POST WWII SIGHTINGS
The cold war began shortly after WWII. Turkey became one of the stages
where this drama of confrontation between superpowers was played. Along with
Jupiter missiles, the Americans set up elaborate listening devices in Turkey
to monitor Soviet activity. Cat and mouse games to gauge Soviet readiness
were played out almost on a daily basis. The Americans sent fighter planes to
the proximity of the Soviet border while the men on the ground checked the
responses of the Soviet defenses. Captain Gregor Schwinghammer, now a Pan Am
instructor and pilot, was one of the players in this game. Since Ararat is
near the Soviet border, there were many fly-bys around the mountain. During
one such excursion, a Turkish pilot participating in the maneuvers volunteered
to show some of the American pilots Noah's Ark. Schwinghammer took all this in
a light vein but went along.
The editor of AR discussed this incident with Schwinghammer about two years
ago. The only thing really clear in his memory was that it definitely looked
like a structure of some kind. He likened it to the long rectangular chicken
houses he had seen in the midwest. It didn't really hit him that this could
be Noah's Ark until he saw the movie In Search of Noah's Ark on TV.
Schwinghammer still is not sure what it was but he maintains it definitely was
An interesting thing to note here about Schwinghammer is that he later flew
many bombing missions in Vietnam with the particular responsibility of
spotting the targets on the ground. We mention this to point out that the man
was trained to spot objects from a plane.
To read more on the Schwinghammer experience, see Berlitz' first book
Doomsday 1999 A.D. and the update in his latest book mentioned in this issue.
Schwinghammer now claims that the object he saw looked like the Hagopian
description as drawn by Elfred Lee.
Schwinghammer had a recollection of the U-2 pilots also seeing something in
photos. They flew out of the same base in Adana. As you will recall from the
Gary Powers' incident the Americans were flying reconnoissance missions deep
into the heart of the Soviet Union. On many occasions this took them right
In the spring of 1985, one Sunday morning, we received a phone call at 7:00
a.m. with the caller excitedly telling us that he knew someone who had seen
photographs of the Ark while in the Air Force. After garnering some of the
facts, we made an appointment to see this man to check out his story.
After his basic training, this man spent most of his four years in the Air
Force in top security work at a large base in the midwest. His job was to
process film as it was brought into the lab from around the world.
Apparently, our U-2's were surreptitiously filming the whole world, even
friendly countries, in order to pin-point possible bomb targets when and if
this action ever became necessary. Our man remembers film coming in from
eastern Turkey. After he and others processed the film it was turned over to
another crew who were responsible for the analysis. What he remembers is the
perplexity these men had over a certain object high in the snows of Ararat.
It seems they could not figure out what the Turks could have built of that
size at that extreme altitude. What could it be? Finally, he recalled
hearing one of them jokingly exclaim: "It must be Noah's Ark!" Being a
Christian at the time, our friend pricked up his ears and went over for a
closer look. Basically, what he remembers is a barge-like object sticking out
of the ice with most of it still buried. Since he was in top security he told
no one of the incident. Being a distant event he apparently felt it was O.K.
to now share the experience with the hope that it might yield some clue to the
Upon discharge from the Air Force this gentleman enrolled in a Baptist
college near this Air Force base to prepare for the ministry. While at this
college, he recalls another incident while strolling around the student lounge
one day. To his surprise he noticed on the bulletin board a photo cut out of
a newspaper with the caption "Could this be Noah's Ark?" He did a double take
when he realized it was from the roll he had processed only a few years
previously in the lab. He wondered who dared disclose the photograph because
he remembered how his superiors drilled into them the subject of secrecy and
the penalty involved.
To this day he does not know if it was Noah's Ark but he wonders what else
it could have been. This man (who wishes to remain anonymous) was once a
pastor of a large Baptist church in Kansas City. Today he is a marriage and
family counselor in a large clinic in Dallas. We know this man personally and
can attest that his reputation is impeccable.
To add further authenticity to this story, in the summer of '85, Col. Jim
Irwin met an American two-star General in Turkey who also claimed to have seen
a file labeled Noah's Ark and a slide purporting to be the Ark while stationed
at an Air Force base in the midwest (not the same base). We are not privy to
all the details of the General's testimony, but as far as we know, nothing new
has turned up despite the General's promise to try and locate the photographs.
In 1953 an American employed by an American oil company not only claimed to
have seen the Ark while flying by in a helicopter, he also took a number of
photographs. Upon returning to the states this man, George J. Greene, was
unsuccessful in trying to raise support for a ground expedition. Some time
later he died, or was murdered in South America. Many people however, saw his
photographs, too many in fact for this to have been a fictitious story. A
more complete account of Greene's discovery can be found in Noah's Ark: Fact
or Fable by Violet Cummings (213ff).
For two very good reasons we are now 99% convinced that what George Greene
saw was a large rock formation that is known to most Ark researchers. The
particular formation we refer to came to light in the mid-seventies as a
result of an expedition led by Tom Crotser of the Holy Ground Mission. The
movie, In Search of Noah's Ark, which we refer to elsewhere in this issue,
zooms in on the Crotser photograph and shows an object with planking clearly
visible. Ark researchers have looked this photo over carefully and have
questioned its authenticity. It appeared to have been retouched. We now know
for a fact that it was indeed retouched, but not with any fraudulent intent,
so says Mr. David Fry, of Cleburne, TX a former acquaintance of Crotser's.
Fry met Crotser in a photo print shop in Dallas where he noticed Crotser's
scenic mountain photos. When he was informed that the mountain scenery was
Ararat, the two learned they had a mutual interest in Biblical history. Fry
agreed to assist Crotser in the analysis of the photo containing an
interesting ship-shaped object. Since they had shots of the object from
different angles Fry studied it stereo-scopically. While doing so, he noticed
lines that seemed to run parallel length-wise on the object when viewed
through a magnifying lense. Fry simply enhanced these lines and presented the
photo to Crotser who then proceded to publicly proclaim the lines as planking
on a structure. He also began announcing to the press that the structure was
The object in question is positively located on the eastern rim of the
Ahora Gorge at approximately 12,000 feet. It was photographed by Bob Stuplich
from the air in 1983 and by expeditions on the ground.
There are two reasons to link the Greene and Crotser sightings. Our first
reason for concluding that Greene's and Crotser's objects are one and the same
is their similarity to the sketch made by Fred Drake who claimed to have
viewed Greene's photographs.
Mr. Fry was kind enough to lend us a photograph of the object which he
said was made from one of the Crotser's slides. The object was shot at eye
level from the western rim of the gorge much the same as Greene would have
done from the helicopter, only from further away.
To us the similarity is striking! The object lies almost due north and
south exactly as Greene described it. The object is on a kind of rock shelf
over-looking a shear drop-off. When viewing Stuplich's aerial photos it
appears that a side shot would also look just as Drake sketched it. Cummings
also reports that Greene was flying over the northeastern side of the mountain
The fact that the object is at about 12,000 feet also supports our
contention. This is about the ceiling for a helicopter in the early '50s. We
did some checking on this awhile back and found that there was a high
performance French helicopter that could have flown to the summit of the
mountain, but it is doubtful that Greene would have had one of these at his
This of course does not seal the case in concrete. We will never know for
certain until we actually see Greene's photos. However, we said that there
were two reasons why we are convinced that Greene saw the same rock formation
that Crotser photographed in 1974.
Rod Younquist, engineer and veteran of several trips to Ararat, related to
AR that he once met members of Crotser's expedition who informed him that they
had shown their photographs to people who had also viewed Greene's missing
photographs. Upon viewing the Holy Ground Mission photographs their response
was: "Oh, where did you get George Greene's photographs?" Hence our second
reason is the fact that Greene's friends mistakenly identified the Crotser
photographs as Greene's.
When Fry saw some of our slides of this object from different vantage
points he too became doubtful. However, he said it really looks convincing
when viewed stereo-scopically. He would like to see more photographs to have
added confirmation. We agree. Perhaps one of our readers may have a close up
of this formation.
(In subsequent issues we will continue our investigation of post WWII
EVOLUTION CONTRA CHRISTIANITY
Why are evolutionists so opposed to the subject of special creation? Is
it due to the overwhelming superiority of the evidence? We think not. The
real reason these two positions are so at loggerheads is much deeper than
evidence. The conflict begins back at the presuppositional level.
Presuppositions are those beliefs that are foundational; they are taken in
faith and they dictate how one interprets the data of experience. All world
views rest on these presuppositions or assumptions. What we have between
Evolution and Christianity is a collision of world views. We thought it would
be helpful to our readers to pinpoint what some of these conflicting
assumptions are. First, we will list these side by side:
1. Man fell from a 1. Living things
higher estate. are evolving
(devolution) to higher forms.
2. There is a qual- 2. Only a quant-
itative difference itative differ-
between man and the ence.
3. God's providence 3. Chance.
4. True moral values. 4. Only mores.
5. Open universe. 5. Closed universe.
6. Man needs re- 6. Man needs more
7. There is purpose 7. No purpose.
in the universe.
In future issues it is our plan to expound on these assumptions point by
point so our readers will know from whence the Creation-Evolution controversy
We've had several responses to our inquiry in the January issue concerning
the Bart LaRue movie, The Ark of Noah. We now have our own copy and have
viewed it several times with great interest. Our tape library now contains
quite a few hours of various Ark films and we thought it might be a service to
our readers to review what we've learned about other Ark films and where our
readers might have access to them.
What intrigues us is that more than four films about the search for Noah's
Ark appeared in one year, 1976! Incidentally, we know of at least eight or
nine books on the subject of the Ark and the Flood that appeared between '72
and '76. Certainly this must have inspired film-makers to take advantage of
the interest generated by the books.
We don't know who qualifies as being first, but two of the films produced
that year are feature-length and were shown in theaters. A videotape of the
aforementioned Bart LaRue film can still be ordered from: United
Entertainment, Inc., 6535 E. Skelley Dr., Tulsa, OK 74145. The cost is
$39.95. Their phone number is 918-622-6460.
This movie is of interest to Ark researchers because of its historic
footage from Navarra, Search Foundation, and the Archaeological Research
Foundation. The movie itself plods along, contains many historical
inaccuracies, and is anti-Turkish in tone. LaRue himself is persona non-grata
in Turkey due to his illegal climb of the mountain while filming for the
movie. Viewers will also have difficulty discerning the real thing from what
Another major feature length movie, In Search of Noah's Ark, was made in
1976 by Sunn Classic Pictures. A major book of the same title was released
the same year. The authors of the book are Dave Balsiger and Charles E.
Sellier, Jr. Balsiger was the ghost-writer for the English version of
Navarra's book: Noah's Ark: I Touched It. Sellier is also the producer of the
family-oriented TV show "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams." In Search of
Noah's Ark has been seen by millions and is frequently shown on late night TV.
A video of this movie can probably be ordered from your local video store.
This is a better film, but it leaves you with the impression that the Ark has
been found and that the evidence is more credible than we would allow.
Ken Anderson Films of Winona Lake, IN produced the film Noah's Ark and the
Genesis Flood. Jack Dabner, now with Seven Star Productions, in Long Beach,
CA headed up the research effort and narrated this film. It appeared first in
1976. It is approximately an hour in length and rents for $52.
Unfortunately, it is not available on videotape. The film can be rented
through local rental agencies who handle Ken Anderson films.
Films for Christ, distributes a film mainly dealing with the Genesis
Flood. It has been translated into many languages and is still used
frequently in churches and by missionaries. The emphasis is apologetic and
evangelistic. Its title is The World that Perished. It contains an excellent
presentation of the many flood stories found in cultures on all the continents
of the world. On the whole, it is a very instructional film. It is about 35
minutues in length. A video of this film can be rented for $27 from Films for
Christ, 2628 W. Birchwood Cir., Mesa, AZ 85202. We were told that this film
is based on a book of the same name authored by Dr. John Whitcomb of Grace
Theological Seminary. We are acquainted with this book, and can attest that
it is a work of high quality. We highly recommend it to our readers.
Last summer, a Dutch film crew joined the Irwin team for the purpose of
making a documentary for Dutch television. A video (VHS) of this is available
from High Flight Foundation, Box 1387, Colorado Springs, CO 80901. Purchase
price is $20, or $10 to rent. The title of this video is: Waar is De Ark Van
Noach? Some of the dialogue is in Dutch but the majority is English. It
contains footage from a rare flight over the mountain, has a sense of drama,
and contains clear gospel testimonies by Col. Irwin and his team members.
We are also aware of another film released in '86 produced by Montana
Film, a German Company. This film is 43 minutes in length and has been shown
on German television. This company films mountain-climbing events all over
the world and the fact that they included footage about the search for the Ark
was incidental to their purpose. Dr. John Baumgardner and Ron Wyatt are
interviewed on the film. It also apparently contains some spectacular footage
shot on the summit of Ararat and the Parrot glacier area. It leaves you with
the impression that the ship-shaped formation southeast of Ararat is likely
the Ark of Noah. An English-version video cassette is available, but we are
not aware of any U.S. distributors at this time. Inquiries can be sent to
their German address: Montana Film, Am Fort Elisabeth 15, D-6500 Mainz, W.
We have knowledge that a Canadian film crew was present at Ararat in '85
with the intent of making a documentary for Canadian Broadcasting, however, we
have no details at this time as to whether or not one was made or shown in
To our knowledge, these are all the "Ark Movies" formally "published." If
any of our readers are aware of others please let us know as we would like to
share that information.
GOPHER WOOD---A PROCESS?
Dr. Don Shockey
When asked what the Ark of Noah was constructed from we all immediately
know the answer. We can respond without hesitation by replying--"gopher
wood." That is correct, and is exactly what the KJV of the Bible states.
Genesis 6:14: "make thee an ark of gopher wood." The New International
Version says it a little differently: "So make yourself an ark of cypress
wood." The footnote tells the reader that cypress would be more likely the
wood of choice since the Hebrew meaning of go'phir is uncertain. Still no
problem since we know without reservation that whatever God told Noah would be
the absolute best to sustain the craft during the deluge to follow. One of
the primary objectives of the re-discovery of the Ark will be to
scientifically examine the wood and attempt to resolve once and for all what
type of wood was used in its construction. All seem to agree that it would be
some type of hard wood. Guesses have included white oak, cypress, etc. even a
type of tree no longer on earth has been suggested.
The following is offered to our AR readers and Ark researchers as a
possible interpretation of the term "gopher wood."
Recently, during a professional seminar in Texas a doctor approached me,
and a conversation began when I learned he was born in Israel and has a mother
who is 94 still living in Jerusalem. I asked him what gopher wood, as stated
in Genesis, really meant? The following is his reply:
"From a certain kind of resinous tree, when one makes an incision into the
bark and collects the resin or sap, he can use it as glue by applying it at
the joint between two pieces of wood. After letting it dry over-night, he
will not be able to break the joint. The wood will break before the joined
seam. This has been used in our area of the world for centuries, although it
is not used very often in modern times since this sap will discolor any wood
it happens to come into contact with. This is what Noah used to construct the
Ark. `Gopher wood' or `gophering' is a process not a particular tree."
He further suggested that Noah used the "gophering process" to fashion the
large timbers from many different pieces of hardwood that could have been some
type of hard oak tree. What, specifically, we can only guess. This
information turned on a light within my thinking. What he described would be
like our process of making plywood. If this is a valid assumption, then Noah
could have constructed large timbers needed of any size, thickness, or length,
without being dependent upon single, mammoth trees to accomplish God's
command. The original meaning should be traced back to determine if a gopher
wood process has any validity. As of this writing, a minister from
Albuquerque is to visit the Holy Land and will attempt to secure information
about this resin which we will test. I will update AR on this project.
In the November issue we noted that Charles Berlitz, author of the Bermuda
Triangle would be authoring a book on Noah's Ark and the Flood. We are
pleased to announce that this book is now available in major bookstore chains.
The book is titled The Lost Ship of Noah. It is published by G.P. Putnam's
Sons, and sells for $17.95 (hardback), 187 pp.
Berlitz is an author of the Erich von Daniken mold. He is particularly
interested in the myths and symbols of ancient cultures. It is his thesis
that behind them are actual historical events from which they arose.
This new book by Berlitz is an elaboration of a former book--Doomsday 1999
A.D. published in 1981. He believes there was not only a great world-wide
catastrophe in the past, i.e. a world-wide flood, but that there will likely
be another. He bases this prediction on two things: the course of modern
events whereby man seems to be destroying his environment, and the numerous
prophecies from a variety of cultures and religions. He sees the majority of
these prophecies as being authentic revelations that are this very moment
moving toward fulfillment.
In The Lost Ship of Noah Berlitz seeks to bring his readers up-to-date on
the search for Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat, and sets forth the cases for a
previous world-wide deluge, and the probability of future global destruction.
Since most of the previous books on the Ark were written in the 70s Berlitz
does those who are interested in the search a service. He is not writing from
a scholarly perspective. However, he is a reporter who digs into his subject
and writes well. In addition we must point out that Berlitz is not necessarily
writing from a Christian perspective. He believes that there were probably
many arks that saved representatives of their respective cultures from the
catastrophic flood-waters. In fact, he cites evidence of other ships being
found in mountains and anticipates that more will undoubtedly be uncovered
(see p. 166ff).
All Ark enthusiasts will appreciate the many photos by Ahmet Arslan and Jay
Bitzer, who was this editor's photographer in a 1985 expedition. While most
Christians will not accept his multiple ark theory we commend him for making a
clear case for a universal flood. SUMMER OF '87
About this time of the year, the Ark Grapevine is humming with news about
expedition plans, new objects spotted in old photos, and new theories about
Permits are generally applied for in January. Plans are being made to
raise funds. Intense research is being carried out. Regular calls are made
to the Turkish embassy, and there is an "air" of secrecy.
AR is not a "tell all" sheet. If someone informs us about their plans or
research in confidence, we don't print it. Right now we are aware of some
pretty exciting research going on and some interesting developments that we
hope to report to you at the right time.
Currently we are aware of about 7 or 8 groups that are applying for
research permits for Mt. Ararat. Foreign groups are also getting involved.
We are aware of French, Norwegian and Japanese groups who are interested in
the search for the Ark. There is the possibility that a helicopter will be
used this summer for the first time. They will need adequate financing and
much prayer to pull this off.
It is also our hope that the ship-shaped formation southeast of Ararat will
be properly excavated this summer. We will also endeavor to keep you up-to-
date on this strange shape which the Turkish government is claiming to be the
Ark of Noah.
POLITICAL AND WEATHER WATCH
We are still getting unconfirmed reports of a horrendous winter in Eastern
Turkey. We have news reports stating that areas in Turkey and Greece have
received snow where it has never snowed before!
On the political side we are happy to report that the U.S. has signed a new
five year treaty with Turkey. Our government will be paying $1 billion for
the privilege of maintaining our military bases.
The following article appeared in Insight, Mar. 30, 1987:
"A report from Ankara's Security Department has accused Libya and Syria of
supplying arms and logistic support to Kurdish separatist terrorists in Turkey
and Iraq. The allegation was made during the trial of five persons accused of
smuggling arms into Turkey from Syria for the Kurds. Most of the insurgents
are members of the Kurdish Labor Party, a Marxist-Leninist organization with
headquarters in Syria.
The groups said to be receiving the supplies are the Kurdish Democratic
Party, Kurdish Workers Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
According to Western analysts, following the Turkish bombing of Kurdish
camps in Iraq last August, the flow of arms (some believed to be a gift of
Libya's Col. Muammar Quaddafi) across the Syrian border is beginning to
increase in numbers and sophistication."
This one appeared in the Rocky Mountain News, 3/9/87:
"Assailants believed to be Kurdish guerrillas raided a Turkish village near
the Syrian border, killing six children and two adults, the Anatolia news
agency said yesterday.
The assailants fired automatic weapons and hurled hand grenades at two
homes in the village of Acikyol on Saturday night, the news agency said.
Most of the guerrillas operating in the region are linked to the Kurdish
Labor Party, which wants to set up an independent Kurdish state in eastern and
A note of interest with regard to the previous news article: The incident
referred to took place very close to one of the traditional resting places of
Noah's Ark--Nisibis. We will be doing a major article on the other
traditional resting places of Noah's Ark in a future issue.
BITS AND PIECES
In the November issue, we mentioned another forthcoming book by Rene
Noorbergen which would defend the thesis that the ship-shaped object south of
Ararat is the Ark. We have been informed that this book will not be out until
* Back issues of ARARAT REPORT are available on the same donation basis.
* A continuously updated outline and bibliography is available on the search
for Noah's Ark. Please send $2.00 for postage and copying.
* A comprehensive bibliography on the subject of "Kibowtology" (Ark research)
is under preparation. Target date: early summer.
* Christian Information Ministries, International, which publishes the ARARAT
REPORT, is a faith ministry. That is, we depend on the gifts of God's people
to sustain us. The ARARAT REPORT is sent as a free gift to those who enable
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INFORMED CHRISTIAN NETWORK, write or call to receive a password. All back
issues of ARARAT REPORT are downloadable from our database. THE INFORMED
CHRISTIAN NETWORK is a growing library of Christian Information that we are
seeking to make available to the Body of Christ.
* We would like to make our readers aware of Origins Research & Information
Service, 137 Oak Crest Dr., Lafayette, LA 70503. For $1.00 they will send an
introductory packet of Creationist material.
* We invite letters to the editor. We will print those that will make a
contribution to the overall discussion.