Hello everyone. How was your Thanksgiving? Sharon and I had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We flew to Indianapolis to be with family and had a great time except for getting beat playing the game “Upwords” by Cameron and Tyler (ages 13 and 11 respectively). We will never live that one down!
We left our story last time with an expedition being formed in the United States to go and check out the boat-shaped object that was discovered by Captain Ilhan Duripinar in the mountains of Ararat in eastern Turkey. But why did the expedition think that this site was worth going half way around the world to a dangerous, remote place? Let’s let Dr. Brandenburger describe what he saw on the negatives in his own words:
“I am pleased to inform you that we have finished our measurements. The results are shown on the maps I have enclosed. These measurements show that the petrified ship has a length of 500 feet, a width of 160 feet, and reaches a height of 20 feet in some places. The inclination of the ship amounts to 11½ degrees. The documents show a topographic map in the scale of 1:1500, 16 cross sections, 2 longitudinal sections and a perspective of the ship.
In carrying out these measurements with the Wild A-7, the impression that the finding must be a petrified ship was further substantiated.”
I know this was a bit boring and technical but it gave the expedition the final impetus they needed to go to that remote place in Turkey because, after all, Dr. Brandenburger was one of the world’s foremost experts in photogrammetry and aerial photography and he was saying that this looks like a petrified ship and it is the exact length given in the Bible. The width was different than what was in the Bible because the ship had collapsed and splayed somewhat.
So they left for the remotest part of Turkey in June of 1960. When they got there disaster struck. At least it looked that way for a while. There was a government coup with all of the cabinet members imprisoned and various government departments closed down. What would happen to their permit for the expedition? All they could do was wait and see if they would get to go to the site. After what seemed like an eternity they got the word from the new government that their expedition would be allowed to proceed.
Finally they arrived in Dogubeyzit, a small town near the boat-shaped object where the Turkish Third Army was headquartered. An army escort was provided lead by Major Baykal and fifteen soldiers. Captain Ilhan Duripinar also joined the expedition. How do you think they traveled to the site? That’s right, by horseback. Well, you can imagine how some of those in the expedition felt because they had never ridden horses before, at least not for this long a distance.
Early in the morning of June 6, 1960 after a few hours of riding, Major Baykal stopped the column on a gentle mountain slope. All dismounted and welcomed the relief. Major Baykal wandered away and could be seen looking over his maps and then looking over the landscape. He didn’t seem to know where the boat-shaped object was. It seemed like a very long time had passed and the explorers were beginning to wonder if he could find the object of their search.
Suddenly he shouted, “There she is, men! There she is!”
There they were in the midst of jagged mountains and sloping valleys. But it didn’t look like what they thought it would. There, across a greenish-brown valley lay the perfect image of a ship, nestled among the rocks. It looked like a ship but to the explorers it didn’t fit the photographic study that Dr. Brandenburger had done. Could this actually be the ark? Many in the group were disappointed. It just didn’t seem to fit. Professor Brandenburger was sure it was a ship, but he was the only one.
They had to climb over rocks and crawl through crevasses to reach the earthen wall that had been identified on the aerial photograph as the probable side of the ship.
At last! They had finally reached the object. Now they could know for sure if this was Noah’s Ark. Or could they? Dr. Brandenburger and Captain Ilhan unpacked the field equipment while others scouted for the right spot to dig. With hand tools borrowed from the local villagers the first trench was dug.
And that’s “A Closer Look”
We will continue our fascinating story in our next article of “A Closer Look”. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our web site. There is plenty of material there that will boost your faith and confidence in God’s Word.