The brother of a Scot who disappeared in Turkey while looking for Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat has discovered items from his last known campsite.
Derick Mackenzie has just
returned to Scotland from a journey to investigate his brother Donald’s disappearance two years ago. The 47-year-old missing man, from Stornoway on Lewis, had made several trips to the region since 2001, but no trace of him had been found since he disappeared in September 2010.
During a visit to the Kurdish town of Dogubayazit, at the foot of Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey last week, Mr Mackenzie was shown items found on the mountainside that he is certain belonged to his lost brother.
“The most important discovery of this trip has been the positive identification of Donald’s last campsite,” he said.
“If I hadn’t been there in person, this would not have happened. The campsite was discovered just two months before my appearance. Had I come earlier the campsite would not yet have been found.”
The breakthrough came while Mr Mackenzie, from Stornoway, was in Turkey to make a documentary with Edinburgh-based production company Plainview Films about his search for his brother.
“I showed a video clip on my camera to the man beside me who had known Donald,” he said. “The clip contained footage of my mother, who looked at the camera wearing a sad expression. I said, ‘This is my mother, she’s sad because of Donald.’
“When he heard what I said he rose to his feet, walked over to some other local men and began to talk with them. Shortly afterwards, he returned to his seat beside me and said, ‘I think you will find your brother.’
“A little later I was brought to a quiet place out of town
and introduced to a man who two months earlier had found an old campsite high on the mountain.”
Among the personal items found was a pocket telescope and a case, a compass and a business card, which had been used to hold sewing needles.
“He handed me a bag containing a few items,” Mr Mackenzie said. “When I opened it, I found it contained a little pocket telescope.
“At first it meant nothing, but as time passed, the more I looked at it, the more it began to click somehow.
“But I have a natural defence against raising my hopes and will accept nothing until I’m sure. Then I read the personal card, ‘Colin Macdonald, Newmarket, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis’.
“‘Now hang on a minute, this is proof,’ I said.”
l The documentary, made with the support of Creative Scotland, will be shown at film festivals and broadcast on BBC Alba next year.