"The Truth Behind The Ark"
The founder of National Geographic stated "the discovery of Noah's Ark would be the greatest archaeological find of all time." Decades later when the information about the remains known as the Durupinar site was first presented to National Geographic their response was "this is not within our reader's scope of interest." So, given their present secular world view on geology and paleontology, its not surprising their National Geographic Channel Special, "The Truth Behind the Ark" was prejudiced against the Biblical narrative of a world wide flood, the Durupinar site and an Ark in general using omission, misinformation, corny examples and academic witnesses with anti-flood and anti-creation predispositions. However, just the fact they now feel the need to attempt to disprove the site confirms that in spite of all previous efforts to censure, the remains at Durupinar are as valid, as visible and as true to the actual Bible narrative as ever. The special was a short run of three airings with no more showings currently scheduled and does not appear to be available in any format for purchase. Fortunately, I was able to record and examine the details of the show through a last minute notice.
Examining National Geographic's projections and conclusions.
The length of the Ark poses "a fundamental problem with the Biblical account."
Presumptions that the cubit of Genesis is 18" is used in some suspect Bible interpretations actually giving the length as 450 feet instead of the 300 cubits of the text. The cubit of Moses was the cubit of Egypt where he was trained. That cubit was brought to Egypt by the descendents of Noah's son Ham. This cubit has been proven at Solomon's gate to be a 20.6" cubit and was used to build the great Pyramid of Giza. This perfectly fits the length of the Durupinar remains and supports the deck area dimensions considering the site's external forces and dynamics.
"The Ark started its journey from Mesopotamia."
Pure speculation; there is no Biblical or academic basis for this pre-flood conjecture and was used in attempt to rule out the material of the drogue anchor stones' association with the Ark remains.
"The Genesis Rock found on the Moon is dated at 4.5 billion years old."
Dating methods beyond a few thousand years are unprovable using any scientific methodology. See information on isotopic dating philosophy.
"No metallic tools or construction devices were available before the Iron Age at 1200 B.C."
This is simply an assumption based on predisposed evolutionary ideology. Pre-flood Tubal-cain was an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. (Gen 4:22) Their presentation of prehistoric shipbuilding tools and method in the woods was more comedy than investigation. Their expert went into the woods and split wood using a wood mallet and wooden spikes to split planks that they assume was the construction specification. They went on to demonstrate how plain plank boats leak never mentioning the pitch specified in the Bible to coat the gopher wood within and without which would have at least solved the problem for the poor guy's boat they used. These demonstrations were absurd beyond belief.
Their sinking an ark model in a water tank demonstration
A hollow representation of the ark with waves higher than the structure was used to sink their model. The experiment did not show or state using any ballast, calculated weight of construction material, cargo weight or use of the drogue stones for sea sock and stability technology which made turning over an empty hollow model much easier. Their flood environment conjecture for wave sizes used implied storm conditions. The Bible does not state or imply any wind activity during the flood. Actually the Bible states prior to the flood it had not previously rained and that the earth was watered by a mist. (Gen 2:5,6) This would indicate condensation from the Genesis firmament, not a wind or storm driven rain. Also, the effects from "all the fountains of the great deep broken up" are stated to have been in the one day Noah went into the Ark so that it would not have been a constant source of wave energy. The only wind connected with the flood narrative states God used a wind to evaporate the waters. (Gen 8:1) Also see (Psalms 107:24,25) stating that God is the author of the stormy winds that lifteth up the waves. I think we can conclude that He would not create waves to sink a ship of His design.
The "experts" used by National Geographic against the Durupinar site and the flood story in general: (None of which, as far as I can find, have ever been to the site)
The Nautical Expert
This "expert witness" and laboratory were used to display the water tank test previously addressed. Their secular theory of flood conditions used is unprovable and alone negates any conclusions.
The Ancient Wood and Prehistoric Ship Specialist
Their "expert witness" was used to promote the ship building method assumptions previously addressed. During this presentation they also displayed a 1000 B.C. ancient ship remains found in the UK as proof that more advanced shipbuilding technology could not have existed at the time of the flood. Let me dig up a 40 year old candle that proves we couldn't have had light bulbs anywhere prior to that time. There's no logic like no logic!
The Religious Professor
A small college professor of religious studies, this "expert witness" makes a statement that says it all. "The first eleven chapters of Genesis are essentially myth." My only question is how they find these guys.
This "expert witness," an old adversary of the Durupinar site was found and offered a chance to rehash his ideas on the evidence. His contempt for "those creationists" is well documented and was liberally declared in the special. He was their source for projecting the Ark and drogue stone material having to come from Mesopotamia. His explanation for the metallic readings perfectly fitting a structure in line with the shape of the site was that water deposited the metallic material over years in the 90 degree angle lines detected. I guess their animated representation of a perfect grid was supposed to slip right by us. Of course, all of their explanations for evidence found on the site were not justified by the same examination of a comparable area outside of the site. All previous examinations just outside of the Ark structure do not reveal the same qualities. He makes the statement the site "just happens to have that shape." He has previously mistakenly interpreted the site to be a natural formation of an eroded doubly-plunging syncline" to which other geologists disagree. He also used David Fasold, a marine salvage expert, as proof against the site and stated David canceled his book and told the publisher it wasn't true. I currently have six copies of different printings from two different publishers of the easily found book, "The Ark of Noah."(1) The Fasold story is complex and has long needed explaining. David initially wrote a masterful work on the site. However, he believed the ark design to be of cemented reed material and developed problems with those thinking along any other lines in spite of his being perceived by most as very instrumental in the investigation. When he bet an Australian atheist he could prove the site by visible rib structures that had been exposed though light excavation years before, a television crew accompanied them for the debate. Upon seeing the area to be displayed having been covered by years of weather conditions, Fasold was embarrassed losing his bet to the atheist. He later joined forces with this atheist in an anti-creationism lawsuit for copyright compensation for his material. But toward the end of David's life "he repeatedly said the artifact was either the fossilized remains of a cement-coated reed boat or what the ancients believed to have been the Ark."(2)
Giving thanks for the National Geographic presentation
The simple exposure of the Durupinar Ark remains emphasizes continued interest in the site and displays it's archaeological and evangelical qualities. Jerry Bowen of Anchorstone.com did a great job explaining the location, site and evidence. I'm sure much of Jerry's interview was left on the cutting room floor. My only criticism on the proponent perspective was the suggestion of asteroids being used to break up the fountains of the deep. That speculation was presented using animation to allow a natural alternative for a miraculous event. God performs the miraculous by the power of His Word just as He spoke the Universe into existence. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33)
Most importantly, Jerry also reports some crew members' interest allowing for his presentation of the gospel to them.
More evidence was publicized. A core sample taken from the Black Sea shows a point at which a fresh water sea became salty. While their dating methodology is suspect from carbon dating of the sea creatures in the samples, it is a very telling visual and compositional evidence of a flood.
To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. This special was not truthfully documentary or scientific by any stretch of the imagination and probably should have been named "Our Best Attempt to Dispel the Truth Behind The Ark" subtitled "Who are you going to believe; us or your own eyes?"
Article "Noah's Ark?" from Life Magazine, September 5, 1960..
Discoveries of Ron's First Trip
One of many massive Drogue Stones and large unique object with appearance of bark. Markings point to them as religious artifacts.
The formation as Ron first saw it in 1977. | Grave marker showing 8 figures with a larger male and a larger female center with eyes closed.
Subsequent Evidence Discovered
Carving Ron found above the Ark. | Carving seen lower right.
Petrified deck timber found with radar. | Sectioned, it revealed lamination.
Best example of many metallic rivets found. | Petrified coral found at 6500 feet in elevation at the formation with a smooth flat backside that shows that it was attached to an object that was not natural.
Unbiased Archaeological Evidence
Standing on the bow of the Ark formation. | The bow of the Viking "ghost" ship of Ladby in Fyen, Denmark after excavation.
The collapsed deck mound of the Ark formation is as expected,
just as the Viking ship of Oseberg, Norway.
The Anglo-Saxon ship, Sutton-Hoo showing iron rivets
and planking impressions.*
Iron Brackets with rivets and hot struck indented pins all over the formation.
The formation shows the discoloration of the exposed section material after a 1978 earthquake pulled the surrounding soil away from the northern side.
References for National Geographic Special Expose Noted
(1) Fasold, D., 1988, The Ark of Noah: New York, NY, Wynwood Press and Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd, UK, 1990
(2) Dawes, J., 2000, Noah's Ark, Adrift in Dark Waters, Noahide Pub, 2000, page 193