The men went to explore the Ahora Gorge on the north-west slope of Ararat
It has become some sort of a tradition to make sensational statements about discovery of Noah's Ark every year in October – November. As a rule, the exact place is not mentioned at that for two reasons. Either these people know the exact location of Noah's Ark and try to keep it secret, or make such sensational statements having no grounds at all just to have their names made public in connection with the sacred mystery.
This year, legendary mountain-climber President of Russia's Union of Mountain-Climbers Vladimir Shatayev, 68, went for his seventh tour to Ararat in search of Noah's Ark. Together with his companion Igor Yakovlev he managed to investigate the eastern slope of Big Ararat.
And the direction the explorers chose was no accidental at all. They were going to verify the version of Monk Naum from the town of Sergiyev Posad who said he had reached Noah's Ark in October 1942 and even got inside of it. But when the mountain-climbers reached the indicated place they saw no Ark at all. They searched the entire slope thanks to fine weather and arrived at a conclusion that there could be no Noah’s Ark on the eastern slope of Big Ararat. Vladimir Shatayev also had another map where location of Noah's Ark was indicated on the opposite slope of Big Ararat. Unfortunately, the climbers could not reach the place during the last expedition.
Vladimir Shatayev told about his adventures while searching Noah's Ark two months after the expedition. This year, six mountain-climbers from Russia left for the Alpiniada – 2005 international mountaineering expedition. But unfortunately only two Russian climbers were among participants of the international expedition. But the six Russian climbers would not separate and the names of Russian climbers were not included into the list of participants.
Vladimir Shatayev decided to have an independent ascent to Ararat and appealed to an acquaintance of his, a Kurd running an official company organizing ascents to Ararat. The man organized the ascent, gave the Russian group a car, a guide and horses for transporting goods. Then the group was taken to the small village Elli at the height of 2,000 meters above sea level. The Russian climbers wanted to ascent Ararat side by side with the international expedition where they were not admitted, that is why they had to be particularly careful and not come across other mountain-climbers.
The group came to the paths where Vladimir was during his first expedition while searching Noah's Ark. On the first day the expedition reached the height of 2,600 meters above sea level but had to stop as the Kurds guiding the group did not want to come across the official expedition consisting of international climbers. Unfortunately, the weather was not always fine to continue the ascending the next day: it was snowing. And at night it was raining heavily.
Some members of the expedition had to leave soon because they were to get back home. And 12 alpinists from Iran soon joined the Russian mountain-climbers. Together with the Iranians the climbers walked along roundabout paths, crossed several really dangerous areas and came to the height of 4,200 meters above sea level. By that time, the international expedition already ascended the mountain and descended. The peak of Ararat was very close. The mountain climbers started the next stage of ascending at 2:00 a.m. because it was expected the weather would change for the worse soon. The group reached the peak when the wind was rather strong. Vladimir Shatayev followed the route for the sixth time to reach the top of Ararat, and still he says the ascending was a success.
Soon, Igor Yakovlev joined the group to continue searches of Noah's Ark. The Kurd who organized the ascending said it was of no use to go to Lake Kup, the route suggested by Vladimir Shatayev. And Igor Yakovlev offered to examine the eastern slope of Ararat which the climbers had investigated the previous year. It was the area where Monk Naum said Noah's Ark was staying. The Monk said climbers must reach the height of 4,900 – 5,000 meters above sea level. But Vladimir already reached the height a year ago and could not find anything resembling Noah's Ark there. The Kurd saw the Russian climbers persisted in the intention to continue searches and said he could introduce them to two men who knew the exact location of the Ark. He also drew the Ark's location on a napkin but did lot allow the climbers take the drawing. At that he with a mysterious look warned there were only two men who knew the place, and two Americans who saw the ark were later killed. Unfortunately, next day the Russian climbers were told the man who knew the location of the ark could not guide them. Majority of the group decided to go home. That is why Vladimir and Igor Yakovlev had to continue the searches alone.
The men went to explore the Ahora Gorge on the north-west slope of Ararat. Many climbers searching for Noah's Ark organize their expeditions to the place. The men found a slightly trodden path which indicated that some people walked there, and decided to set out in search of the ark next morning. In the morning Vladimir had to ascend the mountain alone because Igor felt unwell.
At the height of about 3,000 meters above sea level Vladimir realized he would not be able to go further alone because the top of the mountain was covered with snow after the heavy rain at night. He trained binoculars on some lines seen on the rock overhead. The lines resembled a ship lying on the side, the one usually shown on pictures published together with sensational texts saying the location of Noah's Ark is discovered. Vladimir felt happy at the thought that he had spotted the legendary ship. Nearby, he noticed another thing resembling a wash-tub with either snow or ice inside. It is also usually shown on pictures connected with the discovery of Noah's Ark. Many people believe that the strange lines and the things that Vladimir saw is the fore-part of the ark that broke off and slipped down the slope. Many investigators searching the ark know the place very well.
Unfortunately, Vladimir could not investigate the place thoroughly because of smog and heavy rain next day. When he still managed to reach the place that he had supposed to be the Ark, it turned out it was a glacier with a huge niche inside; the other place resembling part of the Ark was also the work of nature.
Having finished the expedition, Vladimir believes if Noah's Ark actually exists it is somewhere on the Turkish army base in the shallow gully between the Big and Little Ararat. Right at the place where no strangers will be allowed to see it. Now, Vladimir Shatayev is sure that effective examination of the place where Noah's Ark is supposedly staying requires an expert group and at least two weeks necessary for an expedition.
Even though during this expedition Russian investigators have failed to spot Noah's Ark, they still managed to examine the two objects which are often believed to be remains of the legendary ship.
Americans speak about “the Ararat anomaly”, a place seen on pictures taken from space with an object on the north-west slope of Ararat. It is unlikely that this version will be confirmed. Recently, the CIA declassified the pictures. Numerous comments reveal the object on the pictures is of artificial origin. Indeed, the last pictures taken from space in fine weather reveal no anomaly at all.
Investigators should take into consideration the age of the ship and numerous geological changes since the Flood. This is the reason why searches for Noah's Ark must be carried out on Ararat only.
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