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Aug 01 2012

Ark Park news

Ken Ham’s boondoggle in Kentucky is still mired in sluggish fundraising, but he still believes they’ll be open in 2014…only now with an incomplete park. They’re now talking about building it up gradually over a decade, starting whenever the can begin construction. Looking at AiG’s numbers, though, I don’t see why they’re at all optimistic.

The first phase of the project will cost $73 million to build, and $6 million has already been spent on land acquisition and design. So far, Answers in Genesis has raised $7.5 million, with private investors pitching in an additional $15.5 million to the LLC, leaving $22 million left to raise before they have enough money to break ground, and $44 million left to complete the project. Boone estimates it will take 12-24 months to secure the funding to break ground, then it will take another 24 months to complete construction.

The company will then have to raise $53 million for additional phases of the park throughout next decade.

So just the initial phase will cost $73 million, and they’ve raised, over the last couple of years, a total of $23 million? That’s a big puddle of money, but the rate of growth suggests that they’ve pretty much already drained the existing pool of willing donors. And after that $73 million, they need another $53 million before we get to see that exciting ’10 plagues of Egypt’ ride!

They also discuss some of the other crap they have planned.

Outside the ark, Marsh details the proposed “parade of animals,” in which Noah leads dancers and musicians dressed as animals “in a spectacular choreographed hybrid of ‘world dance’ and music to create the unique flavor and experience of a pre-Flood culture,” all while being heckled by actors playing Pagans who doubt Noah.

Oh, boy. Cheese and corn, two great flavors that go great together! And just what is pre-Flood culture? Anything that existed more than 4400 years ago? And what are they celebrating, the imaginary ruthless annihilation of all those singing and dancing variety acts?

They also say that PBS has a three-part documentary on building the Ark Park in the can, that will be aired this fall…does anybody know anything about that? What kind of documentary can you build out of a gang of preachers dunning churches for money, and is Ken Burns making it?

44 comments

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  1. 1
    peterh

    Will the dancing, prancing, jeering pagans be paid a living wage? Maybe I’m old enough to be tired of northern Maine winters and could relocate. My dancing & prancing may not be much, but I can jeer with the best of them. In fact, being one of the jeer-team would lend a certain piquancy, nay reinforcing satisfaction.

  2. 2
    Nick Gotts

    dancers and musicians dressed as animals

    Now if the piglet abuser had real faith, he’d be planning to have real (non-human) animals doing the antedeluvian conga.

  3. 3
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    How can he even speak of what “pre-flood culture” was? Is it going to be Mesopotamian or Sumerian or one of those cultures? I’m personally most fond of the Outofhisass culture.

  4. 4
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And after that $73 million, they need another $53 million before we get to see that exciting ’10 plagues of Egypt’ ride!

    They’ll need more than that. Unless they are using estimates that factor in higher labour and materiel costs, they will be paying a lot more by the time construction actually starts.

    Outside the ark, Marsh details the proposed “parade of animals,” in which Noah leads dancers and musicians dressed as animals “in a spectacular choreographed hybrid of ‘world dance’ and music to create the unique flavor and experience of a pre-Flood culture,” all while being heckled by actors playing Pagans who doubt Noah.

    Why reinvent the wheel? Disney already does that (sans Pagan hecklers). And (whether you like Disney or not) they do it so it feels fresh every time. Which costs money.

    I wonder if they sacrifice the man or woman (more likely desperate local teenager) playing the goat and burn the entrails. After all, I’ve heard these idiots are really into biblically illiterate literalism.

    And what are they celebrating, the imaginary ruthless annihilation of all those singing and dancing variety acts?

    Considering what my febrile imagination is conjuring up, that seems reasonable.

    What kind of documentary can you build out of a gang of preachers dunning churches for money. . .

    A comedy? A tradedy?

  5. 5
    raven

    The obvious lessons of the Big Boat event are:

    1. God invented genocide.

    2. God is incompetent. He caused the whole problem in the first place by creating humans “in his own image”. The Flood was supposed to fix things. It didn’t work.

    Plan B was to send himself down to be killed. That didn’t work either. Plan C is to show up Real Soon, kill 7 billion people, and destroy the earth. So far, he is 2,000 years late.

    The xian god is an incompetent Sky Monster. But somehow, I suppose AIG will just ignore all that.

  6. 6
    rorschach

    And just what is pre-Flood culture? Anything that existed more than 4400 years ago?

    Ryan and Pitman estimated the flood event(the filling up of the Black Sea through the Bosporus from the Mediterranean) to have happened around 6000 BCE, IIRC. So maybe it’s scenes from the tribes living on the Black Sea shores at the time.

    Oh, wait. Creationists don’t do reality. My bad.

  7. 7
    raven

    I’m not seeing how a park celebrating mass murder, genocide, and incredible supernatural incompetence is going to be very interesting.

    It sounds boring.

    Attendance at AIG’s Fake Museum is actually down a lot from the first year. This is to be expected as the novelty value wears off and after you’ve seen the plastic dinosaurs, why bother seeing them again.

    They really need to upgrade the attractions. A rock music amphitheater, bars, nightclubs, rides, waterpark, and a casino would help a lot. Especially the casino, that is a must have.

  8. 8
    Louis

    Peterh, #1, nails it. Can this get me paid to jeer at prancing idiots? If so…hmmm well they say the wages of sin are death, but the wages as a scientist are worse {badum tish, veal, waitress, week}. I’m in forrrrrrr…..let’s call it $20 an hour plus expenses and all the rotten fruit I can throw. I can do top quality jeering.

    Louis

  9. 9
    myeck waters

    I would love to see a Ken Burns documentary about this. Lots of those solemn letters-to-the-folks-back-home read by unseen narrators – only in this one every single letter would be written by Ham, talking up the wonderful features the park would supposedly have someday and trying to cajole money out of someone. And nothing but slow pans in on still photos which for no good reason are all sepia.

  10. 10
    Glen Davidson

    They also say that PBS has a three-part documentary on building the Ark Park in the can, that will be aired this fall

    Yay, more Jesus Camp. But perhaps more pathetic.

    Funny how God never, like, performs a miracle for these dolts. If it appeared literally overnight we might start paying attention to Ham’s bluster. So far, no reason to…

    Glen Davidson

  11. 11
    Moggie

    Ugh, furries.

  12. 12
    grumpyoldfart

    So far, Answers in Genesis has raised $7.5 million, with private investors pitching in an additional $15.5 million to the LLC

    Does that mean the Ken Ham team has control of $23 million? How much interest would that collect each year? How would that interest be distributed? Is it possible the team members could pay all of that interest to themselves?

  13. 13
    alkaloid

    What kind of documentary can you build out of a gang of preachers dunning churches for money, and is Ken Burns making it?

    I suspect that someone made a documentary about the life of Charles Ponzi, and when Bill Moyers on PBS went over the letters that Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff were sending each other as they were conning people right and left it was both riveting and revolting.

  14. 14
    Brian Murtagh

    Who knew it was so difficult to build a ship an eight person crew could keep a representative breeding sample of the animals of the world on for a year?

    We’re all lucky to be alive. No wonder Noah ended up a 900 year old cantankerous drunk.

  15. 15
    David Marjanović

    Wow. That’s worse than the Berlin/Brandenburg airport.

  16. 16
    falstaff

    I bet Ken is dying of envy of that guy in Europe who just wasted his money on a ark.

  17. 17
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Answers in Genesis? They must mean the Phil Collins era, in which their god seems to have an invisible touch.

  18. 18
    Draken

    Hey, maybe Templeton could step in. Would be better than them trying to corrupt scientists, wouldn’t it?

  19. 19
    anteprepro

    Answers in Genesis? They must mean the Phil Collins era, in which their god seems to have an invisible touch.

    That would make sense, as they do seem to reside in a Land of Confusion.

  20. 20
    Draken

    From the linked article:
    The ultimate goals of the park are to prove that Noah’s Ark could be built (with the animals fed and cared for)

    I really, really wonder how they’re going to do this. For sure even Answers in Genitals has consulted some engineer that explained them the trouble with wooden ships? Or some zookeeper telling them something about the area needed to keep even the easiest of predators alive and kicking?

  21. 21
    Glen Davidson

    Clearly what Ham needs to do is to take the money so far collected and invest it in finding oil or natural gas using flood geology as his guide. With those billions, surely building the Ark Park will be a cinch.

    Or, uh, Ken, is it true that you won’t put your money into such a losing proposition? Oh ye of little faith…you’re really nothing but a pathetic liar.

    Glen Davidson

  22. 22
    shouldbeworking

    ‘World dance and music’? I would pay to see the wild haggis being led up the boarding plank to the sound of “My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean” played on the bagpipes and the deadly drop bear slinking up to the tune of “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport”.

  23. 23
    SnowyBiscuit

    What kind of documentary can you build out of a gang of preachers dunning churches for money, and is Ken Burns making it?

    For AiG and the Ark Park, I think David Lynch would be the best choice. Strange, surreal, slightly disgusting…yep, covers everything.

  24. 24
    feralboy12

    The ultimate goals of the park are to prove that Noah’s Ark could be built (with the animals fed and cared for)

    So how did Noah raise the money? And how much is $73 million in 2349 B.C. dollars?

  25. 25
    zb24601

    They also say that PBS has a three-part documentary on building the Ark Park in the can, that will be aired this fall…does anybody know anything about that? What kind of documentary can you build out of a gang of preachers dunning churches for money, and is Ken Burns making it?

    Maybe they will call it Ken Burns: Ham

  26. 26
    Pyra

    peterh:
    Will the dancing, prancing, jeering pagans be paid a living wage?

    Having interacted with a congenial security guard from the “museum” at my workplace (a local store) over many months, I can say they definitely don’t pay a living wage. He was always on a strict budget and looking for second and third jobs. I haven’t even seen the poor guy in many months.

  27. 27
    Ingdigo Jump

    Sounds more and more like a Springtime for Hitler

  28. 28
    Sastra

    That “jeering pagan” part is risky. They better make sure the actors know they need to yell out a lot of implausible pagan jeers like “We don’t want to go on your ark because WE ALL LOVE EVIL!!!” — and avoid shouting out anything that actually makes sense (“Wait! Have you considered the logistics and feasability of this project?”)

  29. 29
    Gregory in Seattle

    I suspect that AiG made a series of three, one hour promotional videos and have been shopping them around to PBS stations.

    PBS stations are independent: they produce their own shows, buy shows from stations that produce their own shows (WNET in Newark, New Jersey and WGBH in Boston are among the most prolific), use inexpensive syndicated programming that is not “commercially viable” (such as old BBC shows like Dr. Who and Yes, Minister) and locally done programming in areas without public access cable. You occasionally see religious shows, either non-viable syndication or locally made stuff. Most PBS stations are so eager for new programming that some, especially in the South, would be quite happy to broadcast AiG crap.

  30. 30
    Jerry

    Ogvorbis in comment 4 said (about increased costs due to delaying construction):

    And after that $73 million, they need another $53 million before we get to see that exciting ’10 plagues of Egypt’ ride!

    They’ll need more than that. Unless they are using estimates that factor in higher labour and materiel costs, they will be paying a lot more by the time construction actually starts.

    I believe that delaying construction will cost a lot more than that… On top of what Ogvorbis said, spreading out construction increases the cost of each stage of work. They’ll pay more to bring out the planners and other personnel, the trench digging machines, the earth-moving equipment, etc., two (or three or four) times versus one longer time. How many extra trips will the concrete and lumber and roofing materials delivery trucks make? Will they pay more up front for utilities capable of handling the whole planned construction which may never materialize (bigger pipes, more wiring, etc.) or pay more over time to add them later? It seems to be cheaper to build e.g. three structures in the same area at one time compared with the same three buildings at different times. Not to mention making sure the original plans have kept up with local building codes, and potentially making those plan changes. I have a little experience with commercial renovations, not new major construction, but the principles likely transfer. Corrections from more knowledgeable people gratefully accepted.

  31. 31
    Stella

    Ing #27; my thoughts precisely.

  32. 32
    hypatiasdaughter

    The ultimate goals of the park are to prove that Noah’s Ark could be built (with the animals fed and cared for)
    Nyah,unh, unh. Doesn’t count. Not unless 4 men and their wives do it all.

  33. 33
    pipenta

    Oh, let them try to build their ark, even something simpler for a test run. Sea level is rising, after all. Kind of a fundy retread of Biosphere 2. I wish them loads of luck. Hell, I’ll stand on the dock and wave them off, bottle of champagne in hand.

    Bon Voyage, suckers!

  34. 34
    madscientist

    That’s ok, because once they build it they’ll rake in over $20M per year! Or so says Ham … and my mama always told me I shouldn’t trust a preacher man further than I can throw him.

  35. 35
    Mokum

    And just what is pre-Flood culture?

    Sons of god making Nephilim babies with fair looking girls.

  36. 36
    ogremeister

    Oh, boy. Cheese and corn, two great flavors that go great together!

    Mmmmm….nachos….

    For AiG and the Ark Park, I think David Lynch would be the best choice. Strange, surreal, slightly disgusting…yep, covers everything.

    Or a resurrected Hanna-Barbera Productions. After all, they have experience mixing humans and dinosaurs, and this whole thing is rather cartoonish.

  37. 37
    jakc

    @peterh & Louis
    I spent a summer in a small tourist town with a well-known Passion Play. Theys needed locals in a couple of scenes (you got to run past the audience shouting crucify, and such things like that). The pay was cookies and Koolaid (or coffee) and free tickets to sit in the audience if you did 10 shows. A few people (Roman soldiers and such) got paid, but the best roles, like Jesus, went to the family who owned the show (and presumably most of the movie). It made for some nice entertainment on a summer night, but I bet the weather isn’t as nice in Kentucky, the scenery isn’t as pretty and WAY too many people at the Ark Park are gonna believe that crap.

  38. 38
    montanto

    How can he even speak of what “pre-flood culture” was? Is it going to be Mesopotamian or Sumerian or one of those cultures?

    Well… the Sumerian’s had some fascinating literature about an antediluvian dynasty in fact I’m pretty sure Genesis cribs most of it.

    Of course if they wanted to have fun they could mix in a little bit of the myth of Atlantis maybe throw in a little bit of Robert E Howard… Have the “pre-flood pagans” dressed in zoot-suits televising the whole spectacle…

    But that wouldn’t be biblical.

    So they’ll go with the usual Reader’s Digest style tunics that I’m pretty sure nobody in fertile crescent ever wore during the bronze age. One of the things that really gets to me about Creationists (other than all of the other reasons) is their complete lack of creativity. Most of their rationalizations are more sad than infuriating. (Dinosaurs couldn’t fit in the ark, really?)

    The only bit in their spiel that comes close to original is the thing about the land rafts but even that is sub-par.

  39. 39
    carlie

    The ultimate goals of the park are to prove that Noah’s Ark could be built (with the animals fed and cared for)

    If they prove it could be done, then it wasn’t a miracle, was it?

    Oops, sorry God, we just proved you don’t exist!

  40. 40
    scottplumer

    Can’t somebody torch it?

  41. 41
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Ugh, furries.

    That was random.

    Who knew it was so difficult to build a ship an eight person crew could keep a representative breeding sample of the animals of the world on for a year?

    It’s all those onerous government regulations, surely.

  42. 42
    tkreacher

    Naked Bunny with a Whip,

    That was random.

    See,

    in which Noah leads dancers and musicians dressed as animals

  43. 43
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Or some zookeeper telling them something about the area needed to keep even the easiest of predators alive and kicking?

    And they need to speak to a dino specialist to discuss how the predatory towering dinosaurs were able to survive on the Ark, let alone fit in the damn thing.

  44. 44
    davem

    And just what is pre-Flood culture?

    Isn’t that when Yahweh had Asherah as his girlfriend? When he was a high-up god, but not the head honcho of all of the other gods? When Baal was his equal?
    As to proof that you can look after all those animals (and remember it’s SEVEN of most of them, not two), we could just start a trial with the beetles. Just get 8 people to keep about 14,000,000 beetles alive, for say, a month. (Or are beetles unclean, and we only need to keep 2,000,000 of them going?)

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