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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: The Hollow Earth Indiana Jones
The Hollow Earth
Written by Max McCoy
Cover by Drew Struzan

(Page numbers come from the mass market paperback edition, 1st printing, March 1997)

Indy sets out to stop the Nazis from recovering the Crystal Skull of Cozán from a watery resting place in the Arctic.


Read the summary of this novel at the Indiana Jones Wiki


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This novel takes place from early to mid-February 1934.


Didja Know?


In this novel Indy has a position at Princeton University


Notes from The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones


The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones is a 2008 publication that purports to be Indy's journal as seen throughout The Young Indiana Chronicles TV series and the big screen Indiana Jones movies. The publication is also annotated with notes from a functionary of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, the successor agency of the Soviet Union's KGB security agency. The KGB relieved Indy of his journal in 1957 during the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The notations imply the journal was released to other governments by the FSB in the early 21st Century. However, some bookend segments of The Young Indiana Chronicles depict Old Indy still in possession of the journal in 1992. The discrepancy has never been resolved. 


The journal as published does not mention the events of this novel, containing some notes from May 1933 relating to the Crystal Skull of Cozán from The Philosopher's Stone, followed by the edges of four pages torn from the journal, with the next existing entries being from 1935 and Indy's adventures as depicted in The Temple of Doom.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this novel


Indiana Jones

Ulla Tornaes

Nazi SS troops

Captain Gunnar Erickson

Nicholas Swan/Sparks

Marcus Brody

Evelyn Briggs Baldwin (dies in this novel)

Abner Ravenwood (mentioned only)

station agent

Kapitan Rudolf Reingold (also uses the alias Rudolph "Rudy" Hyde-Smith)


Dortmuller (dies in this novel)

Leibel (dies in this novel)

train conductor

track workers

track foreman

railway detective

Zoe Baldwin


arc light operator

Professor Rand


audience woman

Sheriff Roy Dickerson

Burgess Hotel desk clerk

Lincoln Ellsworth

Roald Amundsen

Burgess Hotel maid

cafe waitress

Reynolds (mentioned only, deceased)

bank robber

police officer

Wilbur Underhill (mentioned only)

Wally Underhill

bus driver

Bertha Glover

Deputy Sheriff Buster

John Seven Oaks

Buster's brother (mentioned only)

Juan Seven Oaks (mentioned only, deceased)

Maria Seven Oaks (mentioned only, deceased)

Jake Cruz (mentioned only)

Jesse Cruz (mentioned only)

bunk partner (mentioned only)

Rene Belloq

Alecia Dunstin (dies in this novel)

irate farmer


Clarence Robert "Bob" Ward

Donny Ward (mentioned only)




St. Charles Hotel manager (mentioned only)

DuBois (mentioned only)

Mr. James (mentioned only)

wine steward

Ulla's father (mentioned only)


float driver

Colonel William Markham

Creole cabbie

Lt. Goodwin

Captain Buck Blessant

Sergeant Dan Bruce

Sparks' father (mentioned only, deceased)

Sparks' mother (mentioned only)

Anna Jones (mentioned only, deceased)

German men on raft

Dieter (dies in this novel)

Lord Dwyden (corpse only)

Lord Dwyden expedition members (corpses only)


Henry Jones, Sr. (mentioned only)



Didja Notice?


The book is dedicated to Don Coldsmith and the Tallgrass Writing Workshop. Coldsmith (1926-2009) was an American writer of Western fiction. The Tallgrass Writing Workshop is a workshop for writers hosted by Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas with which Coldsmith was associated.


The book opens with a quote from Edgar Allen Poe's 1833 short story "MS. Found in a Bottle".


Prologue: The Chimera of Memory


Indy continues to carry a trusty Webley revolver.


On page 1, "Schnell!" is German for "Quickly!"


On page 3, in their desperate situation, Ulla claims the Valkyries have arrived. A Valkyrie is a Norse mythology female being who guides the spirits of deceased warriors to their reward in Valhalla, a hall of honored warriors in the world of Asgard, home of the Norse gods.


Chapter 1: The Late Visitor


The chapter opens in Princeton, New Jersey in the winter of early 1934.


On page 4, Indy is reading Coronado's Children. This is a 1930 book by J. Frank Dobie about lost mines and treasures in the southwest United States.


Page 5 reveals that Indy occasionally has a recurring nightmare of being buried alive that may go as far back as "that summer in Utah, when he was thirteen." This likely refers to "The Cross of Coronado", where Indy gained his current fear of snakes when he was thirteen in August of 1912.


On page 7, Indy tells Baldwin that he is heading for New Mexico in the morning to do some limited archaeological work in the Guadalupe Mountains. This is an actual mountain range in southeast New Mexico and west Texas.


Indy's visitor, Evelyn Briggs Baldwin was a real world American polar explorer known for the 1901-1902 Baldwin-Ziegler Polar Expedition, a failed attempt to reach the North Pole from the Franz Josef Land archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. In reality, he died in 1933, but here in the Indiana Jones universe, he lasted a bit longer. Author Max McCoy acknowledges this in the book's afterword.


Baldwin reminds Indy that they met briefly when Indy was a graduate student at the University of Chicago at a lecture there. Indy recalls the lecture, which was about Baldwin's adventures with Peary in the Arctic and the North Pole misadventure. Indy goes on to gush that the man built Fort McKinley and discovered Graham Bell Land and believed the aurora borealis could be harnessed as a source of perpetual power. "Peary" is Robert E. Peary (1856-1920), an American explorer and naval officer who made a number of expeditions to the Arctic. The Fort McKinley referred to here is the one Baldwin established in 1898 in Franz Josef Land. Graham Bell Land (usually called Graham Bell Island) is an island of the Franz Josef archipelago. Baldwin believed the electricity of the aurora borealis could be harnessed to light the world.


The wooden box Baldwin carries as he meets with Indy is manufactured by Burroughs Wellcome & Co. This was a pharmaceutical company founded in 1880 and now known as GSK plc (formerly GlaxoSmithKline plc).


On page 9, Schutzstaffel is German for "Protection Squadron" and was the secret police of Nazi Germany from 1925-1945.


Also on page 9, the Luminous Lodge of the Vril and the Thule Society mentioned by Baldwin were other names for the Vril Society, a secret society postulated to exist by some occult theorists. Many Nazis (the German National Socialists party) of the time believed in the powers of an energy form called vril allegedly accessible by humans of the "master race".


In this novel, Indy is said to own a Ford coupe.


On page 11, Indy tells Baldwin that he's heard arguments before that the Earth was hollow and they failed to convince him. He may be partially referring to the events of The Interior World, where he experienced an adventure involving an underground civilization, but at the end of the book was convinced (or nearly so) by Marcus Brody that he was fooled by the use of drugs and tricks by Guajira Indians he encountered in South America.


On page 12, Baldwin asks Indy if he's familiar with the legend of the Kingdom of Agartha and Indy nods, saying it's an ancient Buddhist myth about a race of supermen at the center of the Earth. This is correct, though the Buddhist myths usually refer to the kingdom as Shambhala. The name Agartha comes from French author Louis Jacolliot's 1873 book Le Fils de Dieu, in which he speaks of some Hindu Brahmins of Central Asia who told him stories of Agartha, a city many millennia old that was the home of the Aryan civilization.


Chapter 2: The Thule Stone


On page 14, "Penn Railway" refers to the Pennsylvania Railroad, which existed as such from 1846-1968.


Marcus finds Indy at Princeton Station.


On page 16, a man trailing Indy and his package pretends to read a copy of The Saturday Evening Post.


Marcus finds an article about the passing of Baldwin in the New York Times in between an article about two thousand Italian marriages performed simultaneously to commemorate the twelfth year of fascism and an item from La Paz about new fighting over the Chaco region. I have been unable to find reference to the two thousand simultaneous marriages in Italy, though the Fascist Party of Italy did turn twelve years old in 1934. La Paz is the capital of Bolivia. The reference to fighting over the Chaco region is to the Chaco War of 1932-1935 fought between Bolivia and Paraguay over the Gran Chaco region in which Bolivia lost a large portion of the Chaco to Paraguay.


The Times article mentions Walter Wellman. Wellman (1858-1934) was an American journalist and explorer. Baldwin was his second-in-command on the 1898 North Pole expedition mentioned here.


Indy asks Marcus to ask some of his Washington pals what they know about the Thule Society. Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States.


Marcus hands over to Indy a document from a collection in Mexico City as mentioned in Coronado's Children that Indy had been looking for that was first discovered in the basement of the palace in Santa Fe. The palace referred to must be the Palace of the Governors historic adobe in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


On page 19, Coronado's Children is mistakenly called Coronada's Children and the city of Santa Fe is mistakenly Sante Fe.


Captain de Gavilán and the pueblo uprising of 1680, mentioned by Marcus on page 19, are true to history.


On page 20, Marcus suspects that Indy's search for something in the Guadalupe Mountains has to do with the Crystal Skull. Indy discovered a crystal skull in the lost city of Cozán in Honduras in The Philosopher's Stone, but had it stolen from him by Leonardo Sarducci. Indy's been looking to retrieve it ever since.


As noted in previous novels, and on page 20 here, Marcus is the curator of special collections at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.


On page 21, Reingold is said to be a member of the Leibstandarte SS. As stated in the book, the Leibstandarte was Hitler's personal guard, part of the larger SS.


Reingold has his blood type tattooed under his right arm. This was true of SS members, though it was usually the left arm rather than the right.


As stated here, the Leibstandarte had a height requirement for its members, but my research suggests it was 5'10", not 6'1".


The Reichstag fire Reingold ruminates on on page 22 was an arson attack on the German government's Reichstag building on February 27, 1933, a month after Hitler was sworn in as chancellor.


On page 22, Reingold is said to have been an advisor for a new type of konzentrationslager in Dachau. Konzentrationslager is German for "concentration camp". Dachau was one of the first Nazi concentration camps in Germany, built in March 1933.


Reingold reflects that he has a new, important task that was assigned to him at the Eagle's Nest. The Eagle's Nest (Adlerhorst) was a military bunker complex that served as Hitler's main military command complex, but it was not built until 1939!


Jaekal carries a 9mm Luger Parabellum. Luger is a pistol design first patented by Austrian Georg Luger in 1900.


On page 23, Jaekal says "Javolt." This is German for "Yes, certainly."


Reingold pretends to be English with Indy and uses the alias Rudolph "Rudy" Hyde-Smith, formerly of London, now of Boston.


Reingold tells Indy he works in sales for Hister Industries, which makes kitchen appliances, adding, "Ovens, mainly. Gas, not wood." Hister Industries is a fictitious company, likely a play on the name of "Hitler" on the part of Reingold. Author McCoy may have borrowed the name "Hister" from the prophecies of Nostradamus, which some claim was the prophet's close attempt at naming Hitler as the figure who will "by his tongue…seduce a great troop". The oven reference is another dark cleverness by Reingold to describe the giant ovens soon to be used to burn human corpses in the Nazi concentration camps.


Reingold reads a copy of Sports Afield on the train.


On page 31, Reingold pulls a 7.65mm Walther pistol.


On page 33, Reingold remarks to Indy and the railway detective that they seem to be in a Mexican standoff. A Mexican standoff is a pop-culture term describing two or more opposing parties, usually armed with guns, standing off, each with an equal chance of killing one or more of the others at the same time.


On page 34, Reingold shouts "Auf wiedersehen, Dr. Jones!" This is German for "Goodbye, Dr. Jones!"


Indy arrives in Oswego, Kansas on page 34.


Baldwin's niece, Zoe Baldwin, remarks to Indy that she once tried to read her uncle's book, "Under the North Star or something like that--but it bored me to tears." Indy retorts that he found it rather fascinating. The book they are referring to is actually titled The Search for the North Pole. As stated in the author's afterword, Baldwin did not actually have a niece name Zoe, though there was a niece named Geraldine Pinsor.


The Hotel Burgess and its Burgess Cafe in Oswego appear to be fictitious.


When Zoe says her uncle's box that was left with Indy looks like a little treasure chest, Indy tells her it is actually a medicine chest that her uncle probably carried with him on expedition. This fits in with the chest having been manufactured by Burroughs Wellcome & Co., the pharmaceutical company, as mentioned earlier.


When they finally decide to open the medicine chest, Indy and Zoe find a piece of spar and Baldwin's journal from his 1902 expedition to reach the North Pole, including sketches of the flagship America. America was the actual flagship of the Baldwin-Ziegler Polar Expedition.


Chapter 3: Buried Alive


On page 42, Indy sees that his room at the Burgess is across from the Nu-Day Theater, with its neon marquee advertising Stronnger's Return starring Lionel Barrymore and House on 56th Street starring Kay Francis, along with a performance by Professor Rand's Vaudeville Canine Review and Dog Circus from Harlem. The Nu-Day Theater appears to be fictitious. I presume "Stronnger's Return" is meant to refer to The Stranger's Return, a 1933 film that starred Barrymore. House on 56th Street is another 1933 film, indeed starring Kay Francis. The Canine Review is a fictitious performing troop as far as I can tell. Vaudeville is a type of travelling variety show performed live. Harlem is a neighborhood of the Upper Manhattan borough of New York City.


Page 44 states that Indy had had his satchel's strap repaired at a shoe shop in Chicago when he switched trains.


The entries Indy reads in Baldwin's journal appear to be fictitious. While the entries express the fate of the Baldwin-Ziegler Expedition in the very broadest sense, i.e. failure to reach the pole and supply issues, I've been unable to confirm the more detailed portions, such as crew deaths and alleged cannibalism. The ship name of the America is correct (as already pointed out above), but the other two ships were Frithjof and Belgica, not Pluto and Proserpina.


The Camp Ziegler in Baldwin's journal was an actual camp established by the Baldwin-Ziegler Expedition on Alger Island of Franz Josef Land.


On pages 44-45, "the Stars and Stripes" is a nickname for the U.S. flag.  


On page 47, lapis exilis is Latin for "thin stone".


On page 50, Toby, a dachshund with the Vaudeville Canine Review and Dog Circus, howls "Yankee Doodle". "Yankee Doodle" is a well-known American folk song since around the 1780s.


Also on page 50, Jaekal throws a Nazi salute to the audience in the theater and shouts, "Heil Hitler!" This is "Hail Hitler!" in German and was often spoken as part of the Nazi salute during Adolf Hitler's reign over Germany from 1933-1944.


On page 53, Thule Gesselschaft is German for "Thule Society", as Marcus says here.


The history of the Thule Society given by Marcus on page 53 is largely borrowed from the modern mythology of Nazism, which emphasizes occultism and paganism, probably to a much higher degree than was historically true. The mention of Dietrich Eckhart (1868-1923) as the founder of the Nazis is loosely correct. Hitler's book Mein Kampf (My Fight) is dedicated to Eckhart, as Marcus states.


The Coming Race, as mentioned by Brody on page 53, is an 1871 novel by English writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton about a subterranean master race that harnessed the power of vril to achieve a great civilization. Some readers then and now believe the things said in the novel are true.


On page 54, Indy refuses to help the feds keep track of the Germans who are after the Baldwin journal, citing the last time he tried to help them he nearly got thrown from a dirigible, shot at across half of Europe, and almost left behind in the desert. This refers to events in The Sky Pirates.


On page 55, the Burgess Hotel desk clerk is asleep behind the desk behind the sports section of the Kansas City Star.


On page 56, Indy rejects Zoe's attempt at a fling and says, "I'm not in the mood, even if I am turning my back on the
Rosetta stone of Romance." "Rosetta stone" is a reference to the ancient Egyptian stele transcribed in 196 BC, featuring a text in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and the ancient Greek, becoming a translation tool for Egyptian hieroglyphics.


On page 60, as Indy is being buried alive in a coffin, he hears a preacher speaking the words, "...ashes to ashes, dust to dust..." These are words from the classic Anglican burial liturgy.


Indy finds that he was being buried in Baldwin's cemetery plot and one of the funeral attendees is American millionaire and arctic explorer Lincoln Ellsworth. Ellsworth (1880-1951) was just as claimed here. He was also one of the chief funders of the American Museum of Natural History (where Marcus works at this time).


Ellsworth tells Indy that the glyphs on the Thule Stone tell the story of Ultima Thule, "the mythical land where the gods live at the top of the world." Ultima Thule was thought by the Ancient Greeks to be the northernmost land on Earth, usually an island in the Arctic Circle. The details of its mythological history given by Ellsworth on page 63 are accurate.


The story of Roald Amundsen (born 1872, disappeared 1928) told briefly on pages 63-64 is accurate.


The Ellesmere Island mentioned in Baldwin's journal on page 67 is the northernmost island of Canada, off the northwest coast of Greenland.


Baldwin's July 4, 1902 journal entry mentions that it is Independence Day. This is the U.S. Independence Day holiday, when the original English colonies in America pronounced the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.


On page 70, Indy sees a couple of men pull up on the street outside of the Burgess cafe in a Pontiac. Pontiac was an American automobile manufacturer from 1926-2010.


On page 71, a Catherine wheel is a type of firework mounted on a stick, allowing the firework(s) attached to it to spin on a wheel.


On page 72, one of the bank robbers wields a Thompson submachine gun, known as a Tommy gun during the gangster era of the 1920s-1930s.


    Bank robber Wilbur Underhill (1901-1934) mentioned by the cafe waitress was an American criminal known for bank heists and burglary. He was known as the Tri-State Terror, just as the waitress mentions here; also known as Mad Dog.

    Wilbur's cousin, Wally Underhill, is the crook who turns out to be one of the bank robbers. As far as I can find, Wally is fictitious.


Chapter 4: Apache Gold


As the chapter opens, Indy is dropped off by bus at Guadalupe Pass and the Pine Springs Cafe. Guadalupe Pass is an actual mountain pass in Texas, on the border with New Mexico. The Pine Springs Cafe was an actual business that existed in the area from 1913-1992. The woman who serves Indy there is Bertha Glover (1893-1982), who owned the store/cafe with her husband, Walter.


The bus that drops off Indy is travelling a road that was once the trail used by the Butterfield Stage before the Civil War. The Butterfield Stage was a passenger and mail stagecoach service from 1858-1861 covering two routes, from Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri, to San Francisco, California. The American Civil War lasted from 1861–1865.


Bertha remarks that Geronimo had claimed that all the gold the Apaches had had come from the Guadalupe Mountains. Geronimo (1829-1909) was a leader and medicine man of the Bedonkohe band of the Apache people and was involved in numerous raids of European settlements in the American southwest and northern Mexico and in battles against U.S. and Mexican military forces.


Bertha tells the story of John Seven Oaks and that his adoptive parents lived in Juniper Springs. This is an actual spring at the eastern base of the Guadalupe Mountains in Texas.


On page 83, Indy gazes up at El Capitan, a craggy peak that he compares to a Gibraltar. El Capitan is an actual peak in the Guadalupe Mountains of Texas. Gibraltar is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula, at the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea; the Rock of Gibraltar is a gigantic limestone promontory on the tip of the Iberian Peninsula near the entrance of the sea.


On page 84, Indy interprets a coiled snake drawn on his treasure map as a southwestern folklore symbol indicating "dig here for treasure". This is an actual symbol that was used throughout the ancient world in the idea that snakes guard treasure. Likewise, the turtle images Indy finds on the walls of the cave he explores match the penchant for treasure hiders to point the way to it with turtles, either etched on rock or wood, or constructed out of rocks.


On page 86, Indy, crawling through a cave, finds an old human skeleton wearing rotted Levi's and with a .45 Colt lying next to it.


On page 88, Indy is under "attack" by a mountain lion and is reluctant to kill it because he likes cats (he manages to scare it off instead). Possibly the "likes cats" reference is a nod by the author to The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV series and Old Indy's pet cat, Henry.


On page 93, Indy discovers a chamber in the cave filled with gold nuggets, Spanish armor and swords, and three Wells Fargo  strongboxes.


On page 96, Indy emerges from the underground lake unable to see anything since his helmet-mounted lantern has been swept away and his matches are soaked. He says, "Fudge," and the text indicates he would normally have used a stronger expletive, but dire circumstances always made him a little more cautious with his language, just in case it mattered. The mild language and the explanation for it may be author McCoy's way of acknowledging prior author Rob MacGregor's rebuke from George Lucas, with the directive that Indy doesn't swear!


Indy's definition of autokinesis on page 98 is accurate.


Chapter 5: Ghost Stories


Tornaes leads Indy on an arduous 3-mile hike to a mesa above Bell Canyon. Bell Canyon is an actual geologic formation in the Guadalupe Mountains.


On page 104, Tornaes reveals she is from Copenhagen.


On page 105, Tornaes uses the phrase, "When in Rome..." The complete saying is "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." This proverb is usually attributed to Saint Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan from 374-397 AD. Its meaning is simply that one should follow the customs of the place one is at. Rome, of course, is the capital of Italy and was long the capital of the Roman Empire.


On page 108, Indy deciphers the markings imprinted in one of the gold bars he took from the cave for Tornaes, informing her the bar was cast in Mexico City and was entrusted for transport to Spain by a man named Don Pedro Juan Garcia. Garcia appears to be a fictitious person.


As Indy states on page 108, the Aesir are the old gods of Norse religion and mythology.


The story of his relationship with Alecia Dunstin that Indy tells to Tornaes relates to events in The Philosopher's Stone.


The irate farmer tells Indy and Tornaes that he bought a sorry excuse for a car in Tulsa that quit on him in New Mexico three days later. Tulsa is a city in eastern Oklahoma.


Indy tells Tornaes he learned about (American) Indian sign language in the Boy Scouts.


On page 117, Tornaes refers to herself as a Viking girl. Vikings were Scandinavian warriors and seafarers in the 8th to 11th Centuries. Scandinavia is a region of northern Europe made up of Norway, Sweden, and Tornaes' homeland of Denmark.


A young cowboy drops Indy and Tornaes off at a small airfield outside El Paso, Texas, then he drives off with a rebel yell. The rebel yell was a war cry made by Confederate troops during the U.S. Civil War of 1861-1865; at that time it was described as a cross between an Indian war whoop and a cougar growl. Since then, it is often depicted in film and television as a simple "yee-haw!"


Indy and Tornaes get passage to New Orleans through Ward Bros. Air Cargo. This appears to be a fictitious company.


Indy tells Tornaes that the Ward brothers are from Erbie, Arkansas. This was a living town at the time, now largely a ghost town and a registered historic place.


On page 121, Clarence tells Indy that Donny went down to Jaurez for a couple days. He is probably referring to the city of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, on the Texas border.


Clarence hesitates to help Indy again, saying the last time he helped Indy fly something out of Yucatan, it took him a week to patch up all the bullet holes in the plane. We might imagine this as a reference to Indy's visit to the Yucatan in "Indy vs. the Volcano".


On page 121, Tornaes uses the term "Okies". This is a slang term referring to a person from the state of Oklahoma. 


The Ward brothers call their DC-2 transport plane Miss Adventure, nickname Missy. "Miss Adventure" is a play on the word "misadventure" (unforeseen or unplanned events during an undertaking). The DC-2 was a twin-engined propeller-driven aircraft produced by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1934-1939.


Clarence reminds Indy of two times he was arrested, in El Cedral on Cozumel and in Costa Rica. El Cedral is a real town on the Caribbean island of Cozumel (which is part of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo). Costa Rica, of course, is a country in Central America.


Clarence's estimate of about 1,000 miles from El Paso to New Orleans on page 125 is accurate.


Chapter 6: Fat Tuesday


The name of this chapter comes from the translation of the famous New Orleans annual festival called (in French) Mardi Gras. It is a (very loose) Christian celebration lasting for about 2 weeks from King's Day (the Twelfth Day of Christmas) to the midnight before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent (which itself is a six-week period of penitence before Easter). Indy and Tornaes arrive in the city on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. In 1934, Ash Wednesday was on February 14, so it is currently the 13th for them.


As the chapter opens, Indy and Tornaes make their way down Bourbon Street, heading for the St. Charles Hotel. Bourbon Street is the most well-known historic street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The St. Charles Hotel was a real hotel of the time, existing in three different buildings built in the same location from 1837-1974. The history of the hotel given by Indy on pages 131-132 is accurate.


The saxophone player at the street celebration is playing "When the Saints Go Marching In". This is a Christian hymn from the early 1900s that is also popular with jazz bands.


On page 132, Indy and Tornaes see a Mardi Gras couple dressed as Marc Antony and Cleopatra. Marc Antony was a Roman general and politician who became the lover of Cleopatra of Egypt. There were many queens of Egypt named Cleopatra. The most famous one, and the one who is the focus of this story, was Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Egypt. After her death, Egypt became a Roman province from 30 BC - 641 AD.


On page 133, the hotel clerk tells Indy the manager is currently out with his krewe. A krewe is a group of dancers in a carnival parade. They may also build and decorate floats.


Indy mentions the owner of the St. Charles as being named DuBois. I've been unable to confirm if this is accurate.


Indy and Tornaes are placed in the Pontalba Suite at the St. Charles. I've been unable to confirm whether there was such a suite by that name, but Gaston de Pontalba and his mother, Baroness de Pontalba, were well-known in New Orleans from 1848-on and they built the iconic Pontalba Apartments just down the road from the hotel.


Indy asks the hotel clerk to procure he and Ulla some carnival costumes of the characters of Fortinbras and Ophelia from Shakespeare's Hamlet. The character of Danish queen Gertrude is also mentioned. William Shakespeare (1564-1616), of course, is widely considered the greatest writer in the English language. Hamlet is a 1601 tragedy play by Shakespeare set in Denmark and is about a Danish royal family.


On page 135, Indy remarks that private ownership of gold is now illegal. This was true in the U.S. at the time, due to the passage of the Gold Reserve Act on January 30, 1934. The act was intended to shore up the money supply in the nation during the Great Depression. It largely achieved its purpose, though, as with anything, it brought its downsides as well. The act was repealed in 1974.


Indy and Ulla enjoy a bottle of Bordeaux at the hotel restaurant. Bordeaux is wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France near the city of the same name.


On page 136, Ulla remarks that New Orleans is really the only place in the New World where one can get decent training in the sport of fencing. This is at least somewhat true, as the city has been known for several fencing schools and clubs over the years.


On page 137, Indy tells Ulla he cashed in his gold ingots for cash in an arrangement with Pelican Bank of New Orleans. I've been unable to confirm if this was an actual bank in the city at the time.


On page 140, Belloq says n'est pas and au contraire. These are French for "does it not" and "on the contrary".


Belloq is dressed as Jean Lafitte for the carnival, whom he claims was a member of his family. Lafitte (c. 1780 – c. 1823) was a French pirate who operated in the Gulf of Mexico and was particularly associated with New Orleans.


Indy introduces Belloq to Ulla as "Monsieur Belloq of Marseilles." Monsieur is French for "mister".


On page 141, cuisses de grenouille is French for "frog legs".


On page 142, bon appetit is French for "enjoy your meal".


On page 144, Indy calls Belloq a "wormy little frog coward." "Frog" is a pejorative term for a French person.


Belloq claims he is a baron.


When Indy and Belloq agree to a duel of pistols with each other in the morning at St. Louis Cemetery No. 2, Ulla chimes in that she will be Indy's second. Belloq retorts that his second will have to be Captain Dominique You. Indy explains to Ulla that You was one of Lafitte's pirates and was at the Battle of New Orleans. The You story is true. The Battle of New Orleans was part of the War of 1812 between the U.S. and the U.K. on December 24, 1814. 


Colonel Markham offers Indy the use of a Douglas B-18 for a proposed Arctic expedition to find out what the Nazis think they have found there. The B-18 was a heavy bomber used by the American and Canadian militaries in the late 1930s to early '40s. It was not introduced until 1935, but Markham does say here that the one he's offering is a prototype.


Markham tells Indy his airplane will be on the tarmac and ready to fly at 0900 at Shushan Airport (now called Lakefront Airport).


Belloq takes Ulla to an antique store on Rampart Street where she is able to acquire a pair of 1840 dueling pistols for Indy's and Belloq's duel in the morning, as well as a copy of the Code Duello book. Rampart Street is an actual street of historical note in New Orleans. "Code Duello" is Latin for "Duel Code".


Chapter 7: The Silver Ship


At the dueling site, Belloq says "Bonjour," to Indy and Ulla. This is French for "Good morning."


Indy and Ulla find Belloq sitting atop the concrete of Marie Laveau's grave at the cemetery. Marie Laveau (1801-1881) was a famed American voodoo practitioner and herbalist healer in New Orleans.


On page 156, Belloq says, "Merci," after Indy chooses not to kill him. This is French for "Thank you." On page 157, he says, "Au revoir," which is "Goodbye."


On page 157, Indy remarks they should get out of the cemetery before they wind up in the Crescent City Jail. "Crescent City" is one of the many nicknames of New Orleans (in this case, referring to the crescent trail of the Mississippi River through the city).


Page 159 states that the new terminal building of Shushan Airport was built by the Works Progress Administration. The Works Progress Administration was created by the U.S. government during the Great Depression and ran from 1935-1943. Since the current novel takes place in 1934, the new terminal should not have been built yet!


Lt. Goodwin tells Indy that he located Clarence in the French Quarter with the help of a military police detachment on Dauphine Street. This is an actual street in the French Quarter of the city.


Indy tells Goodwin that Ulla is a specialist with the Danish Speleological Survey. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious organization.


Goodwin tells Indy the B-18 has two Wright-Cyclone engines. Wright-Cyclone was a series of air-cooled radial piston engines produced by Wright Aeronautical (now Curtiss-Wright) in the 1930s-40s.


On page 162, Goodwin tells Indy the B-18 has a Plexiglas nose. Plexiglas is a brand of transparent engineering plastic often used in place of glass in construction where toughness is important.


    Indy is disappointed there are not more firearms stocked for the expedition and Goodwin tells him he can get Springfields with no problem. This refers to Springfield Armory, a federal armory that served as the main manufacturing center for U.S. military firearms from 1777-1968. The complex is now a protected national historic site of the National Park System.

    Goodwin also says he can probably scrounge up some weapons at the naval air station on Long Island they'll be stopping at. He is probably referring to Naval Air Station Montauk on Montauk Point, built in 1917, which became Montauk Air Force Station in 1953 until its shutdown in 1981.


On page 164, Clarence remarks that Donny is probably at Ma Crosby's place in Juarez, eating steak tampico and drinking beer. While there is a restaurant and bar called Ma Crosby's in the Mexican city of Acuña, I'm unaware of there ever having been one in Juarez. Acuña is hundreds of miles away from Juarez.


Goodwin declares that the B-18 is nothing compared to the B-17 still in development. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine bomber developed in the 1930s and famous for its use during WWII.


Chapter 8: The Top of the World


Clarence dubs the B-18 the Penguin.


On page 166, the B-18 stops at Goose Bay, Newfoundland (probably the same Royal Canadian Air Force field at Goose Bay Indy visited briefly in The Sky Pirates) and then to Godthaab, Greenland (now Nuuk).


Clarence remarks that he piloted a Jenny in "the big one." The "big one" is a reference to the Great War (now known as World War I). "Jenny" was a nickname for a Curtiss JN biplane.


On page 167, Indy asks Sparks if he's heard anything from Markham on the location of the Graf Zeppelin. The Graf Zeppelin was a German transatlantic passenger airship offering service from 1928-1937. Indy encountered the Graf Zeppelin in The White Witch.


On page 168, Sparks asks what they are listening for on the twenty meter frequency band, a tone or a Morse signal? "Morse" refers to Morse Code, a method of communicating via a series of on-off signals such as flashes, tones, or clicks, invented by Samuel Morse (1791-1872).


Sparks tells Indy he built all the communications equipment on the Penguin, starting with a standard super-heterodyne receiver invented by Armstrong. Edwin Howard Armstrong improved the super-heterodyne receiver in 1913 with an oscillating principle similar to what Sparks describes here.


Sparks tells Indy he is from a little place in Iowa called Payne Junction. Indy says he knows of it because he visited some Indian mounds near there. There is a tiny farming area in Iowa near the border with Nebraska that is sometimes referred to as Payne Junction (or just Payne). I'm not aware of any Indian mounds in that area though.


Reminiscing over a lost parent with Sparks, Indy remarks that his mother died of scarlet fever. Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide states she died of scarlet fever on May 16, 1912.


Sparks says he read his father's copies of Amazing Stories, published by Hugo Gernsback. Gernsback was the original publisher of the magazine starting with its founding in 1926.


On page 171, Goodwin tells Indy they'll be landing in Reykjavik to refuel in 20 minutes. Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland.


On page 172, LZ 127 was the construction number of the Graf Zeppelin when it was built by the Zeppelin Transport Company (Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei) in 1928. Indy's comment that the LZ 127's top speed is about 80 mph is correct.


The Svalbard (or Spitzbergen) islands on page 172 are part of Norway, just as mentioned here.


On page 173, Sparks comments they have to hope the Graf Zeppelin radios back to Berlin so they can track what direction it is heading. Berlin is the capital of Germany.


On page 176, Blessant jokes as he is about to take off along the runway out of Reykjavik that he'd hate to run into "that famous volcano they have here." Iceland is known for its abundant volcanoes, many of which are still active. He is probably referring to its most well-known and largest one, Mount Hekla. Arguably, Hekla is far enough away from Reykjavik that he doesn't need to worry about that one, but he probably would not know that. 


On page 189, Reingold is said to have the Totenkopf symbol of the SS on his cap. Totenkopf is the German word for "skull".


Chapter 9: Lost!


The fighter plane carried by the Graf Zeppelin is a Messerschmitt Bf.107a. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious experimental model. Willy Messerschmitt was a German aircraft designer who would go on to found the Messerschmitt aircraft manufacturing company in 1938.


Page 191 mentions that Germany was forbidden to rearm by the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles is the peace treaty signed at the end of WWI in 1919. Part of its provisions is that Germany was forbidden to rearm, but just as in this novel, Germany secretly began rearming within a few years for its own defense. (Indy was present for the signing of the treaty in "The Gentle Arts of Diplomacy".)


On page 192, Ulla has to translate the German transmissions between the Graf Zeppelin and the Messerschmitt. But it was shown that Indy himself speaks German in "Demons of Deception".


On page 193, Indy refers to the German pilot of the Messerschmitt as "Richthofen". This is a sarcastic reference to Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, who was officially credited with at least 80 air combat victories for the Germans in WWI. Indy met the baron in "Attack of the Hawkmen" and "The Fokker Agenda".


Translations of the German spoken on pages 193-195:

"Was?" = "What?"

"Wie bitte? Ich spreche kein Englisch." = "Excuse me? I don't speak English."

"Hallo! Guten Tag." = "Hello! Good afternoon."

"Ja?" = "Yes?"

"Nein." = "No."


On page 198, Indy finds the Messerschmitt pilot dead in his cockpit and when Ulla asks him how the man is, Indy responds, "Kaputt." This is German for "broken", but has taken on a wider meaning in English as something that is utterly beaten.


On page 206, "midnight sun" is a phenomenon that occurs during summer months north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, where the sun is still visible at midnight.


On page 207, the Union Jack is the flag of the United Kingdom.


The Lord Dwyden expedition of 100 years previous which Indy, Ulla, and Sparks discover the remains of appears to be fictitious. The vitamin A poisoning that Indy speculates killed the expedition members is an actual malady, officially called Hypervitaminosis A, the result of the ingestion of too much vitamin A. Just as Indy states, the liver of huskies has unusually high levels of the vitamin.


On page 210, the Lord's Prayer mentioned by Sparks is a Christian prayer taught by Jesus and found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke in the Bible.


Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done
in earth, as it is in heaven:
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil;
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.


Ulla's definition of the word "berserker" (from Old Norse) on page 214 as one who wears a bear-shirt and has the fighting fury of a bear is correct.


The story of Nansen and the Fram's attempt to reach the North Pole in the 1890s on page 216 is accurate. Hjalmar Johansen (1867–1913) was a Norwegian polar explorer who also participated in the Amundsen expedition mentioned earlier in this study.


Chapter 10: The Maelstrom


The mythology of Ragnarok told by Indy and Ulla on page 219 is reasonably accurate to the Old Norse myths.


On page 223, St. Elmo's Fire is an electrical weather phenomenon that is known to create a glowing plasma field around a grounded object.


The crashed plane found by Indy and his crew on page 229, called the Latham, was the actual plane, the Latham 47, used on the Amundsen rescue mission that disappeared in the arctic in June 1928.


Reingold says that Reichsfuhrer Himmler has an astrologer who assured him the crystal skull was vitally important to the future. Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945) was leader of the Nazi secret police. He is known to have had an intense interest in the occult.


On page 231, Alecia refers to Reingold as hauptsturmführer. This was a Nazi paramilitary rank meaning "head storm leader".


Alecia tells Indy of her recurring nightmare--actually prophecies--that if the world fights the Nazis there will come a moment when a single bomb destroys an entire city and its inhabitants...and also that Indy would wind up sealed in a tomb filled with thousands of snakes. Her visions are of the atomic bomb used against Japan on the city of Hiroshima, Japan and, later, Nagasaki in 1945 during WWII, and of Indy getting sealed into the Well of Souls in Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1936.


On page 234, Ulla takes an MP-40 submachine gun from a Nazi soldier she has disabled. The MP-40 is a real world gun used by the Axis powers during the war.


Chapter 11: Ultima Thule


    On page 242, Ulla remarks that her and Indy's team will be the first on record to go into the hollow Earth and compares them to Columbus. Christopher Columbus (~1450-1506) was an Italian explorer who is credited with opening up, if not exactly "discovering", the New World for Spain in 1492.

    Ulla wants to call the shaft they're travelling down in the Edda Shaft, referring to the Medieval Icelandic prose and poetic tales of Norse mythology and the Viking age.


On page 244, "Feuer eroffnen!" is German for "Open Fire!"


On page 253, Indy reads the SS motto on Reingold's silver cigarette lighter: Meine Ehre heisst Treue. He translates it as "My honor is pure," but the actual translation (and the actual SS motto) is "My Honor is Loyalty."


Vril is here revealed to be a form of plasma, an ionized gas that was forged in the interiors of stars eons ago. It floated through space until attracted by Earth's magnetic field where the Aesir collected it.


On page 256, Amundsen tells Indy he is aware of the sad state of the world for the past seven years. He would seem to be commenting on the time that has passed since he disappeared in the arctic, but it has only been six years (less, actually), from his disappearance in June 1928 to the time of the novel, February 1934. It may be that this novel was originally written as taking place in 1935, but was changed to a year earlier for some reason, and this bit of dialog fell between the cracks.


On page 257, Amundsen comments to Indy, "At least a hundred major human civilizations have come and gone in the last twenty thousand years, and that's not counting the communities of nonhuman intelligences. One day it will all be clear—but not today. Your time here is so short that it would only confuse you." His remarks bear some resemblance to the theme of Indy's much later adventure, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.


Amundsen also remarks, "I know what the Aesir tell me—that everything in the universe is connected, that it's all happening at once, and that the passage of time is just an illusion of human consciousness."




Indy, Ulla, and Sparks awaken, with their memories of the world below gone, at the tiny town of Ny-Ålesund on Spitsbergen. Today it is more of a research station than a town, with a population of around 35 in the winter and 120 in the summer.


As in the conclusion of The Interior World, Indy and his friends do not remember being inside the "hollow Earth" after they leave it.


Though Indy and friends won't remember what happened below, Indy should still find that he has a scar on his leg that he cannot explain, from the shrapnel of Reingold's exploded gun.


Earlier in the novel, Indy promised to tell Sparks his real name when they get out of their predicament. Later, when Amundsen tells him they will remember nothing of the world below when they are returned to the surface, Indy takes that opportunity to tell Sparks his name (Henry, Jr.), thinking that Sparks will not remember. Of course, now that they are back on the surface, Indy won't remember telling him, so he'll have to cough it up again anyway!


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