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Volume 3, Issue 2
March 31, 2013
 The Mount Ararat Discovery
NAMI team


I send this out early Easter morning here in the US. We have become so accustomed to the world recognizing the event that gave rise to Easter that we may forget just how controversial those first sensational reports. They were reporting something that everyone knew to be impossible. In fact their claims were rejected by the religious authorities and, though noticed, more or less ignored by the secular authorities and world. It was not just the astonishing claims, but the lack of worldly reputation of those making them, however great their integrity and sacrifices. This explains why the religious authorities declared their reports to be based on a fraud, a report circulating to this very day.
But some did believe the accounts, not only because they had the ring of truth -- until this day, the claims have withstood every reasonable examination -- but also because it appealed to their hearts. Notwithstanding these humble, unusual, and controversial beginnings, the reports arising from the empty tomb ended up changing the world. 

In my last newsletter, I mentioned having much to tell you about the Mount Ararat discovery which Ahmet Ertugrul, also known as Parasut, discovered in June, 2008 and which in April 2010, Hong Kong based Noah's Ark Ministries International (NAMI) announced to the world. If you are familiar with this discovery, you may know that it is the first such announcement accompanied by video evidence of something that actually looks like it might be the famous Noah's Ark of the Bible, the reason for the worldwide sensation. I first heard the announcement from Diane Sawyer on ABC's Evening News. You also probably know that the announcement was immediately beset by charges that it was just something constructed for the purposes of filming, and only the latest of many claims to have discovered Noah's Ark.

As many of you know, I became involved with this discovery by making a careful investigation of the charges against it, finding them unfair and baseless. I also found those responsible for this discovery (pictured in the photo above) though having made mistakes as would almost anyone confronted with such a great and novel undertaking, to be of outstanding integrity individually and collectively. Along with some other investigators in Europe and America who I will discuss in a future newsletter, I have acquired a considerable amount of new information about the discovery (and the charges against it), much of it coming from a recent trip to Turkey as part of the American Geomatics Expedition (the AGE), accompanied by Reuben Dedmondt of Spartanburg, SC and Rich and Mary Darling, principals of Tucson-based Darling Geomatics.

This information is exciting and explains the confidence in which I write about this discovery. As I discuss in the column at right, the discoverers have understandably been reluctant to allow this information to become public until provisions are made for the protection of the site. A chief reason for the present newsletter is that I am concerned that the location of the discovery will too soon become public and endanger the site due to financial pressures besetting the explorers from their not sharing more information that might lead to its location. It is time not only for the responsible archaeological community, but also for believers in America to rally to their cause.

In the articles below, I address the charges of fraud pertaining to this discovery. I trust that I explain the charges in a way that makes them not only understandable, but also fair to those who have made them. I think I now understand why someone who worked in the business of searching for Noah's Ark in this part of Turkey, but not having been part of the discovery could easily imagine the accusations. That would be especially the case among those who participate in the Ark searching business but do not believe the remains of the Ark even exist, the case of those who are the original sources of these charges. How much more would rival Ark searchers from America, those responsible for spreading these charges, want to believe them. Similarly, I explain in the article below right, why an unbelieving business woman who had just been jilted in a love affair with someone connected to the discovery and facing a loss of her business due to these events would not only be inclined to believe these accusations, but might work zealously to destroy the business of rivals who she regards as responsible for her misfortune. To discover this, all one need do is to sympathetically listen or read the accusers' words.

Accompanying these charges of fraud at the time of NAMI's announcement was a great deal of skepticism concerning the remarkable condition of these remains. If from the famous Noah's Ark, they have to be more than four thousand years old. Everyone knows that wood and straw does not survive for so long a time. But one must also know that this does not apply to organic remains that have been permanently frozen, whether mammoth carcasses in the Arctic or wood and straw from snow-capped mountains. One need only consider the clothing, possession, and flesh of Otzi the Iceman dating from the same ancient era but found only about twenty years ago in the Italian Alps. You can read about Otzi in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology (click to read) How much better protected from decay would be a permanently frozen and buried Ark.

In truth, it doesn't seem to matter to most of the world how strong or how much the evidence that NAMI has offered for this discovery or how flimsy, ridiculous, or unfair the charges against them. Regardless their sterling integrity, NAMI's weakness is the same as their strength: the fact that they are in the filming ministry. That is what brought them to the mountain: to film the traditions and searches for Noah's Ark and not, in the beginning, to actually search for the Ark. It was Parasut who convinced them to assist with his search for the Ark. The fact that they must finance their Ark searches and film productions by asking for donations leads to unfair charge that money is their and Parasut's motive. I know their real motive is to have the world know the truth about Noah's Ark and to see this priceless artifact studied and protected.

As the discovers themselves well know, what is needed is independent verification by scientists who are known and respected. In fact, all climbs have been conducted under the authority of Istanbul University's Dr. Octay Belli, one of Turkish most accomplished and esteemed archaeologists. Dr. Belli's erudition and archaeological accomplishments, especially his understanding of the archaeology of Eastern Turkey, are incomparably greater than those of Dr. Randall Price, America's self-proclaimed expert on the search for Noah's Ark (see article below left). Scientists from other Asian and European nations have also participated in NAMI's expeditions, but most of them, like Dr. Belli, do not speak English. His scientific language is German, in which most of the archaeological research in Turkey is conducted and published. Dr Belli and some of these other scientists appear in NAMI's documentary, that will soon be available on Amazon.

For badly needed support from the American archaeological establishment as well as from American believers, esteemed and capable American scientists also need to be involved in this discovery. That is something already underway. It is also very expensive, and something that neither NAMI nor Parasut should be expected to bear. Those interested in helping fund this research or in helping protect the site can do so by contacting me. Likewise, those with special skills or knowledge that might be useful to this discovery and willing to become part of our team by volunteering their services should contact me and I will put them in contact with the right parties.

Now, consider the implications should this discovery prove to be a great ancient ship near the top of a very high mountain, with no evidence of having been constructed there. Suppose the archaeological culture found within this vessel matches a second and subsequent worldwide dispersion of mankind as explained in the book featured above right. Suppose the vessel contains much animal dung in which are found animal hair, feathers, antler chips and the like, indicating a variety of birds and animals of the type presently found on all inhabited continents. Such a discovery would be earth shaking and world changing!

Regards to all,

Philip Williams
New and old recipients

Welcome. If this is your first newsletter or even if its not, you may find a lot of interesting articles in the:
archive of earlier newsletters.

In this issue
The Mount Ararat Discovery
Protecting the Ark site from treasure hunters
Randall Price's version
Amy Beam versus Joel Klenck
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Protecting the site from treasure hunters
The problem in announcing the exact location of the ArkArtfact theft
Protecting archaeological treasures

When the Mt. Ararat discovery was first announced to the world in 2010, I heard even prominent archaeologists suggest that those who announced this discovery immediately reveal its exact location. I assume they did so because they did not believe the discovery was serious. Even so, it is irresponsible to advocate something that conflicts with the best archaeological practices and  must result in the loss of precious artifacts or at least compromising if not destroying their archaeological value.

In truth, those responsible for this new discovery on Mount Ararat would like nothing more than to tell the world just where they filmed the videos of the discovery that was reported to the world in April 2010. I know this because every week, I hear their concerns.  They have asked my help and I have made the protection of the artifacts my particular concern.

To understand the problem, one need only consider the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls, until now perhaps the most important archaeological discovery of all times. The Dead Sea Scrolls have revolutionized the understanding of Second Temple Judaism, the context of which both Christianity and Rabbinic (that is, today's) Judaism arose. They demonstrate that the text of the Old Testament has scarcely changed since the time of Jesus. These were only discovered in 1946, but like the like the historical testimony to the remains of Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat, the presence of ancient scrolls by the Dead Sea had been reported down through the ages.
Just as the case of the Mt. Ararat discovery, the Dead Sea Scrolls were not found by archaeologists, but by shepherds who frequently traveled and knew the area of the discovery. The mountain guides responsible for exploring the Mt. Ararat discovery descend from shepherds who led their sheep on the mountain. As I discovered on my recent trip, some of the climbers still work as shepherds.
Shepherds on Ararat
Reuben Dedmondt with Davut and Ergan's mountain climbing father (Ararat Village)

Other comparisons of the Mt Ararat discovery with the Dead Sea Scrolls has been the skepticism pertaining to the very possibility of their existence, along with charges of fraud. It would take many years before the archaeological world fully recognized their existence and importance. As a result, some of the scrolls were damaged and lost or ended in private hands, keeping their existence hidden and making it impossible for scholars to access these important texts. Some of these scrolls have just become known to Dead Sea Scroll scholars through their recovery by the Green family (See last week's newsletter)

Artifacts from the Noah's Ark will be no less valued than Dead Sea Scrolls. In truth, the remains of Noah's Ark are already endangered by the Ark searching business in Turkey. How much more when the exact location of the discovery becomes widely known!

Those who value this discovery are most fortunate, as I learned from my recent visit to Turkey, that Parasut's climbing team led by his partner Mehmet Cerven, are most devoted to their culture and despise commercial exploitation of the discovery. They have sacrificed much to bring this discovery to the world, including the risking of their limbs and lives. If it is important to explore and protect this archaeological site, it is also important to support and protect those who make this possible. Believers who want to see the world changed for the better should remember those who sacrifice so much in order for this happen. 
Randall Price's version
Ergan, Philip, Davut, and Reuben

Most of you are familiar with the charges against NAMI's discovery made by Randall Price and with my investigation of Price's charges. Price offered to team with Parasut and NAMI's search by offering his archaeological services. Price insistence than only he was capable of determining whether Parasut had discovered Noah's Ark was but one reason that Parasut expelled him from the team. Following NAMI's announcement, Price claimed that someone (who he refused to name) knew how Parasut had fabricated the site as a movie set by hauling timbers from an old ship on the Black Sea.

I was stunned when I heard those charges. I didn't think it possible that such heavy and large timbers could be hauled to these heights, then inserted under thousands of tons of rock and ice. How could these mountain climbers have been familiar with, much less duplicate, what appeared ancient patterns of construction? It is just not possible to fabricate wood with surface rot without revealing new construction. In any case, the expense of any such attempt at fabrication would be great, and to what small and temporary advantage would those doing this gain? Didn't the journalists who reported these charges notice that they were based on anonymous sources and were coming from a rival Ark searcher who Parasut had rejected from the team?

My connection to NAMI and Parasut was due to my learned defense of their discovery. (See the Mt. Ararat Discovery website below and the Epilogue of my book.) I invited them to present their discovery privately before a learned audience, which resulted in an invitation to address the 2010 National Apologetics Conference. Following that Drs. Price and Don Patton submitted a defense of their charges of fraud. They claim to have found a piece of wood of recent construction at the site of the discovery. But the small, black-charred board they presented was nothing like the huge, surface-rotted brown timbers seen in NAMI's photos.

I wrote Liberty University's top officials, asking whether they approve of their professor's use of anonymous sources to make serious and damaging charges. The university promised to look into the matter. Soon after this, an "affidavit" appeared on Price's website. The letter was written by two brothers with the names Davut and Ergan. According to the affidavit, the brothers acknowledged having helped build a movie set on the mountain. They supposed it was for a movie, but were upset to learn that it had been claimed as the remains of Noah's Ark. It was a serious charge from someone giving no address, employer, or last name!

Before he saw the affidavit, Price had probably never heard the names Davut and Ergan. At least, he seemed shocked when an angry Davut and Ergan Gimrin, the only licensed climbers in Turkey who are brothers with those first names, appeared on NAMI's website. They used their Turkish identification cards and signatures on the cards to demonstrate that Price's letter was a forgery. Within hours of the brothers' recorded video appearance on NAMI's website, Price removed the "affidavit," promising to look into its source.

We see that not only does this Liberty University Professor make charges of fraud based on anonymous sources, he doesn't hesitate to make them based on sources that he himself does not know. Many of us waited to learn what Price would tell us about the source of the forged letter with its claims against NAMI's Ark discovery. But instead of looking into the source of his forged letter, I learned that Price addressed the appearance of Davut and Ergan on NAMI's website, claiming they disputed the letter due to death threats from my friend Parasut. That is not what I learned from Davut and Parasut when I visited their home. (See photo above.)

As to the source of the forged letter, Price might check with the secretary of Murat Camping (see photo above right). That should not be difficult since Murat Camping is the base of Price's own ventures on Mt. Ararat. As Price himself well knows, the unnamed masked source of his allegations against NAMI's discovery is also the owner of Murat Camping.

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Amy Beam vs Joel Klenck
Murat Camping
A camping service popular with American Ark searchers

Anyone who has searched the Internet for recent information about NAMI's Ararat discovery may find a lot of information from the talented web professional and travel agent, Dr. Amy Beam. I first heard of Amy when she sent me an email demanding that I not sponsor the presentation of NAMI's documentary in Charlotte. But most of her attention has been directed at the Harvard-trained paleontologist, Dr. Joel Klenck.

Amy had a valid reason for being upset with Joel Klenck. Dr. Klenck wanted to conduct a completely independent investigation of NAMI and Parasut's claim. With the knowledge of neither NAMI nor Parasut, Klenck contacted Amy Beam's travel agency to serve as his guide to climb the mountain. But contrary to the strict rules for climbing Mt. Ararat, Klenck departed from his guided mountain climbing party to search the site of NAMI's discovery. His disappearance disrupted the climb of those who had paid Ms. Beam for the tour and caused searchers to be called out to find the missing Joel Klenck.

In the interest of making his own independent verification of NAMI's claims, Dr. Klenck violated the rules of Turkish mountain climbing with disruptive costs to Ms. Beam, to Turkish officials, and to the Turkish mountain climbing community. That is most unfortunate due to the fact that Dr. Klenck is a talented, independent-thinking paleontologist who, if we are to judge from the many wire releases that Dr. Klenck has published, seems to have visited the site of the discovery independently of Parasut and NAMI. I do believe that Dr. Klenck made it to the site, and that there is a lot to learn about the discovery from his wire releases. We may learn a great deal more should one of the prestigious scientific journals to which Dr. Klenck has offered to submit his findings decide to publish them.

Ms. Beam has suggested that Joel Klenck and I work together. In truth, we have never met, spoken, written, or even tried to email one another. Though I respect Dr. Klenck's talents and knowledge of archaeological zoology and look forward to hearing more about his own discovery and analysis, those of you who have read my newsletters know that I have been concerned about the confusion in which Dr. Klenck's involvement has caused the discovery. This is not just due to his unauthorized climb to the site, but because of his a priori interpretation of the site's dating. Klenck believes the Flood occurred about 13,500 years ago, at the end of the Ice Age.

But, aside from his lying to her, Amy Beam had another reason for not liking Joel Klenck. That was due to his scientific support of the discovery made by Parasut and NAMI. I am not sure how Amy Beam became involved in Mt. Ararat climbing, but it may have been through offering her web services to tour and mountain climbing guides on Mt. Ararat. As we learned from her writings, she became romantically involved with a mountain climber who she says jilted her. By then, Ms. Beam was living in Turkey and using her web talents to create a travel agency that partnered with mountain climbing guides. Some of these guides were also employed by Parasut who eventually rejected her from his company of climbers. At that point, Amy Beam became partners with the owners of Murat Camping (see photo above) as was the case when Joel Klenck employed her services.

Though popular with American Ark searchers, Murat Camping operates very differently than the family of famous Ararat mountain guides associated with Parasut, who cherish their local reputation and native culture. Parasut's civic and chamber of commerce interest explains why he is often referred to as the unofficial mayor of Dogubeyazit, the town from which most Mt Ararat climbs are based. Parasut does not take parties to search for Noah's Ark without having all the required permits, from the Governors of the two states boarding Mt Ararat, to the military, and National Park services. As I well know, these permits are time-consuming, time restricting, and expensive. But for those willing to pay, there are ways to get officials to look the other way. Sadly, this explains why Murat Camping is popular with American Ark searchers. To understand their reputation, the day that Reuben and I arrived in Dogubeyazit, the owners of Murat Camping were hauled off to jail.
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Christian Leaders & Scholars is the newsletter and publication site of Philip Ernest Williams, author of The Archaeological Evidence of Noah's Flood (2011). The site is also a ministry not only to Christian leaders and scholars but all who are interested in the more difficult issues pertaining to the Bible and its implications for science and history. (Read more)