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Myths and mysteries: Noah’s Ark and Mount Ararat

November 19, 2011

In many cultures and Biblical religions, it is believed that there was a great flood on Earth that drowned most of the planet or a very large portion of it. Scientists though argued against it earlier but, according to archaeological and geological data, it has now been accepted that there indeed was a huge amount of water that covered many parts of the world.

It is said that Prophet Noah built an ark, and in it he put species of animals and braved the storm and heavy waters of the flood till his ark came to rest on a remote mountaintop in present-day Turkey.

For a couple of decades now expeditions to the area of Mount Ararat in Turkey have been undertaken by many explorers to look for a strange anomaly that has also been caught by satellite which looks like a piece of manmade artefact.

Many believe it is Noah’s Ark. Teams visiting the mountain state that there are two sites 17 miles apart which may be the location where Noah’s Ark might have come to rest. But some scientists say that the whole thing might just be a natural geological formation over publicised by enthusiasts.

Under a 23-square mile long glacier on the northeast side of Mount Ararat, is a strange piece of wooden artefact that is wedged between a melted part of the glacier, according to George Hagobian, a Turkish businessman who climbed and saw the artefact in 1906, when he was a young boy.

Archaeological illustrator, George Hagobian, described the objectg he had seen and Lee narrated his account as, “a long box. It was rectangular and the corners were rounded a little bit. The sides sloped slightly. The roof was basically flat with just a slight pitch to it, and there was a stair kind of apparatus at one end.

“His uncle hoisted him up onto his ladder, and he walked on up onto the roof. And there all the way down the middle of the roof, he saw these holes, and he stuck his head in, and it was dark. He shouted and his voice echoed and re-echoed inside. It was hollow. Hagobian went back a couple of years later, saw the same object, but ice and snow were beginning to cover it up again.”

Nearly 17 years later, the artist met Ed Davis, a man who had been in Iran in 1943, stationed there with the United States Army. Davis told Elfred Lee that he believed he had also seen the ark. He stated that when he saw it the ark seemed to have broken into two parts. He described three decks inside and also large cages at the bottom deck plus smaller cages on the second deck. The roof had holes in it for ventilation and light.

The accounts given by Hagobian and Davis seemed to have intrigued an amateur archaeologist by the name of Don Shockey who launched a trip to the area described after seeing the satellite pictures. Don and his team climbed the southern side of the mountain but the Turkish government did not allow them to go to the northern side. Thus their Turkish guide Ahmet continued on his own. When he reached 16,000 feet, he saw something that was half buried in the snow and took a picture of it. On his return he told Don Shackey that what he could make out seemed like a chicken coop with a peaked top.

On his return to the United States, Don Shackey took the picture to a forensic anthropologist who stated to him, “It certainly does not look natural. It looks very strikingly manmade to me. What I see when I look at this is something that stands out from the rest of the terrain, and that is what looks like a solid structure. You’ll never know until you get up there and can see it and stand next to it.”

A former merchant marine officer David Fasold is of the opinion that the ark is at a location which is 17 miles away from the area previously outlined by other researchers. His team has claimed to have found iron pieces which seem like parts belonging to a manmade object. They also bought back a piece to be microscopically examined at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the conclusion is that the stuff is 94.84 per cent manmade wrought iron.

From above the pieces of iron are spread in the pattern of intersecting lines which, according to him, is the skeleton of a boat measuring 515 feet long and is 85 feet wide. But some sceptics argue that their find could be an old Mongolian fort, while others say it is a geological formation.

On the other hand, some Chinese and Turkish explorers say that they are certain that what they have found in eastern Turkey are the wooden remains of Noah’s Ark and carbon dating has proved that they are 4,500 years old. The research team says that they are 99.9 per cent sure that they have found Noah’s Ark. Moving a further 100 metres the team also found, in 2008, some wooden planks embedded in a glacier and that a wooden frame was under a cover of volcanic rock and ice.

Another team of archaeologists from Texas claims that they climbed the mountains in the northwest of Tehran in Iran up to 13,000 feet. According to them this could also have been the probable location of the ark as the Ararat mountain range could stretch for hundreds of miles, which is where legend says the Ark is supposed to have rested.

Interestingly, Noah’s Ark is said to have been made of ‘gopher wood’, which is something of a mystery. So what is actually the anomaly on Mount Ararat? The ancient Noah’s Ark? A Mongolian fort? Or some other old artefact? The search continues.