Noah's Ark Newsletter, part 7
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, of 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 in 1987, he would make five trips. 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
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.
More Complete Radar Scans
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 3 feet, or five feet, or 10 feet or 15, etc.
The picture was emerging of a massive ship with chambers still evident;
with one outside door which had a ramp system which led to each level;
with long, massive timbers extending out from back of the ship, something
which he still does not understand.
A Mystery Now Solved
He discovered that the hull had a very large void down its center, the
same approximate size as the strange section of ground he 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 had found the strange section of ground which
appeared to be rimmed with petrified wood, and contained 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
He believed the ark had originally landed at this higher location and
as the water dried, the hull was embedded in the earth. Then, a volcano
over what is now the Iranian border to the south, he theorized, erupted
and ejected a massive amount of lava which reached the ark, and then
ripped it from the embedded portion of the hull, 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.
June 20, 1987- the Dedication of Noah's Ark
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, Mine Unler translating. As things began to break up,
Governor Ekinci asked Ron to do a radar scan on the site to demonstrate
for the journalists the unseen structure beneath the earth.
A Timber on the Radar
Governor Ekinci issued instructions that the American crew was to stay
upon the hill. They were not to film this event- 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 10
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.
July 1987- MORE Scans
He returned again in July, again, less than a month after his last
trip, and did even more radar scans. He now had enough data to begin
construction of a small model of what the metal detector and radar scans
revealed. The top 2 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 (they
did not run the entire length of the ship) by locating the point where the
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.
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?
The Deck Timber Analysis
On Sept. 16, 1987, he took the section of petrified wood that had been
dug up on June 20, to Galbraith Labs in Knoxville, TN. 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
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
The result was that it contained .71% total carbon. Inorganic carbon
totaled .0081%. It contained .7019% ORGANIC CARBON- almost 100 times more
organic than inorganic! It passed the test - but a new phase was about to
Why Didn't The Ark Make Headlines?
The evidence was there. It was beyond the realm of simple coincidence
that every detail was consistent with the object containing the remains of
a ship which could only be Noah's Ark. But the world wasn't about to
accept it. The traditional ark hunters continued to search on Mt. Ararat
even though Turkish scientists and archaeologists had determined that it
was a ship in the mountains of Ararat - a very ancient ship - and that it
could be nothing else except the ark of Noah.
The main problem is that it was a phenomena that is "one of a kind"- no
other object comparable to it has ever existed. A 4,300 year old wooden
ship simply could not survive without a means of preservation such as the
lava which covered it so many years ago. This lava effectively hid it from
the world for perhaps several thousands of years; therefore, there was no
knowledge of its location during this time.
Some of the names of various locations in the region still retained the
connection to the ark, such as "The Place of the Eight", "Doomsday
Mountain", etc., but the local inhabitants admitted, when questioned by
Orhan Baser in 1984, that they had no idea where these names came from. In
the early 1900s, the local inhabitants of the region were attacked and
completely removed from the area by people who came in and replaced them.
They took over their villages, moved into their homes and plowed their
fields. All knowledge that the original inhabitants may have had of the
history and legends of the region were lost when this occurred. This war
was so bloody and devastating that the museum in Erzurum has an entire
floor dedicated to it.
IF the ark had landed on Mt. Ararat, it would have had to have been a
much smaller mountain at that time, because it would have been impossible
for all of the animals to have walked down off the mountain as it is
today. And if THAT did happen, then the ark would surely have been
destroyed in the passage of time and numerous explosions of the, at times,
extremely active volcano throughout history.
The logical place to look would be in the cretaceous mountains of the
region - mountains that were NON-volcanic and within the altitude that
scientists have determined would be the maximum depth all of the water in,
on and above the earth, would attain if all was on the surface at one
When Ron was investigating the site with the radar, he noticed that the
internal "lines" all converged at each end, consistent with the timbers of
a ship. But to be sure it wasn't just a very rare geologic "quirk" that he
wasn't familiar with, he took the radar OUTSIDE of the perimeter of the
object and performed scans above it, below it and along each side.
He found nothing other than random loose stones in the soil. Earlier,
in 1985 when Dave, John and Ron did the metal detector scans, they too
checked the adjacent terrain for similar readings. However, they too,
found none. In the live interview John Baumgardner did with CBN's "700
Club" back in August of 1985, he confirmed this when asked if the
formation was unique: "We feel that the formation is quite unique. There's
several formations that have a superficially similar shape and we've
investigated several of them. And they, uh, as we investigate them, we
find they do not have the special characteristics we find in the site
we've been focusing on."
The world at large doesn't WANT to know the ark really existed, and
therefore that the Bible is true. Just recently, when an Australian film
crew visited the site and personally saw the metal detector scans
performed, they didn't even film it. An eye-witness to the event said they
only filmed what they thought would serve to discredit the site. It IS
possible to twist and omit truths in a way which presents an overall
picture that looks convincing, but is, in fact, a lie. Look at all the
people who proclaim with a bold-face that men have never walked on the
I Hear About Noah's Ark for the First Time
And this brings us to another phase in Ron's life. In April of 1988, a
salesman in the brokerage firm where I worked told me that he knew the man
who had discovered Noah's Ark. I had only recently renewed my faith in the
Biblical account and become a dedicated believer. Even so, I met Buford's
statement with, "Sure, Buford". But he insisted that it was true. I asked
him to call this man and see if he had any books or anything - I had lived
in Nashville since 1977, but I didn't recall hearing about this man.
To make a long story short, in a few weeks, Ron came to my office after
Buford had told him that he had some co-workers who were interested in
hearing about Noah's Ark. He spent a couple of hours telling us about the
ark and some of his other discoveries, but the thing that stood out in my
mind was that I had never heard anyone speak so openly about Christ and
"the Lord" as he did. Anyhow, with only a couple of photographs (small
ones at that) I was convinced he was telling the truth.
After he left, I decided that evening - I was spending my summer
vacation visiting Noah's Ark. Ron had told us it was official and about
the visitors' center, so I began to call travel agents, only to discover
that their reaction was about like mine when Buford told me he knew the
man who found Noah's Ark. So, about a week later, I had Buford call "Mr.
Wyatt" for me and get directions to the ark. Buford began writing down
strange foreign names of cities, and finally he said, "Here, you talk to
When I got on the phone, Ron was surprised to learn that the person
wanting to go was a female, and he told me under no circumstances could I
go there by myself. I was crushed - I had a video camera and had planned
to tape the ark to use as a means to prove the validity of the Bible to
others. But, he hesitantly told me that if I could afford it, if I could
take directions and stay out of the way, he guessed I could go with his
next expedition, which would go the next month. I was thrilled, and was
able to quickly make the arrangements. But NEVER did I suspect how my life
was about to change.
June 1988 - to Turkey, Again
Dr. Nathan Meyer accompanied us, and the other member had cancelled out
at the last minute. When we arrived at the ark, Hasan Ozer, the villager
from Uzengili which is right above the ark, met us at the bus and showed
us the new visitors' center which was still under construction.
The ark in person is incredibly breathtaking. As we walked down to it
and got closer, the indentions where the rib timbers were deteriorating
away and leaving voids were extremely visible. Ron walked the entire site
with us, explaining every feature, showing us the deck joists that
extended out from the interior sides where the decks had collapsed. He
showed us deck support timbers that were protruding from the earth-
timbers that had once held up the decks much like the poles in a basement
hold up the floor of the house. He took us around to the side and showed
us where the 1960 team had blown several holes in it with dynamite, and
from which he had obtained numerous specimens of petrified wood.
Rifles Pointed in our Faces
Then, he wanted to take Dr. Meyer and I up the mountain to see the
broken stele which had the pictographs of the ark with 8 faces in it, and
the ravens, etc. As our taxi drove up, a whole gang of soldiers met us at
the car, their rifles pointed in our direction. For the first time, I
realized Ron had been telling the truth about it being dangerous.
Anyhow, Dilaver, the taxi driver and Ron's long-time friend, smoothed
things over and we soon found ourselves inside the crude military
building, having terrible tea. The soldiers presented me with a macrame
necklace they had made which had a bullet hanging from the intricate
pattern of the thread, which reminded me of thick dental floss.
It was raining a bit and we stood outside in the drizzle, just staring
down the mountain. The ark was down the mountain, mostly hidden by the
rugged hills, while off in the distance we could see the structure which
had incorporated in it the broken pieces of the stele. And we weren't
allowed near it. As we stood around, I mentioned to Nathan (Dr. Meyer)
that since we were here, where the first rainbow in history was ever seen,
wouldn't it be something if we could see one now? After all, it was
With that, Nathan spoke a most beautiful prayer, requesting that if it
was His will, we would like to see a rainbow (I don't remember the exact
words). Within 5 or so minutes, there appeared in the sky a double rainbow
which seemed to start at the stele and extended across the sky, ending
about where the ark was. I cannot express how that made us feel, and I
rarely have told others about it. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but
you'll never convince any of us that that's the case. We treasure our
photos of this rainbow.
Three young travelers from Australia that we had met in a Cairo ticket
office joined us the next day. Before the trip, Ron had enlisted me in
helping him with an experiment on the anchor stones. The "Ararat Report"
article had claimed that the "Armenian specialist", (who claimed that the
anchor stones were actually made by the Armenians as pagan objects),
claimed that when the Armenians converted to Christianity, they chiseled
away the original inscriptions and replaced them with Christian crosses.
Ron had learned about a procedure the Egyptologists used in determining
if earlier inscriptions had been removed from monuments and others
chiseled on top of them. This involved "painting" the surface with an
invisible liquid that is only visible in ultraviolet light. After a length
of time, this liquid seeps into the tiny cracks and crevasses which are
not visible to the naked eye, but which can be seen with the ultraviolet
My brother-in-law works in research and development for Kodak in
Rochester, NY so I called him. He referred me to a certain department at
Kodak where I explained what we wanted to do. They sent me information on
the procedure. We were able to find the liquid and a portable ultraviolet
light. With the help of everyone, we painted the crosses on the anchor
stone that is standing in the village during the day, as well as a couple
of other objects with crosses. We had done a practice run on a head-stone
in a private cemetery just outside of Nashville and knew we needed to wait
several hours before observing the results.
We returned that night with the light and none of the eyes we had with
us could see any evidence of any earlier inscriptions- everything was
clean with no small cracks. And the villagers were quite fascinated with
the whole thing.
Back at the ark, after the Aussies were with us, Ron told us about the
ballast material and described what it looked like. Before long, Nathan
appeared with a very large "rock" and asked Ron if this was what he was
talking about - and sure, enough, Ron's eyes nearly bugged out of their
sockets. Yes! And it was a beauty! It was the best specimen Ron had seen
yet for displaying the unique appearance that slag has.
Ron's Permanent New Assistant
It was a wonderful trip and I could certainly see how Ron had become
what some would call "obsessed" with the ark. Incidentally, we were
married a few weeks after we returned, on July 5, 1988. But my excitement
was soon to become tempered with the frustration I would suffer when I
learned the extent to which the personal persecution would go. Ron was
used to it, but I'd never experienced anything like it. In fact, in my
wildest dreams, I would have never believed that people who go by the name
of Christian, would or even could be so vicious. "Who" was my husband that
these people would want to say such terrible things about him? But I soon
understood - they couldn't discredit the ark, so they were trying to
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