Addicted to novelty since 2001

Noah’s Ark Spotted, Again

Having a passing interest in Christian relics, I did some reading about Noah’s Ark a few years ago. There have been a number of expeditions to Mount Ararat and the surrounding area, but it’s actually a really tricky part of the world to access. Personally, I’m not a big believer in people 8000 years ago building an ocean-going vessel three stories high with a deck area equivalent to 20 standard college basketball courts.

I was interested, then, to see the satellite images that (ominous-sounding) Shamrock — The Trinity Corporation claim ‘unequivocally show a man-made object.’ Unfortunately, none of the news reports actually show the satellite photos.

My skepticism didn’t stop me from writing a play which involved somebody discovering Noah’s Ark. Here’s a bit:

PHILOMENA: Over here is where it starts. I melted a foot of ice before I found anything. Then–
MARGO: Wood.
PHILOMENA: It goes very deep, at an angle. At least 300 cubits, like the book says. The cave mouth must have been the entrance…or, rather, exit.
MARGO: (Looking up.) It’s enormous.
PHILOMENA: Were you expecting a canoe?
MARGO: I don’t know what I was expecting…it’s…there’s…
PHILOMENA: Try a full sentence now dear.
MARGO: I’m sorry, I just…
PHILOMENA: Yes, yes, hail Mary, full of grace…
MARGO: Do you know what this means?
PHILOMENA: I think I do.
MARGO: If I can prove that this, that what we’re inside is the remains of Noah’s Ark. it changes everything. It validates eight thousand years of flood myth study. The results of my tests could throw biology back three hundred years. If I find viable DNA of the original animals in here, it could refute Darwin.
PHILOMENA: Now, dear, a big ship full of animals is extraordinary, but we mustn’t get too big for our britches…
MARGO: This proves that the world was very different than we thought. We can’t be sure of anything anymore.
PHILOMENA: You’re not a Creationist, are you? (Pause.) It must be rather difficult to resolve Darwin and all that, then?
MARGO: Well, exactly…it just seemed so, I don’t know…
PHILOMENA: Accidental.
MARGO: Yes. The world just isn’t that chaotic.
PHILOMENA: God has a plan.
MARGO: That’s what I’ve always thought.

Interestingly, it’s not just the Christians–most cultures of the world have a flood myth in their history or pre-history. One tantalizing explanation for this universal myth is offered by Walter Pitman and William B. F. Ryan, who wrote Noah’s Flood. In it, they provide compelling geological and hydrological evidence of a very rapid expansion of the Mediterrenean Sea about 10,000 years ago. This, they argue, caused an exodus that forced many peoples away from the Sea in all directions and gave rise to the myth.

2 Responses to “Noah’s Ark Spotted, Again”

  1. rilla

    Wow, that’s really interesting isn’t it. I’ve always wondered if people were still looking for the ark, and now I know that they are.

    I really enjoyed the snippet of your play.

    A big part of me hopes that this isn’t a hoax of some kind.

  2. John Nielsen

    It must be spring again, as yet another wealthy fundamentalist and his money are to be parted at Mount Ararat. So, like last year, the year before and so on, I shall see some chatter type authoritatively “You know, they found Noah’s Ark last summer”. Just as I have every year since first hearing of these expeditions in the 1980s. The reason no photos are shown is simple: what appears to be a mud-covered boat is just a geologic formation, well documented in peer-reviewed scientific journals. I have seen the purported photo in The Skeptical Enquirer and in other publications. It’s a nice hump of mud.

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