14-man crew that included evangelical
apologist Josh McDowell says it returned from a trek to a mountain
in Iran with possible evidence of the remains of Noah's Ark.
The group, led by explorer Bob Cornuke, found an
unusual object perched on a slope 13,120 feet above sea level.
Cornuke, president of the archeological
Base Institute and a veteran of nearly 30 expeditions in
search of Bible artifacts and locations, said he is cautiously, but
enthusiastically, optimistic about the find.
Some of the team's photos can be seen
Also on the team were Barry Rand, former CEO of
Avis; Boone Powell, former CEO of Baylor Medical Systems; and Arch
Bonnema, president of Joshua Financial.
The team returned with video footage of a large
black formation, about 400 feet long – the length of the ark,
according to the Bible – that looks like rock but bears the image of
hundreds of massive, wooden, hand-hewn beams.
Bonnema observed: "These beams not only look like
petrified wood, they are so impressive that they look like real wood
– this is an amazing discovery that may be the oldest shipwreck in
The team said one piece of the blackened rock is
"cut" at 90-degree angle.
Even more intriguing, they said, some of the
wood-like rocks tested this week proved to be petrified wood.
It's noteworthy, they pointed out, that the Bible
recounts Noah sealed his ark with pitch, a black substance.
When the retrieved pieces were cut open, a marine
fossil was discovered. In the area around the object, the team found
thousands of fossilized sea shells, and Cornuke brought back a
one-inch thick rock slab replete with fossilized clams.
With the discovery of wood splinters and broken
pottery at the remote 15,300-foot level, the team says it also found
evidence that ancients considered it an important worship site for
hundreds, if not thousands of years.
Cornuke became involved in the search for the ark
after meeting Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin, participating with
him in several searches on Mount Ararat in Turkey, but with
Cornuke began looking elsewhere, after finding
clues in the Bible such as Genesis 11's reference to descendants of
Noah coming to the Mesopotamian valley from the east. Cornuke
believes that would put the biblical mountains of Ararat somewhere
in northern Iran.
He also points to ancient historians such as
Nicholas of Damascus and Flavius Josephus who wrote, just before and
after Christ, that timbers of the ark had survived in the higher
mountains of present-day Iran.
Cornuke noted that during World War II, an
American Army officer and road construction engineer in Iran named
Ed Davis said he saw the ark on a high mountain in the country after
being led there by Iranian friends. After the war, according to
Cornuke, Davis passed a lie detector test affirming he saw timbers
from an ark-like object.
Before his death, Davis gave Cornuke a map
showing the way to the object.
"It was right where Ed said it was in his map,"
Cornuke said. "After seeing it from a distance, I thought it at
first unimpressive, but once we stood on the object we were all
amazed at how it looked just like a huge pile of black and brown