IN SEARCH OF NOAH'S ARK: Wyatt's quest: Part 3, Earthquake revelations 1979
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Sixteen long months ground by while Ron Wyatt waited for another opportunity to return to Turkey. He still had no idea how he could get permission from the government to excavate what he knew in his heart were the remains of Noah's Ark.
Then one day, late in November 1978, news reports carried a casual mention of an earthquake in a remote part of Turkey near the Russian border. His heart leapt. Wouldn't it be just like God to do the excavation himself!
The next seven months dragged even more slowly than the 16 before. When his next two-week vacation finally arrived, Wyatt rushed back to Dogubeyazit with an Armenian preacher from California who spoke Turkish. They arrived on Aug. 11, 1979.
Wyatt's jaw dropped at the sight.
The earth around the mysterious object had dropped, revealing what looked to him like a giant shipwreck. He noted evenly spaced grooves all around the object, which reminded him of the ribs of a ship's hull. The collapse of the dirt enabled him to take soil samples in the very heart of the ruin.
He also was able to take precise measurements. He noted a total length of 512 feet, except for a three-foot section that looked like it had broken off the lower end. That gave him a total length of 515 feet.
Most experts said the Ark was 450 feet long, multiplying the biblical measure of 300 cubits by 18 inches, the standard in ancient Mesopotamia. But Wyatt believed the Ark would have been built according to the older -- and longer -- Egyptian cubit of 20.6 inches. Applying that measure meant the Ark would have been 515 feet.
Combined with the anchor stones, the ancient house and the graveyard he had seen two years earlier, Wyatt couldn't dismiss the measurements as a coincidence. What would the chances be of discovering an ancient ship the same size as the Ark in the same mountain range named in the Bible?
Bill Shea of the Biblical Research Institute in Silver Springs, Md., agreed. In September 1976, he had written in Creation Research Society Quarterly, "One might put these two sites in perspective by reflecting upon what would have happened had this formation been found on Agri Dagh [Mt. Ararat]. I may be wrong, but I suspect that news of it probably would have been heralded far and wide as the discovery of the site where the Ark had rested. What a difference a mountain makes."
Back home, Wyatt sent his soil samples to Galbraith Labs in Knoxville, Tenn., for an analysis of basic mineral content. A sample taken outside the formation showed carbon content of 1.88 percent, but one from inside the object registered 4.95 percent carbon -- the kind of reading one would expect if it contained matter that had once been alive. Living matter like wood. The sample also had an iron content higher than would have been expected.
Another piece of positive evidence, but applications to excavate still were being denied. Wyatt decided his next investigation would pursue the iron content clue. Would a metal detector show that the iron content was evenly spaced like the "ribs" he had seen at the site?
NEXT: Metal detector scans, 1984
This entire series of articles has been collected into an e-book, In Search of Noah's Ark, available at http://kainospress.com.