1961 Aerial Photo of Noah's ark (Durupinar site) from Hepimiz Ayni Gemideydik by Cem Sertesen - © Ara Güler2019 Drone photo Noah's ark (Durupinar site) - © Andrew Jones
1961 Aerial Photo of Noah's ark (Durupinar site) from Hepimiz Ayni Gemideydik by Cem Sertesen - © Ara Güler2019 Drone photo Noah's ark (Durupinar site) - © Andrew Jones

In a remote corner of Turkey, a unique geological formation, unearthed on September 11, 1959, by Turkish Army Captain Ilhan Durupinar, is raising eyebrows and piquing the interest of biblical scholars and geologists alike. This boat-shaped geological curiosity, commonly referred to as the Durupinar formation, is considered by some to be the final resting place of Noah’s Ark.

The narrative of Noah’s Ark is deeply ingrained in the religious texts of both Christianity and Islam, with references found in Genesis 8:4 of the Bible and Surah 11:44 of the Qur’an. In both texts, the story recounts a great deluge, a boat, and a landing in a mountainous region. Locals in the nearby village point to the Durupinar site, which they call Al-Judi, as a possible landing point of the ark.

In the period between the 1970s to the mid-1990s, interest in this peculiar site surged, thanks in large part to the exploration and research efforts of American adventurer and researcher, Ron Wyatt, and a team of Turkish scientists. More recent investigations carried out in 2014 and 2019 by independent private geophysical survey teams have further contributed to the intrigue surrounding the Durupinar formation. These studies, using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), unveiled subterranean layers and intriguing angular structures, characteristics not typically associated with natural geological formations.

Perhaps most compellingly, the length of the Durupinar formation aligns perfectly with the dimensions of the ark as described in Genesis 6:15 of the Bible.

In the autumn of 2021, a collaboration between a Turkish scientific team and American media outlets, including the History Channel, embarked on the most comprehensive scientific investigation of the Durupinar site to date. Utilizing an array of modern scientific methods, this project aims to shed further light on the mysteries surrounding the formation and also determine the most effective means of preserving this intriguing site for future generations to study and explore.

The Noah’s Ark Project

Nestled within the borders of Turkey’s Ağrı province, an intriguing boat-shaped formation, known as the Durupinar Noah’s Ark site, has become a focal point of research for those speculating it might be the final resting place of Noah’s Ark. Located in the Gürbulak Valley near the Iranian border, sandwiched between the villages of Telçeker (Sürbehan) and Üzengili (Meşar), the formation captures the intrigue of all who visit it.

The formation, set against the backdrop of Akyayla Mountain and a mere 20 miles south of the summit of Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı), rests above the meso-tertiary rock units, a section believed to be free of tectonic deformations for an extended period. Given the urgency propelled by its potential as a significant tourist site for Turkey, immediate analysis and dating studies are required to dispel the cloud of uncertainty.

Despite its alleged historical significance, the Durupinar site has suffered from a lack of protective measures. The area is exposed to animal grazing, and unauthorized entrance by outside visitors and researchers. Preservation is crucial if it indeed houses the remains of Noah’s Ark; even the slightest disturbance could prove detrimental to accurate research. The risk is not only to the site, however. Deep crevices in the structure pose a considerable danger of accidents and severe injuries.

Field observations have revealed severe crevices on the structure’s edges, a result of natural erosion and repeated landslides that now threaten the formation’s integrity. Rainwater, draining down the surrounding slopes, furthers the erosion, indicating a need for the installation of effective water diversion systems. As part of the preservation plan, it’s imperative to create landslide susceptibility maps using geographical information systems, helping to minimize the risk.

Recognizing the importance of preserving this site, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s Immovable Cultural and Natural Assets High Council, with a decision dated 17.09.1989 and numbered 3657, designated the location a natural protected area.

Observations and examinations have been conducted in the area where Noah’s Ark could potentially be located. As a result of these initial studies, a research plan was developed. In October-November 2021 a Turkish geophysical team performed an extensive Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) survey, a geophysical technique for imaging subsurface structures based on electrical resistivity measurements made at the surface.

In a collaborative effort to unravel the mysteries of the Durupinar site, teams from Agri University and Istanbul Technical University came together in November 2022 to embark on a scientific exploration of this enigmatic geological formation. In their pursuit to delve deeper into the history and formation of the site, these scientists have collected various samples from the location, which are currently undergoing rigorous laboratory testing.

In addition to the lab testing, the upcoming summer will witness an expansion of the geophysical survey work on the Durupinar site. Armed with ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology, the combined forces of the two university teams will continue to examine the site’s subsurface. The use of GPR scans will provide an in-depth and detailed understanding of the buried structures and features, further illuminating the hidden characteristics of this compelling formation. These concerted efforts underscore the scientific community’s commitment to unveiling the secrets that the Durupinar site may hold. The final stages might include core drilling and geological testing of the rocks at the site, and if warranted, potential excavations.

For more information on the topic of Noah’s ark please check out the Answers in Genesis resource page here.

The NoahsArkScans.com Team

Sait Yardimci

Sait Yardimci

Turkish Film Commission
Noah’s Ark Culture Council
Film Producer & Fixer

Zafer Onay

Zafer Onay

Businessman & Tour Guide
Ark Discovered Media Turizm & Organizasyon Ltd. Şti.

Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones

Noah’s Ark Researcher
Discovered Media
Ark Discovered Media Turizm & Organizasyon Ltd. Şti.

Ryan Mauro

Ryan Mauro

President of Doubting Thomas Research Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit)
Adjunct Instructor, Liberty University
Biblical Researcher & Lecturer

The documentary film and media outreach are being coordinated by Sait Yardımcı, producer and the Chairman of the Turkish Film Commission, and Andrew Jones of Discovered Media.

As the distinguished Chairman of the Turkish Film Commission, Mr. Sait YARDIMCI has built an illustrious career as a revered Film Fixer, acclaimed for his superior problem-solving skills and vast industry network. His meticulous attention to detail and innate capability to triumph over challenges have established him as an essential figure within the industry. Originating from Istanbul, Turkey, Mr. YARDIMCI’s early exposure to filmmaking ignited a lifelong interest in its logistical complexities. After a rigorous academic journey in Cultural Heritage and Tourism, his professional trajectory started in the hospitality sector, culminating in the establishment of his own travel agency, which expanded his international understanding and provided opportunities to assist foreign film companies with their productions in Turkey. Over time, Mr. YARDIMCI has participated in an impressive spectrum of projects, ranging from independent films to large-scale cinematic productions. He adeptly manages logistical hurdles during production, leading to his well-earned reputation as a proficient Film Fixer. His robust network of professional contacts, formed through years of trusted collaborations, underpins his effectiveness and efficiency. He has been instrumental in numerous collaborations with globally renowned broadcasting networks and production companies, including Discovery Channel, History Channel, NHK TV Channel, and Balaji Telefilms, demonstrating his ability to meet diverse production standards and regulations. His ongoing dedication to overcoming obstacles and fervor for filmmaking have seen Mr. YARDIMCI continue to raise the bar in the industry, where his expertise plays a crucial role in the creation of captivating cinema.

Zafer Onay is a well-established professional based in Doğubayazıt, Ağrı Province, with an extensive history in the regional tourism industry. His diverse experience spans various roles, including tour guide, translator, driver, and a crucial liaison to the government for the Noah’s Ark project. In addition to these roles, he is an accomplished entrepreneur, operating several successful businesses in the area. His profound understanding of the local history and customs, coupled with an extensive network of regional connections, has been instrumental in providing invaluable support to the Noah’s Ark research. His multifaceted expertise and intimate knowledge of the region have solidified his reputation as a critical asset in this intriguing field of research. Click to read: Zafer Onay is a well-known English-speaking guide for the Ararat area and has been featured in local and international news and films about Noah’s ark.

Andrew Jones is a seasoned researcher with a long-standing involvement in Noah’s Ark studies, a journey that began in his teenage years during the early 1990s. His passion for the subject led him to his first visit to the Durupinar Noah’s Ark site in 1997 while he was still a college student. The expedition proved to be transformative, sparking a deep affection for both the region and its people. Originally hailing from California, Jones has now made Doğubayazıt, Ağrı Province, his home, further exemplifying his commitment to the study of the region. His extensive visits and immersive experiences in the area have equipped him with a rich understanding of the local culture and the Durupinar site, making him an invaluable asset to the ongoing research. His work continues to provide fresh perspectives and insights, driving the research forward in this captivating field of study. Click to read: Fox News: NOAH’S ARK DISCOVERY? A biblical story is getting new life thanks to new evidence

Ten member international scientific advisory board:

Four archaeologists, a heritage preservation specialist, a historian, a computer-aided design specialist, a geologist, a data visualization analyst, and a political scientist.

International media team:

A Turkish / American film crew to exclusively document the expedition for a future documentary film and a media team for press releases, social media campaigns, and interviews.

Three ways to help:

(1) Donate to the project or (2) Volunteer in person or (3) Come on a tour.

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