Robert Ballard, an underwater archaeologist and former commander in the United States Navy, told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview that he may have proof of Noah’s Biblical Flood. Mr. Ballard has used his knowledge of scuba diving and small, unmanned submersibles to discover numerous wrecks, including the German battleship Bismarck and the R.M.S. Titanic.
In his interview with Ms. Amanpour, Mr. Ballard made the case that Noah’s flood, also known as the Great Flood, may have been based on real events. He said that his team is exploring the depths of the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey for evidence of an ancient civilization hidden underwater for thousands of years.
Since finding the Titanic with an unmanned submersible in 1985, Mr. Ballard’s deep sea-exploring technology has advanced considerably, according to ABC News.
Confident in the belief that Noah’s flood was caused by the melting of ice that once covered most of the world, Mr. Ballard set out to find evidence of an ancient civilization.
“Where I live in Connecticut was ice a mile above my house, all the way back to the North Pole, about 15 million kilometers, that’s a big ice cube,” Mr. Ballard explained to Ms. Amanpour. “But then it started to melt. We’re talking about the floods of our living history.”
This type of melting likely triggered large-scale floods across the globe.
“The questions is, was there a mother of all floods,” Mr. Ballard said.
The former Navy commander and his team set out to look for proof that a flood of biblical proportions once devastated the Black Sea region. In the late 1990s, Columbia University researchers Bill Ryan and Walter Pitman looked at the geological evidence and estimated the Black Seal level at the time of the flood was about 80 meters lower than present day levels. They proposed the controversial theory that the Black Sea flood could have forced the movement of early agriculturist groups to central Europe, creating the story of Noah’s ark.
“We went in there to look for the flood,” the underwater archaeologist said. “Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed […] The land that went under stayed under.”
Mr. Ballard and his team found an ancient shoreline 400 feet below the surface. This is proof, the underwater archaeologist told Ms. Amanpour, that an historic flood took place in the Black Sea. His team thinks that the event occurred approximately 5,000 BC, which is around the time that some experts think Noah’s flood might have taken place.
“It probably was a bad day,” Mr. Ballard posited. “At some magic moment, it broke through and flooded this place violently, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square kilometers of land, went under.”
Numerous researchers have added their own two cents to the “Noah’s flood” debate. Researchers with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute suggested in 2009 that the Great Flood was probably smaller than previously thought.
“We don’t see evidence for a catastrophic flood as others have described,” said Liviu Giosan, a geologist in the WHOI Geology and Geophysics Department, in a statement at the time.
The researchers dated and reconstructed the delta plain and determined the seal level for the Black Sea from their model. They discovered that the Black Sea level at the time of the flood was around 30 meters below present levels.
“So if this is true, it means that the magnitude of the Black Sea flood was 5 or 10 meters but not 50 to 60 meters,” said Mr. Giosan. “Still, having flooded the Black Sea by 5 meters can have important effects, for example, drowning of the Danube Delta and putting an area of 2,000 square kilometers of prime agricultural land underwater. This has important implications for the archaeology and anthropology of southern Europe, as well as on our understanding of how the unique environment of the Black Sea formed.”
Despite evidence of an ancient civilization hidden underwater since the time of Noah’s flood, Mr. Ballard does not think that he will ever locate Noah’s Ark.
“It’s foolish to think you will ever find a ship,” Mr. Ballard said. “But can you find people who were living? Can you find their villages that are underwater now? And the answer is yes.”