Jul 07, 2022 I Nick Redfern

The Ancient Mysteries of the Past - And the CIA Connection

On occasion, I have heard of rumors to the effect that within the heart of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) there exists a powerful, elite secret society that takes a deep interest in ancient and religious artifacts. I've never been able to confirm that such a claim has any degree of reality or validity attached to it. Precisely why such a secret society within the CIA should even exist at all is as big a mystery as the legendary artifacts it has supposedly sought out since 1947 (the year in which the CIA was created). Nevertheless, we do have data that at least points in the direction of some official interest in the distant past. In his 2009 book, A Terrible Mistake, the late H.P. Albarelli said: "Several heavily redacted CIA documents reveal a keen interest in the Ark of the Covenant," in the "rock at Horeb," and in "Solomon’s Temple." He also stated that the CIA had an interest in the "peculiar apparatus reportedly witnessed by Ezekiel." Albarelli presented those "peculiar apparatus…" words in quotation marks, suggesting they are taken from CIA papers. Maybe, one day, someone will be up for filing a Freedom of Information Act request for all of those "heavily redacted CIA documents." Some are still held back. Who knows what might be found?

Also on the matter of the CIA and ancient mysteries, there is the strange saga of its involvement in the saga of none other than Noah’s Ark. The biblical story of the huge, worldwide flood that allegedly wiped out practically all of the Human Race reads as follows: “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, 'I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypresswood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. ‘This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.’ 

(Nick Redfern)

“‘But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark - you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.’" The story continues that, “And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

“For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. Every living thing that moved on land perished - birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.”

We are told that, after the waters receded, Noah’s Ark came to rest on what many believe, today, to have been Mt. Ararat, Turkey. It just so happens that the CIA holds an extensive file on the claims that Mt. Ararat was the final resting place for Noah’s Ark. Or, as it is referred to within the CIA, and by the Pentagon, too: the “Ararat Anomaly.” It is a reference to a large object first spotted in 1949 by the crew of a U.S. Air Force spy-plane. Whatever the strange object is, no-one doubts it exists. For some it’s nothing stranger than a weirdly-shaped, rocky outcrop that vaguely resembles a boat. For others, it is nothing less than Noah’s Ark itself. For more than a few, it’s an ancient, wrecked UFO, one that crash-landed on Mt. Ararat thousands of years ago, and which led to the development of the Ark legend – due to the assertions that the UFO had aboard numerous examples of terrestrial animals. Whatever the truth of the matter, there’s no denying that the CIA’s interest in the Ararat Anomaly dates back to the late 1940s. Then, in the 1950s, U-2 spy-planes were flown over the area to secure high-quality photographs. In 1973, spy-satellites were vectored over Turkey – once again, as part of a concerted effort to try and figure out the true nature of the Anomaly. The official story is that no firm conclusion has been reached, chiefly because of (a) the inhospitable, icy, snowy environment at the top of Mt. Ararat; and (b) the reluctance of the Turkish Government to permit people to examine it in person. Now, onto another ancient mystery that has a government tie to it.

Miles Copeland was someone who spent most his career working in the shadowy world of international espionage. Prior to joining the CIA in 1947, Copeland learned his spy-craft with both the Office of Strategic Services and the Central Intelligence Group. In the post-Second World War era, Copeland spent a great deal of time in Damascus, Syria – to the extent that he soon became the CIA’s station-officer in Damascus, working out of the American Embassy. On one particular morning in the latter part of 1947, Copeland had a visitor he never forgot: it was a middle-aged man who had something under his arm – and wrapped in towels – that he dearly wanted to share with Copeland. Intrigued, Copeland invited the man into his office, at which point the man bent down on the floor, and proceeded to open the towels, as Copeland looked on. Contained within them was what Copeland could clearly see was an ancient and decaying parchment. He could also see that they closely resembled the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found at Qumran, on the northern side of the Dead Sea, in early 1947, and which made major, international news.

(Nick Redfern)

The mysterious visitor told Copeland he wanted someone to decipher the text of the parchment – after which he suddenly said his goodbyes and left the building. He was never seen again – at least, not by Copeland or any of his colleagues. Recognizing that this was a matter of deep significance, Copeland contacted a friend of his: Kermit Roosevelt, a man who was a director of the Institute of Arab affairs and who had close ties to the CIA. Roosevelt was also someone well-versed in translating old Middle Eastern languages. In addition, Copeland took an entire reel of photographs of the extensive scroll – and then something very intriguing happened. Quite out of the blue, Copeland got a phone call from CIA headquarters, ordering him to have all the material – the parchment, the photos, and even the negatives – boxed up and sent by courier to HQ. And to discuss the matter with no-one. History has shown that Copeland stayed silent on the matter for decades. Perhaps the mysteries of the past won't be found underground. Rather, they might be found in the files of the CIA.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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