Noah’s Ark Site in Turkey

Is the real Noah’s ark site in Turkey? Many archeologists and expeditions have searched for it over the years on Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey. Near Mt. Ararat and the city of Dogubeyazit, Turkey is the site of a strange, boat-shaped formation. In 1987, Turkey recognized it as the remains of Noah’s Ark and designated it as Noah’s Ark National Park. How did they come to the conclusion that this is the Noah’s ark site?

Guest Author Introduction: Mary Nell Lee

Today’s post is written by Mary Nell (Wyatt) Lee, whose late husband, Ron Wyatt, began exploring what he believed to be Noah’s ark in 1977. Mary Nell has continued Ron’s work in sharing his discoveries.  In 2007, I traveled from Antalya to Dogubeyazit to visit the site with Mary Nell and my father, Randall Lee. The information she presents about the site is fascinating and well worth a read to come to your own conclusion.

Table of Contents

Know Before You Go




Call Ahead


May - September


36km from Dogubeyazit, Turkey




1 hour

Noah's Ark Site Fast Facts

noahs ark visitors center

The Boat-Shaped Site Near Dogubeyazit

Discovery in the 1950s

It was discovered in the 1950s when NATO conducted an aerial survey of the region looking for Soviet missile bases during the cold war. Turkish photo analyst, Captain Ilhan Durupinar, noticed the strange object in the photo (seen below left) and brought it to the attention of his superiors. He believed it could not be a natural formation. Word spread, and an expedition from the United States traveled to examine it. The story made headlines when Life Magazine featured the expedition.

noahs ark life magazine

The expedition blew holes in the object but saw nothing they recognized. They concluded there was nothing of any archaeological interest there.

Renewed interest beginning in 1977 by Ron Wyatt

The site was forgotten – until 1977 when Ron Wyatt, who had read the 1960 Life Magazine article, saved enough money to travel to the site and see it for himself. By then, no one even remembered where it was.

He believed it was the most likely candidate for the remains of Noah’s Ark for two main reasons. First was the size. The article stated that it was “about” 500 feet long. He concluded that Noah’s Ark would have been a little over 500 feet long because the cubit stated in Genesis would have been the Royal Egyptian Cubit of 20.6 inches since there was no Hebrew cubit at that time. The other reason was that it was in the “mountains” plural, of Ararat (Urartu) instead of the recent volcanic Mount Ararat where everyone else was looking for Noah’s Ark.

Ron Wyatt, my late husband, first examined the site in 1977. At that time, the object was surrounded by dirt and only the top was visible.

Noahs Ark Ron Wyatt 1977

The 1978 earthquake that revealed more evidence

In late 1978, an earthquake in the region dropped the soil around it making the sides visible.

At this time, Ron was the only person interested in the site. When he returned in 1979 after learning about the earthquake, he was amazed at what he saw- it looked like an ancient shipwreck with ribs visible around the sides.

Ribs of Ark

The earthquake had also caused a crack along the entire length of the site, and he took measurements of the internal depth and took small specimens.

He measured the length and discovered it was 515 feet long. The Biblical record states that Noah’s Ark was 300 cubits. 300 Royal Egyptian Cubits is exactly 515 feet. It was a fact impossible to ignore.

Metal detector scans revealed a pattern of iron lines consistent with a massive ship

The next piece of evidence to consider is the pattern of metal readings on the entire outside of the object. In 1984, with a deep-probe metal detector provided to him by White’s Electronics, Ron discovered a pattern of metal readings on the surface of the object.

A massive ship would need metal fittings to hold the ship together and the Bible gives evidence that the knowledge of metallurgy was well established by the time of Noah. The Biblical account tells of Tubal Cain, who was the 7th generation from Adam and well before the time of Noah: And Zillah, she also bares Tubal Cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. Genesis 4:22.

Soon others took interest in the site and joined the research. In 1985, a complete metal detector scan was performed, and rocks were placed at every metal reading. Then tapes were used to connect the readings.

metal detector readings

The readings showed a pattern of damage to the western side where it appeared that the object had been impaled on a massive outcropping of limestone.

Radar scans revealed a pattern of the internal structure

In 1986, sub-surface interface radar showed a pattern of structure within the object.

Radar results

Tests of a specimen from the site yielded evidence of fossilized objects with organic carbon. This proved that the objects being tested had been once living, such as wood.

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The 1987 Dedication by Turkey

In December of 1986, Turkey announced to the world their decision, that this site is the remains of the great ship of Noah. They held a dedication ceremony in June of 1987 in which Ron Wyatt was invited as a guest of honor. His ten years of research on the site proved to them that the site was the massive ship that preserved the lives of Noah and his family.

noahs ark national park ground breaking

ark visitor center ground breaking
The ceremony consisted of a ground-breaking for the visitors center to be built directly above the site.

New evidence revealed at the 1987 dedication ceremony

At the dedication ceremony, the Governor of Agri, Sevket Ekinci, asked Ron to demonstrate the radar for the Turkish dignitaries and television. As Ron scanned, an image appeared on the radar readout that Ron told the men looked like timber just beneath the surface. He had never been allowed to dig on the site, only do a non-destructive investigation. But Gov. Ekinci ordered a soldier to dig right where Ron told him to dig.

ark scan radar readout

What emerged was a petrified specimen of timber that was broken on one end, and the other end was the finished end of a long timber. It was broken before being fossilized.

Sectioning of the specimen showed it to consist of 5 internal layers of wood. The finished end showed what looked like pitch or bitumen oozing out of end. This specimen appeared to be laminated wood, like our plywood today, only much larger.

john larsent at noahs ark

2014 Resistivity Scans Reveal a Massive Boat Shape Underground

In 2014, John Larsen of New Zealand obtained a permit to do a thorough resistivity scan of the entire site. Resistivity scanning can provide much deeper information than ground-penetrating radar and provide 3-D images of what lies beneath the surface of the earth.

In October of 2014, John, assisted by Randall Lee (my husband and Dania Demirci’s father) performed the scans. The results showed what looked like the remains of a massive shipwreck under the earth.

resistivity scans of noahs ark

Additional Resources: Videos

Noah's Ark Evidence

The story of the evidence which led Turkey to recognize the discovery of Noah’s Ark and dedicated Noah’s Ark National Park in Dogubeyazit in Eastern Turkey. 

Resistivity Scans

Mary Nell Wyatt Lee takes you on a tour of the ark as John Larsen and Randall Lee perform the scans. This is especially for those who would like to see the entire ark site and understand the remains.

Detailed Reports on Scans

Noah’s ark resistivity scans finally allow us to see the shape of the ark and that it extends another 40-plus feet into the earth.

How to Get There

To get to Noah’s Ark National Park from Istanbul, you have a couple of options. The first option is to fly from Istanbul to Erzurum. In Erzurum, you will rent a car and drive to Dogubeyazit. The next option is to fly from Istanbul to Van. In Van, you will rent a car and go to Dogubeyazit.

If you do not want to drive, you can contact a local travel agency to take you to the site. We would recommend flying to Van if you plan to take a tour. When you plan your trip, call ahead to the visitor’s center to make sure they will be open when you arrive.

For more things to do in Turkey, see the lastest on Bucket List Experiences in Turkey

FAQs : Noah's Ark Site

Yes, to reach the Noah’s ark site, you will travel to Eastern Turkey to Dogubeyazit. The site is free to visit. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the visitor’s center will be open.

The Noah’s Ark site is in Noah’s Ark National Park 36km from Dogubeyazit, Turkey.

Turkey dedicated the site as Noah’s ark site in 1987. It’s up to you to review the research and information and decide for yourself. You can learn more about the site at the Ron Wyatt YouTube Channel.

We suggest wearing comfortable clothing for travel in Eastern Turkey. Women should dress modestly. You can learn more about what to wear on your trip to Eastern Turkey in our Turkey Travel Packing Guide

Entrance to the Noah’s Ark Nationa Park is not included with the Turkey Museum Pass

is noahs ark in turkey
noahs ark national park in turkey

Guest Author: Mary Nell Lee

Mary Nell Lee lives in Tennesse, USA, and was married to the late Ron Wyatt who was credited with proving the boat-shaped object is the remains of Noah’s Ark. She has been to the site over 20 times and is now married to Randall Lee, the father of Dania Demirci.

YouTube Channel

Join the Conversation


  1. It says !
    Site Access | In most cases, you cannot walk down to the structure. You can view from the visitor’s center, which gives you a hilltop view of the site.

    In most cases you cannot walk down to the structure?? Is there a possible fee you can pay and get access to walk down to the structure site ? Thanks

    1. Hi Dean! There is a possibility you could pay an additional fee and have a local guide setup it up for you beforehand. I would not expect to show up and think you could go down to the site.

  2. I’ve been fascinated with the Durupınar site ever since I learned about it about 20 years ago. I only hope to get to visit some day. I read on some sites this is a dangerous place to be. I read others say it as safe as any other place. How safe is this area to visit? I would defiantly want to go down to the site.

    1. Hi William,

      We visited the site this fall for a few days and had no issues. Always check with your embassy before traveling and we do recommend traveling with a local guide while you’re there.

  3. Hello. Can anyone tell me when the visitors centre is open? I want to visit the region in very late March. I know it’s not the bast of time but it coincides with leave at work. Could I visit there and still see the area? Alan

    1. Hi Alan,

      I would first check the weather in March as there may still be snow on the ground. It could make it difficult to visit the area or see the site. The visitors center is typically open during regular business hours (9am – 5pm), but you may want to check with a local guide if you’re traveling in the off-season as hours may vary.

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