove in. I examined the Westford Knight carving, the Westford Boat Stone, the Newport Tower—artifacts now as familiar to me (and probably to most readers of this site) as Plymouth Rock and the Liberty Bell. I soon moved on to the Spirit Pond Rune Stones, the Narragansett Rune Stone, the Tyngsboro Map Stone. And eventually, of course, to the Kensington Rune Stone and the America’s Stonehenge site. All fakes or follies, said the experts. Nothing to see here, move along. I wondered. Could they all really be fakes? Did the world really work that way?
Being a novelist by vocation, and an attorney by trade, I turned to the historical fiction genre to tell this story. The lawyer in me knew I needed to present my readers—the jury, if you will—with compelling evidence: If I expected people to rethink the history taught to them in their youth, I better bring my ‘A’ game. “In thirteen hundred and ninety-nine, Sinclair sailed the ocean fine,” was not going to cut it. And if I expected readers to invest their time and money, I better have a good story to tell. Fortunately, the deeper I dug the more I found: Sinclair, it seemed, was indeed here. And he came for a reason.
I won’t spoil the fun for those who have not read Cabal of the Westford Knight: Templars at the Newport Tower. But I will say Sinclair’s motivations tie back to the Knights Templar and the Jesus bloodline and Masonic secrets and ancient Goddess worship. Fertile ground for historical fiction—what many readers describe as The Da Vinci Code crossing the Atlantic.
But who can crawl down this particular rabbit hole of history and not become a bit obsessed? Not me. I began to examine other artifacts, sites and legends outside of New England. The Burrows Cave artifacts. Mysterious stone carvings from the Catskill Mountains. The legend of the “White” Mandan Indians. The Bat Creek Stone. Clues left in da Vinci’s Virgin on the Rocks painting. Templars in Quebec. The Book of Mormon. A second historical novel emerged: Thief on the Cross: Templar Secrets in America.
And then a third novel in the “Templars in America” series. Powdered Gold: Templars and the American Ark of the Covenant focuses on artifacts in the western part of the country such as the Tucson Lead Artifacts, the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone and the Mustang Mountain Rune Stone. Again, I explore ties back to the Templars and the French noble families that founded the order. And I go further back, to Quetzalcoatl and the Toltecs, to legends surrounding the Ark of the Covenant and Moses and the manna fed to wandering Israelites.
So why novels rather than academic papers or history texts? I am reminded of the response a famous criminal once gave when asked why he continued to rob banks: “Because that’s where the money is.” My goal is to focus more attention on these fascinating sites and artifacts; presenting this information through novels exposes it to readers beyond those who subscribe to Ancient American magazine or read the NEARA Journal.
Speaking of additional exposure, this past summer an independent film company turned Cabal of the Westford Knight into a full-length feature film entitled “The American Templars.” The film was shot in New England and includes dozens of New England sites and artifacts. The movie has now been released and the DVD is available for purchase on Amazon at the price of $14.92 (yes, a dig at Columbus!) here: (It will also be available for download and/or rental at the same Amazon site in a couple of weeks.) Potential viewers should note that “The American Templars” is a low-budget, independent film, so it does not have the production quality or star power of a Hollywood release. But it is a fun, action-packed story and is a great way to introduce friends and family to the idea of pre-Columbian exploration in an entertaining format.
The movie (like the novel) opens with a line from Oscar Wilde: “Many people discovered America before Columbus, but most of them had the good sense to keep quiet about it.” My guess is that most readers of this website appreciate that quote. Hopefully my novels and this new film will expose more people to these underexplored and often-ignored chapters of our history.
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Thank you Mr. Brody for sharing several of your extremely important photos in our photo gallery.
Very exciting, newly released feature film showing many famous ancient American sites. This thriller based on The Cabal of the Westford Knight by David Brody and directed by Michael Carr is very well acted and shot on a very low budget. Anyone wanting to see many of the important ancient sites on the East Coast needs to buy this DVD.
Brand New softcover published January 27, 2009. This is the 1st in a series of very exciting novels beautifully written by an extremely impressive researcher David Brody.
Brand New softcover published February 6, 2012. This is the 2nd in a series of very exciting novels beautifully written by an extremely impressive researcher David Brody.
Brand New softcover published November 19, 2013. This is the 3rd in a series of very exciting novels beautifully written by an extremely impressive researcher David Brody.
Book #4 in the Templars In America Series. A mysterious race of North American giants. An ancient Hebrew inscription in a Cherokee burial mound. A blood oath made by blindfolded Freemasons. Are these three historical oddities the reason the CIA is trying to brainwash historian Cameron Thorne and his fiancée Amanda Spencer-Gunn? The answer lies buried in the legends of the Knights Templar, within the rituals of the secretive Freemasons and, most significantly of all, inside the bowels of the Smithsonian Institution. The problem for Cam and Amanda? If they go rummaging around the Smithsonian, they may find themselves buried alongside the ancient giants.