The Search for Noah's Ark
The first sighting of the ark in more modern times took place in 1856 when a group of English scientists climbed the mountain to search for the Ark. They asked a young Armenian boy, Haji Yearman, and his father to guide them up the mountain and show them the ark of Noah. Haji Yearman and his father did just that!
The Atheists and the Ark!
This upset the scientists, because their object was to prove that the ark was not there. These scientists were atheists, and they tried to burn the ark. They said it would not burn, so they tried to destroy it, but they could not.
Then they threatened Haji Yearman and his father with persecution if they ever told of this expedition. The scientists themselves took a death oath that they would never disclose their finding of the ark.
Haji Yearman, who later became a convert to Christianity, moved to Oakland, California, where he worked as a janitor in a curio shop. He was quite active in a church and regular in his attendance, so after a prolonged absence he was visited by a man name Harold Williams who found him dying of dysentery. Mr. Williams nursed Haji Yearman back to health, but later was called to his side. On his death bed Haji Yearman told of the expedition and how they had climbed the mountain and sighted the ark of Noah.
After the death of Haji Yearman, Mr. Williams moved to Brockton, Massachusetts, where he read a newspaper account telling of an English scientist who on his death bed stated that as a young man in 1856 he and two other scientist climbed the mountain of Ararat and saw the ark of Noah. The article states that the other two scientists had died but that this gentleman was troubled because they threatened a young Armenian boy and his father with persecution, and he wanted to get this off his chest before he died. The two accounts coincide, authenticating the expedition which took place -- and the finding of the ark in 1856.
James Bryce, a British ambassador to Turkey, climbed the mountain in 1876 and found timbers. Now what is so important about finding wood on top of a mountain?
The wood found on this mountain is hand-hewn timber. Extremely hard and impregnated with a black substance, the wood is tooled, obviously a part of some building. It is buried in an ice cap, on top of a lava flow, upon a mountain where no trees are native to that mountain for a distance of 200 miles. If this timber is not from the ark, the interesting question is, what is the timber doing on top of this mountain? After having the timber examined, Bryce felt it was definitely from the ark of Noah.
Newspaper clippings from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and several other papers around the world tell the story of a group of Turkish explorers who climbed the mountain in 1883 and stumbled onto the ark of Noah. After receiving the explorer's report, the Turkish government sent an expedition consisting of several Turks and one English commissioner.
Upon climbing the mountain, they found the ark and entered it through a hole in the side wall. After de-icing the first three compartments, they reported that inside were cages large enough to keep animals. Carved in an ancient language on the side wall of the third compartment was a ship's log -- certainly a fascinating report from those who were eye witnesses in 1883.
Prince Nouri, Archbishop of Babylon and head of the Christian Nestorian Church, was exploring the head waters of the Euphrates when, coming up one of the tributaries, he found himself close to the mountain of Ararat. Having heard of the claims of a boat buried in ice, he decided to climb the mountain himself, and on his third attempt he too came across the ark of Noah.
Nouri took measurements of the object and found that his measurements coincided with what one would expect if this were the ark mentioned in the Bible. In his writings he recounts his experience and is certain that he discovered Noah's ark.
Col. Alexander Koor was an officer in the White Russian army in 1915. He was a Major General (Ret.) when I talked with him in Los Angeles in 1970. Koor had substantiated the story of Russian flyers who had flown over the mountain and reported seeing an object buried in the ice.
Upon receiving their report, the Czar of Russia commissioned two expeditions, one with 50 men and one with 100 men. Koor also told how these expeditions found the ark, took photographs and measurements of the object, and made maps of the area. He stated that he saw their findings when they came down from the mountain.
A servant girl also reports that the Czar was anxiously awaiting the reports of the expeditions. The commanding general who gave the order for the expeditions to be sent, as well as the family of James Schilleroff, a participant in the 100-man expedition, agreed with Koor's claims.
The findings, sent back to the Czar were lost during the Bolshevik Revolution, including all the photo-graphs, maps, and reports. All but four of the individuals participating in these expeditions lost their lives. Koor, however, substantiates the findings and tells of the success of the expeditions.
Being somewhat of an amateur archaeologist, Koor reports several archaeological artifacts found in the Mount Ararat area. He has mapped these for us, and in 1970 two expedition members took a brief look at some of the archaeological findings.
One of these areas contains an inscription which was written in Sumerian pictoral and Sumerian cuneiform. Roughly translated it means, "When the waters were upon the earth, God, the Word, sowed the seed of the Word into the waters, and the seed came to rest on the mountains of Ararat" -- certainly an interesting inscription found near Mount Curada, not far from the mountain of Ararat itself.
Dr. Lawrence Shaw Moore was a member of the Turkish embassy in 1946 when an expedition was scheduled to go from the United States to Mount Ararat in search of the ark. When word of this expedition arrived in Turkey, five soldiers who had climbed the mountain on their way home from World War I wrote a letter and offered to guide the expedition. Unfortunately, the expedition never took place, but one of the expedition members scheduled to go in 1946 finally made it to Mount Ararat in 1966, twenty years later. Upon arriving, he went to the Embassy and was handed a letter by Dr. Moore.
The letter was written by Duran Ayranci. He was not a member of the five man team who had climbed the mountain but simply wrote the letter in English to be left at the Embassy. During the twenty year period all of the soldiers had died. This gentleman tells of their findings and describes where the ark was situated on the mountain. His description coincides with the other expeditions that have located the ark in the last 135 years.
Hardwicke Knight is an explorer from Australia who climbed the mountain of Ararat and stumbled across timbers. Finding them in a frozen lake, he judged them to be battering rams from some military campaign.
On leaving the area, he continued in a blinding snowstorm and came face to face with that 6,000 foot drop known as the Ahora Gorge. Upon reading of the expeditions and other accounts, Knight feels that the timbers he found are definitely from the ark of Noah. Other wood and timbers have been found in this area as late as 1969.
A Turkish news article tells of a man named Reshit who told reporter Eric Grenwald that he found the ark while climbing the mountain of Ararat. He tried to chip of a piece of wood with his knife but it was too hard. People ridiculed him, suggesting that he found a large boulder and mistook it for a ship. Reshit disagrees, stating, "I know a ship when I see one, and this was a ship." He is considered by most in Turkey to be the man who in modern times has discovered the ark of Noah.
Dr. Munce reports that American aviators flying from Erzrun to Tunisia flew over the mountain and sighted an object buried in the ice. They reported seeing a ship and later took photographers with them to take pictures of the object. According to Dr. Munce the photographs appeared in a military publication called "Stars and Stripes." We have talked to several people who have seen the photographs and the article.
In 1954 Fernand Navarra found that same area where timbers were discovered earlier, but he was unable to climb down into the ice to get them. He returned in 1953, but altitude sickness forced him to leave.
In 1955, with his son, Rafael, he climbed the mountain again and came upon this same area. His son, looking down into the crevice, spotted some timbers. Navarra climbed down into a crevice and at the bottom cut off a piece of wood.
The wood that Navarra found on the mountain of Ararat is extremely hard, impregnated with a black substance. It has been tooled and worked on. Dated by five independent laboratories, it gives five different Carbon-14 dates, with the medium range of these dates around 4,000 years.
The Ark on Ararat!
There is an object buried in the ice on Mount Ararat. When we consider that no trees are native to this mountain for a distance of 200 miles, certainly one wonders about the timbers found buried in ice on top of a lava flow at the 14,000 foot level of a mountain in eastern Turkey.
George Green, a mining engineer, had permits to fly in a helicopter and a small plane in Turkey. Upon flying over the mountain, he sighted an object and took photographs of what he called a boat on Mount Ararat. He showed these photographs to many different people. He was said to have exhibited eight 8x10 photographs of the object buried in the ice. We have talked to some thirty people who have seen these photographs. Unfortunately, before Mr. Green could be contacted, he lost his life in British Guiana. All of his possessions were missing.
Mr. Drake, however, saw these photographs and reports how the ark was situated. Drake's is an interesting account because he was an atheist. He did not believe in God, did not believe in what he called fairy tales and myths found in the Bible. But after seeing the photographs of this object, Drake asked Mr. Green if it was really a boat he had seen on the mountain of Ararat. Green replied, yes, it was. Drake responded that if it were true, he would have to re-evaluate his position regarding God and the Bible. Mr. Drake is a Christian today. He attributes this to having seen the photographs of an object which was buried in the ice on Mount Ararat.
From this description we note that the ark is situated on an ice cliff. Apparently the front of the ark is visible as it protrudes out of the ice itself.
Drake's description bears a very strong resemblance to that of an elderly Armenian gentleman known as Georgie, who as a small boy in 1903 and 1905 saw the ark of Noah. In Georgie's description the object is found buried in the ice cap of Mount Ararat. Drawn by an artist line for line at this man's instruction is the ark. And, the shape of this object, it is built like a giant boxcar with windows across the top.
Genesis 6:16 states, "A window shalt thou make in the ark and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above." We often picture the ark as a small object, but in reality it is a tremendous vessel, certainly adequate for the task of preserving life upon the Earth. This object, according to Georgie, an eye witness, is resting on the mountain of Ararat.