Where is Noah’s Ark? A Chronology of Searches

Noah’s Ark, the legendary ship built at God’s command to save life on Earth from a catastrophic flood, remains a mystery that has intrigued humanity for centuries. The biblical narrative suggests it settled on the mountains of Ararat, but pinpointing its exact location has been a challenge, leading to a chronology of searches spanning various regions. Let’s delve into the historical quests for Noah’s Ark.

The Ambiguous Genesis

Noah’s Ark
A road sign officially located near Doğubeyazıt in Turkey displays the words “Nuhun Gemisi” (“Noah’s Ark”), directing towards the Durupınar site and away from Mount Ararat. Image: Aaboelela View author information CC BY-SA 3.0

The book of Genesis in the Torah provides a vague reference, stating that Noah’s Ark settled in “the mountains of Ararat.” The lack of specificity has fueled debates over which mountain – be it in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, or Armenia – holds the key to this ancient mystery. Mount Ararat in Turkey seems a logical choice, but its naming in the 10th century C.E. adds complexity.

Early 20th Century: Unsubstantiated Claims

During spring, a perspective of Mount Ararat is observed from Yerevan, Armenia. Image: Serouj Ourishian

1908 – Georgie Hagopian

In 1970, Armenian Georgie Hagopian claimed to have seen Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat, describing it as “long and rectangular.” Despite assertions of petrified wood, his claims lacked substantiation, leaving the mystery intact.

1916 – Lieutenant Roskovitsky

Lieutenant Roskovitsky’s aerial sighting in 1916 added intrigue, with subsequent exploratory trips yielding lost or suppressed reports. In 1939, Roskovitsky recalled finding large rooms and cages within the ark.

1980s-2000s: Moonwalker and Hoaxes

1980s – James Irwin

James Irwin, a moonwalker, joined the quest in the 1980s, convinced the ark awaited discovery. Despite his lunar achievements, the ark remained elusive.

1993 – George Jammal

George Jammal’s claim of finding the ark in 1984, showcased in a CBS documentary, turned out to be a hoax. The piece of wood he presented was ordinary, and his friend Vladimir never existed.

2004 – Daniel McGivern

Daniel McGivern’s 2004 expedition, armed with satellite images, faced denial from the Turkish government. Suspicions arose about the authenticity of images and the involvement of Ahmet Ali Aislan, linked to a previous ark documentary.

2006 – Bob Cornuke

Bob Cornuke’s 2006 discovery on Mount Suleiman in Iran suggested a wooden structure. However, uncertainty persisted, as Cornuke refrained from confirming it as the biblical ark.

Doubts and Allegories

The debate over the existence of Noah’s Ark persists. Scientific evidence challenges the likelihood of a global flood, and skeptics view the story as allegorical, given similar flood myths in various cultures.

In the face of these challenges, enthusiasts and explorers continue the search for this sacred relic, organizing new searches as we speak.

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