From the front page of the Sept 93 "Freethought Today"
Jammal To Speak at FFRF Convention
CBS "HOAX" TO BE EXPOSED
California actor and mimer George Jammal, a Foundation
member since 1986, will break his longstanding silence on his
role in CBS' "Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark," at an
exclusive speech before the Foundation's annual convention in
Huntsville on October 23.
During Jammal's afternoon presentation, he will show a
videotape of his featured appearance as a naive believer
claiming to have discovered the ark on Mount Ararat.
Jammal and the controversy surrounding his appearance on
the popular CBS show, was featured in a full-page article in
Time Magazine on July 5, 1993 ("Phony Arkaeology: In a pseudo
documentary, CBS falls victim to a hoaxer"). The religious
show was produced by fundamentalist David Balsiger of Sun
International and purchased by CBS. Prof. Gerald Larue,
well-known author and bible historian, has reported that he
encouraged Jammal, an acquaintance, to pose as a true
believer, in order to expose the shoddy research of
Balsinger's Sun International.
The highly-rated series of shows, including "Ancient
Secrets of the Bible," have come under fire by many scholars
and freethinkers. CBS has continued to defend the
tabloid-style, sensationalist religious programming because
they claim it is "entertainment," not news.
The "Noah's Ark" prime-time special aired in February, 
with Jammal as its "piece de resistance," hilariously
recounting how he and a mysterious friend named "Vladimir"
laboriously climbed snowy Mt. Ararat, and hacked out a pice of
historic wood from the ark. ("We got very excited when we saw
part of this room was made into pens, like places where you
keep animals," Jammal deadpanned. "We knew then that we had
found the ark!" he said in the interview.) According to Larue,
Jammal soaked a piece of contemporary pine in creative
marinades and baked it in his Long Beach, California home.
During the CBS interview, Jammal choked up when he stated why
he had kept this "incredible" discovery to himself,
maintaining he was traumatized by the untimely demise of
Vladimir on the mountain.
In real life, George Jammal, born in Palestine, is a
longtime freethinker and a doting father of two children, 8
and 9. He will demonstrate some of his mimery following the
Saturday dinner at the convention.
The real "hoax," Jammal avers, was not perpetrated by him
but by CBS with its irresponsible programming.
From Freethought Today, Freedom From Religion Foundation,
P.O. Box 750, Madison, WI 53701 (608) 256-8900 / 256-5800