As 1981 came to an end, Ron and the boys returned to Jerusalem. Even though it is cold there in the winter, the cave system was always a very comfortable and constant temperature, both in summer as well as winter. The work, however, was beginning to take a toll on all three of them. They all began to develop a fever and slight chills and pneumonia-like symptoms.
On December 24th Ron had to send Ronny back to the US because he was so ill. Danny had to follow on December 31.
Ron was sick too; but continued to work, for as he prayed, in his mind came the promise that he would find the Ark of the Covenant at that time.
January 1, 1982
Alone, without the boys, Ron needed some help. Ron had met one young local man named “James”. whom he had discovered was very honest and trustworthy. He began to use him in the actual excavation when Ronny and Danny weren’t available.
Ron and the boys had explored most of the tunnels over the last year, but Ron’s plan this trip was to leave no possibility unexplored. He and “James” crawled through the vast system of tunnels, now much larger and extensive because of the passages they had opened up and the walls they had chiseled through.
Ron would decide where to go next and he and “James” would follow that tunnel. If and when they found a small opening, Ron would enlarge it enough for “James” to crawl through, and he would carefully check it out and report to Ron everything that he saw.
They followed one particularly difficult passageway which took them through a “chimney” which extended straight up and a tight tunnel which was so small that Ron had to exhale in order to squeeze through. He had to stop to take a breath and when he inhaled, the tunnel was so tight he couldn’t fill his lungs completely.
When they got through, Ron saw a very small opening in the wall of the tunnel they were now in. Directly in front of it was a stalactite about 16 inches long which almost appeared to be “guarding” the tiny hole. He broke the stalactite off.
Enlarging the tiny hole enough to see in, Ron could see, with the aid of his flashlight, a cave chamber completely full of rocks, (all larger than “fist” size), with about 18 inches of clearance between the rocks and the ceiling.
The chamber did not look promising at first but leaving nothing unexplored, Ron enlarged it enough for “James” to crawl through.
Almost as soon as “James” crawled through the tiny opening, he frantically came tumbling back out, shaking and shouting “What’s in there? What’s in there? I’m not going back in there!!” Ron saw in his eyes sheer, complete and utter terror; yet James said he had seen nothing!
Whatever he experienced was real, for he left not only that chamber, but the entire cave system, never to return.
“James'” reaction sparked a hesitant excitement in Ron – he would have never given that chamber another look if not for “James'” terror.
Now alone in this vast cave system, he took his hammer and chisel and enlarged the hole, crawling through. With only about 18 inches clearance, he had to lie on his stomach with nothing but his flashlight in his hand for light.
January 6, 1982 – 2 PM
Shining his flashlight down through the massive pile of large rocks, his eye caught a glimpse of something shiny. He began slowly removing the rocks one at a time and discovered some dry-rotted wooden timbers just beneath the rocks, and then some also dry-rotted remains of animals skins that turned to powder when he moved them. The animals skins were covering a gold veneered table with a raised molding around the side which consisted of an alternating pattern of a bell and a pomegranate. It only took him a moment to realize that at the least this was an object from the first temple! But he was in such a confined space, he couldn’t uncover the entire table. He later concluded, after closer examination, that this was the Table of Shewbread.
With great anticipation, he looked around to see what else he could see, which wasn’t much. He shined his flashlight around the open area and then up to the ceiling. There, he saw something that caught his eye – it was a crack in the ceiling with a black substance within the crack.
Crawling slowly and painfully over the rocks to the rear of the chamber, he saw a stone case extending through the rocks. It had a flat stone top which was cracked completely in two and the smaller section was moved aside, creating an opening into the stone case. But the top was too near the ceiling for him to look inside. Yet he knew what was inside.
The crack in the ceiling was directly above the cracked part of the lid, where it was open, and the black substance had fallen from the crack into the case because some of it had splashed onto the lid.
It was at this time, as Ron recalls, as the instant realization of what had happened here dawned on him, that he passed out. When he realized that the crack in the ceiling was the end of the crack he had found in the elevated cross-hole many feet above him, and the black substance was blood which had fallen through the crack and into the stone case.
Ron then knew that the Ark of the Covenant was in the stone case: But the most overwhelming realization was that Christ’s Blood had actually fallen onto the Mercy Seat.
Ron Wyatt became the first witness to the literal fulfillment of the “type” represented by all the sacrifices made by God’s people since Adam and Eve, and later specifically directed by God, Himself, in the laws of the sacrificial system.
When Ron came to it was 2:45 PM.
The condition of the chamber, completely full within 18 inches of the ceiling, made it impossible for Ron to do anything else. He could not foresee any possible way of bringing anything out unless the entrance to the chamber through which the objects were originally taken in was found.
He climbed out the small hole, back through the tortuous series of tunnels and sealed the passageway with a stone. To anyone looking through the tunnel, it would appear that it came to an abrupt end. However, the rock could and would be easily removed by Ron when he returned.
Ron did not report his experience to anyone at that time. He had expected to find the Ark and bring it out, but that now seemed impossible.
He made several more trips into the chamber, and eventually reported to the authorities what he had found.