Adventurist will recount quest to find Noah's Ark
St. Petersburg Times
After Ron Wyatt 's first taste of archaeology field work
near the Turkish-Iranian border, he left his equipment, camping
gear, car keys and most of his field samples at his hotel. It was
either that or negotiate with a band of Turkish thieves raging
outside his hotel room with knives and cudgels.
``Spooky`` is how he describes the first of many trips to Turkey
in search of the Biblical Noah's Ark.
``I didn't speak any Turkish. I hired the wrong taxi driver and
guide. The hotel was even in on it. They turned the lights out. My
two sons and I had to climb out the hotel window with sheets tied to
the bed,`` he recalls.
Undeterred, the amateur archaeologist ignored the dangers
apparently inherent with the search for the ark. He returned to the
site 23 times.
His persistence paid off.
In 1987, the Turkish government credited Wyatt, a nurse
anesthetist from Nashville, Tenn., with the discovery of Noah's Ark.
A national park, complete with a visitors center and highway to the
site of the artifact, has been created and is open to tourists.
Physical evidence found by Wyatt in the Mount Ararat region of
Turkey, including stone anchors and grave markers, have been
reported by various news media in the continuing quest to find
On Sunday, Wyatt will recount his search for Noah's Ark at the 11
a.m. and 7 p.m. worship services at God's News Behind the News
Television and Radio headquarters, 6550 Mango Ave. S in west St.
Petersburg, just east of Pasadena Avenue. Wyatt also will appear on
God's News Behind the News on WCLF-Ch. 22. The broadcast date has
not been set.
Wyatt's visit to the Tampa Bay area comes on the heels of his
first book, Discovered: Noah's Ark!, which describes how his
Christian faith has become intertwined with his quest. However, he
said that he has difficulties describing his faith.
``My object was not to prove the Bible but to see what had
happened,`` he said. ``My faith came as a result of the search. I
believed that I believed, but there's a difference between belief by
proof and philosophical rationale.``
He emphasizes that his exposure to a variety of religions and
ethnic groups has taught him ``to have respect for every human being
regardless of where they are.``
Wyatt's fascination with the ark was triggered after reading an
article in Life magazine in 1959 about a curious boat-shaped
formation near Mount Ararat in Turkey. The Biblical account has it
that the ark came to rest on Mount Ararat after a flood inundated
In 1977, armed with a map and a Turkish guide who spoke no
English, the explorer scoured Mount Ararat and the surrounding area.
His only lead was that a boat-shaped formation lay somewhere within
six miles of the Turkey-Iran border. At one point, Wyatt, who was
accompanied by his two sons, unwittingly crossed over the Iranian
After a week of wandering, the team found the site on the
southwest side of the mountain at 6,300 feet.
``I got goose bumps from head to toe when I saw it sitting
there,`` he said. ``Here was this 500-foot boat with timbers that
were protruding that were massive.``
Scientific analysis of the 515-foot boat-shaped object by the Los
Alamos National Geophysics Laboratories of New Mexico and Galbraith
Laboratories of Knoxville, Tenn., indicated substantial portions of
fossilized wood and large quantities of metal. Wyatt, who was
entrusted with several artifacts from the site by the Turkish
government, said he hopes the artifacts and the results of new
analyses will be made accessible to the public by the end of this