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Noah's Ark Discovery


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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.


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.

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This information was written by Mary Nell Wyatt. To find out more detail please visit Anchor Stones: Wyatt Archaeological Research