Written and compiled
THE SEARCH FOR NOAH'S ARK
In chapter five of Ralph Woodrow's book on this subject, he
tells us about the now and again stories and rumors and articles
that appear to state that Noah's ark has been sighted or seem up
upon a mountain in Ararat, preserved in the snow and ice. For a
time, when such stories or articles appear, there is another
effort from the religious wing of part of Christendom to beat the
drum of proclaiming the teaching of a world-wide flood, as they
will claim it was world-wide otherwise the ark would not be up on
top a mountain that is about 17,000 feet high.
I well remember as a young child in the 50s one of England's
respected national newspapers came out with photos and the story
of a couple of Russian army planes flying over the mountains of
Ararat, and taking photos of what could have been the wooden ark
partially sticking out of the ice and snow. Wow, it all not only
sounded great but did indeed look like it was so, the photos did
show what could have been the bow or stern of a wooden ship
partially protruding out of the snow and ice near the top of a
mountain in the Ararat chain of mountains.
This story caused a bit of a storm in the religious and none
religious world for a few months, but then it disappeared, it
seems as quickly as it arrived. To this very day, fifty years
later, I've never heard any more about this sighting or the
photos that went with it.
It does certainly make one wonder how accurate such stories
and reports are, or if they are not all made up from the
imaginations of the human mind and passed down as if they were
Woodrow recalls of his reading a religious tract in 1956, on
the supposed fact of Noah's ark having been seen and found. He
gives the story and I will also reproduce it here also.
The story goes:
It is in the days just before the Russian Revolution that this
story begins. A group of us Russian aviators were stationed at a
lonely temporary air outpost situated about 25 miles northwest of
Mount Ararat. The day was dry and terribly hot, as August days so
often are in this semi-desert land. Even the lizards were
flattened out under the shady side of rocks and twigs. Their
mouths were open and their tongues lashed out as if each panting
breath would be their last. Only occasionally would a tiny wisp
of air rattle the parched vegetation and stir up a chocking
cloudlet of dust. Far up on the side of the mountain we could see
a thunder shower, whilst still farther up we could discern the
white snow-cap of Mount Ararat which has snow all the year round
because of its great height. How we longed for some of that snow!
Then the miracle happened. The captain walked in and announced
that plane number 7 had its new supercharger installed and was
now ready for high altitude tests. He then ordered my buddy and
me to make the test. At last we could make our escape from the
heat, so we lost no time in getting on our parachutes, strapping
on our oxygen cans, and in doing the half-dozen other things
needful before going up. We then climbed into the cockpits, and
with our safety belts fastened, a mechanic gave the prop a flick
and yelled, "Contact." In less time than it takes to tell it, we
were in the air! No need to warm an engine when the sun had
already made it almost red hot.
We circled the field several times until we hit the 14,000 foot
mark and then stopped climbing for a few minutes to get used to
the altitude. I then gazed upon that beautiful snow-capped peak
just a little above us and, for some reason I can't explain,
turned and headed the plane straight towards it. My buddy turned
round and looked at me with question marks in his eyes, but there
was no time to ask questions. After all, 25 miles doesn't mean
much at a hundred miles an hour!
We transversed a couple of miles around the snow-capped dome and
then took a long swift glide down the south side and suddenly
came upon a perfect gem of a lake, blue as a sapphire, but frozen
over on the shady side. Whilst we were circling around, suddenly
my companion yelled and excitedly pointed to the overflow end of
the lake. I looked and nearly fainted. A submarine? No it wasn't,
for it had stubby masts and the top was rounded over with only a
flat catwalk five feet across down the length of it...
We flew as close as safety permitted, and took several circles
around it. We were surprised at the immense size of the thing,
for it was as long as a city block and compared very favorably to
the liners of today. It was grounded on the shore of the lake,
with one-fourth of the rear end under water. It was partly dis-
mantled on one side near the front and on the other side was a
great doorway nearly twenty feet square, with the door gone. This
seemed quite out of proportion to modern ships which seldom have
doors even half that size.
After seeing all we could from the air, we broke all speed
records back to the airport. When we related our find, the
laughter was loud and long. Some accused us of getting drunk on
too much oxygen. The captain, however, was serious. He asked
several questions and said: "Take me up there, I want to look at
it!" We made the trip without incident and returned to the
airport. "What do you make of it?" I asked as we climbed out of
the plane. "Astounding!" he replied. "Do you know what that ship
is?" "No!" I returned. "Ever hear of Noah's ark?" "Yes sir; but I
don't understand what that has to do with that strange thing
14,000 feet up on a mountain top." "That strange craft,"
explained the captain, "is Noah's ark. It has been sitting there
for nearly 5,000 years. Being frozen up for nine or ten months of
the year, it couldn't rot, and has been in cold storage all this
time. You have made the most amazing discovery of the age!"
When the captain sent a report to the Russian government, it
caused considerable interest and the Czar sent out two companies
of special soldiers to climb the mountain. One group of fifty men
attacked one side, whilst a hundred men attacked the other. Two
weeks of hard work were required to chop out a trail along the
cliffs of the lower part of the mountain, and it was nearly a
month before the ark was reached. Complete measurements were
taken, plans were drawn of it and many photographs obtained,
which were all sent to the Czar. The ark was found to contain
hundreds of small rooms, whilst others were large with high
ceilings. The unusually large rooms had a fence of great timbers
as though designed to hold beasts ten times the size of
elephants. Other rooms were lined with tiers of cages, somewhat
like one sees today at a poultry show: only instead of chicken
wire they had rows of tiny iron bars along the front.
Everything was heavily painted with a wax-like material
resembling shellac, whilst the workmanship showed all the signs
of a high type of civilization. The wood used throughout was
oleander, which belongs to the cypress family and never rots.
This, together with the intense cold, accounted for its perfect
preservation. The expedition also found on a peak of the mountain
above the ark, the burned remains of the wood observed to be
missing from the ark. Evidently those timbers were hauled up and
used to build a shrine, for inside was a rough stone altar, such
as the Hebrews used for sacrifices. That timber had either been
struck by lightning, or it had caught alight through a fire from
the altar. The timbers were considerably charred and the roof
burned entirely away.
A few days after the report had been sent to the Czar, that
government was overthrown by the Bolsheviks. Our records were
probably destroyed by a set of men who sought to discredit
religion and all belief in the Bible. Meanwhile, we white
Russians of the air fleet escaped through Armenia. Four of us
eventually reached America, where we could be free to live
according to the good Old Book, which we had seen for ourselves
to be absolutely true, even to so fantastic sounding a thing as a
world flood! - Vladimar Roskovitsky.
Woodrow says it is not possible to accurately find when this
story was first brought to public attention but he states that
according to one source, it was primed as early as 1 April 1933
by the Kolnische Illustrierte Zeitung, announcing the discovery
of Noah's ark - as an April Fool's Day joke!
Woodrow quotes from sources that state the story was
elaberated upon from an older story, made more interesting and
readable, and ended up as 95 percent fiction, with a public
apology given on October 17, 1945.
As Woodrow points out there are a number of very
questionable points in this story, but the one concerning the ark
being constructed from OLEANDER is perhaps the most laughable
one. Oleanders grow between 6 and 25 feet high. Such could hardly
provide "timber" for the ark!
Then as Woodrow correctly points out, if this was a real
true story then you could bet your bottom dollar that the
"religious" world, especially from the west, would have arranged
tours and sent "experts" to get up that mountain and ascertain
firsthand the truth of the matter. You need also remember that
though the people of Turkey are mainly Muslim, their Koran book
also mentions Naoh and his ark. It would be just a viable for
them to also prove their Scriptures were correct, as for
Christians to do likewise with their Scriptures.
Another very good point Woodrow brings out is that if the
soldiers were able to climb up the mountain and find the ark with
no apparent trouble (but only the trouble of taking a while to do
it), then surely in our modern world of space technology,
sounding instruments, etc. it would be a relatively easy job to
locate the ark of Noah today, if it is indeed up in the snow and
ice of one of those mountains of Ararat, in Turkey.
This has got to be a serious problem for those who still
claim the ark is there to be seen or found. For in this modern
"space age" with all our sophisticated machines and "James Bond"
type instruments, if the access to Noah's Ark was so simple to
locate, you can bet some "religious zealot" groups would be there
digging it out. But 80 and more years have gone by since this
"fiction story" was proclaimed or put into the context of the
Russia Revolution, and NO proof of having found Noah's Ark on the
mountains of Ararat has been demonstrated or produced for world-
wide TV news channels. And as mentioned, if it really was so, the
tourist industry would be over-run by "Christians" wanting to go
and view it - think of the billions of dollars such a tourist
trip would bring for the country and local people. Some of the
"Christian" TV groups have MILLIONS if not BILLIONS of dollars to
work with. There would be at least one Christian person on this
planet who had millions upon millions of dollars, that would be
more than happy to fund, with space-age equipment, a Christian or
Muslim group who would "go and find" Noah's ark on the mountains
of Ararat, if indeed there had been ANY truth to past stories of
people having seen such a ship frozen up there in the smow and
Woodrow gives the names of people who have climbed Mount
Ararat from the time of J.Parrot in 1829, who it is thought was
the first man to do so. none of them found any concrete evidence
of a mighty ship frozen up there in the snow and ice.
Not to be surprised, many still today climb Ararat, the
local hotel near the town of Dogubayazit has a busy and lucrative
buisness from would be climbers and searchers for Noah's ark.
The mountain has been searched by helicopters and planes,
photos taken, even from orbiting satellites.
Woodrow tells of R. Bailey ("Where is Noah's Ark?" Abingdom,
1978), giving a detailed account of a fellow called John Libi who
claimed he had a dream that told him of the location of the ark.
Libi repeatedly search Mount Ararat, making his seventh and final
climb in 1969 at age 73. But he never found Noah's ark.
Stories have persisted of someone finding Noah's ark, a
Kurdish farmer in 1948 was one such fellow, but when as Woodrow
explains, A.J.Smith, from a Bible College in North Carolina went
there, he could find no one who knew the story or the man who had
claimed he had seen the ark up on the mountain of Ararat.
Such is the mind-set of "religious zealots" who will do
moves, inside out, upside down, sideways shuffle, back walking,
flip-flops, hand stands, to say Noah's Ark is found on mount
Ararat. To be sure, with our space age technology, you can be
confident that every effort would be made by wealthy Christian
groups to find Noah's ark, on Ararat, if indeed it has been seen
to be there by someone at some times.
ARARAT - DID THE ARK REST THERE?
Again many have mis-read what the bible actually does say.
It says in Genesis 8:4, "And the ark rested...upon the mountains
Woodrow correctly points out that Ararat was the name of a
country or region. It was the "kingdom of Ararat" (Jeremiah
51:27). The word "Ararat" and "Armenia" are both from the same
Hebrew word, in Strong's Concordance the number is 780. Ararat
could well then be the older form of the region of Armenia.
The ark upon the waters drifted from Mesopotamia into the
region of Ararat and its mountains. Then notice Genesis 8:4 says
the ark rested on the MOUNTAINS - plural - no upon a mountain
called Ararat, but rested on the mountainS of Ararat. The EXACT
mountain is NOT stated!!
For people to pick a mountain that THEY THINK is called
Ararat in the land called Turkey today, could well be the BIGGEST
mistake of their theological mind-set and beliefs. They could
very well be looking in a totally WRONG region of that agea of
the planet earth. With that in view it is then no wonder at all
that for the last 200 years NO ONE has found Noah's ark, not even
with space-age technology. If, and it is only an IF .... IF God
did allow the ark to be preserved where it came to rest, then it
could well be at another location quite different and quite far
away from a mountain in Turkey, that most THINK is mount Ararat.
but remember again the words of Genesis 8:4 - the ark came to
rest on the mountainS of Ararat, the specific mountain is NOT
named. So even if Ararat is that area of Turkey, then NO specific
mountain in the mountains of Ararat is mentioned as the one on
which the ark came to rest.
Woodrow points out that it was WAY BACK in the 3rd century
B.C. that it was a man called Berosus that claimed the ark came
to rest on the southern area of Armenia in the KURDISTAN
mountains. So it has not always been thought or taught or
believed that Ararat meant the region of Turkey. When we see
that Ararat and Armenia are taken from the same Hebrew word in
the biuble, we can see why some like Berosus in the third century
B.C. held to the view that the ark came to rest in Kurdistan
mountains of Armenia.
The Lamsa version of the Bible, taken from the Syriac
Peshitta (which I have in my personal library) calls the
mountains of Genesis 8:4 "the Kardo mountains." Lamsa has a
footnote that says "a chain of mountains in northern Iraq."
The mountain chain is named from the Kurdish people, who
inhabited them at one time, though later they migrated further
north. At first they lived in a region that is now northern Iraq
across some foothills and mountains that boardered the
So many in the east, including the Christians established
there, have viewd in the past, that it was this northern area of
Iraq, as we know it today, that the ark came to rest.
Woodrow gives further proof of this understanding as to
where the ark came to rest by quoting from Hippolytus of the 3rd
century A.D. (Refutation of All Heresies, 10:26), "in the
mountains called Ararat, which are situated in the direction of
the country of the Adiabeni."
Also quoted by Woodrow is Sextus Julius Africanus, a noted
"church father" who also said that the mountains on which the ark
rest are "in Parthia" - which points to the same general
direction as northern Iraq.
The Koran (Hud 11:46) gives the name of the mountain as Judi,
" ... and the ark rested on the mountain Al Judi." A footnote in
some versions, mentions that this mountain is one which divides
Armenia on the south from Mesopotamia. Again the same general
area as where the Kurds once lived.
As Woodrow admits, all these quotes from varies persons in
different centuries, do not all say exactly the same thing. But
it does point out that it is FAR from the truth that everyone at
all times and in all ages, have taught that the mountain the ark
came to rest upon was a mountain called Ararat in the land of
Turkey. Some held to the belief that the ark came to rest much
further south in the area we today would call northern Iraq, a
region that would have bordered on the great Mesopotamia plain.
And that is probably exactly why no one has discovered
Noah's Ark in Turkey, if of course God has preserved it in the
first place, which is in itself highly questionable, seeing that
human nature would probably workship the "creatutre" more than
Nevertheless, remember Genesis 8:4 says the ark came to rest
on the mountainS - plural - of Ararat, and no specific mountain
TO BE CONTINUE