IN SEARCH OF NOAH'S ARK: Wyatt's quest: Part 4; Metal detector scans 1984
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--While most experts remained unconvinced by Ron Wyatt's findings, the evidence of unusual iron content in the soil persuaded the people at White's Electronics in Sweet Home, Ore., to donate two top-of-the-line metal detectors to Wyatt's next expedition.
Then, in 1983, Wyatt read an article about Apollo 15 astronaut and former moonwalker James Irwin, who was actively searching for the Ark. Wyatt met with Irwin and showed him what he had found. Irwin was impressed enough to invite Wyatt to travel with him on an Ararat expedition in August 1984.
Arriving in Turkey, Irwin introduced Wyatt to several government officials, including Mine Unler and Orhan Baser, who secured permission for Wyatt to use his metal detectors at the site -- something Wyatt was sure he never could have obtained on his own.
Arriving at the site with Irwin and members of his group, Wyatt's team set out to scan the entire ruin with the metal detectors. Inside the "hull," they found readings that indicated the presence of a metal grid. Along the sides, they detected metal every nine feet.
Irwin was personally convinced the Ark would be found on Ararat itself, but he agreed with Wyatt that the metal detector readings couldn't possibly be explained as a natural formation. Though he wasn't convinced it was the Ark, he did say, "As we went up and down the long direction of the formation, the spacing made it appear very much like it was a man-made object."
Wyatt knew, however, that the skeptics would not be convinced this object was the Ark until the possibility was completely ruled out that the vessel rested near the mountain's peak. He and Orhan Baser decided to search the nearby slopes.
Further up the mountain, they came upon an odd formation that measured about 120 feet by 40 feet. Around the edge, they saw what they thought might be petrified wood. Inside they saw what appeared to be odd-looking rock, very heavy and tinged green in places -- and very similar to rock he had found below the broken-off section of the object at the original site.
That object sat in a mudflow that contained remnants of volcanic rock. Wyatt's mind raced with questions: What if the Ark originally had come to rest at this spot? Could the section of heavy, wood-rimmed rock be ballast that was in the bottom of the ship? What if that part of the Ark sank into the mud and became lodged as the ground dried around it? What if the volcanic remnants below were left by a lava flow that had carried the Ark down the mountain? Wasn't the formation below impaled by a large limestone outcropping -- like it had crashed into the stone? Could the ballast section have been ripped away as lava forced the Ark down the mountainside?
His suspicion that they were looking at the original landing site grew stronger when they found, just a little further up the slope, broken pieces of rock that, when assembled, depicted a mountain peak with a ship in front of it. Inside the ship, a carving depicted eight faces. And there were two birds, one flying above the ship, the other above the mountain.
Whatever the truth, Wyatt believed that someone else, in generations long past, had erected a monument to the place they believed was point of the Ark's original landfall.
NEXT: The big expedition, 1985
This entire series of articles has been collected into an e-book, In Search of Noah's Ark, available at http://kainospress.com.