Over the last ten years, many people traveled to the Middle East with Ron Wyatt to assist in his explorations and research. In June, about a dozen of us got together there to continue the work Ron loved so much. Some of us knew each other, having crossed paths on one trip or another, but this was the first time all of us were together. It was a very busy month!
I was accompanied on this trip by my friend Jerry Bowen who traveled with me before. We spent a week in Turkey exploring and documenting research on Noah’s Ark. We went in about a week ahead of Jonathan Gray’s group and about 2 days behind Aaron Sen and Ross Patterson’s group. (This was due to problems with airline schedules around the “Memorial Day” holiday in the USA.)
Then we moved on to Israel for about a week of exploration where we met up with Jonathan’s group and 2 or 3 others coming for that part of the trip. From there we all went to Egypt for a 4-day dive at the Red Sea crossing site. After that, the group went different directions. Jerry and I headed back to Israel for about 4 days and then back home.
The Turkish part of our trip ended up being the most exciting and productive part of the entire 4 weeks because the whole atmosphere of eastern Turkey had changed. We were not only able to get to the Ark site but to Kazan (where most of the anchor stones are located) as well.
When I visited the same area in 1997 tensions were high as a guerilla war was going on in the area. When we visited Kazan we were only able to stay for about 30 minutes because we began to feel as if our safety was in jeopardy. Since that time the hostilities have ended. On this trip we were able to spend the major part of 2 days on the Ark site itself and about 6-7 hours, spread over 2 days, at Kazan.
On the Ark site itself we performed a limited metal detector survey which revealed a pattern of metal on the top of the eastern side of the ark as well as on the eastern wall. We found and documented a metal plate (about 4″x 8″) which contained 2 rivets. This was imbedded in a petrified timber near the top of the formation. We also found a very nice specimen that is clearly petrified wood. At this time it is being tested for organic carbon.
In Kazan, because of the friendly atmosphere that now prevails, we found and documented seven anchor stones in the area, five of which I had not seen before. We also explored the remains of what we believe is Noah’s house and the area around it which includes what appears to be a huge altar stone near the crest of the hill.
We also attempted to walk up the hill from the ark site to the Iranian border where there are supposed to be some artifacts associated with Noah’s Ark but were warned off by the locals who told us the Turkish army would arrest anyone in the area who wasn’t a local tending sheep or cattle. Since we didn’t look “local,” we stopped about a 1/4 mile short. That was the only negative part of the Turkish part of the trip unless you count the 5.9 (Richter scale) earthquake that woke us up at about 6:00 am in the morning while we were in Ankara. Very scary stuff!!
We documented everything we could and then traveled back to Istanbul for our flight to Israel.
ON TO ISRAEL
We arrived in Israel on June 8th and began almost immediately to explore the sites we had planned. The Israeli part of the trip was mostly for re-documenting areas and sites that we had explored in the past. However we were hoping to turn up something fresh. We spent 2 days in the Dead Sea area checking out Sodom, Gomorrah and Zoar. But with temperatures approaching 115 F, we decided that it was too hot to attempt a search for the remains of Lot’s wife or to even spend any more time in the area. With temperatures that high, we could hardly spend an hour on the site without needing an hour rest break. Of course we were able to find fresh ash and brimstone samples.
For the rest of that part of the trip we stayed in Jerusalem looking for additional material related to the crucifixion site and the Ark of the Covenant. Although we were able to re-document a lot of the area we really found nothing new. However, part of the group (Ross Patterson) was able to photograph the ivory pomegranate at the Israeli Museum which is the only “officially admitted” artifact that exists from the first temple.
It was in Jerusalem that most of the entire group was able to meet. There were 13 of us. Jonathan and Josephine Gray, Dr. Tom Andrews and his daughter Clare, Graham Tierney, Glenn Coopman, Denis Heath, Andrew Jones, Aaron Sen, Roger Lutz, Bob Murrell, Jerry Bowen and myself.
We spent the next two days getting to know each other and talking about our experiences so far. It was a wonderful time. There was a spirit of cooperation, sharing and trust among everyone that was very refreshing to me in light of recent events. We all agreed that God was in charge of the work, not any person or organization; that we would share information with each other and network together to document and share as much evidence as possible that God has preserved of His major interventions in human history.
I am not at liberty to say exactly what those artifacts are but suffice it to say that we were not able to locate them. We had a number of troubles on the dive with equipment (no functional depth finder) and with personnel (various problems including an ear problem that kept me from diving for the first 2 days). Without the depth finder we were quite hampered and it became almost like looking for the proverbial “needle in the haystack”. That is the way it goes sometimes with these dives.
Aaron Sen, who has recorded more than 50 dives at this site told me that many of the dives he has been on come up empty. That is the nature of search and recovery diving. I was fortunate to have found some things on my first dive in 1998.
From there we went back to Jerusalem. Jerry and I spent some more time walking around the Old City and had some interesting experiences with several people we met but nothing of an archaeological interest.
In the near future, because of the dramatic change in eastern Turkey we would like to take a tour group to Noah’s Ark. I am planning it now and we are hoping to get at least one group out there by the end of September. I will release the details as soon as the arrangements are finalized.