One of the great pleasures of looking at US based news aggregator site Before It’s News is that often liven up a slow day with some totally whacky story. Usual themes are encounters with aliens, fleets of UFOs aka alien Death Stars approaching Earth and the return of the Nephilim.
Where are the Nephilim returning from you might well ask. Stevenage probably, that’s where most members of Fields Of The Nephilim originate from although I didn’t actually know the Goth rockers been away and my son (Brother Bastion) was on the bill at a small rock festival with them a few years ago.
Today however a story that caught my attention was the non discovery of Noah’s Ark. Stories of archaeological discoveries that confirm the literal truth of The Bible often feature, Before It’s News does not vet contribution for sanity, but to make sure they are not libellous and are reasonably well written. Stuck for something to blog and suffering a dip in traffic with no UKIP stories or disappearing Boeing 777s to catch searches I decided to have a look at a “Discovery of Noah’s Ark” story.
Now first of all there was a great flood or inundation, three in fact as the ice cap receded at the end of the last ice age. This is confirmed by evidence from sediment samples. The flood that features in The Rig Veda, The Epic Of Gilgamesh or The Book Of Genisis was the most recent, estimated at between eleven and thirteen thousand years ago. And there we part company with factual stuff.
Here’s the opening of the story that appears in Before Its News.
The Ark of Noah has been found. It’s real. I’ll describe the evidence in some detail and end with the historical and religious implications. In 1959, Turkish army captain Llhan Durupinar discovered an unusual shape while examining aerial photographs of his country. The smooth shape, larger than a football field, stood out from the rough and rocky terrain at an altitude of 6,300 feet near the Turkish border with Iran. [ … ] The first part of the survey was to examine the object and take its measurements. The shape looked like hull of a ship. One end was pointed as you would expect from bow [below: D] and the opposite end was blunt like a stern. The distance from bow to stern was 515 feet, or exactly 300 Egyptian cubits. The average width was 50 cubits. These were the exact measurements mentioned in the Bible.
No Ark (Source)
On the starboard side (right) near the stern there were four vertical bulges protruding from the mud [B], at regular intervals, that were determined to be the “ribs” of the hull [see below]. Opposite to these, on the port side, a single rib [A] protrudes from the mud. You can see its curved shape very clearly. Surrounding it are more ribs, still largely buried in the mud, but visible upon close examination.
Remember that this object, if it is the Ark, is extremely old. The wood has been petrified. Organic matter has been replaced by minerals from the earth. Only the shapes and traces of the original wood remain. Perhaps this is why the expedition in 1960 was disappointed. They anticipated finding and retrieving chucks of wood, long since eroded.
OK, it looks a bit like a boat, but its shape is similar to bronze age tombs found in some parts of Britain and Ireland, or to grain stores in the middle east. And ancient Egypt is full of boat shaped tombs, some wiuth stone boats in which the stiff could make the final journey along the river of time to where the earth meets the sky.
Its surprising how similar beliefs pop up in places that in ancient world terms were separated by vast distances. The northern Celts had a thing about boats and the connection between water and death. While the Norse (who lived where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea as people who remember noggin The Nog will know) built the funeral pyres of dead warriors on longboats and set the body and burning boat adrift on the sea, an older belief system saw warriors and great chieftains being hauled to the top of hills to be closer to the Awen (the oneness) which they likened to a river, believing The Milky Way was its reflection in the sky. From atop a hill it was easy to launch into the eternal stream. Logical, those ancients.
So while there are no good reasons why the ancients would build a boat on top of a six thousand foot mountain to escape a flood, there are plenty of contenders for why they might haul a boat or build a wooden structure up there to honour the dead or make an offering to the gods.
And when you look at those dimensions, yeah its big compared to Viking longboats or Quinqueremes of Nineveh. But big enough for a breeding pair of Elephants, Rhinoceroses, Buffalo, Hippopotomi, Giraffes, Camels, cows, horses and all the other hundreds of species large and small, including fierce predators and creatures that are not fierce and rely on flight for survival, along with fodder for forty days and forty nights? No way.
Which proves that if at first glance you see what you were expecting to see, look again more carefully.