Hong Kong group launches a movie on its claimed ‘Noah’s Ark discovery’ at the Sydney Opera House
CMI POSITION STATEMENT ON THIS CLAIM
AUGUST 16, 2011.
Sydney Opera House—the chosen site for the first launch of the ‘Ark find’ movie. Credit: Wikipedia.org
This concerns the very public August 14 launch by a Hong Kong team of its movie about the alleged discovery of the Ark on Ararat.
We have chosen to make this statement of the facts from where we stand, with no disrespect intended to anyone. It is posted as a ‘ready reference’ so that we can send enquirers a link. We purposely delayed the statement so as to avoid being seen as trying to discourage people from attending the launch.
- The movie, titled “The Days of Noah—Apocalypse” is associated with the Hong Kong organisations known as Noahs Ark Ministries International [NAMI] and The Media Evangelism Ltd [TMEL]; the latter appears to have an offshoot known as The Media Evangelism Australia.
- This movie flows out of the announcement some time ago by NAMI and TMEL that they have discovered a man-made timber construction under the ice at a very high altitude on Greater Mount Ararat in Turkey, and believe it is highly likely to be the Ark of Noah.
- The same team had some years ago made a previous lesser find in a different part of the same region which they claimed was likely to be a piece of wood from the Ark. Major creationist organisations had urged caution and testing prior to going public. Despite this it was announced as ‘petrified wood’. Subsequent tests showed that it was not petrified wood at all.
- Shortly after their original announcement about this latest claim, CMI was invited by NAMI/TMEL to participate in a press conference in Turkey with a view also to participating in possible further expeditions/investigation.
- If this had been a genuine find of the Ark, or even strongly suggestive of it, CMI would have been delighted to be a part of announcing it to the world, and in fact we were cautiously excited by the pictures we had seen.
- Prior to accepting the invitation, CMI’s managing director met directly with the NAMI/TMEL team in person in their Hong Kong offices (including some of those such as mountaineer Panda Lee who had seen and photographed the site firsthand).
- Following this and a review of all the evidence to date, CMI’s official position at the time was (and remains) that on the balance of probabilities it was not just likely, but overwhelmingly so, that the photographs were of a very recent manmade construction (as confirmed by the majority of the C-14 tests on the wood carried out by NAMI/TMEL itself, though only the one ‘old’ result was publically released). This was clearly a not-so-sophisticated hoax and we felt that this enthusiastic team had likely been the victims, not the perpetrators.
- We were sorry we had to disillusion them, and the findings were given with no disrespect
intended to anyone. We believed that it would have been a betrayal of our responsibility
to our supporters to expend any further of the ministry’s funds on the matter.
Once more, we joined with other respected Christian figures in urging them not to get believers excited before there had been a proper examination of the entire matter. We believe that a detailed forensic approach (by experienced investigators) to how it developed would clarify for all what really took place. This should particularly include gathering eyewitness testimony from locals in such a way that takes into account the ever-present prospect of commercial gain in this very economically depressed region of Turkey. (Of course this cuts both ways; monetary incentives may easily operate to generate both confirming and denying types of ‘testimony’ from locals—depending on the audience.) We note that the NAMI/TEML team did not make this discovery themselves, but were led to this site by a local guide who has a history of association with ‘ark hunters’.
More recent photographs which appear to be of the same site seem to show that much of the original construction has collapsed. The ‘word on the ground’ in this region is that enterprising locals have already commenced with the construction of replacement ‘ark rooms’ within one or more of the many crevices and ice caves. Whether so or not, our position on this find remains unchanged and is not primarily based on the statements by another Ararat arksearching organisation.
- While we have been more forthright about our reasons than others, to our knowledge not a single major creationist organisation we know of worldwide (and they all know about it) is supporting this as having any likelihood of being what is claimed. All of them would, like us, have loved it to be genuine, and ‘jealousy’ or ‘parochialism’ can most definitely be ruled out as a motive for their stance as well as ours. We can’t think of many things that would be more exciting than a real Ark find.
- Many (though not all) of the reasons for our definite view that this is a hoax can be obtained by accessing our article at Noah’s Ark, or … what? (this includes photographs of a number of the timbers found by the Hong Kong team as supplied by them at the time).
We would ask our supporters to pray for the Hong Kong team; we reported favourably in Creation magazine on some of their other activity in the giant fullsize Ark in Hong Kong. Please pray also that this very public event taking place while there is so much controversy will not cause confusion and discord, as well as cynicism among the watching world.
The websites for TMEL/NAMI are as follows:
Our article (last updated December 2010) is at Noah’s Ark, or … what?—we do not intend to use the article or this page to carry on debate about the matter, and plan to update it and this position statement only if truly definitive developments take place.