It seems that famed Titanic-finder and underwater archeologist Robert Ballard now is hunting for Noah’s Ark, or at least the Flood.

In an interview with ABC News’s Christiane Amanpour, Mr Ballard explains that he investigated a theory proposed by two scientists from Columbia University that there was a massive flood in the Black Sea region. They believe that the Black Sea was once an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland until it was flooded by a torrent of water.

“We went in there to look for the flood,” he told ABC News. “Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed … The land that went under stayed under.”

Although they did not find the Ark, they found an ancient shoreline which Mr Ballard believes is proof such an event did take place. He believes that, by using carbon dating shells found along the shoreline, it took place around 5,000 BC.

“It probably was a bad day,” he said. “At some magic moment, it broke through and flooded this place violently, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square kilometers of land, went under.”

This puzzles me a bit because I thought the theory of a catastrophic flood event in the Black Sea was already well developed – something to do with a violent geological shift that opened up the area to a sudden inflow from the Med.  Indeed, I have a memory from what must be at least ten years back of somebody claiming to have come across one or more drowned communities.   Maybe these Columbia wallahs are the fellers I’m thinking of and this is follow-on research of that same developing theory.

So this doesn’t seem to me to be such big nooz.

But it did remind me of a favorite old Bill Cosby bit: