The Search for Noah's Ark
Until recently planes and helicopters have not been allowed to fly around the mountain, which makes the search for the ark extremely difficult. It is near Al Judi, that the ark is reportedly resting.
The rocks on the other side of the Ahora Gorge continually fall causing avalanches. This makes it extremely dangerous for anyone exploring the area. People climbing Ararat by coming up the Ahora Gorge route, the quickest and easiest way to get into the area of search, have a problem not only with rock and earth slides, but with finding a dependable trail, which one year will go up into their area of search and the next year will be totally destroyed, eroded away by the severe winter. Only in July and August can one climb the mountain, since the snow and ice has then receded far enough to make it safe. If you have made a couple of trips, lost your way, or had to regroup and start all over again because the trail has disappeared, you have wasted precious time. There is little time to waste in climbing the mountain, and really not much time to look for the ark.
Mount Ararat rises out of the plain. It would take a tremendous amount of water to cover this mountain which is nearly 17,000 feet high! To cover the highest mountain by 15 cubits or 22 1/2 feet, as described in the Bible, would certainly flood a vast area.
In 1966 the expedition climbed the mountain to their base camp in the Ahora Gorge. Soldiers were necessary to protect the expedition members from the people that live on the mountain. These people are not savages who murder and scalp their victims, but they do feel that anything brought onto their mountain belongs to them. So they are constantly borrowing cameras, utensils, money, and anything visitors might have lying around in their packs. One man lost the very pants he was wearing.
Several glaciological, geological, archaeological, and botanical studies were made of the mountain in 1962, 1964, and 1966. Dr. Clifford Burdick, geologist, participated in several of these expeditions, and in his study found many evidences of tremendous flooding. Dr. Burdick is a creationist who believes in the Biblical account and rejects the evolutionary framework.
Some Evidence of the Flood:
On the mountain of Ararat he found sedimentary strata, which by definition are strata laid down by water. This means that the water had to be at the 12,000 foot level on this mountain to form and lay down this particular formation.
At the 13,000 foot level Dr. Burdick also found pillow lava, which is lava that has been cooled under water, as indicated by circular marks on the rocks themselves.
Conchoidal fractures identify pieces of pillow lava found at the 15,000 foot level. The water had to be at least this high or higher in order for this phenomenon to take place. From the evidence it is clear that at one time the water was extremely high on the mountain of Ararat.
Considering how Mount Ararat rises from the plain, water level at his height would inundate most of Europe and Africa and certainly become a major flood disaster, much more than many people would have us believe when they speak of just a local flood.
The Mountain of Ararat!
Looking into the Ahora Gorge from a little higher up, one can see waterfalls, a result of the ice cap melting back. With Al Judi off to the right one can view some of the canyons in the area. The melting ice and snow on the jagged rocks provide a dramatic picture of the terrain in the vast Ahora Gorge.
In addition to the other problems, there is the ice itself, which many times is covered over with black dust or dirt, giving it the appearance of solid ground, whereas in actuality it is ice. Ice is very treacherous, and many times on Ararat one is not sure if he is walking on solid ground or ice covered with debris.
There is also the problem of boulders which are perched up on fingers of ice; when the ice melts from the summer heat, the boulders have a tendency to fall. A person working in the area must always be ready to move quickly out of the way.
The ice cap of Mount Ararat is 80 to 100 feet thick in some places, covering nearly a mile of the mountain in twelve finger-like glaciers.
Lake Kop is one of the few bodies of water on the mountain. It is a volcanic cone found on the way to the Parrot Glacier.
The Parrot Glacier is where Navarra found his wood. Many times, these icy chasms are covered by a fresh snowstorm, making it difficult to walk across the ice, because one never knows if it is solid or not.
Therefore, explorers must always be roped and travel in parties of three or four, because there is always the possibility that a person could fall into one of these chasms. Some of the chasms are 200 or 300 feet deep. Anyone who falls into one of them is never seen or heard from again.
There is a small village of Ahora, found on the mountain of Ararat. It is one of the best access routes to the area of search. Tradition tells us that Noah planted his vineyards here when he stepped off the ark.
Eryl Cummings, one of the leading searchers for the ark, climbed the mountain in 1969. From Ahora they climbed the grassy area behind the village, up the rock face and over to the area of Al Judi.
Mr. Cummings was thrown from a horse and fell on a rock, knocking six vertebrae out of place. He took therapy treatments on the mountain by sunning himself on a rock until his back became extremely warm and then fell back onto some ice. The heat and cold caused four vertebrae to pop back into place. With the aid of a cane and some bearers he continued his climb up the mountain.
His bearers came about one-third of the way and asked for more money; they came a little farther and asked for more money still. Finally they refused to go any farther. When he asked them why, they replied that they were afraid to go on because of the "gen" or devils which reside in the ark. So they said good-bye to Mr. Cummings, feeling they would never see him again.
With the aide of his cane, he pulled his possessions up the mountain, went down to recover the rest of his belongings, and spent the night about 500 feet from where he felt the ark was reportedly resting. He felt that he merely had to cross the ice cap to come down upon the ark. He had spent the night in the same area described by many of the expeditions. Since it is suicide to cross the ice by oneself, and since he was already using a cane, he felt it was better to go down the mountain, regroup, and try to climb up the other side, attempting to reach the ark from underneath. Unfortunately, the attempt in 1969 was unsuccessful!
There have been many more attempts in recent years to re-discover the Ark. But, the search continues until the Lord sees fit in His own time, to reveal again this most important discovery of our modern time.