Former astronaut’s wife convinced on location of Noah’s Ark


By Mark Ellis —

Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin had an encounter with God on the moon that left him a changed man. When he returned to Earth, he become a bold ambassador for Jesus Christ as he met with the leaders of many countries throughout the world.

“Noah’s Ark” by Memberger, Residenzgalerie, Salzburg

Irwin also led multiple expeditions to Mt. Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark. If found, it would arguably be the greatest archeological discovery in history. Tragically, Irwin died of a sudden heart attack in 1991, with his quest to find the Ark unrealized.

Now his widow, Mary Irwin, is convinced she knows where the Ark is located – and where it’s not located.

Two years ago, she was interviewed for four hours by a team working on the National Georgraphic documentary production: “Truth behind the Ark.” After Mary viewed the documentary, she felt the title of their project was highly misleading.

“There was barely a shred of truth in any of it,” she notes. She feels that she and her son-in-law John – both devout Christians, were made to look like “fools” by a film with an agnostic bias. Apparently, the filmmakers believe the story of Noah’s Ark has its roots in Mesopotamian folklore.

After Mary watched the production she came “unhinged,” and considered dashing off a protest letter to National Geographic. But her children urged her to do something more important – author her own book about the Ark.

She had already studied the subject for 25 years. After praying about it, she told God, “I’m willing to do this if you help me to think outside the box and help me to put it together. I can’t do this without your help.”

A bit of a detective at heart, she dove into her new research with relish, examining seven of the most noted stories. She slowly demolished the less credible reports as pure fiction.  “Week after week it would boggle my mind as I got more and more information.” At a certain point, she reached a dead end, with clues to the location of the Ark pointing in different directions.

“One man saw it on one mountain and one saw it on another mountain. I realized it couldn’t be on two different mountains,” she notes. Frustrated at this moment, she began to pray, “God, you have to open a door and show me.”

She laid the project aside while she waited on the Lord. Then a breakthrough came. “The Holy Spirit brought to my mind that in my late husband’s office in one of the file cabinets he had a whole drawer marked ‘Ararat.’”

Mary knew the contents of the Ararat file – if it could be located, would be stored in her daughter’s garage. She called her daughter excitedly and asked if any of the files were discarded. No, they were all there, she replied.

As she raced over and went through the file drawers she found what she had been looking for – the file James Irwin assembled in the years leading up to his death, marked ‘Ararat.’

As she pieced through the contents she found a 25-year-old letter from a German woman named Karola Kautz who had done 20 years of research on Noah’s Ark. “I looked at it with my mouth hanging open,” Mary says. The closing words of the relatively short missive contained this enigmatic warning: “Jim, please do not risk your life on Mr. Ararat, where the Ark has never been.”

Kautz founded the Society for the Interpretation of Ancient Texts, after she was mentored by R.K. Harrison of Wycliffe College in Toronto. Kautz’s research of the ancient Hebrew text led her to the conclusion that Genesis 8:4 never specifically names ‘Ararat.’ She concluded the Ark landed elsewhere.

Mary met with her friend Bob Cornuke, whom she describes as a modern-day Indiana Jones. He accompanied Irwin on several expeditions to find Noah’s Ark and founded the Base Institute after Jim’s death. “I’ve got to find this woman,” he told her.

“Bob, she’s dead,” Mary replied. But within a few days, the former LAPD investigator had located Kautz’s children and discovered they had a wealth of research – boxes and boxes. “She had a 300-page manuscript about Noah’s Ark,” Mary exclaims. “I was blown away. God was putting this together.”

Also in the Ararat file was a nugget even more valuable than Kautz’s letter: six tape recordings bundled together with rubber bands, recorded with the only Westerner she believes actually saw the remains of the Ark, Ed Davis.

Working with the Army Corps of Engineers in the Middle East, Davis was taken to see the Ark in 1942 by farmers, according to Mary. “He passed three lie detector tests,” she notes. “He knew where he was and I’ve proven where he was.”

“It was raining and snowing on and off the whole time Davis was hiking,” she says. “They had to spend the night in caves.” When they got to the Ark, it was broken in two pieces.

“I wish he was still alive so he could look at my maps and everything I’ve found.”

More details of Mary Irwin’s extensive research will be revealed in her upcoming book about Noah’s Ark. While she is convinced she knows where it is, she presents the research in a way that will allow readers to form their own conclusions.

“I’ve taken a half dozen men’s stories and examined them and proven that what they said is not true,” she says. “When this book comes out, it will stir up a hornet’s nest.”

“I have absolutely ferreted out all the facts. God has put this together miraculously.”


  1. Mary Irwin: God Bless your soul for naming my Mother for all her hard work. You are a wonderful and very knowledgeable person. You will find your treasure! Monica Kautz

  2. Monica, Mary,

    I have also been involved in the search for Noah’s Ark for many years, although I have never travelled to Turkey on an expedition like Jim Irwin. I have contributed small bits of topographical research to B.J. Corbin’s book as well as being an editor for it. I recently discovered what I truly believe is the location Ed Davis was standing when he claimed to have seen the Ark, as depicted in the map drawn by Elfred Lee. I ‘stumbled’ upon an area that not only matches the details of the map, but also fits with Ed’s story. With the help of Google Earth, I am able to ‘walk’ the area, viewing features that Ed called out on his map. I have also looked and located 3-4 objects of interest in this location, 2 of which lie in very close proximity to the objects identified on his map. Unfortunately, I cannot get high resolution photos from several ark researchers that correspond to my area of interest, nor can I zoom in with Google Earth close enough to tell what they are. They are rectangular however. I would be interested in discussing further if you’d like or if you know of anyone who might be able to provide close up, high res photos, I would be very interested. Thanks and God bless.
    John Comber

  3. Dear Mary, Monica and John,
    I am very excited to share this with you! My parents gave me a DVD about the archeological finds of Ron Wyatt. God led Ron to find Noah’s ark and his research is very convincing. From the DVD jacket: “Located across the valley from Mt Ararat and on “Doomsday Mtn.” is Noah’s Ark National Park. The ark formation is shaped like a boat and is the exact biblical length of 300 Egyptian cubits. Petrified wood is in the site such as this layered deck timber at right, with glue oozing out the end.” Please visit this website for information:
    I hope you will take the time to view Ron’s movie and discoveries. He feels that God will let this all be revealed at the appointed time. The DVD includes his personal story as he worked on the sites for 22 years, while making over 120 trips overseas to accomplish this work with the Lord. A series of miracles took place while Mr. Wyatt made the discoveries. He explains the significance of the discoveries and tells of some interesting experiences.
    God bless you as you are led to discover the truth and are led by his spirit.
    Kia Hauter

    • Kia, Ron Wyatt was allegedly a scam artist! A man has come forward stating that Chinese students were paid allegedly by Wyatt to age some boards and nails to make it look like the Ark. He also allegedly faked Sodom and Gamorrah, also the Ark of the Covernant. Wyatt died in 1999 and according to the person who can prove all this; his widow remarried and the couple have been selling merchandise and lies to this day.
      The scams were created to fraudulently obtain money and the gentleman from the above website was paid to ‘create’ videos.
      In this world of high technology, economic downturns and crashes, mankind’s greed and everything evil; ALWAYS discern what you read.
      I completely believe that Mary Irwin’s new search for the ark is very legitimate and I wish her all the very best. May God guide her and her team to it soon.

  4. Maree,
    Thank you for informing me of the scam! I didn’t actually read anything, my folks had obtained the video that Ron Wyatt’s organization is selling through friends. We just watched and felt pretty convinced that he was telling the truth. Thank you for the link you provided. I am grateful to have stumbled back on this website and found your information. It sure is sad that so many people were involved in creating an elaborate scam.

  5. Inspired by the many eye-witness accounts from people I met personally and stories by other highly credible individuals that I was informed about, I decided to check all this out for myself. After my travels to south-eastern Turkey near the borders of Armenia, Iran and Iraq in the summer of 2000, including Mount Ararat and several abandoned monasteries which I was granted permission to visit where wood from Noah’s Ark brought down the mountain by monks and pilgrims over many centuries is still preserved, I came back convinced that the account of Noah’s Ark and the great flood described in Genesis (and in nearly identical written accounts and oral traditions of diverse and distinct peoples all over the world) is historic fact, not Biblical mythology as even some believers accept. Apollo 15 Moon walker James Irwin was thrilled to have explored another world but his search for Noah’s Ark and the truth was to him a much more important and exciting adventure.

    • I would be honored to interview you or any researcher who has visited the rumored landingplace of the Ark. I run a websight for apologedics, defending the historical proofs for scripture. My websight is

      • In my personal search for Noah’s Ark, some of my findings are briefly discussed in ‘Chapter 25 of The Explorers of Ararat’ (pages 41 and 45) by Richard Bright, a mutual friend of James Irwin…

  6. Mrs Irwin, I was a member of the Air Force Honor Guard in the early 90’s. I was a Body Bearer and had the privilege of escorting your husband to his final resting place. I have performed around 600 funerals at Arlington and every single one is special. What makes the ceremony memorable is when the person is special, as Colonel Irwin was. Our motto is Last To Let You Down and it was my honor to be one of the eight men to do just that. to Honor With Dignity.. Rich Coursey

  7. All very interesting but the Ark is not factual. The Ark was supposed to have been built over 4,000 years ago, possibly in the Bronze Age. As there were no iron tools, it would have been impossible to make such a enormous boat. There was no world flood at that time either, as the last big flood was about 12,000 years ago when the Ice Age ended. The Ark will never be found because it never existed. There are many biblical stories which are not correct and we should bear this in mind, eg the world was not created in 6 days etc,etc.
    Time will tell.

    • To Neil Duckworth, I dare say that your claims that the Ark could not be constructed during the “Bronze Age” as there were no iron tools or that the last big flood was when the “Ice Age” ended, is predicated on the belief that the Geological Column is “Scientifically Accurate” and therefore fact that we can refute anything contrary. As you may well already know, the Geological Column was devised in the mid 1800’s but what you may not know is HOW it was devised. Perhaps conduct a bit of research into this matter. You may be surprised to find out that no SCIENTIFIC method was used. Follow that up by understanding how C14 works and the enormous holes in this method of dating (specifically how it is impossible to find any natural source of carbon below the “Ice Age” layer that DOESN”T contain significant amounts of C14 even though this layer is presumed to be millions and by some “estimates” billions of years old.) Please be “Scientific” about what you research and understand HOW they are coming up with the claims that are being made. I believe if you seek for truth, you will find it.

    • This is a great post, that information needs to be in your book which would be a wild best seller for sure. Let us all know when you assemble all of your proven facts into the story of the life time. Other wise invest in some time reading what God has said and His Christ has acknowledged.

  8. It is critical that folks hear and see the logistics seminar given to the International society of logistics engineers titled “The Logistics of Noah’s Ark” by Monte Judah. It does turn out that God is the Supreme Engineer!!! Be sure it investigate that teaching! If you are a creationist you will be encouraged. If you are an atheist you will have to reckon with this “logistics thing”.

  9. Alice, curious to see your entry here just a few hours ago. I came across this site while looking up some references for an abstract I’m writing about The Flood. I will check out Judah’s seminar.

  10. I AM EXSTATIC People are recognizing & continuing with Karola’s Research ! I was privledged enough to have Karola as a Best Friend, Research Collegue & she will Always be my Mentor! I remember her ‘Noah’s Ark Did NOT Land on Ararat’ Manuscript was with one Publisher for more than 5 years ! Though it NEVER did Hit the stores, I noticed today that there’s references on the internet that ‘it’s’ available from Amazon !
    Karola said “When the Real Noah’s Ark is Discovered, there will be No Dispute! First they will find Noah’s “Office” where he transcribed the “Books of the Fathers (of the Adamite Priesthood) The Preservation of’ these Ancient Writings’ was Noah’s purpose and he transcribed from this, already very Ancient Library, for 150 years after the flood! This is the Only Reason we have our Bible today…”
    I was Devistated when Karola passed and with the thought that all her Hard work was laying dormant, I made attempt after attempt to show the World her Research and my ONLY intention was and is to share this Fountain of Knowledge the “Kautz Method” gives us !
    It is with a sigh of relief that the Core of the Research “The Key to Ancient Records” is available to the Public
    Mark Ellis & Mary Irwin ~ Thank You for Finally taking Karola’s Research serious and utilizing “Noah’s Ark DID NOT LAND ON ARARAT” manuscript and research. I’d LOVE to see THAT published one day…
    As a little girl I promised God that IF He’d give me the Proof that He/God exists, I’d tell the world !
    I met Karola Kautz when I was 18 years old and was taught how to access the truth through the linguistics, symbolism and letting the “Ancients Speak for Themselves” . After 8 years with SIAT (Society for the Interpretation of Ancient Text) I left the research group to raise my family with the tools to continue my own personal learning. My Love is Plato & Philosophy, but whatever your field of interest, I’m sure you’ll find as I have this last 30 years ~ Not ONE Contradiction when using the “Kautz Method” ~ IT IS the Key to Ancient Records ~ Universally and throughout time !
    Sincerely Liz DeLorme

  11. I live in Washington State and have been to see the Mt. St. Helens eruption several times.
    It has changed much but the records are still intact. What interested me was the layers and layers put down with each eruption. It looks just like the Geological Column that was devised in the mid 1800′s, now the facts are known. Geological Columns like this can and are formed very quick not over millions of years. Also, still there is no missing link. I do hope the Ark of Noah is found which will show how all the shells and fish fossils are found on the tallest mountains. If you read and study the Bible and let it interpet itself you will find the truth, God still rules and always will.

  12. Mary, we have never met, but I knew John Christensen in Boulder before he married your and James’ daughter, while he was working at the high school, with the students.
    If possible mention this to him and see if he could email me should he desire.
    Thank you
    Nick Koerner

  13. It is very difficult find Ed Davis location by using Google Earth, but threre is only one place on Mount Ararat that matches with his story, the northwest canyon. But the resolution on Google Earth is too poor for a good sight of this site. Another place is on top Ahora Gorge During world War 2, Vince Will and his partners saw the ark from a plane in this place. He could see two decks through a hole on right side of the ark, and another details very precises of the ark. Al shapell in a flight of reconnaissance took pictures of the ark on this zone in 1974. This has been possible in period of time when the ice and snow has melted enough.

  14. Wood would still be intact this many years later if it is indeed real? It seems that religious people vs non religious people both claim that what they believe are facts. Very interesting to me.

  15. It is disheartening to see so many fellow human beings debate the location of a fictional object from a fictional story.

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