Noah’s ark “found”?

I got a barrage of emails over the past couple of days regarding a press conference claiming that Noah’s ark has been found on Mt. Ararat.

I have many friends who have been expedition organizers/participants on Mt. Ararat as they searched for Noah’s ark, and while I haven’t personally been there yet, I have been invited to participate in expeditions.  After getting a second-hand email from Randall Price (who’s been on Ararat multiple times) giving cautioning words, I also phoned Dr. Don Patton to discuss the recent press release.

The Press Release:

You can read a report on the press release here:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2949640/Noahs-Ark-found-in-Turkey.html

And the website for the Hong Kong search team:

http://www.noahsarksearch.net/eng/

The history:
First, you need to understand that this is the same team that claimed to have a piece of petrified wood, assumed to be part of Noah’s ark, taken from Mt. Ararat two years ago:

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=local_news&month=january2008&file=local_news2008011955044.xml

After the 2008 press release, Dr. Patton and another friend of mine, Dr. Don Shockey (another long-time Noah’s ark researcher and Ararat explorer) flew to Hong Kong to meet with the Chinese team to discuss their findings, and see if they could possibly collaborate on research.

It very quickly became apparent that the “petrified wood” was simply volcanic rock, and not petrified wood at all.  An honest mistake, but unfortunately, this particular piece of “wood” has resurfaced with the media hub-bub of this past week.  This “petrified wood” was not the sample that was carbon dated, mentioned in this recent press release (more on that in a minute).

The person who “found” the site is a Turkish man by the name of Parasut, who has already been known to con ark researchers in the past, and it would appear that this particular case is no different.  Parasut has been the “guide” for the Hong Kong team.

In 2008, Dr. Price and Dr. Patton joined the Hong Kong team for an expedition to the alleged site of Noah’s ark.  After a month of waiting, with Parasut continually drunk, the expedition never happened, and a lot of money was lost.  Not to mention, this is an incredibly dangerous area all-around.  People die on these expeditions – regularly.

The Videos & Photos:

It is difficult and confusing to wade through the photos and videos provided on the noahsarksearch.net website.

The photos are apparently the exact same photos that were presented to Dr. Patton, Dr. Shockey, and Dr. Randall Price two years ago. These photos were apparently not taken by the expedition team but were taken by Parasut, at an undisclosed location.  If the team had “successfully excavated and ventured inside a large wooden structure at an elevation of more than 4,000m above sea level” (noahsarksearch.net website) then why are they using the same photos from two years ago?

In fact, according to Dr. Patton, multiple witnesses have now come forward, saying that the photos of rooms built with wood were actually taken in a wooden ship at the Black Sea.  The Ark Ministries website does not make it at all clear which photos presented on their website were “provided” by Parasut, and which photos were actually taken by the Ark Ministries team.

Also, many “eye-witness testimonies” are recounted on the Ark Ministries website, but again it appears to be a mixture of testimonies from Parasut and his men, and accounts from the Ark Ministries people.  Over and over again, this is found to be the case on the noahsarksearch.net website – for example, in the press release video, which you can see here:

http://www.noahsarksearch.net/eng/video.php?id=5

This is apparently a composite of multiple videos, taken by multiple people, years apart.  But once again, this is not made clear.  The video footage you see inside “rooms” (starting at 1:04 in the video) was apparently taken by Parasut and his men.  Whereas the footage with the Ark Ministries team members is actually in a cave, some 13,000 feet high on Ararat, with some wooden beams and rope – nothing more!  Because of the unclear segway between the different footages, one is left with the distinct impression that this was all shot on the mountain, during one expedition, in one “cave” with several “wooden rooms.”

While watching the video, one has to ask questions when two men rappel down into this room – supposedly 13,000 feet above sea level, carrying very little gear, not even wearing ice-climbing crampons, wearing dust masks and coveralls!  I would think they would be wearing different clothing and carrying different equipment if they had just hiked up to the 13,000 foot mark on the mountain.

Wood fragments & beams:

Beams were apparently transported up the mountain and planted in a cave on two separate ocassions in 2008 and 2009, as has been claimed by several witnesses living the Ararat region.

The wood fragment that was carbon dated was apparently provided by Parasut – so not only do we not have a clue where this wood came from, the carbon date achieved is subsequently invalidated (and I’m not going to get into the dating methods used to date such fragments).

The actual location of the alleged site of Noah’s ark (the “rooms” Parasut and his men photographed and videotaped) is still kept secret, so no one can verify or refute the claims.

Healthy Skepticism:

Unfortunately, everything about the whole report smells of a hoax perpetrated on the Chinese team.  I must be clear: No one is suggesting that the Hong Kong team is involved in any way with the hoax – it would appear that they are the victims of a hoax.  Now of course, I would not be the only one who would be very happy to be proven wrong.  But at this point in time, there are many reasons to be highly, highly skeptical of the claims made thus far.

Perhaps the team will clarify several of the issues raised here, and perhaps correct me and say I have several points wrong.  However, I’m getting the same reports from multiple sources.

The Hong Kong team is doing some splendid work in Hong Kong, building a HUGE replica of Noah’s ark, complete with a creation museum in it. They deserve our support in these matters, as they are doing a tremendous, evangelical work in a country pretty much closed to evangelism.  We need to pray for the team, and especially that if this is a hoax, it would be exposed as such that the Hong Kong team may move on and focus on what the Lord would have them to do.

You can also read Randall Price’s comments here:  http://ezekielcountdown.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/randall-price-ark-pictures-are-fake/

Addendum: Forgot to add in this analysis:  http://smtp.antelecom.net/blogs/bsmaArk/

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4 Responses to “Noah’s ark “found”?”

  1. The s8intcom Blogger » Arsip blog » Evangelists Claim Noah’s Ark Found; Mount Ararat Explorers: ‘We Think It is 99.9 Percent That This Is It’ Says:

    [...] Ian of Ian’s Creation Blog believes its a Hoax on the Chinese Scientists. He seems to be an In… Thanks To: Shane, and K. Griffith. [...]

  2. Ken Griffith Says:

    The information released by the Hong Kong team is a mess. It may or may not be Noah’s Ark, but the problems include:

    - Reference is made to discovery of a “secret” site, through means of an informant, but no info is given as to who knew the “secret” or who the informant was. It is possible people in the village on the flanks of Ararat know the location. It is also possible the secret came from an intelligence agency. It could also be bogus. The “finders” need to thoroughly present the information of the expedition and how they found the site in a journal like TJ or something like that.

    Some things to consider:

    - Just because Parasut is a known drunk and dishonest, doesn’t mean he couldn’t have obtained information from an informant, which actually led to success. Then again, such an informant would tend to be highly unreliable. The CIA uses informants like Parasut all the time, they simply have to weight the reliability of the information by the reliability of the informant.

    - Dr. Price’s comments sound like “sour grapes.” Questions for him: is he certain the photos he saw two years ago were identical to these released, or were they just similar?

    - Problem for the Hoax Theory: If all of the released photos and video were actually taken on Ararat in the “cave” it would be extremely difficult for anyone to create a hoax like that. The length of the beams were in some cases over 20 feet. They would have to transport tons of wood up a mountain with no roads, take them down through a vertical entrance and pass the corner into the entrance. Then assemble them inside the cave. Some of the woodwork appears of high quality, while other looks like a barn. Then again, the Ark was a glorified barn. The pitched interior would only be the interior wall of the hull, not the interior of stalls and partitions.

    Until the HK team releases more information about where/when the photos and video were taken and by whom the jury is out on this. It could be a hoax if the photos were taken in other locations. It would be an almost impossible hoax if it were taken in the cave at 14,000 ft on Ararat.

  3. Ian Juby Says:

    Hi Ken,
    Thanks for the comments – but I wasn’t quoting to Price, I was quoting from Dr. Don Patton. He is the one who says he was shown those photos and video two years ago (Actually, I think it was a year and a half ago – I may have that wrong, but I remember that time – it was 2008).
    Those photos and video were the reason that Patton, Price and Shockey even got involved with the Hong Kong team in the first place. It has nothing to do with sour grapes, (although I agree that should always be considered) because I got the same story from multiple individuals, including those who have nothing to do with Price.

    The problem is that I cannot reveal details of sources, or how the parties involved know what they know.

    Also, apparently I wasn’t clear on my post, so let me clarify here: The video changes at 1:04. The footage before that was recently taken by the NAMI team – no doubt there. At 1:04 is apparently where the footage begins that was provided 2 years ago, by Parasut and his cronies. Notice they’re wearing gear that would be deemed very unusual for climbing at 13,000 feet. No crampons, lots of cobwebs in the “structure” which again seems highly unusual at 13,000 feet. There’s only two people, faces are covered, nobody’s talking, and frankly, as a video producer, the video footage smacks of “staged acting.” The camera man almost appears to be careful about where he’s pointing the camera.

    Unfortunately, I have claims from people who say they saw this footage, provided by Parasut, taken at an undisclosed location, two years ago. The NAMI team were not clear about the segway in the video, so I have to go with the accounts of people whom I know and trust, who claim they were given that footage two years ago, and that the footage came from Parasut, not the NAMI team.
    The footage from the NAMI team (the first 1 minute of the video) shows a few beams in a cave. That can be planted.

    The photo with Panda Lee in a “room” was also apparently one of the photos shown to other researchers two years ago, and apparently Panda was not originally part of the NAMI team, but was put there by Parasut.

    The whole thing is a mess indeed. Obviously, I do hope that all of this is wrong – misinformation. It would be wonderful if they had found Noah’s ark. It’s just that there’s waaaay too many questions which are unanswered.

  4. indydave Says:

    >>Until the HK team releases more information about where/when the photos and video were taken and by whom the jury is out on this. It could be a hoax if the photos were taken in other locations. It would be an almost impossible hoax if it were taken in the cave at 14,000 ft on Ararat.>>

    I agree that revealing the location would help, BUT I can also understand why they would NOT want to do that. Dr. Price and Dr. Patton have focused on a different location. (Actually 2 it seems, one higher, one lower in the same vicinity). You can read the fuller comments of Price here:

    http://www.worldofthebible.com/news.htm

    and you can read about their 2 expeditions in 2008 and 2009 here:

    http://www.worldofthebible.com/Documents/Fall-Winter2008.pdf

    http://www.worldofthebible.com/Documents/Winter2009.pdf

    From reading the reports, it seems they have high confidence they will locate it (or whatever it is under the ice that the satellite indicates is large and organic) later this year. That site is much higher (16,000+) so it is even MORE unlikely someone carried large amounts of wood up there as a hoax.

    BTW, AOL has had a story up about a guy named Cline who has declared it is a fake.
    http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/scholarly-squad-debunks-biblical-discoveries-noahs-ark-related-and-otherwise/19460930
    I also saw this guy on Fox News. One of his reasons is that (to him) no one should expect any wood to be left up there…because it would either rot away or IT ALL would be scavenged for homes and firewood etc. since (to him) that would be easier than using local-grown trees. I say that is baloney. Unless you wanted to live high up on that mountain, using wood near your homesite would be MUCH easier to get! AND wood that is FROZEN most of the time won’t rot! He even referenced the “Ice Man” (from supposedly 5000 years ago), yet there was unrotted wood associated with THAT find!

    Dave Willis

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