The Search For Noah's Ark

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Mount Ararat: Dangers / Problems


Danger!

It is no wonder that the Ark of Noah has remained a mystery to all of man for such a long time. For over 4300 years, Noah's Ark has been preserved in the high altitudes of Mount Ararat.

Not only has the Ark been preserved by freezing temperatures but also by the incredible number of obstacles a climber must surpass and/or endure to reach this secret spot. The book, The Lost Ship of Noah by Charles Berlitz represents the basis for most of these descriptions and some are direct quotes. Select one of the following and see why the Turkish word for Mount Ararat is Agri Dagh or "the Mountain of Pain!"


Avalanches
Bandits
Carbon Dioxide
Crevasses
Earthquakes/Eruptions
Falling Rocks
Lightning
Politics
Weather
Wild Animals


Avalanches

Overhanging snow cliffs can partially melt and detach themselves and crash down.  An area in Ahora gorge has been dubbed, "Avalanche Canyon" by researchers.  It is in this canyon, very clearly seen from photographs that rocks and glacier run off smash and destroy everything in their path.


Bandits

Because of the proximity of Mount Ararat with Iran and Armenia, the mountain provides good cover for arms trade. This leads to dangerous conditions for the unsuspecting mountain explorer.

In 1985, John McIntosh along with Colonel Irwin, the astronaut, and others of the Probe Ministries Foundation, ascended Mount Ararat. The team was turn around by terrorists, and this is his account: "The people who raided our high camp tore down our tents, took what equipment they thought they would need, then poured our cooking gas on the equipment they didn't want and set it afire. They kept us around the fire and held us there while part of them burned and looted the French camp below us. .... Suddenly they started pushing us and pointing their guns at us, indicating that we shouldn't stand in a straight line. We didn't know what was going to happen but, when I saw them bring their guns to shoulder level and stiffen their arms as they aimed the guns at us I thought 'This is it!' .... Then, when we were lined up to their satisfaction, several lowered their guns and produced cameras and started taking flash pictures of us. .... After this their leader, who Bill Crouse said looked just like Joe Stalin, pointed down the mountain toward Dogubayazit and said, 'Go quick - back to America!' "

The PKK or the Kurdistan Workers Party [AKA: Kurdish Separatists, Mesopotamian Army] "is known as one of the most active and best organized terrorist organizations in the world.", as reported by The Terrorism Research Center in 1997. Almost 20 million Kurds inhabit the Middle East with the majority residing in Turkey. Kurds have been unable thus far to establish themselves as an autonomous nation. The social revolution of Turkey in 1928 began to outlaw several languages use by minority groups such as the 10 million Kurds in Turkey. A backlash from this continued repression and lack of a homeland lead to the development of the PKK.

The PKK is a very dangerous, angry, and merciless group. Over the past ten years, their rebellion has caused 10,000 deaths. They target Turkish travel agencies, cultural centers and stores with the malicious intent to damage Turkey's 7 billion dollar tourism industry. Tourists do not escape their wrath.

The PKK does not represent the vast majority of Kurds. They have commanded the presence of the Turkish Army as they find refuge in the crevasses and nooks of Mount Ararat. It is this group which has caused so many problems for past and present expeditions to locate Noah's Ark. Their terrorist tactics have captured past explorers on Mount Ararat at gun point and detained them. Currently the Turkish government has forbidden all climbing in and around Mount Ararat because of the PKK activity.

Check out this Web resource for more information on the ever present danger of the PKK: www.noahsarksearch.com/turkishnews.htm


Carbon Dioxide

Mount Ararat is a volcano. It is continually giving off hot puffs of gas. It has been stated by scientists that there is active carbon dioxide gas on the upper slopes. When this is combined with the normal lack of oxygen at the higher altitudes, it can bring on illness and confusion.


Crevasses

Crevasses located on the many large glaciers on Mount Ararat have claimed several lives.  Even the locals will "tie" themselves together with rope when entering glacial fields. The crevasses can be tens or a hundred feet deep.


Earthquakes/Eruptions

Ararat is a volcano which last erupted in 1840. After the eruption, it destroyed the village and monastery of Ahora on the northeastern side of the mountain and created a great gorge, nearly 800 feet deep where the village once existed. Black Glacier now covers that side of the mountain.

In 1965, near prayer time at the mosque, Mount Ararat let off a "...deep and powerful roaring sound that came from inside the earth. After that the earth shook."


Falling Rocks

Rock slides and falling rocks can be caused by jumping wild goats, a loud shout or a gun shot. Rock slide or "rock avalanches" pour down thousands of rocks just like snow in a snow avalanche.

Colonel James Irwin, an astronaut who walked on the moon, was an avid Ark searcher. On one trip at 12,500 feet, he sat down to put on his crampons and suddenly lost consciousness. He had been hit in the head by falling rock and regained consciousness at the bottom of the snowfield in a pile of sharp rock, bleeding from many cuts, suffering sprains, possible concussion and five broken teeth. Later on that very cold night, tucked into his sleeping bag, he once again began to slip and slide down the mountain. He walked his sleeping bag back up the mountain, made it through the night and was taken to a local hospital in the morning.


Lightning

Ararat is a very high lone mountain which is acts like a giant lightning rod. The upper slopes are usually covered with clouds full of static electricity. The metal items which climbers carry can attract a lightning bolt. Sharp granite rocks attract the lightning. Head for lava rocks if you seek protection during a lightning storm.

John Morris organized an expedition in 1972. He describes his encounter with a bolt of lightning at an elevation of 13,000 feet. The lightning seemed to be collecting in certain spots, accompanied by a tremendous explosion of thunder. "Static electricity was evident everywhere. Our ice axes and crampons were singing, our hair was standing on end, even J.B.'s beard and my moustache were sticking straight out ...."

They continued their climb and then rested under a large rock. Suddenly the rock was repeatedly struck by lightning, knocking two of them down the slope and "freezing" another to the rock with arms and legs sticking straight out. While stuck to the rock, he could feel the electricity surge through his body. When he put one foot to the ground, it completed the circuit and exploded him down the slope with the others.


Politics

Prior to the break down of the Soviet Union, Mount Ararat was surrounded by hostile nations. With Iran on one side and Soviet Union on the other, it became very difficult for Western climbers to look for Noah's Ark. Russian radio would broadcast, "American spies wandering in the Ararat area with the pretext of looking for Noah's Ark."

Mount Ararat is located within a military zone and has frequently been closed to climbers for reasons of security.


Weather

Fog is created by the venting of hot gases from the mountain into the cool mountain air. This fog often starts out as a small wisp and grows to cover large areas of the mountain. As the fog envelops climbers, it is best to stop moving for fear of falling over a precipice, into a crevasse or through thin ice which may be hiding a fissure in the glacier.

Unexpected rainstorms can cause flash floods and devastate unexpecting climbers.

 


Wild Animals

Wild animals on top of Mount Ararat have been known to viciously approach climbers.

Those families that raise herds of cattle, sheep or goats on Mount Ararat have sheep dogs to guide and protect.  Many of these sheep dogs are very big, possibly 100 to 150 pounds which approach the climber or stranger to the area with a vicious growl and loud frightening bark.  There shaggy appearance is even more ominous especially when "rabid dog" images come to mind.

 

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