CCNet 28 September 1999 (fwd)

Graham Richard Pointer (
Tue, 28 Sep 1999 17:35:27 +0100 (BST)

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Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 12:21:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: Benny J Peiser <>
Subject: CCNet 28 September 1999

CCNet, 28 September 1999


"Compelling evidence that there was a Great Flood, as told in the
Old Testament story of Noah's Ark, has been found far below the
waters of the Black Sea by an American expedition."
-- The Times, 27 September 1999

THE TIMES, September 27 1999

THE TIMES, 27 September 1999


>From THE TIMES, 27 September 1999

COMPELLING evidence that there was a Great Flood, as told in the Old
Testament story of Noah's Ark, has been found far below the waters of
the Black Sea by an American expedition.

Underwater surveyors, led by Robert Ballard, the renowned
oceanographer who found the Titanic and other sunken ships of the
20th century, have discovered an ancient coastline at a depth of

"I am not sure whether it is Noah's flood or not Noah's flood, but I
do buy that there was a flood," said David Mindell, one of the

The Ballard team was working from a theory about the biblical flood
of antiquity propounded by two marine geologists from Columbia
University in New York, William Ryan and Walter Pittman, in their new
book, Noah's Flood.

As Dr Ballard explained; "During the last great Ice Age glaciers
advanced across the surface of the world. That lowered the sea level
400ft. Then, 12,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age, the glaciers
began to retreat."

With its lower sea level, the eastern Mediterranean was cut off from
the Black Sea so that when the oceansstarted to rise, the Black Sea
did not.

Dr Ballard continued: "Around 7,600 years ago, guess what happens?
The Mediterranean breaks through a natural dam at the Bosphorus and
catastrophically floods the land surface. People living there are
400ft below sea level and in trouble. They are facing a flood equal
to 10,000 Niagara Falls."

This flood was on a far greater scale than the one described in
Genesis, which is said to have lasted for 40 days and 40 nights,
covering every living thing on Earth beneath 24ft of water other than
Noah, his family and his pairs of animals carried to safety on the

In the new theory, it is believed that each day for two years ten
cubic miles of ocean water cut through the widening Bosphorus channel
as it flowed into what was then a fresh water lake, raising the level
by six inches a day.

The incoming salt water, more dense than the fresh water it
displaced, plunged to the bottom of the lake bed, transforming it
into a sea where the depths support no life.

This area of inert darkness is known as an abyss that is anoxic,
meaning that the trapped water could not circulate and has lost its
oxygen, according to an account in yesterday's Washington Post. "Such
conditions exist nowhere else in the world," Dr Ballard told the

The theory supposes that in this dead zone wooden ships will be
preserved intact, possibly still with their Bronze Age sails, and
just waiting for Dr Ballard and his team. "I want to find the story
of Jason and the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece," he
said. But this search for ancient mariners may have to wait until
next year when Dr Ballard wants to employ the US Government's
remotely operated undersea exploration vehicle. The explorers are
convinced that there may be many ships on the bottom because the
Black Sea served as a commercial waterway from Ancient Greece to
Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. But the waters were known to
be hazardous, according to Roman historians.

For his expedition, Dr Ballard has attracted marine archaeologists
who had viewed him sceptically as a treasure hunter but he has not
enriched himself by taking artefacts from the Titanic nor his other
great finds, the liners Lusitania and Andrea Doria, and the German
battleship Bismarck and the American aircraft carrier

Dr Ballard has participated in 120 deep-sea expeditions. This summer
he found two Phoenician vessels more than 3,000 years old.

----- dispatches from an expedition to
the floor of the Black Sea in search of proof of the flood of the
Noah story

Copyright 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd.


>From THE TIMES, 27 September 1999



Scientists may have discovered the truth about Noah's Flood

Those who moan that this autumn has been horribly wet should put their
gripes into perspective; 7,600 years ago, a cascade of water travelling
80 kilometres an hour, with 200 times the force of the Niagra Falls,
created the Black Sea. According to scientists whose research we report
today, this was the Great Flood. The Book of Genesis is the gospel
truth - up to a point.

Two American academics, Walter Pitman and William Ryan, argue that
before the Flood the Black Sea was a fertile area with a freshwater
lake. Lying below sea level, a natural dam at the end of the Bosphorous
held back the Mediterranean. At the end of the last Ice Age, sea levels
gradually rose, eventually breaching nature's defence. As the seawater
poured in, the freshwater it displaced floated to the top of the new
sea. This blanket starved creatures on the ocean floor of oxygen,
killing organisms that might otherwise have destroyed human artefacts.

Scientists and archaeologists will rejoice at this news. This one
catastrophe might explain why stories of mankind meeting a watery end
permeate so many cultures. As well as the Book of Genesis, there is the
Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, the Indian legend of Manu being warned by
a fish of approaching floods, and the Eskimo tale of how the ocean rose
to cover the "whole land". Using the technology that was used to
discover the Titanic, the land where Noah built the Ark can now be

Contrary to the Bible, this Great Flood was not caused by 40 days and
nights of rain, it did not cover the whole globe, nor did it subside
after 150 days. But such an observation misses the astounding point. If
the American scientists' theory is correct, although the Book of
Genesis might embroider the story, it records an actual event.

Centuries of rationalism have left many minds sceptical of the Bible's
worth as a literal historical source. Hardened by science, few believe
in Scripture's wilder stories. For example, how could a 600-year-old
man and his family have built a ship out of "gopher wood" large enough
to hold two of "everything that creeps on the ground"? But if we
ignore its stories we lose a compelling account of mankind's
early history.

Man's progress now allows him to separate fact from fiction. But a
forensic investigation of the Bible risks treating the Good Book as
simply a spectacular historical source. Attempts to disentangle the
truth threatens Scripture's mysticism. As Matthew Arnold wrote, "the
language of the Bible is literary, not scientific language; language
thrown out at an object of consciousness not fully grasped, which
inspired emotion".

Copyright 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd.

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