September/October 2008 Update

Director’s corner: Updated insight on Anchorstones
Over the last few years there has been much greater examination on the oversize drogue stones in and around the town of Arzep in Eastern Turkey. For a number of years now there have been some who completely deny any connection of these out of place artifacts with the story of Noah’s Ark.

The large stones were first observed and identified by Ron Wyatt and his sons back on their first trip to Turkey in 1977. The manner in which they were found is worth mentioning simply due to the miraculous nature of the find.

Ron had been impressed for years to visit the site in Eastern Turkey, looking for the boat-shaped formation, first visited by the Vandeman expedition in 1960. Mr. Vandeman explains in his unpublished manuscript dated May 31,1962, "This was no idle adventure. This would be no expedition of sportsmen climbing a mountain for diversion and hoping for some sensational find. This was serious business. Archaeologists across the land were interested in this probe into eastern Turkey. Great institutions in both Europe and America, among them the British Museum, were eagerly watching the outcome of my mission."

Seventeen years later some of the original members of that earlier expedition had passed away, those left were little help to Ron in pinpointing the location of the boat shape. Ron was on his own, or at least one might think so. But God, as He always is, was way ahead of things.

Vandeman had arrived in Turkey on Turkish Airways Flight 651, at 8:45 p.m. local time, on May 22, 1960. He stayed in the Grand Balin hotel in Ankara, room 506, this would become the nerve center for the expedition. One important note, worthy of mention, was that he landed in a real hornets nest. The Government was in turmoil and was about to be overthrown, and Vandeman was right in the middle of it. This seems to always be the case when dealing with something amazing. His mission was now in jeopardy, it was about one week later that word came that all was cancelled. I can say without hesitation, from years of experience, that you don’t need a coup for things to change abruptly.

Vandeman now found himself facing a new leader, Mr. Selim Sarper. What luck! Sarper had been the Turkish representative to NATO, and Vandeman had been in his office before in Paris. The question was, could the new foreign minister provide permission to get back on track?

Through an interesting turn of events Monday evening, their "hopes were suddenly boosted by an exciting telephone conversation with the Honorable Selim Sarper’s daughter. We immediately recognized that she, too, was personally interested in our plans. She could see no reason, except the press of more urgent business, why we could not go. She would talk to her father and report back."

"The next day word came, we were back in business, and preparations went into high gear."

The group that finally emerged would travel by train from Ankara to Erzurum, the same mode of transport that Wyatt would use on his adventure in 1977. From Erzurum to Dogubayazit, the eastern most city in Turkey, the trip by vehicle would take over 4 hours.

Seventeen years after the Vandeman group made their trek, Wyatt and his sons traveled the same dusty roads. Ron was in search of the boat shaped formation examined by the Vandeman team, but how would he find it? The Vandeman group rode out on horseback to the site.

The only option was to leave it in God’s hands. After all, He had impressed Ron to make the trip in the first place. Ron prayed a very simple, yet specific prayer, asking the Lord to stop the vehicle where they needed to look. As they neared the center of Dogubayazit, the taxi stalled. Here was the sign that Ron had prayed for. The three excitedly exited the vehicle to mark the site with a pile of rocks.

This is where their search would begin. After restarting the taxi, and getting started down the road again, it stalled for a second time. With perhaps a little less enthusiasm the group exited the taxi and erected another pile of rocks. This was fairly close to the first pile, so they wondered what that meant.

This scenario played out one additional time further down the road. Ron was now perhaps more confused than ever, but he had prayed for a sign, so each area would be investigated.

The next day the real adventure began, as God helped them find amazing artifacts connected with the story. This is how Ron first came across the large drogue stones.

The first artifact they came across, in fact was not an anchorstone at all, but what appeared to be a huge piece of petrified wood. It was completely out of place for the surrounding terrain. The top looked just like the outside bark of a tree, but it had turned to stone. Tapping on the stone with another rock, made for a most unusual sound. As they continued on, they found numerous large drogue stones in the area. (Follow-up surveys of the area have yielded 23 in all).

Over the years as we have examined them closely, we have noticed they fall into two distinct categories. One group has a very distinct honing out of the tether hole, (the inside diameter is larger than the outside diameter). The other group reveals a standard type penetration into the rock, some straight through, others at angles. This observation reveals at least two distinct uses of these large stones.

For years now many have believed that the drogue stones were used to create drag, forcing the rear of the ship downward, thus lifting the bow. This would have been a critical aspect for the survival of the ship in open seas, with the bow raised it would automatically head or steer the vessel into turbulent waters, thus reducing the chance of being hit broadside by a rouge wave. These drogue stones could be tethered to the rear of the ship, most likely to the large keelsons that extended past the stern.

Upon examination of the varying types of stones, we believe some were designed to be hung from the sides of the ship for the entire length. If secured by two ropes, (plus one rope locking the stones at a pre-determined distance from one another), one from each side of the vessel, with the stones locked in place at the longest length, these would act as aquatic shock absorbers. The rolling of the ship, from side to side would cause these stones to swing back and forth, creating drag no matter which way the ship rolled. This too would help prevent the boat from capsizing. God, as the Architect, thought of every circumstance for the preservation of His faithful. As we continue to study the remains and examine the story more closely, we will indeed discover greater insight to this amazing find.

Jerry Bowen

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