For many years now, some people have been studying an interesting object on Mount Ararat. Recently, commercial satellites took some high-definition pictures of Mount Ararat, a mountain located in eastern Turkey. The pictures revealed an odd-shaped formation that has been called the “Ararat Anomaly.” Many people believe that the Ararat Anomaly is the remains of Noah's Ark.
The biblical story of the great flood is familiar to most people. At the command of God, Noah built a large boat to save his family and the many animals that were to be housed in the Ark. After several months, in which the waters covered the earth and then receded, the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat.
Many biblical scholars, archeologists, and historians regard the biblical narratives to be stories transmitted by the word of mouth to explain a huge inundation that occurred in Mesopotamia in the distant past.
Many Christians, however, believe that the biblical narrative of the flood represents an actual historical account of a devastating flood that was worldwide in scope. These Christians reject any theory that denigrates the validity of the biblical account and the worldwide scope of the flood.
Many Christians, in an attempt at proving the historicity of the biblical narrative and the existence of an actual Ark, have carried out expeditions to Mount Ararat to find Noah’s Ark. One of them was James Irwin, a member of the Apollo 15 lunar mission and the eighth man to walk on the Moon. Irwin, beginning in 1973, led several expeditions to Mount Ararat. His goal was to search for the remains of Noah's Ark; however, he did not find any sign of the Ark on Mount Ararat.
More recently, Porcher Taylor, Associate Professor in paralegal studies at the University of Richmond's School of Continuing Studies in Virginia and a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., has renewed the effort to locate Noah’s Ark.
Using his experience in analyzing satellite imagery, Taylor and image interpretation specialists have studied the Ararat Anomaly, which is more than 600-feet long, and have concluded that the structure in the pictures is the remains of an actual boat, possibly the remains of Noah's Ark. Read the news release of Taylor’s search for Noah’s Ark by clicking here and here.
Personally, I do not believe there is anything there. The anomaly may be only some natural object or a strange rock formation that because of its position, the angle of the picture, or the result of shadows, appears to be a man-made object.
Look at the picture above. Is the Ararat Anomaly a natural structure, a rock formation, or is the object seen in the picture, a man-made object and possibly the remains of Noah’s Ark? The answer to this question will be debated until someone is able to reach the place where the anomaly is and decide once and for all whether or not the anomaly is indeed Noah’s Ark. Since the place is practically inaccessible, do not expect this to happen in the near future.
When it comes to the Bible, some people need to see in order to believe. Jesus provides a better way: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). The Bible will not fall apart if the Ark is not there.
The Ark is not there.
Claude F. Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary