[The Author of this web site, Ray Anderson, passed away on November 6, 2006.  Thank you for your continuing support of his lifelong efforts to find the Ark. We encourage you to leave comments in the guestbook.]


Trying to chronicle the search and alleged sightings of Noah's Ark could and has filled books. Stories of sightings of the Ark began several thousand years ago with many credible and knowledgeable historians mentioning the existence of the remains of Noah's Ark in the area now known as Turkey, but of course at those times, claimed by various governments.


The list of ancient historians is much too long to itemize here, but a few of those probably known to most of us include Berossus, Josephus, Nicholas of Damascus, Eusebius, Faustus of Byzantium, and others. All of these have written that they have heard accounts of the Ark being preserved and visited by various persons who testified to its existence. There are many more of later date.


Then there came a fairly long period when nothing was heard about it. Stories came out of Turkey in 1840 when a mammoth earthquake and eruption struck the mountain and spewed huge rocks, mud and debris over everything near the base of the mountain on it's east-northeast side. A tremendous gorge and canyon was ripped out of that side and the flow of rock, mud and ice totally covered several shepherd villages at the base of the mountain.


Shortly after this calamity, reports began surfacing that the Ark of Noah had been sighted high up, in the glacier, on Ararat. The Turkish government had sent a crew of geologists up the mountain to determine what had really taken place and the extent of damage in the area. They reported in their official findings that they had found a large manmade wooden structure high up in the edge of the glacier, badly damaged, but with an opening in front through which they had entered and found what appeared to be pens or cages.


When these stories were printed and circulated in newspapers of the day, they were greeted with much ridicule and amusement. So much so that the authorities just finally pretended it never happened.


Just before the outbreak of WW1 and the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas, he had heard of the sighting of the Ark on Ararat and sent a company of Russian soldiers up the mountain to investigate. They found what the Turks of 1840 had found and indeed, went inside the structure, measured and took photographs and put them in a file to be rushed back to the Tsar.  Unfortunately, the courier with the package arrived just as the Bolshevik revolution began and he was captured before reaching the palace, his materials were confiscated and to this day, despite many searches, have never been found.


This story has been verified by interviews shortly after WW2 with some relatives of the Russian soldiers who were on the Tsar's expedition and told of their experience to these relatives before their deaths. Several other credible reports of sightings came out of the WW1 period and shortly after.


The grandfather of all modern search is a deceased gentleman named Eryl Cummings. Eryl became interested in the search in the 1930's and literally devoted his entire life and resources to this endeavor. He traveled the world over tracing down reports of sightings, interviewing hundreds and hundreds of persons and reading ancient reports on the subject and accumulated a room full of documents and manuscripts. He began organizing small groups of like minded, and they started going to the mountain to search beginning about 1950.


I became acquainted with Eryl in 1972, visited him at his home in New Mexico, and in no time was hooked on the search for the Ark. He put me in touch with a friend of his, Dr. Lawrence Hewitt, who had been on 4 - 5 expeditions to Ararat and was planning another for 1974.  They included me in their next two expeditions and with that group and several others, through the years I have been on seven expeditions.


During this period, we didn't have any specific and credible evidence as to the exact location on the mountain of the remains of the boat. However, it seemed pretty certain it was located on the north-northeast side somewhere probably near the edges of the ice. This would be somewhere in the range of 13,500 feet to 14,500 feet. All search groups, and there were now several not associated with us, some foreign, were searching in those areas. It's a huge mountain, 17,000 feet tall with a permanent ice cap of 17 - 20 square miles.  The base of the mountain measures about 25 miles across.  


Me (Ray Anderson)


courtesy Bill Crouse


During this period the Turkish government was giving permits to go on the mountain with some restriction that we found reasonable. Searches were revealing no trace of the elusive boat. I was on one trip with the late moon-walking astronaut, Jim Irwin (he is the one you saw on television driving the small dune buggy on the moon surface on the Apollo 15 mission). Jim was a firm believer that the Ark was there on Ararat and made several search trips. He was almost killed in a bad fall down the mountain on one. He got the Turkish Air Force to fly a few of us around the mountain several times on one trip. We got a lot of good pictures but didn't spot the Ark. In picture below L. to R. – Jim Irwin, Bob Stuplich, Ray Anderson (myself), Eryl Cummings, Turkish pilot, Marv Steffins, Turkish soldier.


About this time I had decided that we were not looking in the right areas and should look much higher up. By then we had all accumulated hundreds and hundreds of pictures and slides of all the areas we had searched. My companion of my first two trips, Dr. Hewitt, had given me copies of slides he had made on several expeditions made before I met him. I went back through my entire collection and examined each through a binocular microscope I have. When I placed Hewitt's 1972 slide under my scope, I started looking higher up.  This slide had been made at about 14,500 feet and took in the glacier almost to the summit. At about 16,000 feet, I saw a small portion of an object that I felt sure was man made and fit the description the alleged sighters had described. One in particular gave me confidence in my belief. One of my climbing companions was a lay minister in a particular religious denomination and had been told by someone in their church headquarters that they had a volunteer minister who was a retired U2 pilot who said he saw a piece of Noah's Ark while crossing Mt Ararat on a mission. My friend was able to locate the pilot who was uncertain about telling the story because of classified restrictions he felt he was still under, although retired. However, my friend got him to tell a little about it. He said he was flying a low altitude mission up and down the Turkish-Soviet border to get the attention of their radar units along there while one of their high flying U2's was flying over Soviet territory. He said he was flying very low along the border near Ararat when the mission was completed, and turned back toward their base In Turkey. He said he flew up the right side of the huge Ahora Gorge on the mountain and turned left across the upper mouth which took him across a formation on the glacier which he described as looking like 'an inverted fishhook'.


He said he saw a rectangular shaped object, dark in color, protruding about 25 - 35 feet from the ice in the 'fishhook' shaped formation. He said he was very close to it and he was positive it was man made. Being a very religious man, he instantly decided it had to be a piece of Noah's Ark. My friend related the story to me and said the pilot wouldn't talk to any one else, but I found out where his hometown was and was able to locate his father who confirmed part of the story.


The object in my 1972 picture matched his description and is located in the only 'inverted fishhook shaped formation' on the mountain.  I took my slide to a special photo technician in Nashville, Shirley Alexander, who specialized in enlarging and enhancing 35 mm slides and transparencies for the Nashville music industry. After much work she was able to put the image on a very large transparency which could be viewed with special viewers. I was convinced it was a small section of the Ark protruding from the ice. Two friends, Chuck Aaron and Bob Garbe, had finally gotten permission to make helicopter flights around the mountain in 1988 and 1989. They flew around the mountain several times taking a video of the glacier. They didn't see anything of interest, but a friend, John McIntosh, saw the 1989 video and was able to pull out several frames, made prints and gave me copies.  I saw in the 1989 print a view of the 'fishhook' formation from above it.  My photo tech made a good enlargement print of the formation and it is located exactly where the U2 pilot said, just above the mouth of the Ahora Gorge, and as he described it. In 1989 there was ice and snow covering the formation deep enough to cover the object showing in the 1972 slide.


Next came an event that cinched it for me, and so to speak, I've never looked back. In 1943 during WW2, an army Sgt., Ed Davis, was working in Iran near the Turkish border, in charge of locals hired by our army to build a road through Iran to the Soviet border, which would carry supplies to the Soviets instead of flying them in. In short, Ed did a tremendous favor for a little Kurdish village near Ararat. His workers were mostly Kurds and the chief of the village came to Ed and asked if he would like to see Noah's Ark. He said the summer on the mountain had been hottest in many years and the Ark was visible for the first time in years. Ed was quite religious and said he certainly would. He was able to get some R&R time due him and his commanding officer gave permission to go. First they went to the Chief's village where they showed him artifacts that had fallen out of a section of the Ark that had broken off the south end and slid down the glacier for about 1000 feet, strewing some artifacts as it bounced and slid along the ice, where it plunged into a large crevasse. They told Ed they never removed anything from the Ark but collected these and others that had fallen out through the years. He saw oil lamps, large skin bags, splitters, and hammers actually of metal. He said the handles were missing but you could see where they fitted. There were several pottery vats that had been sealed which they opened and they contained a juice like lime juice. There were a couple of pots that had lentils sealed inside. They said they planted some and they sprouted and grew. Remember, all of this had been frozen in glacier ice for thousands of years. They took Ed on a three day journey up the mountain, where late one afternoon they arrived at a large terrain formation where the ice and snow had almost completely melted off. Down in the bottom of the formation was a large, long box shaped object with a sort of superstructure built on top, which was about one third the width of the roof of the main structure. They walked Ed around the rim of the formation so he could view it from one end and two sides. They dropped down inside the formation by ropes for viewing into the broken south end. There he could see three distinct floor levels, just as Moses described, and many partitions and what appeared to be huge stalls or pens. Also many broken and displaced timbers. They said they and their ancestors had been in it many times when the ice melted enough, which was very seldom. They said the superstructure on top was the living quarters for Noah and family and there was still some evidence of living there like lamps and such. They gave detailed descriptions of some of the animal pens and cages and said waste was collected in the bottom section of the structure.


I became acquainted with Ed and visited him at his home in Albuquerque, NM.  He was gracious enough to spend almost a day with me telling me much more than I can record here. He had been ridiculed so much when he told his story after the end of the war, he had decided to keep quiet about it, but we seemed to bond and he opened up. He had never been back to the mountain and had not seen any pictures of the upper regions of it. I showed him some of mine, including the enlargement of the 'fishhook' taken from the air. He looked at it and others and immediately said he recognized that formation and other landmarks around it. He put his finger on three spots around the rim and said that was where they stood to view the Ark. He said however, from the ground, walking around it, it looked to him like a 'horseshoe'. 


What he told me next cinched every thing for me. He said that his Kurds told him that about 100 years before, about 100 - 125 feet of the south end broke off during an earthquake and slid about 1000 feet down the glacier and landed in a large crevasse where it remains.


Ed told me to look at my slide again and I should find a large crevasse about 1000 feet below the "horseshoe'. When I got home I did this and immediately saw an object that was exactly where Ed described and looking just like his description. He said they had promised he could climb down into the formation the next day and actually touch the Ark. They retreated back down part way and spent the night in a cave. During the night a heavy snowfall came and it was so deep and still snowing when they arose, his Kurds told him they would have to leave immediately to get him safely off the mountain. They did take him down past the crevasse and its object, where he got a good close up look and described it in detail to me. He said one thing in particular that he remembered was a huge long timber, sticking through a hole in the side of the superstructure portion. He told me to look for that in my picture and I probably could see some smaller ones protruding through the front of the superstructure. He was told these were projected toward the front of the structure when it slid into the crevasse and rammed against a stone wall inside the crevasse. This can be seen clearly in the large transparency my photo tech made for me, but not quite as clearly in the computer images.


Unretouched image from 1972 slide

Artist enhanced image


One last bit of evidence is found in a frame taken from a 1988 video taken when my helicopter pilot and friend made a flight around the mountain. They felt they hadn't seen anything of importance because of heavy snow covering on the mountain. But they failed to see a very important object protruding from the 'inverted fishhook' formation. I can't fault them for it because that was the period when we all thought it had to be located much lower and they really weren't photographing that high. They just accidentally caught the formation as they did again in 1989. I took the print made from the frames for enlargement and when my tech enlarged and put it on a good print, it shows the same front end of the superstructure (living quarters) as shown in my original 1972 slide.





I'm convinced the location of the two remaining pieces of the Ark are located, but now we are confronted with the Turkish Military and local officials refusing access to that area for the last  8 - 10 years. They give various reasons such as military security, our safety, and other excuses. However, they allow what they call tourist climbs around on the other side of the mountain, all the way to the 17,000 peak if in the care of a Turkish licensed guide.


I have a theory but can't prove it, and besides, I'm confident when God sets the time when he wants it fully revealed to the world, all barriers will fall.  I do believe that God doesn't do or allow anything to happen without His will and desire directing it.  I believe He's going to let the world get a good, close up look at the Ark to show our modern Sodom and Gomorrah societies that while He certainly is a forgiving and merciful God to those that obey and seek Him, He can also be a God of terrible wrath to those that refuse to accept his grace and mercy, on His terms. The flood and salvation of righteous Noah and family illustrate this while the locals who sneered and refused life offered, saw His terrible wrath. I really believe He's saving the Ark till the last moments of End Times to make that point loud and clear to the generation that is really as sinful and perverted as in the days of Noah, before the flood.


A last thought. My friends and I agree, we can't say to the world we have truly located and FOUND Noah's Ark until teams of qualified scientists and archaeologists, using the latest test methods of carbon dating, etc, collectively agree the structures resting at approx 15,000 and 16,000 feet on Ararat are truly pieces of the Ark of Noah. I don't expect to see a sign in the living quarters stating "Noah Slept Here".


I found data for the camera Eryl Cummings used when he made the picture in 1972 that shows the object in the crevasse and in the upper formation. I have copies of the earlier topographical map of Ararat done by Dr. Van Arkle and his crew for the Turkish government, so I established a distance from both objects to where Eryl was standing when he took the picture.


I measured the objects on an enlarged view made from the high definition picture made by a Nashville firm from the original 35 mm slide and I used a view 1764 mm in width (over five feet). This and a millimeter gauge enabled me to get a more definite measurement of the object, both main section and the cabin superstructure. I measured the superstructure and main roof from the apex of the superstructure roof and doubled the figures. I have confidence that these measurements are quite accurate, as I did each 3-4 times.



Using the new figures and the standard formula shown below for calculating size of objects when the focal length of the camera lens and distances are known, I arrived at the figures I show below. They match almost exactly the Egyptian Cubit of 20.6 inches.   I chose to use the Egyptian cubit because Moses, the author of the Flood story in Genesis, grew up in Egypt and certainly, because of his royal connection, had exposure to the best schooling which would certainly teach the 20.6 inch cubit.


Total object width85 feet.

Superstructure body = 28 feet.

Height ( 30 cubits x 20.6 ) = 51 feet

Length ( 300 cubits x 20.6 ) = 515 feet       


A = actual size of object in FEET

d = distance in METERS from camera to object

s = size of object measured on enlarged image in METERS

f = focal length of camera lens in METERS


A (d x s) x 3.28

(f x 50.4)


50.4 is enlargement factor going from 35 mm to 1764 mm width.



There has been much speculation about what the true shape of the Ark was. We know it wasn't intended to be a "sailing" boat but just a safe vessel that would carry a very large payload and float for almost a year. God alone knew what its final destination would be. Violet Cummings, wife of Eryl, wrote two books on the Ark search and her second was entitled, Has Anybody Really Seen Noah's Ark?  In it she has a very enlightening piece about the subject of the Ark shape.


"Leading Bible scholars have come to some remarkable conclusions on their own regarding the appearance and construction of the Ark. For instance, according to McClintock & Strong's Cyclopedia, 'the original Hebrew word for Noah's vessel, as used in the Biblical account of the Deluge, is tebah, denoting a chest, or ark, which is differentiated from the term describing the sacred Ark of the Covenant, in that it denotes something designed to float on the waters.' Another source describes it this: 'If we examine the passage in Genesis 6:15, 16 we can only draw from it the conclusion that this Ark was not a boat or a ship; but ... a 'building in the form of a parallelogram'... that it was not a 'regularly built vessel', but merely intended to float at large upon the water. We may, therefore, probably with justice, regard it as a large oblong, floating house, with a roof either flat or only slightly inclined. It was constructed with three stories and had a door on the side. '


"Alexander Heidel points out that the Hebrew word tebah is related to the Egyptian db't, which is sometimes translated 'coffin.' Heidel states, 'Outside of the Flood account it is used only as Moses' Ark in the Nile... as evidenced by its dimensions and the names by which it was designated in Greek and Hebrew, it was a flat-bottomed, rectangular construction, square on both ends and straight up the sides. '"


A careful study of the object in the crevasse, which Davis insisted was the south end of the original Ark structure, shows that it probably closely resembled the form of the sketch below, both in appearance and size proportion.


Using the smaller 18 inch cubit, the Ark would have had a volume of 1,396,000 cubic feet. Tonnage would have been 13,960 tons. I believe Moses was thinking in terms of the Egyptian 20.6 inch cubit, so the capacity to carry the animals would have been proportionally larger if one accepts that.


I asked Ed Davis how high the superstructure (living quarters) protruded above the main roof of the Ark.  Remembering back almost fifty years when he saw it, he estimated that it was about five feet.  Using my measurement from the images, I put it at about six feet.  It dropped down into the interior probably another ten - twelve feet, resting on the first floor of the three floors. This is speculation based on what the Kurds told Ed and how he described it to me. Something about like the sketch shown.


How many animals were on board the Ark?  Skeptics scoff at the idea that the Ark could hold a representation of all land animals.  A book The Genesis Flood by Doctors Henry Morris and John Whitcomb states that no more than 35,000 individual animals need to be transported on the Ark to fill the number of needed “species.” Add a reasonable number to include extinct animals and then add more to satisfy the skeptical, and we can assume now that perhaps as many as 50,000 were on board.


There are very few really large animals and these could have been represented by young ones. Animal experts have estimated the size of the average animal would have been that of a sheep. A railway stock car with three decks can accommodate 240 sheep. Three trains hauling 69 cars each would have ample space to carry the 50,000 animals, filling only 37% of the Ark’s capacity.  This would leave room for the contents of an additional 361 stockcars.  This leaves plenty of room for food and other supplies, plus Noah’s family of eight.


How could eight people feed and care for that many animals?  A number of scientists have suggested that the animals may have gone into a type of dormancy. Most all groups of animals have an ability to go into a form of hibernation; and we must remember that God was directing all of this, so He may have instilled into each animal the ability to do this during their confinement on the Ark. During this period all bodily functions would have been greatly reduced, certainly reducing the workload of Noah’s family. If God used His powers to produce the world wide flood and direct the animals to Noah and the Ark, why would He overlook taking care of the animals and Noah’s family in a supernatural manner?



Ed Davis had been told that during an earthquake the Ark had slipped a bit and was now leaning against the east rock wall of the formation. This is an excerpt from a recording I made when I visited him.


ED   And they say that, uh, dogwood or whatever they call it, the material is not a material but it is the material plus the method in which it is kind of like plywood to us.

Q      It’s sandwiched?

ED   Sandwiched together.

Q      By the way, you did see that big door on the side?

ED   No, no, ----no it was covered.

Q      But he said friends had seen it many times?

ED   Right, now he said when he was a boy before the Ark slipped, that big door was hanging on a rock, - he said it was so balanced and pivoted with these push pulls that two or three men could raise it easy.

Q      Do you have any idea what happened to the door, where it went?

ED   They said it was still in place.

Q      Oh – they said it was still in place. I thought it broke off in the earthquake?

ED   No.

Q      If anybody gets up there and the boat is melted clear, they will see that door?

ED   Will see that big door – now this side of the door, between the door and the back end, is a small door or window or something, and you know those toilets where they have their feet,-- they call that door or window the same as they do that, and I guess it’s for dumping waste, -- but he said the animals didn’t eat quantities of food and there wasn’t a great amount of waste like ordinarily. They were in a semi calm state, uh, the animals were docile.





The Kurds told Ed the Ark was originally in this position in the formation.  The short south end broke off, slid down the glacier and landed in the crevasse about 1000 feet below. The middle section is still there and is what Ed saw. The Kurds claim to not know what happened to the north piece.



Ed put his finger where the red dots are placed and said that is where they stood to look into the end and at the two sides. They lowered by rope to a small ledge at the yellow dot to get a better view into the broken south end. He saw three floor levels and partitions and pens. The Ark piece was beneath the sketch of course.



This is a section of my original 35 mm slide of 1972 showing the two sites and objects.



An enlarged view of picture at left.




These two pictures (courtesy of Dick Bright and Dave Larsen) are representative of what the two sites look like most of the time, both covered with ice and snow. Hundreds and hundreds, perhaps thousands of pictures have been taken all over the mountain through the years of searches, but I've only seen my 1972 and 1988 images showing the upper formation and the crevasse melted back enough to reveal the objects which Davis positively identified as two pieces of Noah's Ark.



One of the pictures I showed Ed that triggered his memory of landmarks up on the glacier. He said they traveled in rain, fog and sometimes clouds going up and he had no idea where they were until they reached the site of the upper formation. This composite view of the area was given to me by a fellow Ark researcher, John McIntosh.



This sketch is a cutaway profile view of the formation as Ed described it to me if covered with snow and ice, as it usually is. Kurds told Ed the small section of the living quarters is exposed fairly often in a very hot summer when the winds blowing up the slope of the glacier melt enough ice to expose just a few feet.



This drawing shows how the exposed end probably looks and is how the U2 pilot described the short piece protruding from the ice in the "fishhook" formation when he saw it. This fits the description of the object other aerial sighters have described.



Jacob’s Well located near the base of the mountain and considered a Holy Place by the mountain Kurds. They stop when passing to pray and to attach a piece of cloth on the tree just to the left of the well.



Leaving the well, they stop and place a rock on the pile shown. They told Ed to place one also, which he did.



These drawings are before, 1840, and after the horrific earthquake and eruption that occurred in that year. It blew out the side of the mountain and left the mammoth gorge seen in all pictures of a later date. It is called the Ahora Gorge and is a mile wide.



This very special picture was taken by another Ark researcher, Matthew Kneisler, and shows the sign that God gave to Noah at that very spot when He said He would never destroy the earth again with water, and placed a rainbow in the sky to seal the pledge.



[The Author of this web site, Ray Anderson, passed away on November 6, 2006.  Thank you for your continuing support of his lifelong efforts to find the Ark. We encourage you to leave comments in the guestbook.]


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