Phony “Ark” Aeology -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 06:3 (Summer 1993)
Article: Phony “Ark” Aeology
Author: Anonymous

Phony “Ark” Aeology

Response to TIME’s article. . .

Francis Danby, 1793–1861

The Deluge, Tate Gallery

Mount Ararat

(Montage by Gene Fackler)

The following is our research staff’s response to the article in the July 5th issue of Time magazine, and to a similar story released by Associated Press on June 29th. Both articles asserted that George Jammal, one of our 50 expert interviewees used in The Incredible Discovery of Noah’s Ark, fabricated his eye-witness account of seeing Noah’s ark on Mt Ararat.

In examining the controversy generated by these articles, four issues must be addressed. First, who is making the claim that Mr. Jammal fabricated his Noah’s Ark account? Second, did Sun perform due diligence in its research to determine whether Mr. Jammal’s account was reliable? Third, was the alleged Ark wood shown at the end of Mr. Jammal’s interview authentic or a piece of doctored California pine? And fourth, is Mr. Jammal’s expedition account of seeing the Ark still factual?


Dr. Gerald LaRue, professor emeritus of biblical history and archaeology at the University of Southern California says in Time that he “coached George Jammal, an acquaintance, to perpetrate the hoax, intended to expose the shoddy research of Sun International.”

It seems from this statement that Dr. LaRue is probably conducting some type of a vindictive campaign against Sun. This may be the result of his appearance as a skeptic in our show, “Ancient Secrets of the Bible I” which aired on May 15, 1992. According to Time magazine, Dr. LaRue felt he was “set up as a straw man.”

Dr. LaRue, despite having taught both biblical history and biblical studies at USC, is a very outspoken individual on a number of controversial issues, including being a frequent Bible critic. In our show, he was a critic of the Walls of Jericho falling down. As our TV special is a critic-proponent show, he was followed by two proponents of the biblical story - Dr. Amos Nur, chairman of the

Geophysics Department at Stanford University, and Dr. Bryant Wood, a Syro-Palestinian archaeologist who has written extensively on Jericho for the professional peer journal Biblical Archaeology Review. They refuted LaRue’s argument based on their own extensive scientific studies.

Since 1982, Dr. LaRue has served as chairman of the Committee for the Scientific Exam...

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