04 July 2006
MUCH ABOUT HISTORY
Returns from Iranian mountain with petrified wood, marine fossils
A 14-man crew that included evangelical apologist Josh McDowell says it returned from a trek to a mountain in Iran with possible evidence of the remains of Noah's Ark.
The group, led by explorer Bob Cornuke, found an unusual object perched on a slope 13,120 feet above sea level.
Cornuke, president of the archeological Base Institute and a veteran of nearly 30 expeditions in search of Bible artifacts and locations, said he is cautiously, but enthusiastically, optimistic about the find.
Also on the team were Barry Rand, former CEO of Avis; Boone Powell, former CEO of Baylor Medical Systems; and Arch Bonnema, president of Joshua Financial.
The team returned with video footage of a large black formation, about 400 feet long – the length of the ark, according to the Bible – that looks like rock but bears the image of hundreds of massive, wooden, hand-hewn beams.
Bonnema observed: "These beams not only look like petrified wood, they are so impressive that they look like real wood – this is an amazing discovery that may be the oldest shipwreck in recorded history."
The team said one piece of the blackened rock is "cut" at 90-degree angle.
Sealed with pitch
Even more intriguing, they said, some of the wood-like rocks tested this week proved to be petrified wood.
It's noteworthy, they pointed out, that the Bible recounts Noah sealed his ark with pitch, a black substance.
When the retrieved pieces were cut open, a marine fossil was discovered. In the area around the object, the team found thousands of fossilized sea shells, and Cornuke brought back a one-inch thick rock slab replete with fossilized clams.
With the discovery of wood splinters and broken pottery at the remote 15,300-foot level, the team says it also found evidence that ancients considered it an important worship site for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
Cornuke became involved in the search for the ark after meeting Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin, participating with him in several searches on Mount Ararat in Turkey, but with disappointing results.
Cornuke began looking elsewhere, after finding clues in the Bible such as Genesis 11's reference to descendants of Noah coming to the Mesopotamian valley from the east. Cornuke believes that would put the biblical mountains of Ararat somewhere in northern Iran.
He also points to ancient historians such as Nicholas of Damascus and Flavius Josephus who wrote, just before and after Christ, that timbers of the ark had survived in the higher mountains of present-day Iran.
Cornuke noted that during World War II, an American Army officer and road construction engineer in Iran named Ed Davis said he saw the ark on a high mountain in the country after being led there by Iranian friends. After the war, according to Cornuke, Davis passed a lie detector test affirming he saw timbers from an ark-like object.
Before his death, Davis gave Cornuke a map showing the way to the object.
"It was right where Ed said it was in his map," Cornuke said. "After seeing it from a distance, I thought it at first unimpressive, but once we stood on the object we were all amazed at how it looked just like a huge pile of black and brown stone beams."
Cornuke's is the latest of many expeditions – most of them at Turkey's Mount Ararat – in search of Noah's Ark.
As WorldNetDaily reported, a new travel website is promoting summer tours to a Turkish site near Mount Ararat believed by many to be the fossilized remains of Noah's Ark.
Many believe this is Noah's Ark, already found on a mountain next to Mt. Ararat (courtesy: wyattmuseum.com)
Noah's Ark Holidays, which bills itself as an "ethical travel referral website" is behind the offer, with a pitch for the location in Dogubayazit, Turkey.
The late Ron Wyatt, whose Tennessee-based foundation, Wyatt Archaeological Research, also believed the ark is located at Dogubayazit, some 12-15 miles from Ararat.
Meanwhile, as WorldNetDaily reported in March, others who believe the vessel is on Ararat itself became excited with the release of a new, high-resolution digital image of what has become known as the "Ararat Anomaly."
Satellite image of 'Ararat Anomaly,' taken by DigitalGlobe's QuickBird Satellite in 2003 and made public for the first time in March 2006 (courtesy: DigitalGlobe)
The location of the anomaly on the mountain's northwest corner has been under investigation from afar by ark hunters for years, but it has remained unexplored, with the government of Turkey not granting any scientific expedition permission to explore on site.
In both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible speaks of Noah and the ark, and Jesus Christ and the apostles Paul and Peter all make reference to Noah's flood as an actual historical event.
According to Genesis, Noah was a righteous man who was instructed by God to construct a large vessel to hold his family and many species of animals, as a massive deluge was coming to purify the world which had become corrupt.
'Noah's Ark' by Pennsylvania artist Edward Hicks, 1846
Genesis 6:5 states: "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
Noah was told by God to take aboard seven pairs of each of the "clean" animals – that is to say, those permissible to eat – and two each of the "unclean" variety. (Gen. 7:2)
Though the Bible says it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, it also mentions "the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days."
The ark then "rested" upon the mountains of Ararat, but it was still months before Noah and his family – his wife, his three sons and the sons' wives – were able to leave the ark and begin replenishing the world.
June 30, 2006
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
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