Past Expeditions


Below is a partial list of climbs, sightings and noteworthy claims from the 14th century to the 1990s:


In the book The Voyage and Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Knight about travels in Turkey, Persia, Syria, Arabia and North Africa – but largely based on other writings – the writer claimed that a piece of Noah's Ark was preserved in a monastery at the base of Mount Ararat.


Dutch adventurer Jans Janzoon Struys went to Ararat and transcribed the testimony of a monk who claimed to have been inside the Ark.


Explorer/scholar Dr. J J Friedrich W Parrot (1791-1841), a university professor in Russia, reached the summit of Ararat. Monks at the monastery showed him wood said to be from Noah's Ark.


Karl Behrens reached the summit but made no claim about seeing the Ark.


Karl Behrens reached the summit but made no claim about seeing the Ark.


Herman von Abich, a Russian geologist, reached the summit.


H Danby Seymour reached the summit.


Col. Khodzko of Russia led a 60-man expedition and reached the summit.


Major Robert Stuart (of England) reached the summit.

An Armenian teenager, Haji Yearman, and his father supposedly took three scientists into Noah's Ark. The scientists did not want the Bible proven and therefore ordered Haji and father under threat of death to keep quiet about the Ark. Yearman eventually moved to America and told the story to a Seventh Day Adventist pastor Harold H Williams in 1920 when 82 years old.


James Bryce (1838-1922), British statesman, historian and explorer, claimed he climbed Mount Ararat in 1876 and at 13,000 feet found a piece of timber from Noah's Ark.


Turkish commissioners allegedly discovered and entered the Ark. This was announced by the Turkish government and the story published in American newspapers.


Prince John Joseph Nouri, the archdeacon of Babylon, visited Mt. Ararat in 1887 after hearing that it was the landing place of Noah's ark. On his third climbing attempt, he reached the summit of Mt. Ararat on April 25, 1887. There he found Noah's ark buried by rocks and ice. He returned home and, some years later, tried to raise enough support to bring the ark to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Unfortunately, before he could do so he was attacked, allegedly by the founders of a satanic church. The assault distraught him to the point of insanity and he died soon after of pneumonia in a mental hospital without ever disclosing the location of the ark (see the Chicago Tribune newspaper article published July 10, 1892).


George Hagopian, then a ten-year-old Armenian shepherd boy, was taken by his uncle to see the Ark. He visited the Ark again in 1904. Hagopian told this story in Easton (Maryland, USA) in 1970 to two Ark researchers.

1916 – 1917

Lieutenant Roskovitsky, a Russian pilot, saw the Ark at 14,000 feet from his airplane. Czar Nicholas II authorized a search and Noah's Ark was allegedly found by 100 soldiers! Roskovitsky told this story after World War I in an interview by Robert Anderson a Mormon!

  • Col. Akexander A Koor supposedly interviewed relatives of soldiers of the 1917 expedition and published this in Russian in 1945. In March 1946 he sent details about pilots stationed in 1916 near Ararat to Ark researcher Eryl Cummings. John Montgomery, another Ark researcher, interviewed Koor in 1970 and believed him. (The Quest for Noah's Ark 1972 p. 245)

  • Skeptics weren't convinced and suggested that Koor merely embellished a story published in New Eden Magazine in 1940!

Image of the Ark when the Russian army accessed in 1916-1917. From below image the W/H = 1.62, which is equivalent to the Biblical 50/30 = 1.66

Bolshevik revolutionaries of Russia supposedly suppressed the report of the Ark to Czar Nicholas.


Sir Leonard Woolley (1880-1960), English archaeologist, discovered an 8-foot layer of clean clay in lower Mesopotamia and suggested this was evidence of the Genesis Flood. Later Professor Stephen Langdon announced a similar discovery at Kish about 300 kilometres north. The two discoveries represented different floods from different periods.


Hardwicke Knight of New Zealand climbed near Ahara Gorge on Mount Ararat and claimed he saw many dark, soggy timbers, 9 inches to a foot in width, sticking out of the ice.


Robert Ripley of the Believe It Or Not series claimed he found the grave of Noah near Damascus in Syria!

A Russian Air Force major and squadron leader allegedly took distinct photos of the Ark at 14,000 feet. Although there are testimonies from people who claimed they saw them, the photos are lost.

1943 – 1944

A story of sighting of Noah's Ark by pilots was allegedly published in one of the editions of the army newspaper Stars and Stripes. Thorough search for the article, organized by Cummings in 1973, failed to find it.

Two American pilots with an air force photographer were said to have photographed from the air what they said is a great ship on Mount Ararat. The photos were lost.

Vince Will was with the 3356 Signal Installation Battalion attached to the Army Air Force. He was a co-pilot of a C-47 cargo plane that flew over Mt. Ararat (Agri Dagi). Vince describes the Ark resting on a ledge with a large drop-off. Three floors were seen with prominent central alley-way through a hole in its side. (Article Link )


Eryl Cummings of New Mexico started on a life long quest to find proof of Noah's Ark. He, for example, interviewed a Dr. Jacob Liedman who claimed he saw in 1948 the Ark photos taken by the Air Force major in 1938.


Reshit, a Kurdish farmer, was reported in the AssociatedPress (November 13) to have seen Noah's Ark.


Anomaly 1949 CIA Set


1952 – 1955

Expeditions up Ararat by Ferdinand Navara a French industrialist of Bordeaux. In August 1952 he saw a dark boat-shaped object under ice. In July 1955 he discovered hand-hewn timber in a crevasse at 13,000 feet altitude and cut off a 5-foot piece from a larger piece.


John Libi, an American, claimed he came within 30 yards of the Ark!


An archaeological expedition up Ararat took 2,300 slides. Later Eryl Cummings saw a boat-like object in two of the slides.

1966 . . . 1974

Eryl Cummings made eight trips to Turkey and went up Ararat 16 times, spending 70 days on the mountain.


Ark theorists had believed the Ark was at 14,000 feet and therefore surmised the Ark broke up in an earthquake and parts of it slid down 1,000 feet. Carbon dating gave the age of the wood as about 1,700 years.

Last climb up Ararat by John Libi then 73 years old. Mr Libi saw the location of the Ark in a dream and from 1954 to 1979 was a member of eight expeditions.

Ferdinand Navara joined SEARCH (Scientific Exploration and Archaeological Research) for his final ascent up Ararat. Five pieces of wood, the longest 17 inches, were found.


Dr John Montgomery made the first of seven climbs up Mount Ararat and reached the summit.


John Morris expedition up Ararat. (Described in the book Adventures on Ararat.) Mr Morris is a creationist geologist of the San Diego Institute of Creation Research.


First trip to Ararat by members of the Holy Ground Changing Center, a Texas religious community. They produced a photo of the Ark which critics said is a retouched fake.

A photo of the area where Navara was in 1955 by an Earth Resources Technology Satellite from 450 kilometres showed a rectangular shape claimed by John Montgomery, professor at Trinity School, to be of the Ark.


Turkish government called a halt to further expeditions up Mount Ararat (At least forty expeditions had taken place since the first World War).


The documentary In search of Noah's Ark film popularized the belief that the Ark still exists.


Discovery of what are said to be two stone anchors 3 x 1.5 x 0.6 metres near Mount Ararat.

1982 – 1985

Jim Irwin, a former astronaut and member of the 1971 Apollo 15 Moon Mission, ascended Ararat four times and claimed he found the Ark.


Salih Bayraktutan, assistant professor of Ataturk University in Erzurum, investigated alleged Ark remains on Mount Judi – 22 kilometres from Mount Ararat. He was reported as believing the Ark has decayed but that its shape is preserved under a mud flow.



Dr Allen S Roberts kidnapped by Kurds. This gained international media coverage of his search for the Ark and his belief that the Ark's remains are represented by a 515 foot-long boat-shaped structure in a valley about 20 kilometres from Mount Ararat. He admitted that for this to be correct, all other Ark sightings had to be mistaken.

(Dr Roberts' doctorate is in Christian education is from Freedom University, which is located behind a church in Florida and is not a registered university.)

Professor Ian Plimer, head of Melbourne University's School of Earth Sciences, spoke out on television, "It is a normal geologic structure called a syncline." And: "There are fifteen places in east Turkey where people are looking for, and allegedly have found, Noah's Ark!" (Investigator Magazine 1992 May)


George Jammal claimed discovery of the Ark on Mount Ararat and appeared on national television but later admitted a hoax.


Barry Setterfield, creationist geology graduate of Adelaide, Australia, claimed the graves of Adam, Eve and Noah had been discovered on Mount Ararat together with ancient writing which agreed with the Genesis chronology! (Investigator Magazine 1996 July)

Article in New Scientist (November 30) about a coming court confrontation between Plimer and Roberts in April 1997 in Melbourne.