AP 09/21/89 2102 American's Claim Noah's Ark Discovery
Copyright, 1989. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) -- Two Americans claimed Thursday to have
discovered Noah's ark on the southwest side of Mount Ararat in eastern
Turkey while flying over it by helicopter.
Chuck Aaron, the pilot, said a square boat shape was spotted 14,500
feet up on the mountain in a place usually covered by a glacier. He said
the area was exposed this summer because of high temperatures in the
region near the Soviet border.
"We are 100 percent sure this is the ark," Aaron, of Orlando, Fla.,
said in a telephone interview.
There have been various claims of the discovery of the ark since
Turkey lifted a ban on climbing the mountain in 1982.
Many Christian fundamentalists, who interpret the Bible literally,
believe the ark must be on Mount Ararat. The biblical account in the
Book of Genesis said that after the great deluge, the ark came to rest
on the mountain with Noah's family and a cargo of male and female pairs
of every kind of animal.
But geologists say even though there is evidence of a flood in
Mesopotamia in Sumerian times, they maintain it is not possible for a
ship to make landfall at an altitude as high as Mount Ararat.
Aaron said he and his partner, Bob Garbe, discovered and photographed
the object they believe is the ark during a Sept. 15 flight.
He said he and Garbe, a pharmacist in Colombus, Ohio, have made five
flights in the last three years in search of the ark on the
He said the glacier on the mountain only melts enough to expose the
boat every 20 or 30 years.
Aaron and Garbe belong to the Orlando-based Immanuel Expeditions
Foundation. Aaron said they used donations and $60,000 of their own
funds to finance the expedition.
He said they plan to return next year for a June climb to the spot
with a team of 20 that will include geologists and archeologists.
Aaron said they based their search on information provided by an
American pilot, Ed Davis of Albuquerque, N.M., who said he saw the same
boat shape at the same spot during a flight in 1943, and on other
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