|Noah's Ark, Ararat and a Prophetic Press Conference|
Noah's Ark, Ararat, and a Prophetic Press Conference!
Mt. Ararat, Turkey 1999. Rob Michelson
[Adam Livingstone had just landed. It was the lawn of his estate south of London, and he was gathering up the paraglider canopy. Reporters and photographers were waiting beyond the fence. He then walked toward the crowd and spoke to his friend and associate, Scott Jordan, who had just driven into the estate grounds.]
"Well done, Adam!" laughed Jordan. "Perfect timing--a very nice touch."
"Why, thank you, my good man, replied Livingstone. "I say, who are all these people? Do we have guests?"
No longer was the coterie of journalists content to remain silent. Suddenly erupted a volley of fifty voices at once. Nearly as many microphones, held by eager hands, came toward them through the iron bars.
"You owe Glendenning one," said Jordan. "He helped me get inside unscathed."
"All right, Alex," said Adam, walking forward toward the crowd, "what's on your mind?"
"What is on everyone's mind, Mr. Livingstone," replied Glendenning. "What was it like?"
"I'm not a religious man," replied Adam, "but I have to say there was an unbelievable sensation down there."
"How do you mean?"
"A profound sense of awe is the only way I can describe it."
"Is it the ark?"
"Surely you don't expect a scientist to rush to a conclusion on so momentous a matter." Livingstone smiled.
"Either it is or it isn't."
"Things in our world are rarely quite that simple, Mr. Glendenning."
"What do you think, then?"
"I reserve judgment."
"What other credible theory can explain your find than the ark of Noah?" asked another voice, whose decidedly Christian views were known among the entire London press corps.
"I pose no other theory, Mr. Halliday," replied Adam. "I say only that as a scientist I must await further evidence."
"What additional evidence do you need? You set foot inside the thing. You saw its dimensions. You saw the animal pens. The implications are not only obvious, they are staggering."
"What implications, Mr. Halliday?"
"Just this, Mr. Livingstone," the journalist answered, then paused. "May I ask you another question first?"
"How big is the vessel you found? Describe it to us."
"The thing is huge," replied Adam. "Enormous beyond anything shipbuilders have constructed through man's history until well into this very century. It positively dwarfs anything manufactured by the Spanish or Dutch or Portuguese in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries."
"And those nations were skilled shipbuilders, would you not agree?"
"Exactly my point--the implications I referred to," rejoined the journalist. "How did a man, a mortal, come to build such a craft all those years ago? Do you see what I mean? How did one man, without modern tools, prior to any sophisticated metalworking we are aware of, without technology, and perhaps with only three sons to help him--how did they possibly build such a thing?"
There was a brief moment of silence. Neither the archaeologist nor Halliday's fellow journalists had a ready answer to his query.
"Who's to say only four men built it?" asked Adam after a moment. "Even if you accept the Noah account, why couldn't he have hired others to help? Who's to say an entire community didn't participate?"
"I don't think the biblical account supports such a view," rejoined Halliday. "But I concede the point. It hardly matters. For that's not the most staggering of the implications of this discovery."
"What is, if I may ask?"
"It's the why," replied Halliday. His voice quieted as he spoke. Those listening sensed an indescribable awe inherent in the word. A hush descended upon the gathering. As it did, most of those present turned to the man standing in front of them for some response. But Adam Livingstone possessed no answer to the probing question.
"Why do you think that question is the most significant implication of what we found on Ararat?" he asked after a moment.
"Why did they build it?" repeated Halliday rhetorically, only too happy to continue in the spotlight. "How could they possibly have fathomed the engineering required to construct a seaworthy vessel of such magnitude . . . and why? How did they know rains of such tremendous power and duration were going to come, such as would lift their ship to the top of a sixteen-thousand-foot mountain? Do you see what I'm getting at Mr. Livingstone? The questions and implications involved in your discovery are enormous."
"It would seem that we've created more conundrums that we've answered!" laughed Adam.
"What is the single question that is foremost in your own mind, Mr. Livingstone?" asked another of the reporters present.
Adam smiled, again with a pensive expression.
"You've hit it squarely on the head, Mr. Stokes," he replied. "I don't even know if I know myself. I haven't allowed myself to stop and consider that one. I suppose I'll have to sooner or later, though, won't I?" he added with a chuckle.
Adam thought for a moment. "Archaeology is about more than mere discovery," he went on at length. "If that were all there was to it, I suppose we could make robots capable of handling shovels."
A ripple of laughter went through the crowd.
"But it's not only about digging holes in the earth--or in the ice--to see what we can find. Once we find things from the past, then, as Mr. Halliday so aptly pointed out, we begin asking what they mean.
"Who were the people that had to do with these things we find, and why did they behave as they did? We're right back to Mr. Halliday's question. When it comes to the matter of the ark, I suppose there is a host of unanswered questions. At this point. I can't tell you what it all means. But I'm not sure a spiritual connection is imperative, as I think Mr. Halliday would suggest. The Egyptian pyramids are certainly magnificent, yet no one suggests that God and the pharaohs had dealings together."
"The situations are entirely different," said Halliday, now speaking up again.
"How so?" asked Livingstone.
"The builder of the ark had to have had help of some kind that cannot be accounted for by any human means."
"Upon what do you base that conclusion? I still see little difference between the ark and the Pyramids. The pharaohs
had help too. It was called slave labor."
"I'm talking about help outside human knowledge--supernatural help, if you will."
"Why is that necessary?"
"Because there had to be a reason he built it. How did he know the rain was coming and that he must construct this ship? replied Halliday. "There aren't very many ways to answer that question. Then how could he have built it?
How could he have known the dimensions and symmetry with which to build a three-story-tall, seaworthy craft the size of a small football stadium, when all around him the only boats he was familiar with were probably little more than hollowed-out logs? The engineering of the thing staggers the imagination beyond comprehension. This boat had to be seaworthy for a year. The technology would seem to be far beyond that of the Pyramids. How could he have done it? . . . again, without help? And again, how did he know the rains were coming? It's an enormous mystery if you only look at it from the human point of view. These questions have no simple answers that mere rationalism can spin out."
Halliday paused, then added, "There is only one possible way to answer these questions, and it is the very antithesis of a so-called rational response."
"Do you mean, God speaking to him--is that what you're suggesting?" asked Livingstone.
"I leave the conclusion to you," rejoined Halliday. "How would you reply if I asked you such a question?"
"I would certainly not say that God spoke to him," countered Livingstone, quickly and with a slight edge to his tone. This press conference had gone in a direction he wasn't altogether comfortable with. Suddenly he was anxious to have it done with. "To say that not only presupposes belief in a Supreme Being . . . but also one who talks to men. That's quite a leap. In no way am I prepared to endorse that interpretation of my discovery. I think that will be all for right now, ladies and gentlemen. You will be hearing more from me soon."
Livingstone turned, and he and Scott Jordan walked away from the gate, unloaded a few things from the trunk of the car, and now made their way toward the massive stone house in front of them.
[RIFT IN TIME, by Michael Phillips, pages 47-50]