By C. Michael Forsyth
The remarkable discovery was made on February 8th by the Swedish research vessel Aventyr. The scientists were studying the effects of global warming, when the ice-shelf collapsed, exposing about a third of the ancient craft
“This is far, far, beyond merely mind-blowing — it‘s the most baffling Bible mystery of all time,” declares biblical archaeologist David H. Tootenhaur. “It turns everything we thought we knew about the Holy Bible upside down!”
The scientists who made the amazing find are cautious about identifying the enormous, ice-enshrouded vessel as Noah’s Ark, saying it would be premature to do so without further investigation.
“We can only say that the ship is made of cedar, known in antiquity as ‘gopher wood,’ just as described in the Bible,” says lead researcher Dr. Alrik Olofson.
“It measures 450 feet long, the equivelent of the ancient unit 300 cubits; it is 75 feet or 50 cubits wide, and it has three stories that give it the height of 45 feet, or 30 cubits. These are precisely the specifications God cited when He commanded Noah to build the Ark, according to the Book of Genesis.
“Aboard we’ve found two representatives of virtually every species that now exists, as well as the remains of five pre-Bronze age humans.”
The ship was found in the Wendell Sea, when a mile-long section of the Larson C ice shelf collapsed. The discovery seems to fly in the face of known history, since the entire human race is believed to be descended from survivors of the Flood aboard Noah’s Ark.
Even the world’s top Bible scholars confess that they are befuddled, and news reports have fueled much wild speculation. Some armchair Bible “experts” claim the whole thing must be an elaborate hoax cooked up by Satanists bent on attacking Christianity. New Agers point to Babylonian legends of a small band of people who survived the Flood by means of a giant “holy umbrella” — and whom, they argue, could be the real ancestors of modern humans.
Some church leaders fear that unless the riddle is solved — and quickly — it could lead to religious conflict and social unrest.
“We are pleading with our congregations to remain calm,” says Florida clergyman Rev. Alexander P. Wentbooth. “Christians must have faith that this is all part of God’s plan.”
Fearing widespread upheaval, many governments have suppressed news of the discovery. Even in the U.S., quite a few preachers stubbornly refuse to discuss the ship with their flocks.
HAS WORLD”S SMARTEST MAN SOLVED MYSTERY?
Theoretical physicist Dr. Jeremy Blinkley, generally acknowleged to be the world’s most brilliant mind and sometimes referred to as “the thinking man’s Stephen Hawking,” believes he may have an explanation for the bizarre discovery.
“Most physicists today believe in the multiverse theory — the concept that alongside our universe are many other parallel universes, lying near ours in dimensions beyond the three that we perceive,” he explained. “It’s widely believed that small portholes may open up from time to time, through which objects may pass from one world to another.
“It’s possible that in a parallel universe Noah built his Ark to escape the flood, but he, his crew and his cargo of animals failed to survive the journey. And the wreckage of his vessel drifted from a sea in that universe into our own.
“Needless to say, in that Noah’s home universe the human race is extinct, along with all other species on Earth.”
As way out as it sounds, the explanation dovetails perfectly with Christian belief.
“The great Christian thinker C.S. Lewis — hardly a heathen — explored the idea of parallel universes in his book The Magician’s Nephew,” notes Christian physicist Arnold Hipperman. “It was the logical underpinning to his famous alternate world Narnia.”
Although no radiocarbon dating has yet been conducted, based on the surrounding ice, experts say the ship must be at least 100,000 years old. Preserved by the cold, the human remains are remarkably intact. The robed, white-bearded captain was found with his hands still frozen to the steering wheel.
“It’s obvious that he tried heroically to save the ship, before it was overcome by some unknown calamity,” notes Dr. Olofson.
The animal carcasses are entirely made up of newborns, including a baby kangaroo, known as a joey, no bigger than a honey bee. Crates of eggs were found in the lowest deck, rather than live birds and reptiles. This, at least, solves one Bible mystery that has long puzzled scholars — how Noah managed to squeeze all those creatures into one boat.
While the discovery has been unsettling to many believers, Hipperman says that if the multiverse theory is right, that’s reason to rejoice.
“It means that the act of Creation is even more miraculous than we were taught in Sunday school,” he observes. “God did not only create our universe, he simultaneously made countless others.”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
MORE FROM THE AUTHOR OF THIS STORY …
Here’s me being interviewed about the book at New York Comic Con.