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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CH504.2:

In 1955, after two unsuccessful searches, Fernand Navarra found hand-hewn wood in a wall of ice at the 13,750 foot level. He retrieved a small sample of the wood, which is apparently very old.

In 1969, Navarra and others found more old wood at two different sites.


LaHaye, Tim and John Morris, 1976. The Ark on Ararat, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc. and Creation Life Publishers, pp. 129-134, 158-160.


  1. Radiocarbon dates for Navarra's 1955 sample were obtained from five laboratories. One lab, whose sample size was insufficient, placed its age at 260 C.E. +/- 120 years. Three others dated it between 720 to 790 C.E. +/- about 90 years. The fifth apparently dated it to around 300-700 C.E. (There was no published report.)

    Two labs have dated the 1969 samples, one at 650 C.E. +/- 50 years, the other at 630 C.E. +/- 95 years.

    The dates are substantially consistent; the only two inconsistent dates are questionable to begin with. The wood is too young for Noah's ark.

    The wood was also dated by other methods, namely degree of lignite formation, gain in wood density, cell modification, color change, and unspecified criteria. These methods yielded ages around 5000 years, but all these methods are highly subjective and variable. In particular, wood density analysis depends on the initial density of the wood, but different sources disagree what species of wood the samples are; one lab specifically rejects the lighter species of oak in favor of a denser species that would give a younger age. Control samples would be necessary to get useful results from lignite formation. The color change could have occurred in as little as 100 years (Bailey 1989).

  2. Navarra himself is suspect. Navarra's descriptions of where he found the wood are vague and contradictory, so much so that the obfuscation must be deliberate. In 1969, the wood only appeared where Navarra told people to dig, and on at least one occasion, Navarra had opportunity to plant wood at the site the day before. One of Navarra's friends accused him of attempting to purchase timber from a very old structure, and two other people wrote that they had firsthand knowledge that he fraudulently claimed wood to have come from the ark in order to sell his books (LaHaye and Morris 1976).


  1. Bailey, Lloyd, 1989. Noah: The Person and the Story in History and Tradition. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.
  2. LaHaye and Morris, 1976. (see above)

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