Archaeology • Middle East Events • Biblical Prophecy
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Archaeological Dig News
Archaeological Digs with Volunteers -None Planned Currently
Noah's Ark Search News
Statement of Dr. Randall Price on the Alleged Discovery
of a Wooden Structure on Mt. Ararat by a Chinese-Turkish
Expedition that is Claimed to be the Remains of Noah's Ark-4/30/10
Dr. Randall Price's involvement with the search for Noah's Ark begin with the Noah's Ark Ministries International (NAMI) Chinese team in early 2008, it continued with them in the summer of 2008 until serious issues with their Kurdish guide brought about a decision to participate in a different search opportunity with Richard Bright of Ark Search LLC who was there at the same time. Dr. Price climbed Mt. Ararat with Ark Search LLC in the Fall of 2008 and again in the summer of 2009, spending nearly a month at the summit of Mt. Ararat searching for Noah's Ark.
Dr. Price was the archaeologist with the Chinese team in 2008 when the alleged discovery of the structure in a cave on the southwest side of Mt. Ararat was first made. He worked with this team for a month and obtained the same photos of the inside of the wooden structure now being distributed to support the alleged discovery. After the public announcement was made of this discovery in late April, Dr. Price issued a private communique giving his opinion concerning the discovery. This was sent exclusively to a select e-mail list of his ministry supporters and was not intended for the public. Unfortunately, this document was posted on the web without his authori-zation and has been widely quoted by various news sources to the effect that Dr. Price asserts the structure is a hoax perpetrated by the Kurdish guide and his partners to extort money from the Chinese evangelical Christians.
While Dr. Price does not retract his statements, he wants the public to understand that these only represent his opinion as informed by his experience with the Kurdish guide and the Chinese and other sources in eastern Turkey. However, Dr. Price is currently working with his sources in eastern Turkey to obtain such documentation. Nevertheless, his primary source cannot be exposed to media scrutiny because an untimely exposure would compromise the plans and preparations for an expedition to Mt. Ararat in which he is involved as archaeologist this summer.
NAMI believes 99.9% that the wooden structure they have discovered on Mt. Ararat is Noah’s Ark. Dr. Randall Price comments on the remaining 00.1%.
If the structure “discovered” by NAMI’s guide Parasut is confirmed by independent, qualified scientific investigation (at the site) to be Noah’s Ark, then I join in praising God and congratulating NAMI for the greatest discovery of all time. However, until this is confirmed in this manner, I have reservations based on my professional training as an archaeologist, my experience with Parasut and NAMI, and my acquaintance with locals in Dogubabyazit who have professed personal knowledge of a hoax by Parasut.
On NAMI’s Comments Concerning its Relationship with Dr. Price
I would first like to say that my remarks are not intended to question the sincerity or integrity of Noah’s Ark Ministries International. It is my belief that those in this ministry are sincere Christians, who like myself, believe in the historicity of the biblical account of the Great Flood and of Noah’s Ark. I do, however, question their discernment of persons and procedures in their zeal to discover the remains of Noah’s Ark. This conclusion is based on evidence, which is of a different nature than that which they have produced. It is the evidence of observation, experience, and professional evaluation of the persons, events, and data that surround this discovery. Because NAMI has posted a video response to my comments, many of which are factually inaccurate, I would like to offer the following facts concerning my (and our American team’s) relationship with NAMI from January 2008-May 2010 (when they officially ended our partnership agreement). The comments included in this timetable of the relationship is to demonstrate the actions of Parasut and the NAMI leadership which forms the basis of Dr. Price’s reservations about the claims of the announced discovery.
(1) In January 2008 archaeologist Dr. Randall Price and geologists Dr. Don Patton and David McQueen went to Dogubayazit at the invitation of NAMI to attend their Press Conference concerning their first discovery of “wood” from Noah’s Ark and to view and conduct tests on the sample of “wood” obtained from a cave on Mt. Ararat.
(2) In February 2008 geologists Dr. Don Patton and Dr. Don Shockey (also a veteran Ark researcher and explorer on Mt. Ararat) went to Hong Kong to deliver the report of the team’s geological analysis of the sample to NAMI. Their report was that the sample was volcanic tuff (rock) and not wood. However, they sought to partner with NAMI, sharing American satellite data of a possible location of the Ark as the basis for a joint expedition in the summer of 2008. This agreement was made and a joint-team was formed.
(3) In June 2008 NAMI representative Clara Wei contacted the American team members with news that their guide Parasut had located the Ark and had been inside and told us to come immediately and we would all be taken to it. The American team assumed that this discovery was based on the satellite data shared with the Chinese team. We asked for photos and for a fee of 17,000 euro we were e-mailed eight photos of pottery vessels inside a dark room. Parasut promised to show us photos of the structure when we arrived in Van because we were told it was too dangerous send them by e-mail. However, Clara was able to view these photos and told us they showed a cave and a wooden structure with a door.
(4) In July 2008 Parasut demanded 120,000 euro upfront in order for the expedition to take place. We felt it wisest to pay half upfront, but the Chinese said that Parasut wouldn’t accept it and required it all for permits and equipment. We sent 60,000 euro in fulfillment of our role as partners.
(5) In late August 2008 we met the Chinese team in Istanbul and went together to a hotel in Van. That night Parasut showed us the same photos described to us by Clara. However, the cave in the photos had a tree and other foliage in front and the wooden structure with a door was a rock-cut tomb! Parasut was upset that the Americans questioned his photos (the Chinese did not) and would not speak to us directly after this. He told the Chinese that he wouldn’t show any other photos because he said the Americans had GPS vision and would know exactly where the Ark was located! Despite this outright deception, the Chinese asked us to continue to trust Parasut and be patient.
(6) In September 2008 Parasut pretended to train some local climbers for the ascent to the site (however, he did not let us train). We were told that we would have to be “tested” to see if we could climb (remember Parasut had said originally that he would take us all to the site) and then stated that the conditions were too difficult for us to make the climb. With the understanding that Parasut was not going to do an expedition, the American team, all of whom had experience in climbing, planned to leave and asked for their money back. However, the Chinese team asked us to stay and with the plan to send their fit young videographer to the site with Parasut and his men to film the site and then show us the footage. However, the videographer was not allowed to come near the site, but was turned back (his testimony to us immediately after his return) and could get no footage except of the weather on the mountain. At this point we met with the Chinese team and reached an agreement (so we thought) to work together for a future expedition. Unfortunately, Parasut told the Chinese he would not work with us and they chose not to include us in further plans. I wrote a letter at that time to Andrew Yueng, the leader of NAMI concerning what our team viewed as a lack of honesty and Christian integrity (see “Letter to Andrew” below).
(7) In late September we were visited by Dr. Richard Bright, a veteran Ark researcher who had climbed Mt. Ararat 30 times, including several times with Jim Irwin the U.S. Astronaut. We had met him at the Press Conference in January and had started e-mail correspondence. He invited us to make a climb to a new location with a Kurdish shepherd who claimed to have witness the Ark at that site when a boy. Since we had come to climb and Parasut would not climb, we accepted the offer and in early October our American team climbed to 3963 meters (13,000 feet) to investigate the site and to interview the shepherd concerning his testimony.
(8) In October 2008, upon our return from the mountain, we were told that Parasut was “very angry” that we had climbed the mountain with one of his competitors, another Kurdish guide, told us he knew about Parasut’s scheme to cheat the Chinese. We were told this while we were still with the Chinese and communicated our concern for this possibility to them. However, at this point we didn’t trust either man and were trying to make an assessment for our future based on the site we had just visited, even though, as stated in the “Letter to Andrew” some of us may have (at that point) chosen to stay with the Chinese and left our association with Dr. Bright and the Kurdish guide, although we were told this would have made no difference.
(9) In mid-October 2008 Dr. Don Patton and Dr. Randall Price spoke at the Noah’s Ark and Mt. Ararat Research Symposium in Dogubayazit. After the symposium, Clara Wei (who had stayed behind when the rest of the Chinese team had returned to Hong Kong) asked to meet with us. She said that Parasut had now given them the photos of the structure and if we would remain partners we could see them. We agreed if they would return the money. Clara called the NAMI leadership in Hong Kong and they promised to return half of the money. We then received the photos (the same being distributed today) and returned to the U.S.
(10) Only a few messages were received from Clara in the next six months. One stated that their technical climber had not made it to the site. Another said had he gone to New Zealand and then become ill and was near to death. The last message said he had finally made it to the site, but not inside, however, he saw wood beams on the outside of the cave entrance and in the snow near the cave, which they believed confirmed Parasut’s photos. We said that we were available for the expedition and to let us know when it would take place.
(11) In the summer of 2009 while on Mt. Ararat with Dr. Bright’s expedition, we learned that the Chinese team was preparing to climb to Parasut’s site. We had not been contacted nor had any of our money been refunded.
(12) After the late April 2010 Press Conference Clara contacted the American team and said that they had wanted us to be part of the team (see “Letter from Clara” below), but Parasut would not allow it. So, it was decided that the partnership was over and they would return 2/3rds of our money (less 1/3rd for expenses).
Again, the purpose of this timetable and comments has been given in response to one of the video statements of NAMI that contains numerous inaccuracies.
Could Large Amounts of Wood Be Carried to the Heights of Mt. Ararat?
Two other of the NAMI video responses to my comments contend that large amounts of wood could not have been transported physically to the site and certainly not without being noticed. In the summer of 2009 our team’s Kurdish workers transported by hand a 1,000-pound generator to 3963 meters (13,000 feet), a 400-pound generator to 5183 meters (17,000 feet), and at the same elevation we built a house out of steel and plastic that held seven people. This was done in only a matter of a few weeks. We also observed Kurds carrying wood up the mountain to be used for fuel as well as observed the remains of large wood fires at various elevations. According to my sources, Parasut and his workers transported the wood from Ezurum and carried the wood to the cave over the last year and a half. This does not prove that this happened, but it shows that it could happen.
Dr. Price at Summit of Mt. Ararat............................Temporary Housing at Summit
Summary Counsel for Christians (and Other Curious People)
Again until qualified professionals are able to independently investigate and examine the structure in context and perform proper analysis, it will not be possible to validate NAMI’s claim. However, because of the history of deception by Parasut and NAMI’s inconsistent actions with respect to its previous discoveries, as well as the local Kurdish testimonies of fraud, I must caution against premature acceptance of this claim.
End Notes: Letters to Yeung and Letter from Wei
Personal from Dr. Randall Price
I had hoped that since last night that the Lord would help you and you would have prayed about your actions and sought to correct things. However, we now will be leaving in an hour and it appears your decision against us still stands. I would not have believed you were capable of doing what you have done. I believed you were an honorable man and a Christian partner. It is hard to find a "Christian businessman" who is a "Christian" and a "business man." Too often they are one or the other, but not both. We truly felt you were both and that as brothers in Jesus Christ we would have a testimony together.
We originally entered into a partnership with you with our information concerning the Abich II site which we still believe has the best actual data. We decided to join with you to follow Parasut because of your trust in him and your assurance to us that he would do what he promised. Now we do not know what to think because you have not done what you promised. Did I not sit across from you at our last meeting and say that we needed to stand together and support one another? You seemed to agree. We have stayed here and waited with you in order to give our knowledge and professional experience to this expedition. Now, you have tossed our team aside simply to please Parasut. I do not know why you would act so dishonorably toward us in order to look at his photos. I do not think compromising character and violating trust with Christian partners is worth it.
The only reason we desired to go to Richard Bright's site was because we had nothing else to do and it would further our knowledge of the search for Noah's Ark. We explained all of this to Parasut and thought we had his okay to go, since we were continuing to work with him and looked forward to the expedition with him. We have sent word to Parasut that we will not go to Dick Bright's site if that would resolve his problem. According to the word I received from my son this morning, Clara said Parasut said this would not make any difference.
We are sorry that Clara would not even talk to us or meet with us. The right thing to do would have at least been to discuss with us your problem with Parasut. If you had told us there was no other way for you to see the photos we would have stepped aside. We want God's best for this expedition even if it does not include us. I know from talking with the other men that we would never have done this to you.
I have to tell you that whatever comes from your work there will always be in the history of this event a terrible stain regarding what you have done to our team. I will have to tell the truth about this expedition and anything that comes from it in my book and the world will know that you have acted dishonorably. I am very sorry for this because I believe you are in a difficult position with regard to the theme park and museum, but you have made a choice that I do not think God will bless - no matter what you discover.
We do expect you to help us get our full refund from Parasut on or before October 7. Clara has both Dr. Patton and my wire transfer information. This needs to be done by the date promised. We will be at the symposium and I we hope that things have gone well by that time as we expect to see each other again.
May the Lord help you to do His will whatever the cost,
Randall Price, Ph.D.
Center for Judaic Studies
Lynchburg, Virginia U.S.A.
MONEY REFUND LETTER
Since winter 2008, we have continued the search with Parasut and tried to make things work between you and him. We would like you to be an archeologist in our team and helps us in scientific study of the site. But Parasut is reluctant to compromise. Even right before the press conference, I asked him once again. Now the news has been released and he is still firm. I think we better return the money to you. Since some of the money has been spent by your team during your stay in Turkey, it would be fair that we just refund you 2/3 of the amount. That is Euro 40,000. Since half of the money belongs to Dr. Patton, we will wire Euro 20,000 to you on Monday.
End of NAMI Special report
Archaeological Dig -Non Planned Currently
The Liberty University, Center for Judaic Studies announces the opportunity to participate in the ________________________ archaeological dig at ___________, . This is a unique opportunity to make history at a site connected with both the Old and New Testament periods as well as with a mysterious Jewish sect that was contemporaneous with Jesus and the beginning of the Christian church. Participants will work with Liberty professor and director of excavations Dr. Randall Price, and an Israeli archaeologist
Non-Liberty participants will have a land cost of $__________ based on triple occupancy and will make their own air reservations (approximately $1,400 at this posting plus domestic air cost) to depart from their home departure gates to Newark (EWR) and on to Tel Aviv on May 15 returning June 9th (see flight schedule below for the EWR to TLV times to allow for your reservation from your home city). Please make your reservations to allow for a two-hour check-in before the domestic departure. If you fly Continental Airlines or one of its code share partners to Newark (EWR) you will be able to check your baggage through from your home departure gate. All other flights will require you to pick up your baggage in Newark and transfer it to Continental for the international flight (again requiring a two-hour before flight check-in). You will be accompanied on the flight by one or more of our dig representatives and met and transported from Tel-Aviv to the _______ excavation site. Housing and meals will be provided at _________ located near the Dead Sea. The excavation site is located within a national archaeological park developed for tourism and therefore will have public facilities, a restaurant, and a gift shop located within easy walking distance. Work at the site will be from 8 AM – 4 PM daily (except Saturday) with instruction on site and in evening lectures. An optional opportunity will also be given to tour Jerusalem and as possible the Judean desert sites of Masada and Ein-Gedi. Return from Israel on 9th of June arriving to to EWR (with connecting flights to home on June 10). Be sure to allow 2 hours between International and Domestic flight for customs.
Please realize, we at this time cannot guarantee the dig will go forward because there are always government approval issues but the final approvals have always happened for past digs. We can not be responsible for any costs associated with air tickets purchased in the event the dig is cancelled for reasons beyond our control. In such a case, you can cancel the ticket at least 24 hours prior to flying and will usually have one year to use the credit from that ticket with the particular airline (unless you bought a fully refundable ticket).
FLIGHT SCHEDULE from Newark to Tel Aviv
A $250 deposit is required of all participants (no deadline at this point but please apply as soon as possible).
Optional tour of Jerusalem and other sites (including transportation, meals, entrance fees): approx: $50 per Saturday
APPLICATION FORM: Click Here
Please send Application and deposit (and eventually final payment) to:
World of the Bible (512) 396-3799 or5 1 2 - 5 5 7- 3 1 4 0(cell) Ken Stanford)
PO BOX 827, SAN MARCOS, TX 78667-0827
Optional tour of Jerusalem (including transportation, meals, entrance fees): approx: $75
Please send deposit (and eventually final payment) to:
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