Claim: Noah's Ark Found (Sorta, Maybe?)

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
This popped up on my news feed the other day, and I didn't think much of it. Then it kept popping up from different sources, so I read it and still didn't think much of it. By today I think I've seen it over half a dozen times or more all from different sources. I thought I'd bring it up, not so much as something to debunk, as once anyone reads the story, it's not really what it claims, yet that claim is being made over and over all over the place. It's more a look at how information or misinformation travels around.

Most sources seem to point back to an article in the Turkish paper Hurriyet where the opening paragraph sums up what actually happened (Translated by Google):

Rock and soil samples taken from the area where the remains of 'Noah's Ark' are believed to be located in Doğubayazıt district of Ağrı were examined, and the first results of the research were obtained. According to the results, it was determined that there were human activities in the region from the period between 5500 and 3000 BC. Prof. Dr. Faruk Kaya said, "With the dating, it is not possible to say that the ship is here. We need to work for a long time for this to happen. In the next period, we have agreed to carry out joint studies under the leadership of ITU and Andrew University AICU. In the future, 3 universities will continue to work in this field."
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https://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/...lintilar-incelendi-iste-ilk-sonuclar-42351635

So, it seems there might have been people in the area where some think the Ark is located in the time frame that some people think the Ark existed, though even that is a bit confusing as what they claimed to have found is clayey, marine materials and "seafood":

According to the initial results from the laboratories, it was determined that the samples taken from the region were clayey materials, marine materials and seafood.
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From the same article, the "Ark ruins" in question were discovered in 1959:

The ruins claimed to belong to 'Noah's Ark', discovered on September 11, 1959 in the land between the villages of Telçek and Üzengili in the Doğubayazıt district by Captain İlhan Durupınar, a cartographer who flew in the region with a plane belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces...
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The group detailing these findings was formed a couple of years ago and sounds like they know the Ark is there, they just have to prove it:

The 'Mount Ararat and Noah's Ark Research Team' was established in cooperation between AICU and ITU for scientific research in the ruins, whose structure deteriorated due to landslides.
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And at a symposium about Noah's Ark:

Stating that the issue was also discussed at the 7th International Mount Ararat and Noah's Ark Symposium organized in partnership with AICU and ITU, Prof. Dr. Kaya said, "Another important point of the symposium is that we have decided that more effective results can be obtained by conducting research together in Judi and Ararat, which we know as the Mesopotamia region, which is mentioned in the Qur'an and the Bible. From now on, we will continue to intensify our work on both Cudi and Mount Ararat."
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It sounds like they went looking for proof of Noah's Ark by going to a place some think is the Ark and found clay and marine materials which they equated with humans being there.

Left out of the Hurriyet article, but in others, is what exactly they think the ruins of the Ark is. Apparently what Cpt. Durupinar saw was a large limonite deposit that resembles the Ark and is now named after him:

The team of researchers placed a renewed focus on the region in 2021 by exploring varying geological areas—including the Durupinar formation, which is made of limonite that bears resemblance to a ship like Noah’s Ark.
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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/tech...ink-they-might-have-found-the-real-noah-s-ark

The 1959 aireal photos do look a bit Ark like:

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But more modern ones look more like a geological formation:

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The 3 Universities involved include Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Ağrı İbrahim Çeçen University (AICU) and Andrews University. I'm not sure about the Turkish schools, but Andrews University is a 7th Day Adventist school:


Andrews University is the heartbeat of Adventist education. As a Christian school, we encourage strong moral principles and a close relationship with God. We believe in a holistic approach to life that balances body, mind and spirit in such a way that students are fully prepared to serve the world when they finish their studies.

Our Mission​

Andrews University, a distinctive Seventh-day Adventist institution, transforms its students by educating them to Seek Knowledge and Affirm Faith in order to Change the World.

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https://www.andrews.edu/about/

And Andrews supplied the 2 keynote speakers to the 7th International Mt Ararat and Noah's Ark Symposium:

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https://ismana.agri.edu.tr/detail.aspx?id=10&bid=2&tid=6&dil=en-US

Dr. Younker is described this way on the Andrews University website (bold by me):

Randy Younker is an outstanding archaeologist, researcher and communicator, whose contribution to the illumination of biblical backgrounds and history is internationally well known among scholars and many others. He has continued and expanded the work of the Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Institute by leading excavations at Tall Jalul in Jordan and San Miceli in Sicily.

His passion for discovering new data and insights relevant to the Bible is contagious. Randy has a passion for upholding the authority and historical reliability of the Bible, and in illuminating its teachings through discoveries made in archaeological excavations. He has given spirited and insightful lectures on the Bible and archaeology in many and varied venues throughout the world and also has contributed to numerous prestigious publications that have been supportive of the historicity of the Bible records.
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https://www.andrews.edu/agenda/57854

So, there does not seem to be much "there" there. A group that believes in the historicity of the Bible, and possibly the Qur'an, went looking for Noah's Ark at a limonite outcropping and found clay and seafood they say dates to the supposed time of the great flood and "indicates" a human presence.

Interesting is the way it got picked up and spun by various outlets and what they actually said about it. Here is Popular Mechanics, which back in the day used to be about mechanical things but online has increasingly flirted with the fringe:


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Despite the headline, after using a bunch of quotes from the Hurryit article they point out it doesn't mean they found the Ark:

Human activity, however, does not a Biblical account prove. The Durupinar formation has been put forth as a potential ark resting place for many years, and has received extensive attention from those hoping to find Noah’s Ark. Despite the hype, archaeologists have consistently reaffirmed over the years that the formation is natural, not the result of a petrified shipwreck, and that there is no geologic record of a global flood like the one described in religious texts. Some believe that a more local flood may have been possible, but that is also debated.
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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/tech...ink-they-might-have-found-the-real-noah-s-ark

The Deseret News was a little more cautious:

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As was The Daily Mail:

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They did provide a counter argument against this being Noah's Ark from a Young Earth Creationist:

However, Dr Andrew Snelling, a young Earth creationist with a Ph.D. from the University of Sydney, had previously said that Mount Ararat could not be the ark's location because the mountain did not form until after the flood waters receded.
Content from External Source
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/science...te-5-000-years-ago-period-Biblical-flood.html

The Sun UK had pun:

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Interestingly, both UK papers had this erorr in which they claim Mt Ararat at 16,500+' is the highest mountain in Turky and shaped like an Ark or boat:

In the Book of Genesis, the mountains of Ararat in what is now eastern Turkey is the region in which Noah's Ark comes to rest after the Great Flood.

The mountain is the highest peak in Turkey, standing 16,500 feet tall and carved out like an ark would be.
Content from External Source
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/24553782/has-noahs-ark-been-found-archaelogists-reveal/

The Mountain is 16,854' per Wikipedia and is shaped like a mountain:

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It's the limonite formation that looks a bit like a boat.

Heavey.com went with this:

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It does include this bit about one of the Turkish researchers writing a book about the Ark:

Kaye is affiliated with Istanbul Technical University and, according to the Post, he is vice rector of Agri Ibrahim Cecen University. Kaye has written about the Noah’s Ark research on his X page, writing, “My book, Mount Ararat and Noah’s Ark, which is the product of a long and meticulous work, was published and took its place in bookstores. I present to you this book, which answers many questions about Mount Ararat and Noah’s Ark….”
Content from External Source
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/n...ararat-research-leads-to-evidence/ar-AA1j3blY

Of course this is nothing new. I remember going to see a Noah's Ark documentary in the '70s and as recently as 2010 there was another claim that was 99% sure they had found the Ark:

Web sites are buzzing over claims that remains from Noah’s Ark may have been found on Turkey’s Mount Ararat. The finders, led by an evangelical group, say they are "99.9 percent" that a wooden structure found on the mountainside was part of a ship that housed the Biblical Noah, his family and a menagerie of creatures during a giant flood 4,800 years ago.But researchers who have spent decades studying the region – and fending off past claims of ark discoveries – caution that a boatload of skepticism is in order.
Content from External Source
https://www.nbcnews.com/sciencemain/noahs-ark-found-not-so-fast-6C10404024

One can skip heading to Mt Ararat and just go to Kentucky and see the Ark:

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I've been to Kentucky once, but I skipped The Ark Encounter and hit the Bourbon Trail instead.
 

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Ararat, which we know as the Mesopotamia region, which is mentioned in the Qur'an and the Bible.
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But do we know Ararat as the Mesopotamia region?

I'd say Ararat was almost as far away from Mesopotamia as Mesopotamia's own "between the rivers" width. There's a mountain range, which Ararat isn't part of, separating the two regions:

Note that Ararat isn't even on this map, it's so far away from the region in question:


Ararat's the pimple near the gripoints between the two lakes here:

It's not even on the same drainage basin - it's between two rivers that drain into the Caspian Sea, not into the Persian Gulf.

That's an error as big as saying Paris is in the region known as Great Britain.
 
between the villages of Telçek and Üzengili in the Doğubayazıt district
I've been trying to find the "ark" on Google Earth, but no luck: closest is ⁦39°26'16"N⁩ ⁦44°14'15"E⁩ which still doesn't look like the aerial photos in the OP.

However, the villages are at ~1500m and ~2000m, and the sea level never rose that high.

Edit: tagged as "Noemova archa (Noah's ark)", it's at ⁦39°26'26"N⁩ ⁦44°14'04"E⁩, at 1969m altitude.
 
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Two other "arks":
Article:
The Ararat anomaly is a structure appearing on photographs of the snowfields near the summit of Mount Ararat, Turkey, and advanced by some Christian believers as the remains of Noah's Ark.[1][2]

The anomaly is located on the northwest corner of the Western Plateau of Mount Ararat (approximately 39°42′10″N 44°16′30″E) at about 15,500 ft (4,724 m), some 2.2 km (1.4 mi) west of the 16,854 ft (5,137 m) summit, on the edge of what appears from the photographs to be a steep downward slope.


Article:
ark-1_med_hr.jpeg.jpg


3 different arks means at least two of these are heretics, right? ;)
 
3 different arks means at least two of these are heretics, right?

You mean heretArks!

I think the first one near the summit in the snowfield was the subject of the Ark film I saw back in the '70s, The Search For Noah's Ark maybe. They would 4 wall it, renting the local movie theater for a night or two and then gin up people at all the local churches who would line up around the corner to go see the film. IIRC they showed the photos near the summit and some petrified "wood" that supposedly was brought back form that area. But it was the Cold War, and Ararat sat near the border of NATO Turky and Soviet Armenia, so no one could go up the mountain. Conveniently.

It's not even on the same drainage basin - it's between two rivers that drain into the Caspian Sea, not into the Persian Gulf.

Mesopotamia, Egypt, Judea, Hatti (now Turkey), it's all in the general Old Testament and Qur'an world area. Close enough, ye of little faith.
 
Three arks? A good many more than that.

The search for Noah’s Ark is by no means a new enterprise. Ron Stewart, author of “Noah’s Ark: A Scientific Look, Past And Future,” has documented more than 100 expeditions and Ark sightings, dating back as far as 2500 BC.
......
620 — Byzantine Emperor Heraclius was reported to have climbed Ararat and seen the Ark after conquering the territory.

1269 — Explorer Marco Polo reported finding the Ark after a three-day climb in “the snowy reaches of a very high mountain” — at the bottom of the summit, not at the peak.

1647 — Explorer Adam Olerius reported seeing the petrified remains of the Ark.

1829 — Frederick Parrot reported seeing wood relics made from the Ark at the base of Mt. Ararat in a cathedral that was destroyed in an earthquake in 1840.
......
1883 — The Turkish government reported that an expedition located the Ark at 14,000 feet and saw animal cages and stalls.

1887 — Indian explorer John Nouri made three expeditions, during which he claimed to have located the Ark — and recommended removing it for the 1900 World’s Fair.
(etc.)
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https://www.baptistpress.com/resour...onological-timeline-of-expeditions-sightings/

One proponent and publicizer of an "ark sighting" was the late Ron Wyatt, also famous for "finding" the Ark of the Covenant and the site of the crucifixion, along with many other rather fanciful claims dear to the hearts of devout Christians.
 
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If we assume that there was a Noah's Ark of sorts- a boat built by a man to accommodate his immediate family and some animals (presumably livestock) in the event of flood*- then if it made landfall intact, in an environment which had been inundated for some time, wouldn't the ship be a rather useful source of building materials?
And, possibly, fuel (the hull of the ark was said to be waterproofed with pitch or bitumen).

If nothing else, building stockades for the animals that the people wanted to keep would be useful in the short term...
...I guess none would be needed for the penguins, kangaroos, jaguars and bison etc. who could be trusted to make their own way to their respective continents. Somehow.

*Which I doubt.
I'd hope the majority of members don't believe the literal story of Noah's Ark as told in Genesis.
The account is almost certainly derived from Mesopotamian flood myths (most famously The Epic of Gilgamesh).
Whatever the beliefs of the ark "finders", the Biblical account is wholly irresolvable with archaeology, climatology, anthropology, population genetics (of humans and other land animals) etc. etc.

Wikipedia links,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_flood_narrative
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah's_Ark
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilgamesh_flood_myth

Google Earth (location found by NorCal Dave)
https://earth.google.com/web/@39.44077324,44.23477074,1965.97493593a,180.57646801d,35y,-0h,0t,0r

Capture.JPG

"hz nuhun gemisi" is, apparently, the "Noah's Ark National Park". The mind boggles.

Also from Google Earth:
Capture3.JPG

In announcing the possible discovery of seafood in the vicinity of "the ark", we must be confident that the claimants have ruled out possible contamination from the 5 seafood restaurants in the town of Doğubayazıt, 15 km from Mount Ararat,
on the E80 main road to the site (Wikipedia states the best views of Mount Ararat are from Doğubayazıt, and it seems likely that any Western ark explorers would travel through there):

"Restaurant Guru" website https://restaurantguru.com/seafood-restaurants-Dogubayazit-b
Capture9.JPG :)

 
I'd hope the majority of members don't believe the literal story of Noah's Ark as told in Genesis.
The account is almost certainly derived from Mesopotamian flood myths (most famously The Epic of Gilgamesh).
Whatever the beliefs of the ark "finders", the Biblical account is wholly irresolvable with archaeology, climatology, anthropology, population genetics (of humans and other land animals) etc. etc.
To further back up the deserved skepticism, there's actually *two* Noah's Ark stories, with contradicting details (such as how long the flood lasted). See A Textual Study of Noah’s Flood. Too much information to quote so I highly recommend reading the article, but here's an excerpt of contradictions:


Contradictions:​

  1. Is Noah supposed to bring one pair of each kind of animal (6:20) or is he supposed to bring seven pairs of clean animals plus birds and only one pair of unclean animals (7:2-3)?
  2. Do the flood waters come from God allowing the waters of the depths and the heavens to overflow the earth (7:11, 8:2) or does it come from excessive rain only (7:4, 12, 8:2)?
  3. Does the flood last for forty days and nights (7:4, 12, 17) or does it last for 150 days (7:24)?
  4. Does God have a pact with Noah from the beginning never to destroy the world again (6:18, 9:11), or is it the sweet smelling sacrifice that brings about this decision (9:21)?
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To further back up the deserved skepticism, there's actually *two* Noah's Ark stories, with contradicting details (such as how long the flood lasted). See A Textual Study of Noah’s Flood. Too much information to quote so I highly recommend reading the article, but here's an excerpt of contradictions:


Contradictions:​

  1. Is Noah supposed to bring one pair of each kind of animal (6:20) or is he supposed to bring seven pairs of clean animals plus birds and only one pair of unclean animals (7:2-3)?
  2. Do the flood waters come from God allowing the waters of the depths and the heavens to overflow the earth (7:11, 8:2) or does it come from excessive rain only (7:4, 12, 8:2)?
  3. Does the flood last for forty days and nights (7:4, 12, 17) or does it last for 150 days (7:24)?
  4. Does God have a pact with Noah from the beginning never to destroy the world again (6:18, 9:11), or is it the sweet smelling sacrifice that brings about this decision (9:21)?
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It's as fruitless as trying to reconcile Grimm's fairy tales with the Walt Disney version.
 
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