OF RELIGION Field Guide to the


In a Nutshell

Ron Wyatt was an amateur archaeologist whose work has gained wide attention in Christian circles before and after his death in 1999 because his efforts were claimed to yield tangible "proof" of many of the events in the Bible.

His findings were presented by himself and others in person and on tape to many church groups in the US and around the English-speaking countries of the world. They gained particular popularity in Australia and New Zealand through the efforts of Wyatt associate Jonathan Gray.

Wyatt's archaeological claims continue to be aggressively promoted in the US and around the world by both the official Wyatt Archaeological Research (WAR) organization which he founded, and a variety of independent ministries and interested individuals. A number of "prophetic" ministries, such as that of Michael Rood, [see the Profile of Michael Rood elsewhere on this Field Guide website] use Wyatt's materials extensively in establishing and promoting their own prophetic scenarios.

Wyatt seemed to have adopted a swashbuckling "persona" not unlike that of the fictional archaeologist "Indiana Jones" from the movies, and his exploits have become almost legendary in some Christian circles. The news of his claims has been widespread, and many Christians have swallowed those claims whole. They are unaware that almost all of Wyatt's most flamboyant claims are highly controversial and hotly contested. It is the purpose of this material to give an overview of the claims and provide documentation on the challenges to those claims by credible investigators.


The Claims

Ron Wyatt claimed to have discovered (or positively identified--at least to his own satisfaction--for the first time in modern history) a large number of locations and objects in the Middle East which would corroborate the events of the Bible. Some lists of such discoveries by Wyatt include close to 100 such claims made by him. The most significant of these are:

 Noah's Ark

 "Anchor stones" used by Noah for the ark

 The Post-Flood house and tombs of Noah and his wife

 The location of Sodom and Gomorrah

 Sulfur balls from the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah

 The point of the Israelites' crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus

 Debris from the pursuing army of Pharoah at the bottom of the sea

 The site of the Biblical Mt. Sinai

 A chamber at the end of a maze of tunnels under Jerusalem containing artifacts from Solomon's temple

 The Ark of the Covenant

 The stones on which God carved the Ten Commandments

 The exact site of the crucifixion of Jesus

 An earthquake crack under the crucifixion site made at the time of the death of Jesus

 Blood of Jesus, which dripped down this crack onto the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant, located in a chamber directly beneath the cross



Wyatt's Theology

Although in many of his public presentations Wyatt did not emphasize his personal theological underpinnings, he was in fact a devoted Seventh Day Adventist.

Many of his "conclusions" about the results of his efforts were based on SDA theology, and specifically the alleged visions and teachings of Ellen G White. White has historically been viewed by the SDA denomination as the only modern "prophet," whose prophetic ministry validated the identity of their organization as the Remnant True Church. [For details on the claims of the SDA denomination and their prophetess EG White, see the Profile of Seventh Day Adventism elsewhere on this Field Guide site.]

When sharing the news of his exploits with SDA audiences, Wyatt emphasized the spiritual, doctrinal, and prophetic implications of his alleged finds. But when sharing those same finds with non-SDA audiences, he emphasized the value of archaeological validation of Bible facts. Still, one of his avowed ultimate goals was to eventually persuade people to accept the claims of Seventh Day Adventism, and he believed that the combination of evidence he gathered would ultimately lead to that goal.


Many of Wyatt's claims have been challenged by numerous investigators, including archaeologists, scientists, Bible teachers and commentators, Israeli officials, and others with an interest in establishing or refuting those claims.

Wyatt and his promoters have, in general, refused to answer the questions raised by such detractors. Instead, they have most often chosen to address the questions in general by calling into question the sincerity or honesty of the questioner. They have typically done this by categorizing these individuals into several groups, all implied to have less than honest and reasonable causes for their attempts to refute Wyatt's claims:

 Atheists who don't want to admit the truth of the Bible

 Disgruntled rival archaeologists looking for glory for themselves

 Religious people who disagree with Wyatt's theology and thus his conclusions about the significance of some of his "finds"

 Disgruntled religious people who resent that the glory for discovery is going to a Seventh Day Adventist, rather than "one of their own"

In addition, Wyatt claimed in a number of instances that he could not reveal certain facts and evidence that would substantiate some of his claims because he was privately asked–or ordered–by unnamed Israeli authorities to withhold that information as it was believed to be "dangerous" for Israeli security.


Adapting to the Audience 

The claims listed above are typical of those that Wyatt's promoters make in lectures and videos made for the general public. What is often missing are the somewhat more "supernatural" claims. These are reserved for unabashedly "religious" audiences … and some of them for particularly Seventh Day Adventist audiences.

For Wyatt claimed that many of his finds have been related to direct, divine intervention rather than standard archaeological methods. And he has claimed at times during his activities in the Middle East to have had direct visitations from both angels and Jesus Christ himself--in person, not "vision."

In addition, he claimed in relation to his alleged discovery of the Ark of the Covenant and the Ten Commandment stones that the stones would be "brought out" for the world to see in fulfillment of "end time prophecy" as it is taught by the Seventh Day Adventist denomination. When not directed to a strictly SDA audience, this prophetic scenario was couched by Wyatt (and now by his successors) in quite general terms, which might be accepted by many non-SDA Christians.

The scenario indicates that some day in the very near future, the Anti-Christ and his system will take over rule of the world. He will impose the "Mark of the Beast" on everyone, except those brave Saints who refuse to accept that mark and are willing to be martyred instead. And at that point the Ten Commandment stones will be brought out as a witness to the world of the True Religion.

What Wyatt's promoters seldom mention openly in such public gatherings is that Wyatt (as all loyal SDA members) believed that the Mark of the Beast is "Sunday-keeping."


The Allure

Research in many fields, from language studies to anthropology, during the past 100 years has brought many confirmations of the accuracy and dependability of the Bible as it relates to human history. Still, many events, places, people, and objects described in the Bible are not corroborated by any external written documents or physical evidence. Many Christians find themselves at a disadvantage when trying to share their beliefs about the Bible with non-believers. So much in their belief system must, ultimately, rely on "faith" that the Bible's claims are true. Thus the notion that there might be real, tangible "proof" of some of the most exciting portions of the Bible can be exhilarating.

The materials put out by Ron Wyatt's promoters, especially the videos, are designed to sweep the viewer along to an almost inescapable conclusion that here, at last, is the hard evidence so many have so long sought. When you can "see it with your own eyes" on tape, it is very difficult to even worry about the fact that the tape may not be sharing "the whole story" about some of the evidence offered. Promotional ads for the tapes and lectures emphasize wildly enthusiastic hype about what to expect, and it is no doubt difficult to be in an audience of wide-eyed fellow Christians and not be swept along by the zeal and excitement.

From a one-minute spot radio ad for a lecture by Wyatt associate Richard Rives:

Hold in your own hand pieces of brimstone from Sodom and Gomorrah…

Learn of the conspiracy to conceal the truth about the prophetic significance of the Ark of the Covenant and its contents.

Who doesn't love to be "in with the in crowd" who know all about the latest conspiracy theory, whether it's about the death of JFK or Princess Di, or about the government cover-up of UFOs? The huge sales of supermarket checkout Tabloid Newspapers show how fascinating this kind of hype is in the secular world. And in recent years, this same kind of use of sensational headlines and allegations of nefarious cover-ups has been used by Ron Wyatt and others to appeal to Christian audiences.




Science Vs Ron Wyatt

Ron Wyatt was neither a professional archaeologist nor a specialist in any scientific field that would help him in evaluating the sites and items he claimed to have found.

He was a nurse-anesthetist by trade, embarking on amateur archaeological expeditions as time and finances permitted. This amateur status certainly does not preclude the possibility that he could have found many interesting items in his travels.

What it does indicate is that he was not necessarily equipped to subject his speculations about sites and objects to rigorous scientific scrutiny. In the opinion of many who have investigated his claims, his speculations were often based on not much more than wishful thinking and scientific misconceptions. But once he had settled on a conclusion about what he had found, and had begun sharing those findings with the public, he and his supporters seemed extremely hostile and unreceptive to any questions about the accuracy of the scientific documentation that would have substantiated those finds. As Wyatt promoter Bill Fry puts it on the Anchorstone website

He believed in the sciences but felt that often the scientist could not see past his own education and "think out of the box". He was concerned that today too many of us let the "people of letters" do our thinking for us.

For this reason Ron never relied on scientists or professionals to confirm his work. He employed scientific testing and then presented the results along with the biblical, historical, archaeological and scientific evidence in the belief that each person was capable of making their own decision.


The problem with this reasoning is that Wyatt did claim to use "scientific testing." And it is the scientific validity of that testing which is often the source of questions about Wyatt's claims.

The "belief that each person was capable" denies the reality that the average person is utterly unequipped to evaluate Wyatt's claims in a vacuum. It is only when those claims are challenged by alternative scientific information that the average person would have the slightest clue that Wyatt's claims might even be questionable.

It would appear that Wyatt's promoters extensively rely upon the fact that most audiences for videos, lectures, and articles about Wyatt's claims seldom come into contact with any "contrary" information about those claims. It has only been with the advent of the Internet that the average person has access to do meaningful comparison between the claims of Wyatt and the alternative explanations and evaluation of his critics. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of those who come under the influence of Wyatt's claims are so enamored of them … as "proof of the Bible" … that they may reject out of hand any contrary information as being "critical of the claims of the Bible."

This notion is reinforced by the efforts of Wyatt's supporters to categorize his critics as falling into the types mentioned in the "Claims" section above. But close examination of these categories shows that they are not persuasive:


Categorizing the Critics?


As for the excuse that a certain amount of his evidence and facts had to be withheld at the request of authorities in Israel--a number of Israeli authorities have categorically denied that such restraints were put on Wyatt. And at least one such authority publicly challenged Wyatt on the Internet to go ahead and make available the evidence he claimed was "classified."


Wyatt offered so many excuses over the years for why he could not provide the public with any really substantial evidence to support many of his claims that it is necessary to believe in a massive conspiracy and cover-up by hundreds of unrelated people around the world in order to accept Wyatt's claims.


Getting the Stories Straight 

Another area of concern regarding Wyatt's claims involves the varying and sometimes conflicting reports about the details of his adventures. For instance, Mary Nell Wyatt, Ron Wyatt's wife, wrote a long, detailed description of the whole saga of the discovery of the chamber with the Ark of the Covenant. It is posted as an official record on the Wyatt Archaeological Research website. In this elaborate telling of the events, there is no mention of angels.

Yet in a description written 5/16/2000 regarding the same saga and time period on a rival "Wyatt Discoveries" site, Anchorstone.com, Wyatt associate Bill Fry goes into elaborate detail about Wyatt's claims that he saw four angels in the chamber. He said that they "cleaned up" the chamber and set out the Temple artifacts, that they removed the cover of the Ark exposing the Ten Commandment stones, that he was told by one of them to take out those stones, and that he discussed with that same angel a number of times how he should deal with the discovery.


Why the discrepancy? Fry's article is not the only source of information about Wyatt's angelic encounters. A number of websites include transcriptions of talks Wyatt gave at SDA meetings over the years in which he acknowledged the angelic stories. Here is one sample, an excerpt from a transcript of a sermon given by Wyatt in New Zealand 2/13/99:

Now this chamber where the Ark of the Covenant was placed - that is the temple of God on this earth. The Ark of the Covenant is His earthly throne. And although the Shekinah glory is not present there any longer, it has not been abandoned. The four angels that were placed on duty at the time the 10 commandments were put in the ark [4 S.G. p.102] are still there. That chamber has been cleaned out. All the furnishings of the tabernacle (of the temple - which were the same) are set in perfect order. The only difference is that the Ark of the Covenant is sitting against the end of the chamber wall. The staves have been removed. And to my understanding that means it's not going to ever be moved again. And behind the Ark of the Covenant is a beautiful wall of transparent crystal, glass, or something and the colors of the rainbow are radiating out above the earthly throne of God. I haven't seen the one in heaven but I know it's described as a rainbow over it.


The following comment on the revelation to the world of the Ark of the Covenant was part of the FAQ page of the Anchorstone: Wyatt Archaeological Discoveries website as of 7/1/2003.


When will the Ark be revealed to the world?

We get a lot of pressure from various people about this question but it is God that will dictate the timing of the revealing of the Ark of the Covenant and the tables of stone to the world. No man will make that decision. The timing of that revelation has been revealed to Ron Wyatt. However that revelation will be associated with certain events, not a specific date or time.

The time of the revealing of the Ark is not scheduled to coincide with any dedication or building of a temple or anything associated with it. However, there is an event that will be the signal for Ron to bring out the tables of stone from the place where they have been hidden for over 2500 years. That event will be when man's law forces a form of worship upon people that is contrary to God's law.


The obvious problem with this statement is that Ron Wyatt has been dead since 1999. So how will it be possible for him to "bring out the tables of stone"?


Kevin Fisher, on the Arkdiscovery.com website offers his speculation on how to reconcile this problem. Fisher quotes the 5/16/2000 material above by Fry, and inserts a bracketed comment of his own:


Fry had written …

"He [the angel in the chamber] then walked back over to Ron and told him two things. The first was that if Ron remained faithful, he would have a part in bringing out the tables of stone so that they might be put on display. The second was that the Ark was not to be revealed to the world or the tables of stone put on display until shortly after a law was passed that would attempt to enforce the mark of the beast upon people."


Fisher speculates:

This statement by the angel is most interesting in that Ron died on August 4, 1999. If "he was to have a part in bringing out the tables of stone," what did the angel mean? There are two possibilities. One is that Ron would have to be resurrected to do this, the other is that the angel meant that Ron's work in finding the ark (his part) would be brought to light when the tables would be put on display. Only the first one is really feasible to me, for the angel said that "if he remained faithful he would have a part." Now Ron was faithful to the end of his life, therefore, the second possibility is not applicable, for they will be brought out whether Ron was faithful or not. Time will tell.

The second part of the angel's comment "that the Ark was not to be revealed to the world or the tables of stone put on display until shortly after a law was passed that would attempt to enforce the mark of the beast upon people." If Ron is to be raised up to be a part of this scenario, this means that it would have to be at the time of the first Sunday law. The angel said that the tables of stone would be put "on display SHORTLY AFTER a law was passed that would attempt to enforce the mark of the beast upon people."

Shortly there will follow a death decree against all true Sabbath keepers and the time described as the time of Jacob's trouble would commence. This ends in the deliverance of the saints who refuse to receive the mark of the beast by keeping Sunday. At that time we are told by Ellen White, all those since 1844 who died keeping the third angel's message will be raised from their graves with their immortal bodies. This would of necessity be after the time of Jacob's trouble and at the time of the deliverance of the saints from the death penalty connected with the Sunday law and the mark of the beast. Thus if Ron is to have a part in the bringing out of the tables of stone, It seems like it would have to happen before the first resurrection of the saints after the death decree is issued. This would mean that he is to be raised before the others are raised. Again, time will tell!


References to Wyatt's angelic encounters appear on sites in a number of places on the Internet. So why would Mary Nell Wyatt leave out such astounding information from her official account of the events?


Examination of the Claims and Concerns

The Major Archaeological Claims

Click on the following link to go to a detailed Field Guide overview of the claims by Ron Wyatt and his supporters for his discovery Noah's Ark.

The "Real" Noah's Ark


Supernatural claims of Ron Wyatt and his promoters

 Many of those who have only seen a video, perhaps even made by a commercial TV network, about Wyatt's alleged discovery of Noah's Ark may be totally unaware of the numerous claims Wyatt made about supernatural incidents that happened throughout his career, including visits and discussions with angels and Jesus Christ. For an examination of these claims, to go to the following Field Guide article.

Overview of the Supernatural Claims Made for the Work of Ron Wyatt.


Other Claims

It is beyond the purpose and scope of this Overview of Wyatt's work to examine every single claim that he made. The documentation that is included should be enough to convince the average reader that many of Wyatt's claims need to be investigated through material outside of that published by his promoters before accepting the claims as "proven".

See the Documentation section at the end of this webpage for links to a number of websites which do a thorough job of examining and evaluating Wyatt's claims regarding the following, and much more:

The location of the Biblical Mt. Sinai

The location where the Israelites crossed the Red Sea

The underwater remains of Pharaoh's army


In addition, the book Holy Relics and Revelation (see Bibliography entry at the end of this webpage) provides considerable careful and persuasive documentation on the challenges to these and other claims.  



Major outreach efforts currently promoting the claims of Wyatt 


Wyatt Archaeological Research (WAR) : "official" organization carrying on the Wyatt projects

Wyatt's wife, Mary Nell Wyatt, endorses and works directly with WAR.

Long-time Wyatt associate Richard Rives is the President of WAR.

WAR spreads information regarding the alleged discoveries of Ron Wyatt on the web via several domain names. It's primary website is:


Introductory comments:

You have reached the official source of all information that is found on the internet concerning the discoveries of Ron Wyatt: presented by Richard Rives, President of Wyatt Archaeological Research and subject to the unanimous approval of the Board of Directors, Wyatt Archaeological Research.


Mary Nell Wyatt had the following to say about Richard Rives:


"Ron used to say that Christians must have a burden for souls. When Ron passed away, there was only one man to step into his shoes, a man who also possessed a true burden for souls. Richard Rives worked closely with Ron on the archaeological research and field work in Turkey, Egypt and Israel from 1990 until Ron’s death in 1999. Richard Rives has devoted his life to the work that God has given him- to get the knowledge of the archaeological evidences that have been given to mankind for these last days to the public, along with the message of salvation and truth. A man of endless energy, integrity and enthusiasm for the work, Richard also possesses a boldness for proclaiming God’s truth that must surely rival that of the Apostles and the early Christians."


HOWEVER--Not all supporters of the claims of Ron Wyatt are so enthusiastic about Rives. It appears that after Wyatt's death, a major split occurred between the official WAR group and the majority of other outreaches that had previously cooperated with WAR during Wyatt's lifetime. See Kevin Fisher's comments below.


Arkdiscovery.com: Web presence of Kevin Fisher, president of a non-profit organization called Voice of Truth, Inc., Johnson City, Tennessee.

Kevin Fisher comments on the rivalry among Wyatt promoters after the death of Ron Wyatt in 1999:

Excerpt from: "Position on WAR" (Wyatt Archaeological Research)


Before Ron died, he stated to fellow supporters that God had not impressed him to choose a successor to his position as president, and thus remained quiet on the issue. A WAR board meeting was held shortly after Ron’s death, where Mary Nell asked that Richard Rives be appointed president, because she assumed Ron would want Richard in that position.

Mr. Rives, representing WAR, then pursued an aggressive policy of threatening associates who had worked with Ron for years, or who had been promoting the discoveries independently. These included among others Jonathan Gray (surprising discoveries), Jim Pinkoski (pinkoski.com), Bill Fry (anchorstone.com), etc. WAR threatened them with lawsuits if they did not cease from using Ron’s photos and newsletters. Jim Pinkoski had operated Ron's first museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, drawn numerous illustrations for Ron, and was an active advocate of the discoveries. Mr. Fry had in his possession, a signed statement from Ron giving him authorization to use any of the photos and newsletters, but the new WAR refused to acknowledge this. Before Ron's death, more than 50 percent of all sales generated through the website operated by Mr. Fry and Anchor Stone, was donated to WAR, but this was not acceptable to the new board. Apparently after losing Ron and his outside income to support the ministry, a financial crisis was foreseen, thus an aggressive policy was pursued to hamper others from selling videos or books which contained any of Ron’s photos or newsletters.

Elsewhere on the Arkdiscovery site Fisher notes:

There are many negative statements on the Internet concerning Ron Wyatt. They are untrue and are part of Satan's attack on the discoveries of God. By attacking the man, the authenticity of the discoveries is then compromised.

There are no doubt some statements on the Internet which shed a negative light on Ron Wyatt. But careful examination of many of them would seem to indicate that it is the question of the "authenticity of the discoveries" that puts Wyatt in that negative light, not the other way around. If Wyatt and his promoters had provided legitimate documentation all along to establish that authenticity, then the light on Wyatt would be positive.


Anchorstone.com: Website begun by former Wyatt associate, the late Bill Fry. It is now headed by Wyatt/Fry associate  Jerry Bowen.


Introductory comments to the site:

The Anchor Stone web site was one of the first established (April 1997) to feature Ron's Discoveries. It is the oldest remaining web site that contains virtually all of the material and newsletters he released during his lifetime.

From the beginning it was started with Ron's full approval and cooperation. We believe it contains the best and most accurate information on his work. We are constantly updating our material. It has become our goal to continue Ron's work and to conduct it in the same spirit he did.

Description of Bill Fry from the site before his death:

Internationally known speaker Bill Fry has been sharing these discoveries around the world for over 5 years. Bill was a personal friend of the late Ron Wyatt, worked with him on several projects and has continued his work since 1999.


Pinkoski.com: Website of Jim Pinkoski, curator of Wyatt's first museum, illustrator for a number of Wyatt's publications, created the official picture of the Ark of the Covenant according to the description given by Wyatt, used on some of the Wyatt literature.


From the introduction to the site:

Welcome to the one and only website on the Internet that contains an extensive "behind the scenes" look at the museums and work of the late Ron Wyatt! I met Ron Wyatt in 1989 and worked with him for 10 years -- I am an artist and a Christian, and to a large degree this website contains my own personal testimony of my involvement with Ron Wyatt's extremely important Biblical archaeological discoveries. I believe it is important for those of us who worked with Ron to step forward and carry on his work.

This website contains around 300 of my own personal photos!



The Wyatt Family Website: An outreach of Ron Wyatt’s daughter Michelle Wyatt Schelles and her husband Dennis.




Details of a feud between WAR and others promoting Wyatt's discoveries.


Excerpt from  9/5/2001 Anchorstone newsletter update (posted on Arkdiscovery.com)


Speaking of Ron Wyatt's "Discoveries" getting national air time, a video has recently been produced on the Exodus and the Red Sea crossing site. This was a project by Dr. Lennart Moeller of Sweden. This video is being distributed internationally by Campus Crusade for Christ and other affiliated organizations. In my opinion it is the best work on this subject that I have seen to date.

However some of you have contacted me about why Ron Wyatt was not given any credit on this video. In fact his name is not even mentioned. Since so many are asking I need to tell you the story behind this. First of all I want to say that Dr. Moeller consulted with Ron on gathering the information for this video and Ron worked cooperatively with him giving him photos and video to use. The fact that Ron is not given any credit is not Dr. Moeller's fault. In fact, when the video was first being edited Ron was to receive mention several times in the video as well as the credits.

However, the leadership of Wyatt Archaeological Research (WAR) contacted Dr. Moeller and the production company (after Ron's death) and told them that they had decided that since they had no control over this video that they would not allow Ron's name or WAR to be mentioned at all. WAR also withdrew their permission for them to use any video clips or photos of Ron's even though this was Ron's intention. This created a situation where the video had to reedited so that all references to Ron and his work was removed.

In watching the video one is left with the distinct impression that Dr. Moeller and company is attempting to take credit for this discovery. But that is not the case. They are simply following the request of Ron's old organization which is another reflection of their continuing problems. Therefore, Ron's dream of having this "Discovery" distributed to millions has been tainted. While I am thankful that the information will get out through this well-done video, Ron will not get any credit at all. The only allusion to anything pertaining to Ron Wyatt is in the credits where one of the WAR board members is thanked for his personal "help" in contributing to this video and "Mary Nell Wyatt, Spring Hill, TN" is mentioned in passing. What a sad situation.




Bill Fry questions the decision by WAR to begin excavations related to the Ark of the Covenant again. Fry shares what he evidently intends to be viewed as "confidential" information Wyatt gave him before his death, which he believes to warn that any attempt to do what WAR claims it plans to do could lead to disaster for those involved.


10/9/2003 update on Fry’s concerns



The “WARring parties” evidently eventually decided to move on in their individual promotion of Wyatt’s claims, and ignore one another’s efforts.  As of 2011, most hints of the previous battles are missing from their websites. Each just promotes their own videos and such about Wyatt’s “amazing discoveries.”


Who's Who of Ron Wyatt's World

Trying to sort through the conflicting claims of Ron Wyatt and his promoters, and the critiques and criticism of his detractors, can be a complicated task. Trying to keep track of the names of various "Israeli authorities," amateur and professional archaeologists, scientists, authors, rivals, and associates whose paths crossed Wyatt's during the years of his expeditions can easily lead to confusion.

Click here to go to a Who's Who in the World of Ron Wyatt that provides a brief description of a number of the significant of the players in this ongoing saga.



Personal from the Webauthor

At some point in the distant past, I remember hearing the name of Ron Wyatt. But it was only in passing, and I never saw any videos or read any material by him. The first time his claims were actually presented to me forcefully was at a five hour "Rood Awakening" prophetic seminar presented by Michael John Rood in 2001. [For details regarding that seminar, and information on the prophetic claims of Rood, see the profile of Michael Rood elsewhere on this Field Guide website.] Much of Rood's presentation that night consisted of slides regarding a number of Wyatt's alleged findings. A significant proportion of Rood's own prophetic speculations seemed to be very dependent on the validity of Wyatt's claims.

Rood brought up the fact that he was aware that some had questioned Wyatt's claims, but bombastically declared that his audience ought to pay absolutely no attention to such doubters. He particularly indicated that the primary reason that some were criticizing the claims was that the critics were not from Wyatt's religious background (he didn't clarify what that was) and thus they were jealous that he wasn't "one of their own."

At that point in time, I had been looking into Michael John Rood's own very controversial prophetic claims for some time, and found much that troubled me. I therefore was very curious to know if all of the material Rood was pushing that night about Wyatt's astounding finds was really substantiated by documentation and scientific verification.

Rood evidently has made the same sort of defense of Wyatt's claims in other seminars. Here is a quote from an audio tape available from his ministry, "In Everything Give Thanks: An Introduction to Archaeology."

If any of you are aware of any of the disparaging works or comments that have been written about any of his [Wyatt's] discoveries, I have seen them all and I have researched them all. And some of them I have believed until, until digging further found that many of them were just outright lies and they were made to discredit. They were a Cain job trying to discredit his brother Abel. It's the accuser of the brethren at work to keep these things hidden.

It is highly unlikely that Rood had "seen all" of the critiques of Wyatt's work, and "researched them all." He did not give any details in this tape regarding what the answers were to the questions surrounding Wyatt's evidences, nor can any such answers be found in other material by Rood.

After further investigation of Rood's claims, I have found them not credible.

And after further investigation of Wyatt's claims, I have to conclude that either Rood was lying about having "researched all" of the criticisms of Wyatt's works, or he is unable to reasonably evaluate the extensive amount of contrary evidence by reputable and credible investigators.



Bernard Bradstater knew Ron Wyatt personally and accompanied him on one of the archaeological projects aimed at taking others to see the alleged Ark of the Covenant hiding place. He provides a candid perspective on Wyatt's methods in ARCHEOLOGY WITH RON WYATT: a personal account .


Over several days we were able to excavate our way down into the same cave system that Wyatt had explored two years before. I'm sorry to report that in the end we came up empty-handed. The connecting channel through which Wyatt had claimed to see the furniture was not there. On the final day of excavation, when we could not see the internal cavern landmarks that Wyatt had predicted, Ron himself finally climbed down into the dim space. After a long time he emerged, looking confused. As we waited respectfully to hear his report, he mumbled a few words like: "It's not the same; it's changed. It's not the way I remember it." There was no opening to be seen, giving a view into an adjacent cavern. There was nothing. In the process of our digging we had come up with a few interesting little objects from Roman times, but they were irrelevant to our main goal.

Our team was disappointed, puzzled, disillusioned. We had enjoyed ten days of close fellowship, with daily shared prayer times, and an excited anticipation of momentous events just before us. Now all those hopes came crashing down. And sadly, Wyatt was not man enough to come clean, to apologize for bringing us on a wild goose chase, or to attempt any kind of explanation. We kept expecting some sort of statement, but he just remained silent, withdrawn. And we were too stunned, and perhaps too sorry for him in his confusion, to demand that he explain.

To this day I cannot give a rational account for the extreme misguidedness that Wyatt revealed. What was happening in his head? His participation in our group worship times had left all of us in no doubt about his sincerity and his devotion to Scripture. He was a competent Bible scholar. He was a brother. Yet he had misled us terribly, and had offered no words of regret or apology or explanation. I have reviewed the whole story many times since then, and am convinced that the church administrator was right: Wyatt might be mistaken, but he himself believed that what he had originally shared was true.

From medical school I remember hearing of a rare state of mind, with a long Latin name, that led its victims to concoct marvelously detailed accounts of events that were pure fabrications, yet which the story-teller himself had come to believe were absolutely true. I am inclined to believe that Wyatt was a florid example of this disorder. He was not a deliberate liar, a fraud. And some of his observations had merit. But I am convinced that some of his "discoveries" were matters which underwent transcription in his mind, and he came to believe as true certain ideas and observations that in fact were his own inventions.


Few people, even the most skeptical regarding Wyatt's more controversial claims, have been willing to label the man an outright charlatan and fraud. Many testify, just as Bradstater does above, to Wyatt's sincerity, devotion to God, zeal for the Bible, and dedication to what he believed to be his calling. Perhaps, after all, Bradstater is correct in evaluating the cause of the incredible record of discrepancies in Wyatt's career.


The history of religious movements for centuries has been overflowing with just such men and women … with charisma and enthusiasm so great that they are able to sweep many otherwise sensible people along into believing their own delusions.


Web Documentation

PLEASE NOTE: Inclusion of links to the following websites is not a blanket endorsement by the author of this Field Guide profile of all of the material on these websites. It is, rather, an indication that the investigation and commentary on these websites specifically regarding the claims of Ron Wyatt appear to be carefully documented and soundly reasoned.


The following link is to the Answers In Genesis website documentation regarding Wyatt's Noah's Ark claims. This website is specifically aimed at proving and promoting the Biblical account of Creation, and would be expected to be enthusiastic about any real "proof" for any of the material in the Book of Genesis.


The article on this webpage investigates in detail Wyatt's claims about Noah's Ark. The following is the introduction to the article.

Spectacular claims, a misleading video, people misquoted and misrepresented … It’s no wonder many have asked the question …

Could this be Noah’s Ark? by Andrew Snelling
     First published in:
Creation Ex Nihilo 14(4):26–38 September–November 1992

No matter where you live, if you haven’t already heard about it, the promoters and the media have been making sure you will. What then is the massive boat-shaped formation which rests at 6,300 feet above sea level in Eastern Turkey, about 12–15 miles (15–24 kilometres) from the summit of Greater Mount Ararat?

The Main Claims at a Glance


Radar shows man-made (boat) structure..........FALSE

There is a regular metallic pattern............FALSE

Lab tests show petrified laminated wood........FALSE

Turkish scientists found metal rods............FALSE

Metal artefacts have been proved by lab........FALSE

There are 'ship's ribs' showing................FALSE

There is lots of petrified wood................FALSE

Turkish Commission says 'it's a boat...........FALSE


A Great Christian Scam, article by Gary Amirault of the Tentmaker website, challenging Ron Wyatt's claims regarding the Noah's Ark discovery. The author of this material is a Biblical literalist, and would be expected to be enthusiastic about endorsing and promoting substantiated claims of discovery of items which would authenticate the Biblical accounts.

After publication of the article linked above, Ron Wyatt's Wyatt Archaeological Research organization challenged Amirault's facts. As a result, Amirault created a page on his website titled:

Wyatt Archaeological Research Fraud Documentation page:

Here are the introductory comments from that page:

Since the magazine "Dew from Mount Hermon" published the article "A Great Christian Scam" exposing the so-called discoveries of Ron Wyatt as nothing more than a great hoax perpetrated upon the Christian community for money and fame, Joel Davenport, the manager of WAR's Internet site has published an article located at their web site accusing me, Gary Amirault, of not telling the truth. In the article I did not disclose the names of my sources since the article only went to a few hundred subscribers who trusted my reporting. I didn't feel providing names and addresses was necessary. But since Mr. Davenport's extremely distorted assessment of the accuracy of "A Great Christian Scam," and since WAR and associates are continuing to defraud the Christian community by selling videos, books, speaking engagements, trips to Israel, enticing investors in further digs, etc., all based upon discoveries which were never made, I feel it is time to lay out enough evidence to make it perfectly clear to any sane individual that we are dealing here with nothing short of an outright scam.

I have telephone interviewed most of the people on WAR's Noah's Ark video. Not one single person I spoke with on that video presently believes that Ron Wyatt's site is Noah's Ark. Some are outraged that Wyatt is still using film clips which make them look like they are substantiating Wyatt's claims when, in fact, the opposite is the case. Listed below are some of the individuals who appear on the video. Compare the story WAR continues to sell with the actual words written by the scientists after doing extensive research on the site. They no longer believe it is Noah's Ark. They believe it is a natural geological formation. As to the so-called discoveries on Ron Wyatt's video entitled "Presentation of Discoveries," those interviewed whom Ron Wyatt presented with his "facts" put little or no archaeological value on any of the material. "Fraud" was the word most often used when discussing these so-called discoveries. Read the letters from archaeologists within Ron Wyatt's own denomination, Seventh Day Adventist, and you will see that even those who would have an interest in substantiating Ron Wyatt's claims find little or no scientific evidence to support any of these discoveries.



David Merling, Seventh Day Adventist archaeologist, has created a site which goes into detailed evaluation of some of Wyatt's claims. Here are his introductory comments:

Since 1986 I have been employed by Andrews University as an archaeologist. I have a Ph.D. in archaeology and teach Old Testament, ancient history and archaeological classes. As the administrative, associate director of the Institute of archaeology, I am also the curator of the Horn Archaeological Museum and the Co-director (with Dr. Randall Younker, the Institute of Archaeology director) of the Tell Jalul, Jordan Excavations. I have traveled extensively in the Middle East, conducting excavations , leading tours and visiting archaeological sites

Since I have been an archaeologist, I am often asked the same, few questions over and over again. Due to the frequency of these questions, to provide easy access to lay readers, and to use a medium that can easily updated with new information, I have created this web site.

Of particular interest would be his evaluation of the Noah's Ark claims, and then, at the end of that material, a useful list of seven "Guidelines for Evaluating Claims:

Guidelines for Evaluating Claims

The Institute of Archaeology at Andrews University regularly receives letters from those who make claims of discoveries. For example, during the last few years several individuals have claimed they know exactly where the ark of the covenant is located--all proposing different places! Yet, all are positive as to its whereabouts. Sometimes these individuals claim that they have been divinely led in their discoveries, and occasionally, they even warn us that if we fail to help it may lead to God's disapproval. The following guidelines are useful in evaluating claims of discovery. [See link above for the list]



Other sources of information "Pro" and "Con" regarding the claims of Ron Wyatt




David Fasold's recantation of his former support of Wyatt's claims



Ongoing research regarding various proposed sites for "the real Noah's Ark". Includes separate descriptions, documentation and evaluation of the claims of Wyatt and others.

The article regarding the Durupinar ark site on this webpage has a large collection of links to webpages for and against Wyatt's claims





Jim Pinkoski's attempt on Pinkoski.com to refute the Standish book Holy Relics or Revelation

Unfortunately, the article originally linked on this Field Guide about this topic is no longer on Pinkoski’s website. It is not clear if he removed it because he finally realized it was not an effective rebuttal, or for some other reason.




The definitive work examining the claims of Ron Wyatt is:

Holy Relics or Revelation--
   Recent Astounding Archaeological Claims Evaluated

Standish, Russell R. and Colin D.
Hartland Publications, Rapidan VA
© 1999

Seventh Day Adventist authors Russell and Colin Standish examine the claims of Ron Wyatt methodically and carefully. And they include extensive documentation and quotations from first-hand sources, including Israeli authorities, scientists from a number of disciplines, people who had worked directly with Wyatt, and more.


The 300 page paperback book is available for order via the web at



An e-book version is available, at half the price, also:




Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this Field Guide website
is © 2001-2011 by Pamela Starr Dewey.

Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.

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Overview of the Archaeological Claims of

Ron Wyatt