Skip to comments.Update: Noah's Ark Investigation
Posted on 04/15/2003 6:54:23 PM PDT by Prince Charles
Update: Noah's Ark Investigation
Posted April 15, 2003
By Timothy W. Maier
Nearly a week after the CIA released another record from its secret "Noah's Ark" file, this one including a note saying that U.S. intelligence agencies immediately destroy records from reconnaissance missions, Insight received another batch of declassified records that suggest the U.S. Navy may have shot a series of pictures of the anomaly on Mount Ararat. in 1974.
The released records consist of a 1993 memo to the deputy director of the CIA from William H.J. Manthorpe Jr. , deputy director of Naval Intelligence, and notes from a 1991 phone conversation between Naval Intelligence and a Petty Officer cameraman. The release of these previously classified records are a result of Insight's Freedom of Information request into all documents, records, and photographs taken of the Mt. Ararat anomaly in Turkey. Insight requested the records while researching its "Anomaly or Noah's Ark?" story [Nov. 20, 2000]. The CIA has claimed there are no records concerning Keyhole-7, Keyhole 9, and Keyhole 11 satellite shots, nor of U-2 and Air Force reconnaissance footage taken of the anomaly. However, the CIA forwarded the request to various other intelligence agencies, which slowly have released documents but no imagery as of yet.
The Petty Officer had requested to obtain photographs reportedly taken on or about June 17, 1974 of an anomaly on Mt. Ararat. "The SS Independence embarked F-4 Phantom from VF-33 took a number of photographs of an object located high up on the Soviet side of Mt. Ararat," according to the Petty Officer, who is not identified in the recently released records from a Naval Intelligence file. "The Independence was said to be en route to Athens for a scheduled liberty call and the F-4 reconnaissance flight delayed Independence's arrival in Athens by two days."
The Petty Officer was an Aviation Electrician Third Class (AE3). He claimed to have learned how to operate reconnaissance cameras by working with those who installed them on the aircraft. "My job involved ensuring that the central computer could communicate with the cameras once they were hooked up," he recalled. "The cameras were pod-mounted. The pods were a universal mount type camera. I'm sure they're used on many different kinds of aircraft. ... On the F-4 they hung under the inboard sponson under both wings. There were two of them. The pods would hook into a universal cable. The universal cable could hook to camera pods or weapons and ran back into the airframe where they hooked into the central computer system. Inside each pod, there were two cameras that sort of rotated inside a glass bubble. They would lock onto the desired target. They were framing cameras; they would take several hundred frames per minute."
According to the Petty Officer, in June 1974 the commander of the Air Group on the Independence asked "me whether I knew how to operate the cameras. I said yes and he said that he wanted me to make a flight. I guess the ranking pilots didn't want to take this mission. I had flown on a regular basis. I had quite a few flight hours because I would go up with the pilots to do aerial flight checks."
Despite, the Petty Officer's report, Deputy Director Manthorpe claimed Naval Intelligence "unable to locate any photographs," nor was it able to confirm that such a mission took place. He noted the Independence did not deploy for the Mediterranean until July 19, 1974, but did deploy with VF-33, an F-4J aircraft.
Manthorpe also noted that the ship's deck logs indicate it did not visit Athens during its 1974 deployment. "The claim that Independence visited Athens is suspect in light of the Greco-Turkish hostilities over Cyprus that resulted in the USS Inchon evacuation on 22 July 1974," Manthorpe argued. "Greco-American relations were tense during this time frame because of American support for Turkey. Even if the Greeks had permitted a liberty call safety of personnel probably would have caused [command] to cancel the liberty port."
Manthorpe also noted, that "having a Petty Officer fly as a back-seater for an F-4 mission instead of a Naval Flight Officer would have been highly unusual. He also pointed out that the Navy had no pod-mounted camera systems in 1974. In addition, Manthorpe said the deck logs show the "Independence never got closer to Mt. Ararat than Araklion Bay, Crete, at Latitude 35 degrees, 49.4' N. Longitude, 25 degrees 03.8' E. during its 1974 deployment."
The Petty Officer insists he took the photos, noting that the "Turkish government definitely knew we were up there. Coming back, we didn't refuel and by the time we got to the ship we were running on fumes."
Unless, another shipmate comes forward who was on that 1974 mission, the Petty Officer's claim will go down as just another story that vehemently disputed by Naval Intelligence.
Meanwhile DigitalGlobe of Colorado is hoping its QuickBird commercial satellite will snap the ultimate picture of the Ararat anomaly sometime this summer, once and for all solving the mystery. Quickbird was launched in October 2001 and is considered the world's highest resolution commercial imaging satellite. The resolution is far greater than Space Imaging, also of Colorado, was capable of producing when it shot the anomaly for Insight in 2000. The spectacular images taken by Space Imaging and published in Insight were analyzed by a world-renowned science team. Four of those scientists believed the object near the top of Mount Ararat was man-made. Two insisted it was a rock and one called the photographic evidence inconclusive.
Ahem -- you left out the Trilateral Commission. Also, the Stonecutters.
Noah's 'Bible-Worldwide-Flood' Ark?
This whole issue will end up with JFK in the 'Geologic-Column' of the 'Fossil Record'.
Room '101' archives.