Dear Dr. Oakes, while Googling the use of maritime drogues (a storm drogue is “a device external to a boat, attached to the stern and used to slow the boat down in a storm and to keep the hull perpendicular to the waves”), I found a link to a page at your site entitled “What do you think about G. Edward Griffin’s theories about where Noah’s ark is located?”   In your response to the person’s question, you say “We know that iron was not smelted until after 2000 BC.”     While I am not familiar with G. Edward Griffin, I do want to urge you to take time to reconsider some interesting discussions in biblical archeology that I now will briefly touch on.    Please bear with me in this discussion, as I lay things out in reverse chronological order.  Recently, a new documentary has been released, which is not yet available on dvd, entitled “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus.”  (I will include some promotional excerpts about the film at the end of this email.)  I understand that this new documentary about the Israelite exodus from Egypt draws largely on the work of Professor Lennart Moller of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (one of Europe’s most prestigious medical universities).    The works of Dr. Moller that are being drawn from include his book The Exodus Case, and his DVD video entitled “The Exodus Revealed – Search for the Red Sea Crossing” (Questar, Discovery Media, 2002).   Moller, in turn, bases his Exodus research on the work of the late amateur archeologist Ron Wyatt.    As you probably know, Wyatt has been dismissed by many as a fraud; but please consider these quotes from the entry about Wyatt found at, especially as relating to Lennart Moller:     “The Exodus

Wyatt claimed to have discovered a series of sites along the route of the Israelite’s journey out of Egypt to Mt. Sinai, including the Red Sea Crossing, The Rock of Rephidim, Mt. Sinai, and the Golden Calf Altar.  A pillar (one of a pair) left by Solomon to mark the site of the Red Sea crossing. Found by Wyatt in 1978.  (jpg photo)   Of all of Wyatt’s claimed discoveries, those relating to the Exodus route have the most substantial evidence. In 2003 the Swedish molecular biologist,Lennart Moller, published the book, The Exodus Case, examining several of Wyatt’s claims, mainly on the Exodus route. The book includes photographs of bones of men and horses recovered from the waters of the Gulf of Aqaba near Nuweiba, Egypt. The book also includes photos of several objects on the seafloor claimed to be chariot wheels, one of which appears to be plated in gold.

Later, Lennart Moller put out a DVD with Questar about his finds.

The strongest piece of evidence for Wyatt’s Exodus claims, however, is the altar he found at the base of Jebel el Lawz (Jebel Musa) in Saudi Arabia, a short distance from the alleged crossing site. The altar is a megalithic construction of several boulders ten tonnes or larger and is covered with petroglyphs and hieroglyphs depicting the worship of the Egyptian apis cult – the cult of the bull.Moller agreed with Wyatt’s conclusion that this was the site of the Golden Calf apostasy initiated by the Israelites while Moses was up on the mountain receiving the ten commandments. The Saudi Arabian government has protected this site with a fence and armed guard, visible in the photographs in Moller’s book, as well as in satellite photos publicly available on Google Earth.

Sodom and Gomorrah
Moller also examined the site claimed by Wyatt to be Sodom and Gomorrah and conducted a small excavation in which he documented burned human bones and melted iron. His book also shows photographs of gypsum balls with sulphur cores recovered from the site and matching Josephus’ description of ash “fruits” at the site of the destroyed cities.

Dr. Oakes, while I appreciate that you are a serious, credentialed scientist, and a Christian man of integrity, regarding Wyatt’s assertions, let me make a couple of further points.   First, as to your statement that iron was not smelted until after 2000 BC, I ask, how can we be certain of that?  Tubal-Cain is mentioned in Genesis 4 as someone “who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron.”  Must we be forced to conclude that there were more than six generations between Cain and Tubal-Cain?  Or could certain knowledge have simply been lost post-Flood?    Since God chooses foolish things of the world, to put to shame them that are wise (1 Corinthians 1:27), couldn’t Ron Wyatt have proven highly qualified for use?


Ron Wyatt is a charlatan.  His work has been debunked numerous times by a great number of scholars.  He is not a scholar and his writings are an embarrassment to Christianity.  I have a personal friend who actually knows Wyatt.  He asked Ron why he publishes “junk” literature about the ark, Moses and so forth.  I tell you no lie, Wyatt admitted that his books were, essentially, junk scholarship, and his explanation was, “I need to support my family somehow.”

My suggestion is that you not use this data and that you not suggest others to go down the unwise path of using bogus “research” and bogus conclusions in order to support the faith of believers.  The reason I suggest this is that when believers rely on such false data and conclusions and they later learn that they were deceived, the entire basis of their belief may be undermined and they may lose thier faith entirely.  We should only use and promote legitimate archaeological and historical research, not the “work” of pseudoscholars such as Ron Wyatt.

About the use of iron pre-2000 BC, I am prepared to change my conclusion if there is evidence to support the need to change this conclusion.   I have not seen a single piece of evidence for iron being smelted pre 2000 BC.   Is it possible that the use of iron predates this time?  I suppose we cannot absolutely reject this, but conclusions should be based on evidence, not on conjecture.

If Moller bases his writing on “the late amateur archaeologist Ron Wyatt” then no matter how many letters he has after his name, his conclusions are extremely suspicious if not outright fraud.  By the way, Moller has a medical degree–he is a psychologist–and has no professional expertise in archaeology.  So, the fact that he is a “doctor” does not lend any credence to his pseudo-archaeology.  Also, G. Edward is a “conspiracy theorist film producer and author.”   You definitely should avoid reliance on conspiracy theorists to support your Christian belief.  These folks are unreliable at best and fraudulent at worst and should be avoided like the plague in a Christian context.

It is true that has chosen things that are foolish to the world to shame the wise (paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 1), but this is not a good reason to foolishly accept bogus scholarship, even if it may seem to support biblical accounts, as it will make Christians look foolish to those who know the truth with regard to archaeological evidence.  We should not take the shortcut of junk scholarship to support our faith.

John Oakes

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