I found this website claiming that noah's ark has been found. Is there any archaeological or historical evidence to support or deny this claim?
Related Question: Could a Great Flood have happened?
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Short Answer: No.
A natural rock structure near Dogubayazit, Turkey, has been misidentified as Noah's Ark. Microscopic studies of a supposed iron bracket show that it is derived from weathered volcanic minerals. Supposed metal-braced walls are natural concentrations of limonite and magnetite in steeply inclined sedimentary layers in the limbs of a doubly plunging syncline. Supposed fossilized gopherwood bark is crinkled metamorphosed peridotite. Fossiliferous limestone, interpreted as cross cutting the syncline, preclude the structure from being Noah's Ark because these supposed "Flood" deposits are younger than the "Ark." Anchor stones at Kazan (Arzap) are derived from local andesite and not from Mesopotamia.
Thirty-five years ago, Life magazine carried a story of an expedition sent to investigate the outline of a ship in a mud-flow near Dogubayazit in eastern Turkey (Life, 1960); see p. 112). An aerial photo in this story was captioned: "Noah's Ark?" Upon reaching the site (Figure 1) at 7,000 feet elevation, investigators found the boat-like appearance (Figure 2) to be only superficial. One scientist in the group ventured that nothing in nature could produce such symmetry, although nothing man-made was discovered. But after two days of looking for a cause of the phenomenon, the site was temporarily abandoned for lack of evidence. Other searches for the Ark continued, however, and placed Noah's barge on Mount Ararat farther to the north, much closer to where various creationists placed the Ark.
With the search still underway twenty-five years later, another explorer reclaimed the mound near Dogubayazit as Noah's Ark, which according to him contained "trainloads" of gopherwood (Wyatt, 1994). On the basis of this renewed interest in the area, representatives of the Turkish Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the High Commission on Ancient Monuments moved quickly to protect the site from exploitation, declaring the area a national park. However, skeptics and those who believed that the Ark was on Mt. Ararat remained unconvinced the Dogubayazit phenomenon is the Ark.
David Fasold, co-author of this paper, also began studies of the site in 1985, making nine trips in the following years to look for evidence. Today, the area is a military forbidden zone and is off limits to all researchers, except for Fasold who officially remains the only non-Turk having access. Placed directly on the project by the Rector of the Ataturk University at Erzurum, Fasold worked closely with project leader, Associate Professor Salih Bayraktutan, with on-site investigations.
On February 20, 1993, CBS aired "The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark," Sun International Pictures' rehash of its 1976 film "In Search of Noah's Ark."1 At the end of June, Skeptics Society advisor Gerald Larue publicly revealed (via Associated Press and Time magazine) that George Jammal, one of the alleged eyewitnesses of Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat, was a hoaxer, and that Larue himself had played a role in the hoax.2 The purpose: to demonstrate the shoddy research of Sun International Pictures.
Over the past year, CBS has shown several specials produced by Sun International Pictures, Inc. These shows have all dealt with the Bible in one way or another and have been heavily biased towards the pro-literalism, pro- creationism side. Skeptics are included for short segments that believers then seemingly tear apart, along with acting clips supporting the stories as they appear in the Bible. There have been a number of reports questioning the veracity of these previous shows, but new information warrants another, much closer, look at Sun and their methods.
As reported in earlier articles, Time magazine and the Associated Press (AP) ran stories claiming that George Jammal, one of the claimants who appeared on Sun's The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark, actually fabricated the entire story to expose Sun's shoddy research. This he did with the help of Dr. Gerald Larue, a professor emeritus of biblical history and archaeology at the University of Southern California and Skeptics Society advisor, who had appeared in an earlier Sun production.
Southern Methodist University also lists this as a hoax, with three links to detailed stories about it (one of the links being the TalkOrigins site).
Most of those who make claims of discovery seem sincere, so sincere that they are willing to break laws or endanger the safety of their friends or families. Wyatt sees the laws of Saudi Arabia are of little importance compared to his mission. He just breaks their laws (p. 44). What he considers badges of honor ("jailed as a spy, shot at by terrorists, beaten, robbed and persecuted"--see the back cover of his book), appear to be evidences of poor judgment. When you are analyzing a report, remind yourself that sincerity can never replace reliable evidence. Someone can be sincerely wrong.
All in all, it is one of the same types of things that is always on the verge of discovery, yet never actually turns up.
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