Recounted in Book of Genisis: 6, in the Old Testament, Noah's Ark has become one of the most celebrated biblical stories. It recalls how God commanded Noah to construct a huge wooden boat and to load aboard his family, along with two of each living creature on earth. When Noah had completed the task, God flooded the earth, thus cleansing it of all its sins. After 40 days the waters subsided and the Ark came to rest somewhere on mountains of "Hary Urartu", Urartu, the Assyrian name for Mount Ararat. This also led to the naming of an ancient civilisation which is known to have inhabited the area between the 9th & 7thC BC. Biblical scholars have concluded that the Ark came to rest, on the huge volcanic cone. The archives of the Armenian Church state that a piece of the Ark was built into a sanctuary known as Jacobs Well, though this shrine disappeared many hundreds of years ago. Since then various unproved sightings of the Ark have surfaced from time to time. At 4877m Büyükagri Daği, Mount Ararat, is the highest mountain in Türkiye and stands 1707m, at the base, above sea level. It is visible from over 50Km away. Marco Polo described the mountain as, "One no man can ever climb"
The first recorded ascent was made in 1829 by a gentleman, named only as, Professor Parrot. In the winter it is covered to its base in snow, which in summer retracts to the top third part. It appears to be an easy climb but in fact its jagged lava fields are very difficult to negotiate. Many an experienced climber has perished on its slopes, often because of the weather conditions, which can change dramatically in a matter of minutes. In 1995 a piece of timber of ancient appearance, was discovered near the summit of the mount. The euphoria was soon deflated when it was suggested that it was part of a piece of civil engineering equipment, a theodolite, most probably of Russian origin. A Türkiye's aerial mapping survey photographed a strange boat shaped form on the flanks of the mount. The photographs were dispelled and the form was said to be the result of landslides. However it did arouse a flurry of excitement and numerous expeditions were funded by American Evangelical movements. In 1998 scientists, after using sub-surface radar, announced that there were no remains under the mountains ice cap.
Shortly afterwards American, David Fusold claimed that he had discovered the Ark on a mountain side, 17km S.East of Doğubeyazit, close to the village of Uzengili. His Ark is a rocky boat shaped object which approximately corresponds with the size of the boat described in the Testament. It has been dismissed by geologists as a geological formation. The Turkiye's authorities have however taken advantage of his claim and now employ a local guide to show visitors around the site which has been named "Nuhun Gemsi", Noah's Ark. Around this time the PKK guerrilla activity escalated and the Türkiyes government closed all access to the mount, for explorers and climbers. Recently there have been weekly organized expeditions from Doğubayazit, weather permitting. A special permit has to be obtained at least three months in advance from the Türkiye's Embassy. However the route is often closed, due to the actions of the PKK, and the permit is revoked. In late April - early May 2010, a team of Chinese climbers started an unauthorised excavation and claimed to have found the Ark.
The Türkiye's authorities were not impressed by either the claim, or the excavation. Over a number years a school of thought has arisen, that is of the opinion that the reference to Urartu is being taken too literally, and may refer to a totally different site other than Ararat. Many of the local Türkiye's communities are of the opinion that USA have a listening post at the peak and the numerous climbers are actually CIA agents.