(First published in newsletter # 16 in Sept. 1996)
During the course of Ron’s work on the various projects, numerous people have wanted to become involved. Some have felt Ron was unqualified to continue the work because of his lack of credentials and they pursued independent research without Ron.
While initially, some of these people declared a belief in the validity of certain discoveries, they today have changed their opinion. And we fully believe everyone has a right to their own opinion. However, sometimes all of the facts concerning some of the independent research isn’t made available along with the “change of opinion”, so we felt it was time to discuss some of these matters. Although we are supposed to meet opposition with the same meek Spirit as Christ displayed, we are obligated to state the simple facts so that people may have the means to make an intelligent decision as to what they believe.
The 1987 Radar Scans
Jointly Sponsored by
Ataturk University and
Staff of Los Alamos National Labs
One month after the official dedication of Noah’s Ark, independent radar scans were performed on the site. We were given a copy of what we were told was the “official” report of those scans. However, to be sure it was authentic, I took a copy of it to Turkey on our June 1992 tour and when Salih Bayraktutan met Ron and I in Erzurum on our last afternoon there, I personally showed it to him and asked if it was authentic. (I felt he would certainly know since his name was listed as co-author of the report. Salih is a professor at Ataturk University in Erzurum and is a member of the commission that was established to study Noah’s Ark.) He assured me it was the official report. It is titled:
JULY 1987 GEOPHYSICAL INVESTIGATION OF NOAH’S ARK
(DURUPINAR SITE) MAHER VILLAGE, DOUBAYAZIT, ARI
JOHN R. BAUMGARDNER
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY
M. SALH BAYRAKTUTAN
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING
This report explains in highly technical language the process and data of their radar scans, which were performed by “geologist/radar operator Thomas Fenner” (p 6). The scans were performed with an
“SIR System-8 ground penetrating radar manufactured by Geophysical Survey Systems of Hudson, New Hampshire”, whose “antenna was dragged across the site on transects spaced two meters apart. Radar pulses approximately 5 nanoseconds in width were transmitted at a repetition rate of 50 kHz” (p. 2) with “the radar operating at a frequency of 120 MHZ in order to achieve the maximum penetration” (p. 8).
In summarizing the data, the report states:
“The most noteworthy feature observable in the data of Figure 7 is the V-shaped reflector that is particularly evident in the transects between y=-6 m and y=-50 m. When the topographical variation of the surface is taken into account, one finds that this feature is almost planar in form. The large amplitude of the back-reflected radar signal suggests a large contrast in the dielectric properties of the two sides of a sharply defined interface. The material above the interface presumably is the clay soil observable at the ground surface and exposed to several meters depth in the scarp surrounding the site and in cracks and gullies in the adjacent mudflow environment.
The crucial issue is the type of material which lies below the interface. Is it bedrock that rises up through the mudflow to form something like a small island around which the flow moves? Or is the material something other than bedrock. At least two considerations suggest that it is not bedrock. The first is that in the transects between y=2 m and y=20 m and x>0 in the vicinity of the rock that outcrops at the surface, one does not observe consistently strong reflections of a similar character. The most likely candidate for the bedrock material is the calc-schist rock that forms the hills on either side of the mudflow channel and that comprises the outcrop near the middle of the site. Since the low amplitude radar returns near the outcrop imply a small dielectric contrast between the clay soil and calc-schist rock, the strong reflections of the prominent V-shaped feature are probably not caused by a transition from clay soil to a calc-schist bedrock.
A second consideration which argues that the material below the reflecting interface may not be bedrock is that in several scans, especially between y=-18 m and y=-38 m, there is a double reflection, suggestive of a layer, rather than a simple transition into a material many meters thick. To find such an extensive, almost planar, layer buried within a channel through which a huge volume of mudflow material has moved in a chaotic fashion is highly anomalous from the standpoint of known landslide and debris flow mechanics. If the layer pertains to a buoyant man-made structure, the layer’s present setting suggests that the structure has been transported to the present location by a landslide event where it was stranded upon the rock which now outcrops near the middle of the site.” (Pps. 8 & 10).
In the last paragraph of this report, it states:
“We conclude that the data from our geophysical investigations in no way conflict with the proposition that the unusual boat-shaped site near Maher village contains the remains of Noah’s Ark….”
In simple terms, this report states that those radar scans did NOT rule out the possibility that the site contained “the remains of Noah’s Ark”.
In fact, the data presented in this report of a “sharply defined interface” that is “almost planar in form” is entirely consistent with Ron’s 1984 conclusion that the floor of the hull is covered with ballast material, which he believes comprises the “interface” they detected. He had found large masses of manganese dioxide which had fallen out of the interior of the boat-shaped object where a 3 foot section of the northern end had broken away leaving a hole into the interior. Ballast is placed in the hulls of ship to provide stability, and it is secured in sections which hold it in place and prevent it from shifting.
Could the “interface” they detected have been the actual petrified timbers of the floor of the hull, as well as the ballast? It’s possible,- in fact we believe this is quite likely. Since the density of the ballast material and that of the fossilized hull would be so much denser than the clay material and the calc-schist of the bedrock underneath the site, there would not be a recognizable interface between these 2 similarly dense materials. This concept is demonstrated by their statement concerning the “small dielectric contrast between the clay soil and the calc-schist rock”.
The Depth Revealed by the Scans
This “planar” shaped interface varied between “4 to 8 m depth”(s), or 13 to 26 feet beneath the surface, which again confirms Ron’s initial 1979 measurements taken through the longitudinal crack which was produced by the December 1978 earthquake. Ron’s diagram with measurements, published in his 1980 booklet, “Noah’s Ark- Found” is seen in below pic..
Interestingly, it was the 1984 specimen of “ballast material” which Col. Jim Irwin sent to Los Alamos Labs for analysis as a favor to Ron which first captured John Baumgardner’s interest and led to his participation in researching the site.
1988 Core Drills
The above discussed report states in it’s conclusion the necessity of doing some core drills, which they were able to do in July of 1988. For a moment let’s consider the size of “core drills”. Those taken during this 1988 independent group were 3 ½ inches in diameter. The entire surface of the site would therefore accommodate several hundred thousand 3 ½ inch core drills. How many were performed and what did they reveal?
In his August 19, 1988 “news” letter titled “A Search for the Elusive Ark”, Dr. John Baumgardner wrote:
“…Between July 28th and August 7th we succeeded, praise God, in drilling four holes to a depth of ten meters and recovered reasonably good cores from each of the holes. Three of the holes were near the centerline of the site while the fourth was near the outer flank of the longitudinal hump….
Another notable discovery was the presence at three locations in the mudflow layer of nodules of the bright yellow mineral limonite. Limonite is the hydrated oxide of iron, and its occurrence in this environment appears to be anomalous. Just how anomalous is the crucial question, since the minerals in the rocks in the source area of the mudflow have a moderate iron content. However, during the months now that I have worked at the site, I have never seen this bright yellow material anywhere in the fissures or exposures in the mudflow clay. Because earlier investigations led us to suspect unusual amounts of iron in site, these occurrences of limonite are of special interest because they could represent the rusted remains of metallic iron objects.
A final observation concerning the core samples was the absence- apart from the limonite nodules- of possible evidence for man-made structure. There was, for example, no evidence for wood, petrified or otherwise. However, core drilling is severely limited in its ability to find buried archaeological structure, especially if it is sparsely distributed and has been significantly altered by decay and chemical weathering.”
Taking 4 core specimens of 3 ½ inch diameters from a site 515 feet long does not provide a fair representation of material present. And even with this minute amount of specimen, evidence was found of an extremely high iron content, including limonite.
Both the radar scans and the core drills, we are told by the writer of the independent research results, do not rule out the possibility that this is a man-made structure.
Comments on the Radar Scan
Some people have commented that the radar operator, Tom Fenner could not get the same results that Ron did in his numerous 1986 and 1987 scans. That is not the case. Mr. Fenner did not get the same results, but he could have.
When Ron spoke with Joe Rosetta, then vice-president of Geophysical Survey Systems, concerning Tom Fenner’s scans, Mr. Rosetta explained that Mr. Fenner had used the SIR-8 system at settings which would detect objects of greatest density at the maximum depth, which it did, and which is expressed in the above excerpted report.
Ron, on the other hand, had returned to the site many times and performed scans at varying frequencies, which penetrated to varying depths, AND he also performed scans in early spring when a greater amount of moisture is held in the fossilized superstructure which made it more reflective than in July when it is relatively dry.
Several years ago, Ted Stewart, owner of the Sunset Book Store in Lubbock, Texas and a teacher at the Sunset School of Preaching, visited us to personally investigate all the evidences. A thorough researcher, he called Tom Fenner in an effort to understand the radar scans and why Mr. Fenner didn’t get the same results as Ron. When Mr. Stewart bluntly asked Mr. Fenner if Ron could have “faked” his readings, Mr. Fenner replied “no”. He had watched the video of the initial scans as they were done and saw the printout as it occurred.
Comments on the Core Drills
The independent researchers took four 3 ½ inch core drills specimens from an area roughly equal to the surface area of 1 ½ football fields. In that extremely small sample of the material of the site, they found evidence which could represent the remains of rusted man-made objects; but they found no evidence of petrified wood. This lack of petrified wood in this extremely minute sampling, in their own words, does not rule out the possibility that any is present in the site.
Today, most of the researchers involved in these independent surveys state publicly that they do not believe the site to be that of Noah’s Ark. That is certainly their privilege. But the results of the radar and core drills remain valid. If their data did not rule out the possibility that the site contained man-made structure in 1987 and 1988, it certainly does not today. Opinions are different- those change; but facts don’t.
Petrified Wood in the Structure
One scientist involved in the above work, when he examined the deck timber, told Ron it wasn’t petrified wood because it didn’t have any growth rings. As recently as this last month, we’ve heard that same belief expressed by another educator. Yet, even evolutionist geologists all over the world recognize that what they term “Carboniferous” wood HAS NO GROWTH RINGS:
“…If we can imagine horse-tails enlarged from their present 3 feet to trees 60 to 100 feet high, we reproduce the Calamites of the Carboniferous forests. In their youth these trees had exactly the same structure as the horsetails; only as they grew older did they acquire wood and the secondary bark that supported them and led the sap to all parts of the plant.
The giant club mosses Sigillaria and Lepidodendron, the main inhabitants of the Carboniferous forest, raised their tufts of leaves 60 to 100 feet above the ground….
To support trunks of six-foot base diameters and 60- to 100-foot height, tissues must increase in thickness from year to year. There was, as we have already said, secondary bark and wood, similar to that of modern trees but lacking the spring and winter rings which correspond to seasonal alternation of moisture and dryness. This is further proof that the Carboniferous climate was fairly uniform.”
(The Larousse Encyclopedia of the Earth, published by The Hamlin Publishing Group Limited, London-New York-Sydney-Toronto, copyrighted 1961, revised edition 1972).
“… In 1951, Baxter, in his publications of the transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, made something into print which many geologists already knew, which happens to be true all over the world as far as I’ve been able to find. He says this, `It has been shown that a lack of annual rings is characteristic of wood of all carboniferous plants the world over’. It’s true here; it’s true of the trees I’ve looked at in America and everywhere else. They just don’t have any annual ring system.”
What causes growth rings? We need to examine this question carefully:
“FACTORS THAT REGULATE GROWTH
The environment. Temperature.
The environment in which an organism lives plays an important role in modifying the rate and extent of growth….
The width of trees increases partly by cell division and enlargement of secondary meristematic tissue below the bark. During the cold of winter, cell division and enlargement may cease completely; but during the spring renewed growth occurs. This intermittent growth is influenced by temperature, light and water. The amount of growth may decrease considerably if the spring is cold, if day length is changed, or if a drought occurs. In fact, the width of the growth rings visible on the surface of the cut tree trunk provides a partial history of climatic conditions, the spacing of the growth rings of different sizes having been correlated with known periods of drought and cold to provide reliable archaeological dating of various structures, as in the timbers used in Indian pueblos in the southwestern United States.”
(The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1985 ed., Macropaedia vol. 8, p. 442.)
“The woody seed plants, such as conifers and broadleaf trees, are the most amenable to determination of age. In temperate regions, where each year’s growth is brought to an end by cold or dryness, every growth period is limited by an annual ring- a new layer of wood added to the diameter of the tree…. In the moist tropics, growth is more or less continuous, so that clearly defined rings are difficult to find.”
(Ibid, Macropaedia, vol. 10, page 915.)
Temperature, light and water supply are the determining factors of growth rings. When temperatures get low enough, cell division ceases completely. Lack of light or absence of water can also halt growth, which would cause a tree ring to form. This accounts for the fact that the age of a tree cannot be determined by counting rings. Perhaps there was a drought, or several droughts during a season. Or perhaps, as we have just experienced, there was an “Indian summer” after an early frost. In these cases, there may be numerous rings in a single year. But what about before the flood?
The Biblical account is very short, but the information is abundant:[GEN 2:4] These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,  And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.  But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
There was no rain before the great flood, which is one reason the coming deluge, as preached by Noah, was considered so ludicrous by the masses of people. The earth was watered by a mist which “went up” from “the earth”. This indicates a uniformly moist and temperate climate without any “seasonal” temperature changes.
Amazingly, one 1931 geologic textbook describes these very conditions when describing the climate of one portion of the “Carboniferous” period which they termed the “Pennsylvanian”:
“Pennsylvanian Climate. Many years ago the plant life of the great coal period was thought to imply a warm to tropical, very moist, uniform climate. More careful study, however, clearly points to a temperate, only relatively humid, but remarkably uniform climate. Some of the criteria favoring this latter view may be stated as follows: The great height and size of the plants together with their frequent succulent nature and spongy leaves indicate luxuriant growth in a most, mild climate; absence of annual rings of growth shows absence of distinct change of seasons; the presence of aerial roots, by analogy with similar modern plants, implies a moist and warm climate; the nearest present-day allies of the coal plants attain greatest growth in warm and humid climates; at present the greatest accumulations of vegetable matter in bogs and marshes take place in temperate climates where decay is not too rapid and thus suggests a similar climate for the accumulation of the coal deposits; and the remarkable distribution of almost identical plant types in Pennsylvanian rocks from Arctic to tropical regions clearly show a pronounced uniformity of climate over the earth.”
(Elements of Geology, by William J. Miller, pub. By D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., NY, 1931, p. 352.)
The Battle Intensifies
The term “Carboniferous” was coined to describe a period of “geologic time” which supposedly began about 345,000,000 years ago and lasted until about 65,000,000 years ago, based on the concept of evolution. But, as we have discussed before, this is because evolutionary scientists think it had to take millions of years for the various “strata” to form or be laid down. So, what does the “Christian” believe? Sadly, many believe this is exactly what happened.
Well, the real problem began just over a hundred years ago, when we “humans” began to think we were getting “too smart for God”, and Darwin’s “theories” began to make a lot of sense to those of the “higher intellect”. But God raised up men to fight all the “lies and vanity and things wherein there is no profit”, to show that known “science” and facts agree perfectly with the Biblical account. And it is indeed a fierce battle for those who seek the truth. Those who now believe the Biblical account of creation are termed “creationists”, a term which is spoken with much disdain among the scholarly crowd. We know of college professors who have lost their positions because of their belief in the Biblical account and their refusal to teach evolutionary science. But you would think that the religious “leaders” would support the truth, right? Well, think again.