Wyatt Archaeological Research still hustling Ron Wyatt's Bogus Claims
P.T. Barnum is credited with the saying, “There's a sucker born every minute.” The Bible likens Christians as sheep. Sheep are pretty dumb animals. They will actually eat themselves to death. Furthermore, they can't differentiate between poisonous plants and plants good for food. They need a shepherd to keep them away from poison.
Back in the 1990's, an amateur archaeologist, a wannabe Indiana Jones by the name of Ron Wyatt was making claims that he had discovered nearly all the Biblical archaeological sites people have been looking to find for many centuries. Ron Wyatt, founder of WAR (Wyatt Archaeological Research) claimed to have discovered the location of Noah's Ark , Sodom and Gomorrah , the Red Sea Crossing, the Ark of the Covenant, the site of Christ's crucifixion, the actual site of Mount Sinai as well as other important discoveries. When Ron Wyatt was still alive (he is now deceased), he sent me a copy of his video on his supposed discovery of Noah's Ark and the Ark of the Covenant as well as material related to his other “discoveries.”
His manner of presentation appeared extremely convincing, so much so that I almost wrote a review of his videos recommending to our readership that they purchase these products. However, since I had an obligation to our readership to present them with FACTS instead of mere seemingly convincing professionally produced videos, I felt obligated to do some research regarding the material in these videos and written material. I gathered all the names of people, companies and institutions mentioned in the videos that were presented in the material as evidence in support for Ron Wyatt's “discoveries.” Then I spent several weeks making many phone calls to those names, institutions and companies mentioned in the videos. Calling these folks led me to many other names of people who were involved with Ron Wyatt. After speaking with many of these people at length and receiving letters from some of them, I became quite convinced that Ron Wyatt's and WAR's (Wyatt Archeological Research) discoveries were bogus.
Although Ron Wyatt has since deceased, that hasn't stopped a plethora of individuals from promoting and making money off the videos, DVD's and videos Wyatt left behind. This material has been translated into German, Chinese and who knows what other languages. Men like Richard Rives, Pinkowski, Mary Nell Wyatt, John McCoy, Bill Fry, Kevin Fisher, Jonathan Gray, Rebecca Samsing, Lenneri Moller and a host of others still capitalize on Wyatt fabulous videos and other material. DVD's of Ron Wyatt's videos are still available for up to $100 a set. A museum (Wyatt Museum) is still running in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in which one can purchase much material. There are many internets sites promoting the Wyatt hustle including arkdiscover.com, discovered.net, exoduscase.com, pilgrimpromo.com, biblerevelations.org, pinkowski.com, covenantkeepers.co.uk, surprisingdiscoveries.com, wyattmuseum.com, wyattmuseum.biz, pinkowski.com, wyattarchaeology.com and others. Yes, W.A.R. is still a thriving business on the take for Christian suckers.
Recently, someone placed a video on YouTube, in which one of the members of a trip made with David Fasold, partner with Ron Wyatt, made a statement that appeared to provide support for Ron Wyatt's claims. His name is John Baumgardner who was at that time a geologist with Los Alamos Labs, a useful name to lend credibility to Ron Wyatt's claims. I contacted John Baumgardner regarding the video which has since been removed from YouTube. The following is his reply. Please understand John Baumgardner is a devout Christian. He would like nothing more than to be able to prove the biblical accounts via archaeology, geology or other sciences. He is not an enemy of the Bible. On the contrary, he would love to believe that the Durupinar site was that actual location of Noah's Ark. But the scientific evidence based upon several trips to the location proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the boat-shaped structure at the Durupinar location was a natural formation created from a mud slide that ran around a rock outcrop on the slope. Furthermore, the metal detected on the surface in the region was NOT metal fastenings or nails left over from Noah's Ark , but merely natural weathered igneous rock.
It is perhaps true that there is a sucker born every minute, perhaps ever second of the day. Don't be one of them, at least in this regard. Save your hard-earned money and stop perpetuating lies that making things more confusing than they already are.
John Baumgardner's letter to Gary Amirault, founder of Tentmaker ministries ( http://www.tentmaker.org ) dated February 22, 2008:
The YouTube video about which you inquired is no longer online. Instead it returns with the message, "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Wyatt Archaeological Research." However, I did view it once just after your inquiry. The video footage was shot in June, 1985, which is now almost 23 years ago, during my very first visit to the Durupinar site. In my comments captured in this video I indicated, ill-advisedly in retrospect, that I thought the site was likely that of Noah's ark. Over the next three years I visited the site seven more times. During the summers of 1987 and 1988, I, along with Prof. Salih Bayraktutan of Ataturk University in Erzurum , led research expeditions to study the site. In the 1987 expedition we applied ground penetrating radar, seismic refraction, and magnetometer techniques to seek to determine the nature of the subsurface environment at the site. The focus of our 1988 expedition was to perform core drilling to retrieve actual samples of the subsurface material.
The very firm conclusion I reached on the basis of the information we gleaned from these two research expeditions was that this boat-shaped formation is the result of a mudslide that flowed around a ridge-like obstacle, which runs lengthwise down the middle of the boat-shaped formation. This ridge of rock was indicated in the seismic data, the ground penetrating radar data, and especially in cores we recovered in the drilling we conducted. The whitish carbonate rock that protrudes visibly from the ground surface near the center of the site is part of this ridge. In the drill cores, the rock ridge was easily distinguishable from the overlying mudflow cover by the presence of pea-sized gravel in the mudflow material and its distinct absence in the much harder rock layers below it.
There is no debate that a large mudslide traversed the narrow valley in which this feature lies. The prominent 'toe' from this mudslide is visible at the base of a cliff a few hundred yards downslope from the formation. The presence of the sort of ridge we identified would indeed have produced the sort of shape that exists today in such a mudflow event. Therefore, as I took all these very obvious pieces of observation evidence into account, I could no longer give any serious credence to the proposition that Noah's ark had anything to do with the site's primary characteristics.
Moreover, whereas ancient historians such as Josephus indicated the site of the ark had been visited by large numbers of pilgrims, the lack of pottery shards around the Durupinar site also is a strong indicator that this area has not been one of extensive pilgrimage.
Some have argued that the response of metal detectors to dark-colored features inside the site suggest the presence of manmade iron. However, analyses indicate these dark features are simply pieces of igneous rock of basaltic composition, rock that once erupted and cooled on the ocean bottom. These rocks do contain magnetic iron minerals and therefore cause metal detectors to respond. I brought back samples of these rocks and had them examined and analyzed by colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory. There is no uncertainty in the basic conclusion that these samples are weathered igneous rock. I therefore consider it highly misleading for people still to be claiming, in some cases these features to be manmade iron, and in other cases that this material was originally pitch used to waterproof the ark.
I am a Christian steadfastly committed to the veracity of Scripture. Nevertheless, I tenderly urge my brothers and sisters in Christ to be careful and discerning, especially toward giving quick and unquestioning acceptance to claims such as those that have been made concerning this site.
February 22, 2008
For more facts on this Ron Wyatt scam visit: WAR, W.A.R., Ron Wyatt Archaeological Scam