Media Release: Hopes that new BBC ALBA documentary will help search for missing Scot, Noah’s Ark hunter

Derick Mackenzie with Mount Ararat in the background (Credit: Plainview Films)

My Brother the Ark Raider

A Plainview Films production for BBC ALBA in association with Creative Scotland

BBC ALBA – Thursday 3 October 9.00 – 9.55pm

THE family of a Scottish man missing for three years in Turkey hope a new BBC ALBA documentary about his disappearance will trigger a fresh search for him.

Donald Mackenzie, from Stornoway, was hunting for the remains of Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat in Turkey when he disappeared in 2010.

His family has heard nothing since and several searches by Turkish authorities have failed to discover any trace of him.

Now, on the third anniversary of Donald’s disappearance, a new documentary is to be shown that it is hoped will help in the search for answers.

My Brother the Ark Raider, a Plainview Films production for BBC ALBA in association with Creative Scotland, follows Donald’s younger brother Derick as he leaves his family in Stornoway and travels across Europe to Dogubayazit, a Kurdish town on the border with Iran at the foot of Mount Ararat.

Narrated by the Gaelic broadcaster, Angus Peter Campbell, the film is a poetic and meditative exploration of hope in the face of great loss.

Donald, an evangelical adventurer, had returned to the town repeatedly for more than a decade to search for the Biblical ship’s remains.

When he vanished he was alone on the mountain, without a guide, without a permit and with the weather closing in.

He could have fallen or succumbed to the extreme weather. He could have been attacked by wild animals, robbed by bandits, or crossed the paths of the Army or the Kurdish separatists who both operate on the mountain.

He could have been targeted for his Christian beliefs, or by rogue guides keen to exploit the story of Noah’s ark.

Derick travels to Dogubayazit to try to discover what really happened.

He meets many of those who knew his brother who have their own ideas about what might have happened to him.

His search takes him to the car pound where police have held Donald’s van, and to some of his brother’s possessions that a shepherd claimed to have found at an abandoned campsite.

And ultimately, the search leads to the foothills of Mount Ararat, the mighty mountain which dominates the plains of eastern Turkey and where the Bible recounts Noah’s Ark finally came to rest after the flood waters subsided.

Here, somewhere, Donald’s remains most likely lie.

Derick goes in search of answers. But who can he trust and how close will he come to the truth?

With unique access to the Mackenzie family, the film is a moving story of kinship, friendship, trust and coming to terms with loss.

Derick Mackenzie said: “We want to make sure the Turkish authorities see this film. There will be a lot of interest about it in Turkey. It could kick start some response from the Turkish authorities to look again for him. It could be a golden bullet.”

Margaret Cameron, channel editor, BBC ALBA, said: “We were delighted to work with Plainview Films and Creative Scotland as partners on this film which we hope will take Donald’s story to a wider audience.”

My Brother the Ark Raider, produced and directed by Jonathan Carr and Chris Marks for Plainview Films, will be broadcast on BBC ALBA at 9.00pm on Thursday 3 October 2013.


For further information please contact:-

  • Lorna Gardner, Media House – 0141 220 6040 /
  • Gary McQueen, Media House – 0141 220 6040 /

More information about the programme is available at or @arkraiderdoc

Notes to editors

BBC ALBA is available on the following platforms:

•               Sky 143 (UK)

•               Freeview / You View 8 (Scotland only)

•               Virgin Media 188 (UK)

•               Freesat 110 (UK)

•               BT Vision 8 (Scotland only)

•               Smallworld 170 (Ayrshire and North West England)

•               Live on BBC iPlayer (UK)

•               10 hours of content per week available to view on demand via the BBC PC iPlayer and the BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media

BBC ALBA is run by MG ALBA in partnership with the BBC. MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig, the Gaelic Media Service. Find out more about MG ALBA and the partnership at or visit for scheduling and programme information.

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Contact: Gary McQueen
Phone: 01412206040