Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society 

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society 

Delusions: Any sane person should see this; At the Pioneer museum in Long Lake MN. is an exibit of what historians are touting as a prehistoric watercraft, carbon dated to the the tenth century A.D.

The recent story behind this lump of guesswork is that it had been in the way of a father/son team driving pilings for a dock in lake Minnetonka. The father did what any father would do and sent the son swimming to find out what the issue might be. The son drug up a large turd shaped piece of wood and the pile driving continued. The future artifact was hauled in to the garage where a local wag said it was a dugout canoe. An old indian dugout canoe. Well, the locals were abuzz with the find and eventualy it found it's way to the museum. The "vessel" Languished there for decades among the arrowheads and civil war muskets when finely, a "scientist" pulled the magic out of his hat and declared this to be the real deal. A thousand year old canoe they sang! A coup for the museum and an example of one of mankind's greatest inventions!

Well, this is where the sane person should look close. The first year naval architect student can see the inherent instability of this hoax. This thing could not float a 12 year-child with the measly freeboard it offers and the bilges are as round as a cigar. Add a paddle and a light breeze and it's no wonder that this thing was on the bottom of the lake. If it was a canoe, it wasn't one for very long. 

We love it when a boat has history behind it. Family, or some interesting story and we are loath to question the "facts" because we like the romance of the tale. The sane person, using logic, can see that what is displayed as a prehistoric canoe is no more than a half rotten basswood log that had been blown down, waterlogged and settled comfortably in anerobic decay for a thousand years. One hates to be the rain at the parade but if you are in the neighborhood, stop in on a Saturday and bring your sanity with you and leave your delusions at home.