From AOL News, by David Lohr
(Nov. 8) -- A Scottish explorer who went on a solo expedition to find the final resting place of Noah's Ark has been reported missing by concerned friends and family members, British media outlets are reporting.
Donald Mackenzie of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis has not been heard from since September, after he went exploring on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey
"He last spoke to his brother Ross, who is in Luxembourg, on Sept. 20," Mackenzie's mother, well-known Gaelic singer Maggie Jean, old The Press and Journal
. "That's the last we heard of him."
Mackenzie, who is unmarried and in his mid-40s, reportedly has gone on several expeditions to Mount Ararat in search of the ark.
According to the Old Testament Book of Genesis, Noah built the ark at God's command so that he could save his family and the world's animals from a cataclysmic flood. When the waters came, they rose until all the mountains were covered and all life was destroyed. When the waters finally receded, the ark is said to have came to rest "on the mountains of Ararat."
Enthusiasts from around the world have attempted to find the remnants of the ark, and multiple search expeditions
have been launched. To date, no verifiable evidence has been produced.
Mackenzie's most recent odyssey up the mountain was prompted by a Chinese-Turkish exploration team that claimed
to have successfully excavated and ventured inside a large wooden structure on Mount Ararat, Central Scotland's STV reported
Mackenzie was reported missing this past weekend when he failed to attend a scheduled meeting with a friend who lives near Mount Ararat. Calls to his two cell phones and messages sent to his e-mail account have also gone unanswered.
Jean is concerned her son could be injured or lost.
"This is just an awful nightmare," she told The Press and Journal. "I am praying he has managed to keep himself alive. I just want him back home safe."
Contacted by the BBC
, a spokesman for the British Foreign Office confirmed that a missing person report had been filed and said officials are providing "consular assistance to the Mackenzie family.
"Interpol and local law enforcement agencies have also been notified. Officials have yet to comment on whether a search effort will be launched, something Jean told The Press and Journal is necessary to ensure her son's safety.
"He could survive up the mountain for a while, if only they would send out a rescue team for him," Jean said.