Essay Non-Fiction posted May 12, 2019

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Unearthing Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark Sightings

by light


A 1960 Life magazine, the September issue entitled NOAH'S ARK? Under the caption it said, Boat like form is seen near Ararat, and displaying an aerial photo of a grassy area shaped like a ship, surrounded by packed earth. This area was thought to be larger than a football field.

Many disregarded this discovery because it was about twenty miles from the peak of Mount Ararat, but those who read their Bible carefully knew that the Genesis account said the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. It would not have been on the peak which was volcanic and was formed after the flood.

This odd formation was noticed by a Turkish army captain, Ilhan Durupinar when he examined photos taken for NATO in 1959.The next year the Archeological Research Foundation made a visit to the site and decided there were no visible archaeological remains, that this formation was not man-made, but Life Magazine published the pictures from the expedition with the caption "Noah's Ark? Boat like form is seen near Ararat" anyway. It was now referred to as the Durupinar site.

This was not the first sighting of the ark in Turkey. An interesting story is told by Haji Yearam, an Armenian who migrated to America. Haji's family lived at the foot of Greater Mount Ararat. According to family tradition, his family were directly descended from those who came on the ark which had come to rest in a little valley surrounded by some small peaks.

Haji says that for several hundred years after the flood, his ancestors made yearly trips up to the ark, to sacrifice and worship. These pilgrimages ceased after a terrible storm washed the trail away. but his father had not forgotten the trail.

There came a time when some scientists asked Haji's father to show them the Ark. They were on an expedition to prove the story of Noah's Ark to be a fraud. When they approached the spot the prow of the ship could be seen protruding out of the ice, the scientists were horrified and decided this should be kept secret. They told Haji and his father they would be watching them and if they told anyone about this experience, they would be tortured and murdered.

According to the man who remembers this young man, his story was confirmed when he read a short article stating that an elderly scientist in London, on his deathbed was afraid to die before making this confession. He told a story that matched that of Haji.

George Hagopian claims that as a young boy in 1908, his uncle took him up Mount Ararat to the Ahora Gorge area. He says they found a large ship and that they walked on the roof of the ship. Although over a dozen expeditions have explored that area, no remains of Noah's ark have been found.

In 2006 Bob Cornuke, a Christian investigator and writer with BASE, Bible Archeology Search and Exploration Institute led an expedition of American ministry leaders to visit a site in Iran on Mount Suleiman where Ed Davis, a military veteran, had seen Noah's Ark during World War II while he was stationed in Iran.

This group claimed to have seen an object that appeared to be the Ark. It looked like blackened petrified wooden beams and seemed to be about the size of a small aircraft carrier. They thought it could be consistent with the dimension given in Genesis for the Ark. They also claimed to have found fossillsed sea creatures inside the petrified wood. BASE stated that they do not claim to have found the Ark, only a candidate, but they are almost certain that it is what Ed Davis saw in 1948. Former astronaut, Jim Irwin's wife, Mary, is still convinced that this is the true location.
Unlike the rest of us who saw the picture and read the article in the 1960 life magazine, Ron Wyatt was determined to investigate for himself. At that time Ron was a single father raising three children alone. It was not until 1977, after Ron remarried that Ron was able to visit the site, at which time he obtained official permission to search the area, but he could not get a permit to excavate.

He first measured the object and found it to be five hundred and fifteen feet long, which would agree with Moses' account of 300 Egyptian cubits, and fifty cubits wide.

He then located several large stones, each weighing over a ton, and standing from eight to ten feet high, with a hole in the top. These were determined to be anchor stones, and the holes would have been their attachment to a ship with hemp rope.

Many of these anchor stones had crosses etched in them. It is presumed that Christians from about the third century AD made a connection to Noah with the stones because usually there were eight crosses carved into the stone. There were eight survivors of the flood.

Ron returned home to wait for permits to perform tests on anchors and other articles he found in the area. In 1978 while he was waiting for the permits there was an earthquake which caused some of the mud and grass to fall away from the boat like object. When Ron and his team return to the site, they decided to lightly scrape away some of the dirt with the back of a shovel, exposing a pattern of ribbing that was obviously manmade. It appeared to be similar to other ancient ships that have been found.

Ron started his search by acquainting himself with the locals, learning of their tradition that the ark came to rest on Csnakidag (or Cudi Degi) mountain which is translated "Doomsday Mountain", and that the area round the mountain is called The Valley of Eight because of the eight survivors of Noah's Ark.

Ron and his team conducted more thorough research over a period of several years. Metal detection, Subsurface radar, and chemical analysis were used. One major find from the formation was a piece of petrified wood. Later it was determined to be a large beam. After closer examination, it was thought to be three pieces of plank that had been laminated together with organic glue. Laboratory analyses showed that the petrified wood contained carbon, which proved that it was wood.

God told Noah to build the Ark with Gopher wood. This is the only time throughout the entire bible when the Hebrew word for gopher was used. Some newer translation refers to gofer wood as cypress because the cypress tree is strong. Most likely the word was Kopher meaning wood, but since the theory that laminated wood may have been used to build the Ark, it is being considered that kofer might have been laminated wood.

In 1985 Ron and Dave Fasold met with Turkey's leading archaeologist, Dr. Ekrem Akurgal who had studied the reports of other Turkish archaeologists. They had also used ferro-magnetic metal detectors which yielded very positive results. They retrieved several 4-foot-long metal "spikes" which were still intact. Their pattern of metal readings matched those of Ron. Dr. Akurgal said that it was Noah's Ark because there was no other explanation.

Jun 20, 1987 Turkey officially established the "Noah's Ark National Park and built a visitor's center." Ron Wyatt was a guest of honor at the dedication. In 2018 Turkey minted a coin depicting Noah's Ark.

Sept 23, 1991 Ron Wyatt and four members of his archaeological team were kidnapped by Kurdish guerrillas and held captive for twenty-one days, then finally released. This experience did not deter Ron or his team. They returned several times over the years to search for other proof of the Ark.

Ron Wyatt died from cancer in 1998, but Wyatt Archaeology, including his wife and two sons, and other team members have continued to obtain permits for various test. In 2014, John Larson, with a degree in geography, a team member sold his home to invest in high-tech scanning equipment and obtaining a permit to scan the area. The scan showed a boat shaped outline of the hull. It also suggested that it could be buried forty-five feet below ground.

After forty-two years Wyatt Archaeology has finally received verbal permission to excavate the entire area. A large expedition including people from all over the world is planned for this summer, pending written permission. My daughter is hoping to be a part of this expedition.
This expedition may prove, or disprove this to be the site of Noah's Ark.


These are some of the sightings of Noah's Ark. There are others, but these are most probable.
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