“The only record of a wooden structure on Mount Ararat is Noah’s Ark," Clara Wei, the team coordinator, also said today by telephone from Beijing. "So up to now I believe this is the most probable explanation. We don’t have another explanation."
While both say more research is necessary, they rebutted critics who say that the finding was a hoax. NAMI is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Media Evangelism Limited, founded in 1989 to publish multimedia geared toward evangelizing.
“We don’t have anything to hide,” says Mrs. Wei. She says that massive wooden planks, some 20 meters long, were found in wooden rooms and hallways buried in the ice atop Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. People could not carry such heavy wood to such a height, nor can vehicles access such a remote location on the mountain. A video of the exploration shows team members wearing crampons and trekking through snow to reach the site.
“You can hire horses to carry bags, but they cannot balance themselves with 20-meter-long timber,” says Wei, adding that there was no cultural evidence – such as pottery – that the structure was a former house or church.
Turkish officials from Agri Province, the location of Mount Ararat, also attended this week’s press conference in Hong Kong. Lieutenant governor Murat Güven and Cultural Ministries Director Muhsin Bulut, both provincial officials, believe the discovery is likely Noah’s Ark, according to the announcement posted on the team's website.
“The local government thinks this is Noah’s Ark,” Mr. Yeung says.