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Chinese explorers stand by claim of Noah's Ark find in Turkey

The Hong Kong-based team rebutted skepticism over their claims of finding Noah's Ark in Turkey, though they said further research is needed to prove beyond doubt that they have located the fabled biblical boat.

By Correspondent / April 30, 2010

A member of a group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers examine wooden beams inside a compartment of a structure that they claim might prove the existence of Noah's Ark, on Turkey's Mount Ararat. The team said that wooden specimens from the structure have been carbon dated to 4,800 years old, around the same time the ark is said to have been afloat.

AFP /HO /Noah's Ark Ministries International (NAMI)/Newscom/File

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Two members of the search team that claims to have found Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat in Turkey responded to skepticism by saying that there is no plausible explanation for what they found other than it is the fabled biblical boat that weathered a storm that raged 40 days and 40 nights and flooded the entire Earth.

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Noah's Ark Ministries International (NAMI) held a press conference April 25 in Hong Kong to present their findings and say they were “99.9 percent sure” that a wooden structure found at a 12,000-ft. elevation and dated as 4,800 years old was Noah’s Ark.

A flood massive enough to float a boat to the top of Mount Ararat bucks against geologic studies that show no evidence of a worldwide flood that would also have wiped out all plants, animals, and most traces of human civilization. Even prominent fundamentalist Christians who do believe in a worldwide flood have cast doubt on the latest purported discovery.

IN PICTURES: Noah's Ark

But members of the Chinese-Turkish team stood by their finding.

“How can a ship be on a mountain?” Yeung Wing-cheung, one of six team members who entered the structure on Mount Ararat last October, told the Monitor today by telephone from Hong Kong.

“The only record of a wooden structure on Mount Ararat is Noah’s Ark," Clara Wei, the team coordinator, also said today by telephone from Beijing. "So up to now I believe this is the most probable explanation. We don’t have another explanation."

It's not a hoax

While both say more research is necessary, they rebutted critics who say that the finding was a hoax. NAMI is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Media Evangelism Limited, founded in 1989 to publish multimedia geared toward evangelizing.

“We don’t have anything to hide,” says Mrs. Wei. She says that massive wooden planks, some 20 meters long, were found in wooden rooms and hallways buried in the ice atop Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. People could not carry such heavy wood to such a height, nor can vehicles access such a remote location on the mountain. A video of the exploration shows team members wearing crampons and trekking through snow to reach the site.

“You can hire horses to carry bags, but they cannot balance themselves with 20-meter-long timber,” says Wei, adding that there was no cultural evidence – such as pottery – that the structure was a former house or church.

Turkish officials from Agri Province, the location of Mount Ararat, also attended this week’s press conference in Hong Kong. Lieutenant governor Murat Güven and Cultural Ministries Director Muhsin Bulut, both provincial officials, believe the discovery is likely Noah’s Ark, according to the announcement posted on the team's website.

“The local government thinks this is Noah’s Ark,” Mr. Yeung says.

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