In September 1960, 27 year-old Ron Wyatt, along with thousands of other people, read the following article in Life Magazine about a strange boat-shaped formation in the mountains of Ararat:

 
Noah's Ark? Boatlike form is seen near Ararat

 


While routinely examining aerial photos of his country, a Turkish army captain suddenly gasped at the picture shown above. There, on a mountain 20 miles south of Mt. Ararat, the biblical landfall of Noah's Ark, was a boat-shaped form about 500 feet long. The captain passed on the word. Soon an expedition including American scientists set out for the site.

At 7,000 feet, in the midst of crevasses and landslide debris, the explorers found a clear, grassy area shaped like a ship and rimmed with steep, packed-earth sides. Its dimensions are close to those given in Genesis: "The length of the ark shall be 300 cubits, the breadth of it 50 cubits, and the height of it 30 cubits"; that is, 450 x 75 x 45 feet. A quick two-day survey revealed no sign that the object was man-made. Yet a scientist in the group said, "Nothing in nature could create such a symmetrical shape. A thorough excavation may be made in another year to solve the mystery."

While in a library in Hawaii, Ron Wyatt began to read everything he could get his hands on concerning Noah's ark. As Ron pondered all the information over in his mind, there was one thing that seemed to be obvious to him: He knew that Moses had been the author of the Genesis account and therefore the flood story - and as such, Ron believed that the cubit Moses would have known would have been the Royal Egyptian Cubit, the most universal standard of measurement in the ancient world at that time.

There was no "Hebrew cubit" in existence during Moses' time, and to Ron, the 500 foot measurement given in the "Life" article was even more compelling evidence that the site needed thorough exploration. After all, 300 Royal Egyptian Cubits equals 515 feet, not the 450 feet commonly accepted (and based on the future Hebrew cubit).

 
Noah's


On August 9, 1977 (17 years after the original boat sighting), Ronald Wyatt and his two teenage sons Ronny and Danny arrived in Istanbul, Turkey. Things were a lot different then than they are today; they had to take a bus to Ankara and then a train to Erzurum. This consumed three valuable days and they were still not in Dogubeyazit, the little town near the site. In Erzurum, they took a taxi to Dogubeyazit and directed their driver to take them to a hotel there. However, Eastern Turkey is no thriving tourist area; it is remote and dangerous and very few people speak English.

Ron Wyatt had need of information as to where the ark was located. Many people may find Ron's method of getting information strange, but again he did the only thing he knew to do -- he prayed about it. He told the boys to say a prayer that the taxi would stall at the place where they were to begin looking. After all, their taxi driver spoke no English; they didn't know if anyone in the town would speak English, and even if they did, would anyone know where this boat-shaped object was? It had been seventeen years since the expedition had come there; perhaps the townspeople had forgotten all about it.

So, they all prayed -- not some great elaborate prayer, but just short, silent prayers for help. To Ron's way of thinking, if Noah's Ark was real, then the rest of the Bible was surely just as reliable, including everything said about prayer. And as they approached the town, the taxi stalled.

Full of excitement at seeing their prayers answered, all three climbed out of the taxi and piled a great number of rocks on the side of the road while the bewildered driver peered under his hood. When they all got back in the taxi, it started up and they continued on down the road.

Soon, it stalled again. With a little bit less enthusiasm, they again piled up rocks on the roadside. Again, the taxi started up when they all got back in. Finally, it stalled again, and thinking that perhaps they had just gotten a defective taxi, they each placed one rock in a pile on the side of the road. This done, they headed to the hotel.

It was late when they arrived and as soon as they checked into the Erzurum Hotel in Dogubeyazit, they all fell asleep, completely exhausted from their long journey.

The next morning, they got another taxi and headed back to the third and closest pile of rocks, where they began walking in a perpendicular line from the road.

They soon came to a small village where several very intimidating men approached them, one with a shotgun. Communicating in "sign language", Ron convinced the men that they were just tourists, and the villagers appointed themselves as their tour guides.

Walking over miles and miles of rugged terrain, one of the men motioned for Ron to take his photo by a very large standing rock. Only when he looked through the viewfinder did Ron realize that this "rock" was identical to the anchor stones found in the Mediterranean Sea that he had seen in archaeological books. That is except for one thing -- this "rock" was many, many times larger!

 
Noah's Ark anchor stone


When he examined it more closely, he saw that it had 8 crosses carved on it. When the villagers saw Ron's interest in this, they showed him several more in the area -- all exactly like other ancient anchor stones except many, many, times larger -- and all with crosses carved on them (all but one had eight crosses.)

They were all extremely excited by what they had seen, but the boat-shaped object was no where in sight. As they continued to walk, they showed Ron and the boys a very ancient graveyard containing strange "monuments" which looked like simple representations of a three story boat. Were these things connected to Noah's Ark? Ron believed they were. So, he photographed and filmed everything with his 8mm movie camera (there were no video cameras back then!), and they decided to head back to the hotel for the night.

The next morning, they returned to the second pile of rocks and began to walk perpendicular to the road again. This pile wasn't too far from the first and they soon found themselves looking at the walls of a very, very old stone house whose floor seemed to be set about four feet into the ground. The roof was gone and it was apparent that no one had lived here for a great number of years.

Was this Noah's house? Well, the thick walls and the vast pattern of stone fences were pretty compelling evidence.

The Bible gives reference to Noah being as being a "husbandman." Genesis 9:20 says: "And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent." This passage tells us that Noah was in a tent, not a house such as Ron had found; but Ron learned that the inhabitants of this region, as in other pastoral societies, still live in tents in the summer and in thick stoned houses in the winter. This seems perfectly consistent with the mention of a vineyard, which would have yielded its fruits in the warmer season.

"Husbandry" is defined as "farming, as of livestock" (Random House Dictionary). After the flood, it makes perfect sense that Noah bred the animals and cared for them until the point in time that their numbers were sufficient enough to eliminate the likelihood of their becoming extinct; for there was just two of every unclean animal.

The extremely large pattern of stone fences radiating out from the house and extending on for a good distance seemed consistent with this type of activity. The depth below the present ground level of the house and fences showed their great antiquity. Over the years, windblown dust and dirt raised the ground level and buried or partially buried ancient surface structures.

The house was located in an incredibly beautiful plain which runs east/west. To the north and south are mountains. Unlike our country, everything was rock in this region - especially in this isolated area, except for the village where the anchor stones were located. All that could be seen were rocks, rocks, and more rocks. However, when Ron and the boys looked behind the house to the north, they saw a very beautiful mountain ridge.

This ridge had two small hills which met and formed a valley in between them, and right in the middle of this mountainside valley, Ron saw an extremely large squarish rock which looked as if it had been purposely set in its location. Behind this large rock, the valley formed a natural amphitheater. On the side of this very large rock was a complex of small fenced-in areas.

If this was really Noah's house, this certainly looked like a very large altar with room for a large number of people to sit behind it as the sacrifices were being made.

Genesis 8:20 states" "And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar."

The altar itself measured 12' x 12' x 12', and it had one step. When we stood upon it, it was obvious that whoever stood upon this altar was quite a bit taller than we were, for the step was about three feet high! The complex of pens adjacent to the altar also indicated that whoever arranged the rocks in this pattern was extremely strong, because today many of these large rocks could not possibly be moved by humans without mechanical assistance. At one spot, a very large boulder was balanced upon several upright stones, forming a covered area that a six foot tall man could walk under without stooping.

Also in this complex were two very large stones which displayed features which indicated that they were used for the slaughter and bleeding of animals (Genesis. 9:4). One was consistent with the size of smaller animals like sheep and goats; the other, much larger, was consistent with the size of larger animals, such as bullocks. They both had a series of chiselled-out indentions leading from the ground to the flattened, slightly angled top.

These "indentions" were the size that is consistent with animal hooves; perhaps the animals were led up the side of these rocks to the tops, which also contained chiselled out basins with drains that are consistent with areas for bleeding the animals prior to offering them on the large altar stone. According to the Biblical account, specific parts of the animal were offered as sacrifice, then other parts were cooked and eaten "before the Lord" (see Leviticus, chapters 1-9).

Radiating out from the house was a very large pattern of stone fences which seemed to go on for miles. These, too, seemed to be covered by several feet of dirt with only their top few feet extending above the earth.

But the most interesting feature of this site was what was in the front yard; there were two large stones, one sitting upright and one lying flat on the ground. Carved on these stones was a most exciting picture. Across the top of each was an arc shape; below this was a curly cue which looked like an ocean wave, and on top of it was a very simple boat shape. Walking away from this boat and wave were eight people -- the first and largest was a man; next and second largest was a woman; the next three were all the same size and all smaller than the largest woman, and they were men; and the smallest last three were three women.

It seemed quite obvious to Ron that these were iconographic representations of the 8 survivors of the flood, all walking away from the ship with a rainbow overhead. But what did it all mean?

When he studied these two large monuments more closely, he noted that on the one lying on the ground, the largest woman (the one representing Noah's wife) had her eyes closed and her head tilted downward. On the larger one which was still standing, he saw that both the first woman and the first man (Noah) had their eyes closed and heads tilted downward. Since these were in front of the house, he believed they were the actual tombstones of Noah and his wife.

The iconography showed that Noah's wife died first, and on her stone, only her eyes were closed. When Noah died, both of them were represented as dead.

What Ron and the boys had found these first two days were extremely important, Ron felt. While they didn't prove anything about the boat-shaped object, they were clear indications that a family of eight people had lived in this exact area at some very remote time in antiquity. The eight-cross design on the anchor stones showed that someone during the Christian era had identified these huge rocks with the ark and its eight passengers.

Ron filmed and photographed everything. There is actually much more than we have listed here, but these are the most important items. At the end of Day Two, they had seen more than enough to make the trip worthwhile. The next day would be their last.

Arising the next morning, the boys were tired and stayed in the room. They had traversed across a great number of miles in the previous two days and Ron knew they needed a break. So he got a taxi and returned to the first pile of rocks. They had worked their way backwards from the third pile to the first. And this one was quite a distance from the others.

This time, Ron had the taxi drive as far as he could go in the direction that was perpendicular to this rock-pile. They travelled up into the mountain range to the south, as far as there was a dirt road. When it ended, Ron began to walk. With mountains everywhere, he wondered if he would ever be able to spot the boat-shaped object if he looked right at it; but soon, he saw it. And what he saw convinced him more than ever that this object was the remains of a ship. But, what he saw also convinced him that there was only one way to explore its true nature, and that was by an excavation to remove the soil which covered it.

Ron returned to their room and packed. He checked out that night so they could leave early in the morning, but that proved to be a big mistake. In 1977, there weren't any tourists to speak of in this region. It is desolate and very foreboding. The Kurdish villagers had been watching Ron and the boys, waiting to make their move. As long as they were staying in the hotel, spending money, and paying taxis and guides they were ok. However, these bandits wanted it all, and as soon as they realized they were about to leave, they attacked.

It's a long story, but to summarize it, Ron and the boys heard them coming up the steps banging pipes and making a lot of noise. Shoving the furniture in front of the door, they tied the bed sheets together and climbed out their third story window onto a roof below. There, they climbed back into the second floor window which led into the kitchen, and they ran through the hotel and out the door.

In the commotion, they lost almost all of their film. However, Ron did manage to hang on to some of the movie film. Once they were safely out of town and arrived home, they realized how truly dangerous that region was. The boys would never go there again, and after all they went through, they would never see the "boat shaped object" in person.

Ron had gone to Turkey for one reason -- his own personal curiosity. What he saw fueled his resolve to investigate the site more thoroughly, but as a private individual, he had no idea where to start. He knew the site needed to be excavated, but how could someone like himself get permission to do so and how could he interest important scholars and archaeologists in the site when most people believed that if the ark existed at all, it had to be on Mount Ararat?

In 1978, someone told Ron about another man who was interested in the boat shaped object -- a man who was an MD and an archaeologist. This man was Dr. Bill Shea of the Biblical Research Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland.

In November 1978, Ron finally made contact with Dr. Shea who had written an article about the site in September 1976. He believed that the site should be thoroughly investigated, and when comparing the boat-shaped object to the current thought that the ark had to have landed on Mount Ararat, wrote:
 
"To conclude, one might put these two sites in perspective by reflecting upon what would have happened had this formation been found on Agri Dagh (Mt. Ararat). I may be wrong, but I suspect that news of it (the boat shaped formation) probably would have been heralded far and wide as the discovery of the site where the Ark had rested. What a difference a mountain makes."

Creation Research Society Quarterly
Volume 13, September 1976.
"The Ark-Shaped Formation in the Tendurek Mountains of Eastern Turkey," by Dr. William H. Shea.
Dr. Shea also mentioned that he too believed that the Royal Egyptian Cubit was used in giving the measurements of the ark:

 
"Assuming a Mosaic authorship for these measurements probably would indicate that they were given in terms of the Egyptian cubit of 20.6 inches rather than the shorter Mesopotamian cubit."
After Ron and Dr. Shea communicated and Ron shared his information from the August 1977 trip with him, Dr. Shea began to apply for permission to excavate. The reply was negative. As far as Ron was concerned; there was nothing else he could dos so he waited, but he didn't know for what.
In 1978, Ron decided not to return to Turkey; instead, he and the boys went to Egypt to research the Red Sea crossing site. Perhaps Dr. Shea could one day get the permission they so desperately wanted. However, in late December 1978, Ron heard a news report of an earthquake in eastern Turkey.

Ron still remembers how his heart began to pound; he couldn't excavate, but perhaps "nature's God had done what he couldn't!

Ron had to patiently bide his time until his next two-week vacation came in August. And on August 11, 1979, he arrived the second time in Istanbul and headed for the site. This time, the boys didn't go. Ron wasn't going to take any more chances with his young sons' safety, but he did take an Armenian preacher from California who spoke Turkish.

When they arrived at the site, Ron just wasn't prepared for the spectacular sight his eyes beheld -- the earthquake (which injured no one) had dropped the earth around the object and there on the mountainside Ron saw what looked like a giant shipwreck!

Evenly spaced indentations could be seen all the way around the object, which looked like decaying rib timbers. The earthquake had also cracked the object from "stem to stern" and Ron was able to take samples from deep within. He also took samples of material outside the object for comparison.

He measured the object and got a 512 foot length, but he saw what looked like a section about 1 yard long that was broken off from the lower end. This was positive evidence in Ron's eyes: 300 Royal Egyptian cubits were 515 feet; this object was 512 feet with a 3 foot section broken off of the lower end - a total of 515 feet!

Ron again visited the anchor stones and the graveyard which had the strange monuments which Ron believed were representative of the Ark and its eight passengers. It was a short trip, but Ron had gotten accomplished more than he had hoped for. The next step was to have the samples analyzed.

Ron had to get back home and return to work immediately, so it was October before he managed to get the samples to Galbraith Labs in Knoxville, Tennessee. This sort of testing was and still is expensive, so he only had each sample tested for a basic mineral analysis. But that was enough for a start -- the sample outside the formation showed a 1.88% carbon content; but the one from inside the crack yielded a 4.95% carbon content, an amount that was consistent with the presence of prior living matter, such as decayed or petrified wood. It also showed a surprisingly high iron content.

It was another positive evidence, but again, Ron found himself at a standstill. What next? Applications to excavate were still made, but each time with negative results. Ron was in for an even longer wait this time. But in the meantime, Ron decided to make all the information available to others.

Looking back, the evidence might not have seemed as convincing to others as Ron thought it surely would have been. After all, he had been there twice and had seen the wonderful evidences which spoke of eight survivors of the ark from that very region. However, when he summed it all up in a booklet called "Noah's Ark Found", not everyone accepted the evidences as overwhelming.

Ron told the story of his two trips to Turkey, what he saw, filmed, and photographed; and he gave the lab analyses and told about the tombstones he believed marked the sites of Noah and his wife's graves. He explained about the Royal Egyptian Cubit, which, considering the length of the boat shaped object, he felt was overwhelming evidence.

Ron gave these to anyone who was interested, hoping to gain interest and support from others who might want to help. But the fact of the matter was that this wasn't enough. In fact, this little booklet would one day be responsible for the theft and destruction of one of the most incredible evidences -- but it was a lesson Ron would have to learn the hard way. Meanwhile, he had no real idea what he could do to further his research.

Since all his investigation would have to be non-destructive, Ron decided to check into the possibility of getting a metal detector to check for the possibility of evenly spaced metal readings. He called White's Electronics in Sweet Home, Oregon and shared with them his project. They listened to his proposal and found it to be a worthy and legitimate research project and shipped him their top two model metal detectors which Ron hoped to be able to use on the site.

In 1983, he read an article about Colonel James Irwin, the Apollo 15 astronaut, and how he was actively involved in searching for Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat. Ron called him and shared with him the information he had on the boat-shaped object. Colonel Irwin was extremely gracious, and said he was interested. So, Ron drove out to Colorado and met with Jim at his office. Jim was interested in seeing the site and offered Ron any help he could give him.

Jim was taking an expedition to climb Mount Ararat in August of 1984. Thus Jim and Ron decided to travel together so Ron could show him the site. They arrived in Istanbul on August 19, 1984 and proceeded to Ankara

Ron and Dave Fasold arrived in Turkey on March 20, 1985. Meeting them there was a sickly Samran Al Moteri, the Saudi Arabian prince who had come to visit Ron earlier in Madison, Tennessee. He had heard about Ron's claim that Mt. Sinai was in his region of Saudi by some of Ron's captors in '84, and he wanted Ron to show him the mountain. Perhaps to check out Ron's veracity, he wanted to see this so-called "Noah's Ark", and then he would arrange for Ron and Dave to enter his country. But with him ill, the men couldn't leave for Dogubeyazit right away

So while Ron and Dave waited in Ankara, Mine Unler (one of Ron's liasons with the Turkish government) arranged for a meeting with Dr. Ekrem Arkugal (Turkey's leading archaeologist who was world famous for his work on the Hittite excavations throughout Turkey). In October of 1984, the Turks had sent their own archaeologists to investigate the "boat-shaped object" where Ron loaned them one of the White's ferro-magnetic metal detectors.

Their expedition had yielded very positive results, as one of them showed Ron their field notes. They had retrieved several four foot long metal "spikes" which were still intact, but which Ron never got to actually see, as he was told they were taken to the Museum of Mines and Minerals in Ankara. They had also gotten the same pattern of metal readings that Ron had gotten earlier.

Dr. Arkugal was provided with this information and when Ron spoke with him, in a conversation which Dave videotaped, he stated that "it is, at any rate, a ship". A professed atheist, he would later state in an interview that it was Noah's Ark. When asked why, he simply replied, "because there is no other explanation."

Things were going incredibly well Ron thought! When Dr. Arkugal presented him with a copy of his book, "Ancient Ruins of Turkey", he wrote, "To Mr. Ron Wyatt, Congratulations for the successful discoveries." Not only that, but Mine Unler was arranging a meeting for Ron later in Ankara in which he would meet with all of the pertinent ministries at one time explaining his research.

Thanks to Jim Irwin, things had come a long way in the last seven months. Jim had introduced him to the Guleks at whose house he had met both Orhan Baser and Mine Unler and had referred Dave Fasold to him. And although he had just met Dave, he could already tell that Dave meant business, whatever he did. Plus, Dave was already excited about the site, even though he hadn't seen it yet.

Finally, they flew to Erzurum where they hired a young taxi driver (Dilaver Avci) to take them to Dogubeyazit; he would become a trusted friend and ally to both Ron and Dave. When they arrived at the ark site, the excitement of both Dave and Samran was evident. Since there was still snow on the ground, it was covered to a great extent, which helped accentuate the "boat shape."

Dave had brought both a pulse-induction metal detector, as well as his molecular frequency generator (MFG), which he demonstrated by picking up the metal readings from great distances. The conventional metal detectors were only effective within a few feet at best. Samran stood on the ark and spoke in Arabic while Dave videotaped him for his friends back home.

Then Ron took them to see the anchor stones and the village. Dave could not contain his excitement. While Ron was a believer in the ark of the Bible, Dave was a believer in the ark of the Gilgamesh epic, and he was familiar with the Babylonian connections evident on some of the stones. One example was the ziggurat carved on one of the stones.

Everyone was happy, that is, until Ron took them to see the tombstones and house he believed was Noah's and his wife's. When they got there, the house was now reduced to a pile of loose rock, and the tombstones were gone!. And right where they once had stood was a partially filled hole; the grave had been robbed! Ron was heartsick.

Finally, they left. Samran was convinced that Ron wasn't a kook, and arranged for all three of them to fly to Saudi. Ron was in elated! Things were looking bright not only for Noah's Ark, but he got to actually return to Mt. Sinai legally! He finally had someone to work with on the ark who believed in it as much as he did, and who was in a business that required him to be familiar with the electronic equipment that was so vital to the research.

When they returned to Turkey from Saudi Arabia; Dave was anxious to get home and left as soon as he could. Ron arranged to stay four more days so he could attend the meeting Mine had arranged. He met with all the ministries and presented his case for Noah's Ark.

Their response was very positive, and he was assured that they would cooperate with him as much as they could. Dave wanted to bring over sub-surface interface radar and scan the site. This radar system would reveal any structure beneath the surface, much like a cat scan. The radar can be tuned to various frequencies reflecting various depths. Therefore, by scanning the same area numerous times, each time using a different frequency, a three-dimensional picture can be constructed. However, the radar and an operator were very expensive to rent; the idea of purchasing a system was out of the question. But, it had to be the next step; excavation was still denied.

A little less than a month later, Ron returned to Ankara for more meetings to arrange for permits. Even employing the metal detectors required a permit, and once the permit was issued in Ankara, it had to then be taken to Agri, the capital of the eastern region, where it was then processed. However, this is where many problems come up. Ankara is the head of the government, but the regional governments like to think that they are the final word. Ankara is a very long way from Agri and Dogubeyazit; if any problems arise with a permit in Agri, it could mean many days of costly waiting and travel back to Ankara, even then, without the assurance that the problem would be solved. So Ron spent a lot of time in Ankara.

Around this time, Ron had received another call, this time from one of the scientists at Los Alamos. Jim Irwin had sent the specimen Ron had given him that came from the strange site above the ark site, to Los Alamos, and the scientist who ran the test had some questions for Ron. He wanted to know about the area the specimen came from, and Ron invited him to come and see for himself. To his surprise, John Baumgardner, a geophysicist from Los Alamos, accepted his invitation and in June of 1985, John, Dave, and Ron went to the ark site.

Using the three types of metal detectors, they did a scan of the site. At each metal reading, they placed a rock, and then connected each rock with plastic tapes.

Before long, the shape of a ship could be seen in the pattern of the ribbons. John Baumgardner, skeptical at first, soon began to show his excitement. After all, it was the metal analysis of the specimen Jim Irwin had sent him that had caught his attention. John would become a great asset to the team; that is, if he ever became convinced. Well, at least that what's Ron and Dave thought. He had financial backing and his credentials were certainly impressive.

At one point, when they were doing metal detector scans, John pointed out some metal flakes protruding out from the site of one of the metal readings, "I'd save those frames," he tells a jubilant Dave Fasold on video. Ron and Dave had an agreement. Since it was so time consuming and nearly impossible to work and video everything at the same time, the two agreed to share their footage, an agreement Dave has honored. And so, when the trip ended, the three were all in full agreement that this was Noah's Ark and that radar scans were imperative.

The next trip would be in August 1985 - the time of the annual "ark hunters'" pilgrimage to Mount Ararat. John's financier, a California attorney, agreed to fund the venture. Dave arranged for Tom Fenner of GSSI, the manufacturer of the radar equipment, to come over with an SIR-8 system, and then he arranged for ABC's "20/20" to cover the event at the last minute, with his friend, Jim Burroughs as camera man. John's financier came along with their own film crew, as well as two other scientists from Los Alamos. John also arranged to do interviews with the 700 Club on CBN.

Ron got the permits, and all seemed to be "go," except tensions were now building. It was apparent that John wasn't fond of being a "member of Ron's team" when he had the credentials and his financier was funding the project. Ron and Dave (who were paying their own way) didn't have financial backing and it was getting costlier and costlier, especially for Dave who still had children at home.

Ron, John and the others from Los Alamos arrived first, and they did another metal detector scan, laying out red and yellow ribbons. They measured the length of the site using sophisticated surveying devices and arrived at 515 feet and 7 inches - again, 300 royal Egyptian cubits. All was filmed by John's crew and Ron managed to get some video.

Then, with all the publicity in the region from the gathering of high-profile ark-hunters, the regional terrorists took this opportunity to rear their ugly heads. Attacking some of the folks on Mount Ararat, they soon headed to the boat-shaped site. Commandos had been stationed around the site, hiding in the crevasses, and when the terrorists made their move, these commandos quickly rose up and decimated several of them, causing the rest to flee. With this, martial law was declared and the site was now off-limits.

All of John's team left before Dave arrived with Tom Fenner and the SIR-8 radar system, and the news crew. It seemed like a total loss, a total waste to have the radar and technician so close yet so far. But Dave's move at getting the "20/20" people there paid off handsomely. The work up to that time was documented in a positive manner and the whole nation had an opportunity to see what was happening on "Doomsday" mountain.

This was another interesting thing Ron and Orhan had learned when they questioned the villagers in August of 1984 - the mountain was called locally, "Doomsday mountain", which again, is just one more "circumstantial" evidence.

On September 5, 1985, Ron signed a contract with the "old colleague" that he had been told was responsible for having him and his sons arrested in Saudi Arabia. It was a contract to write a book on Ron's ark research. This man, despite his treachery, was an excellent writer in Ron's opinion, and Ron's theory was to get him involved in the work and make him an ally. Ron never told him he knew who called the Saudis and made the accusation which cost him and the boys three months in Saudi prison. What good would it accomplish? All that was past. So now, this "old colleague", whom we will now refer to as "Mr. T" (for Trouble) was, in a sense, a part of it all.

There wasn't much else Ron could do at the site until they could do a radar scan, and the system is extremely costly - neither Ron nor Dave had any way to purchase it. Rental was thousands of dollars, and that was too much of a gamble after the August scenario.

So Ron, (naively, some may consider) enlisted his nephew, Gary Rucker, to build a small version of a radar system with a sensitive "idiot" light that lighted when high levels of reflection (which indicated solid objects) were encountered. Gary is in electronics by vocation, and, once he understood the principle, felt he would be able to construct a crude one. And he did. Handheld, it produced a frequency which it sent directionally; when it returned, it was recorded on a wire-type recorder.

On October 23, less than two months later, Ron returned to Turkey with this "radar" scanner and "Mr. T." When "Mr. T" arrived, Ron noticed he had a very large video camera which looked professional, along with his photography equipment. Ron took him to see the anchor stones in the "Village of Eight" and "Mr. T" was more intent on filming than he was photographing anything, which seemed strange. You can't use video in a book.

Back at the hotel, Ron overheard "Mr. T" telling someone on the phone that he had a "deal" with the BBC to do a documentary on the ark. It finally sunk into Ron's skull that this man felt no bounds to tell the truth about anything. And so, Ron refused to show him the actual ark site, or anything else other than the things he had already seen.

But the trip wasn't a waste. Ron arranged to make a quick trip to the site without "Mr. T", and he took the makeshift scanner. Ron scanned the site with it and the results were impressive in his estimation. At least this let him feel better about making further efforts to get the official SIR system to the site. He knew the results of the "makeshift scanner" would be ridiculed.

The entire scene with "Mr. T" was a fiasco - he raged and insisted that Ron show him everything, but Ron was adamant. At one point, as they were returning from the village, "Mr. T" became so enraged at Ron's refusal to show him things, that he got out of the taxi (in the light rain and cool temperatures) and began to walk. Ron had the taxi drive slowly, behind him, until he silently got back into the car, nearly frozen. "Mr. T" would get his revenge, or at least he would try.

In February 1987, a meeting was arranged between Ron and the Governor of the Agri District, Mr. Sevket Ekinci. The December 1986 decision was positive; it was the official decision of members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Internal Affairs, and researchers from Ataturk University, among others, that the "boat-shaped formation" did indeed contain the remains of Noah's Ark!

At the February meeting, plans were discussed for the official dedication of the site, which would include Ron as guest of honor. It had been 10 years since his first trip out there, and 27 years since he first read the LIFE Magazine article. He was being honored, not as the discoverer of the site, but as the "discoverer" of the fact that it was truly the remains of Noah's Ark.

Thus far, Ron had made one trip in 1977, one in 1979, two in 1984, six in 1985, three in 1986, and five trips in 1987. It was beginning to almost seem like home to him. But more importantly, he had accomplished what he set out to do, with the invaluable assistance of Dave Fasold.

But Dave was no longer involved. He said he had submitted his report independently and would eventually ally himself with one of the researchers from Ataturk University, although he remained a friend.

But the thing that Ron still had to do was complete scans of the ship. As a believer in striking while the iron is hot, he returned in both April and again in May, doing complete scans of the site. Covering every square foot, either Dilaver or his Turkish accomplices pulled the antenna while Ron notated the locations on the printout. By adjusting the length of the wave sent out, he scanned the same sites over and over, recording the structure at various depths. In this manner, he was able to see what was at three feet, or five feet, ten feet or fifteen, etc.

The picture was emerging of a massive ship having chambers still evident, an outside door which had a ramp system which led to each level, and long, massive timbers extending out from back of the ship, something which Ron to this day still does not understand.

He discovered that the hull had a very large void down its center, the same approximate size as the strange section of ground Ron had found above the ship with Orhan Baser in 1984. Dave had made this determination in 1985 with his MFG, and now the radar confirmed it. The MFG was and still is under constant attack by critics who claim that it is like a "divining rod," simply because the rods used are similar in appearance. But to Ron, Dave's discovery of the void in the hull with the MFG proved its reliability - at least, in the hands of a skilled user.

When Ron and Orhan found the strange section of ground which appeared to be rimmed with petrified wood containing a large amount of the strange material scattered over and around it, Ron suspected it was something significant. When the lab analysis of the specimen Ron had taken from this site matched the analysis of the material he had found falling out of the hull, he had theorized that this section of ground above the site with the strange rim of petrified wood was a portion of the hull of the ark.

He believed the ark had originally landed at this higher location and as the water dried, the hull was embedded in the earth. Then Ron theorized that a volcano (over what is now the Iranian border to the south) erupted and ejected a massive amount of lava which reached the ark and subsequently ripped it from the embedded portion of the hull thus carrying it down the mountainside. When it struck the very large limestone outcropping, which extends into its midsection, the ark swung around in line with the lava flow and was covered completely. This theory was confirmed when the scans also showed a void along a portion of the hull.

In 1985, Ron had taken Dave and John above the site to show them this section, but the immense amount of villagers accompanying them caused him to change his mind. By now, he was paranoid of showing any interest in anything because of fear that the villagers would destroy it as had happened to the tombstones and grave. And without this information, Dave interpreted this void in the hull to be a "moon-pool," which is a logical conclusion without all the facts.

It has been a constant stream of amazing circumstances which has accompanied Ron's work here. After all, it was the specimen from the above location that Jim Irwin sent to Los Alamos which resulted in John Baumgardner's involvement. The specimen displayed evidence that it was slag, or waste product, from some type of metal production.

The dedication was set for June 20, 1987. In March, Ron signed an agreement with a local movie producer to make a documentary about the ark and his research. Arrangements were made just in time to get a crew to the dedication. But to be sure, Ron took his own video camera and had Dilaver film the events he couldn't personally film. Ron believed that God preserved the remains of the ark for a purpose, and it was certainly for more than just his own knowledge. But with the attacks both he and the site had received, he needed careful documentation. The dedication would just be another "story" without the event recorded.

They arrived several days before the ceremony and filmed as much of the region as they could, including the "Village of Eight" with the anchor stones. Then came the dedication. There, on the mountainside overlooking the "now official" ark, were gathered a large number of dignitaries from the local level to the national level, as well as high ranking military and many journalists. The plans were made public for a visitors' center to be erected on the spot where they stood.

The governor spoke the dedication in Turkish and then he lifted the first shovelful of dirt - the groundbreaking of the new visitors' center. Ron was next, and after him, others. Banquet-tables had been set up in the grass beside the ark and they retired here for a while as Ron conversed with the Governor as Mine Unler translated. As things began to break up, Governor Ekinci asked Ron to do a radar scan of the site to demonstrate for the journalists the unseen structure beneath the earth.

Governor Ekinci issued instructions that the American crew was to stay upon the hill. They were not to film this event, for it was his. He allowed some journalists, a Turkish cameraman, some members of the military, and other dignitaries only to witness the next events. Setting up the radar, Ron made several passes. Explaining the printout to the group with Mine translating, he noted that one particular reading appeared to be very near the surface. The Governor then order one of the soldiers to dig at the location Ron had indicated, which he did. There soon emerged what looked like a flat rock. As more dirt was removed, it could be seen that it was about 18 inches long and it was then removed.

 
timber


All captured on film, it was obvious that it was a petrified section of a hand-hewn timber! Everyone was stunned, but most of all, Ron. For ten years, he had wanted to excavate but had never been allowed to retrieve anything that was not on the surface. His dream had come true! Not only was it a section of a timber, but it was almost perfectly preserved, showing the wood grain and perfect symmetry.

The Governor then did something that could only be directed by a Divine Hand; he told Ron to take it to the States and have it tested. He then placed it in the radar case, which would protect the extremely valuable specimen during transport. The entire event was shown throughout Turkey on TRT (Turkish Radio and Television). It was a day Ron will never forget- not in a million years.

Ron returned again in July which was less than a month after his last trip, and he did even more radar scans. Ron now had enough data to begin construction of a small model of what the metal detector and radar scans revealed. The top two decks could not be reconstructed with certainty. They had collapsed, and it couldn't be determined if they had slanted or straight outer walls. It was possible to determine where they began by locating the point where the deposit thickened.

Interior walls were seen on the scans, but only to some degree. Ron assumed some symmetry and sometimes reconstructed identical sections when the east portion, for example, was destroyed but the west portion was intact. The bottom deck, however, was better preserved and an immense system of small chambers could be determined. There was a double section which extended along lengthwise, with other chambers along the walls - a walkway separated these.

Much to the chagrin of the "traditional ark-hunters," it wasn't barge-shaped. The upper end was definitely pointed, and the radar indicated that the lower end was at the least, rounded. But even with all the evidence, it still didn't look like a ship just coming out of the ship-yard, and the "learned men" weren't about to accept it. The Turks, on the other hand, were very matter of fact - the evidence spoke for itself. What else could it be?

On Sept. 16, 1987, he took the section of petrified wood that had been dug up on June 20th to Galbraith Labs in Knoxville, Tennessee. By now, everyone there knew him pretty well and whether they believed in Noah's Ark or not, they are a superb laboratory and were very painstaking in all their analyses, including Ron's. He videotaped everything they did, including their taking the sample from the specimen, and the actual execution of the analyses.

The important thing to determine was if the specimen contained organic carbon. A rock doesn't, but petrified wood does. To run a test for organic carbon is extremely costly and complicated, so Gail Hutchens, Vice President of Galbraith, suggested another route. They would run an analysis for total carbon content. This would include both inorganic and organic. Then, they would test for inorganic, which is a much simpler test. Then, the two tests would be compared. By subtracting the amount of inorganic from the total amount, the amount of organic carbon would be determined.

The result was that it contained .71% total carbon. Inorganic carbon totalled .0081%. It contained .7019% organic carbon - almost 100 times more organic than inorganic! It passed the test - but a new phase was about to be entered.

In October, Ron again returned to the site, this time without me, but with Mark Yates, one of the Australians we had met who had "signed on" to work with Ron for awhile. He had come to the U.S. and stayed with us several weeks, helping us with some computer work. I still had a job and had already used my vacation. Ron took some releases for Dilaver and Hasan Ozer to sign for their appearance in the video documentary, which they did.

It was also at this time that Ron made an extremely important discovery, one that put an end to the "Armenian cult stone" theory about the anchor stones. Hasan Ozer showed him an anchor stone that had been buried in the earth, perhaps since the time of the Flood itself and which was now exposed due to erosion. On this stone were no crosses! Ron and Dr. Shea had supposed that since the crosses on the stones were Byzantine and Crusader style and since the majority of them had eight crosses, that these early Christians somehow had connected these stones to the eight survivors of the flood.

The newly exposed anchor was consistent with this conclusion; after all, they couldn't carve crosses on a buried anchor stone, could they? Ron would continue to travel to Turkey two to three times a year, sometimes accompanied by me, and sometimes not. By this time, there wasn't much left to do until the time that an excavation was possible.

At one time, in 1987, Ron had worked with Ankara in preparing an excavation plan, as well as the building of several hotels in the region. Ron had approached some people in Memphis, Tennessee who were to finance the project, and all seemed to be going along quite well. The architectural drawings for a covering for the remains were approved, and it looked like nothing could stop it; but then came a financial reversal from the money people, and everything came to a dead stop. From this time on, the prospect of getting the funding needed to excavate seemed an impossibility.

In 1990, we were contacted by a man from Australia who had become interested in the research after reading Dave Fasold's book: "The Ark of Noah." As we have always done whenever a serious researcher inquires, we sent him a package of material documenting Ron's research. He was anxious to visit the site, and we tried to arrange to meet him there in August of 1990, while we were there with Marv and Renetta Wilson. But circumstances didn't work out, and we missed him by about a week or so. He arrived just after we had left.

When we next heard from him, he was as excited as a person can get. He was convinced it was the ark. But he too felt that it needed to be excavated. He was forming an organization whose purpose was to raise funds for excavation. He asked Ron if this was alright with him, and Ron said, "Sure." Ron was not a member or a part of his organization, but it was founded based on the research Ron had done (including the part that Dave participated in).

Frustrated at being unable to excavate, Ron conceived an idea which he felt would visually show the internal structure (or at least a little of it) without damaging the structure. And in October of 1990, with our new friend, Richard Rives of Matthews, North Carolina, Ron again headed to the site to implement his idea. They purchased some shovels and had the blades bent and sharpened to form a crude "giant razor." They then began to simply smooth the side of one badly eroding section of exposed rib timbers.

Being very careful not to remove more than just a minute amount of dirt, they soon could see the color difference in the lighter rib timbers as contrasted against the darker soil. It was a very convincing sight; the whole process was videotaped so that no one could accuse him of cheating. The rib timbers were now in tiny fragments, but the fragments were still held in place by the surrounding soil.

In June of 1991, Dr. Roberts came to our home and spent some time delving into the research in earnest. Then, he joined our tour group, which arrived in Turkey on June 12th. As Ron approached the site from the south end, he spotted a rock and subsequently picked it up. The tour group witnessed this, and was astonished when Ron showed it to them. One side bore the shape of a very large head of a rivet with a washer around it.

 
Noah's Ark rivet


In earlier years, Ron had photographed what looked like groupings of metal fittings on the sides of the ark, but he couldn't disturb them by cleaning them off. Now, Ron felt he knew what these metal fittings looked like; he would know for sure when he had it analyzed.

Richard Rives met some people who worked at an international corporation (with a local office near his home) that had its own metallurgy laboratory. This company specializes in titanium and offered to do lab analyses for us which we were allowed to videotape. We had already had other analyses run on the rivet, which revealed the presence of a very strange mixture of elements, which included iron, aluminum, titanium and vanadium, to mention a few.

The metallurgy lab near Richard did some careful analyses on the specimen, taking samples from what appeared to be the washer around the head of the rivet, and then a sample just 1 centimeter away from the washer from the area we were theorizing would have been wood. In the final report, the chemist found it worthy to note in his report:

 
"It is interesting to note that location 1 (presumably fossilized timber members) was found to contain much higher carbon (1.9%) than location 2 (presumably fossilized metal."
The 4 analyses they ran showed that location 1 yielded a 1.88% and 1.97% carbon content while location 2 yielded a .14% and .13% amount. And this certainly was important!

When an object undergoes the process of fossilization, as its molecules are washed away by flowing water, molecules of objects the flowing water has flowed over prior to reaching the fossilizing object, are washed in to fill the voids left by the washed away molecules. I know that's a mouthful, but that's what occurs. Now, these new water-carrying molecules which fill in the empty holes don't play favorites. They place lots of red molecules in one place, and then very few red ones just one centimeter away. This may be noticeable over some distance, but not this close.

So if some carbon molecules were washed in and filled the voids on this rivet, it was a fairly uniform process. We could expect that carbon-14 molecules in one location would equal about the same amount that was washed into the adjacent area just a centimeter away. But to find 13 and 14 in one location, and then 1 centimeter over to find 188 and 197 tells us that a bunch of those carbon molecules in the second location were already there! This is exactly what would be expected to be found if this really was a fossilized metal washer and rivet (non-living matter) attached to a piece of fossilized wood (once living matter).

Dr. Roberts had earlier met a gentleman on an airline flight who was with a very large British corporation which was known for funding projects of major interest. In conversing with this gentleman, he had interested him in Noah's Ark. By August of 1991, he had obtained a commitment from the British firm to fund an excavation and had made all the proper contacts with the Turks through their Sydney Embassy.

He kept in constant contact with Ron as to what he was doing and said he wanted Ron to head the excavation even though Ron was not connected with his organization. To be honest, as much as we loved Dr. Roberts, neither of us believed anything would come of it all. By now even I was used to having people contact us with great ideas and promises of assistance, only to have it dissolve into thin air. And no one was more surprised when Dr. Roberts called to say, "I have the commitment if we can get the permit - let's go!"

Pretty soon, Ron, Richard Rives, Marv Wilson, and Dr. Roberts were in Ankara ready to make their proposal. I had drawn up a diagram of the proposed excavation which was designed so as not to destroy much of the ark and to also leave remaining unexcavated sections close by so that no one could say, "They just carved the ark remains out of the dirt".

On Thursday, August 29th, the men met with officials in Ankara and presented their proposal. Ron discovered that one of the men whom he had worked closely with in past years, but who had been sent to the Turkish Embassy in Egypt for awhile, was back; and he was very excited to see Ron again after such a long time. After presenting his request, Ron was told that the permit would be issued; however, it was a Muslim Holy Day and offices would be closed until Monday. They were told to return Monday to pick up the permit. I can only imagine the excitement among the group of men because by the time they returned home, the excitement they had felt that day had long been forgotten.

With 3 1/2 days to kill, they decided to head to Erzurum the next day and then a bit south, where Ron suspected the tower of Babel to be located. That's another story which I won't get into here, but suffice it to say that all present were eager to go look. They arrived in Erzurum Friday and arranged for Dilaver to get a minibus to take them south. It was nearing dark, but they decided to go on anyhow. Pretty soon, the bus came to halt and out of the woods came a swarm of men with machine guns, who quickly unloaded them off the bus.

The men were members of the PKK, an outlaw group of Kurdish rebels, known to take hostages in order to get their way. They only wanted hostages who were foreign - Americans were "prime pickins', and so were Britons, so they not only took Ron's group, they took a poor tourist from England from the bus behind them. And off they went into the brush. It was a terrible ordeal, which I won't get into here.

At home, I discovered what had happened almost immediately. They were taken about 8:00 P.M. Turkish time, which was about 12:00 noon on Friday, my time. And it's funny the sort of details you remember during crisis situations. I remember I was at a mattress company about that time purchasing a king-sized bed as a surprise for Ron when he got home.

The next day, I received a call from one of the very few people whom we had told about Ron's trip. Bob was a geologist for the State of Tennessee, and when he heard on a Christian radio broadcast about 3 Americans, an Australian and a Briton being taken hostage in eastern Turkey, he called me to see if it was Ron.

When we had talked to him earlier, we told him that the man from the British corporation might accompany them sohe thought this group sounded like Ron's. But I had known that the British gentleman hadn't gone, so my first instinct was that it wasn't Ron's group. I also didn't think they would be in eastern Turkey that soon. But at the same time, I panicked a bit. I called the State Department and I will never forget the first few words of that conversation:
"Hello, My name is Mary Nell Wyatt, and I just heard about three Americans being taken hostage in eastern Turkey. It probably isn't my husband, whose name is Ron Wyatt, but could you check on this for me, or have you heard anything?"
Those were my approximate words, but HIS words, are exact.
He replied, "Let's see,...(pause) is your husband's middle name Eldon?" At that, I went to pieces- that IS Ron's middle name!
When he asked me that, I knew it was true. I don't know what I would have done without my daughter Amanda there. She had just turned 17 but she's strong as an ox when the chips are down. I panicked for real this time, and she calmed me down. Within a short while, I remember grabbing her in our hallway and we stood and prayed. I asked the Lord to help us through this, to protect the men, and to use this for His glory.

I was suddenly calm and managed to call the other wives, Elizabeth Rives, Renetta Wilson and Margaret Roberts, and tell them what little I knew, also telling them how I had become very calm after praying for strength and guidance. They were all amazingly calm also. It was Elizabeth that I was most concerned about, as she and Richard had two precious small children not yet school age.

By the time the news had gotten out and the first news team was at our doorstep, about two hours later, Amanda and I were completely calm, so much so that Ron's friends at the hospital later teased him, saying his wife sure must not love him much because she sure didn't appear too upset on the TV!

We wives collectively discussed what our husbands would want us to do in a situation like this, and we decided to take advantage of the media coverage suddenly thrust upon us to tell about Noah's Ark. I recalled how in 1984 Ron had been falsely accused of stealing artifacts from Turkey and how that incident had served to publicize the research on the site. And what media coverage we got daily!

Oh, sometimes we were met with skepticism, which we in turn countered with facts. But one thing that each of us said in our various interviews which was not cut out, was that it was because of our faith that we were not panicked. I even had the opportunity to present the evidence for Noah's Ark in a public high school.

Renetta (living near Dallas) had many opportunities to witness of her faith as did Elizabeth who constantly amazed me at how well she was holding up. Margaret (being in Australia) was more on her own than we were, but she too exhibited incredible faith and courage through the entire ordeal.

One unpleasant part of the whole affair was coming from the usual critics. A reporter told me that he had just talked to a former associate turned critic who was claiming that Ron was dishonest and had fabricated the evidence. This man, along with others, also claimed that the whole hostage affair was staged. With that, I met my limit.

I had our police officer friend, Sargeant Mark Wynn, come over and, with him present (because I wanted a witness to what I said), I called this man at his place of business. I told him who I was and asked him a favor as a Christian. I asked him to please refrain from slandering my husband while he was missing and while I didn't even know if he was alive or dead. I acknowledged that he had a right to his opinion of Ron and I didn't mean to deny that, but as a favor, I asked him to hold off until Ron was home - for my sake.

He finally agreed to do so, but only after a lengthy conversation in which he flat out told me that Ron had "made" the deck timber himself, and several other claims which I knew as a fact were pitiful lies. I ended up actually feeling sorry for him and told him that after all was said and done, Ron would like nothing more than for all of them to be working together again. This caused a reaction from him which I still do not know how to interpret, except as sadness.

Dave Fasold was a different story. He called and was furious at what had happened. No matter if he and Ron were working independently, he was ready to go over and rescue them. He talked about going to the head of the PKK and working out a deal for their release. I'm not sure what Dave planned to do, but he eventually realized that he really couldn't do anything. However, I will always remember with gratitude his willingness.

When the whole affair was over and Ron came home, I fell apart. It was the first time I had ever seen him in a weakened state. He had lost over 20 lbs. and was limping - an injury that turned out wasn't serious. He still had the makeshift walking cane the Kurdish guerrillas had fashioned for him out of a branch. I surprised him with the new bed, but he was so used to sleeping on the cold ground that he couldn't enjoy it for a week or two. Habits are a funny thing. Richard had Elizabeth fix the same things for breakfast (tomatoes and cucumbers) that they had eaten while off in the hills.

There was a short flurry of more media attention, then all calmed down, almost back to normal. But the sad fact was that it was now too late to excavate; the season was over. And in time, the British corporation (which is a major concern) suffered financial troubles which caused it to withdraw the pledge of financial assistance. Back to square one, we picked up the pieces and got back to normal.

Dr. Roberts, on the other hand, had received a tremendous amount of publicity in Australia and began to suffer horrendous persecution from a well-known atheistic geologist - Ian Plimer. He also suffered phlebitis during the hostage ordeal and apparently is still not completely well.

In August of 1992, we took our second tour group to Noah's Ark. As we neared Dogubeyazit, there extended across the sky a beautiful rainbow, and we had the bus pull over to the side. Everyone got out and photographed and videotaped the beautiful sight. Some were saying it was a sign - and it may have been. But if so, it wasn't a sign of what we expected.

Soon after we got back on the bus and headed down the road, a group of soldiers flagged us down, all with the usual machine guns. One boarded who spoke English. After an interrogation, we were told that we couldn't go any further. The region was still unstable and a bus was too big of a target for the terrorists.

The disappointment on the faces of the people was terrible to me, as I remembered how much I wanted to see the ark back in 1988. But then, Henry Gruver led us in a prayer, and everyone there seemed at peace. It was actually turning into a real adventure. It was late in the day and we weren't even allowed to go to a hotel in Dogubeyazit. Orders were to leave the region.

We couldn't make it back to Erzurum so we headed to Agri. Once there, Dilaver took us to the best hotel he could find, which was pretty terrible. No baths in the rooms. But no one complained and instead everyone seemed to have a terrific time.

Ron met with the police there to see if arrangements could somehow be made to get the folks out to the boat, but all they said that could be done was put everyone in taxis and go there in small groups. Their reasoning was that terrorists would not suspect taxis like they would a tour bus. But with the responsibility of the group's safety in his hands, Ron decided that this was not an option. The region was becoming too dangerous to even visit the site - would it ever improve?

Meeting with Salih Bayraktutan In July of 1987, one month after the dedication ceremony, John Baumgardner, Salih Bayraktutan of Ataturk University, Tom Fenner of GSSI, and others returned to the site to do their own radar scan under the authority of the Turkish Prime Ministry. We were given a copy of that report by a third party, and to be sure that it was authentic, I took a copy of it to Turkey on that 1992 tour group, and when Ron and I met with Salih Bayraktutan, I showed it to him and asked it if was authentic. He assured me that it was. The reason this report is important is because members of that effort are stating that they were unable to get the same radar results that Ron and Dave did, in an attempt to cast doubt on the accuracy of their scans.

In this highly scientifically written document, full of technical terms and expressions, it states "All of the scans shown in Figure 7 were obtained with the radar operating at a frequency of 120 MHz in order to achieve the maximum possible penetration." What this means is that they set the radar to reflect not what may lie within the structure, but what is on the bottom. Even then, their results did not nullify the earlier scans, which were done using various frequencies in order to reflect the structure at various depths.

This official report states, "We conclude that the data from our geophysical investigations in no way conflict with the proposition that the unusual boat-shaped site near Mahser village contains the remains of Noah's Ark." It went on to state: "However, without actual samples of the subsurface materials we feel that definitive interpretations of our data are not possible. On the other hand, we believe samples obtainable through core-drilling a small number of holes in the site can provide the information required."

It must have taken a lot of nerve to write such a report, stating that their tests didn't "conflict with the idea that this was Noah's Ark" after the Turks had determined that it was. They even got to do their core drill in 1988, and when we spoke to Salih in 1992, he complained that several thousand dollars was still owed by the parties involved for the transporting of the drill rig and building a road to the site. I can write this - I heard it with my own two ears.

Today, we have a file stocked full of articles criticizing both the site and Ron, but we also have a house full of scientific documentation. Ultimately, the decision is yours. If it's not the ark then what is it? If you can provide another answer to that question, it is to your loss. I can say that, too because I live with all the evidence, day after day.

If, as we believe firmly, God preserved the ark as evidence of the complete accuracy and validity of His Holy Word, then it's important for you to know the truth so you can make a thoughtful, informed decision. As Ron says, perhaps God has provided all the evidence He is going to provide that this is the ark. After all, Christ stated: Luke 16:31: "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."

Understanding the Remains of Noah's Ark

The entire key to understanding the evidence which confirms that this site does in fact contain the remains of Noah's Ark, is understanding the condition of the remains. The "world" has a preconceived notion of what they will accept, and that is: a recognizable wooden ship, (still intact after 4,300 years), and the ship must be on the volcanic mountain known as Mount Ararat. The concept of the ark's appearance has been further enhanced by those who interpreted the fact that the ark had rooms to mean that it had to look like a barge-shaped houseboat instead of a ship.

This concept has been based on the many claimed sightings of the ark on Mount Ararat and not a single sighting is accompanied by any evidence.

The Ark Is Not Barge-Shaped

First of all, a barge-shaped vessel could not survive on the open seas. Any sailor can tell you that. In fact, the idea is preposterous. The oil tankers of today which traverse the open seas have a hull which is not flat on the bottom, but instead is rounded. The wave action of the stormy seas today cannot compare with the turmoil of the open seas of the Flood which extended the entire surface of the earth. If a barge-shaped ship today cannot sail the ocean, abandon the idea of a barge-shaped ark from your mind. This simply IS not a possibility.

If you want to research the subject yourself, go to the library and look up "ships and ship-building" and/or "fluid dynamics" or "hydrodynamics". The "boat-shaped object" is not barge-shaped. It displays the shape of a seagoing vessel. Therefore, from the beginning of its discovery in the stereo-photo, it had this one feature already in its favor.

The Ark Would Not Have Survived on Mount Ararat

If the ark was a reality, then so was the Flood which destroyed the entire face of the earth, and this means that the ark (if it has survived until today) is the oldest structure on earth. Considering the fragile state of wooden homes that were built even in the last century, could we expect to find an intact ark, or even any remains at all? Certainly not in the ever-moving glaciers on Mount. Ararat which continually flow and grind everything in their path into minute pieces. Even if an object survived in the glaciers could it survive the incredible blasts of the past volcanic eruptions, the most recent of which blew out an entire section of the mountain?

Again, go to the library and research "volcanoes" and "glaciers". Read up on Mount St. Helens, whose last eruption was similar to the last eruption which Mt. Ararat experienced, even leaving a similar blown-out hole in the mountain. You will see the total devastation suffered by everything on or around the mountain at that time.

In addition to this, the Turkish military has been training their commandos on Mount Ararat for many years, and they know every inch of the mountain. They know there is nothing up there.

How Was the Ark Preserved?

The evidence found at the "boat-shaped object" (which we will in complete confidence refer to as "the ark") shows that the ark was only preserved at all because it was covered in lava flow which effectively sealed it in a sort of "time capsule." However, the mountain it is on is not volcanic. The evidence shows that the lava resulted from an eruption of a volcano many miles to the south in present-day Iran.

The lava from that mountain was ejected into the air and carried to the top of the ridge above the ark's present location. The existence of this volcano is proven by the broken stele Ron found in 1984 upon this ridge which showed the unique limestone ridge with a volcano positioned next to it to the south. Today, this volcano is collapsed and cannot be seen except from the top of the ridge, not from the viewpoint of the artist who inscribed the stele.

The Ark Covered In Lava

The lava reached the top of the ridge and began to travel down the side of the mountain, covering the ark. The path of the lava can be distinctly seen in the present mud-flow area. One way mud flows are formed is when water is trapped over a long period of time in the slowly decaying lava. Then, when the lava finally deteriorates into soil, the tremendous amount of water captured and retained in it begins to flow, sometimes quite rapidly and catastrophically. This is called a mudslide. The weight of this tremendous amount of molten rock (lava) flowing upon the ark caused the two top decks to collapse.

If that is so, why wasn't the ark burned up? There are two possibilities as to why it wasn't burned up. The first is this: assuming the lava was the type which would have caused a wooden object to catch on fire, if the ark was completely covered by lava rapidly, this would cut off the oxygen supply and combustion would not be possible. But, supposing it was covered more slowly. It is a documented fact that lava does not always cause combustion.

Either way you choose, the fact that the ark was covered by lava does not in any way mean that it had to be burned up. The fact that the decks seem to be uniformly collapsed indicates that it was covered rapidly, which would have cut off the oxygen supply. We do have specimens which display some burning, but it seems to be very limited in extent.

The Ark Revealed when Lava Deteriorated

The lava covered the ark and sealed it in an air-tight "capsule". So why is it now visible? Why isn't it still encased in the lava? Because lava deteriorates and breaks down over time into fertile soil. Let's again go to the same book we referred to above: "The soils which develop from the decomposition of the lavas, cinders, and ashes are exceptionally rich in potash, lime and phosphates. Many districts of the world with a high agricultural population owe the richness of their land to volcanic material" (page 173).

Hawaii is an excellent example of this. Their wonderful soil (which produces the beautiful exotic flowers we associate with this paradise) are a result of the decayed lava, so rich in the nutrients necessary for perfect growth. But it takes lava a very long time to deteriorate; how long depends on the type, etc., and we cannot know exactly how long the ark was covered. However, over time, as the lava began its deterioration process, it was no longer air-tight.

The Remains Were Fossilized

The ark is situated on a mountain side and it slopes. The front end is at about a 6,350 foot elevation while the lower end is at about the 6,250 foot elevation. The lava deteriorated over time, and being no longer air-tight, it was no longer water-tight. The region experiences several months of snow with the accompanying cold temperatures. In the spring, the snow slowly melts and as it does, the water flows down the mountainside. This means that as the lava began to deteriorate, this water began to flow through the material which covered the ark.

As the water slowly seeped over the preserved structures of the ark, it began to wash away minute particles of the wood and metal fittings of the structure. This took place on a molecular level- molecule by molecule was washed away. But as each molecule broke loose and washed away with the water, it left a "hole" the exact size of the molecule that had broken loose. As the water flowed over the structure some of the molecules it picked up from materials it had passed over prior to arriving at the ark lodged in the "molecule holes" left in the structure. The process I am describing is called "petrification" or "mineral replacement".

For an object to become petrified, two things are always required. First the object must be buried rapidly, and secondly it must have water flowing through it. If it is not air-tight and has no water flowing over it, it suffers from decay and is not preserved. The evolutionists will be quick to tell you that petrification takes millions of years to occur, but this is a bold-faced lie. If petrification does not occur at least a srapidly as the decay rate, the object simply decays away.

Petrified - Literally "Turned to Stone"

As the water flowed down the mountain into the soil and then reached the ark, the structure members nearest the top were petrified with molecules of the substances in the earth above the ark, which were minerals. As the water flowed over the midsection of the ark, it had picked up molecules from the ark structures it had flowed over prior to reaching the midsection. Therefore, it began to be petrified with substances from its own structure in addition to the substances in the soil above it. At least that is what should have occurred if the object really is the ark. The evidence at the site shows that this is exactly what happened.

The deck timber which Ron obtained from the approximate mid-section of the ship contained over 13% iron - iron which came from the metal fittings of the structure above mid-section. The majority of molecules involved in the petrification process are molecules from the natural substances in the earth and the lava. The first analyses Ron had performed on his specimens from the site showed an approximate 51% silica content.

That's fine. The "Encyclopaedia Brittannica," 1985 ed., vol. 19, page 506, (under "volcanoes") states: " Magma consists of a molten-silicate mass within the earth, of various composition..." In fact, all petrified objects contain a great deal of silica simply due to its abundance in the soil.

The "Sure-Fire Test"

But there is one substance that is not found in natural minerals, which we will now discuss. As I began to study the subject of "carbon", which involves the study of chemistry, I learned some very interesting facts. Compounds of carbon can be analyzed to determine whether they are composed of matter that was non-organic or organic, which means it can be determined whether they were once living, matter or not. It's that simple. Therefore, the one test to determine if an object was organic (once living) or not is to determine its carbon content, whether it contains organic carbon or not.

When Ron brought the petrified deck timber home, he, as well as all who saw it, knew that it looked like a piece of wood turned to stone (petrified). However, looks can be deceiving, so he took it to Galbraith Labs to be analyzed. Chiselling a sample from the specimen (on camera), they analyzed it and found that it did contain inorganic carbon (.0081%). However, it also contained .7019% ORGANIC CARBON, which is over 100 times more than the amount of inorganic carbon!

Every petrified object ever found that was once living, tree branch, bone, sea shell, etc., will show organic carbon in its analysis. So, the deck timber specimen was once composed of living matter! Since it didn't look like a bone or a shell, we feel pretty confident in stating that it is petrified wood. Ok, we have decaying lava which is revealing the presence of petrified objects that look like wood and contain large amounts of iron and other metals.

Remember we discussed how the substances found in the petrified object got there by being washed in from flowing water which had first past over other substances? So where did the iron come from? In order for there to be such a high percentage of iron in the petrified wood, the water which effected its petrification had to pass over a large amount of iron prior to reaching the petrifying object. The soil above the ark does not contain that much iron. One control specimen taken from the area OUTSIDE the ark, but within 50 or so yards, revealed a .54% iron and .77% ferric oxide content.

If we are to believe that the petrified wood received its iron content from the naturally-occurring iron in the region above the ship, we would have to believe that the entire iron content of the region was gathered up by the waters and deposited only in the petrified wood. In other words, it's impossible. The large amounts of metals in the petrified wood could only come from one place - from the water passing over a large amount of metal in the ark's structure - metal which we now know comprises the thousands of fittings which held the timbers together.

The Ark Hidden for Many, Many Years

And so the ark sat for many, many years, its presence unknown since its being covered by the lava flow, which incidentally carried it down the mountain until it was impaled on a massive outcropping of bedrock. But we'll get to that later. In the late 1950's, the high-altitude photo taken during the NATO survey showed this incredible outline of a ship high on a mountainside in a mudflow. The first expedition to the site in 1960 didn't see anything they could recognize as being a man-made object because all that was visible was the decayed lava which was now a layer of rich, fertile soil. Oh, here and there a "rock protruded through the earth which was actually petrified wood, but its weathered condition camouflaged its true identify. The early expedition didn't understand what to expect: they were looking for an intact boat.

Truth Shall Spring Out of the Earth

Then, in late 1978, an earthquake cause the soil surrounding the mysterious "shape" to fall away from the sides, giving the effect that the "capsule" had literally popped up from the earth. With the soil removed from the sides, the object took on even more of the recognizable shape of a ship. The sides displayed indentions at evenly spaced intervals, which were actually the empty spaces where rib timbers once were. But why are they empty? What happened to the rib timbers if they were petrified? The answer is "weathering."

Identification by What is Not Present

Let's again return to our favorite science book, "The Larousee Encyclopedia" from which we quoted above: "Whenever rocks are exposed to attack by weathering process, loose material forms, sometimes in large quantities. Mass wasting is almost inseparable from weathering and the many other agents of gradation. Water, for example, aids its work considerably. In mountain areas daily freeze-and-thaw action, or frost wedging, plays its part. Fissures in the rocks fill with water which freezes and expands at night. Under the pressure of the innumerable wedges of ice, the rock cracks. Next morning, the ice melts in the sun and no longer supports the rock fragments, many of which roll down the slope to join other rocks and debris at the foot." Page 41.

Keep in mind that the structures of the ark were petrified and now turned to stone. When the soil around the sides of the ark was still in place, the ribs were preserved. We know this even though they are now gone. The way we know is simple- the empty indentations, evenly spaced, are all the evidence we need. Like a footprint in the mud, they wouldn't be there if a foot hadn't been there earlier. The weather extremes of the region had accomplished this process of "frost wedging" which fractured the rib timbers which were now turned to stone. They remained in place as long as the surrounding soil held them. But when it fell away, the fractured "turned to stone" timbers fell into pieces and specimens of the petrified wood lie all around the site.

Color Difference of the Petrified Ribs

The internal structure members are in a much better state simply because they have not been exposed to the elements. On the east side of the ark is a section in which the rib timbers are exposed but have not completely fallen away and left holes where they once were. However, these are fractured, having suffered from "frost wedging". It was on this section that Ron and Richard performed the "mini-excavation" in which the ribs were able to be seen due to the color difference, even though the ribs are in a fragmented state. They are still held in place by the soil, probably due to their angle and also some Divine assistance. Above, the fragmented petrified ribs can be recognized by their color, in contrast to the soil, which is darker.

What Caused the Color Difference?

This above section is at the front of the ship on the uphill section. The substances in the water which were flowing over the ship's structures and which effected its petrification were minerals from above the ship. These minerals consisted of silica from the soil, lime and calcium, to name a few. This gave the petrified structure a "whitish" appearance, compared to the petrified remains of the lower section of the ship, which featured a darker color due to the large amount of metals in them. We have two specimens of petrified wood, both about six inches long, both two inches wide and 1 1/2 inches deep. They are identical except for one thing - the piece which came from inside the crack near the front of the ship is very light colored, while the other piece is dark. They are both petrified wood pieces from the ship, only one piece's molecules were replaced by lighter colored substances than the other.

Other Exposed Structure Members

The timbers which extend out through the ground surface, such as the deck support beams and the deck joists, today look like ordinary rocks. Why? Because they ARE rocks - petrification, or mineral replacement, turns objects into rocks. And these petrified timbers have been exposed to the elements and have suffered extreme weathering. However, the deck joists, being located high on the sides of the ribs, are located in a position where the surface water flows past them. This limits the "frost wedging" to a degree, which other structure located in a lower section where the surface water tends to collect, suffers.

What this means in simple language is that the petrified structure members which are near the surface are more vulnerable to fracturing into small pieces if they lie in an area where surface water stands. In the winters, the water, which has seeped into its tiny cracks and crevasses, subjects the petrified structure to continual expansion due to the water freezing, fracturing it into pieces. Once the soil surrounding and supporting this structure is removed, the fragments collapse into a heap. Voila - no more visibly identifiable petrified structure - only a heap of what looks like rocks. But lab analysis still reveals what these "rocks" once were by the presence of the organic carbon which is not present in objects (natural rocks) which were not once living matter. Another Similar Boat Escavated

In 1939, a very unique excavation took place of an ancient burial boat known today as the "Sutton Hoo" boat. When carefully excavated, they discovered that, "yes", there had once been an ancient burial boat there - however, the wooden structure had long ago decayed. What was still present were the decomposed and siliconized iron fittings which held the timbers together. As they removed the soil from the area, they discovered that the decayed wood had left a color difference in the soil which distinctly showed the structure of the ship in the earth. The iron fittings, still in place, combined with this coloration in the soil, allowed the excavators to preserve the perfect imprint of the ship. On a very small scale, this is similar to the condition of the ark except for the fact that the ark does still contain a large amount of internal petrified structures.

The Internal Structure Revealed

But how do we know about the internal structure? The radar scans. The sub-surface interface radar revealed a pattern of internal structure which the makers of the radar determined to be "not of natural origin". The radar doesn't tell us precisely what the internal structure is made of, although limited distinction is possible because of different densities. However, it definitely reveals its shape and location. And whatever it is, the specialists declared that it is "man-made" because of its organized pattern. Nothing in nature occurs in the perfect pattern of a ship's internal structure. This, combined with the pattern of evenly-space metal detector readings on the ship, prove that the structure contained metal at the intersections where the timbers were joined together.

The "rocks" which displayed the metal readings may have looked like "rocks", but we now understand why. The exposed timbers which contained the metal fittings were fossilized. When exposed to the elements, they fragmented which left them looking like weathered rocks. But, the metal content is so concentrated at these precise spots that lab analyses revealed the presence of metal in concentrations and forms which is not natural.


The remains of the ark are resting on a mountainside with a very large section of bedrock limestone extending through its midsection. Radar has confirmed that the limestone is bedrock and not a loose boulder which rolled down the hill; it is a part of the foundation rock. What explanation is there for the presence of this huge mass of rock extending into the ship?

In 1984, Ron and Orhan Baser found what they now are certain is a 120 x 40 foot section of the bottom of the ark, a mile or so above its present location. For a moment, let's take our thoughts back to the time when the waters receded and the ark first rested on the earth. At that time, the face of the earth would be extremely muddy. As the water slowly receded and the ark was gently lowered to the earth, it sank into the mud by increments. The very bottom kept extending deeper and deeper into this mud.

The evidence indicates that there was probably a "bilge keel" of some description on the bottom of the ship. A bilge keel is a "fin-like" projection extending downward from the center keel along the bottom, as is seen on sailboats. This "fin" would have provided the ship resistance to sideways tilting, but it would have had another advantage. As the ark slowly sank into the mud, this "fin" would have held the ship in an upright position after it was on the ground. Then, when God "made a wind to pass over the earth", which caused the mud to dry out, the ship was held fast in an upright position.

Hopefully, we can scan this area with the radar to determine if a bilge keel is present, but for now this is only Ron's theory. And even it there wasn't a bilge keel, the ark still would have sunk down in the mud and be held fast. When the lava carried the ship down the mountainside, this section of the hull remained in the earth. This left a very large hole in the hull which David determined existed by his use of the MFG, and which Ron later found to exist with the radar scans. The fact that Dave was able to determine this with the MFG is a tremendous evidence that the device is highly reliable despite the bad name it has received.

The Crash into the Limestone Outcropping

When the ark, sliding sideways down the mountainside, hit the large outcropping of limestone, it was literally impaled on the large rock. It extended into the midsection of the ship and was the only thing which held the ark at its present location. Since the decks had collapsed, the timbers which held the ribs in their upright position (the deck joists) were broken, and there was nothing to keep the sides from falling outward. As the ark rotated into alignment with the direction of the lava flow (after becoming lodged on the rock), the ribs were thrown outward to some degree, around the midsection. This is a splaying effect.

The end that made the widest swing outward suffered the most outward collapse, and this is what gives the ship its appearance of being wider than it should be. Keep in mind, however, that the ribs did not fall completely outward, but only splayed enough to give the ship a 138 foot width at the widest point, and the original width was 87 feet. The Biblical width of 50 cubits was found to be the width indicated by the internal structures, such as the bulkheads which displayed this width instead of the full width of the splayed hull.

The metal detector scans done in August of 1985 showed how the internal structure near the surface was literally "wrapped around the rock," similar to a car that is wrapped around a telephone pole. The pattern (revealed by metal detector scans) shows the broken structure members literally wrapped around the rock.

The Ballast - Pre-Flood "Slag"

The "strange material" Ron and Orhan found scattered all over the bottom section of the ark, at the site further up the mountainside, proved to be identical to the "strange material" found falling out in massive amounts from the hull on the northern end. This is ballast material and is what first attracted John Baumgardner's interest after Jim Irwin sent him the specimen Ron had given him from the site above the ark.. It contains a negligible amount of inorganic carbon, as contrasted with the petrified wood, but it contains an incredible amount of manganese dioxide (over 80%) and titanium. One analysis revealed a 74% titanium content. The importance of this specimen is that it displays attributes which indicate that it is slag, or the waste product of some type of metal alloy production.

What Is Ballast?

Ballast is an absolute necessity for any ship. It is any material of weight which is placed in the hull for purposes of stabilizing the ship, keeping it trim, etc. For more information on this subject, look up shipbuilding. You will find that it is not something that a ship "may or may not" have; it is a necessity. And a ship the size of the ark would definitely had ballast of some type. The evidence at the ark shows that the builders of the ark used a most ingenious substance for their ballast.

Metal Alloy Production

To find a ship wreck on the side of a mountain with a massive amount of heavy substance falling out of its hull (material which is identical to slag), indicates that probably as the metal objects used in the ship construction were fashioned, the waste product was gathered and placed in the hull. This makes an incredible amount of sense. A ship of this size would have required a great deal of ballast and this is the perfect source.

But What Makes Us Think There Was Metal Production Before the Flood?

Aside from the presence of a great deal of metal at even intervals in the ship, Manganese Manganese, which is found in extremely high concentrations in these ballast specimens, is used in the production of many alloys: "More than 95 percent of the manganese produced is used in the form of ferro alloys by the metal industries, chiefly for steel manufacture. Produced without manganese, steel breaks up when hot-rolled or forged. Steels generally contain less than 1% manganese. Manganese steel (12-14% manganese) is used for very rugged service; it presents a hard, wear resistant, and self-renewing surface over a wrought unbreakable core. Manganese produced electrolytically is used mostly in steelmaking but also in the production of non-ferrous alloys of copper, aluminum, magnesium , and the nickel-base alloys as well as in the production of high-purity chemicals. Practically all commercial alloys of aluminum and magnesium contain manganese to improve corrosion resistance and mechanical properties." "Encyclopaedia Brittannica, 1985 ed., vol.vi", page 563 under "manganese".

In one analysis of the ballast material, John Baumgardner wrote: "Tailings of aluminum aloid production" and signed his name and wrote "Los Alamos." This particular specimen contained 31.44% manganese, 41.95% titanium, 0% iron, 11.33% silicon, and 7.19% aluminum, among other constituents. This indicates that there was perhaps more than one type of alloy included in these various ballast specimens, and this one was the waste product of aluminum production.

"Aluminum-manganese alloys are popular for cooking utensils, heat exchangers, chemical equipment, and storage tanks Adding major amounts (about 10%) of silicon to commercially pure aluminum yields an alloy with a relatively low melting point. Since silicon imparts great fluidity to molten metal, this alloy is used in castings. The addition of up to 5% magnesium yields an alloy with good tensile strength, weldability, hardness, and corrosion resistance in marine atmospheres. Adding both silicon and magnesium to aluminum produces alloys that are easily formed, machined, welded, and finished, have good resistance to corrosion, and are of medium strength." "Ibid., vol. 1, page 644, under subject "Aluminum Products and Production"

The ballast materials (under an electron microscope) display the appearance of slag and can therefore be identified with confidence. The exact type of metal production they resulted from cannot be stated with precision. But because of the content of the specimens (which are consistent with present day processes of metal alloy production), it can be stated with confidence that these are slag. The large amount of manganese was expended as waste product because, although required in the production of the alloy, only a small percentage remained in the resulting product. The excess was spun off as slag, along with a small amount of the other elements used in the alloy production.

Titanium

The discovery of titanium in such a high concentration is of special interest. The process by which titanium could be produced as a metal has only been known since 1936. "Although the element titanium had been known since its initial discovery in 1791 by William Gregor in England, and its identification in rutile in 1795 and in ilmenite in 1797, it was not until William Justin Kroll (a German refuge in the U.S.) invented a magnesium-reduction process in 1936 that the production of metallic titanium became feasible. The process, which Kroll gave to the U.S. Bureau of Mines for development, remains in its original form or modifications thereof, the principle method used today for winning titanium metal from its ores." "Ibid., vol. 18, page 455, under subject heading "Titanium Products and Production."

The advantage of titanium as a metal is its tremendous strength and light weight, which is why today it is used in medical and space age technologies. The quantitative elemental analyses of the rivet-head Ron found in 1991 revealed 8.62% aluminum, 10.38% iron, 1.33% magnesium, and 2.7% sodium, as well as 1.92% titanium. Interestingly, the process for refining titanium involves sodium and magnesium and sure enough, there they both were! "The high-purity titanium tetrachloride produced is reduced to metallic titanium by reaction with magnesium or sodium. The Kroll process, which uses magnesium, and modifications that used sodium, as the reducing agents, are batch processes conducted in larger reactors." Ibid., p. 456.

The combined analyses of the fossilized rivet provide more than ample evidence that it was composed of an alloy which contained aluminum, iron and titanium; an alloy which would be extremely strong, lightweight and resistant to the corrosion of the sea waters. Is all of this coincidence? The ballast contains elements which are completely consistent with that of aluminum, titanium ,and iron alloy productions. The rivet contains elements which are consistent with a very high-tech alloy.

For further evidence, "The major alloying elements that are added to titanium are aluminum, vanadium, molybdenum, manganese, iron and chromium." "Ibid." ) All three analyses of the rivet show iron, aluminum, and manganese, vanadium, and chromium. Perhaps one or two of these things could be accepted as "coincidence", but the entire picture is one that cannot be denied.

Hand-Wrought Iron

In June of 1985, when Ron, Dave Fasold and John Baumgardner all surveyed the site with metal detectors, Dave found a specimen which John stated, on camera, displayed the appearance of wrought iron. Dave Fasold wrote about the results of John's later analyses of the iron specimens in his book, "The Ark of Noah", p. 255: "I hurriedly opened the first-class envelope labeled `Los Alamos National Laboratory.' It contained the semi-quantitative analysis of the iron samples we had recovered from the ark. The stoichiometric results were impressive, with the seven running from 60% through 91.84% FE2O3. The highest reading was obtained from an angular bracket."

The angular bracket was the specimen John had identified as having the appearance of wrought iron. The large iron content of the petrified timbers again verifies the fact that the flowing water which effected the petrification process had travelled over a large amount of iron objects before it arrived at the timber being petrified. Where did this iron come from? Certainly not the surrounding terrain which displayed an only negligible iron content. The evidence indicates that probably various alloys were produced for use in different objects, depending on what properties were required. In fact, the evidence is too circumstantial to be interpreted any other way except that it shows conclusive proof of metal alloys used in the ark.

The "Manganese Nodules" Theory

One "learned scientist," this one proclaiming to be a Christian, rejects all the evidences found at the site. Why? Because after he was made aware of it, he continued to raise money to continue searching on Mount Ararat, a project which was his favorite. While he hasn't bothered to present any legitimate reasons refuting most of the evidence, (preferring to state simply that he has investigated it thoroughly 3 times), he does present an argument against some of the ballast material. After all, these specimens are some of the most incredible and important evidences, and to speak out against them requires an alternate explanation.

He attacks the analysis of one particular specimen, the one which contains 84.14% manganese dioxide, stating simply that it is nothing but a "manganese nodule," something that is found all over the ocean floor and is therefore quite common. OK. Let's look at that claim.

First of all, this site isn't the ocean floor - it is 6,300 feet above it, and thousands of miles from the Pacific Ocean, which is where these nodules are commonly found. But let's not take that into consideration. Let's check into these "nodules" and see what characteristics they have. "...these manganese nodules contain as much as 2.5% copper, 2.0% nickel, 0.2% cobalt and 35% manganese. In some deposits, the content of cobalt and manganese is as high as 2.5% and 50% respectively. Such concentrations would be considered high-grade ores if found in land,..." "Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1985 ed., vol. 13", page 503, under subject heading "Oceans and Seas".

Ok, 50% manganese content, we have just read, is considered the highest percentage to be found in these nodules, as well as in land ores. The average is considered to be 35%. Yet, our analyses of these ballast specimens show 87%, 84% and 80% - far above what is found in these nodules. Also, the nodules contain cobalt and nickel, yet these are not present in the ballast specimens. In addition, there is the size to be considered. The nodules are stated to be an average of about 4 centimeters (slightly less than 2 inches), yet some of these specimens are 10 inches in diameter and more. These factors, combined with the fact that the ballast specimens contain other elements not found in the manganese nodules is more than enough evidence to rule out that little theory.

I Don't See Any Petrified Wood

One would think that trained scientists would be able to recognize the fragments found scattered all the way around the ship as pieces of petrified wood, but they don't. Why? Because they are trained evolutionists; they are taught, and firmly believe, that all petrified wood displays growth rings. But without a belief in the Biblical account, they do not understand or believe that prior to the Flood, (which they don't believe in) conditions were such that growth rings did not occur.

Genesis 2:5-6 "And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground."

This scripture has just told us that there was no rain before the Flood, which is probably one of the reasons that the world would not believe there was a coming Flood. The laws of nature which would be in effect in order to have no rain, but to have this "mist" which "watered the whole face of the earth" would include a very constant temperature. This temperature would not have varied over more than 10 or so degrees. This relatively small variation in temperature would not have been great enough to cause the water in the air to totally condense into raindrops, but would instead produce an effect similar to a greenhouse or a terrarium.

Each day, in the cool of the evening, dew would appear on the ground. In the morning, this dew would evaporate as the temperature rose. Day after day, this cycle would continue, keeping a perfect balance of moisture both in the air and on the soil.

What Causes Growth Rings?

Growth rings in trees and other plants are caused by a variation in the water supply to the plant. Annual rings today occur when the temperature drops and the sap in the tree fails to rise. The leaves of the deciduous trees turn color and die, soon dropping off. In the spring, the warmth releases the tree from its state of "hibernation" and the sap begins to flow again. Even though there may be water in the ground, when the temperature drops, the tree does not continue its cycle until it is again spring. Therefore, a ring results when the growth is temporarily halted and begins when spring arrives.

Sometimes, weather conditions, such as a drought, can result in numerous rings in one season. During a severe drought, the tree is deprived of its water supply and growth stops temporarily. Then a rain comes along and growth resumes during the same season; and here we have 2 rings in one year. There is no way to determine the number of rings which belong to one year so this method is not reliable in determining a tree's age. The petrified wood which contains rings, such as that found in Arizona, is post-Flood.

Even the evolutionists admit the absence of growth rings in wood from what they call the "Carboniferous" Period: "There was, as we have already said, secondary bark and wood, similar to that of modern trees but lacking the spring and winter rings which correspond to seasonal alternation of moisture and dryness. This is a further proof that the Carboniferous climate was fairly uniform." (Larousse Encyclopedia of the Earth, p. 369.)

The Blind Cannot See the Truth

Before the flood, without an annual cessation of water supply and with a constant temperature, the trees grew at a uniform rate continually. No growth rings were formed. But try to tell this to an evolutionary scientist. He simply will not accept it and therefore will never recognize the petrified wood at Noah's Ark as being wood. So here we have a perfect example of a promise given in the Bible: Romans 1:28 "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to be a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient."

When man rejects God and His Truth as He told it through His Holy Word, God gives him over to Satan, that he will not be able to recognize truth. He will absolutely not accept it because through his rejection of Truth, he is blind. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 states: "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Sadly, this is a fact, so don't ever expect the world at large to accept the evidence God has so mercifully provided.

But for those who do want the truth (even though they may have been taught lies), their eyes will be opened. John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." It would be foolish to expect a 4,300 year old wooden ship to remain intact today, unless it was buried in the hot, dry sands of Egypt, like Cheops' sun boat. It could not be expected to survive at all in the extreme seasons present in the Ararat region, if it were left exposed to the elements all these years. The wood would have long ago rotted and the metal fittings would have oxidized.

But protected in the lava flow, its presence was preserved in timbers turned to stone. Then, the simple outline of its shape was the only clue to its nature in the 1950s. At that time, no evidence was visible or understood.

In 1978, the small earthquake dropped the soil from around its sides, revealing on one side, empty holes where rib timbers had fragmented and fallen away after suffering "frost wedging". On the other side, rib timbers which remained in place in the earth, but which are still fragmented, could be seen by the color difference between them and the surrounding soil.

Its length is exactly 300 royal Egyptian cubits, the only cubit Moses would have known. The "Hebrew" cubit was of varying lengths at different times, and wouldn't come into use for many years after Genesis was written.

In 1984, metal detectors revealed the presence of a regular pattern of metal readings both along the top and sides of the ark. In 1985 this pattern was plotted out the entire length of the ship, revealing the perfect pattern of a ship.

In 1986 and 1987, radar scans showed internal structures which were completely consistent with the inside of a ship containing rooms and chambers, as well as 3 decks.

Analyses of specimens from the ark show metals which display evidences of being wrought and alloyed. The hull is full of material which is precisely consistent with slag of very advanced metal production; some of whose technology wasn't known to us until 1936 and 1948.

And, it is in the mountains of Ararat, in a mountain configuration which matched the crescent-shape of Ron's experiment of building mountains in a stream and floating a miniature boat past it, of almost 30 years ago. Coincidences? No, I'd stake my life on it.


Why didn't Noah's Ark make headlines? The evidence was there. It was beyond the realm of simple coincidence that every detail was consistent with the object containing the remains of a ship which could only be Noah's Ark. But the world wasn't about to accept it. The traditional ark hunters continued to search on Mount. Ararat even though Turkish scientists and archaeologists had determined that it was a ship in the mountains of Ararat - a very ancient ship - and that it could be nothing else except the ark of Noah.

The main problem is that it was a phenomena that is "one of a kind"- no other object comparable to it has ever existed. A 4,300 year old wooden ship simply could not survive without a means of preservation such as the lava which covered it so many years ago. This lava effectively hid it from the world for perhaps several thousands of years; therefore, there was no knowledge of its location during this time.

Some of the names of various locations in the region still retained the connection to the ark, such as "The Place of the Eight", "Doomsday Mountain", etc., but the local inhabitants admitted, when questioned by Orhan Baser in 1984, that they had no idea where these names came from. In the early 1900s, the local inhabitants of the region were attacked and completely removed from the area by people who came in and replaced them. They took over their villages, moved into their homes and plowed their fields. All knowledge that the original inhabitants may have had of the history and legends of the region were lost when this occurred. This war was so bloody and devastating that the museum in Erzurum has an entire floor dedicated to it.

If the ark had landed on Mount Ararat, it would have had to have been a much smaller mountain at that time, because it would have been impossible for all of the animals to have walked down off the mountain as it is today. And if that did happen, then the ark would surely have been destroyed in the passage of time and numerous explosions of the extremely active volcano throughout history.

The logical place to look would be in the Cretaceous mountains of the region - mountains that were non-volcanic and within the altitude that scientists have determined would be the maximum depth all of the water in, on and above the earth, would attain if all was on the surface at one time.

When Ron was investigating the site with the radar, he noticed that the internal "lines" all converged at each end, consistent with the timbers of a ship. But to be sure it wasn't just a very rare geologic "quirk" that he wasn't familiar with, he took the radar outside the perimeter of the object and performed scans above it, below it and along each side.

He found nothing other than random loose stones in the soil. Earlier, in 1985 when Dave, John and Ron did the metal detector scans, they too checked the adjacent terrain for similar readings. However, they too, found none. In the live interview John Baumgardner did with CBN's "700 Club" back in August of 1985, he confirmed this when asked if the formation was unique: "We feel that the formation is quite unique. There's several formations that have a superficially similar shape and we've investigated several of them. And they, uh, as we investigate them, we find they do not have the special characteristics we find in the site we've been focusing on."

The world at large doesn't want to know that Noah's Ark really existed, and therefore that the Bible is true. Just recently, when an Australian film crew visited the site and personally saw the metal detector scans performed, they didn't even film it. An eye-witness to the event said they only filmed what they thought would serve to discredit the site. Unfortunately, it is possible to twist and omit truths in a way which presents an overall picture that looks convincing; but this, in fact, is a lie!