American researcher Robert Ballard is determined to track down Noah's Ark
American Robert Ballard, the finder of the Titanic is going to find the Noah's Ark. The Armenian newspaper Azg reported on Wednesday, the explorer would base his research on the biblical story about the Ark. "Ballard's plans are very interesting, because he has a very extensive experience in finding sunk ships. Ballard's most recent discoveries include the Mediterranean Sea finds of sunken remains of ships along ancient trade routes (1997) and of two ancient Phoenician ships off Israel-the oldest shipwrecks ever found in deep water (1999)," the newspaper wrote.
The expedition to track down the Noah's Ark will be filmed in order to use the footage for a special documentary later on. The newspaper did not say anything about the plans of the scheduled work, although it is already obvious that the expedition will take place in the area of Mount Ararat - a snow-mist capped volcanic cone, located in the far northeast of Turkey, 16 km west of Iran and 32 km south of Armenia.
During the pre-Christian era, there was a legend in Armenia about the ship on the top of Mount Ararat. People of the world of antiquity and Middle Ages took it for granted - they were sure that Noah's Ark was not destroyed. The people, who traveled with caravans to Persia, said that they had seen something that looked like a ship on the top of the mountain.
A lot of travelers have described Ararat in their stories, but no one of them ventured to ascend the mountain to see the Noah's Ark with their own eyes. Franciscan monk Oderih wrote in his report to the Pope in 1316: "The people, who live there, say that no one has ever ascended the mountain, because the Lord might dislike it." The legend said that God did not let people disturb the Ark, and people believed it until the 19th century.
German traveler Dr. Parrot was the first person, who performed the officially documented ascent in 1829. His guides all believed that the Noah's Ark was on the top of the mountain, and no human being could approach it.
In 1893, archdeacon Nurry released an official statement, in which he said that he had seen the Noah's Ark with his own eyes. The giant ship was resting on the edge of the frozen mountain lake, which partially melted only during very hot summers. A small part of the ship thawed out as well, while the main body of the ship remained underneath the ice.
Researchers of the 19th century decided that the Ark had gradually slid down the slope of the mountain and went to pieces, which became a part of the glacier.
In the summer of 1916, Lieutenant Roskovitsky's crew was flying above Ararat on a spy aircraft of the Imperial Air Force. Military men saw a semi-frozen glacier lake in one of crevasses. Roskovitsky could see the frame of a huge vessel lying over a side. The same year, about 150 people ascended Ararat from different sides. The Russian expedition discovered a ship, and everybody took it for the Noah's Ark. Members of the expedition managed to enter inside the vessel, take pictures, wood and resin samples. However, when the materials were processed, the revolution was about to break out in Russia. The report of the unique expedition was lost in the chaos of the revolution, and its details remained only in the memory of Ararat conquerors.
In 1949, American air photographers took pictures of an object on one of the mountain's slopes, which reminded the outskirts of a ship. Turkish Air Force photographed the same object in 1987. To crown it all, there are numerous photographs of another object, which is situated 30 kilometers far from Mount Ararat on a small mountain range. The ark was found in 1960 and it reminded the vessel as described in the Bible.