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Archaeologist Responds to Attacks on Turkish Professors, Government Ministers, and Prehistoric Sites on Mount Ararat Associated with Noah's Ark

Archaeologist defends veracity of prehistoric sites on Mount Ararat and conservation of these archaeological features.


Miami, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/19/2013 --Harvard University educated archaeologist and president of the archaeological contract firm PRC, Inc., Dr. Joel Klenck, defends the veracity of prehistoric sites and efforts by Turkish researchers and government ministers to protect archaeological sites on Mount Ararat in eastern Anatolia, associated with Biblical and Quranic accounts of Noah’s Ark.

Klenck states, “A former American tour guide, Amy Louise Beam, and her Kurdish partners at Murat Camping, Murat and Saim Sahin, have attempted to denigrate the veracity of prehistoric sites on Mount Ararat and archaeologists associated with this research. In 2012, Turkish authorities deported Amy Beam from Turkey for crimes against tourists, being an illegal worker, not having a license to lead tours in Turkey, and having no authorization to provide permits to climb Mount Ararat. Both her and Murat Sahin made hidden videos of tourists and then attempted to extort monies if their demands were not met. They also engaged in harassment by revealing personal items they stole and hidden videos they filmed on the internet. The Turkish government is prosecuting Amy Beam and Murat Camping for their crimes. Court action against Amy Beam is pending in several countries. Currently, Amy Beam lives in the Republic of Georgia and Barbados.”

Beam and Sahin have made various allegations against Klenck, other archaeologists, and Turkish officials. Klenck retorts, “When I attempted to climb Mount Ararat with Murat Camping, Amy Beam and Murat Sahin illegally searched through my baggage and discovered that I was an archaeologist researching prehistoric sites on Mount Ararat. When I returned to Murat Camping, they threatened to take me to the gendarme [military police] if I did not reveal the locations of the sites and give them thousands of dollars. I refused to tell them what they wanted to know, paid them no money, demanded that they return materials they stole from me, and asked them take me to the gendarme. At the gendarme station, Beam accused me of climbing Ararat illegally, being an archaeologist, and having Kurdish friends that competed with Murat Camping. At the station the officer asked me if I had a permit to climb Mount Ararat. I showed him my receipts for monies, paid to Amy Beam, for a permit to climb Mount Ararat.”

The archaeologist comments: “Beam’s accusation was similar to a rental car company accusing a customer of riding in a stolen car, which the company rented to the customer. All I had to show is receipts for monies paid to Amy Beam for a climbing permit. The Turkish authorities then focused on whether Beam had the appropriate permits and licenses.”

Klenck continues: “The officer questioned Amy Beam if she was a legal worker in Turkey and had a license to lead tours in Anatolia. Amy admitted she had no permit to work in Turkey, no license to provide tours in Anatolia, and no permit to lead ascents up Mount Ararat. The officer then defended me and told Beam that it was not a crime to be an archaeologist, research prehistoric sites, or have friends that competed with Murat Camping. The officer then demanded that Amy Beam and Murat Sahin return all the items they had stolen from me. Lastly, the officer drove me to another hotel away from Murat Camping and apologized for the antics of Beam and Sahin. His last comment to me: “Amy Beam is crazy.” Ten minutes later, Murat Sahin showed up at the hotel, returned all my personal items to me, apologized, and asked me to not report their actions to TURSAB, the organization that oversees tourism in Turkey.”

Murat Sahin has condemned Turkish professors, Oktay Belli and Ahmet Özbek, and Turkish government ministers stating they received bribes to facilitate an ark hoax. Amy Beam claims that the prehistoric sites represent a fraud and that there are no wood structures on Mount Ararat. Randall Price and Don Patton have printed similar allegations stating the sites are a hoax and that Turkish government ministers are taking bribes and supporting a fraud. Klenck responds: “These allegations are false. Worse, these allegations are slanderous and libelous. Who are you going to believe—a convicted murderer, Sahin; a deported criminal, Beam; and a trio of adventurers—who have all profited from bogus ark searches? Professors Belli and Özbek are excellent scholars and good people. The Turkish government ministers are trying to protect and conserve archaeological sites. It is time for the world to accept the scientific data, reports, pictures, and even a full-length movie exhibiting a prehistoric monumental wood structure and other archaeological sites on Mount Ararat, which are confirmed by a growing number of scholars striving to study and preserve these archaeological features.”

The archaeologist states that Sahin and Beam’s attempts to malign archaeologists and prehistoric archaeological sites on Mount Ararat are mostly due to greed. “For years Murat Sahin and Amy Beam have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from gullible tourists looking for Noah’s Ark. They provided illegal expeditions on Mount Ararat and explained to the local gendarme that they were conducting short-term climbs up Ararat. In reality, they guided teams of mostly Americans and Australians led by Randall Price, Richard Bright, and Don Patton, to stay near the summit for weeks digging through annual deposits of snow to look for Noah’s Ark. These efforts had no scientific merit.”

The archaeologist concludes, “That there are prehistoric sites including a monumental wood structure on Mount Ararat, which exhibits excellent preservation, is an absolute fact—and provides a very big threat to Murat Camping, Amy Beam, and ark search groups. Instead of being able to accumulate hundreds of thousands of dollars from trusting believers looking for the ark, religious adherents and tourists will be able to read surveys and research reports or pay small fees to observe artifacts from the Ararat sites in museums administered by the Turkish government. The prehistoric sites will benefit science by providing archaeologists with wonderful data about the transition from the Stone Age to the advent of farming communities, increase attendance at Turkish museums, and benefit the entire Agri province.”

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