Mt. Sinai/Horeb - Where was It?

By Mary Nell Wyatt

(Originally published in January 1994)

Mount Sinai In Saudi Arabia

If we go to the Bible, the location of Mt. Sinai is not that difficult to ascertain. When God first spoke to Moses regarding the great work of leading the people out of their Egyptian bondage, He told Moses: EXODUS 3:12; ".... Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain." To find out exactly where Moses was when this conversation took place, we need to go to the beginning of chapter 3: EXODUS 3:1; "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed." This conversation took place at the foot of the "mountain of God." Moses was even told to remove his shoes, as he was standing on "holy ground" (verse 5). So, we now know that Moses was in Midian, in the "backside of the desert," which seems to us to imply the area opposite the main portion of the desert or, the other side of the mountain which provided the border of the desert. We make this assumption simply because in order to have a "backside of the desert," there must be something which marks a separation of the "frontside" and the "backside."

When Ron studied the Biblical account, he noted these references—that the mountain to which Moses was to lead the people was in Midian; and that the place where Moses spoke to God in the burning bush was specifically stated to be in the "backside of the desert". With this information, along with the discoveries of the chariot parts in the Gulf of Aqaba, he looked for a mountain on the eastern side of the gulf which fit this description. There was only one candidate in his opinion, and this was Jebel el Lawz. His flight maps showed this mountain to be in an almost semi-circular range, with a vast desert area around it as well as more than enough room for the encampment of perhaps a couple of million people along with their flocks and herds. Not only that, but there was a single, large oasis located fairly nearby—an area that could have been the home of his father-in-law, Jethro—and this was the town of Al-Bad. He saw that there was desert area around Jebel el Lawz, between Al-Bad and the highest peak in this mountain range—and that there were valleys in the mountain range which Moses could have led his flocks through, taking him to the "backside of the desert". Ron was convinced that this mountain had to be the one.


The "Traditional" Mt. Sinai

The traditional location in the Sinai Peninsula didn't "come into being" until almost 2,000 years after the Exodus: "The origin of the present Monastery of Saint Catherine on the NW slope of Jebel Musa is traced back to A.D. 527, when Emperor Justinian established it on the site where Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, had erected a small church two centuries earlier." (The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, 1962, p. 376).

"There is no Jewish tradition of the geographical location of Mt. Sinai; it seems that its location was obscure already in the time of the monarchy…" (The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 14, p. 1599).

In 1761-1767, Von Haven, the member of a Danish expedition to the traditional site wrote, as reported in "Arabia Felix: The Danish Expedition of 1971-1767, by Thorkild Hansen: "I have observed earlier that we could not possibly be at Mount Sinai. The monastery [of St. Catherine] was situated in a narrow valley, which was not even large enough for a medium-sized army to be able to camp in, let alone the 600,000 men that Moses had with him, who, together with their wives and children, must have come to over 3,000,000."

The fact is clear that the Sinai Peninsula was always considered to be Egyptian territory. There is an abundance of evidence that the Egyptians controlled the Sinai Peninsula during the time of the Exodus because of their mining operations there. This archaeological evidence is still present and evident today. The peninsula today doesn't even have any population to speak of except those who live around the few oases, many of which today contain the gasoline stations for travelers—travelers who are going to either the coast of the Gulf of Ababa to go scuba diving or those visitors who go to the traditional Mt. Sinai.

In "Arabia and the Bible" by James Montgomery, we read on p. 31: "...the land west of a line from the Wady of Egypt to the Elanitic Gulf [Gulf of Aqaba] has always belonged to the Egyptian political spheres and actually that is the present boundary of Egypt.....the South-Arabians called the same region Msr, i.e. Misraim, Egypt."


Local Traditions of Moses and Jethro In NW Arabia

But also importantly, the few explorers of this region found the NW area of Arabia (Midian) to have a vast array of local traditions about Moses and Jethro in the area, as H. St. John Philby writes of his extensive exploration of the area in his "The Land of Midian," p. 222: "From here my guide and I climbed up the cliff to visit the ‘circles of Jethro’ on the summit of Musalla ridge, from which we climbed down quite easily to our camp on the far side…A cairn marked the spot where Jethro is supposed to have prayed, and all round it are numerous circles…."

Charles Doughtery traveled the entire area and in his chronicles of his journey, "Travels in Arabia Deserta," he writes of: "...a tradition amongst their [the inhabitants of this NW Arabian region] ancestors that 'very anciently they occupied all that country about Maan, where also Moses fed the flocks of Jethro Prophet."

Later in this issue, you will learn that when Ron was at Jebel el Lawz in 1985 with Dave Fasold, they were told that this mountain is even today known to the inhabitants of the region as "Jebel Musa," or the mountain of Moses. 


Philby's Investigation of Jebel el Lawz

If we continue with Philby's account as left off above, he writes: "From here [the ridge which had the 'Circles of Jethro'] I had a magnificent view of the whole of the Midian mountain range, with Lauz [Lawz] and its sister peaks in the northeast and Maqla’a very little north of east, with the valley of al-Numair separating the latter from the low ridge of All Marra, extending from east to south-east, where the two peaks of Hurab stood out in front of the great range of Zuhd, which runs down to a point not far from the sea to our southward .... The spot that held my imagination was the smooth, double-headed, granite boss of Hurab, an obvious candidate for identification with the Mount Horeb of the Exodus,.... the only candidate for the honor which can claim to have preserved the name....According to Hasballah, the name Hurab applies primarily to the wadi [canyon], while he calls the mountain itself Al Manifa (which simply means lofty)."


Bible Commentaries on "Midian" and "Sinai"

All these quotes only confirm that in the last century, men were led to investigate the evidences of the true site of Mt. Sinai because the traditional site simply did not fit the Biblical description. For some reason, many Biblical scholars simply ignored the Biblical fact that Mt. Sinai was in Midian. A quick check in several Bible commentaries shows that the location of Midian is pretty much accepted as being in Saudi Arabia: "Midian, a son of Abraham and Keturah (Genesis xxv.2; I Chronicles.i32); progenitor of the Midianites, or Arabians dwelling principally in the desert north of the peninsula of Arabia. Southwards, they extended along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Eyleh [Gulf of Ababa.]…" "Smith's Bible Dictionary," under "Midian." However, in this same book, under "Mt. Sinai," we find the traditional location in the Sinai Peninsula given.

Remember Paul's reference to Mt. Sinai?: GAL 4:25; "For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children." "Peake's Commentary on the Bible" noticed it, as Paul's entire passage here is explained: "Their mothers likewise represent the two dispensations. Hagar [Agar] represents that given on Mt. Sinai, and, Paul notes in passing the appropriateness of the fact that Mt. Sinai is in Arabia, the land to which Hagar took her son."

We have numerous commentaries which locate Midian in Saudi Arabia, but few which locate Sinai there. Why? In our opinion, God allowed the true location to remain unknown until He saw fit to reveal it. If we carefully study the Biblical evidences which archaeology has revealed, we will see that the vast majority of these came to light beginning in the 1800s the time in earth's history in which these things could be presented to the world in publications and books. Had they been known for any length of time, there would be no evidence left.

"The Biblical references connecting Sinai with Mount Seir, Edom and the land of Midian seem clearly to indicate this region east of the Aelanitic Gulf (g. of Akaba) as pointed out by Beke (1834), Walhausen (1886), Sayce (1894), Moore (1895), Shede (1897), Gall (1898), Gunkel (1903), Edward Meyer (1906), Schmidt (1908), Gressman (1913), Haupt (1914), and by Alois Musil in ‘The Northern Hegaz" (1911)." "On the Track of the Exodus" by C.C. Robertson, p.87.


MT. SlNAI - the Story of the Discovery

In 1978, when Ron found the chariot parts in the Gulf of Aqaba just off the Egyptian shore, he knew that Mt. Sinai had to be across the Gulf in Arabia. Since the Biblical account tells how the people arrived at Mt. Sinai after they crossed the Red Sea, and since the Gulf of Aqaba separates the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) and Saudi Arabia, there was no question in Ron's mind. But which mountain was it? One Scripture which Ron had read was: Deuteronomy 1:6; "The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:" This description indicated to him that the people were "in" a mountain range—protected within its borders. And Jebel el Lawz was the perfect candidate. On the map, Jebel el Lawz was the highest peak in the entire NW Saudi Arabian region. This peak was in a mountain range with numerous wide wadis, or canyons, within it which would have provided enough acreage for a tremendous number of people, along with their flocks and herds, to camp "within" the area and have the protection of the mountains all around them. It was also separated from the mountainous region which paralleled the Red Sea, by a desert, or plain area—which could be the desert of Sin(ai). If this mountain was indeed the true Mt. Sinai, Ron felt there had to be archaeological evidences which would prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. So he applied to the Saudi embassy for a visa to visit the area but never even received an answer from them. After 4 1/2 years of repeated attempts to do so, he decided it was going to be necessary to attempt to enter the country without a visa. He made inquiries and was told that if anyone was found in Saudi without a visa, they were simply escorted to the border and "kicked out"—if "worse came to worse," they would be held for no more than 21 days. He weighed this information and decided it was certainly worth the risk. Little did he know what lay ahead for him and his sons, Danny and Ronny.


Entry In Saudi

On Jan. 24, 1984, Ron and the boys arrived in Jordan—they had applied and received a Jordanian visa prior to leaving the U.S. They toured Jordan a bit and then parked their rental car near the border and walked into Saudi undetected. Hitchhiking and hiring taxis and small trucks, they arrived near Jebel el Lawz, where Ron saw white pillars lying on the ground, the sun reflecting off the white stone. He saw the entire top of the mountain was blackened as if charred by some tremendous heat. EXODUS 19:18; "And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly."

He noted several other features of the site—there was a lone tree atop one peak with a cave just below it. I King 19:8; "And he [Elijah] arose,…and went…unto Horeb the mount of God. 9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodge there…"

As he surveyed the region around the mountain, he saw that it perfectly fit the description of Mt. Sinai (Horeb)—there were thousands of acres of land surrounded by a mountain range which enclosed the area. He was convinced that this was it! But as they headed nearer the base of the mountain, a small Datsun 4-wheeler pulled up and the man inside brusquely told their truck driver to take them back to where their taxi was waiting for them, which he did. Then, they got back into their taxi and headed to the Jordanian border.


"The Wyatts are Israeli Spies"

However, when they arrived at the border, things didn't go so well. As they attempted to exit the country, they were abruptly arrested and taken to a jail in Hagl, near the border. They were then charged with espionage. Things couldn't have looked bleaker.

When Ron and the boys arrived at the jail, the Saudis were experiencing a terrible plague throughout the compound in which they were held, and numerous men had died. Ron had explained that he was an anesthetist, which his jailers could only understand when he termed it "sleep doctor." Hearing the word "doctor," they asked him for help with the plague. The sick all had very high fevers, so he first wrote prescriptions for antibiotics and these were all honored and filled at the pharmacy. Then, he gave them aspirin for their discomfort and to keep their temperatures below deadly levels. He had noticed immediately upon arrival that the entire area was infested with mosquitoes. So, he asked for massive amounts of olive oil, which he poured into their toilets—the mosquitoes were thriving in their archaic plumbing system. They also poured the oil in all standing water in the area. The oil on the surface of the water smothered and killed all the mosquito larvae. No new cases arose and those who were sick when he arrived, recovered. Needless to say, this had to have given him and the boys at least a little favor with the local authorities.

Ron and the boys were separated and questioned day after day by a group called the "Interrogation Team." They each told their story of why they were in Saudi—of their belief that Jebel el Lawz was Mt. Sinai, of both the Bible and the Koran. One Saudi official, Abu Collet, sent men out to the mountain to determine if any archaeological evidence was actually there, but the men came back with a negative report, which was sent to the King. 


The Column on the Saudi Beach

However, there were some among the interrogators who believed Ron's story. One day three of the men took Ron on a helicopter ride to the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba where Ron claimed the great multitude had crossed the sea. Ron's story was being checked out thoroughly because the charge of espionage is a "deadly" serious charge. The helicopter landed on the beach directly opposite Nuweba, Egypt. It wasn't too difficult to find the right beach area because Nuweba (where Ron found the chariot parts) is easily seen across the 8 mile gulf. Landing on the beach they found a Phoenician-style, granite column erected on the shore, with inscriptions in archaic Hebrew. The Saudis took numerous photographs of this column, and Ron suddenly had a little more credibility with his jailers. Archaic Hebrew simply isn't found in Saudi Arabia and here was some very concrete archaeological evidence which couldn't be ignored. In fact, it is possible that this column literally saved Ron and the boys' lives. No one in Saudi had known about the column as it was in an extremely remote, uninhabited area. But even this column didn't insure their release. However, it did match the column Ron had found in 1978 on the opposite shore in Egypt—only this one had the inscriptions on it, which Ron carefully noted.

While Ron's helping stop the plague, and this discovery of the column on the beach may have resulted in their receiving relatively good treatment, their release still didn't look too promising—due to the nature of the crime they were accused of, they weren't allowed the customary call to their embassy. Ronny, his youngest son, eventually began to "crack" under the isolation. He told Ron and Danny that he was going to make a run for it—he just couldn't stand it any longer. Ron knew he meant it. They all knew that if he was caught, he would be shot on sight. So Ron told him "ok," but they needed to all go together—and they needed to do it when the Moslem holy day began on Thursday night. Ron knew that security would be the loosest at that time. And they formulated their plan.

When Thursday came, there arose a problem. Ali, a guard whom they had become quite fond of, was on duty. He had shown them extreme kindness throughout their ordeal, and Ron explained to Ronny that if they escaped while Ali was on duty, he would be shot. Ronny knew this was true and agreed to wait until the next Thursday. Depressed at the thought of waiting another week, they went to sleep.



The next Wednesday morning, the day before they had agreed to attempt their escape again, the man in charge came to them: "Halas," he said, which meant "Finished." It was over—they had been cleared and were to be turned over to the Jordanian government. But none of their confiscated film would be returned to them—for all their troubles, they would have no evidence; no pictures of Mt. Sinai.


Betrayed by a "Friend"

Only upon their release Ron learn that a "friend" whom Ron had told of his plans to enter Saudi illegally, had called the Saudi embassy and told them that the Wyatts were actually Israeli spies. The Saudis told Ron the man's name when they were released. Knowing that their plan to enter Saudi was not without some danger, before they left, Ron had told 2 trusted friends what he was going to do—he simply told his family that he and the boys were going to Jordan. One of those Ron had confided in was Col. Jim Irwin, and the other was the man who called the Saudi Embassy with the tale that got them arrested. Once the Saudis discovered that Ron and the boys were not spies, they were very angry at the false accusation, realizing that this could have led to serious political consequences had they executed them. They wanted to help Ron prosecute this man, but he declined their offer, content to simply go back home.

In Jordan, they were again held for three days until all the red tape was cleared,—they were questioned even more, and then they were sent home. Their arrival at the Nashville airport was shown on CBS's "Morning News" on April 17,1984, and they were interviewed by Bill Kurtis:

BILL KURTIS: Uh, Mr. Wyatt, you were there in the middle, your sons on either side, why did you,... uh, I didn’t know that Mt. Sanai was in Saudi Arabian territory! Why did you think it was?

RONALD WYATT: We found some chariot parts that looked like the chariots found in King Tut’s tomb in the Gulf of Ababa, west of this Jebel EL Lawz. Now, we found these at depths from 60 feet out to 200 feet and over a stretch of about a mile and a half. And we believe that was the crossing site, so in the Biblical narrative, they arrive at Mt. Sinai after crossing the Red Sea. The language in the Bible indicated that they stayed ’in’ a mountain; enclosed in a mountain. So, an aerial map showed that this Jebel EL Lawz had a large valley enclosed in the rim of an ancient volcano. There’s about 5,000 acres in there. We felt this was the place. And, in Exodus 24:4 and Leviticus 6:28, 11:33 and 15:12, it tells of some artifacts that were to be found. There would be twelve pillars of stone and an altar and some pottery, and so this is why we looked at that particular mountain

The frustration Ron suffered at getting so close, yet coming away with no evidence, was intense. It seemed impossible that he would ever be able to return to the site again. After all, he was now quite well known in the area as an accused SPY.


A "Royal Prince" Comes to Nashville

Ron hadn't been home too long when he received a phone call from a man who identified himself as a friend of some of Ron's captors. Samran Al-Motairy was a close relation of the king and he had heard of Ron's claim that Mt. Sinai was in his region. There had been several of Ron's captors who had believed Ron's claim, and they had convinced Samran, who lived in Tabuk, just a couple of hours from the mountain. Samran told Ron over the phone that ever since he had heard about this mountain, he couldn't eat, sleep or concentrate on anything—he had to see it for himself. Samran even came to Nashville and spent several days with Ron to discuss the matter and convince Ron to return to Saudi—but legally this time.

Samran is an extremely wealthy man—why was he so interested in this mountain? He said he "wanted to do something for his God." After all, Mt. Sinai is a very important holy site for the Moslems as well as the Christians and Jews. The area of Jebel el Lawz is so vast that Samran knew he needed Ron to find the exact spot. And it was just 11 months after their release from prison that Ron would return again to Jebel el Lawz—legally, this time.


Back to Saudi Arabia

Samran el-Motairy arranged for Ron to re-enter Saudi Arabia, accompanied by Dave Fasold whom Providence had arranged to be there at that exact time.

On March 31, 1985, a contract was drawn up between Samran el-Motairy, Dave Fasold and Ron before they went to Saudi. It stated that Ron and Dave were to provide special equipment to locate commercial minerals for Samran and the percentages and specifics were spelled out. There had to be a contract because in order for any foreigner to enter the Kingdom, they must have a valid business arrangement with a Saudi resident.

All three signed and initialed the agreement and on March 31, left Ankara and flew to Tabuk, Saudi Arabia where Samran lives. The next morning, they headed for the site of Jebel el Lawz, with a driver and a laborer accompanying them. With Ron giving them directions to the area, they made some wrongs turns and decided to take a break. A Bedouin appeared and they asked him where Jebel el Lawz was. He answered, as Dave Fasold recalls, "Jebel Musa henna"—which means, "Moses' mountain is here!" Amazingly, the local tradition recognized this as the right place! They spent the next few hours exploring the entire area. When it was time to head back, Samran said he thought they should instead go to Hagl and spend the night because it was closer than driving all the way back to Tabuk. But Hagl was also the town in which Ron and the boys had been imprisoned. After the events of the last year—being imprisoned for 3 months, then being accused of stealing valuable artifacts from Turkey, Ron was a little nervous.


April Fools Day, 1985

Samran announced that he had this great idea for a joke. Why didn't they go by the General's office who had arrested Ron and the boys, in Hagl, and tell him Ron was back again illegally! Now, Ron was not pleased at all with this idea, but the situation was such that he had no voice in the matter. So, Samran drove up to the General's office—he, Ron and Dave went in, and Samran announced to the General that "Ron Wyatt was back without a visa!" Ron had absolutely no choice but to play along—he hoped Samran knew what he was doing. The General looked very shocked when he saw Ron's quite familiar face again but was reluctantly cordial. After handshakes and minimum greetings, they left the General's office and went to one of Samran's friend's house where the men were to spend the night.

That day just happened to be April 1—April Fool's Day, and Samran's "April Fool's prank," which was probably just coincidental, proved not to be at all funny, as they would shortly find out. It was about 3:00 am when they all heard the knock on the door, and before long, Samran hastily told Ron and Dave that they had to leave immediately, for they had just received word that they were going to be arrested.

They all quickly dressed, piled into the car and headed toward Tabuk and Samran's house, which was about 3 or 4 hours down the road. After they had been traveling about an hour or so, suddenly their car was motioned over to the side of the road by the big, black Mercedes which had been following them soon after they left Hagl. They found themselves in front of the local Sherif's office, a building on the desert highway. They all went inside, and recognizing the head man as one of the men he had met when he was imprisoned, Ron decided to act delighted to see the him. Shaking his hand and exchanging the traditional "kisses" on each cheek, Ron wasted no time in pulling out his passport, turning to his valid visa, and extending it for the Sherif to see. The Sherif was probably quite confused as to what was going on. He and Samran then carried on a serious conversation in Arabic and soon Samran announced to Ron and Dave that arrangements had been made for the Interrogation Team from Hagl (which had questioned Ron and the boys) to meet with them out at Jebel el Lawz and see this "evidence" for themselves. But everyone seemed terribly suspicious of Ron and Dave for some reason. They then left the Sherif's office and went back to Samran's compound in Tabuk, where they waited for the next events.

The next morning, they headed out to the mountain, meeting the Interrogation Team headed by Abu Collet, at the road which leads to the mountain. Ron and Dave were split up and placed in 2 different Jeeps with officials in each who questioned them both intensely. It seemed that they were concerned that Ron and Dave's interest in the site was for purposes of finding "treasure," valuable artifacts and gold. But both Ron and Dave each tried to explain that their interest was purely archaeological.

Arriving at the site, Ron, Dave and Samran showed the men all the evidences—the altar with the Egyptian-style petroglyphs of cows and bulls; the altar at the base of the mountain; the tops of the 18 foot diameter columns erected 5 feet apart; the marble columns, etc. and the Interrogation Team was shocked but pleased. All, that is except for one man Abu Collet. When Ron and the boys had been imprisoned at Hagl, Abu Collet had sent some men out to Jebel el Lawz to investigate the site and see if Ron was telling the truth. They were to report any archaeological evidences in the area, but the men returned and said there was absolutely nothing there. And this was what Abu Collet had sent in his report to the King. Yet now, Abu Collet saw for himself that the entire area was full of ancient archaeological evidences. In Saudi, an inaccurate report sent to the King is considered the same as "lying" to the King. And lying to the King is punishable by death. Abu Collet seemed to be awfully unhappy.


The Molecular Frequency Generator

It was during this trip to the site that laborers dug into and around one of the many, many double-walled 18 foot diameter columns. But the "life of the party" turned out to be Dave's MFG. The men were fascinated by it's abilities to discriminate and locate different metals, especially gold. They "tested" its accuracy by hiding gold objects to see if Dave could find them, which he did. They were so impressed by the ability of this piece of equipment that they offered Dave a proposition—they wanted him to stay and help them locate treasure and they would make him a better deal than Samran had. Dave declined. Finally, he had to secretly disable his MFG and make the Saudi men think it was broken. If he hadn't done that, it began to look like they would have spent all night out there. The people who have been attacking the reliability of the MFG would have a very hard time convincing these men that it didn't work!

There was a positive gold reading in the area of the altar which contained the cow and bull petroglyphs. There was little doubt in Ron and Dave's mind that this was the "golden calf" altar which Aaron had constructed, because it was evident that the stones had been arranged. But there was another very exciting evidence: when Ron climbed upon the altar and looked over the top of it, something red and glimmering caught his eye. He saw that there was a slight puddle of water from the light, early morning shower on the rock and it looked almost like a puddle of blood. As he carefully examined this, he saw that this section of the rock had a slight, approx. 4' x 6' depression in it which looked as if something had worn or ground it down. Then, as he looked even closer, he saw that the "blood red" color reflected in the water was the result of tiny flecks of gold embedded in the entire worn area of the top of the rock. Although the Bible doesn't explain this, it appeared to Ron that perhaps this was where Moses had ground down the golden calf into gold powder before he put it in the water for the people to drink. EXODUS 32:20; "And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it."

At one point, Dave wrote "Dave Fasold and Ron Wyatt excavated this site in 1985" on a piece of paper and, sticking it in a plastic bottle, buried it in one of the holes they had dug. If any future archaeologist excavated the site, there would be no doubt who had been there first!

They studied the remains of a white marble structure which had been erected near the altar at the base of the mountain. These were the white columns Ron had seen on his first trip in 1984. The structure had been destroyed, but remnants of these columns were still lying around the area. They were told by Bedouins in the area that the stone "shrine" had been dismantled and was used in a mosque in Hagl. While Dave and Ron were separated, Ron found a section of this white marble which contained Archaic Hebrew writing, and fearing to show this to the Interrogation Team, he simply buried it where, we feel quite sure, it still remains. One thing that Ron had learned by this time was to be careful about making all of the evidences known.


Under "House Arrest"

Most of the day, the Saudis had separated Ron and Dave, and very skillfully interrogated each man while they worked. Once, while Ron and Dave were in different locations, the Saudis dug something up which caused a great deal of excitement and it was at this point that they were told that they were now under house arrest and their charge was that they were attempting to rob Saudi of valuable artifacts at an archaeological site. It had been less than 8 months since Ted Koppel had accused Ron of that same thing on "Nightline" regarding the Noah's Ark samples. But he had been quickly exonerated of those charges—what would happen this time?

They spent their "house arrest" at Samran's—Ron couldn't leave the compound, but Dave was allowed a little more freedom and arranged to find someone to take him somewhere part of one particular day. Ron was left alone for a little while with nothing to do but watch television. Turning it on, he listened to a Moslem Imam read from the Koran, and then turned it off after about 15 minutes. Unknown to Ron, that 15 minutes he watched the TV would play an incredible part in their defense of Jebel el Lawz before their trip was over.

The archaeological evidences at the mountain were so compelling that, after a few days, an archaeologist was flown in from Riyadh University to Samran's. Ron and Dave told him about all the evidence out at the mountain, and they played Dave's video of the golden calf altar and the petroglyphs on the TV. Although their video uses the PAL system, Dave's NTSC tape was able to be played with the video in black and white without audio. As they showed the evidences, the archaeologist was very excited about the pictures of Egyptian-style cows and bulls on the golden calf altar. He told them that this style petroglyph was not found anywhere else in Saudi Arabia. He had been working somewhere in south Arabia and was completely surprised to find out this sort of archaeological evidence was in the area. "This is a major discovery!, he said. Several times he shook Ron's hand and congratulated him on the discovery.


"On Trial"

Finally, Ron and Dave were taken to the local Prince's office in Tabuk where they again met with the Interrogation Team from Hagl, the archaeologist, the Deputy Prince, several Imams, a translator and Samran. The interesting part of all of this was that no one was introduced to Ron and Dave as being the Prince. The Deputy Prince was there, but everyone was bowing to Samran. Chairs were arranged in a circle around the room—all of the men took their seats, and Ron and Dave began to be questioned about Jebel el Lawz. They were on "trial," so to speak, and everything depended on their convincing the group that this was the true Mountain of Moses.

The Deputy Prince, through the translator, finally asked Ron, "Why would Musa (Moses) bring the people to this isolated and undesirable spot when there were so many better locations in the area?" This was a valid question, because Jebel el Lawz is not an area that can support life to any extent. In fact, that's why the archaeological evidences have remained for so long—no one has ever lived in the region except for a handful of Bedouins. Ron replied simply that "Moses was following the cloud, which led them there." One of the Imams then hotly responded in Arabic, "That's not in the Koran!" Now, Ron had read through the Koran and knew that it did say this, but he knew that it wouldn't be in his best interest to cross an Imam, and sending up a quick, silent prayer, the answer came to him. He quoted the words of the Imam he had heard on the TV—"Every true Moslem believes every true prophet. If he doesn't believe every true prophet, he isn't a true Moslem." Then, Ron asked, "Was not Musa a prophet?" As soon as he said these words, all of the men began nodding their heads and trying to "out-yes" each other.

And with this final question, the interrogation ended. The Saudis were all convinced as to the authenticity of Jebel el Lawz—it was the true holy mountain of God. Ron and Dave were cleared of all charges brought against them. The Deputy Prince, through the interpreter, then proceeded to ask Ron and Dave to stay, excavate and preserve the site. The archaeologist again shook Ron's hand and congratulated him on the discovery. Promises were made that the King would provide all the funding for the project, a reward would be paid, and Ron would be introduced to the King. But Ron had a very important meeting in Ankara in a few days, and it was too important to miss. Needless to say, the Saudis were not very happy about Ron and Dave's refusal.

But the Saudis could care less about Ron's reasons—they were clearly upset. Dave's video was confiscated by Abu Collet's men, as were his photographs which they had developed a few days earlier. "You are to forget that you ever came here. We don't want to read about this in a book or see it in a movie." Ron and Dave acted agreeable without directly making any promises. At least that's what Ron did when he said, "I understand." Once again, Ron would leave Saudi without the evidences he desperately wanted. Any hopes of closer inspection of Jebel el Lawz now rested in the hope that the Saudis wouldn't hold a grudge—as soon as he could financially afford it, Ron planned to notify them that he wanted to do the excavation. But, in time Ron discovered that Jebel el Lawz was not a subject the Saudis wanted made public.


Meeting with Jim lrwin's Organization

Just before his imprisonment in Saudi, Ron had visited with Col. Jim Irwin at his office, and he had told Jim about Jebel el Lawz. Jim expressed interest in the site in Saudi and offered any help he could give. Ron suggested a joint venture with Col. lrwin's organization, High Flight. Dave Fasold had told Ron that he wasn't interested in working with Ron on the project, possibly because his work on Noah's Ark was his first priority. And Ron felt like the Jebel el Lawz project was too large to undertake alone. Jim Irwin not only had connections—Ron knew he was a man of utmost integrity and a true Christian gentleman. So, in 1986, Ron met with several people from Jim Irwin's "High Flight" organization and some other interested parties in Dallas. He presented the evidence for the real Mt. Sinai—verbally, of course—and proposed that they participate in the excavation and documentation. It was tentatively agreed upon and Ron gave them directions to the site, along with descriptions of the artifacts that were to be found there.

On Oct. 15, 1986, Col. Irwin wrote the "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's General Department of Antiquities & Museums" in Riyadh, explaining in detail about Jebel el Lawz and Ron's involvement, requesting permission for Ron to do the work there. But the Saudi's " tune" had changed from the time of Ron and Dave's trip in 1985, when they wanted them to stay and excavate. The reply he received denied that there was any connection between the site of Jebel el Lawz and Moses, and it went on to say that they "had thoroughly investigated" the site and found it to be an ancient quarry. The letter is signed, "Sincerely, Dr. Abdullah H. Masry; Asst.Dep. Minister for Antiquities and Museum Affairs."

So why this change of heart? We have read of an old belief by the Jews that they have a claim to any land that their ancestors are found buried on. There are a great number of graves in the area which can be proven to be Israelite—and you can be sure that the Saudis are aware of this and would do anything to keep the Israelis from having any reason to make claims on the area. We have written letters to the King, proving that the Torah (Old Testament) makes it quite clear that the area of Mt. Sinai was not part of the "promised land." But for the time being, to Ron it looked pretty hopeless that he would be able to return to the site. So, Ron just continued his work on the other projects, praying for the Lord to provide the means to obtain the evidence that he knew was there. Even Jim Irwin, with his very impressive contacts in the region, couldn't obtain the necessary permission for the proposed joint expedition of his organization and Ron.


Mt. Sinai Rediscovered

Then, in the July 1988 edition of Jim Irwin's "High Flight Foundation Newsletter," the following announcement was made: "Great news! We strongly feel that the REAL Mt Sanai has been discovered. Since February, we have been searching in Egypt and Saudi Arabia in an attempt to find the real Mt. Sinai, currently believed to be in Egypt…Larry Williams and have taken two trips to Saudi Arabia and traveled to Jebel el Lawz .... "Later, Larry Williams published his book called, "The Mountain of Moses" in which he documents how he and Bob Cornuke (Vice-President of "High Flight") sneaked into Saudi and "discovered" the real Mt. Sinai. The saddest part for Ron was that these people never even contacted him or let him see their photographs, after he had gone to the "High Flighr" people. We later learned that they went to Dave Fasold and got precise information which allowed them to "make their discovery." And why not? Dave had seen the evidences and knew they were there. Ron hadn't made any progress in the intervening 3 years. At least people would learn about the truth of the real site. If this was how the Lord was going to do it, that was fine with us.

Then, as we read Larry Williams' book, we found out that although they went to Jebel el Lawz, they never found any chariot parts in the Red Sea. They had searched the sea-floor at the Straits of Tiran, far south of where Ron found the chariot wheels. Without this most important evidence, the story was still incomplete. Was this going to be the extent of the evidence of Jebel el Lawz—the real Mt. Sinai?


"From a Personal Vantage Point"

I, Mary Nell Wyatt, will continue to tell of the events which were yet to occur from my own vantage point because while I wasn't around for the events prior to 1988, I was a part of the events which I will now relay to you. I cannot give the actual names of some of the individuals involved at this point, but everything I am about to tell is completely documented by all persons involved. We will make all information available when it is safe to do so, including video testimony by parties involved but for now unnamed.


Ron's Years of Frustration

I have been acutely aware of Ron's frustration at being unable to get the documentation of Jebel el Lawz. Since our marriage in 1988, he has tried every way imaginable to get back over to the site. We've written letters which were hand delivered to the King's attorney. But one of Ron's strangest ideas came about as a result of the Gulf War. When the war erupted, Ron contacted the Army Recruiting office to enlist in the Reserves—his idea was that he could apply for duty as an anesthetist to Saudi and go out to the mountain while there. They told him he'd have to sign up for at least a 6-month stay, and that would put a big dent in his research on the other projects. But, it appeared for a time that the plan would succeed. His recruiting officer was extremely excited and hopeful—he said that they needed anesthetists and since Ron had 8 years in the service and was a Korean War veteran, he would enter as a Captain and there should be no problem with his getting the assignment he would request. But, red tape delayed everything and soon the war was over. With the war over, they no longer needed to recruit men and Ron never enlisted.


The Korean Doctors

In January of 1992, we were contacted by some Korean doctors who claimed to have a tremendous amount of money. They said they wanted to financially help Ron finish his archaeological work. They came to our home and we shared all of the evidences with them that we could, and they then decided that they wanted to go to Egypt and Israel to see the actual sites. They didn't need to go to Turkey, they explained, because they saw enough evidence to convince them at our home. We soon headed for the Middle East and met up with these Korean doctors in Cairo. They wanted to see the sites and promised they would finance the work of completing all of them.


A Call from Saudi Arabia

But just before we left on that trip, one of Ron's Saudi friends had called him. This man had called Ron numerous times in the past, trying to arrange to sell back to Ron his photos and movie film that he had taken when they were all at Jebel el Lawz in 1985. The problem was that he wanted hundreds of thousands of dollars. But when he called this time, the "unnamed' Saudi wanted something else—a type of electronic equipment which we could get for him. However, we didn't have time to purchase it before we left on our trip. So, Ron decided to call his Saudi friend from the motel in Nuweba, hoping he would fly over and meet us to discuss the proposition—he had been to Nuweba to meet Ron before, and it was no problem for him to do so. The idea was to get him to bring the photos and film so we could see that he really had them. Ron's understanding was that the photos and film had been confiscated by authorities and that his Saudi friend wouldn't have access to them. But, if he did have them, we would arrange to get him the equipment he wanted in exchange.


"Mr. Sayadin," our Egyptian Translator

So, as soon as we arrived in Nuweba with the Korean doctors, Ron tried to call "the Saudi." Now, to place a call to Saudi Arabia from the motel, Ron had to go to the front desk switchboard. The gentleman who was operating the switchboard could see that Ron was having a great deal of trouble getting the person who answered "the Saudi's" line to understand him—while "the Saudi" spoke excellent English, most of those who answered his phones didn't. So, the Egyptian gentleman (we'll call him "Mr. Sayadin") who worked the switchboard—and who spoke both Arabic and English quite well offered his "translating" services which Ron most happily accepted. Ron explained a little of the situation to "Mr. Sayadin" so he could converse with whoever answered "the Saudi's" phone in a fluent and intelligent manner.

Each day we tried and each day we were told "the Saudi" wasn't in but would return the call in a few hours. But after 4 days of no luck, we decided it was time to leave Nuweba. I was in our room, packing, when Ron came in and told me that he had been praying about the situation of getting the photographs of Jebel el Lawz and had been impressed to tell "Mr. Sayadin" the entire story.


"Mr. Sayadin" Can Do it"

To Ron's surprise, "Mr Sayadin" told him that he could go to Saudi and take the pictures for Ron himself— no problem! Now, we both knew that it's next to impossible for an Egyptian to get into Saudi Arabia. Just like Americans or anyone else, the only way to get in is to obtain work in the Kingdom. The Saudis do not want tourists—they have all the money in the world, and they do not want their people exposed to western civilization—especially the women. But, "Mr. Sayadin" told Ron that his father had been in government work and had friends who could get him into Saudi. OK. Perhaps he was telling the truth—perhaps this was how the Lord was going to answer our prayers. But then, Ron told me about the "deal" he had made with "Mr. Sayadin."


"Mr. Sayadin" Is Well Motivated!

Ron told "Mr. Sayadin" that he would pay him $25,000.00 if he was successful—that meant that the photographs and video were of good quality and the photographs were clear. And that's when I nearly fainted. Ron had made this generous offer to insure that "Mr. Sayadin" would be properly motivated, and he was basing the sum on the fact that our Korean doctor friends had promised us this much money for the Mt. Sinai project. But I wasn't so optimistic on ever receiving any assistance from these doctors. I had heard this same promise numerous times before and no one had ever kept their word. Ron, on the other hand, felt differently. He tends to take people at their word.


"I Just Happen to have the Map You Need"

With this "deal" already made, I told Ron about something that I had done. We had just purchased a fax machine a few weeks before our trip and the night before we left, I had made 3 copies (using the fax) of the map of NW Saudi Arabia with Jebel el Lawz and had them in my purse! I had no idea why I did it, but I did—and that map proved to be of vital importance because even the Saudis can't get accurate maps of that area. So, we took those maps and, meeting with "Mr. Sayadin," carefully drew the entire route of how to get to Jebel el Lawz from towns in both the north and the south areas. We marked all the wades or canyons (there aren't many roads in the region so the area would have to be traveled in a 4wheel drive vehicle, through these rough wades). On the back of the map, I sketched pictures of the drawings Ron had drawn years earlier of the cows and bulls on the golden calf altar. I drew the 2 standing boulders with a solitary tree between them—the positive identification of the Holy Precinct area at the foot of the mountain. I drew everything Ron could remember which would identify the locations, and we gave them to "Mr. Sayadin." In such an isolated and untamed land with no landmarks or signs, these drawings were imperative. Otherwise, he would have no idea at all what to look for.


Preparations are Made

At our meeting that afternoon, the plan was formulated in detail. "Mr. Sayadin" would need a video camera, a still camera, film, airline tickets, and car rental fees. I spent the rest of the afternoon teaching him how to use my video camera—most cameras work about the same—and I recommended 2 models which he hopefully could find in Cairo. He was quite an intelligent man and caught on very quickly. Then he estimated that he would need $1,000.00 to get the job done, so Ron gave him $1,500.00 in cash, just to be on the safe side. Ron stressed to him that he was not to tell anyone else about this! Jebel el Lawz had been declared a protected archaeological site soon after the 1985 trip, and it was now fenced in and carefully guarded. He would have to be very careful. In fact, that was one of the conditions of our contract—that he keep everything in strict confidence—and "Mr. Sayadin" agreed wholeheartedly. 


Ron Tells "Mr. Sayadin" about Noah's Ark 

We told "Mr. Sayadin" about Ron's other archaeological work and showed him photographs of Noah's Ark. We wanted him to understand our purpose in getting the photographs of the area. We felt that the more he understood, the more he would know what to look for and film. Being a Moslem, "Mr. Sayadin" knew about Noah's Ark and Mt. Sinai, (or the Mountain of "Musa"). But, we only had one afternoon to convey all this information to him.

Now, remember, I'm telling this from my point of view—so I will be honest and say that I was quite negative about the entire venture. Ron is the optimist, I'm the pessimist. As far as I was concerned, we could kiss that money good-bye. But, Ron was amazingly confident that he had done what he was supposed to do. He was at complete peace with the situation and had no concerns because he had prayed and asked for wisdom to know what to do. But my thoughts were "what would we do if this man did get the photos and videos? Where in the world would we get the other $23,500.00 we would owe him?" I never once believed the Korean doctors would follow through on their promises. We don't own a home or anything else we could mortgage; both of our automobiles are 1985 models and if we sold both of them, I doubt we could get $5,000.00. This was a time that gave me great trial and when it was over, I had learned a great lesson as you will soon see.


"I Need More Money"

In about a week, we arrived back home. Each day and night, we prayed—"please Lord, let us get the photos and videos of Mt. Sinai if it is Your will." But unknown to us, a most astounding set of events was and had already taken place. After we had been home several days, the phone rang, and it was "Mr. Sayadin". He told me that he had underestimated the cost of getting the job done and needed $2,000.00 more, which he wanted me to wire to him. My heart sank. I felt like we were just throwing money in a hole. Even with political connections, I wasn't convinced that this man could possibly get into Saudi, much less out to the isolated area of Jebel el Lawz. And even if he did, could he properly operate the video and still cameras? And even if he could do this, would he photograph the correct things? I seriously doubted it. Contacting Ron about the call, he told me to go to the bank and wire the $2,000.00—which, I may add, was almost all we had at that time.

I went to the bank with the wire instructions "Mr. Sayadin" had given me. As I drove, I was praying that if this wasn't the Lord's will, to please let something happen so that we wouldn't lose the $2,000.00. 1 specifically prayed that it this wasn't going to accomplish the Lord's purpose, for Him to somehow stop the wire from going through. So, I sent it at approximately 1:30 pm. By 5:00, I figured it had gone successfully since I hadn't heard from the bank.


A Prayer Answered?

Then at around 5:20 I answered the phone. The bank called to say that for some reason the wire had been returned. My heart just pounded! I told Ron—since I had prayed that the wire wouldn't go through if this wasn't what the Lord wanted us to do, I thought surely that would be the end of it. But it wasn't. That had been my prayer, yes—but Ron had a standard mode of operation. He tried three times to get something done before he gave up. He told me to call "Mr. Sayadin" back, to see if there were some wire instructions he had failed to give me, and try again first thing in the morning to re-send the money.


2 More "Tries" to Go

I called "Mr Sayadin" at home and sure enough, he had failed to give me a certain sub-account number. The next morning, I called our bank at 10:30 and asked them to re-send the wire with the addition of this account number. They told me that they couldn't do it over the phone—I needed to come down in person because wire transfers had to be signed personally each time they are sent, even if it is a retransmitted. I replied that I'd be right down. But the lady in the wire-transfer department told me to wait until about 1:30 because the wire system was "down," or not working.


A Very Strange Phone Call

I waited and watched the clock—I didn't want to be late because I knew that the wire systems all closed at 2:00 central time. And while I waited, the phone rang. Ron was home at that time and he answered it. As I listened to his part of the conversation, I knew this was a strange call. He got out his pen and wrote down some information and soon hung up. Looking at me, he was almost pale. I asked him who that was and he explained that it was a person who lived in our area and that they asked if he was Ron Wyatt. He said "yes—and then they went on to explain that they didn't know what this was all about but "friend" of theirs had just called them from Saudi Arabia and asked them to try to locate a man named "Ron Wyatt" who lived in Nashville, and tell him to immediately call him in Saudi. This person gave Ron the phone number. So, he called and this is the story he heard on the other line.

(We'll call this man in Saudi, "Abu Hesham"). "Abu Hesham" told Ron that he had been touring Egypt a few weeks earlier—the same time we were there—and had been particularly interested in visiting the traditional site of Mt. Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula. He had rented a car and drove to St. Catherine's Monastery. He explained that he had spent several days exploring the region and came away terribly disappointed. He knew this traditional site wasn't authentic. There was no evidence nor did it fit the Biblical description. But, his story continued, on his way to St. Catherine's, he had stopped to spend the night at the same motel at Nuweba that we had stayed at. In fact, he checked out only a day or 2 before we arrived. At that time, he had become quite friendly with "Mr. Sayadin," and told him that he lived in Saudi Arabia.

Well, "Abu Hesham" left Nuweba, toured St. Catherine's, and about a week later returned to the motel at Nuweba. He arrived within 30 minutes of the time we had left. And, he told Ron, when he arrived, "Mr. Sayadin" rushed to his car with what seemed to be a "suspiciously extreme" amount of happiness at seeing him. As "Abu Hesham" checked in, "Mr. Sayadin" began to rant and rave about this "Mt. Sinai" in Saudi Arabia, and even produced the map we had given him that very afternoon. "Abu Hesham" was very confused as to what the whole thing was about, but listened carefully—after all, he had come to Egypt especially to see the site of Mt. Sinai!

As the discussion progressed, "Mr. Sayadin" began to talk about Ron—not by name, but made references to Noah's Ark. And it's at this point that the story takes on a most unbelievable strain. But I assure you, it's true.


"That's the Man!"

To back up a bit, "Abu Hesham" told Ron that over a year earlier, a friend of his in the U.S. had sent him a video tape copy of a TV program featuring a man discussing the discovery of Noah's Ark. He had copied the tape onto another tape size that fit his VCR and placed the original tape from the U.S. in his camera bag, to reuse in his video camera. On this trip to Egypt, "Abu Hesham" had brought 10 used video tapes to film his trip. When he arrived at the motel in Nuweba, he had used 9 of them. After hearing "Mr. Sayadin" talk about "this man" who'd found Mt. Sinai and Noah's Ark, he thought about the tape that had been sent to him from the U.S. He reached into his camera bag and pulled out his remaining unused tape. He put it in his camera, and pressed "play." There in the eyepiece, he saw the white-haired, bearded man who had been on the program speaking about Noah's Ark. He gave the video camera to "Mr. Sayadin" to watch. He only watched for a few seconds when he began to shout, "That's him! That's the man that just left here! That's the man who gave me the map!!" Needless to say, they were all quite shocked. The tape was of a TV program called "The Good Life," which Ron had appeared on in February 1990 in Clearwater, Florida, in which he told about Noah's Ark. Could all of this possibly be coincidence?


"Mr. Sayadin's Plan"

Then Ron began to understand why "Mr Sayadin" had told "Abu Hesham" about Mt. Sinai. He had known all along that "Abu Hesham" lived in Saudi and he knew he would be returning to the motel. I have to admit, "Mr. Sayadin" was clever. He rolled out the "red carpet" for "Abu Hesham"—his room, meals, and everything were "on the house." "Mr. Sayadin" was motivated just as Ron had wanted him to be. He planned to give "Abu Hesham" the map of Jebel el Lawz and ask him to film this area. And then, "Mr. Sayadin" would arrange to fly to Saudi and pick up the video. What he didn't tell "Abu Hesham" was that he would then collect $23,500.00 from Ron. My fears proved to be reality. "Mr. Sayadin" didn't have the connections to go into Saudi as he had told us. His plan all along was to take advantage of the one trip to Saudi every Moslem is allowed to make—a "Haj" or pilgrimage to Mecca. His plan was to go to Saudi, using this "haj" visa privilege, and get the film after "Abu Hesham" did the filming.

But his plan didn't work. After "Abu Hesham" got over the shock of the events that had just taken place—hearing the story of the "real Mt. Sinai" and Noah's Ark, and the "coincidence" of the man on the video tape being the same man "Mr. Sayadin" had met, he returned to Saudi where his own vehicle was waiting for him just across the gulf. Taking the map "Mr Sayadin" had given him, he drove right to Jebel el Lawz and went to every site we had marked on the map, He videoed and photographed everything possible. He had to use the only video tape he lad left—the one of Ron's TV program. And arriving at his home, he played the copy of the tape of that TV program, "The Good Life," and learned that the man on the program was named Ron Wyatt and that he lived in Nashville, Tennessee. He then called a friend who just happened to have moved to the Nashville area, and told this friend to find "Ron Wyatt" in the telephone book, call him, and tell him to call him in Saudi immediately!


Answered Prayers

And that brings us up to the point where Ron called "Abu Hesham." When "Abu Hesham" finished telling this amazing story, he then told Ron he wanted to give him all the video and photographs! Our prayers were answered! And that was the phone call we received just before I was to go to the bank and wire "Mr. Sajadin" the extra $2,000.00! Not only had Ron's prayers for documentation of Jebel el Lawz been answered, my prayer about sending the money had also been answered—and I didn't wire it! "Mr. Sayadin" had blatantly committed a "breach of contract" which released us of any further obligation. In fact, Ron's airline ticket to the Middle East to meet "Abu Hesham" and get the video and photographs of Mt. Sinai cost just about $2,000.00—the amount we were about to wire! Within 3 weeks, we had the documentation Ron had been wanting desperately for 8 long years!

Ron spent several days with "Abu Hesham," discussing Jebel el Lawz and many other things. During this visit, "Abu Hesham" told his part of the story on video. When Ron got home and I watched the video, I almost couldn't believe it had really happened. "Abu Hesham" became a very close friend and has been able to completely document the entire area of Jebel el Lawz, Rephidim, Elim, the beach on the Red Sea where the multitude arrived after crossing, and much more. We now have over 8 hours of video and about 300 photographs! It is perhaps the most spectacular miracle I have ever witnessed. But for now, we must protect "Abu Hesham's" identity. He has told us that he will be in grave danger if it is discovered that he has photographed this area, because the Saudis are now jealously guarding it.



In fact, Dave Fasold told me last week that Larry Williams' book about Jebel el Lawz had been banned in Saudi. This was confirmed when we talked to "Abu Hesham" a couple of days later. He told us that there was a big uproar in Saudi over the site because of this book, and that it was extremely dangerous for anyone to even try to go to the area. It will be even more interesting to see what happens regarding Jebel el Lawz. Things aren't over yet. But no matter what, we finally have the documentation!


"Mr. Sayadin" & the Broken Contract

If you are wondering what happened to "Mr. Sayadin," who tried to take advantage of us, he is still a good friend. We called and told him we weren't wiring the money but would meet with him in Egypt in a month or two. When Ron met with him and told him that there wasn't any need for him to go to Saudi, "Mr. Sayadin" asked no questions and even offered to give back the $1,500.00 since he had been unable to complete the job. But Ron and I agreed to tell him to keep the money, and we even gave him more to help him start his own business. It was well worth it! We consider him and his family good friends and have even dined in his home. No questions were ever asked; no explanations were ever given. "Mr. Sayadin" was happy—"Abu Hesham" was ecstatic at knowing that the Lord had used him in such a spectacular manner; and Ron was thrilled beyond expression. I, too, was thrilled to death to be able to see so vividly how the Lord answered our prayers. It was a series of events I will never, ever forget. We are anxious to make the evidences public for all to see however, when that will be possible, we don't know. But after the way things worked out, we are all quite willing to "wait on the Lord,"—no questions asked!

By the way, the Korean doctors never followed through on their promises. And I learned a lesson in "patience!"

ISAIAH 49:23; "... thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me." I know one man who knows without a doubt, the total truth of these Scriptures: PSALM 40:1; "I waited patiently for the LORD, and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. MICAH 7:7; " Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me."




The first thing Ron noticed when he saw Jebel el Lawz in 1984, just prior to his arrest, was that the high peak of the mountain range was distinctly black. When one stands at the base of the mountain—just outside the boundary markers which we will discuss a little later, the high peak that can be seen, looks like it is made of coal. When "Abu Hesham" climbed the mountain a little north of this peak, and looked southward, the entire line of "black" could be seen. (See color photo section). It looks exactly as if the very top portion of the entire top of the Lawz mountain had been evenly scorched. EXODUS 19:18; "And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire:"


The "Bounds" Set by Moses

EXODUS 19:12; "And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:"

The area of the "holy precinct," the section Moses was directed by God to enclose in "bounds" at the foot of the mountain, is enclosed by huge, 18 foot diameter round columns. These cannot be seen except upon close examination because over the intervening 3,400 years, soil and rock has accumulated around them raising the ground level. Today, only the tops of a few can be seen, sticking up through the ground just a few inches. It was one of columns that was partially excavated when Ron and Dave were there in 1985. Their construction is as follows: the outer wall, constructed of brick-sized rocks, is 18 foot in diameter; and the construction is similar to the large Egyptian columns. Within this enclosed outer wall is another interior wall, several feet smaller. In between these 2 walls, other stones of the same size are placed vertically. Their location can be seen quite easily, as the soil covering them drops off about 20 feet along their entire course. (See diagram). The evidence shows that they extended across from north to south in a fairly direct line, then turn and follow the dried riverbed that cuts through (this riverbed begins high up in the mountain, comes down the side, and extends out eastward). See Deuteronomy 9:21. The boundary columns then begin again along the southern edge of the riverbed, travel east, turn south and then turn westward, where they extend all the way to the southern side of the mountain.

The Holy Precinct

When viewed looking west, the entire area of the holy precinct can be seen. In immediate view to the right is a portion of the mountain which features double "peaks." Just below these peaks, in the face of the mountain, can be seen a cave. On the far right peak, there are 2 extremely large boulders with a solitary tree growing between them. This strange tree which seemingly is growing out of the granite, is one of the first things Ron noticed when he first saw this mountain, and it is this tree which positively identifies the mountain. In an area with miles and miles of mountains, there is no mistaking this particular site—when you see the tree, you know you are there. In fact, "Abu Hesham" told Ron that it was only when he looked up and saw the tree between the massive granite boulders that he realized he was at the right mountain!


3 Archaeological Requirements

In archaeology, there are three things which are usually present in an archaeologically important site—first, of course, is physical evidence. Second, is ancient inscriptions in the area, identifying or connection with the particular discovery with the area. Finally, and very importantly, are the study of local traditions passed down through the natives of the region. As we mentioned earlier, the Bedouin, Ibrahim Frich, told Ron and Dave that "Jebel Musa Henna," when they were at Jebel el Lawz. In other words, the local people even refer to this mountain as "Moses" mountains.

But there is a reference in a book written about 650 AD, which speaks of a tree on Sinai—and the book from which this is taken, was written by a man who lived and knows western Saudi Arabia. This book is the Koran. The speaker in this passage is supposed to be God, or Allah, who refers to himself in the plural as He states: "We produced for you..a tree issuing from the Mount of Sanai that bears oil and seasoning..." ("The Koran," translated by Arthur J. Arberry, Chapter (Sura) "The Believers," para. 20). We know for a fact that Mohammed, the author of the Koran, visited this area at least once. For in about 631 AD, he concluded peace treaties with the Christian chief of Aqabah and the Jewish tribes in the oases of Maqna. This is the immediate area to the north and south of Jebel el Lawz—within walking distance.


The "Brook that Descended out of the Mount"

On the face of the mountain, as looking from outside the Holy Precinct, there extends the evidence of an ancient river or brook, that originated high in the mountain. The waters issued forth, spilling down through the southern part of the holy precinct, turning east and flowing to the edge of the boundary markers, then turning and flowing north. The path is still visible today. The Biblical account tells of this: DEUTERONOMY 9:21; "And I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small,...and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount."

And again, as we read the Koran, it appears that the peoples of this area knew the site of Mt. Sinai and this "brook" very well. "Moses .. said... 'I observe a fire’ ...." When he came to it, a voice cried from the right bank of the watercourse, in the sacred hollow, coming from the tree: Moses, I am God ... " (Ibid., Chapter 'The Story,' para. 29-30). This is an amazing description of a scene which perfectly fits the evidence from the site! The "sacred hollow" describes the area at the toot of the blackened mountain, which is protected on three sides by the mountains. The tree is certainly to the right of the river and again fits.

Equally as interesting, from the point of being local Arabian tradition as captured in the Koran, is the following: "Thou wast not upon the western side when We decreed to Moses the commandment, nor wast thou of those witnessing..." (ibid, para. 44) This illustrative language says that the people whom are being addressed were not on the "western" or opposite side of the mountain, neither were they on the eastern side, which is where "those witnessing" were located!


The Golden Calf Altar

As we said, the evidence which caused the Saudi archaeologist to say that this was a major archaeological discovery, was the petroglyphs on the altar which is located east of the holy precinct—in fact, from the top of the mountain, looking down toward the sacred area, this altar is almost directly straight ahead. But it is perhaps a mile or more from the base of the mountain. As we read the Biblical account of the event, we can see that this site fits the description given perfectly: EXODUS 32:15; "And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides,...17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 19 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it."

We can visualize Moses and Joshua looking out over the area from the plateau, getting ready to begin their final descent. They look out over the uninhabited holy precinct, and just outside the boundary columns, the people are in a great commotion, singing and dancing. And just beyond the great multitude, nestled close to a small hill, is the golden calf altar. As they walk through the holy precinct and near the camp, just inside the borders of the holy precinct, they can clearly see the golden calf high upon the altar. Moses throws down the Tables of Stone, just inside the Holy Precinct, but in the sight of the people. He keeps walking straight ahead, directly to Aaron and the altar. Taking the golden calf, he throws it in the fire which Aaron had used to melt the gold in order to form the calf (see verse 24). With the calf perhaps melted down into a formless "blob" (showing what a "powerful god" it really was), he takes it and climbs upon the altar Aaron built and grinds it down into dust. He then takes the large pile of gold dust to the stream which flows from the mountain and strews it in the water at the place where the stream flows out of the Holy Precinct. Since no one can venture beyond the borders set about the Holy Precinct, no one who drinks the water can escape the pollution of the gold in it—and the entire camp probably experienced tremendous stomach problems from the gold.

Thus far, the evidences at Jebel el Lawz fit the Biblical description Perfectly!


The Altar at the Foot of the Mountain

If we stand just outside the boundary columns and look directly west into the Holy Precinct, near the foot of the mountain to the left is an altar made of uncut stones. Standing in front of this altar, it is about shoulder high to Ron—but if you walk around behind it, the slope of the ground beneath it causes it to only be a little above knee high to Ron. EXODUS 20:25; "And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. 26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon." Again, the altar fits the Biblical description. The stones are natural in shape—no tool has been used to shape its stones. It has no steps—Moses could easily make the offerings upon it when he stood behind it, which would have him facing the congregation.

Extending out from this altar at about a 90 degree angle, is a sort of walled in area. Perhaps this was where the animals were slaughtered, or it may have been the foundation for some type of tent/building.


The 12 Pillars

EXODUS 24:4 "And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve Pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

With no more information than this as to the 12 pillars, we look to the Hebrew word translated to read "pillars"—it is "matstsebah." Could this be the origin of the word "massebah," which is a term for a one-piece, standing stone pillar? If so, we would assume that these pillars would be simple standing stones, not columns constructed out of many rocks fitted together. But we can go to another example: JOSHUA 4:8; "And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priest which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day."

These were one piece stones. So, we can expect that the "pillars" Moses erected were not constructed out of numerous rocks fit together. And in the Holy Precinct, to the far right and near the front (looking westward into the area) there is a semicircle of 12 large granite boulders, about 6 foot wide and 9 foot tall (this is an estimate based on the drop in ground level). These are, like the 18 foot diameter boundary columns, covered by alluvial soil, washed into the area by seasonal showers and only the tops are visible.


The White Marble Shrine

Near the altar at the base of the mountain, are the remains of some type of shrine built of pure white, polished marble. The style of the remains indicates it was from a much later date—it was round, with 6 sets of double columns at even intervals. Its roof was a polished dome. There are quite a number of these broken columns still lying in the area, and were seen by Ron on his first trip to the site in 1984. From the inscriptions he saw, Ron believes this, and the columns on the beaches, were erected by Solomon.



Just over the western side of the mountain range, opposite the Holy Precinct, there is an area which features an incredible, 5-6 story rock perched upon a hill that is about 200 feet high. This rock is split through the middle and displays the pattern of water erosion and evidence that numerous streams came forth in several directions. EXODUS 17:6; "Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink..."

About 200 yards from this rock is another altar, similar in construction to the one in the Holy Precinct. EXODUS 17:15; "And Moses built an altar,... This area also features an immense plain area in which the battle with the Amaleks could have taken place.

The evidence is overwhelming—we have only touched on a small amount of the archaeological evidence at this site. When we can do so without compromising "Abu Hesham's" safety, everything will be made public, and available in video and publications. For now, we must continue to be "patient!"


The Real Mt. Sinai Rediscovered!

According to Scripture (Galatians 4:25 - "Now Hagar stands for Mt. Sinai in Arabia"), Mt. Sinai should be in Saudi Arabia, in the territory of the Midianites, not on what we call today, the Sinai peninsula.  Indeed, after tracing the route of the Exodus from Egypt and discovering the Red Sea crossing site through the Gulf of Aqaba, the route to the real Mt. Sinai should be easier to find.  And indeed, Jebel El Lawz, the Mountain of the Law, was rediscovered.

On the route to Mt. Sinai, the Israelites became very thirsty.  God instructed Moses to strike a large rock at Horeb and water would pour forth (Exodus 17:5, 6).   Moses struck the rock.  God split the rock and water in copious amounts poured forth, enough to water the 1+ million plus people and their animals.  Below is a picture of that rock and some of the erosion as the water forcefully poured out from it.   Note the person standing at the base of the rock in the right hand picture.   Water poured forth from both sides of it and the water channels formed extend for a fair distance into the valleys on both sides.

The splt rock at Horeb stands ~16 stories tall (6k)   One can easily see the erosion on each side of the rock (9k)

The Bible says the children of Israel encamped "in" the mountain.  Mt. Sinai has an area which is like the  caldera of an extinct volcano, with an opening on one side.   Thus the Israelites actually moved into the caldera, and camped inside the mountain. Following are some pictures of the Saudi fence and guard house that were placed around the peak area of the mountain, in the same location as where God told Moses to build a fence so that the Israelites could not break through.

Warning sign posted by the Saudi government (10k)    Fence and guard house built by the Saudi government (7k)

A view looking down from the mountain showing where the fence Moses would have built would have been located.  The fence above is in the same location.  Next is several photos of the mountain. 

The location of the Saudi fence and the one Moses built (7k)  The Mt. Sinai peak in the distance (6k)

Note the blackened peak where the burning presence of the Lord settled down.  The rocks looked as if they had been torched.  The darkened areas are not shadows from clouds or other peaks.  To the right is a photo of the altar at Rephadim (Exodus 17:15, 16) built to commemorate the victory over the Amalekites.   Moses called it, "The LORD is my banner".  A closeup of the rocks show that the altar was built of unhewn rocks as commanded by God.

Note the blackened top (11k)  Altar at Rephidim built after battle with the Amalekites (9k)

Following is a photographs of one of twelve Egyptian style petroglyphs of bulls on the altar around which the Israelites worshipped the golden calf.  It was when Moses came down the mountain, and saw the Israelites dancing around this idolatrous calf, that he threw down the tablets of stone, containing the covenant or contract between God and His people.

Egyptian stylized cow on altar of the golden calf (8k)  Moses Throwing Down the Tables of Stone (7k)

Go to the CovenantKeepers web site as well!