My name is Nathaniel Johnson and what I’m about to tell you may not be believed by many, in fact I still find it hard to believe myself but either way I feel I must tell this story before my time here is over.
It all began many years ago, my father was an avid adventurer and a keen Archaeologist but when I was only Eight years old my mother was Killed in a tragic car accident and the events that followed happened that quickly I didn’t really have time to mourn my loss which I suppose looking back on it now was a good thing.
You see unbeknown to me at that time both my parents were orphans and with me being an only child there was no other family members my father could turn to for help, we were on our own.
The day after my mother’s funeral was the day my life changed forever.
Within hours of my mother being laid to rest we were on a plane bound for Turkey where an entirely new existence awaited me.
My father or Professor William Fredrick Johnson has he was known professionally, had resigned his position has a university lecturer at Cambridge so he could dedicate his time and energy to the one thing he truly believed in and that was to finally locate the resting place of the vessel some would say was built by the hand of God, the Ark.
The one thing that separated my father from the rest of the Ark hunters was the fact that he was convinced the Ark would never be found on top of mount Ararat.
On leaving London we eventually landed at Atatu,k International Airport in Istanbul which for me I thought was the end of our journey how wrong I was.
As I hung onto my father’s coat-tails we hurried through the airport so we could board another flight this time heading for Ankara. And then to my astonishment when we reached Ankara another flight was waiting for us.
For an Eight year old boy who had never been on a plane, and furthermore, had never been away from home before this truly was an exciting adventure.
Our journey this time took us to Agri where we were met by a close friend of my father’s his name was Zechariah Shobek and with him was his son Nasar.
On leaving the airport we headed for the small town of Igdir, which was near to the Iranian border, it was there that Shobek lived with his wife and son and what would be in the years to come the place I would call home.
The friendship my father had with Shobek was a close one. They had gone through five years of study together at Cambridge and had through the years due to my father’s
Quest and the fact that Shobek lived near to the Ararat region become quite inseparable.
The first twelve months of living in Igdir was quite enlightening, and because my father was away most of the time Shobek’s wife Pereen had for the want of a better word adopted me and treated me like I was one of her own which was music to my father’s ears.
With me being taken care of it gave him the freedom to invest his time into the one thing that had occupied his thoughts since the death of my mother, the Ark.
The one thing my father was sure of was that the Ark would not be found where the rest of the world thought it had come to rest. On top of mount Ararat.
His search had taken him away from the mountain region and onto the remote area of the plateau where the Gegham and the Aragat mountains met. This clearing between the two mountains was also known as the Seven basin and had become of some interest to my father.
He had noticed that the circular landscape that had been formed by the Aras river has it had cut through the two mountains would have in the event of a flood acted like a natural plug hole pulling whatever was in the vicinity has the water receded down to that point.
But before the first year of moving to Igdir was over tragedy and death once again invaded my life.
Whilst searching the foothills of the Gegham mountain range just west of mount Ararat my father had accidentally fallen hitting his head on a rock which had killed him instantly. Within a year of my Eighth birthday I had lost both my parents. How cruel life can be.
With my father gone and no other family members that I could return to England too, Zechariah and Pereen Shobek did an honourable thing, they became my adopted parents and I was consumed into their family with great affection and love which I can confess now was an easy transition for me has I had already become used to having Pereen around much like a mother.
Now a part of the Shobek family Zechariah had enrolled me at his sons school and with me and Nasar now great friends this truly was the beginning of the rest of my life.
As I slowly settled into my new life in Igdir, Nasar became like a brother to me it was this closeness with him that allowed me to integrate not only at school but in the community as well something now looking back on was invaluable to me.
It was these early years whilst growing up in Igdir that I first heard the stories about the fortress that once stood there.
Although there were no records or ruins of such a building ever to have stood in Igdir the name of the fortress had lived on through the centuries, And its name? TEBA.