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It’s widely believed that the Norse explorer Leif Eriksson and his fellow explorers were the first white people to set foot in North America some 1000 years ago. However, recent discoveries in Newfoundland have uncovered a small band of sea going men who are thought to be of Nordic descent and under the leadership of one Loof Lirpa may have predated Eriksson and his crew by about five hundred years.

It seems a local shepherd by the name John Parsons was out tending his flock when some bad weather (not uncommon in the region) moved in and decided to seek some shelter. In his efforts he stumbled upon a previously undiscovered cave right outside the hills surrounding the small town of Coachman’s Cove (pop 92) and decided to wait out the storm. He built himself a fire and then noticed some strange carvings on the walls of the cave that seemed to combine symbols and what appeared to be a primitive alphabet of some type.

Upon the passing of the storm he made his way back to the town and quickly got in touch with the members of the Newfoundland United Topographical Studies Survey and alerted them of his find. The members of the survey were quite skeptical at first but when Mr. Parsons provided them with photographic evidence of the wall of the cave they soon sent down a team of experts to try and decipher what was on the walls.

After weeks of intense study the team, led by one Alexander Pike finally cracked the code and deciphered the message. Here’s a portion of it in its English variant which reads in part as follows:

”I am the king of the winds and waters and my name is Loof Lirpa. My eyes shine with brightness as I etch these words into stone. I have crossed many waters and storms to arrive at these shores and have drank from its fountains to quench my thirst. I landed here many years ago and have experienced many of its cold wintry years.”

”My dream is to see all of this strange lands contents and record them for future voyagers who follow in my path in the hope so that they too will record their findings. I, Loof Lirpa, as head of this settlement hereby declare these lands to belong to future generations of Lirpa’s and others that following their footsteps.”

The scientists were still not convinced on the authenticity of the engravings and decided to run some carbon dating experiments to try and determine their age. As it turns out, they predate anything previously discovered in North America by Leif Eriksson and other Europeans by at least 500 to 750 years.

Spurred on by this discovery, members of the aforementioned Newfoundland United Topographical Studies Survey are now combing the countryside in and around Coachman’s Cove for further evidence of Loof Lirpa and his shipmates but so far remain unsuccessful in their efforts. Recently, the reknowned Archaeological Survey Society got their hand in the game and flew a team up to Newfoundland to try and found out what became of Loof Lirpa and are expected to announce their findings shortly. To date, neither organization is sure if Lirpa fell victim to the harsh climate in Newfoundland or returned to the waters in either an effort to arrive back home or in search of new, yet undiscovered lands.

One thing that the Archaeological Survey Society team did uncover was that the engravings marked on the cave wall bear a strong resemblance to the opening lines of Van Morrison’s song Queen of the Slipstream and are now wondering if Loof Lirpa may be of Gaelic descent rather than originating from the Norse lands.

If that is indeed the case, their research might have to take an entirely different direction.

If you'd like to keep abreast of the most recent developments surrounding the strange case of Loof Lirpa, try clicking on this link.

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