March 15, 2006— -- A satellite image may launch a scientific expedition to search for Noah's Ark. The snapshot captures a mysterious object on Turkey's Mount Ararat.
"I see for a 1,015 feet in length a shiplike object that has almost unbroken symmetry," said Porcher Taylor, an assistant professor at the University of Richmond.
Taylor, a professor of national security law, spent the past 13 years on a quest to discover what is on Mount Ararat, the area where the Bible says Noah steered his ark through raging floodwaters. Taylor persuaded a commercial satellite company to capture the mystery shot.
He calculated that the object in the photo had the same length-to-width ratio -- 300 cubits by 500 cubits -- of the ark described in the Bible. That is about the size of an aircraft carrier.
"Currently, I'm working with a naval architecture team, and they're trying to determine whether a wooden boat this size could actually float," Taylor said.
Many people have long been searching for the ark.
"Czar Nicholas sent an expedition in the early 20th century," said Bruce Feiler, author of "Walking the Bible."
"U2 spy planes were shooting this mountain in the 1950s, even [President] Jimmy Carter when he was on his way to Iran was said to be looking down to see if he could see Noah's Ark."
Skeptics say that the satellite images don't prove anything and that someone will have to actually examine the objects in person. Taylor hopes someone does and turns the most famous of biblical tales into a proven fact.