Does New Eyewitness Evidence Point to Noah's Ark?

Noah's ark
A recreation of Noah's ark (Flickr/Creative Commons)
More than five years ago, a Hong Kong-based team from Noah's Ark Ministries International (NAMI) made headlines with the announcement of a discovery of an ancient wooden structure thought to be the ark of biblical times.

Now, the discoverer who led NAMI to the site at Mount Ararat in Turkey will be a part of a special event coordinated by Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES) on the evening of Oct. 15, when new and exciting information about the discovery of the structure will be presented by a panel of eyewitness explorers and experts.

The Noah's ark presentations are planned for the day before the kickoff of the 22nd annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics, to be held at Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 16-17, so that a watching world can decide for itself if this evidence finally proves that the ark discovery is legitimate. 

The Turkish expert who first made the discovery, Ahmet Ertugrul, better known to the world as Parasut, will be featured at the event to answer questions about his headline-making find. Joining him will be Philip Williams, an American engineer and former telecommunications entrepreneur who has investigated the charges of hoax made against the discovery. Williams, one of the first Americans to view the structure, will also present the results of his own investigation. After studying the topic for 20 years, Williams will present photographs, testimony and videos from a trip made to the mountain in the past year.

Mount Ararat, specifically mentioned in the biblical account of the ark, is located in eastern Turkey and is called "The Painful Mountain," lying at the center of a centuries old, geopolitically unstable hot spot. The risky and rough terrain is the tallest mountain in the region.

Some scholars and researchers believe the structure found at that mountain could be Noah's ark—a faith-driven building project that allowed God to save a cross-section of humanity and start over through Noah and his family.

In April 2010, NAMI released details of its exploration of the remains of a massive wooden structure buried beneath volcanic rock and ice on Mount Ararat. The remains were found at 4,000 meters above sea level, and researchers say the wood dates back about 4,800 years.

Since then, many have tried to both prove and disprove that the remains are indeed Noah's ark. The event next week will feature several expert presenters, who will give reasons for and against the probability that these might indeed be remains from the ark.

Williams serves as director of the New Beginnings Foundation, a small inner-city mission in Charlotte, N.C., aimed at ecumenical cooperation with other ministries. He continues to use his system expertise to assist developing nations in the creation of infrastructure for impoverished rural communities.

Ertugrul was born near Mount Ararat and grew up acquainting visitors with local culture. He has hosted visitors from every nation, speaks fluent Turkish, Kurdish, English and Farsi. Generations of Parasut's ancestors lived in a village on Mount Ararat, and from childhood, he heard stories of visits to an ancient ship visible at certain times on the mountain.

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