The Search For Noah's Ark

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Mount Ararat: Expeditions Past / Present

The Location: Turkey
Expeditions Past: Marco Polo
Expeditions Past: George Hagopian
Expeditions Past: Lieutenant Roskovitsky
Expeditions Past: Captain Schwinghammer
Expeditions Past: Wyatt/Fasold
Expeditions Present: ...
Expeditions Present: Operation Triple G

The Location: Turkey Flag of Turkey

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 Ararat!

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!

Expeditions Past: Marco Polo

The information for this section has been taken from the book, Marco Polo The Travels, Ronald Latham has translated the story from the Italian version.

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 daughters.

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."

Expeditions Past: George Hagopian

Ark as Hagopian Saw It George 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 others."

Expeditions Past: Lieutenant Roskovitsky

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.

Expeditions Past: Captain Schwinghammer

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."

Expeditions Past: Wyatt/Fasold

Buried Ark In 1959, 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

Dear Mathew,

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 story.

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 Ararat?

His answer was the stairs were his idea. So much for the eye witness account of what Hagopian's Ark looked like.


David Fasold


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.

Best regards,


Expeditions Present: ...

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.

Expeditions Present: Operation Triple G

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:

The Location

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?

The Weather

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!

The People

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 international cooperation.

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.

The Publication

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?