Expeditions Past / Present
According to Malcom B. Russell who wrote, The
Middle East and South Asia 1993, the 301,380 square miles of land known as Turkey spans the gap
between Europe and Middle East. It is considered a European country, for it is a neighbor
to Greece. The capital city, Ankara is home to more than 3.2 million people who buy and
sell their currency the Lira. Turkey is mostly hot and dry with the exception of the
coastal regions (Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Seas) where it is hot and humid.
Temperatures are cooler inland and very cold in the eastern mountainous regions. The
principal religion of Turkey (98%) is Islam. The tallest mountain (16,945 feet) lies along
the Iranian border and is called Agri Dagi in Turkish or in English: Mount
The closest city to Mount Ararat is Dogubayazit which is not listed in Fodor's 95
Europe, The Most Complete and Up-to-Date Guide to 31 Countries. Although the height
of tourist season runs from April through October, with July and August as the busiest
warm months, most "passing through" head for the coasts of Turkey. However, the
hearty Ark explorers head to eastern Turkey in July and August hoping to catch the warmest
days of the year (Average highs of 82 Degrees F or 28 Degrees C). For this is the time
when the glacial ice is melting fast just before the cool fall season brings in more new
snow. It is this time of year for the Ark explorer to climb Mount Ararat!
The information for this section has been taken from
the book, Marco Polo The Travels, Ronald Latham has translated the story from the
Marco Polo was born 1254 the son of a Venetian merchant. Marco joined his father on a
journey to China in 1271. They spent the next twenty years travelling in the service of
Kubilai Khan. Marco was a prisoner of war in Genoa in 1289 - 1290 and met Rustichello of
Pisa. Together they wrote The Travels; a product of an observant merchant and a
professional romancer. Marco Polo died in 1324 and left his inheritance to his three
Here is a quote from his book with regard to Noah's Ark:
"In the heart of Greater Armenia is a very high mountain , shaped like a cube (or
cup), on which Noah's ark is said to have rested, whence it is called the Mountain of
Noah's Ark. It [the mountain] is so broad and long that it takes more than two days to go
around it. On the summit the snow lies so deep all the year round that no one can ever
climb it; this snow never entirely melts, but new snow is for ever falling on the old, so
that the level rises."
Hagopian has first hand knowledge of the ark. As a young child, he walked along the Ark's
planks with his uncle. Artist, Elfred Lee, drew this picture of the Ark as directed by
George Hagopian. The following excerpt is from Charles Berlitz, The Lost Ship of Noah ,
which details the fascinating story.
"He was eight years old, Hagopian said, and it was in the year 1908 [note: another
account says the year was 1905 and Hagopian was 10 years old] when his uncle took him up
Ararat, past Ahora Gorge, passing the grave of St. Jacob on the way. As the mountain grew
more precipitous his uncle carried him on his shoulders until they came to something that
looked like a great ship located on a rock ledge over a cliff and partially covered by
snow. It had flat openings like windows along the top and a hole in the roof. Hagopian had
first thought it was a house made of stone but when his uncle showed him the outline of
planks and told him it was made of wood he realized it was the Ark, just like the other
people had described it to him. His uncle boosted him up from a rock pile to reach the Ark
roof telling him not to be afraid, "because it is a holy ship ..." (and)
"the animals and people are not here now. They have all gone away." Hagopian
climbed on the roof and knelt down and kissed the surface of the roof which was flat and
easy to stand on.
While they stood alongside the Ark his uncle shot into the side of it but the bullets
bounced off as if it were made of stone. He then tried to cut off a piece of the wood with
a sharp knife and was equally unsuccessful. On this first visit to the Ark they spent two
hours there looking at it and eating some of their provisions. When Hagopian returned to
his village eager to tell the other boys about his adventure they replied, rather
anticlimactically, "Yes, we saw the Ark too."
Hagopian died in 1972. Since he was unable to read maps with any accuracy he was unable
to pinpoint on a map of the mountain where it was that he had seen and climbed on the Ark.
He consistently told his interrogators that if he could get back to Mount Ararat he could
lead a party to the Ark. Although his testimony was successfully approved by voice-stress
analysis, it is not unusual that reports such as this , from a single person, even if
firsthand, have been discredited because of lack of corroboratory evidence from
In the summer of 1916, during the thaw, Lieutenant
Roskovitsky of the Russian Imperial Air Force noticed a half-frozen lake on the shelf or
gully on the side of Mount Ararat while flying high-altitude test to observe Turkish troop
movements. As they flew nearer to the lake, he saw a half submerged hull of some sort of
ship. He noticed two stubby masts and a flat catwalk along the top. The following excerpts
were taken from Berlitz.
In Roskovitsky's words (from the New Eden Magazine, California, 1939):
"We flew down as close as safety permitted and took several circles around it. We
were surprised when we got close to it, at the immense size of the thing, for it was as
long as a city block, and would compare very favorably in size to the modern battleships
of today. It was grounded on the shore of the lake, with one-fourth underwater. It had
been partly dismantled on one side near the front, and on the other side there was a great
doorway nearly twenty feet square, but with the other door gone. This seemed quite out of
proportion, as even today, ships seldom have doors even half that large ...."
He then told his captain who wanted to be flown over the site. The captain stated that
it was Noah's Ark and explained the reason for its survival as "frozen up for nine of
ten months of the year, it couldn't rot, and has been in cold storage, as it were, all
this time .... "
The captain forwarded a report back to St. Petersburg resulting in orders from the Tsar
to send two engineering companies up the mountain. One group of fifty men attacked one
side, and the other group of one hundred men attacked the big mountain from the other
side. Two weeks of hard work were required to chop out a trail along the cliffs of the
lower part of the mountain, and it was nearly a month before the Ark was reached. Complete
measurements were taken, and plans drawn of it, as well as many photographs, all of which
were sent to the Tsar.
From the magazine article: "The Ark was found to contain hundreds of small rooms,
and some rooms that were very large, with high ceilings. The unusually large rooms had a
fence of great timbers across them, some of which were two feet thick, as if designed to
hold beasts ten times the size of elephants. Other rooms were also lined with tiers of
cages, somewhat like what one sees today at a poultry show, only instead of chicken wire,
they had rows of small iron bars along the front. Everything was heavily painted with a
waxlike paint resembling shellac, and the workmanship of the craft showed all the signs of
a high type of civilization. The wood used throughout was oleander, which belongs to the
cypress family and never rots; which of course, coupled with the fact of its being frozen
most of the time, accounted for its perfect preservation."
The investigation officers sent photographs and reports by courier back to Petrograd,
to the personal attention of the Tsar. But Nicholas II apparently never received them
during the breakdown of communications that followed the February and October Revolutions of 1917.
The results of the investigation have never been found or reported.. A rumor says the
results and pictures of the Ark came to the attention of Leon Trotsky,
who either destroyed them or placed them in a file destined to be kept permanently secret.
And the courier who delivered the news, his silence was sealed with his execution.
Again from Berlitz, the following account is
recorded: In late spring or summer of 1960, pilot from the 428th Tactical Flight Squadron
based in Adana, Turkey were on routine observation flights.
Captain Gregor Schwinghammer and another pilot had flown around Mount Ararat with a
Turkish liaison officer when they saw "an enormous boxcar or rectangular barge
visible in a gully high on the mountain." He states that "... the Ark we saw was
about 4000 feet from the top (13000 feet altitude) on the southeast slope, perhaps four
o'clock from due north."
the Turkish Air Force was conducting an aerial survey of the Ararat region. Seventeen
miles south of Mount Ararat's peak, on the lower slopes (6300 feet), a photograph was
taken by Lieutenant A. Kurtis revealing the outline of a ship. Its dimensions were later
found to be 500 by 150 feet and its protruding height, 45 feet. (Biblical dimensions are
450 by 75 feet and 45 feet in height.)
In 1960, dynamite charges were placed on the wall of the Buried Ark and exploded by the
Turkish army. No inner chambers or clear evidence of beams were discovered. Bits of
decayed wood were found in the remaining debris.
In 1984, Ron Wyatt smuggled
8.6 pounds of stones, sand and earth from the Buried Ark to New York for exhibition. The
Turkish government was outraged over his lack of consideration for their national customs
and regulations. This incident interrupted other expeditions on the mountain.
In 1985, Wyatt returned with David Fasold and CAT scanned the Buried Ark. They found
traceable lines of iron which crisscrossed the mound at equal intervals. Ron Wyatt was
immediately convinced that the Ark had been found.
Here is a letter that I received from David Fasold regarding some of his findings. I
have reprinted that letter unmodified in its entirety.
February 20, 1998
Congratulations on a beautiful web site. Please do not take my comments as being
critical of your overall endevour. Nothing would make me happier than for someone to find
the ark on Ararat perfectly intact, and give God the glory, however, I don't think
searchers in the past (in a Moslem country) wearing t-shirts emblazoned with CRUSADERS FOR
CHRIST across the front ala the Morris mob, have even come close and there are a number of
points that need to be looked into. For one, THE ROSKOVITSKY STORY.
I have a letter from Floyd Gurley, with Floyd Gurley's personal letterhead on top
center in blue, that he sent me from Hawaii to San Diego. When I tried to reply I was told
he had died. I sent for a copy of his death certificate, and also have that. In this
letter he confessed to me that the Roskovitsky story was a total fabrication for his
magazine.. Even the name was his friend who drove a street car in San Francisco. He said
that he "hangs his head in shame" for all the problems caused by publishing the
I sent a copy of this letter to Bill Crouse, Editor of the Ararat Report, with whom I
have several disagreements, but all in all, I consider a pretty honest and straight
forward person, who also I might add, has a logo that says "no rock unturned".
Well he sure didn't roll this rock over to his readers. I also showed the original letter
and death certificate having the same address of residence to David Balsiger in my home
prior to his airing of "The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark" CBS fiasco, so I
find in general, Ark hunters really don't want to let go of a great story like this even
with evidence that it is false, so I'll ask you a question from a biblical perspective and
see if you can discern the correct answer yourself. Despite Roskovitsky and Hagopian's
story and Alfred Lee's artistic rendering of what they saw, the Bible says that Noah
removed the roof covering. The question is then, who put the roof back on?
While in Dogubayazit, I buttonholed, Elfred Lee in the little pastry shop across the
street from the Ararat Hotel (as it was named then) and asked him, "are the stairs on
the bow [front] or the stern [rear end] of this eyewittnessed account of Hagopian's Ark on
His answer was the stairs were his idea. So much for the eye witness account of what
Hagopian's Ark looked like.
PUT THIS ON YOUR WEB SITE!
Your letter is now on my web site and is certainly thought provoking. However, did Noah
have to remove the "entire" roof or maybe just a section of it? Also, there
seems to be strong sentiment from local Turks, that Noah's Ark does rest about 14,000' on
the Northeast side of the mountain. Additionally, I have heard recently that PKK have been
reported to "camp" in the Ark on Mt Ararat for protection.
Berlitz records a conversation with Dr. Arslan, who
is a very experienced guide on Mount Ararat. Dr. Arslan says, "I believe enough
people have seen it (the Ark) within the last fifty or sixty years to establish the truth
of the legend. It will probably be found right where it is supposed to be - between 14,000
and 15,000 feet up, following the right-hand side of Ahora Gorge right up to the front of
Parrot Glacier. There is a huge flat plateau there, as big as a football field, a hundred
yards deep in ice. This is where, during melting periods, the Ark has been seen and pieces
of it have been taken away, and this is where the remains of the Ark will be found."
There are "groups" in existence today who are pursuing the Ark in Mount
Ararat. If anyone reading this has any information about them, please E-mail me (select
line below), let me know and I will post it here. By the way, I wouldn't mind going with
that group if they needed some help.
Here is a group that climbed in 1988. Check out Walking the Mountains of the World.
Here's another one. Look where Indian Jones is headed! Indiana Jones And The Sons of
Darkness (Indy IV)
Here is a guy that has been there and done that! Check it out at BJ Corbin's Search for Noah's Ark site
and learn from his first hand travels. BJ has made three trips to Mount Ararat and speaks
well from his experiences along with associated contemporaries.
Okay, if I was king of the expedition, here's how
I'd do it. First every good expedition needs a code name. You know: "Desert
Storm", "Operation Restore Hope", etcetera. So Here's mine: Operation Triple G or Operation Give God the Glory (GGG)!
Next we need a plan. Here it is:
There have been some expeditions which have
thoughtfully and resourcefully planned using high technology to look for the Ark. This is
the kind of expedition needed.
But what I expect is, "to know almost exactly where to go before you go". So
how can we do that? How about checking some leads:
1. George Hagopian and Captain Schwinghammer have both seen the Ark at the same
location. The location is: 13,000 to 15,000 feet on the northeast side of Mount
Ararat. What Hagopian saw was affirmed by Schwinghammer. I have computed this
"searchable" area and it is approximately one square mile. I don't think we're
looking for the needle in the haystack. Here we have our foundation for the search.
2. A photograph taken by In 1972, Earth Research
Technical Satellite (ERTS) revealed an unusual feature at 14,000 feet on Mount Ararat.
It was reported to be the same size as the Ark. Does the CIA have the mysterious satellite
photographs of Ararat? Or do any other government/private organization have detailed
photos of Ararat? Can we have access to them? Do they show an anomaly? Is it the Ark? Is
the anomaly in the location George Hagopian said HE saw and experienced the Ark? Can
Landsat or other equipment "see" a petrified ship through a glacier? Can it
decree petrified wood from rock? Also, today's "spy" satellites are capable of
photographing a pack of cigarettes on the dash board of a car from 450 miles away. How
about an Ark in Mount Ararat? Here's some help: The Ark is very close to 39.70 N, 44.28 E.
3. The Buried Ark provides great stories but its description does not collaborate with
Hagopian, Schwinghammer or Roskovitsky. Hagopian walked a petrified deck.
The Russian expedition reported cages. All saw a "box" structure at about 14,000
feet. None of these descriptions correlate with the Buried Ark at 6,300 feet.
Thus, if we could see the Ark in photographs and know where to go straight off, then
you eliminate the "hunt and seek" method. With today's technology, I firmly
believe it can be done. We need a latitude and longitude. Is there anybody out there who
can help on this one?
George Hagopian was able to see the Ark, mainly, because the weather (God) allowed him
to. In April 1987, The Ararat Report contained the article, "The Weather
Factor". It showed that for four straight years (1901-1904) the temperature and
precipitation were so abnormal that they were off the charts. [I assume that this means,
this was abnormally hot and dry weather, melting the glaciers, revealing the Ark, allowing
George and his uncle to climb and walk upon the Ark.]
We need this kind of weather! If we don't have it; we won't see it! So, does
Turkey have a cyclic weather pattern? Can we rely on it? Can we confirm the weather from
1901-1908? If it is cyclic, where are we in the cycle? If we can depend on this data, then
(I strongly feel) this is our window of opportunity! Is there anybody out there who can
help on this one?
Another remote possibility is a volcanic eruption or increased thermal
activity. Maybe like that of Mount St. Helens which in 1980 produced enough heat to melt
the glaciers. But with it could come a "re-floated" Noah's Ark! Watch out below!
A successful expedition requires the right kind of people. Not only would an expedition
like this require the strong, athletic and rugged mountaineers but it would also require
As you may have read, Mount Ararat is located in Turkey on the borders of Armenia and
Iran. If an American team were to go into Turkey, I believe it would be in the best
interests of the group to have support and/or representation from all three countries:
Turkey, Armenia and Iran. This is an international event!
I saw a television program about the Titanic. A French scientific ship floated
thousands of feet over the sunken vessel. The team aboard consisted of French, English and
American scientists who worked together to further the study of the Titanic. They used
high technology sonar to locate fragments ship and deep sea probes and submarines to get a
closer look. They would snatch the lost pieces from the ocean floor and bring them back to
the surface where all would study and learn.
This needs to be done with Noah's Ark. An International effort can provide safety
for the foreigner and unity for a successful search.
Every piece of evidence from previous expeditions which claimed to have found the Ark
have "mysteriously" vanished. The results should be instantly broadcast on the
Web. It should provide video, audio and pictorial updates as the expedition progressed.
Therefore, the information would be broadcast instantaneously throughout the world for all
to see. How about that one!
All of the best planning in the world can come to nothing if it is not according to
God's will. If we proceed on faith, that it is according to His will, then we must be ever
cautious not to become proud or arrogant of our own accomplishments.
There are so many Noah's Ark expeditions which have proceeded up Mount Ararat only to
be humbled and driven back down the Mountain of Pain (Agri Dagh) empty handed. If man
seeks the glory of finding Noah's Ark (I feel), he won't make it. But, if its according to
God's will and if man gives glory where glory is due, then the world might actually see
the Ark from which we have ALL come: Noah's Ark!
So there in its simplicity is the foundation for the plan to Search for Noah's Ark.
1. Know where to go, before you go.
2. Must have hot, dry weather for a couple of years prior to a trip.
3. Acquire the correct mix of International people.
4. Publish the findings instantly on the Web.
5. Give God the Glory.
What do you think?