A planned expedition to recover a mysterious rune stone on Noman's Land reportedly inscribed with the name of famous Viking Leif Eriksson has hit a snag. The state historical commission questions the plan and the Chilmark historical commission has recommended against removal of the stone.

Riding the wave of a sudden renewed interest in a possibly ignored chapter of Vineyard history, an expedition made up of researchers, diving experts and history buffs plans to travel to Noman's Land this summer to help determine if Vikings visited here around the year 1000 A.D.

It is either the biggest hoax or the most ignored chapter in Island history.

There are people who believe that the mysterious - almost mythic - Viking people once visited, and perhaps even colonized Martha's Vineyard, hundreds of years before Bartholomew Gosnold made land here and named the Island after a family member.


The visit to Noman’s Land the other day by Bertrand Wood who lived on that seaward island long ago and took with him many of the nostalgic memories of youth, directs attention again to the runic rock of Noman’s. The rock was submerged by, the tide and Mr. Wood could not photograph it as he had hoped.


The runic rock of Noman’s Land was discovered and identified beyond doubt by the weekend expedition led by Curtiss Bacon, lawyer and visitor to the Vineyard, who has interested himself in an attempt to subject the runes to more complete study than has yet been made. The rock had not been seen since the 1938 hurricane when a great section of cliff on the western shore of Noman’s Land fell into the sea, and it may have been covered for years by this fallen material.


We note with some sadness the disappearance of the runic rock of Noman’s Land, yet this is as proper an ending as any for a me­morial to Leif Eriksson which scholars say Leif or any of his men never carved. Noman’s Land is an island of romance and mystery, and has been these many years, but all its tales seem to have an ironic ending.