Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily international correspondent Anthony
LoBaido recently returned from having climbed Turkey’s Mount Ararat.
While there, he filed the following account of a purported faith-based
cure involving an artifact said to have been fashioned from remains of
Noah’s Ark. Last month’s edition of the monthly WorldNet magazine,
WorldNetDaily’s sister print publication, featured as its cover story
LoBaido’s in-depth report, “Raiders of the lost Ark,” which chronicled
his hair-raising adventure while following in the tracks of famous Ark-hunters. Readers are invited to subscribe to WorldNet at WND’s online store.
KARABALA, Turkey — In the shadows of Mount Ararat, thought by many to be the resting place of Noah’s Ark, many Kurdish people cling to what have been described as healing properties of ancient relics linked to the fabled seafaring vessel.
The mysteries of the fabled relics is almost as brilliant, glorious and elusive as the secrets of the Ark itself. According to some area residents, items taken from or made from the gopher wood thought to have been used by Noah to build the Ark have manifested miraculous powers — healing powers, the locals say, that have offered hope to the sick and distressed in this region troubled by war, earthquakes and ethnic discord.
When WorldNetDaily traveled to Mount Ararat and Kurdistan-Iraq recently, this reporter had the opportunity to interview many people whose own lives had been affected in one way or another by what they believe to be Noahian relics.
An ancient tale
The idea of the faithful gathering and using relics said to be from Noah’s Ark is well-documented in both history and local legend.
While renowned men such as Marco Polo and the Roman historian Flavius Josephus documented the existence of the Ark in both their travels and writings, Beroso, the Babylonian historian-priest-astronomer, went even further.
|Mount Ararat in southeastern Turkey.|
In 275 B.C., pilgrims often climbed Mount Ararat to scrape pitch off the ship to make amulets, wrote Beroso. It is just one of many Ark legends that came to exist all around the world — from Scandinavia to the Aborigines of Australia to the American Indians — all independent of one another. When the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the New World, they soon learned that local inhabitants were also familiar with the flood legend of Noah.
In his authoritative “The Antiquities of the Jews,” compiled in 100 A.D., Josephus writes: “The Ark landed on a mountaintop in Armenia. The Armenians call that spot ‘The Landing Place,’ for it was there the Ark came safe to land, and they show relics of it even today. Persons carry off pieces of the bitumen which they use to make talismans.”
Adam Oelschlager, a German who traveled to Mount Ararat in the 1600s, wrote, “The Armenians and the Persians [Iran] themselves are of the opinion that there are still, on the said mountain, some remainders of the Ark, but that time has so hardened them that they seem to be absolutely petrified.”
Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis asked, “Do you seriously suppose that we are unable to prove our point [Christian faith] when even to this day the remains of Noah’s Ark are shown in the country of the Kurds?”
No investigation of the relics of Noah’s Ark would be complete without mention of the St. Jacob Monastery at the Ahora Gorge, located on the northwest side of the mountain.
The monastery was visited by Dr. Friedrich Parrot, a professor of natural history teaching in the Baltics during the early 19th century. Around 1829, Parrot was shown relics such as crosses, which were said to have been made from Noah’s Ark by monks and other religious figures. These relics were kept at the monastery.
Sadly, the monastery was destroyed in 1840 when Mount Ararat erupted. The monastery and its relics were presumed to have been destroyed.
In Byzantine tradition, Jacob, who hailed from Medzin, was a simple monk who likely had no idea he would be made a saint. Jacob, it is said, prayed to God, and the Lord led him up Mount Ararat in a quest to find the Ark. During the climb, Jacob experienced great fatigue and physical privation. Soon, he found himself unable to go on and took a nap. When he awoke, Jacob is said to have found that a well or spring had come up from the mountain and he drank from it to satisfy his great thirst from the long trek.
The story continues that when Jacob continued his climb and then slept again, he woke up and found himself back at his original starting point. Many today believe this meant that angels had flown him back down the mountain while he slept. This process was repeated several times, as Jacob continued to climb, fearing that he was losing his mind. Eventually, an angel is said to have appeared to Jacob, insisting that he abandon his quest to find the Ark. The angel then gave Jacob a piece of the gopher wood from Noah’s Ark and said that the Ark would not be uncovered until the end of the world.
Other men in more recent times have sought to bring relics and the Ark itself to the West for examination. One of the more notable is John Joseph, also known as Prince Nouri, the archdeacon of Babylon and grand apostolic ambassador of India and Persia. The prince made a journey to the summit of Mount Ararat on April 25, 1887. Nouri excitedly wrote that he “found the Ark wedged in the rocks and half-filled with snow and ice.”
Afterward, Nouri returned to the West and tried to organize financial support to bring the Ark to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. However, Nouri was viciously attacked while visiting San Francisco — some claim by those who would go on to found the Satanic Church in that city. He went mad after that and was confined to a mental institution. Soon after, he died of pneumonia, taking with him his secret route to Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat.
Russian Czar Nicholas II sent a special-forces squadron to search for Noah’s Ark and its relics. The expedition was successful, complete with drawings and photos, but the information that was sent back to the czar was confiscated by the communists in their revolution of October 1917. The Czar, his wife and daughters were all murdered by revolutionaries.
Even the famed American astronaut, Col. James Irwin, who climbed Mount Ararat in search of the Ark (carrying a moon rock he had collected while walking on the moon) was briefly detained by Turkish authorities when it was feared that he had relics from the Ark in his possession.
When controversial archaeologist, the late Ron Wyatt, took just under 10 pounds of soil and rock samples from the Durupinar site — which he claimed was Noah’s Ark — back to the United States for testing, it created an international incident and enraged the Turkish government.
A visit from the holy man
During a recent trip to Mount Ararat and the surrounding region, WorldNetDaily encountered several people whose lives have been touched, they say, by relics from Noah’s Ark.
One such person was Gabriela, a Kurdish teenager who had been suffering from leukemia. Gabriela hails from a small village near the town of Karabala — not far from Mount Ararat.
The village is a poor, yet clean and ordered place. It features cinderblock concrete homes topped with hay bales and satellite dishes. Outside, goats and sheep stand in pens hewn from wood. Chickens and roosters are as abundant as the apple trees.
Then there are the many children who romp in a carefree environment, playing games like “Hide and Seek” and “Red Light, Green Light,” and staging makeshift wheelbarrow races. Though they are poor, they don’t seem to take any notice of that fact — they are too busy simply having fun.
The men of the town are rugged and hardworking — as are the women, who bake bread on large pans heated by firewood, sew and care for the animals and children.
This reporter visited Gabriella one night in early September. As the evening sky turned purple and then red, there was a light breeze coming from the southeast, as though blown down from Mount Ararat. The night sounds were emerging and, amid the stillness, the insects and owls began their nightly calls.
|Gabriela claims she was healed by a Kurdish holy man.|
“I remember how sick I was back then. I was only 10,” Gabriela began in her native language, which was interpreted by WND’s guide. She spoke softly and freely, her rich, dark eyes occasionally lit up by the sparks that flew up now and again from the campfire.
“We went to a doctor in Dogubeyazit and then Kars and then another in Erzurum — a specialist in childhood diseases. They said it was leukemia. Of course, as you can see, we are poor, and Kurdish. So there was no chance we could receive or afford the treatment. My grandfather gave me some weeds to smoke. He mixed them with tobacco. They helped my digestion and to stop feeling so sick all of the time. But really, I hate smoking, so I stopped.”
Gabriela then explained how her situation began to deteriorate.
“Finally, I was able to get real medical treatment — radiation. I got even sicker. My hair fell out. I couldn’t eat. So, I started smoking Grandpa’s weeds again. They helped a lot. But I wasn’t getting any better. In fact, I was dying.”
“But then one day, my grandfather said that he met a man — a holy man — while riding in his cart on the road to Karabala. The holy man said that he could help … He seemed to know a lot about my sickness and how to deal with it. So, Grandfather brought him back to our house.”
Gabriela continued, “He was an ordinary man, but his eyes, they were so kind. And he was strong. He wore simple clothes. It was winter but he had only a sweater on. He said he had given his coat to someone who needed it. Anyway, he told me to lie down and that everything was going to be all right. My whole family was standing around, kind of in shock. Who was this man? And had my grandfather gone crazy bringing him to our home?
“The holy man told me to clear my mind. Then he took out this cross, which was around his neck. He told me that it was made from wood from Noah’s Ark. He told me to close my eyes and then grab onto the cross. He then said a prayer and put his hand on my forehead. I seemed to lose track of time after that. I remember him leaving and hugging my mother and grandfather. Both of them were crying. I kept thinking, ‘Why are they crying. I feel wonderful.’ I was too tired to stand or even speak, but I knew that God had sent this man to heal me. Maybe he was an angel. I can’t be sure.”
Gabriella said that the next morning, she awoke and felt hungry. She even went for a walk that day.
“The sun was shining so bright. I could smell the flowers, and the bread my mother was baking. For once, it made me want to eat, instead of throw up. My grandfather said, ‘Not too much walking today — you can’t become a mountain lion in one day!’ But I walked for about an hour anyway. It was the greatest day of my life.
“Soon after that, my hair began to grow back again. My little sister drew pictures with crayons of the holy man healing me. She was only five then, but we kept them all. It’s all the evidence we have that the holy man was here — besides my cure, I mean.”
WordNetDaily contacted Gabriela’s physicians in both Dogubeyazit and Kars. Both refused to comment, but did confirm that Gabriela was diagnosed with leukemia, had undergone radiation-based therapy, went into remission and was later diagnosed as having been healed completely.
Hassan, a Kurdish Iraqi medical doctor who fled Kurdistan and has found refuge in Denmark, told WorldNetDaily in a recent interview in Copenhagen that he actually met the aforementioned holy man while in the middle of his trek to safety from Kurdistan to Iran and into the mountains of Turkey.
“I was alone, thirsty and hungry. I met the man that you mention. He asked me, ‘What do you think they will do to any American pilot who gets shot down over Iraq?’
“I was startled. I thought he was an Iraqi agent who had been sent to kill me. So I said, ‘I don’t know. But God help him.’
“And the Holy Man said, ‘Saddam, his life was filled with such heartache. The Turkish army killing our people all over Kurdistan. The American and British pilots bombing. The PKK (Kurdish Worker’s Party) terrorists. It is all a part of the same evil.’ He said it in such a way that made perfect sense — as if all sides were wrong, as if God was looking out in desperation to find one decent man.”
Hassan added that the holy man gave him some food and water and showed him the cross he carried, claiming that it was made from wood from Noah’s Ark. The holy man then wished Hassan well on his journey into Turkey and assured Hassan that he would make it to safety, since Hassan had “pleased God.”
“The holy man said that we Kurds are on the move and have no possessions, and this actually made us richer. He said we should be happier,” said Hassan. “He said that ‘It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.’ He said that we have no nation, no control of our destiny, but to pay no attention to that, because God was still in control. He said that we Kurds have misplaced our trust, put it in the U.N. and the American and British military, but that God is the only one we can or should be trusting.”