It had been a sensation – the archaeological discovery of the millennium! To find Noah’s Ark floating freely in the open sea was something totally unbelievable. Reason told everyone that this could simply not be possible. It could not be true. Many commentators immediately warned that the Ark, although real, was some kind of ridiculous hoax. They suggested somebody had secretly built an old looking wooden ship and sent it out to sail randomly without a crew, only to be discovered and capture attention by the media. Then the hoaxers would come forward, have a good long laugh and hope to become celebrities forever. It was only supposed to be a joke.
But carbon dating and careful examination of construction material, work methods, etc confirmed that, despite all odds, this was the original, the authentic Noah’s Ark, thousands of years old and miraculously well preserved. When the ship was found it was empty. There were no ancient animals on board, dead or alive, but the archaeologists were thrilled when they discovered ancient pollen and DNA from species which had become extinct long ago. The consensus of the global scientific community was that the ship had been buried in glacier ice for centuries. That had saved it from bacteria and treasure hunters. Now the ancient, fabulous Noah’s Ark was there for everyone to see with his or her own eyes, in full daylight, not a picture or copy, but the very real thing, Noah’s Ark itself.
The scientific community concluded unanimously that the reason for the Arks reappearance at this point in history was that climate change had proceeded faster than anyone had anticipated. Global warming had melted the glaciers covering Greenland as well as the Arctic and Antarctic ice masses. This had led to a rapid and dramatic increase in the sea levels on the whole planet and one of the unanticipated consequences was that the ice surrounding and covering Noah’s Ark had melted and the ship had become afloat again.
About one year ago, when it became clear that this ship was indeed Noah’s outstanding ship, the biggest vessel of its time, a feverish set of activities, never seen before on this earth, started to unfold. Imams and jihadist fighters rushed to protect the ship. The Pope with the entire conclave of cardinals and bishops from all branches of the Christian church also sailed out on the sea to pray and thank all saints for this extraordinary gift from heaven. The whole congregation slept during daytime and performed enormous mid-night masses and services which were televised and broadcasted around the globe to the benefit of everyone.
Politicians, initially sceptical, were ultimately convinced that this was something completely extraordinary and worthy of their attention. After a round of preparatory talks, with heads of states from all independent countries, political leaders decided to organize the First Global World Summit of Mankind (FGWSM) on a flotilla of rafts surrounding to the Ark – at a safe distance. All independent states, a good collection of rebel fighters and some terrorist groups agreed to attend on equal terms. It was also agreed to maintain one full week of total truce. No arms whatsoever were allowed. Even bodyguards had to stay at home during the summit. To everyone’s relief, the truce was respected and no fighting took place.
There were only a few minor accidents like a few celebrities falling into the sea because of over-crowding on the rafts. However, they were quickly picked up by rescue workers from the Red Cross. The only notable disturbance was an extensive and rather disorganized group of anarchists, feminists, green activists, atheist, anti-abortion activists, etc. They succeeded in making a completely deafening noise that echoed and could be heard hundreds of kilometres across the otherwise empty sea.
To everyone’s satisfaction, the First Global World Summit of Mankind (FGWSM) became the most successful global gathering ever, a historic achievement worthy of its name and it got a proper entry in Guinness Book of World Records. No decisions were made of course, but, the fact that the political leadership of the world could meet for the first time at all, and in the same boat so to say, was a tremendous success of historical proportions.
After all these high-level meetings, a period of celebration took over. Disneyland invested millions of dollars in fabulous and very profitable family movies and the company constructed full-size copies of the Ark in all their amusement parks around the world. National Geographic was not a bit less ambitious. They produced series of extraordinary documentaries covering the original flood, the life of Noah and his gigantic construction and salvation project. Had David Attenborough been around, this would have crowned his lifelong career as broadcaster and naturalist. The discovery had been a financial success for everyone and even the stock markets around the world surged for a while, although there were no direct links to the Ark. The only down-side effect was a series of nasty copyright disputes that started and are still going on.
From the moment I understood that the enigmatic ship was indeed the famous Noah’s Ark, I felt a desperate desire to visit the Ark, or at least to get close enough to see the Ark with my own eyes and perhaps touch its ancient, venerable wooden hull. That’s why I had travelled to this island from which the ship could be seen at the horizon with binoculars. The shore was crowded. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world had come here to get at least a glimpse of this wonder, thousands of years old.
When I knew in which direction to look, I could actually see something, but it was just like a black dot. A man next to me said that the black spot was the treasure I had come to see, the enigma that once had saved Gods creations from catastrophic extinction. We started out over the vast and tranquil sea. Suddenly I got overwhelmed by a feeling that, somehow, I just had to get out there now. I could not stand here any longer, just watching. Noah Ark was not any normal vessel; it was a wonder, a miracle, a destination. A sudden impulse made me jump into the sea and start to swim. The Ark was far away, but at the moment the idea of swimming out to touch it seemed to be the only meaningful action – something I just had to do.
I swam and swam. I have never been a good swimmer, but I did not hesitate for a second. I do not know how long I was swimming, but the target did not seem to come any closer. It remained a black dot on the horizon. I could feel that my arms were getting tired. Several individuals on the shore had decided to do the same as I and they were swimming next to me hoping to reach the Ark. But, they were as far away from the Ark as I was. Nobody seemed to get any closer. It was as if we were just treading water. I could see their frustrated, desperate looks and I started myself to feel a depression building up in my chest. Something was wrong. The water was not like normal water, it was like oil and it was getting thicker. I found it harder and harder to move. I struggled. I became paralyzed. I could not breathe ….
I woke up. The room was in darkness. I was at home. It had been a dream, an awful nightmare! The painful feeling of swimming in a sea of oil slowly subsided … When I closed my eyes I still could see Noah’s Ark while it was slowly fading away. When I opened my eyes I saw the dark room. Yes, it had been a dream, a crazy one. I could not move. I tried to relax.
What was this all about? I had never had any similar dreams before. I usually slept well … But the past four, five years had been unsettling. Climate change was a reality, religious extremism too. I had written articles and books about climate change and spoken in seminars about extremism and history. Every evening the TV news was full of thoughtless speeches by politicians claiming authority over one region or another, over one issue or another. Innocent people died in the hundreds during mindless bombing attacks. Thousands of people searching for a meaningful life had drowned. Reality had become a nightmare.
Had these concerns been moving around in my brain while I slept? Had my sleeping brain been desperately searching for a way out, a way to leave the chaos behind and escape into a better world, a world of tranquillity? Noah’s Ark had saved the mankind once before. No proof of concept was needed anymore. Perhaps my mind had been searching my inventory of long forgotten memories and there, in a remote corner, found a promising idea: Noah’s Ark. Probably it had then tried to recruit Noah and his Ark for a new rescue mission.
The paralysis I had experienced in the dream was a reflection of the powerlessness I felt in front of the tragedies played out in front of me when I opened my daily newspaper or watched the evening TV news – drowned children washed ashore; innocent people being beheaded; hospitals destroyed by bombs; babies killed by their parents because they were useless girls and not boys, politician explaining that this was not right and then rushing to the next dinner…
My dream had tried to offer me a way out. It was a desperate proposal – not only for me but for everyone, for mankind!
I wish I could use it!