After reading all of this information I had found so far I thought about where I should start. As it has been some time since these events took place, I decided to do some verification of the facts. This is what I found.
David K Duckworth, Age 63-65 (approximately)
*Resides in Farmington, New Mexico.
*18-19 years old, Volunteer at the Smithsonian 1968
*Named Daryl Davis in Eryl & Violet Cumming’s book “Has Anyone Really Seen Noah’s Ark?”
* Had a friend he knew that worked with him at the Smithsonian
*Maintains his story is true even 30 years later in 1996 when interviewed by David T. Hill
* There is a video from the archives of Eryl Cummings of Duckworth telling his story. You can find it here.
Albert C Myrick Jr, Age 73-75 (approximately)
* Resides near San Diego, California.
* Worked for the Smithsonian Institute in 1968. Was the supervisor of David Duckworth.
* Wore a little red bow tie and pedaled his three speed bicycle to work in 1968.
* Denies David Duckworth’s story.
* Later Moved to California and worked for the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.
* I called the Los Angeles County Museum and was transferred around a few times. The man I spoke to had heard Myrick’s name, but was unable to provide any information about him. He was not very cooperative nor seemed inclined to answer any questions. I believe that Myrick is probably retired now being in his 70s.
Dr. Robert Geist, Age 80s-90s (approximately)
Richard S. Cowan, Director of the Smithsonian Institute’s Natural Museum of Natural History, 1965-1972.
Did the Smithsonian Institute have a program for young people during the 1960s? Yes.
The Volunteer Program at the Smithsonian was in existence by 1964. Official Smithsonian history article here.
1966 – Advisory Board was put into place.
Board expanded from 6 to 11 members, with 75 volunteers.
First Coordinator: Beverly Ball
Second: Edith Balfour
Third: Joan Madden (Assst. Director for Education at the National Museum of Natural History) – to at least 1986. Here is a picture of Joan Madden below.
The Smithsonian took over full responsibility of the volunteer programs in 1969.
1973-74: Volunteer program were decentralized when separate offices were created. National Musuem of Natural History is one.
History for Institute: Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu
How do we know that Albert C Myrick Jr was actually a scientist at the Museum in 1968?
Are there any publications detailing the Smithsonian community in 1968? Yes. I’ve attached Smithsonian Year 1969, which would include the fall of 1968 in its history.
How did David Duckworth obtain a position as a student volunteer at the Smithsonian in 1968? He says he contacted them, but we would have to interview Duckworth to get the details. Why would he contact them? In the Smithsonian Year 1969, there is an Associate Curator named Dr. W. Donald Duckworth listed on pages 102-103, 112, 679, 685. This could be a family connection for David Duckworth to get a reference to become a volunteer.
Is Albert Myrick listed in the Smithsonian Year 1969? Yes. He can be found listed on page 164.
I wrote Noah’s Ark Search team to find out if they had located any information about Dr. Robert Geist and Albert Myrick.
Rex Geissler Responded: “Yes, I met with Albert Myrick in person with Elfred Lee at his home near San Diego. We had a cordial chat but he discounted everything that David Duckworth claimed. He said that there was no Robert Geist who worked for the Smithsonian.” He went on to say that he believes David Duckworth to be untrustworthy.
Who is Dr. Robert Geist? According to Albert Myrick, no Robert Geist ever worked for the Smithsonian.
Does this information about Dr. Robert Geist disprove David Duckworth’s story? Not completely.
Duckworth said that Robert Geist was a visiting scientist and he was only there for a short period. Albert Myrick’s answer may simply be telling the truth while avoiding the real question. The question isn’t if Dr. Robert Geist was an employee of the Smithsonian. The question is if Dr. Robert Geist exists and did he ever visit the Smithsonian while working on the Ark research team? Where did he come from and where is he now?
I believe it is possible Geist was part of the National Geographic Society’s scientific team, so there would be no records of Dr. Geist ever working for the Smithsonian Institute. He may have simply been at the Smithsonian because that is where the artifacts were shipped. If Mr. Duckworth only saw him a couple of weeks and there is no record of him, that lends weight to the possibility. If he was assigned to the Ark project, he would have followed the artifacts to where they were stored and studied.
I was thinking about Dr. Geist some and being unable to locate him. There was an Otto William Geist that is mentioned in Smithsonian publications, but he passed away in 1963 at the age of 75. It is possible that could be Robert Geist’s connection to the Smithsonian. Perhaps Robert is a nephew of Otto. I don’t believe Otto had any children. He had two brothers in Germany and two brothers in the US. None of the brothers were named Robert. I did some research on Otto Geist on Ancestry.com.
Another thought is perhaps Robert was not Dr. Geist’s first name. Perhaps he went by Robert to Americanize himself. After all it had only been 23 years since the end of WWII, which might have been important to him being a German. Duckworth described him as being middle aged.
Does the news reporter Renee Noorbergen have a book? Yes. It is called The Ark File and you can read it here. Chapter 7 has further information about Duckworth’s story and his investigation. It does not turn out favorable for David Duckworth.
More to come in Part 4.