George Jammal confessed to being a hoaxer on October 23 at the Freedom From Religion Found

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George Jammal confessed to being a hoaxer on October 23 at the Freedom From Religion Foundation conference in Huntsville, Alabama. But he was almost certainly not the only hoaxer on the program. There is very strong evidence (including testimony from members of his expedition) that Fernand Navarra was a hoaxer who bought wood from Kurds and carted it up the mountain before making his "discovery." (The wood, by the way, dates from the 6th to 8th centuries.) Ed Behling is also probably a hoaxer, as probably is Ed Davis. (Behling has refused to talk about his claims since the mid-1980's; what was shown on the program was an interview from around 1980. His account has numerous inconsistencies, he is known as a sincere Christian who embellishes for effect, and his refusal to talk about his story came about after he was questioned about inconsistencies by Ark researchers. Davis' story has changed significantly since he first told it, and based on his initial story it is highly unlikely that he has ever been on Ararat. He claimed that while he was stationed in Hamadan, Iran, he saw a snow-capped mountain which locals said was where the Ark landed, and they took him to it one day, which took half a day to get to. Hamadan is 400 miles from Ararat, but there is another mountain 60 miles west of Hamadan which is believed by locals to be the landing spot of the Ark. Many other details of Davis' story are consistent with his visiting this mountain and NOT consistent with his visiting Ararat. For example, he originally said the natives who took him up the mountain were Lourds rather than Kurds. (He has since changed his story.) His description of the geography of the mountain (containing many springs) is not consistent with Ararat, but is consistent with this other mountain.) Finally, my article will have some interesting details about Dave Balsiger's past involvement with other hoaxes. (Balsiger is Sun's "Chief Research Officer" and scripted "The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark" and "Ancient Secrets of the Bible I & II.") OK, not so finally--I also want to point out that an examination of Balsiger and Charles Sellier's 1976 book, _In Search of Noah's Ark_, shows that in many cases they knew about additional evidence which undercuts many of the claims made in their program, but did not present it to the viewers. (Including the radiocarbon dating results for Navarra's wood, the fact that the alleged _Stars & Stripes_ article about Noah's Ark has never been found despite extensive search, that Navarra claimed to find the Ark in a place different from where the recent program made it appear he did, etc.) I think the case that Balsiger is a liar is pretty strong. Jim Lippard Lippard@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU Dept. of Philosophy Lippard@ARIZVMS.BITNET University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721

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