An interesting tidbit regarding this latest Noah's Ark "find"
(April 29) -- It took nearly 5,000 years to unearth Noah's Ark -- and just three days for a serious challenge to the legitimacy of the find to
A former member of the expedition whose sponsors this week claimed to have found the legendary biblical boat buried beneath the snows of Turkey's
Mount Ararat says the "discovery" was probably a hoax.
"If the world wants to think this is a wonderful discovery, that's fine," Randall Price, an archaeologist who in 2008 was working with the
Chinese-led evangelical team, told The Christian Science Monitor. "My problem is that, in the end, proper analysis may show this to be a hoax and
negatively reflect how gullible Christians can be."
Noah's Ark Ministries International: an evangelical Christian organization, says this wooden compartment is a part of Noah's Ark. But an
archaeologist who was on the expedition that found the object said the claim was likely a "hoax" that may "negatively reflect how gullible
Christians can be."
In a leaked e-mail that had made the rounds on the Web, Price, a longtime ark-hunter who directs the Center for Judaic Studies at Liberty University
in Lynchburg, Va., says that in the summer of 2008, a group of Kurdish laborers, hired by a local guide working with the Chinese expedition, removed
several large wooden beams from an old structure near the Black Sea, then hauled them to a cave near the peak of Ararat, long thought by believers to
have been the spot where Noah's Ark washed up.
Price says that those photos of the supposed ark include cobwebs in the corners of the structure's rafters, "something just not possible in these
Meanwhile in ark-hunting circles, news of the alleged hoax is being greeted as hardly surprising.
"There are certain biblical artifacts -- like the Ark of the Covenant and the Ark of Noah -- that just seem to bring out a lot of amateur
searchers," says Bill Crouse, president of Christian Information Ministries, who has himself spent years searching for Noah's Ark. "My concern is
that well-meaning Christians jump the gun, and this thing becomes viral on the Internet. A lot of Christians are confused because they thought the ark
was found two years ago, or two years before that. These things seem to come up every two years or so."
In 2006, for example, a national security analyst reported a "new and significant development" in the quest for the ark: a high-resolution satellite
image of the northwest corner of Mount Ararat, where ark hunters had long been intrigued by a large, ice-submerged "anomaly" whose proportions
seemed to match almost perfectly the Bible's description of Noah's Ark.
In 1993, CBS aired a documentary hailing the discovery of Noah's Ark, also on Ararat. It turned out that "The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark"
was predicated largely on evidence provided by an actor who later acknowledged having made the whole thing up.
And in a story with strong parallels to the latest hoax, a French explorer named Fernand Navarra claimed to have found a wooden beam from the ark on
Ararat in 1955. Navarra's guide, however, later said the explorer had hauled the 5-foot-long plank up the mountain with him.
Like the mythical Sisyphus, ark-hunters, it seems, keep on pushing their wood up the mountain, only to return to the bottom to start over again.
[edit on 30-4-2010 by -Blackout-]