Journey to Novarupta (HD)


This powerful documentary tells stories of the incredible expeditions to Novarupta, a volcanic eruption in Alaska, that shows the power of God, evidence for a Worldwide Flood, and the Biblical history found in the rock record! The most powerful eruption of the 20th century. The explorer who led four expeditions in the early 1900’s. The 1922 book that documented their epic journeys into the hostile wilderness. And the modern-day creation scientist who rediscovered that book, and picked up where National Geographic left off. Powerful evidence for the worldwide flood, and Biblical history. It all comes together in one story of a volcano thirty times larger than Mount St. Helens! See here for more details:


Today I saw a sight no human being has ever laid eyes on, a region in the great
Alaskan wilderness laid bare by a volcanic eruption. The utter devastation will make further exploration difficult.
My team and I are running low on supplies. This evening
I have left base camp alone to do some scouting. I have not seen an animal or any living creature since entering the blast zone.
Tomorrow we hope to send an expedition out from the base camp. I am overwhelmed by the amazing power of one volcano to completely change the entire landscape.
We have pitched our tent away from the danger of avalanche from the rocks rolling off the mountains around us.
This is such a harsh environment. I know danger is a constant concern, but we are determined to press on.
I hope the words on the pages of this journal inspire future generations to explore this amazing place.
Some adventures are inspired by fame or fortune, and some by the pursuit of knowledge.
But I have had the privilege of following in the footsteps of a man whose discoveries show the glory of the
Creator. My name is Kenny Cole, and this is my story. On June 1st, 1912, earthquakes were beginning to rock the little
Indian village settlement of Katmai Village. Soon families from this area would flee for their lives.
The village was located on the Alaskan peninsula across from Kodiak Island. Late in the evening on June 5th, observers at Cold Bay, 40 miles to the southwest, saw that the northern sky had turned black.
Something big was about to happen. First of all,
I will let you know of our unlucky voyage. I do not know whether we shall be either alive or well.
We are awaiting death at any moment. Of course, do not be alarmed.
A mountain has burst near here, so that we are covered in ash, in some places 10 feet and 6 feet deep.
All this began on the 6th of June, night and day with light lamps.
We cannot see daylight. In a word, it is terrible. And we are expecting death at any moment.
And we have no water. All the rivers are covered in ash.
Just ashes mixed with water. Here are darkness, hell and thunder and noise.
I do not know whether it is day or night. Vanka will tell you all about it.
So kissing and blessing you both, goodbye, forgive me.
Perhaps we shall see each other again. God is merciful. Pray for us.
This letter from a native fisherman named Ivan to his wife demonstrated the fear of those living in the area.
Kodiak Island heard the blast and saw the ash cloud from a hundred miles away. Ash fell for three days covering the area.
Another native living nearby, known as American Pete, reported, Mount Katmai blew up with lots of fire.
And fire came down the trail from Katmai with lots of smoke.
He and a few others immediately fled the town of Naknek. Some fleeing from Katmai village arrived in little boats filled with ash and pumice from the eruption that began on June 6th.
They told stories of how they'd escaped hot rocks being hurled down from the sky. The darkness in Kodiak was so thick during the day of June 8th, it was impossible to see a lantern held at arm's length.
The people of Kodiak Island were overcome with fear because they knew the horrible stories of the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius on Pompeii.
On the afternoon of the 8th, they boarded the ship Manning and headed out to sea. The boat anchored outside the harbor, and with 500 people on board, there was hardly room to stand or move around.
There they stood on the deck of that ship, hungry, thirsty, and scared for two days.
People in Juneau, 750 miles away from the volcano, heard the eruption about an hour after it occurred.
Nobody knew what was happening. For two and a half days, tall, dark columns of ash and poisonous gases spewed into the air.
Back on the peninsula, a river of superheated gases, ash, and volcanic material flowed from Nova Rupta, instantly killing all life for over 50 square miles and flattening the valley into a wide plain.
Volcanic deposits averaged 656 feet thick in some places. Because of the remote location and the harsh wilderness left behind,
Nova Rupta lay unobserved by human eyes for almost three years. That changed in 1916 when
National Geographic sent in a team led by a Christian man by the name of Dr. Griggs. Dr.
Robert Fisk Griggs was born in 1881 in Columbus, Ohio. He was the son of the engineer who built the
Griggs Reservoir and Griggs Dam. He attended both Ohio State and Harvard. Later, Dr.
Griggs was a professor of botany at the University of Ohio. The Griggs home was described as a citadel of Christian values based on love, fidelity, and truth.
At the time of the eruption, he'd been doing a study of kelp along the Katmai Coast. Wanting to study how plants would recover after a catastrophe like the volcanic eruption, he assembled a team of explorers.
In total, Griggs led three expeditions funded by National Geographic. Their team faced many dangers like quicksand, pumice storms, and a treacherous climb up the caldera of Mount Katmai.
Once in the middle of the night, high winds destroyed their base camp and lifted Griggs into the air only to drop him further down the valley, as the rest of the team fled for safety below.
During their expeditions, Griggs and his team, sometimes including his wife Laura, documented the events of the eruption and mapped out the area.
Their missions were such a success that Gilbert Grovner, the president and chairman of National Geographic at the time, said,
Every member of the organization may thus derive considerable satisfaction that he or she has assisted to bring about such important additions to our knowledge of the young and active planet upon which we live.
Later, scientists would determine that Nova Erupta was 30 times more powerful than the eruption of Mount St.
Helens, and three times more powerful than Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. As a botanist,
Griggs lacked some of the expertise required to explore and understand a massive volcanic eruption.
However, he more than made up for this by surrounding himself with a team of experts. Griggs also took a central role in having the
Katmai region made into a national monument in 1918. Dr. and Mrs. Griggs had four children.
On a 1919 expedition, Mrs. Griggs named four waterfalls in Katmai Valley after the children.
Dr. Griggs compiled the data, images, and stories of their expeditions into a book published in 1922 by the name of The Valley of 10 ,000
Smokes. While that book had a profound impact on many at the time, God had an even bigger plan for that book almost 90 years later.
Fast forward to present day with another team of adventurous explorers. Completely unaware of the expeditions led almost a century earlier by Robert Griggs, they had no idea that his work was about to radically change their lives.
One of these adventurers was Kenny Cole. I guess I need to begin by introducing my stepdad,
Dr. David Shoreman. Hi, my name is Dr. Shoreman, and I'm a scientist.
I'm a natural history researcher as well. And I do research on volcanoes, particularly
Nova Repta volcano. Growing up with dad can be summed up in one word, adventure.
We were always going on an adventure, never just a trip. Dr. Shoreman, his family and friends have done everything from fishing in the
Gulf of Mexico, to conducting marine science camps for homeschoolers, to seven -day raft trips on Alaska rivers, to hiking through places no one has been in over a hundred years.
Throughout these adventures, I learned that dad's love of God and his amazing creation drove him to learn more about God and his word by studying creation.
Dr. Shoreman's background is in science and engineering, including a PhD in aquatic science.
He first started doing Alaska science adventure camps in 2002 on Lake Creek.
The main purpose of these camps was to study God's creation while having an awesome adventure and doing lots of fishing.
The camps were very popular and had many people returning each year. So he decided to take it to the next level and go to a more remote part of Alaska, which is how
I came to a place called American Creek. We were in training for an adventure beyond our wildest dreams.
American Creek winds 36 miles through Katmai National Park in Alaska, flowing out of Hammersley Lake and through alpine forests and canyons.
Dr. Shoreman took groups of friends there in the summers of 2006 and 2007 to go fishing.
They were dropped off at Hammersley Lake and rafted down American Creek, stopping to fish and camp along the way.
The team we had was about eight people. And so everybody kind of had their own character and personality that added to the camaraderie of the trip.
Then everybody also had their strengths and weaknesses and tools that they had brought that somebody else had forgotten. And so it was cool to get everybody together and realize that the sum of the parts is greater than the total and we're able to accomplish a lot more than we would have individually.
And so everyone's always excited and willing to help, whether it's a beautiful sunny day and we're all, you know, helping each other catch fish or whether, you know, it's pouring down rain and, you know, someone gets their tent set up first.
And so they're over helping everyone else set up their tent. In addition to just sitting back and observing the creation was the fishing was absolutely incredible.
It was such a thrilling adventure to be able to raft down this wild river and take on rapids and bears and never knew what you're going to find.
Although it was summertime, it's Alaska, so it's cold and it's wet. You would have to have a mindset that says,
I'm going to be a little bit cold today and I'm going to be wet most of the day, but that's OK. We're not going to be perfectly physically comfortable, but we're going to have a great time.
And we did have a great time and it was well worth it. While at American Creek, there were several memories, ones worth writing down.
We spotted our first bear today. Everyone was freaked out except the bear. It was a grizzly and it was probably in its youth.
Still pretty good size, though. We carried bear spray as a last resort to fend off a bear, which we never had to use.
One of the other guys that was with us had bear spray on his hip. Somehow, when he crawled out of the raft, he hit the trigger and sent a cloud of bear spray right into Mike's eyes.
I don't know how long it was. I'm sure it was an hour that I couldn't open my eyes. To see dad, you know, just screaming in his hands and jumping in the river, trying to splash it off.
And of course, the bear spray, I think, is oil based, so splash of water on it doesn't do anything. But you had to do something.
And so I'd never seen dad move so fast in the water and screaming. And I'm sure I scared every bear off that was within 10 miles of us.
We saw literally scores of bears every day. They really added to the trip.
And it's what made the trip down American Creek really special. Taking the wrong river braids usually resulted in having to haul rafts across shallow water or over fallen trees.
In 2006, we had a raft flip when rushing water jammed the raft against a log jam, flipping the raft.
One of the biggest challenges was actually navigating the river itself. There wasn't just a ton of water flowing through it.
So everybody had to get out and pull the raft across the rocks. Or we'd come to a place where the river would shoot off in five different directions.
We called it going to the braids. So you have to stop and send scouts to go scout the different paths and figure out which way had the most water flowing through it so we could flow through it easier.
So that would kind of slow you down. And then there's a couple of times when we'd come around a corner and there'd be a huge tree right in the middle of the where we want to go.
And you know, cut away around or portage rafts across or whatever was necessary. While American Creek was fun,
God had bigger plans for us. So that's what life looked like for this team of friends.
Crazy adventures, wild fishing trips, and learning about God's creation. But soon, a book written 90 years before was about to change their lives forever.
I found the book that Robert Griggs published in 1922, published by the National Geographic Society.
And I started reading that and that's when I really became interested. And the more Dr. Shorman read, the more he realized the importance of Dr.
Griggs' expeditions. And there was a figure in there that particularly drew my attention. And it showed basically the eruption of Nova Rupta.
It was like a cross section through the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. And so it had a layer there of the
Nova Rupta volcanic material that was deposited in the valley. And then beneath that, some glacial action.
And then beneath that, a huge layer of sedimentary rock called the Naknek Formation. And then beneath that, magma layer and granite layer.
And I just saw that, I was like, that's creation, flood, ice age, present day conditions.
That's the whole pattern there. And so, you know, not only was the Nova Rupta a great evidence of catastrophism, it was a great evidence of just the whole story that's in Scripture from creation to now.
And it was then that the goal became clear. God was calling Dr. Shorman to relive the adventures of Robert Griggs and use the expeditions for his glory.
Well, my motivation in making the trip was just to see it. And just because of the creation, flood, ice age, present day condition pattern that was there.
And then the comparison of this major catastrophic event at Nova Rupta with the major cataclysm of the flood.
I mean, I just really wanted to see that with my own eyes. That adds some credibility to it when you actually get out there and put your hands and feet to it and experience that and then go and tell others about it rather than, you know, me just writing about Nova Rupta and not ever have been there.
Have some photo geologic evidence of the event. When dad shared the story,
I knew I wanted to see it for myself. I read some of Dr. Griggs' book and kept thinking how cool it would be to go there and see it 100 years later and find out what had changed.
I'd say that was the main reason that I wanted to go is to try and accomplish the same things he had. Before I visited
Nova Rupta, I read Dr. Griggs' book cover to cover, read some other research papers about the area.
So I knew something of what I was getting into. Soon, Dr. Shorman assembled his team.
It would comprise some of the same crew as their trip to American Creek. His stepson, Kenny Cole, who, by the way, had recently had a hairline fracture in his neck, a broken ankle, torn ligament and dislocated elbow.
Could he make such a physically demanding journey? Mike was the seasoned team member who'd been on many trips with Dr.
Shorman. John, his son, had miraculously recovered from recently breaking his back, and this trip was the ultimate test of his physical therapy.
Joel was a young and accomplished explorer, and Tommy was just there for the thrill of adventure.
We had the same team as the American Creek trip, so we were all used to each other and knew our strengths and weaknesses.
We sat in the lodge and talked about the fact that this was going to be more extreme and more demanding on us.
We knew God had prepared us, but it was a little humbling and a little stressful to know we had to rely so much more on each other.
But we were committed, because through the things Dad had shared about the volcano and the evidence it left behind, we knew we would see more of God on this trip.
Because of a previous commitment, the team broke up into two groups. Dr. Shorman and Kenny would leave first, followed a day later by the others.
Kenny and I went together, and then the Boryaks and Joel and Tommy, they came as a separate group.
But we got out there the day before them. Dr. Shorman and Kenny left
Texas and flew into King Salmon, a base camp on the edge of Katmai National Park. From there, they had to take a float plane to get to Brooks Lodge.
We spent the night, the first night in Brooks Lodge and saw all the grizzly bears there at the
Brooks River at the waterfall. The day before and when we arrived, the wind speed got up to 80 miles an hour at Brooks Lodge and actually a float plane trying to take off, it flipped on Brooks Lake.
Everybody got out and swam to shore, but it was one of the windiest days they'd ever recorded.
And we were sitting there thinking, oh boy, we're fixing to go into the Valley of 10 ,000
Smokes. I hope this wind dies. But it didn't die. They set up a tent for the night and turned in early.
They had a big day ahead. Both men thought of the loved ones they'd left behind. Dr. Shorman's wife,
Karen, was completely supportive of his research and the trip. His daughter, Ellie, always loved hearing about her daddy's adventures.
Both were at home in Texas praying. Kenny's thoughts drifted to Ashley, a girl from Hawaii that he had been dating.
Is she the one? Was the question going through his mind that night before they headed out into the harsh wilderness.
They also wondered if the Lord would give them victory in documenting how Novaraptor confirmed the biblical account.
The next morning, Kenny snuck out early to hike over to Brooks Lodge for a last big breakfast. After packing up, they took a 23 -mile bus ride from Brooks Lodge to the
Three Forks Overlook and Robert F. Greggs Visitor Center, which borders the edge of the Valley of 10 ,000
Smokes. They took a little time to look through the visitor center. This is the end of the line for most people.
But to get to Novaraptor, Dr. Shorman and Kenny set out into the blast zone.
Their goal was to reach some small cabins at the base of Baked Mountain, 13 miles away.
I was expecting Novaraptor to be a whole lot more similar to the
American Creek trip than it was. It didn't occur to me that we were actually gonna see such devastation.
They wanted to reach the west side of the Valley of 10 ,000 Smokes and spend their first night in the valley at the base of the
Buttress Mountain Range, which sits 3 ,356 feet above sea level. Even though we were out of the main valley, the tent still was getting whipped the whole time along by wind.
The next morning, we got up, went to hike to Baked Mountain, which is where the USGS cabin was.
And as we started to hike across the Valley of 10 ,000 Smokes, the wind started to pick up.
By the time we got to Baked Mountain cabin, the wind was so strong, it was picking up one to two inch pieces of pumice.
And it was like a little tornado of pumice would be coming. You could hear it coming. And we would just have to stop, put our heads down, and just kind of cover up like that and wait for the storm to go by, turn our backs.
And then when it would stop, we'd get up and hike some more. The team described the sound of these pumice storms like a freight train.
They would hear the sound start way out in front of them and then get closer and closer. Hang on.
It was probably about every five minutes. You know, just a big group of pumice would get picked up and just carried along.
So a pumice storm is hard to explain if you've never necessarily been in the situation. It's a lot like a hail storm, but with kind of really, really light, but hard, sharp rocks flying horizontally at you.
Kind of like getting peppered with sand, but a little more painful and maybe a little more scary just because they're so big.
We had to put our wind pants on because we were getting cut and our legs had cuts all over them when we got to the cabin that day.
So just a lot of challenges like that. Quicksand, falling in quicksand, that's another big deal because we didn't know how deep it was.
So, yeah. On the way, Dr. Shorman and Kenny came to the
River Lethe. According to Dr. Shorman's research, there was a place where the river was narrow enough to jump across, but after several hours of searching, they couldn't find it.
We decided to wait across it. This particular area, though, it's a little sketchy to cross the rivers and you have to kind of pull across it, checking ahead of you to check and see what the ground is like underwater.
I had read you could either jump across it or there was places where there was kind of a wide valley, but you had to be careful there because the wind blows the pumice and the ash and it'll fill up the stream bed.
And if you don't use a stick to probe, you might come across a spot where it just drops 20, 30, 40 foot deep.
Yeah, it was definitely an experience having to test it as you walked across, not knowing if your next step was gonna be 100 feet below you.
After we got in, though, we were really pressed to get out pretty quickly.
So it was freezing and our feet went numb immediately. So that was kind of fun. While Dr. Shorman and Kenny were crossing the
River Lethe on their way to the cabins at Baked Mountain, Mike, John, Joel, and Tommy were starting their journey from the
Three Forks Overlook and Robert F. Griggs Visitor Center out into the Valley of 10 ,000 Smokes.
And that's where all the tourists got off or were standing on the overlook, you know, walkway, just looking out.
That looks like the craziest thing ever. And then we're in the back, you know, putting on our backpacks. Then we start hiking off into that.
And they're just like, what are y 'all doing out there? At first, it was still, you know, as we're kind of descending into the valley, there was still some plants and some trees and brush.
And once you get this overlook, it looks like you're looking out onto a desert. The horizon just kind of hazes off.
You never really see the end of it. When we were on American Creek, everything was lush and green, life everywhere, bears, fish, eagles, hawks, wolves.
And then when you were in the Valley of 10 ,000 Smokes, the side of Nova Rupta, there was nothing. You wouldn't even see birds flying.
Very little, if any, plant life. It was the antithesis of American Creek. Couldn't be any more different.
Anywhere you go in the world, there's gonna be just little bugs and ants or birds or something there. Here, there's nothing.
There's no ants. There's no little crawling anything on the ground. There's nothing flying over. It's completely desolate.
There really hadn't been much change since Dr. Griggs had been here. The changes between Griggs' expedition and our expedition, other than the fact that the fumaroles had calmed down and we didn't see very many fumaroles, there was a little bit along the edge of the valley there was plant life starting to come back.
While there was life along the edges of the valley, Joel was surprised by how empty the valley looked.
I just thought I was walking on the moon or I don't know, someplace else. It just had a very, very different feel.
Totally different than anything I had seen before. And this desolate terrain made hiking tough.
Back at the River Lethe, Dr. Shorman and Kenny were observing the river flowing through a massive volcanic deposit.
While crossing the rivers were a formidable challenge, they also provided some great lessons such as the stream power law.
This equation is used by many scientists to determine the age of a stream or river. It takes into account the rate of erosion, the hardness of the material the stream is flowing through, the size of its drainage area and the slope of the water flowing.
Supposedly using this equation, scientists can figure out how long a river has been cutting through its riverbed.
But the problem is this equation assumes that the processes we see working at a particular river are consistent.
This canyon was cut through material deposited by Nova Rupta in less than five years. But present erosion rates are hundreds of times slower.
This demonstrates that uniformitarian dating for many streams could be way off.
As Dr. Shorman and Kenny continued toward the baked mountain cabins, they faced their own battles with pumice.
There's nothing like walking through the middle of the desert basically with a 50 pound backpack and pumice flying in your face for an hour and a half.
Kenny and Dr. Shorman arrived at the base of Baked Mountain. While Kenny and Dr. Shorman were safe inside the
Baked Mountain cabins, Mike remembers hiking to the first night's camp in the foothills of the Buttress Mountain Range.
We had agreed to meet Dr. Shorman at a USGS cabin that was marked on the map.
Well, of course, none of us had ever been there, just it was a dot on a map. And this pumice storm kicked up and just started sandblasting us.
It was too much, we just couldn't take it. We took shelter up in the foothills just out of the valley the first night and made camp there.
This was my first time I'd really camped out that far from anything. And of course, the valley really gave us a lot of protection that we were in and we were up behind kind of a sand dune kind of thing.
And so we had some protection from the wind. But the wind was just so harsh that first night that I remember waking up, it seemed like every 30 minutes, just thinking, man,
I could be blown away here. And it's like, this is what it felt like to me. I was gonna be blown away. Just remember, I'd wake up and like, oh God, just please keep me alive through the night.
The next morning, as they began the journey to meet Dr. Shorman and Kenny, they suffered a major setback.
Maybe it's about a little after lunchtime and we kind of see the ridge where we think the cabin is. And then I look real close and up on the hillside,
I see two what looked like ants hiking across the side of this hill. I'm thinking, oh, that must be them.
We start hiking, we get, you know, maybe, I don't know, a half mile off or something where they're able to see us.
I know they're able to see us very well. We can see them stop and look in our direction. So we're thinking, oh, good, he sees us.
He'll probably wait for us now and wait till we can catch up. And then he just keeps walking. I'm sure he wants us to go follow him to wherever he's hiking to.
And so we go and follow him. He's moving fast and he's keep going. We're trying to track him and we finally find his trail.
We're following his footprints across this valley and he's not slowing down and just really starting to get a little bit ticked off at him.
And we see him break up for camp or for lunch or something. And we were hustling to catch up with him, hustling to catch up to him. I'm getting pretty mad,
I'm hot and tired. And we catch up to him and it's not Dr. Shoreman. It's a couple other hikers that just happened to be out there at the same time.
While the second team struggled to find the cabins at Baked Mountain where they were all supposed to meet later that evening,
Dr. Shoreman and Kenny were becoming increasingly concerned with the weather. At the moment, things look good, but that might change over the next several hours.
It looks like they might lose their window of opportunity. Dr. Shoreman made the decision that he and Kenny would head out to the
Nova Rupta crater without the rest of the team. They needed to accomplish their goal of photographing the vent and the surrounding deposits and collecting a sample from the lava dome.
It was incredible to finally arrive at our goal, Nova Rupta. As we walked around this lava dome, we couldn't help but wonder about God's amazing power.
You think of volcanoes, usually you think of this nice triangle -shaped volcano, but Nova Rupta was just so powerful and it just blew everything out for miles down the valley and beyond.
I think I thought it was gonna look a little more like something out of a movie, like it was gonna be forest all around it and that there was gonna be this big mountain coming out of the trees that we were gonna climb up and it really made it better when we did get there and I got to see like, oh wow, this is really what a volcano looks like a hundred years after it's gone off, so.
So at the Nova Rupta lava dome, it's a typical feature there of like a ring that goes around it and you'll see some different colors in that material.
It's not all just one solid color, just different levels of oxidation of the iron a lot of times is what's causing those changes and the concentrations of iron in the material.
So what exactly happened here on June 6th through 8th of 1912? In Psalm 104, verse 32, it says, he looketh on the earth and it trembleth.
He touches the hills and they smoke. God is so powerful that a simple touch of his finger and an eruption like this can completely eradicate a landscape and create a completely new one.
Mount Katmai is located six miles east of Nova Rupta. Somewhere near Nova Rupta was a shallow magma chamber filled with molten rhyolite and dacite.
A second magma chamber of dacite and andesite was centered beneath Mount Katmai. The two magma chambers were connected by a series of underground channels.
At one o 'clock in the afternoon of June 6th, 1912, or possibly earlier, rhyolite began spewing and oozing from Nova Rupta's vent.
As the shallow chamber near Nova Rupta drained, Mount Katmai's chamber started to flow into the void and out
Nova Rupta. As the pressure was relieved from underneath Mount Katmai, the top of that mountain collapsed down inside itself.
There was a cubic mile of material that fell 1 ,000 feet into the void.
Robert Griggs, he thought that Mount Katmai had exploded and that's what caused the eruption and that's how all the material filled up the valley of 10 ,000 smokes and the ash that went for thousands of miles he thought that all came out of Mount Katmai.
But actually what they found out later was that Nova Rupta, about six kilometers to the west of Mount Katmai, that's all the magma came out it and that's what exploded basically.
It's called a Plinian eruption and it's basically an explosion. The ground just ripped open and a mountain right next to it,
Falling Mountain, the whole third of that just fell into the hole made by Nova Rupta. Most of the material actually came out in the first 16 hours, about 70 % of it.
So the majority of the material came out just right at the beginning of it. Nova Rupta exploded in a fury of power.
The eruption took place in 60 hours which have been divided into five different episodes.
Episode one lasted for 16 hours and it counted for 70 % of the material that would be ejected.
As soon as Mount Katmai started to break apart, it started to erupt products too.
You just think about if a big glacier on top of Mount Katmai that falls into super hot magma, it's going to flash to steam instantly and just blast out of there.
And that's what happened. And so mud flows came out of the top, pumice breccia it's called, the hydrothermal breccia, just rocks and mud mixed together, conglomeration just blasting out of the top of that.
It wasn't anywhere near as big as Nova Rupta but Mount Katmai did erupt as well.
So there were basically two eruptions but the majority of it came out of Nova Rupta.
During that time, it deposited nine distinct deposits filling the valley of 10 ,000 smokes.
It caused flows moving at speeds of 450 miles per hour. It began with rhyolite material, then dacite followed by andesite.
Sometimes the different magma types would mix like batter in a marble cake. At the vent, the molten mixture would shoot high and cool midair, falling to the ground as banded pumice.
It was about six hours into this episode when Mount Katmai began to collapse, releasing mud flows, ash and hydrothermal rock matrix.
During the first 11 hours of the eruption, there was 567 tons of material ejected from Nova Rupta's vent every second.
Nova Rupta at its height was releasing the equivalent of five
Nimitz -clad aircraft carriers a second. That was the rate of material coming out.
These things are over 100 meters long and doing that continuously for 10, 11 hours that would just be incredible to see.
It's just hard for us to get our minds around something like that. At the end of episode one, there was a short pause for a few hours.
Episode two was a Plinian eruption, shooting gas and dacite material high up into the air.
Although there were earthquakes throughout the entire eruption, which is probably what caused Noisy Mountain to collapse, the largest took place during episode two, hitting 7 .0
on the Richter scale. It blew out almost three cubic miles of material. For comparison, here's what three cubic miles of magma looks like compared to the skyline of Manhattan.
This event also caused pyroclastic density currents, waves of fast -moving gas carrying rock that shot downward at incredible speeds and depositing layer after layer of material.
After a short break, episode three shot another 610th of a cubic mile of material straight up in the air to fall back, creating even more layers.
It also shot out waves of gas and material. This episode ended as material built up around Nova Rupta's vent and formed a dome plugging the volcano.
Episode four blew out the plug, depositing the material around the vent.
And finally, episode five was another dome -building event which replaced the previous one and ending the eruption.
During the eruption, entire forests were instantly carbonized as the material barreled down Katmai Valley.
When it reached the bottom, the material came to rest, forming a deposit over 700 feet thick in some places.
For a creationist like Dr. Shorman, the implications of the eruption are huge.
Massive layers of rock were transported and laid down in a matter of hours. It was a demonstration of the incredible forces at work during a catastrophe.
Nova Rupta Katmai produced everything from gases to liquids to muds to welded and non -welded rock flows.
A wide array of rock material formed under the surface of the earth and those formed above the surface and even asphalt.
Nova Rupta Katmai is evidence that volcanoes make pretty much any type of earth material.
And that was evident by all the volcanic material surrounding the team as they continued to retrace
Dr. Griggs' footsteps through the Valley of 10 ,000 Smokes. Back at the Baked Mountain Cabins, the other team was worn out and weary, but just about to arrive.
We had one long climb up this hill. I mean, it was rough. We're in this deep pumice.
You go for a step and you slide back down. It feels like that whole step you just took. So we're just taking it really slow up this hill.
It's the end of the day. We're super whipped, we're super tired. And I remember I was the first one to crest this hill and we're thinking, you know, maybe there's parts of cabins.
It's so harsh out here. How could there be anything there that you could live in? I just remember cresting that hill and here are cabins with four walls and a door and just the relief and the excitement of seeing those was unbelievable.
To be hiking all day and know that I could actually go inside and get warm and dry was the best feeling ever.
And I remember we were sitting there looking over the hill valley and it was so desolate, so empty. You could see it so far and it was so clear.
We could see the mountains way far away, very crisp and there wasn't anything there. Meanwhile, at the
Lava Dome, it was time for Kenny and Dr. Shoreman to accomplish one of their goals for the journey, collect a rock sample.
So I had a rock sampled from Nova Rupta. We know that Lava Dome formed at Nova Rupta in 1912.
I had it sampled using the argon -argon method. Dr. Shoreman was familiar with a similar project done in 1992 by Dr.
Steve Austin, who had pulled a chunk of day site from the Mount St. Helens Lava Dome. The lab dated the whole rock to 350 ,000 years and one of the minerals in the rock to 2 .8
million years. And at the time, the rock was less than 10 years old. Because he wondered if a rock from Nova Rupta would produce similar results, he and Kenny carefully collected and stored a piece of rhyolite from Nova Rupta.
So how are rocks dated anyway? One of the most common methods is radioisotope dating.
Many rocks contain radioactive material. Over time, this material releases energy and slowly loses its radioactivity, turning it into another material.
In other words, parent material decays into daughter product. It's thought that this decay happens at a very steady rate over time.
So to date a rock, we simply measure the amount of parent product and the amount of daughter product and estimate the amount of time it would take for the decay to take place.
And it's upon this foundation that dating of rocks stands. When this foundation crumbles, then most of the evidence for an old earth crumbles with it.
So how accurate is this dating? Well, there are three major assumptions that go into radioisotope dating.
The first is that when the lava cooled to form a rock, at that moment, there was only parent material.
No daughter product was present. At this point, the so -called radiometric clock is set to zero.
The second assumption is that the rate of decay is always exactly the same and that there are no conditions that might affect the speed of decay.
The third assumption is that there was no contamination that can introduce unexpected parent -daughter product to artificially throw off the ratio.
So are these assumptions correct? In 1997, the Institute for Creation Research led a team of scientists in a research project known as RATE, which stands for Radioisotopes in the
Age of the Earth. The team consists of eight geologists, physicists, and others.
They collected samples, carried out experiments, and published their results. It was a blow to radioisotope dating.
They established the case to show why radioisotope dating does not work. In their research, they proved that all three assumptions were wrong.
We cannot assume the radiometric clock is set to zero when the rock forms. There appears to be times in history when the rate of radioactive decay was much higher, and contamination can be a real problem.
Once they finished collecting their rock sample, Kenny and Dr. Shoreman made their way back to the cabins to meet the rest of their team.
Here at the base of Baked Mountain is the very place Dr. Griggs spent that horrible night almost 100 years ago, when his team had to flee down the valley, their base camp was destroyed, and when
Dr. Griggs had been lifted into the air by the strong gusts. Almost a century later,
Dr. Shoreman's team's night was mixed with deep sleep and being woken by pumice slammed against the metal sides of the cabin.
The following morning, we woke up, and our sleeping bags inside the cabin were just covered with, looked like he'd picked up handfuls of sand and just poured it all over us.
It was really amazing to see these massive deposits, but I've gotta admit, sometimes my mind was elsewhere.
I had met a girl in college, and I had been pursuing her for six months before I went to Alaska. Her name was
Ashley, and while we were on our trip, she was finishing up her summer in Hawaii with her mom. We'd been together every day that summer, and I already knew that I wanted to marry this amazing woman.
I volunteered to carry the satellite phone, and everybody originally thought that that was a great idea since it would just be more weight in my backpack, but I had other plans for the phone, actually, and it was basically our only means of communicating with anyone out of the valley, and so if anyone was to get hurt or if we needed to be picked up early or anything like that, that was the only means we had to contact them, but I had, at the time, and what
I still think was a more important reason to use the phone than that, it was my lifeline to keep in touch with Ashley.
During that trip, I felt like I needed to call her a few times to check in and tell her hi and that I was thinking about her, so being separated for almost two weeks was not going to be easy.
Kenny and Dr. Shorman had been to the Nova Erupta Vent the day before, but the weather seemed good enough to return with the whole team.
When I always thought of a volcano, I think of a massive mountain, and here, Nova Erupta actually erupted out of a valley, and that was amazing to me.
As they hiked toward the vent, they couldn't help but think about what had happened here almost 100 years earlier.
There had been hot, gas -filled material spewing from the vent and filling the valley, sloshing hundreds of feet up the sides of the surrounding mountains, but there wasn't just rock coming from the eruption.
In Genesis 7, verse 11, it says, in the 600th year of Noah's life, in the second month, the 17th day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
What were those fountains of the great deep? Did you know that one of the main things ejected during a volcanic eruption is water?
Where does this water come from? It appears to be stored in deep reservoirs below the
Earth's surface. The scripture describes the fountains of the deep bursting forth. You can just imagine a spewing out of not just water, but other materials, like the rhyolite materials that filled in the valley of 10 ,000 smoke.
At high pressure and temperature, water no longer acts like a gas or a liquid.
At this point, water becomes very corrosive and can eat through rock. It was probably this corrosiveness of supercritical water that helped eat away the material under Katmai Peak, causing it to collapse.
One thing about a volcano is that magma comes up from underneath and pressure starts to build up, and as that magma becomes more and more shallow, it starts releasing a lot of its gas, and that pressure that builds up, eventually that can find a crack or break through, and if water is above it, if, say, there's a glacier above it, the glacier starts to melt, and that water starts to seep down in and hits the hot magma, that expands as a gas as well, and then you can end up with this just explosive, sudden event.
Water comprised 60 % of the material issuing out of Novarupta's vent during the first 11 hours.
And with that, it transported mass amounts of material from the volcanic vent and deposited them here.
One thing we can see there is just this massive, catastrophic event that happened, and that helps us get our mind around the flood and the global cataclysm that Genesis describes in Genesis 6 through 8.
And I think a lot of people have said, oh, stuff this big couldn't change this fast, and to go out to Novarupta and see exactly how much climate change and devastation can occur in the matter of a few hours was kind of physical evidence for me of showing just how devastating
Noah's Flood could have been and how fast it could have changed everything in the world to think of a flood on that level of catastrophe.
After investigating the Novarupta vent and taking pictures, they started out on the six -mile hike to Mount Katmai.
As they climbed, a thick cloud bank moved in, drastically reducing visibility.
Reluctantly, the team abandoned the climb. Photographing and researching Mount Katmai was part of Dr.
Shoreman's mission to show more about how the eruption caused such catastrophic layering. For now, it felt like defeat, but Dr.
Shoreman realized he'd have to save it for later. We attempted to hike up to it, and the weather wouldn't let us get there.
In fact, we attempted twice, two days in a row, and the weather was just bad and we couldn't make it up there.
And so that was kind of disappointing. Not being able to make it up to what we called Crater Lake was disappointing the couple times we tried.
Never able to make it, you also have to be satisfied with pictures for now. Not only did the team have to make the hard call not to climb
Mount Katmai, but soon they realized they were lost. Dr. Shoreman's GPS had died and Mike had left his back at the cabin.
They couldn't see far enough ahead to make out landmarks, and they became confused. They realized they'd been heading the wrong direction.
Likewise, all the moisture in the air had caused their camera to stop working, which left
Dr. Shoreman with no way to document the trip. Had they lost all of the photographic documentation they'd already gathered over the past few days?
They decided it was time to stop and strategize. It was stolen moments like this that Kenny saw opportunities to sneak away.
I made another call to Ashley. It's so good to hear her voice, and I love sharing all that we were experiencing out here.
The problem is the time we were on the phone goes by so quickly, and I noticed today the battery is running low.
I have no idea how much time is really left, and we were still a few days away from our pickup point and miles from any help.
I have been praying when to tell the rest of the group, and I know that means no more communication with Ashley until we were back on the plane home.
And it turns out that I talked to her a little more than I had planned on, and by the end of the trip, we didn't have any more battery left in the satellite phone, which
I think made a few people pretty nervous. But... Eventually, the weather cleared enough to get their bearings, and they began the trek back to the
Baked Mountain cabins. By God's grace, the camera began working again. On the way back to the cabins,
Mike and Dr. Shoreman decided to take the lower route, the younger men decided they would take the hour -long hike up to the top of Baked Mountain.
At an elevation of 3 ,500 feet and 1 ,000 feet above the valley below, they found fossilized clams.
There are marine fossils found on just about every mountain in the world, including the tallest,
Mount Everest. Are these fossils left over from the Genesis Flood? While Kenny, John, and Tommy were up on Baked Mountain, Dr.
Shoreman and Mike were traveling the lower route below, the very same one that Dr. Griggs had followed when he first discovered this amazing valley.
It was on July 31st, 1916, that Griggs left
Donovan Church at the base camp because church had eaten too many flapjacks. With Lucius Folsom at his side, they made their way along Katmai Pass.
As Griggs looked out over the valley below, he decided it was time to return back to camp.
But then a puff of steam from a small fumarole, a volcanic vent, caught his eye.
That's when they spotted another larger fumarole out in the distance, and they kept moving forward.
To get a better view of the valley below, Griggs climbed a knoll and was greeted with one of the most amazing sights of their entire expedition.
Writing about this moment, Griggs said, The sight that flashed into view was one of the most amazing visions ever beheld by mortal eye.
The whole valley, as far as the eye could reach, was full of hundreds, no, thousands, literally tens of thousands of smokes curling up from its fissured floor.
After a careful estimate, we judged that there must be 1 ,000 whose columns exceeded 500 feet. I tried to keep my head and observe carefully, yet I exposed two films from my one precious role in trying for pictures that I should have known were impossible.
For a few moments, we stood gaping at the awe -inspiring vision before us. It was as though all the steam engines in the world, assembled together, had popped their safety valves at once and were letting off steam in concert.
And that's why Griggs named that area the Valley of 10 ,000 Smokes. He couldn't sleep that night.
He just couldn't believe what he had come across, just the amazing sight that he saw there in the valley with fumaroles just hundreds of feet high, just steam, and not just water vapor steam, but hydrochloric acid gases, all kinds of things coming out of these fumaroles, just thousands and thousands of them.
When Mike and Dr. Shoreman returned to the cabins, they joined the young men for a dinner of minute rice boiled in melted snow with butter and dried sausage.
Afterward, Dr. Shoreman and Tommy explored Broken Mountain. They spent that last night in the
USGS cabins and tried to get a solid night's sleep. They needed it because they would begin the 13 -mile trek back out of the wilderness in the morning.
During this journey back to the Three Forks Overlook, once again, the team crossed past the foothills of the
Buttress Mountains. Unfortunately, Tommy was starting to feel sick. Dr.
Shoreman knew time was ticking to get him back to a warm shelter for the night. As we continued our journey, there were many times we felt weary.
You know, when you have a 50 -pound pack on your back and you're hiking, it's like hiking along the beach in the sand there.
So every step you take, especially if you're going uphill, you slide down half that step. So it was just really strenuous and hard.
Basically walking through the beach every day and just having to keep going forward because you really can't stop.
Just as the team was getting closer to their destination, they encountered another challenge as they once again faced the
River Lethe. This time, they found a place where they might be able to make a dangerous leap across.
So we'd walk up to the edge of this river and it would drop off down where the roaring river was going below.
There's no way you can cross this chasm where the river is. And so we're just thinking, wow, we have got to get to the other side of this river somehow.
We found a good spot to jump across and we just had to make sure and time that correctly. So we all kind of take our backpacks off and one guy, you know, takes a big leap across and is able to get across and he catches the backpacks of everybody and everybody just kind of took turns leaping.
I was pretty confident we could make the jump. I wasn't too worried about it, but you had to kind of have it in the back of your mind. You know, if we get caught up in this river, 100 feet downstream, it drops off and we're not going to live through that waterfall and the rest of the valley.
So we really need to make this jump well. And I think if we slipped, it would not have turned out very well for any of us.
So that was a little bit nerve wracking and had to think about that one, but we were able to get a jump across. Everybody made it okay.
So we got all suited up again. It was places like here where the river levee had been cutting through the material that the team could document the deposits being spewed out by the eruption.
At Nova Rupta, the magma chamber that broke open and basically cracked out and shot out the
Valley of 10 ,000 Smokes that spewed high silica rhyolite out into the valley and that formed the
Valley of 10 ,000 Smokes. And it came out in several distinct packages, they were called, and Robert Griggs called the flow the great incandescent sand flow.
So if you can just imagine this hot glowing sand flowing across this valley, just smothering everything in its path and filling the valley up to depths of 700 feet in places.
This deposit is known as a valley filling ignimbrite. An ignimbrite is a term for when volcanic material is trapped in hot gases as they blast outward from an eruption.
As they travel, they lose energy. And as the gas dissipates, the material is deposited on the ground below.
In a volcanic eruption, there is continual surging of these ignimbrite deposits that fill basins below.
And that is the definition for the term valley filling ignimbrites. And here at the River Lethe, that is exactly what they saw.
Nova Rupta was sending wave after wave of superheated gas, carrying gas -filled ignimbrite material and dumping it right here.
It created micro -thin layers in some places. In other places, the material was welded together.
This type of ignimbrite is referred to as welded tuff. In some places along the
River Lethe, the welded tuff layer is over 20 feet thick. At one place to the west of the river is another type of non -welded and thinly -layered deposit called a
HEPI deposit. HEPI stands for high -energy proximal ignimbrite. What that is, is if you could imagine just like a ash cloud blasting out of a volcano, and then, you know, that's
HEPI, it's dense, and it sinks back down, and it comes rushing back down over a mountaintop, across a mountain, and it lays down a deposit of material.
And it will put down many, many layers, sometimes hundreds, thousands of very finely -layered deposits on mountains.
And that normally is interpreted as something that takes millions of years or thousands of years for all kinds of small, thin layers to form, one stacked on top of the other.
It was in the middle of these layers the team documented how quickly rock layers could be deposited during a catastrophe.
It was another victory in achieving their goal to demonstrate some of the processes that might have been at work during the worldwide flood.
And that is something that's hard for us to get our minds around, especially with so many people who say, oh, no, it took millions of years.
It must have taken millions of years. But, you know, we look at Nova Erupta, rapid formation of sedimentary deposits of layered formations, and then, in just a couple of years, carving canyons out.
We see, you know, massive landslides damming rivers, and mountains collapsing, three mountains collapsing in just, you know, 60 -hour event.
Finally, late in the evening, the team arrived back at the Three Forks Overlook and Robert F.
Gregg's Visitor Center. The team wasn't looking forward to setting up camp for the night, and Tommy seemed to be getting sicker.
It was then they discovered the park service had accidentally left the door unlocked to the Visitor Center.
That night, they spent a warm night indoors. The next morning, the team was up and out of the
Visitor Center before it opened to the public. Later, they joined a ranger -led hike to the nearby
Yukak Falls. At this site, they were able to photograph the Naknek Formation. While the team could clearly see the rock layer at the falls, this layer had been exposed in several places throughout the trip.
As it turns out, this layer would play an even bigger role in Dr. Shorman's research in the following years.
After investigating Yukak Falls, the team rode the bus back to Brooks Lodge and spent the night along the shore of Naknek Lake.
While there, John, Tommy, and Joel caught Northern Pike for dinner. The next morning, they flew to Anchorage.
They had done it. They had braved the wilderness and documented much of the geological evidence revealing how a smaller cataclysmic event could help us better understand the reality of the
Genesis Flood. After the trip,
Dr. Shorman did have the rock sample that he and Kenny pulled from the nova -erupted dome dated by the
New Mexico Geochronological Research Lab. He had it dated in 2012, exactly 100 years after the eruption.
It ended up giving dates as high as five and a half million years. So that should make us ask questions like, well, if this gives us such erroneous dates, what other geologic timescale dates are wrong as well?
The test was wrong by a factor of 55 ,000 times. It's sad that so many have been misled by these faulty dating methods.
Multiple times this has happened where scientists have taken rocks that they know were formed out of a volcano and solidified at a certain time, and then had the radiometric method done on those rocks also, and the differences are just massive, just like we had at Nova Rupta.
Nova Rupta's not the first time that's happened, the sample that I tested there. So it makes us question other dates that have been given at Nova Rupta.
For example, Garnus Curtis believed the rock underneath the Nova Rupta lava flow was 150 million years old.
Recently, another expert claimed that they're 10 to 20 million years old. So it seems that we discovered again what many creation scientists have already known, radioisotope dating completely fails.
Therefore, Christians do not need to be intimidated when scientists use radioisotope dating to question the validity of the
Bible, and it makes the age of the earth an important issue. Reading Ephesians says by grace we're saved through faith and not of works.
So it's not that we have to study earth a certain amount in order to get saved.
That would mean that salvation is works -based, and that's not what scripture says. So it's not a salvation issue.
But I do think it is a gospel issue in that we can do damage to the gospel story.
I mean, the gospel begins in Genesis and with creation, and God tells us to take dominion.
While the first expedition was a success, Dr. Shorman had not completely achieved the goal.
He documented all of the rapid deposits from the eruption and demonstrated the processes that might have been working during the flood and had shown the problem for radioisotope dating, but he still needed to establish the biblical history found in the layers at Nova Rupta.
That February, I proposed to Ashley at a vineyard in College Station, Texas. She said yes, and we were married that August in Kauai.
Not long after that was when I got word from Dad that he wanted to do another expedition to Nova Rupta, only this time the route would be much more uncertain since no one had been there since Dr.
Griggs. Ashley immediately said it was way too dangerous and there is no way I would be able to carry enough satellite phones with me.
So she said the only way was for her to come with us. I was so excited. We knew there was so much more to discover.
God had so much more to show us. No one had explored that area in over 100 years, as well as the fact that no one had really ever explored it in depth at all.
You know, it just made it really neat to be some of the first ones to ever step foot out there and to get to see what was really out there.
I knew I wanted to go back and explore it some more, and it's just so big, it's hard to get it all in in one trip, so we decided to go to the other side of Nova Rupta, the back side of Mount Katmai, the south side, where there's been a lot less research, a lot less exploration.
As far as we knew, we were going to be the first ones following in the footsteps of Dr. Griggs. I definitely used the book as a guide to help us understand where to hike, what interesting features we wanted to see, and just to understand the story, too, of the whole eruption.
I thought, well, obviously there's other people who have done research besides Robert Griggs since 1920s, and so I started looking for more research and started finding out new information that people had found out about the eruption.
But Dr. Griggs' descriptions didn't provide the exact routes. There weren't any human trails anywhere.
There was no sign of people anywhere, and no evidence that people had done that trip ever, maybe.
So the trip began with landing in Kodiak. We stayed there for a night and finished getting the rest of the equipment that we needed for the trip.
I'd always had a hard time explaining just how amazing it was at Nova Rupta, and this time
I was going to get to experience it with my amazing wife. Dad and I never doubted she could do it, and she didn't disappoint.
We found it interesting that Dr. Griggs brought his wife on one of his trips. Ashley was hoping to get a feel for what it must have been like for Mrs.
Griggs to hike this area 100 years ago. With Ashley coming along, it really placed a whole new emphasis on safety for me, and so I kind of felt a little bit like safety
Sam the whole trip, but it was awesome. The next morning, we flew out on a float plane and flew over the area that we were gonna be hiking,
Katmai. While the plan was to make their base camp at Katmai Lake, the pilot explained to them that Katmai Lake would be too small for him to get up enough speed to take off again after dropping them off.
For that reason, they had to land at Dakovac Lake to the south and then hike to Katmai Lake.
During the flight, Dr. Shorman asked the pilot if he knew the best route from Lake Dakovac to Katmai Lake.
The pilot burst out in laughter and explained that no one had ever traveled that route before. The pilot said he didn't know that we would be able to make it, and he didn't know of any such route to get from Katmai Lake to Dakovac Lake.
Just before it was time to land, the pilot decided that without the weight of the three explorers and the weight of their gear, that he actually would be able to lift off from Katmai Lake after all, but he reminded them that he would still have to pick them up in three days at Lake Dakovac, and that they'd have to find their own route.
That afternoon, Dr. Shorman, Kenny, and Ashley settled in at Katmai Lake. From there, that was kind of our base camp for the first two days.
We camped just right off of that lake. When we initially flew in, I would describe it as seeing
God almost painted like watercolors. It was like the sand, the rocks, everything in the distance was almost like a brown, orange, purple tint.
The crystal clear blue water, you know, or the birds chasing something small that we maybe couldn't even see, or the birds chasing us, or even just the backdrop of that particular terrain to the sky, you know, it was just, there was something about it that was still vibrant.
And then landing and getting off the plane and everything just being so still and so quiet, and never having experienced that before, you know, living in the city and used to lights and sounds and birds and all of that, it was a whole new experience for me.
But there was an underlying problem. I had purchased a pair of boots, hiking boots, before we left, but never tried them on, never got them used to my foot or anything like that.
So slipped those bad boys on when we got off the plane and thought I was good to go.
And after about three hours, realized I had bought the wrong shoes and I had developed pressure points and bruises like all over my ankles.
It was like, I had never experienced this before. They set up two tents along the lake and settled in for what they hoped would be a peaceful night.
But it was nights like this that Ashley was about to experience something a little unnerving.
So Kenny and I are sleeping in our tent and I'm just starting to go to bed and I hear bear, just like death cry.
And so I wake up and I'm like, Kenny, there's a bear in camp, there's a bear here. And he had to calm me down and be like, it's okay, he's just dreaming.
Dr. Shorman, for whatever reason, has dreams about bears and he talks about them in his sleep.
And he doesn't only talk about them, he usually screams at the bears in his sleep. It'll be the middle of the night, we'll all be tucked in, sound asleep, and we'll hear these screams of, get out of camp, bear, and all these hilarious things that he does.
And he just does them almost night after night. And it's pretty awesome. There's no way to get his attention because he has earplugs in to help him sleep better.
And so you just have to let him scream at the bears for as long as he does. It's so awesome.
The next morning, Dr. Shorman, Kenny, and Ashley hiked from Katmai Lake into the upper
Katmai River Valley below. They saw the river cutting through the landslide debris from the material that slid down the face of Noisy Mountain.
Three mountains collapsed during that 60 -hour eruption. And one of them, Noisy Mountain in particular, it formed a landslide of andesitic material and it dammed up a lake.
That happened in a very short amount of time. This natural dam, according to Dr. Robert Griggs, caused
Katmai Lake to grow to 400 feet deep, 210 feet above the present lake level.
He wrote that the lake covered at least 950 acres and comprised of 8 billion cubic feet of water.
In his book, he points out the natural dam broke just before his team arrived there during their first expedition in 1915.
The breached dam released a giant flood of water instantly carving a channel and excavating around half the amount of material removed to form the
Panama Canal. What happened there with the breached dam of Katmai Canyon is important because many creation geologists have proposed a similar possibility for the
Grand Canyon. Could it have been that water from the flood was trapped behind a giant natural dam?
Then, when that dam broke, it carved the canyon very rapidly. So this may be an explanation for the formation of the
Grand Canyon. Regardless, the breached dam at Katmai again demonstrates an important concept.
It's often taught that rivers carve canyons gradually over long periods of time. But what we see is that a catastrophe actually carves the canyon, and then the river is left behind to choose the path of least resistance.
From there, the team turned northward to investigate Noisy Mountain. Noisy Mountain is an interesting formation.
One side is collapsed, one and a quarter cubic miles of rock material, possibly during the
Novorupto eruption. There's another interesting feature about Noisy Mountain. It appears to have the shape of a tuya.
A tuya is a flat -topped volcanic mountain that forms beneath an ice sheet. Noisy Mountain has a similar shape to other known tuyas like this one in Iceland.
It's been thought that Noisy Mountain is 2 .6 to 200 million years old.
But if it's a tuya formed during the Ice Age, that would make Noisy Mountain only about 4 ,000 years old.
Since many of the nearby volcanoes were formed at the same time as Noisy Mountain, this could be evidence that the rest of the
Katmai volcanic cluster is young, not millions of years old. So how does an
Ice Age fit into a biblical model? While secular scientists are still looking for evidence to establish many different Ice Ages over millions of years, creation scientists have made a strong case that there was only one
Ice Age that took place not too long after the worldwide flood. During the flood, there would have been large amounts of tectonic plate movements, lots of volcanic eruptions, and geologic upheaval.
All of these would have raised the temperatures of the oceans, and eventually, warmer oceans would lead to greater evaporation, returning to the
Earth as precipitation, causing great snow and ice. This idea of warmer oceans followed by an
Ice Age has been confirmed by seafloor cores, computer models, and by researching geologic features caused by glacier formation and movement.
Interestingly, there also seems to be biblical confirmation of the Ice Age when we read the book of Job, thought to be written not long after the flood.
Job mentions snow, ice, and freezing winds more than any other book in the Bible. And with all of the volcanic activity during the flood, there would be more ash and gases in the atmosphere.
Katmai Nova Erupta demonstrated how much one eruption could change the temperature of the Earth. The eruption affected climate by dropping the temperature in the
Northern Hemisphere about two degrees from its average, and some researchers, they speculated that if Nova Erupta would have kept erupting, if the ash would have stayed in the air, that it may have triggered another
Ice Age. So ash, basically, it reflects sunlight. And volcanoes, they also release sulfur dioxide, which is a global cooling gas.
It also reflects sunlight. It was also here near the base of Noisy Mountain that the team was able to clearly photograph and document an amazing rock layer that had been around them during both expeditions.
It's called the Naknek Formation. It lays beneath the deposits from the eruption. As a matter of fact, it stretches over 1 ,000 miles from the
Alaskan Range in the east, all the way past the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. As Dr.
Shorman investigated this formation, he realized it was over 14 ,000 feet deep in some areas.
This deposit is said to be rapidly eroded coastal sediments mixed with a considerable volume of volcanic debris.
Evidence like this fits nicely into the biblical timeline, since there is great proof of lots of volcanic activity during the flood.
We find volcanic materials and flood -deposited layers all around the world. Now let's think about how the
Naknek was deposited. The material appears to have been moved into place by something called turbidity currents.
A turbidity current occurs when water mixes with sediment. Because this water becomes heavier than the surrounding water, it drives itself downward, causing a strong current plowing forward at great power and speed.
As it loses energy, the material drops to the ground, depositing the material. When we look at the
Naknek formation, we see these powerful turbidity currents, and it is on such a grand scale that it speaks of a gigantic force of water.
If the layering of the Naknek had been a slow process over a long period of time, we should see signs of erosion in between.
If you look at the Naknek formation, you don't see signs of erosion in between those layers. You just see thousands of feet thick of horizontal layers.
And so it does make sense to think of that as a high -energy, short -term event forming that.
Further, researchers have studied a section of the Naknek formation from Cold Bay to Black Hills, a stretch over 310 miles long.
And they have found it to be uniform in texture, composition, and the angle at which it was deposited.
Again, this speaks of a massive deposit laid down in one continuous event.
Also, we find a large concentration of marine fossils, mostly clams, in the
Naknek. So does the Naknek fit the flood model? Yes. A massive 14 ,000 -foot -deep water -deposited layer that stretches over 1 ,000 miles and contains marine fossils, it seems to fit well.
Back when the team visited Yukak Falls at the end of their first expedition, they had also come across this place.
Here you can see Naknek at the base, glacial till in the middle, covered by material deposited by the
Novarupta eruption. Earlier that day, they'd also discovered the Naknek back in Katmai Canyon.
Now, here at the base of Noisy Mountain, the team investigated this site. They discovered and documented glacial boulders, and above those were layers of Naknek that had been uplifted after the
Ice Age. And so it was during this part of their expedition that they saw the biblical pattern of creation, flood,
Ice Age, and present. This was exactly what Dr. Shorman hoped he could accomplish while on this trip.
On Dr. Shorman's first expedition, one of his main goals was to summit Mount Katmai, and he had failed due to weather.
Now with Kenny and Ashley, they knew this was their chance. As they headed out from Noisy Mountain, they came across a beautiful, crystal -clear spring flowing from Noisy Mountain.
Since no one had been on the backside of Novarupta since Dr. Griggs, it had most likely never been named.
So to honor his 10 -year -old daughter... Hey, I think we should name this Ellie Springs. What do y 'all think?
I think that looks good. After Ellie? Yeah. All right. Ellie Springs, man. Later that afternoon, the team climbed to make it to the base of Mount Katmai.
Dr. Shorman was thrilled to get a second shot at making it to the top of this volcano. Unfortunately, Ashley's boot had been cutting deeply into her ankles.
Kenny realized that although his wife was willing to make the climb, she was in severe pain, and the weather wasn't cooperating.
Finally, the three made the heartbreaking decision to not climb Katmai. We've failed twice now to get to the top of Mount Katmai due to weather conditions.
While Kenny and Ashley began making their way back to base camp at Katmai Lake, Dr. Shorman investigated the
Princess Glacier. Meanwhile, Kenny and Ashley had come to the Katmai River once again.
They had to get across to make it to camp. I had never experienced that type of chill over my body, and so it was shocking at first, and it was hard to get used to, and after the first river, you know, you cross it, and it's like, oh, that was fun.
You know, you're proud of yourself, and then you look ahead, and it's like, do I have to cross that river 10 more times? And so it gets a little demoralizing.
Safely back at base camp at Katmai Lake, Kenny pulled out a knife to fix Ashley's boots. Was telling
Kenny, like, either I have to just walk barefoot, or you gotta do something about these boots, so he pulled out his pocket knife and cut the top off of both of my boots, and so I had, like, the funniest -looking boots you'd ever see in person.
It really had saved the rest of the trip for me. I don't know if I would've finished. That night before turning in, the three of them discussed plans for getting back out of the wilderness.
They had a 17 -mile hike ahead through a mostly uncharted area that, to anyone's knowledge, no human had ever traveled.
They had to be at Lake Dakovac by 5 p .m. in two days, and although they were doing okay, their supplies were running a little low, and if they missed the flight out, they'd have to wait an extra day for the pilot to return, so the plan was to make it to Lake Dakovac by the next evening, spend the night, and relax and explore the lake, but what they didn't anticipate were all the challenges that were gonna stand in the way of making that goal.
We broke base camp at Katmai Lake and started our trip. We were trying to go a route that had never been traveled before.
Just looking at maps, looking on Google Earth, it looked a lot easier on Google Earth, but once you get out there, and I mean, we had a
GPS, we were looking at it, and it had a terrain map on there and, you know, kinda telling us where to go, but when you get there, and it doesn't have all the detail that you maybe would hope for.
Trying to find their way wasn't the only challenge. Had to hike through Pumice every footstep, pretty much.
Then we got down to Saluka Creek, and we had to figure out a place to cross that. And once they were across, it wasn't long until they met their next challenge.
The farther you get away from Nova Rupta, the more growth there is, and it's dense alder thicket is mainly what it is, and those grow on steep mountainsides too, and so we had to walk through, we were literally pulling ourselves up, grabbing onto alder bushes and pulling ourselves up as we walked up this one mountain.
When you're going through Pumice, and you have a 50 -pound pack, and the only way to get there is through a jungle, basically pulling yourself up, it's incredibly strenuous.
The team was becoming weary, and it was becoming obvious that they just weren't gonna make it to Lake Dacobac as expected.
It was looking more and more like we were going to miss our ride home. We got to the top of this mountain, and we camped there.
We were hoping to get to Dacobac Lake that night, but there was just no way, and we were so exhausted. After setting up camp,
Kenny had an exciting encounter when he went down to the creek to get fresh water. I was trying to funnel water out of this little stream, and I turned around,
I was probably 30 yards from camp, and turned around, and there was a bear standing behind me only 10 yards away, jogging towards me.
And so I grabbed what water I could, and took off to the camp, and was yelling for Ashley to get the gun.
I was changing into my pajamas, and I'm half -dressed, and I hear Kenny screaming, and I'm like, what do
I do? So he's like, get the gun ready. I throw the gun out of the tent, he catches it, and I'm just listening to David and Kenny scream at this bear and yeah, a lot of things are going through my mind.
I wasn't sure if I should stay in the tent. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know if she should get out of the tent, or if she was gonna have to shoot the bears that was chasing me, or what was going on.
I ended up staying in the tent, and waited until Kenny came and got me, and told me everything was fine. That was a pretty wild experience, but we got it out of camp fine, just blew the air hornet at once, and it was good.
After such an exhilarating experience, they had to settle down and sleep to regain their strength for the grueling day ahead.
The next morning, we woke up pretty sore from fighting the dense forest the day before, but we knew we had to push our bodies forward.
We only had a few more hours before our seaplane would be landing in Dakavac Lake. We started hiking down, we thought was a good way, looked at the
GPS. It was covered in clouds that morning, so we couldn't see very far.
They knew that they had to follow the stream they hoped ran into Lake Dakavac. We ended up on a 50 -foot waterfall, and so we're like, okay, we can't go that way.
Hiked back up, threw all the pumice again, around to another one we thought was good, another waterfall, so we had to hike back up, go around, and we finally found a stream, and we just were like, okay, well, we can't tell for sure on this one either, because it's going into a jungle, and we had about three hours before our float plane was gonna get there, and we started hiking down the stream, and we never hit a waterfall.
We had some five, six -foot jumps we had to make, but we finally got down to the valley that went into Dakavac Lake.
They had finally made it. Not only did they make it back to the lake in time to catch the seaplane, but they'd concluded two successful missions to Nova Upta.
They had investigated the volcano, demonstrated how catastrophic processes could shape the world during the flood, established the error of radioisotope dating, and photographed the biblical history found in the rock record.
All their work and effort had been a success, and the data they gathered will impact the world for years to come.
Our two trips to Nova Upta were filled with fun and adventure, but more importantly, they were life -changing.
It brought Kenny and Dr. Shorman, it brought us together, and it just gave us a lot of great memories and stories.
In those harsh conditions, kind of in God's territory, God's country, makes you kind of realize your dependence on him, makes you realize how little
I am and how much I need the Lord and depend on him for everything. The eruption of Nova Upta demonstrated the power of God.
It was incredible to see just how devastating and powerful that eruption was, but then to know that there's a creator behind all of that and involved the whole world that's so much infinitely more powerful was very impactful to me.
Every day I woke up and saw these massive mountains surrounding me. It just reminded me how big our
God is, because that mountain's something that's huge to me, but it doesn't compare at all to how big God is.
I can read scripture and understand how powerful God is, how omnipotent he is, how mighty he is, but then seeing it in nature too is just incredible.
The Valley of 10 ,000 Smokes has a good way of making you just realize how small you are, and so to be able to just kind of visualize all that, it really puts your life in perspective to the greater things of God going on around you.
We read in Matthew 22, 29, Jesus told the Sadducees, he told them they were in error because they did not know scripture very well and they did not know the power of God.
We need to study scripture, but we also need to study his creation and get to know him better that way.
God called Dr. Shorman and his team to explore Nova Upta because he wanted to take the life -changing message of this volcano to the world, and now you're part of it.
You've heard the stories, you've been presented with the case for creation and the truth of the scriptures. I think that if a person would go to a place like the
Valley of 10 ,000 Smokes and see what happened there in a matter of hours, and they would truly approach it with an open mind rather than trying to filter it through some of the theories that they'd been taught all their lives, it has to be evidence of how the flood could account for the fossil record, the different terrains and mountain ranges, and even the separation of the continents.
It has to be evidence for that. And there was another big lesson the team learned, and it started with their original trips back at American Creek.
I think that American Creek reminded me a lot of what earth would have been like before the fall.
Everything was so green and so dense and so alive. While the Bible says God created everything perfectly, it wasn't long until mankind rebelled.
Adam and Eve sinned, and that brought death into the world. As a result, there was a curse placed on all of creation.
Romans 6 .23 says, for the wages of sin is death. Because we are born into sin through the original curse, we deserve eternal separation from God.
But God didn't leave it there. Jesus Christ died on the cross to take away that penalty of death, to take away sin.
Just like God designed nature to recover after destruction, he has likewise provided a way for us to be restored.
Romans 10 .9 and 10 says, that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
And that was the very reason Dr. Shorman and his team risked their lives to go to Nova Repta, because it helps tell the
Bible's story of salvation. Some adventures are inspired by fame or fortune, and some by the pursuit of knowledge.
But I've had the privilege of following in the footsteps of a man whose discoveries show the glory of the creator.