(Investigator 24, 1992 May)
Dr Roberts on the cover
It seemed that the existence of Noah's Ark was about to be confirmed. The Turkish Government had given permission for an archaeological dig of a huge boat-shaped structure 2,000 metres above sea level and 20 miles from Mount Ararat.
Unfortunately the dig didn't proceed because Dr. Allen Roberts and four others were kidnapped and held for three weeks. However, funds are being raised for a renewed attempt in 1992.
One fund raising event was a lecture by Dr. Roberts in Adelaide on the evening of April Fools Day.
Dr. Roberts stressed: "I do not claim this is Noah’s Ark. But many do think it is Noah's Ark including the Turkish Government."
The audience of about one thousand were shown 10 different slides and given the evidence:
The area in question is a vast mud-filled valley. The alleged Ark was raised above the mud in 1948 by an earthquake. The boat-shaped structure is filled and covered with mud and collapsing outwards
On the starboard side evenly spaced vertical columns "may once have been wood" the "wood" being fossilised. Sonar, according to Dr. Roberts, revealed "transverse structures suggestive of walls and compartments." Metal detectors revealed "longitudinal lines from stem to stern." A piece of fossilised wood was laminated with glue between layers and perhaps was a part of the deck. A metal rivet was found and also a piece of slag – used in ancient times as ballast in boats. The slag had aluminium in "other than natural quantities" which "suggests a high degree of metallurgical sophistication."
A dozen "drogue stones" each about 8-9 feet long, have been found in the general area of the boat-shaped structure. The stones have a hole at one end and, claimed Dr. Roberts, could have been anchors to guide the Ark in heavy seas. They were apparently discarded before the Ark docked.
Artifacts discovered by removing some of the mud veneer of the "boat" included a fossilised tip of a deer's antler, petrified animal dung and animal hair of various textures and colours.
Unfortunately the boat-shaped structure – the slides showed it to be more boat-shaped than box-shaped – is too long if we use a normal Bible cubit of 17½ inches. The Bible Ark was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. 300 cubits at 17 ½ inches comes to 438 feet.
Roberts' "Ark" however is nearer 515 feet long.
Dr Roberts therefore advocated an Egyptian cubit of 20.6 inches. 300 cubits is then 515 feet which is the length of Dr Roberts' object. But the width of the object is then not 50 cubits (or 50 x 20.6 inches = 85 feet) but rather about 81 Egyptian cubits or 140 feet. Dr Roberts claimed that the weight of the mud may over thousands of years have flattened and widened the remains of the Ark.
What about all those reported sightings of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat itself and not 20 miles from Ararat as in the present instance? After all from 1856 to 1976 about 200 people in 25 separate sightings supposedly saw the Ark. Discrepancies in the different reports were made to harmonise by supposing that the Ark had broken in half and that one half was carried several thousand feet down the mountain by a glacier. Dr. Roberts suggested that if his boat-shaped object is the Ark then all the other people were either lying or misinterpreting.
Finally Dr. Roberts said once more: "The Turkish Government has said 'This is indeed the remains of Noah's Ark.' I don't say it is."
Dr. Roberts became interested in Noah's Ark in 1960 due to an article in Pix magazine which included a picture of the boat-shaped object. He has teamed up with Ronald E Wyatt of Tennessee (USA) who read the same article in Life magazine and who has visited the site many times and together they intend to go again in mid 1992.
After the lecture the audience was offered a free pamphlet – NOAH'S ARK RESEARCH PROJECT – which included a request for donations. A video of the lecture was offered for $33 and a cassette for $6.80.
14 April 1992
Mr. B. Stett
Dear Mr. Stett,
Thank you fur your letter concerning the "Noah's Ark".
In Eastern Turkey there is a boat-shaped land formation. The area is a national park. Whether it is the remains of a boat or not, can only be determined by further Scientific analysis.
The main current concern of the Turkish Government is to preserve the site.
On the other hand, I do not think that Noah's Ark is a sole Christian doctrine.
Muslims also believe that Noah was a messenger of God, a prophet and also believe the great floods, the Ark, as the story takes place in the "Koran".
Noah's Ark also appears in ancient Mesopotamian mythology.
According to the Britannica the ancient Egyptians had the Royal Egyptian cubit of 20.6 inches. Therefore there is no connection with the historical 25-inch cubit of pyramidology. (See Investigator No. 13) There is also a "long cubit" mentioned in the Bible and this consisted of an ordinary cubit to which was added a "handbreadth". (Ezekiel 40.5; 43:13) This would make it about the same as the Egyptian cubit.
In a TV report (April 13) Professor Ian Plimer, head of Melbourne University's Department of Geology, summed up the Noah’s Ark lecture as ignorance of fantasy intertwined with one liners and glib statements… his geologic knowledge was worse than ignorance." The program showed Adam Joseph of the Australian skeptics shouting out: "It is a normal hill; there are lots of hills like that; it is a normal geologic structure called a syncline." After further interruptions, including demanding a refund of his $4 entrance fee, Mr Joseph was escorted out by police.
Dr Roberts gained his doctorate in Christian Education at Freedom University in Florida (USA). This "university" is neither registered nor recognised by authorities in the US. Explained Dr Roberts on TV: "Qualifications don't prove that a person knows what he is talking about."
In a confrontation between Plimer and Roberts the former claimed: "There are 15 places in east Turkey where people are looking for, and allegedly have found, the Ark."