The Urartu archaeological map extended with more labels is from noted Urartian Archaeologist Boris Piotrovsky, who was Director of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and directed the Urartian excavations at Karmir-Blour, one of the greatest fortresses of Urartu (1969: back cover). In order to accurately demonstrate how different Bob Cornuke’s map of Urartu shown in the video, the Piotrovsky map of Urartu had to be completely re-drawn below (outlined in blue) in order to add entire areas of landmass to take into account Cornuke’s view of Urartu (outlined in red and adapted from the locations shown on the video into a new map below).
Cornuke literally leaves out 36,500 square miles of the accepted archaeologists’ view of Urartu. In addition, it should be noted that Cornuke adds about 28,000 square miles of geographical area to his map of Urartu with no archaeological support whatsoever, allowing his map to include some of the northern and central Elburz Mountains close to Mount Suleiman.
The presumed Ed Davis landing site on Mount Suleiman, northwest of Tehran, is far outside the land of Ararat/Urartu (at least 250 miles as the dove flies from Urartu to Mount Suleiman), and deep inside the Land of Madaia of the Medes! This is a very crucial point to Cornuke’s claims. Is Mount Suleiman, northwest of Tehran, in the Biblical land of Ararat/Urartu or not? The BASE Institutes case stands or falls on this question. Cornuke gives a vague, non-factual answer to this question when he states:
“When people talk about the boundaries of Urartu — which is the Assyrian designation, Armenia, [the] more modern designation — They can’t be precise. There is not a boundary that you can draw a line around. It expanded and contracted up to a thousand [1,000] miles based on war, or famine, or some kind of drought, very mercurial in the boundaries. So we can say it’s just right in that area of Turkey, the area of Iran, the area maybe of Azerbaijan. It’s just right in that area of the world; we just can’t be precise where in the area when we are talking about Iran. It’s right where the Bible indicates it should be.” [12 min.:30 sec.-13 min.:08 sec. into Cornuke's video]
However, in the video, a speculative map of Ararat/Urartu graphic is shown that includes Mount Sabalan and comes close to Mount Suleiman. Cornuke knows he must have the Land of Ararat/Urartu extend all the way over to the Elburz mountain range in order to give his discovery any kind of credibility. It is our judgment that this graphic is very inaccurate and, in our opinion, deceptive. As noted earlier, this map does not even include the known historical capital and cultural center of Ararat/Urartu at Lake Van, nor does it include the Gordyene Mountains south of Van, the large Urartean site of Hakkari, nor any of Turkey or the traditional Hurrian highlands extending west to Erzincan. However, it does conveniently extend south to the central Elburz Mountains and the edge of Mount Suleiman where not one piece of evidence for Urartian presence has ever been found.
Bob Cornuke’s June 2006 Mt. Suleiman Expedition members and associates claimed that he discovered Noah’s Ark on Mt. Suleiman. The critiques of the Mt. Suleiman rock site started mounting after a Bob Cornuke blitzkrieg of Noah’s Ark discovery interviews and stories on Fox News, CNN, Good Morning America, ABC News, The Michael Reagan Show, AOL, K-Love, Worldview Network, and many other television and radio stations and internet website audiences supplemented by throwing out the names of well-known expedition members including Barry Rand (former CEO of Avis), the author and Christian apologist Josh McDowell, Frank Turek (co-author with Norm Geisler of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist), Boone Powell (former CEO of Baylor Medical Systems), and Arch Bonnema (president of Joshua Financial). Since the tremendous press coverage and some critical articles afterward, Cornuke has changed some of his material on his website and pulled back on the assertions, stating the following on his website in a “Disclaimer Statement”:
“The research and site survey being investigated by the BASE Institute has strong potential. Is it the remains of Noah’s Ark? The BASE Institute does not make the claim that we have found Noah’s Ark. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions. In our opinion, it’s a candidate. The research continues. It is no secret that we here at The BASE Institute have formulated certain possible scenarios (e.g. the probable location of historical Mt. Sinai and the possible historical mountains of Noah), based on the testimony of the Bible, personal investigation, examination of evidence, and other factors. However, we admittedly propose these conclusions as potential answers and possible scenarios. We believe it would be a fallacy to dogmatically argue that our interpretation of all these factors is the only possible interpretation a Christian can hold. Because history is a once-in-time event, no assertion of history can be proven beyond all doubt.”
“From my perusal of the photos, (and I can only go from the pictures, not having visited the site), the object does not look like Noah’s Ark to me. The black object looks like a rock outcrop, and the close-up shots of the ‘beams’ suggest that the whole area has been sheared by tectonic movement, causing folding and metamorphism.
The beams with their hewn surfaces at right angles look like rock that has fractured along cleavage planes. It is just fortuitous that the resultant pieces look like wooden beams. In fact, there is an abundance of broken pieces of rock in the pictures, and most of them are smaller than beams. One of the pictures has the distinctive appearance of folded rock, not wood.
When a large region, such as a mountain range, is uplifted, the rock strata are sheared and metamorphosed by the immense forces involved. A new texture develops in the rock strata.
The new texture often involves parallel ‘cracks’, like the pages in a book, or a heap of timber planks, depending on the type of rock and the degree of metamorphism. This texture is called foliation. Once a rock is foliated, it tends to fracture along these planes.
Most people would be familiar with the way that metamorphic rocks such as shale and slate fracture. Sometimes a region can experience multiple folding and the rocks can have fracture planes in two directions and the broken pieces can look like timber when they break.
One of the team members, Reg Lyle, an oil and gas geologist, seems a little coy about saying the find is definitely Noah’s Ark. He reportedly said, ‘The object appears to be a basalt dike, however, it is absolutely uncanny that the object looks like hand hewn timbers, even the grain and color look just like petrified wood… I really need to keep an open mind about this.’
If the black object is the petrified remains of the wooden Ark, how was it petrified? To petrify, the timber would need to be surrounded by a mineral-rich solution and absorb it into its pore structure. It is difficult to conceive of how that could happen for a timber structure sitting on the side of the mountain. If the Ark still existed high in a mountain somewhere, it is more likely its timber would be exposed to rain and snow which would not contain the minerals to petrify it. Superficially, the ‘beams’ appear more likely to be rock, hardened at depth and uplifted toward the end of the Flood.
I would like to see more details about the tests that were claimed to show the material was petrified wood. Normally one would make thin samples of the ‘wooden beams’ and examine them under a microscope. It should be fairly straightforward to distinguish between metamorphosed rock and petrified wood.
Another check would be to geologically map the area (but this would not be possible in the absence of another expedition to the site). If the black object is indeed a basalt dyke, it should be possible to trace this for some distance by finding other outcrops. Also, if the ‘beams’ have simply fractured along foliation planes in the strata, it should be possible to check other rock outcrops for similar foliation, and to determine the geological fold ‘structure’ of the region.”
“In our unanimous opinion, the formation was of geologic interest only. It is unusual, and worthy of further study, but it seemed to be sedimentary rock, although some features appeared metamorphic. The layered look is evidently due to sedimentary deposition by water processes, or possibly directional stress due to metamorphism. Most likely the rock material is thinly bedded silicified sandstone which has been mistaken for wood grain. Regional fracturing has produced the superficial look of thick beams. Without careful geologic field work, it would be impossible to determine its geologic history, but we saw little to indicate an archaeological origin. We cautioned Cornuke against any dogmatic claim that his discovery was the Ark. Such an important find necessitated firm proof and his proof was questionable at best…
The claim is made that the material is petrified wood, and it may be. But petrified wood is found in thousands of places around the world. Finding it here means nothing. Perhaps the ark is petrified, but this would necessitate conditions and a sequence of events which hardly seem likely here. Wood is best petrified when buried in volcanic ash, but the team have asserted that the region of their discovery is not volcanic. Without precise maps and study, it would be impossible to refute this claim.
In addition, abundant marine fossils are reported nearby, only partially lithified, testifying to a sedimentary origin with little subsequent metamorphism.
One piece of ‘wood’ is reported to have a marine fossil imbedded in it. While the fossil (as well as the rock) is probably from the Flood, certainly it was not on the Ark. The Ark would have landed on the mountain while the area was draining, after the fossiliferous sediments had been deposited, and it never would have been underwater since that time. Determining if the material is wood or not can best be accomplished by examining a thin section under a microscope. If specimens were taken, they need to be studied for remaining wood cells.
There are several questions regarding the site which could be easily answered. Is the formation hollow as a ship would be? Is there evidence that it was a structure even if it has been subsequently filled in? Is there evidence of human carpentry? What are its overall dimensions? What type of rock surrounds it and what is the precise chemical and microscopic nature of the material now?
Based on the partial information I currently have, I suspect that this formation is not the Ark of Noah. The information I do have does not favorably point to a human origin, but toward a geologic source. I have been involved in the search for the Ark for over 30 years, and as much as I believe in Noah’s Ark and would love to report that it has been found, I cannot at this time do so.”
Another issue with Cornuke’s Takht-e-Suleiman site in the Alborz Mountains and potentially with the rocks in question themselves is that while Cornuke claimed that there was no volcanic activity in the region, the highest peak in the Alborz Mountains, Mount Damavand or Demavand (18,606 feet, 5671 m), itself is an extinct volcano. As well, GeoScienceWorld published an article about the Alborz Magmatic Arc. Building on this fact, M. Reza Ghorbani wrote his Ph.D. thesis on volcanic rocks in the Alborz Mountains at Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, stating the following:
“Volcanic and pyroclastic rocks of Eocene age comprise vast outcrops of Alborz Mountain Range, a fold-thrusted structural unit extending across northern Iran for 2000 km in a curvilinear pattern. In his account of structural evolution of Iranian plateau, Berberian (1983; p. 55) ascribed these rocks to a subduction-type magmatism. Based on a tectonostratigraphic study, these rocks are attributed to an arc-type magmatism (Alavi; 1996, p. 29). Recently a new data set of major and trace element (including REE) analyses of volcanic rocks from western Alborz, some 50 km west of city of Qazvin, has been made available (Asiabanha, 2001).”
Beside Christian creationist geologists, other researchers urged caution in promoting the alleged discovery. Rick Lanser, M. Div., of the Associates for Biblical Research, wrote a 7,838-word article that questions many assumptions of Bob Cornuke. National Geographic also critiqued the overreaching claims. Because of the growing critiques and questions, Bob Cornuke defended himself by releasing some of his research and a quote on his website that pulls back from the original claims made by his partners and promoted by so many media outlets:
“Recently the search for Noah’s ark has exploded with media attention after we shared pictures of a rock formation found on a high mountain in Iran. I have been careful to position all comments that I am not claiming to conclusively to have found the ark.”
Unfortunately for Cornuke’s position, there are numerous other problems with his defense.
Cornuke surmises that Noah’s Ark landed in modern-day Iran. Much of this debate centers on the translation and timeframe of Genesis 11:1-2, which states, “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward [or "in the east"], they found a plain in Shinar [Babylonia] and settled there.” Although the Hebrew for the translation “eastward” or “in the east” has been debated, it should be noted that the context and timeframe for this passage is actually 100-300 years after the flood, assuming that “the earth being divided during Peleg’s time” is interpreted as the Tower of Babel and the dividing of the nations by language. It is highly doubtful that the generations after Noah simply stayed at Noah’s Ark’s actual landing site rather than exploring and populating the entire earth, as was God’s command to Noah in Genesis 9:1. Also note that Genesis 9:18 states, “These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth.” Given that Genesis 11:1-9 occurs about 100-300 years after the flood since Peleg was born at least 100 years after the flood and lived for 209 years, the assumption that some researchers make about Noah’s Ark landing east of Shinar [Babylonia] in Iran is flawed. At any time during at least the 100-300 years after the flood, the peoples could have easily moved from where the Ark landed to other locations east or west of Shinar [Babylonia] before the Tower of Babel story took place. Associates for Biblical Research colleague Rick Lanser, M. Div., has a great overview of this issue in his paper, Noah’s Ark in Iran?, and Stephen Clothier also discusses it.
Cornuke himself provides another alternative explanation, “It is very possible that the term ‘from the east’ (Genesis 11:2) does not indicate a compass direction. It is probable that the author intended to refer to a geographical region, i.e., when we refer to ‘the south’, or ‘the mid west.’ This is illustrated by Isaiah 46:11, which refers to Cyrus the Great coming from the region of the Medes, which is known as present-day Iran: ‘Calling a bird of prey FROM THE EAST the man of my purpose from a far country.’ This is not a compass heading but a region that Isaiah refers to.”
On a side note, the word PLG for Peleg in the Bible is used to describe streams and irrigation canals. Some think that it may mean “division by water.” Consider the paper by Rick Lanser, Of Peleg and Pangea. Walt Brown and other creationists have an interesting explanation for this based on the hydroplate theory. Brown and Lanser believe that immediately after the flood, the sea level was much lower. After the co
ntinents settled into their new foundations, the sea level rose, covering the land bridges that now separate the continents.
Cornuke also believes that the Biblical texts of “rrt” (originally “Urartu” and later “Ararat”) along with Assyrian texts (the Assyrians lived far to the south)tend to point toward Urartu extending further east into Iran than traditionally thought. However, there is no evidence that Urartu was ever even close to Mount Suleiman in the Alborz Mountains or within 250 miles of Urartu as the following map shows.
The cover for the book NOAH: The Person and the Story in History and Traditionby Lloyd Bailey, and also on page 80 of the same book shows a map (link below) with Noah’s Ark atop “Mont Ararat” or present-day Kuh-e-Lavand [formerly Kuh-e-Elvand and coordinates Latitude (DMS): 32° 12' 0 N & Longitude (DMS): 49° 10' 60 E] in Iran near the ancient city of Ecbatane. Interestingly enough, Ecbatane is the old name for Hamadan where Davis was stationed. However, Davis claimed that he drove for an entire day and a night to get to his mountain so Kuh-e-Lavand would not be the mountain Davis was speaking about. Another interesting note is that a small portion of the kingdom of Urartu (mountains of Ararat) extended into what is now northwestern Iran and would include Kuh-e-Sahand and portions of Kuh-e-Sabalan as well as Mount Nisir (Gilgamesh Epic and today possibly Pir Omar Gudrun) and the Zagros mountains along the border of Iraq and Iran.
The AD 1730 Augustin Calmet Map showing Noah’s Ark atop Alwand Kuh (potentially Kuh-e-Lavand or formerly Kuh-e-Elvand?) from his Dictionnaire historique, critique, chronologique, geographique et litteral de la Bible points toward toward modern Iran.
Also, Cornuke is clearly wrong in another one of his defenses when he states, “Mount Ararat virtually stands alone in Eastern Turkey” when referring to “other mountain peaks became visible subsequent to the ark of Noah landing.” Cornuke has been to Mount Ararat several times and knows that there are numerous high mountains visible from Ararat including Little Ararat (12,877 feet or 3,925 meters elevation), which is right next to Ararat, as well as the extinct volcano Ala Göz and Aragatz and other Armenian mountains (13,435 feet or 4,095 meters elevation) that are easily visible from Ararat. Rex Geissler and David Graves were on Mount Ararat in May 2006 and all of these mountains and mountain ranges were easily visible. In fact, British Viscount James Bryce writing in 1876 stated the following about the mountains in the region:
“Taking the two Ararats together, they form an elliptical mass of about twenty-five miles in length from northwest to southeast, and about half that width. This mass rises on the north and east out of the alluvial plain of the Aras, whose height is here from 2800 to 2500 feet above the sea, and on the southwest sinks into the valley or rather plateau of Bayazid [Dogubeyazit], which lies between 4000 and 5000 feet above sea-level, and also discharges its waters towards the Aras. It is therefore quite isolated on all sides but the northwest, where a depression or col about 7000 feet high connects it with a long ridge of volcanic mountains, which, under the names of Pambak, Synak Dagh, and Parly Dagh, runs away to the westward between the basins of the Aras and Murad Su (Eastern Euphrates), and connects itself south of Erzerum with the great range of the Bingöl Dagh, or northeastern Taurus, as well as with the southern offsets of the Anti-Caucasus. Over against it to the north, nearly forty miles away, rise the three volcanic pinnacles, fragments of a broken crater rim, of Ala Göz (13,436 feet); to the east, beyond the wide valley of the Aras, is the great plateau of the Kara Bagh, some of whose highest volcanic tops exceed 11,000 feet, while on the south, beyond Bayazid and the Upper Euphrates, ranges nearly equally lofty run away down towards the Lake of Van in the south and the Lake of Urumia in the southeast. Orographically and geologically, Ararat is connected with all these, but the plain immediately around it is wide enough to give it that air of standing quite alone which so greatly contributes to its grandeur, and speaks so clearly of its volcanic origin.”
Another example of wrong assumptions being made by Cornuke is that there is only one Takht-e-Suleiman in Iran, let alone in the entire region. For example, in the section below from Cornuke’s defense, Cornuke is wrong when he states that the British Explorer A. H. McMahan climbed Takht-e-Suleiman in the Alborz Mountains of Iran. While there are at least two different Takht-e-Suleiman’s in Iran. One Takht-e-Suleiman is a UNESCO World Heritage site near Lake Urmia while the other is Cornuke’s site near Tehran in the Alborz Mountains. However, Cornuke’s quote from the British Explorer is from neither Takht-e-Suleiman site in Iran! British Captain A. Henry McMahon (later Sir Henry McMahon and note Cornuke’s misspelling) actually climbed Takht-e-Suleiman in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region about 40 miles east of Quetta, and is only about 11,400 feet (3500 m) tall. It is in the northeastern portion of Baluchistan and is almost 1,000 miles from Tehran and the Cornuke’s Takht-e-Soleiman mountain that is about 55 miles NW of Tehran. India claims another Takht-e-Suleiman (near Srinagar in Kashmir), and Kyrgyzstan claims still another mountain Throne of Solomon. Cornuke’s Takht-e-Soleiman in the Alborz Mountains is very close to the highest mountain in all of the Middle East, Mount Demavand, about 45 miles NE of Tehran, about 5,610 meters high (18,400 ft). Another interesting question is, “Why would Noah’s Ark land on a mountain that is clearly not the highest mountain in sight?” Regardless, the sloppy research in Cornuke’s defense of one of the Iranian Takht-e-Suleiman sites and its archaeological support continues as seen in the following quote by Cornuke…
“5. British explorer in 1894, and an American soldier in 1943, confirm local Iranians believed the Ark landed on Takht-i-Suleiman (east of Lake Urmiah); the British explorer claimed to see a wooden shrine, and the American soldier claimed to see the Ark.
An early British explorer named A.H. McMahan noted in his journal in 1894 that he was the first European that had successfully climbed Takht-i-Suleiman. He wrote then, ‘The name of this mountain is so well known from its mythical, geographical, and ethnological associations, that it may interest some of the readers of the geographical journal, to know that its summit has been reached by Europeans…Many legends attach to it. According to some, Noah’s ark alighted here after the deluge.’ This same explorer spoke of wood fragments of a shrine at the top of the mountain from those that had in the past made pilgrimages to the place. Mount Suleiman lies within the area the ancients described as Ararat or Armenia (see discussion above). It is east of Lake Urmiah, about 55 miles northwest of Tehran (not far from the southwestern rim of the Caspian Sea). I was first directed to Mount Suleiman when a man named Ed Davis personally told me that he was taken to an object there and told that the object was the actual ark of Noah.”
Ed Davis Eyewitness Location
Bob Cornuke speculates in the statement above that the alleged Noah’s Ark eyewitness Ed Davis (1903-1998) who was stationed in Hamadan, Iran during World War II, was taken to a mountain in Iran to see the remains of Noah’s Ark, rather than to Mount Ararat on the border of Iran, Turkey, and Armenia (formerly the Soviet Union). Initially, this might appear like a reasonable assumption since Ararat is 520 miles from Hamadan, Iran. However, consider the following evidence where Ed Davis’s “big ship” was located:
- Ed Davis traveled along the Russian border on the way to the mountain, which indicates that the mountain was along the Iranian/Russian border.
- Ed Davis said that there were Russian sentries on the mountain and at one point, they had to be quiet, which again indicates that the mountain was along the Iranian/Russian border.
- Ed Davis took three barrels of gas and a case of motor oil, which indicates that he planned to travel quite a long distance.
- Ed Davis drove all day through Qasvin and into the night until he reached the Abas-Abas village. Therefore, if we assume that Ed started at around 8AM-10AM and drove until about 8PM-9PM when the sun went down in late July “We arrived at Abas-Abas’ village after dark” as Ed said, that is around 10-13 hours of driving. Also, Bob Cornuke states that Ed drove at least 8-12 hours the first day before arriving at Abas-Abas’ village. Then the son of Abas-Abas drove Ed in a British lorry starting at around 10PM-Midnight until 6AM-9AM in the morning “through the night into the morning sometime,” which is around 6-11 hours of driving. Therefore, the total time in driving was around 16-24 hours. The entire distance on the existing 1943 roads from Hamadan through Qazvin to Mount Ararat is 838 kilometers or 520 miles. On a 1943 Iranian map produced for the United States War and Navy Departments, the map shows that all of the roads between Hamadan and Mount Ararat were primary or secondary roads, most of which also had railroad tracks going along the roads, which would require repairs. At an average of 40 miles per hour (mph), it would take about 13 hours to cover the 520 miles. At an average of 30 miles per hour (mph), it would take about 17.3 hours to cover the 520 miles. Even at an average of 25 miles per hour (mph), it would take about 20.8 hours to cover the 520 miles, which fits comfortably near the middle of the estimated 16-24 hours of total driving time. If one assumes the longest possible driving time of 24 hours, then the Army truck and the British lorry would only need to average 21.67 miles per hour over the distance.
- Ed Davis, Badi and Abas-Abas said that most of the ship was embedded in ice, “For ten, twenty years at a time, the ark lies invisible under the ice. Then suddenly it appears… You could see lots of beams in the ice and where it broke in two.” Abas-Abas also told Ed, “The ice on the big mountain has melted considerably. Part of the ark is showing.” Badi state that only every 10-20 years years did the ice melt enough to allow the ship to be seen. Therefore, the target mountain has to have vast amounts of ice with a semi-permanent ice cap and/or a glacier on it and there is only one known mountain on the Iranian/Russian border that qualifies to maintain substantial quantities of ice on a yearly basis.
- Ed Davis stated that if you climbed above the Ark site and got on a trail there, Abas said that it would “lead you back down to Turkey.”
- Ed Davis smelled a rotten egg or sulfur smell going up the mountain (probably sulfur denoting possible tectonic activity as well). The mountain must have not only a permanent ice but also sulfur smells.
- Ed Davis saw a Jacob’s Well-type feature.
- Ed Davis said the well had pure water that can be drunk without boiling it, which was different from the rest of the mountain.
- Ed Davis said a Prophet Jacob-type Graveyard was near the well.
- Ed Davis kneeled and placed a large rock on the grave piled in honor of the prophet.
- Ed Davis saw a tree next to the well that had ribbons tied on its branches.
- Ed Davis and his companions stayed in the Colonel Lawrence (of Arabia) Cave.
- Ed Davis and his companions stayed in caves that could be used as shelter for multiple individuals.
- Ed Davis was told that they could see the lights of Tehran on clear nights (some have voiced concerns about whether Ed or Abas meant Yerevan as Ed pronounced Tehran with three syllables).
- Ed Davis and Abas said that there were huge grapevines in the area near one of the villages.
- Badi pointed out to Ed Davis the mountain with a cloud on the top of it and told Davis that the name of the mountain was “Ararat.” Ed Davis said that when he pointed to a snow-covered peak, he asked Abas if that was not “Mt. Ararat” where Noah’s Ark came to rest. Abas replied that it was, but they called it “Agri Dagi.” That name is applied to the Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey and no other mountain. If anyone believes Ed Davis was on a different mountain, they should ask if the natives refer to the mountain as “Agri Dagi”.
- Ed Davis wrote in his 1943 Bible, “Went to Ararat with Abas. We saw a big ship on a ledge in two pieces. I stayed with him at the big house. It rained and snowed for ten days.” Why did Badi and Ed name the mountain “Ararat”? Perhaps Badi and Ed might have assumed this name of the mountain because of the Genesis translation and everyone else’s traditional name of the mountain that held Noah’s Ark.
- Abas family (although Abas is an extremely common name in the entire region and natives are apt to easily claim a name if it will benefit them financially).
- IF Ed Davis really saw Noah’s Ark and IF any of the other alleged eyewitnesses really saw Noah’s Ark, Ed was probably on the same mountain as they were, which must have been Turkish Mount Ararat since that is where the other alleged eyewitnesses saw something.
- In 2001, Richard Bright and David Larsen met a shepherd family dwelling in a small “village” deep in the foothills of the south side of Ararat. Their surname was Abas. I asked them if any of their family had lived in Iran during WWII and they laughed. They claimed that the main portion of their clan lived in Northwest Iran and they identified Iran as their homeland, as well as Mt. Ararat. They showed us the remains of a four-room schoolhouse that the military had bombed and destroyed. I asked if there had ever been vineyards or grapevines in the area (it took a bit of translating to get the understanding of “grapes” through our translator) and they said that “years before” there had been large grapevines, but they were now all destroyed. Our translator (knowing nothing of the Ed Davis account) told me that he had been in a large cave in the Ahora Gorge earlier that summer, and it smelled “very bad.” He had a hard time coming up with a description of the smell. I asked him if it smelled like “rotten eggs” and he got animated. “Yes,” he said, “like rotten eggs or rotten food.” My guess would be sulfur. This was something the translator volunteered without any prompting or questions regarding the smell of sulfur on the mountain.
- The Abas family shepherds told us that their father had visited the remains of Noah’s Ark—and they pointed up the southeast side of the mountain to the “ark area.” Their father had forbidden them to try and find it because he said, “If the ark is revealed to the world, the world will end.” They eventually agreed to take us up to around 14,000 feet but they would go no further—nor would they help us search. According to Ed Davis, the shepherds told him that the ark was only visible “once in a great while”–maybe every 20 years or so. So, if a person bases his search on the Ed Davis account, why would that person be surprised that the couple times he climbed a small portion of Mt. Ararat, the ark was not visible?
Most of these features (not all) are direct facets of traditional Mount Ararat in Turkey, Buyuk Agri Dagi. Some could be attributed to the Alborz (Elborz) Mountains in Iran. If a person suspects Ed Davis was on another mountain, an obvious question would be: Did you identify any of these sites and locations on the way with the mountain? And then there is the even larger issue to be dealt with of what to do with the other alleged eyewitnesses like George Hagopian, many of whom were unquestionably talking about the Turkish Mount Ararat. The bottom line is that while resources like ArcImaging are committed to this research on Turkish Mount Ararat, it would be helpful if there would be more legitimate scientific research in western Iran.
Beside the problems with Ed Davis allegedly being in Iran, there are even more issues with Ed Davis being in this specific location on Mt. Suleiman. First, Ed said that his entire team was constantly roped together for the last couple days of his trip to prevent anyone falling off the narrow trails and constant ledges. This description of the Ed Davis Noah’s Ark geographic area sounds nothing like the topography of the area photographed by Cornuke’s expeditions, where they walked right up the valley to the rocks in both 2005 and 2006 without requiring any ropes to do so (look at Cornuke’s photos to see the terrain). Second, as Cornuke himself admits (in Lost Mountains of Noah, p.11) when Ed Davis wrote the following notes in his Bible upon his return to base, Ed knew exactly where he had been: “Went to Ararat with Abas, We saw a big ship on a ledge in two pieces…” A big ship on a ledge in two pieces sounds nothing like the Cornuke photos and terrain. Third, Ed Davis stated that if the weather cooperated (July 1943), they would rappel down to Noah’s Ark using ropes the day after they visually sighted it. Again, this description of the Ed Davis Ark sounds nothing like the area photographed by Cornuke’s expeditions. Ed Davis also stated that his group had to look down into a “horseshoe-shaped valley” in order to see the ark, and the only way to approach it was to climb down by ropes. Fourth, unless the “structure” that Bob found is hollow, not only would it not coincide with Ed Davis’ eyewitness account, it could not have been a ship or even a man-made building. Most of a ship consists of . . . air. Air does not petrify and become rock . . . thus, even if the wooden exterior somehow became petrified, it would still be hollow. In addition, a significant part of Ed Davis’ account was that the shepherds showed him artifacts that had fallen out of the ark when it broke open. How could anything have fallen out of the object Cornuke found, when there is no opening, and it appears to be solid rock throughout? Another problem is that the structure that Ed Davis saw was clearly broken into at least two pieces, yet Bob Cornuke’s photographs show no such thing. How does Cornuke reconcile Ed’s eyewitness account with what he actually found? According to Ed Davis, the ark was broken into at least two pieces and he could see into the end of the structure. He could see the broken ends of wooden beams sticking out, and he could see three levels. This appears to be the antithesis of the “structure” that Bob has now found. From Bob’s own account, what he saw was not at all impressive or convincing from a distance (the opposite of what Ed saw), and it was only upon arriving next to it that it appeared to be of any interest at all. The “object” (for lack of a better word) that Bob photographed looks nothing at all like the structure that Ed described. How can Cornuke reconcile what he found with the Ed Davis account, upon the basis of which he supposedly made his find? Cornuke dismisses it with the wave of a hand saying, “I am satisfied that it corresponds well enough for me.” Again, these descriptions of the Ed Davis Ark sound nothing like the area photographed by Bob Cornuke’s expeditions.
Another example of the problems with Cornuke’s defense is his claim that “Ararat is East of Lake Urmiah” in Iran becomes untenable when we consider that Mount Suleiman in the Alborz Mountains is 300 statute miles from Lake Urmiah. Why refer to Lake Urmiah 300 miles away when the far larger Caspian Sea is right next door? Would anyone ever describe Tehran’s location in this fashion?
In general, Bob Cornuke takes an approach to research focused on a non-scientific audience and defends his lack of archaeological experience and expertise on his website stating, “While scholarship in archaeology has a certain value in ascertaining past events, it is also true that many of the most significant discoveries in the young discipline of archaeology have been made — either accidentally or purposely — by ‘non-scholars.’ Therefore a discoverer’s credentials or personal background does not impugn or disqualify her/his discovery.” While Bob Cornuke is a really nice guy, the reality is that controversy and legitimate questions have consistently followed Cornuke. For example, Cornuke entered Saudi Arabia illegally to photograph Jebel al-Lawz that he believes was Mt. Sinai.
Just like so many people in the past doing alleged “research” or claiming discoveries of Noah’s Ark since Ferdinand Navarra started the cycle in 1955 with his alleged wood beam discovery, it is a shame that many alleged “research” organizations allow definitive claims to be made about the alleged discovery of Noah’s Ark while they:
1) Refuse to work together with the appropriate national archaeological or geological authorities to legally and properly conduct research;
2) Take no professional field archaeologists (and field geologists as the case may be) on the expeditions to properly conduct and document the research;
3) Collect samples in a non-scientific manner that does not protect the samples from potential contamination;
4) Produce no scientific or archaeological reports in any archaeological journals for standard peer review (instead opting for the attention-grabbing, drive-by media outlets who court exciting one-sided stories and ratings over “fair and balanced” content);
5) Demonstrate little or no scientific or archaeological evidence to back up their claims;
6) Then retreat when questioned honestly and legitimately;
7) And in so-doing dishonor the Judeo-Christian principal of truth (John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”).
Of course, there have been no retractions or corrections in detail either by Fox News, CNN, Good Morning America, ABC News, The Michael Reagan Show, AOL, K-Love, Worldview Network, or many other television and radio stations and internet websites that propagated the alleged discovery. The original claims stand as true in the public’s opinion…
Mount Sabalan Photos