One Man’s Quest for the Ark

An amateur archaeologist spent years seeking the final resting place of Noah's ark

One Man’s Quest for the Ark

An amateur archaeologist spent years seeking the final resting place of Noah's ark

It’s been more than 30 years since the Turkish government designated an area approximately 15 miles from the summit of Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey as the official site of the remains of Noah’s Ark.

Aerial photos of the Durupinar site topography resemble that of an earth-laden shell of an ark about 500 feet long.

Ron Wyatt, an amateur archeologist who died in 1999, began about 20 years earlier exploring the Biblical region identified in Genesis as the ark’s resting place when the flood waters receded. Wyatt’s passion for research expeditions were sparked by his reading of a 1960 Life Magazine article about a U.S.-led expedition of the region that yielded no evidence of Noah’s Ark’s remains.

According to Wyatt’s research journals and video recordings of his exploits, as well as a 1980s report by ABC News’ 20/20 program, Wyatt believed that evenly spaced grooves all around the vessel-shaped mold of dirt at the site could have been the ribs of a ship’s hull. 

He noted a total length of 512 feet, except for a three-foot section that appeared to have possibly broken off the lower end, lending a total length of 515 feet.

Multiplying the Biblical measure of 300 cubits by 20.6 inches, the standard Egyptian cubit, Wyatt believed the original ark would have been 515 feet long.

Wyatt speculated that Noah’s Ark could have settled downward from its original resting place on one of the mountains of the Ararat range.

Hardened lava and fossilized handwrought timbers could have encapsulated the ark remnants in a natural time capsule, Wyatt speculated.

Wyatt, who was a nurse anesthetist in Tennessee, used the latest technology of his era, including sophisticated metal detectors, subsurface radar equipment and a molecular frequency generator to identify iron content in the soil consistent with a man-made metal grid—possibly the internal structure of the ark’s hull.

Wyatt’s research included the assistance of physicists, geologists, engineers and an astronaut, yet some scientists, historians and Biblical scholars remain unconvinced that Noah’s Ark has been unearthed.

Richard Rives, president of Wyatt Archaeological Research, writes at that his late friend’s dozens of international quests for archaeological discovery of Biblical artifacts had more of an eternal than a historical purpose.

“Will it help somebody get to Heaven?” was Wyatt’s criteria for his research, according to Rives. “[Wyatt] would always say, ‘If it won’t help somebody get to Heaven, I don’t want to do it.’”  


To learn more about Wyatt’s research, see

Header Image: Overlooking Mount Arat in Agri, Turkey, where some say traces of Noah's Ark are located.

Subscribe to Decision Email Devotional

Subscribe to Decision Email Devotional

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

About Us     Contact Us     Privacy
©2024 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. BGEA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.