Noah's Ark Newsletter, part 8
An Anchor Stone is "Unearthed"
In October, Ron again returned to the site, this time without me,
but with Mark Yates, one of the Australians we had met who had signed on
to work with Ron for a while. He had come to the U.S. and stayed with us
several weeks, helping us with some computer work. I still had a job and
had already used my vacation. Ron took some releases for Dilaver and Hasan
Ozer to sign for their appearance in the video documentary, which they
It was also at this time that he made an extremely important discovery,
one that put an end to the "Armenian cult stone" theory about the anchor
stones. Hasan Ozer showed him an anchor stone that had been buried in the
earth, perhaps since the time of the flood itself, and which was now
exposed due to erosion. On this stone were NO CROSSES! Ron and Dr. Shea
had supposed that since the crosses on the stones were Byzantine and
Crusader style, and since the majority of them had eight crosses, that
these early Christians somehow had connected these stones to the eight
survivors of the flood.
The newly exposed anchor was consistent with this conclusion - after
all, they couldn't carve crosses on a buried anchor stone, could they? Ron
would continue to travel to Turkey two to three times a year, sometimes
accompanied by me, and sometimes not. By this time, there wasn't much left
to do until the time that an excavation was possible.
At one time, in 1987, he had worked with Ankara in preparing an
excavation plan, as well as the building of several hotels in the region.
Ron had approached some people in Memphis, Tennessee, who were to finance
the project, and all seemed to be going along quite well. The
architectural drawings for a covering for the remains were "OK'd" and it
looked like nothing could stop it, but then came a financial reversal for
the money people. And all came to a dead halt. From this time on, the
prospect of getting the funding needed to excavate seemed an
A Call From Australia
In 1990, we were contacted by a man from Australia who had become
interested in the research after reading Dave Fasold's book, "The Ark of
Noah". As we have always done whenever a serious researcher inquires, we
sent him a package of material documenting Ron's research. He was anxious
to visit the site and we tried to arrange to meet him there in August of
1990, while we were there with Marv and Renetta Wilson. But circumstances
didn't work out, and we missed him by about a week or so. He came just
after we had left.
When we next heard from him, he was as excited as a person can get. He
was convinced it was the ark. But he too felt that it needed to be
excavated. He was forming an organization whose purpose was to be to raise
the funds to excavate. He asked Ron if this was OK with him, and Ron said
sure. Ron was not a member or a part of his organization, but it was
founded based on the research Ron had done, which included the part that
Dave participated in.
A Mini, Mini Excavation
Frustrated at being unable to excavate, Ron conceived an idea which he
felt would visually show the internal structure, or at least a little of
it, without damaging the structure. And in Oct. 1990, with our new friend,
Richard Rives of Matthews, NC., he again headed to the site to implement
his idea. They purchased some shovels and had the blades bent and
sharpened to form a crude "giant razor". They then began to simply smooth
the side of one badly eroding section of exposed rib timbers.
Being very careful not to remove more than just a minute amount of
dirt, they soon could see the color difference in the lighter rib timbers
as contrasted against the darker soil. It was a very convincing sight, the
whole process being videotaped so that no one could accuse him of
"cheating". (See newsletter # 5 for photo.) The rib timbers were now in
tiny fragments, but the fragments were still held in place by the
June 1991, An Important Finding
In June of 1991, Dr. Roberts came to our home and spent some time
delving into the research in earnest. Then, he joined our tour group,
which arrived in Turkey June 12. At the site, as Ron approached it from
the south end, a "rock" caught his eye, which he picked up. The tour group
witnessed this, and was astonished when Ron showed it to them. One side
bore the shape of a very large head of a rivet with a washer around it.
In earlier years, Ron had photographed what looked like groupings of
metal fittings on the sides of the ark, but he couldn't disturb them by
cleaning them off. Now, he felt he knew what these metal fittings looked
like- he would know for sure when he had it analyzed.
Analyses of the "Rivet"
Richard Rives met some people who worked at an international
corporation (with a local office near his home) that had its own
metallurgy laboratory. This company specializes in titanium and offered to
do lab analyses for us, which we were allowed to video-tape. We had
already had other analyses run on the rivet, which revealed the presence
of a very strange mixture of elements, which included iron, aluminum,
titanium and vanadium, to mention a few.
The metallurgy lab near Richard did some careful analyses on the
specimen, taking samples from what appeared to be the washer around the
head of the rivet, and then a sample just 1 cm. away from the washer, from
the area we were theorizing would have been wood. In the final report, the
chemist found it worthy to note in his report:
" It is interesting to note that location 1 (presumably fossilized
timber members) was found to contain much higher carbon (1.9%) than
location 2 (presumably fossilized metal."
The 4 analyses they ran showed that location 1 yielded a 1.88% and
1.97% carbon content while location 2 yielded a .14% and .13% amount. And
this certainly was important!
When an object undergoes the process of fossilization, as its molecules
are washed away by flowing water, molecules of objects the flowing water
has flowed over prior to reaching the fossilizing object, are washed in to
fill the voids left by the washed away molecules. I know that's a
mouthful, but its what occurs. Now, this water carrying new molecules to
fill in the empty holes doesn't play favorites and place lots of "red"
molecules in one place, and then very few "red" ones just one centimeter
away. This may be noticeable over some distance, but not this close.
So if some carbon molecules were washed in and filled the voids on this
rivet, it was a fairly uniform process- we could expect that 14 carbon
molecules in one location would equal about the same amount that was
washed into the adjacent area just a centimeter away. But to find 13 and
14 in one location, and then 1 cm. over, to find 188 and 197, tells us
that a bunch of those carbon molecules in the 2nd location were already
there! This is exactly what would be expected to be found if this really
was a fossilized metal washer and rivet (non-living matter) attached to a
piece of fossilized wood (once living matter).
The Permit to Excavate!
Dr. Roberts had earlier met a gentleman on an airline flight who was
with a very large British corporation which was known for funding projects
of major interest. In conversing with this gentleman, he had interested
him in Noah's Ark. By August of 1991, he had obtained a commitment from
the British firm to fund an excavation and had made all the proper
contacts with the Turks through their Sydney Embassy.
He kept in constant contact with Ron as to what he was doing, and said
he wanted Ron to head the excavation even though Ron was not connected
with his organization. To be honest, as much as we loved Dr. Roberts,
neither of us believed anything would come of it all. By now even I was
used to having people contact us with great ideas and promises of
assistance, only to have it dissolve into thin air. And no one was more
surprised when Dr. Roberts called to say, "I have the commitment if we can
get the permit - let's go!"
Pretty soon, Ron, Richard Rives, Marv Wilson and Dr. Roberts were in
Ankara, ready to make their proposal. I had drawn up a diagram of the
proposed excavation which was designed so as not to destroy much of the
ark, and to also leave remaining unexcavated sections close by so that no
one could say, "They just carved the ark remains out of the dirt".
August 1991 - "YES!"
On Thursday, August 29, the men met with officials in Ankara and
presented their proposal. Ron discovered that one of the men whom he had
worked closely with in past years, but who had been sent to the Turkish
Embassy in Egypt for a while, was back, and he was very excited to see Ron
again after such a long time. After presenting his request, Ron was told
that the permit would be issued- however, it was a Moslem Holy Day and
offices would be closed until Monday. They were told to return Monday and
pick up the permit. I can only imagine the excitement among the group of
men because by the time they returned home, the excitement they had felt
that day had long been forgotten.
The Tower of Babel? BAD IDEA!!!
With 3 1/2 days to kill, they decided to head to Erzurum the next day
and then a bit south, where Ron had suspected that the tower of Babel was
located. That's another story, which I won't get into here, but suffice it
to say that all present were eager to go look. They arrived in Erzurum
Friday and arranged for Dilaver to get a min-bus to take them south. It
was nearing dark, but they decided to go on anyhow. Pretty soon, the bus
came to halt and out of the woods came a swarm of men with machine guns,
who quickly unloaded them off the bus.
The men were members of the PKK, an outlaw group of Kurdish rebels,
known to take hostages in order to get their way. They only wanted
hostages who were foreign - Americans were "prime pickins," and so were
Britons, so they not only took Ron's group, they took a poor tourist from
England from the bus behind them. And off they went into the brush. It was
a terrible ordeal, which I won't go into here. Dr. Roberts just wrote a
book on the ordeal which we have received and found to be quite good. If
possible, we will try to obtain it and offer it to you through this
Meanwhile, Back in Tennessee
At home, I discovered what had happened almost immediately. They were
taken about 8:00 pm. Turkish time, which was about 12:00 noon on Friday,
my time. And it's funny the sort of details you remember during crisis
situations. I remember I was at a mattress company about that time
purchasing a king-sized bed as a surprise for Ron when he got home.
The next day, I received a call from one of the very few people whom we
had told about Ron's trip. Bob is a geologist for the State of Tennessee,
and when he heard on a Christian radio broadcast about 3 Americans, an
Australian and a Briton being taken hostage in eastern Turkey, he called
me to see if it was Ron.
When we had talked to him earlier, we told him that the man from the
British corporation might accompany them, and so he thought this group
sounded like Ron's. But I had known that the British gentleman hadn't
gone, so my first instinct was that it wasn't Ron's group. I also didn't
think they would be in eastern Turkey this soon. But at the same time, I
panicked a bit. I called the State Department and I shall never forget the
first few words of that conversation:
"Hello, My name is Mary Nell Wyatt, and I just heard about three
Americans being taken hostage in eastern Turkey. It probably isn't my
husband, whose name is Ron Wyatt, but could you check on this for me, or
have you heard anything?" Those were my approximate words, but HIS words,
He replied, "Let's see,...(pause) is your husband's middle name Eldon?"
At that, I went to pieces- that IS Ron's middle name! When he asked me
that, I knew it was true. I don't know what I would have done without my
daughter Amanda there. She had just turned 17 but she's strong as an ox
when the chips are down. I panicked for real this time, and she calmed me
down. Within a short while, I remember grabbing her in our hallway and we
stood and prayed. I asked the Lord to help us through this, to protect the
men, and to use this to His glory.
I was suddenly calm and managed to call the other wives, Elizabeth
Rives, Renetta Wilson and Margaret Roberts, and tell them what little I
knew, also telling them how I had become very calm after praying for
strength and guidance. They were all amazingly calm also. It was Elizabeth
that I was most concerned about, as she and Richard had two precious small
children not yet school age.
By the time the news had gotten out and the first news team was at our
doorstep, about two hours later, Amanda and I were completely calm,- so
much so that Ron's friends at the hospital later teased him, saying his
wife sure must not love him much because she sure didn't appear too upset
on the TV!
The Wives' Plan of Action
We wives collectively discussed what our husbands would want us to do
in a situation like this, and we decided to take advantage of the media
coverage suddenly thrust upon us to tell about Noah's Ark. I recalled how
in 1984, when Ron had been falsely accused of stealing artifacts from
Turkey, how that incident had served to publicize the research on the
site. And media coverage we got! Daily.
Oh, sometimes we were met with skepticism, which we in turn countered
with facts. But one thing that each of us said in our various interviews,
and which was NOT cut out, was that it was because of our faith that we
were not panicked. I even had the opportunity to present the evidence for
Noah's Ark in a public high school.
Renetta, living near Dallas, had many opportunities to witness of her
faith, as did Elizabeth who constantly amazed me at how well she was
holding up. Margaret, being in Australia, was more on her own than we
were, but she too exhibited incredible faith and courage through the
"Get 'Em While He's Gone"
One unpleasant part of the whole affair was coming from the usual
critics - a reporter told me that he had just talked to a former
associate-turned-critic who was claiming that Ron was dishonest and had
fabricated the evidence. This man, along with others, was also claiming
that the whole hostage affair was staged. With that, I met my limit.
I had our police officer friend, Sgt. Mark Wynn, come over and, with
him present (because I wanted a witness to what I said), I called this man
at his place of business. I told him who I was and asked him a favor as a
Christian - I asked him to please refrain from slandering my husband while
he was missing and while I didn't even know if he was alive or dead. I
acknowledged that he had a right to his opinion of Ron and I didn't mean
to deny that, but AS A FAVOR, I asked him to hold off until Ron was home -
for MY sake.
He finally agreed to do so, but only after a lengthy conversation in
which he flat out told me that Ron had "made" the deck timber himself, and
several other claims which I knew as a fact were pitiful lies. I ended up
actually feeling sorry for him and told him that after all was said and
done, Ron would like nothing more than for all of them to be working
together again. This caused a reaction from him which I still do not know
how to interpret, except as sadness.
Dave Fasold's Plan of Attack
Dave Fasold was a different story. He called and was furious at what
had happened. No matter if he and Ron were working independently, he was
ready to go over and rescue them. He talked about going to the head of the
PKK and working out a deal for their release. I'm not sure what Dave
planned to do, but he eventually realized that he really couldn't do
anything. However, I will always remember with gratitude his willingness.
"Honey, I Bought You a New Bed?!"
When the whole affair was over and Ron came home, then I fell apart. It
was the first time I had ever seen him in a weakened state. He had lost
over 20 lbs. and was limping, an injury that it turned out wasn't serious.
He still had the makeshift walking cane the Kurdish guerrillas had
fashioned for him out of a branch. I surprised him with the new bed, but
he was so used to sleeping on the cold ground that he couldn't enjoy it
for a week or two. Habits are a funny thing. Richard had Elizabeth fix the
same things for breakfast - tomatoes and cucumbers - that they had eaten
while off in the hills.
There was a short flurry of more media attention, then all calmed down,
almost back to normal. But the sad fact was that it was now too late to
excavate - the season was over. And in time, the British corporation,
which is a major concern, suffered financial troubles which caused it to
withdraw the pledge of financial assistance. Back at square one, we picked
up the pieces and got back to normal.
Dr. Roberts, on the other hand, had received a tremendous amount of
publicity in Australia and began to suffer horrendous persecution from a
well-known atheistic geologist, Ian Plimer. He suffered a terrible ordeal
which his wife Margaret told me recently had taken its toll on him. We
don't know the details, but we are keeping him in our prayers and ask you
to do the same. He suffered phlebitis during the hostage ordeal and
apparently is still not completely well.
Aug. 1992 - Another Tour Group
In August of 1992, we took our second tour group to Noah's Ark. As we
neared Dogubeyazit, there extended across the sky a beautiful rainbow, and
we had the bus pull over to the side. Everyone got out and photographed
and videotaped the beautiful sight. Some were saying it was a sign - and
it may have been. But if so, it wasn't a sign of what we expected.
Soon after we got back on the bus and headed down the road, a group of
soldiers flagged us down, all with the usual machine guns. One boarded who
spoke English. After an interrogation, we were told that we couldn't go
any further. The region was still unstable and a bus was too big of a
target for the terrorists.
The disappointment on the faces of the people was terrible to me, as I
remembered how much I wanted to see the ark back in 1988. But then, Henry
Gruver led us in a prayer, and everyone there seemed at peace. It was
actually turning into a real adventure.. It was late in the day and we
weren't even allowed to go to a hotel in Dogubeyazit. Orders were to leave
We couldn't make it back to Erzurum so we headed to Agri. Once there,
Dilaver took us to the best hotel he could find, which was pretty
terrible. No baths in the rooms. But no one complained and instead
everyone seemed to have a terrific time.
Ron met with the police there to see if arrangements could somehow be
made to get the folks out to the boat, but all they said that could be
done was put everyone in taxis and go there in small groups. Their
reasoning was that terrorists would not suspect taxis like they would a
tour bus. But with the responsibility of the group's safety in his hands,
Ron decided that this was not an option. The region was becoming too
dangerous to even visit the site - would it ever improve?
Meeting with Salih Bayraktutan In July of 1987, one month after the
dedication ceremony, John Baumgardner, Salih Bayraktutan of Ataturk
University, Tom Fenner of GSSI, and others returned to the site to do
their own radar scan under the authority of the Turkish Prime Ministry. We
were given a copy of that report by a third party, and to be sure that it
was authentic, I took a copy of it to Turkey on that 1992 tour group, and
when Ron and I met with Salih Bayraktutan, I showed it to him and asked it
if was authentic. He assured me that it was. The reason this report is
important is because members of that effort are stating that they were
unable to get the same radar results that Ron and Dave did, in an attempt
to cast doubt on the accuracy of their scans.
In this highly scientifically written document, full of technical terms
and expressions, it states "All of the scans shown in Figure 7 were
obtained with the radar operating at a frequency of 120 MHz in order to
achieve the maximum possible penetration." What this means is that they
set the radar to reflect NOT what may lie WITHIN the structure, but what
IS ON THE BOTTOM. And even then, their results did not nullify the earlier
scans, which were done using various frequencies in order to reflect the
structure at various depths.
In this official report, it states, "We conclude that the data from our
geophysical investigations in no way conflict with the proposition that
the unusual boat-shaped site near Mahser village contains the remains of
Noah's Ark." It went on to state: "However, without actual samples of the
subsurface materials we feel that definitive interpretations of our data
are not possible. On the other hand, we believe samples obtainable through
core-drilling a small number of holes in the site can provide the
It must have taken a lot of nerve to write such a report, stating that
their tests didn't "conflict with the idea that this was Noah's Ark" after
the Turks had determined that it was. They even got to do their core drill
in 1988, and when we spoke to Salih in 1992, he complained that several
thousand dollars was still owed by the parties involved for the
transporting of the drill rig and building a road to the site. I can write
this - I heard it with my own two ears.
To be concluded
Index of Newsletters
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