In the Genesis flood narrative of the Holy Bible, it states that God warned Noah that he was planning to wipe out Mankind due to their over indulgence of sins. He dictated to Noah that he wanted to save two of each kind of animal, and Noah and his family, so that Creation could continue after the Great Flood. Noah was instructed to construct a large wood Ark at 45 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high, which could house and protect them from the raging waters. For 40 days and 40 nights, the rain poured and the sea rose until the Earth was completely covered. As stated in the Bible and Koran say that Noah’s Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat as the water subsided, and that is where the focus of seekers of the Ark has been.
Mount Ararat lies in the far east corner of Turkey close to borders with Russia, Iran, and Iraq. The highest peak of the mountain is just under 17,000 ft high, but the Ark itself is believed to lie a bit further down, in a chasm called the Ahora Gorge. Within the gorge there is a mountain covered in ice called Al Judi, which is the location where the Koran says the beached watercraft is. Due to treacherous ice and rock falls, rolling mists, and hidden glaciers, the Ahora Gorge is not very easy to explore, and can only be accessed at certain times of the year. Throughout history, the region has always been politically unstable, close to many of the earth’s hot spots for violence, and the government for Turkey has consistently discouraged all investigations. The local residents are less than accommodating, and a rumor states that the exact location of the ark is guarded by savage indigenous folk.
All kinds of researchers have ventured into the region in search of the Ark, and eventually discovered evidence of a wooden construction locked within the ice caps. A common find was machine treated timbers, which were found in an area completely vacant of natural woodland. In 1876, the British ambassador to turkey found similar remains when climbing Mount Ararat. The lumber he uncovered had been handhewn. Roughly, 80 years later, in 1955, an adventurer named Fernand Navarra and his son Rafael discovered some beams of wood in a crevice on the mountain. They wood they recovered was carbon dated back to 4000 years old.
There have also been documentations of Ark sightings. The first encounter occurred in 1856 when a group of young Atheist scientists climbed the mountain. While everyone within the team swore to keep the discovery a secret, two members revealed details on their deathbeds. In 1910, a Russian military expedition claimed to have found Noah’s Ark, and took photographs and measurements. However, the results and pictures were all lost during the Communist Revolution. Overall, all claims of finding the Ark have come from the same area on Mount Ararat.
In more modern times, aerial technology has supplied pictures of the mountain from a bird’s eye view, but it has been suggested that the Ark may be in another location. In 1949, the US Air Force photographed an unusual feature 15,500 feet up on the north plateau of Mount Ararat on the opposing side of the Ahora Gorge. The images showed the bow of a ship protruding out of a glacier. This phenomenon was referred to to as the ‘Ararat Anomaly’, and later resurfaced in the early 1970s when secret military satellites were able to focus specifically on the area from outer space. In subsequent years, more high-powered, and commercial satellites have allowed experts a better chance of examining the enigmatic structure.
Separate Ark investigators believe it could be an old rock formation, an old stronghold, or even a crashed airplane. The only sure way to know for sure would be for researchers to be near the site on the ground, but with increased tension between Turkey and the Kurdish population within the area, has hindered exploration attempts. Until a team of archaeological experts can examine the photographed remains on hand, the mystery of Noah’s Ark may never be solved.