Fuller: You say it has been seen?
Lee: Many have seen it. Many have written about it. In fact, Josephus wrote about it in 100AD.
Fuller: I wasn’t aware of that. What did he say?
Lee: He says that the remains of Noah’s Ark can be seen to our day and is there in the mountains of Armenia. And as you know eastern Turkey used to be Armenia.
Fuller: When did Josephus write this?
Lee: 100 AD
Fuller: So that would be… what, several hundred years after the Flood?
Lee: Oh, thousands. The Flood was approximately 2000 BC. And [as to] who has seen it… well many have seen it: Hardwick Night, George Jefferson Green – a flier in his plane saw it in 1953, Fernand Nevarra in 1955…
Fuller: But what did they see? Was it something that just appeared out of the ice; was is sitting there on dry rock?
Lee: Usually it is covered or only part of it showing. Early, early sightings say it was fully intact; others later say it is broken apart. Now George Hagopian, who is the very best eyewitness we have…
Fuller: [Breaking in] Who’s George Hagopian?
Lee: George Hagopian was born and raised there and went with his uncle and friends up Mt. Ararat. I met him while I was here after our first expedition after we had discovered wood on Mt. Ararat. We had it dated and it really looked authentic.
Fuller: So 35 years ago you were able to interview this Turkish gentleman, who as a younger person had actually seen the Ark.
Lee: That’s right and on more than one occasion. His whole family: his grandfather, his uncle, others in his village had seen it. It was a matter of fact. The Armenians had at the center of their religion and culture Noah’s Ark and they knew exactly where it was and they went up to see it on occasion when it was what they called a “smooth year”. When the glacier had melted down and after a 4 year drought Hagopian and his uncle went on up towards the top of the mountain and there it was fully exposed.
Fuller: Fully exposed!
Lee: Fully exposed. It is the only time we know of that it has been seen absolutely from stem to stern.
Fuller: That might have been what, early in the century?
Lee: Yes, 1906-1910.
Fuller: So you interviewed him?
Lee: Yes. I was introduced to him by Mary Board. He was 74 at the time; this was in 1970.
Fuller: So Mr. Hagopian as a child and a young man had seen the entire vessel as well as his family?
Lee: Yes, and 2 years later he went up again but it was being covered again by snow and ice it was oh, about a third to half way covered again.
Fuller: Ok, for the skeptics who will say this was one man it was a figment of his imagination, what other sightings have their been that would be similar?
Lee: Well, first of all, we didn’t take his word for it. We checked him out very, very carefully. We even checked out his bank account and his business dealings in town. He was a man of impeccable character. People who knew him said he would never lie. In fact he, unlike other frauds we have come across, did not want publicity or a red penny. “I would just love to help you go back. I’ll tell you where it is and how to get there and I would love for you to discover and document what I saw.”
Fuller: Others have seen it?
Lee: Davis is another reliable witness. He was in the US Army Corp of Engineers in WW2 in Iran & eastern Turkey. He was building highways and supplying the Soviet army with equipment in the fight against Hitler. He did a huge favor for an Iranian Muslim village and being honorable people; they wanted to pay him for building a whole water system; a well and water system for the village. ‘Would you like to see the Ark?’ ‘We’ll tell you when the weather is clear and we’ll take you.
Ed Davis describes the trip: how long it took to go from point A to point B, the weather, the smells, the villages, the caves, the carved stones steps, Jacob’s well which you can’t do unless you’ve been there and it perfectly overlays what Hagopian told me. And I spend a year and a half with him, drawing, sketching and I have hours and hours of tapes and pages of notes and as an archeological illustrator with training I was able to draw it for Hagopian and years later again for Davis and these men never knew each other. The stories perfectly dove tailed together. “
Fuller: Are there others that have seen it, for the skeptics?
Lee: On my second expedition with Colonel Jim Irwin, the astronaut who drove the buggy on the moon., we went to NATO headquarters and met General Havens the NATO commander. I showed him what I had just drawn for Hagopian and he says, “We’ve seen that too!”
Fuller: The first trip in ’69, tell me about that.
Lee: Well, Fernand Nevarra, had seen it several times at a distance but because of certain limitations… in the Middle East, believe me, there are a lot of limitations depending on who’s standing around you and how big their guns are. He was able to get back up and had wood from it. He was a French man, who claimed to have found Noah’s ark and wrote a book about it. We wanted to verify it. So we got a group of us together, raised some money and got Nevarra with us who took us up the mountain in 1969.
Fuller: So what did you see?
Lee: We saw wood, we dug out wood from the glacier.
Fuller: But you couldn’t see it?
Lee: No it was covered. We had scientists from the South Pole, from the Arctic Institute of North America, went with us with coring augers we used to drill down. We were digging at the edge of the Parrot Glacier and sure enough we found wood. For several days we were digging out wood. The Ark was farther up the mountain. We were actually getting debris that is gathering in a “pocket” in the glacier.
Fuller: So it could be broken up.
Lee: And we know that it is, at least according to Ed Davis who saw it during WW2. Davis said it was broken into 2 pieces and he could see right into it. It had 3 decks. On the top deck there was built in furniture, human habitations. On the 2nd deck there were cages, smaller cages and birdcages with wrought iron bars.
Some people say, “oh we caught you now!” but read your Bible. Genesis says Tubal Cain was an ironworker and if you believe the Bible that we were created beautiful and perfect; we have not EVOLVED, we have DE-evolved. Men used to be huge and live 900 years. We’re puny little pygmies physically and intellectually as well. People before the flood were very advanced.
Further, the Russian expedition… that’s another one I failed to mention. I know Colonel Alexander Coor who was there and told me face to face.
Fuller: When was that expedition?
Lee: That was in 1917 just before the Bolshevik revolution. The Bolsheviks came and terrorized all of the eyewitnesses and took all the wood and photos that they could. They killed a lot of people and terrorized the rest and Colonel Coor escaped and I met him in Menlo Park in California.
Fuller: What had he seen?
Lee: He was at the foot of the mountain in charge of the defense of Mt. Ararat because it was under the czar of Russia at the time. He was there when the team went up and photographed it, walked in it and measured it.
Fuller: That is incredible!
Lee: There are just too many eyewitnesses for it to be coincidental; too many reliable eyewitnesses. I know many eyewitnesses that are frauds. You have to be careful, but we check out everybody.