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The Search for Noah's Ark - Chapters 2, 3, and 4

Kelly L. Segravwes

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t 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.

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Chapter 3

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.

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Chapter 4

Around Mount Ararat are a great number of archaeological findings of ancient significance. There is a head carved at the top of one of the peaks. With an Egyptian type headdress on the head, the face is serene, looking into the area of the Ahora Gorge. Could this be reminiscent of Noah, that survivor of the Great Flood, built in his honor? Perhaps.

In the same area buildings can be found on top of Mount Curada. Climbing a little closer, one finds large circular structures, some of them three stories tall, without any doors or windows. As one looks at the buildings, he wonders about their significance. Were they tombs? If not, what were they used for? How were they carved?

Explorers also found a grinding wheel which may have been used to carve these structures. It would take a 16-inch log through the center to be used for carving.

Even more interesting is the discovery of eight crosses carved on a large rock. What is the significance of these crosses, the largest one in the middle? Could they be reminiscent of Noah and his family, those eight souls who were saved from that great destruction of the past?

And what is the significance of finding a cave, with a ram over the left hand corner with two outstretched arms behind it. In the extreme right there is a priest -- one can see his feet, skirt, headdress, and beard. A priest with two outstretched arms offering a ram and a priest with a knife in his hand offering cakes. Could this particular carving around this sacrificial cave be significant of the sacrifices of Cain and Abel? The Archaeologists who examined this find, tell us that it was carved by the original people of the land and is at least 4000 years old.

Further study into these areas will surely unlock the mystery of the inscriptions and perhaps provide a key to the tombs, the sacrificial cave and the crosses. Perhaps the key to the carvings, to the head, and maybe even the mystery of Ararat itself will be found as we are able to unlock the mystery of the many ancient writings found in Sumerian cuneiform. As we decipher the language, perhaps we will learn more of the mountain of Ararat and the people who dwelt there after the Great Flood.

For somewhere in this mountain are the remains of an object which is of the greatest significance to mankind -- an object which declares God's judgment and mercy. For as God justly condemned sinful men through the Flood, He likewise prepared an ark of safety for eight who believed His Word. From population statistics we estimate that nearly three billion people lived on the Earth at the time of the Flood.

All of them were destroyed because they would not believe, because they would not step inside the ark of safety, the ark of Noah. Only eight were saved. Once again there is a warning of judgment to come.

Somewhere in one of the canyons of Agrida or "Painful Mountain," buried in the ice of mount Ararat, there is an object of great significance to mankind, an object which declares the truth of God's Word.

Looking at the mountain of Ararat across one of the chasms, the visibility is blurred, not because of clouds but because of the ice and snow which falls into the chasms, causing a cloud-like reaction, making it impossible to look across the chasm itself. But once every four or five minutes one is given a few seconds of visibility. Looking across one of these chasms near the area of Al Judi, during a moment of clear visibility, a photograph was taken.

That photograph revealed an object which is buried in ice, an object found in the same area where others have claimed to see the ark. That little football-shaped object is estimated to be 75 feet wide.

The cliff in the photo is similar to Drake's drawings and the rendering of the ark as seen by Georgie. This object is in the same area where nine of the ten expeditions have spotted the ark. Can it be the ark of Noah? Perhaps. Other expeditions in this area will undoubtedly unlock the mystery. But certainly the evidence is overwhelming that the ark of Noah has been sighted by nearly 200 different people in the last 135 years.

As we leave the mountain of Ararat, we comprehend a distinct message for mankind. For God, in the book of Isaiah, chapter 46, verses 9 and 10, states that He is a God who declares the end from the beginning. What better way to declare the end time than a return to the beginning, to the Ark of Noah where mankind began again after the Flood.

As we study the book of Genesis, the power of the Creator becomes apparent -- the power to create the world and the power to destroy it as He did in the great Flood. Because God created, He has the right to judge.

Matthew 24:37-39: "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

Will the ark be found? I believe very definitely that it will. God has preserved it for a purpose. Somewhere in the mountain of Ararat this object is resting, waiting to be found in God's time, waiting to declare its message to the world. That message tells the world of a judgment that is to come, a judgment that will leave man without excuse as God prepares to judge the world in these last days.