My wife Gail and I had the unique and exciting experience of going to the island nation of Malta this past spring as part of a very small team of people attempting to locate remains from the Apostle Paul's shipwreck as recorded in the 17th chapter of the Book of Acts. As publisher of Powerboat magazine by trade, I normally get to ride in very fast performance powerboats. This trip was different but historically memorable.
This boat ride was in St. Thomas Bay and we were searching for the location of the sea anchors that were 'cut' by the sailors on an Alexandrian Roman freighter ship in the first century, following an unusual and horrid fourteen-day storm that left the 276 passengers (sailors and prisoners including Paul) run aground on a reef in this small bay on the southern end of Malta. This was explicitly recorded in Acts chapter 27 of the Bible.
Tradition over the past twenty centuries by the Maltese and Biblical scholars presumed the shipwreck occurred at the opposite (north) end of the island, in a bay they named St. Paul's Bay.
However, over the two millennia no known artifacts of the 180 ft. x 45 ft.-beam freighter ship in or around St. Paul's Bay have been discovered.
Comes on the scene, my friend, Bob Cornuke, founder and president of Bible Archaeology Search And Exploration Institute, Colorado Springs. Bob and I met on the National Day of Prayer last year when I invited him out to speak at our annual Ventura prayer breakfast. His talk was about his escapades discovering the "Real" Mt. Sinai (where the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses).
Mt. Sinai was always assumed to be in the Sinai Peninsula. Cornuke had taken the Bible literally, traced the steps of the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt (recorded in Genesis & Exodus) and with other clues led him instead to the Arabian Peninsula where he believes is the location of the "true" Mt. Sinai mountain. After hearing him talk and seeing his pictures and video footage, I'm convinced.
Bob invited us to join him in the search for the "real" St. Paul's shipwreck site in Malta, again by using the Bible as a chart, as St. Luke logged/recorded the trip from the shores of Asia Minor (Turkey) to Malta (on the way to Rome) in great specific detail in the book of Acts.
Cornuke, a modern day Indiana Jones (who also accompanied Astronaut Jim Irwin in search of Noah's Ark, and made expeditions pursuing the Ark of the Covenant (traced to Ethiopia) and the "Real" Mt. Sinai, now reveals the finding of four anchors discovered in the exact geographical sea area predicted by Cornuke using the Bible as a guide book.
The four anchors have been found all in the same area, in St. Thomas Bay (where we patrolled in our slow-moving powerboat), at the specific depth under the water that was recorded in Scriptures. Furthermore, we found a reef at the precise depth recorded as well that the huge ship eventually ran aground (with all passengers/crew swimming safely to shore).
Former USA Ambassador to Malta, Miss Kathryn Proffitt, Phoenix, Az., assisted us greatly on the trip as part of the team, opening doors to meet with professors and scholars from the University of Malta (and Maltese governmental officials). Cornuke met with the Prime Minister of Malta who arranged for the Brigadier General of the island to provide a U.S. Coast Guard assisted Malta maritime computer-room analysis of the pre-programmed ocean's water currents, adding the Biblical data of the stormy wind conditions and ship's route, etc. The very surprised Maltese maritime officials validated on the computers the accuracy of the 1st century incident confirming the likely offcourse cruise ending at St. Thomas Bay, where the four sea anchors were discovered/recovered.
The adventure has been captured by Video Producer Jim Fitzgerald of Coldwater Productions, Colorado Springs, and his film crew, for a documentary on the whole episode. Edgar & Yvonne Miles, El Paso, Texas, of the expedition crew, are publishing a book for Mr. Cornuke on the story. And Powerboat Magazine is breaking the story, a unique one for us, with the permission of Mr. Cornuke of BASE Institute, Colorado Springs.
Not the fastest powerboat ride of my life, but cruising around St. Thomas Bay to find the spot where the anchors were cut in the first century (as well as around the islands of Malta and Gozo on a larger vessel) was an adventure Gail and I will always remember. I tried to pick up one of the massive lead anchor stocks remaining (wood portion deteriorated) from one of the gigantic anchors (verified as an authentic first century Roman lead & wooden anchor as used on Alexandrian cargo ships sailing on official Roman business) but was too heavy to lift (see picture at left).
There is so much more to this incredible story! We were involved with history in the making on our boat cruise and trip to Malta the end of Spring. Four anchors had been found by divers in the location and the precise depth that Mr. Cornuke's research taken from explicit Biblical writings about St. Paul's shipwreck a generation after the death & resurrection of Christ.
It's all recorded in the book of Acts in the New Testament, and has now been verified with these artifacts from St. Thomas Bay. God's Word is reliable. Not the fastest boat ride, but the most astonishing one I've had, there in the blue Mediterranean. Those interested in obtaining a copy of the video documentary or the book about this discovery can contact me. They will be available in early 2003.
- Jerry Nordskog