The search for Noah's Ark continues to occupy the thoughts of many and warrants an update. The search certainly occupied my thoughts for many years, so I fully understand the fascination. My personal involvement has receded to advisor to the groups still active, but their activities are quite significant, certainly worthy of an update in Acts & Facts.
In reality, precious little has been accomplished on Ararat for over a decade, primarily due to political instability in nearby Iraq. But in summer of 2001, two American groups attempted to launch scientifically based, high tech expeditions. They each spent enormous amounts of time and resources currying favor within Turkey. Both were able to break through the political roadblocks, each linking with Turkish university scholars. But in the end, delays severely limited productive search time, and results were minimal. Both groups are now seeking extension of their permits into 2002.
Full descriptions of their work can be found on-line. The Ark Imaging Expedition (headed up by Rex Geissler and Ararat veteran B.J. Corbin) can be studied [noahsarksearch.com] and also [arcimaging.org]. The Ark Research Project (ARP) under the leadership of Mr. Jim Hall, former biology professor at Liberty University, can be viewed at [arksearch.com].
Meanwhile, a less ostentatious effort was launched by "bulldog" Ark researcher Mr. Dick Bright. He acquired local climbing permits and investigated numerous areas of great importance. They had no access to aircraft or high-tech equipment, but backpacked all over the mountain. Their work was assisted by the fact that last summer's glacial melt back was extensive, and by the utilization of several Turkish climbers. Many areas we had always desired to study were completely free of ice and snow and were thus ruled out, but still no Ark.
But that's not all. Mr. Porcher Taylor continued trying to acquire detailed satellite data, especially of the "Ararat Anomaly." Further arrangements have been made for a better, recently launched satellite, to study this area in fine detail next summer.
Mr. Bob Cornuke has focused on another mountain, still within the overall "mountains of Ararat," but situated inside the country of Iran. It seems to me that since the Bible does not specify a location, nor does it predict that the Ark will ever be found, the only reason to look anywhere is that hundreds of people claim to have seen a structure that fits the Biblical description on the Turkish mountain known presently as Mt. Ararat. I'll gladly leave the Iranian mountain to Mr. Cornuke.
On another front, efforts in Hong Kong to build a full-sized replica of Noah's Ark in a Christian theme park are progressing. Ground has been broken for "The Rainbow Paradise," and completion is set for within the year.
For the last several years, the only book available which provided a sober compilation of Ark search details was my book, "Noah's Ark and the Ararat Adventure," written at a junior high level. But now two helpful new books have appeared. Mr. B.J. Corbin utilized his own familiarity with the mountain and friendships with all involved to write Explorers of Ararat. It details the personal experiences of all major explorers, each of whom, including myself, wrote a chapter.
Just released is a new book by Dick Bright, entitled Quest for Discovery, published by Master Books. All significant work on the mountain is discussed, with his own enormous amount of work highlighted. So many experiences, so many victories, so many disappointments.
All in all, both are fascinating reading. All three can be ordered from ICR.
* Dr. Morris is President of ICR.