Have you ever gazed at an object and the very thought of it’s significance moved you to tears? The owner of an alleged piece of Noah’s Ark wood does every time she begins to think of the history of what she holds in her hands. This last October while in Washington DC with veteran ark explorer Elfred Lee, we met a woman Patricia Howell and her husband Peter. Patricia had brought photos of Mount Ararat and something very special she wanted Elfred to examine. In her possession was a sliver of wood from Noah’s ark according to the man who gave it to her. My wife and I were examining it and photographing when Elfred caught sight of it. He said this piece looked like the wood he took down from the famed mountain in his 1969 expedition. During that expedition Elfred Lee, Fernand Navarra and a team of people found more of the same wood that Navarra had found on a previous expedition in 1955.
The wood I held was dark brown. It was about 5” in length and about ¼” at its widest point. The grain was unlike common wood and it did not seem petrified. It was fibrous and stringy in its make up. Pat explained that it came from a man who had been on several Ark expeditions. Both were working for a humanitarian relief organization called ADRA and they soon discovered they both had a common interest in Noah’s Ark.
He, recognizing the intensity of Patricia’s interest in the subject, sent her a sample of the wood in 2000. She has treasured it since, rarely taking it out of storage unless the person has a similar passion. So is this another hoax or is it actually a piece of the famed 5,000 year old vessel?