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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: The Sky Pirates Indiana Jones
The Sky Pirates
Written by Martin Caidin
Cover by Drew Struzan

(Page numbers come from the mass market paperback edition, 1st printing, December 1993)

Indy takes on an intelligence assignment in coordination with American and British agencies when a giant airship and flying discs begin pillaging world shipping.


Read the "Summer 1930" entry of the It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage Indiana Jones chronology for a summary of this novel


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This novel takes place in 1930, as deduced by Indy's reflection that his wife Deirdre died four years ago (in 1926, in The Seven Veils). It is likely late January or early February, as the next novel, The White Witch, takes place shortly after this one and is placed by events in February 1930. The It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage Indiana Jones chronology linked to for the summary of this novel aboive places it in Summer of that year, but there is no particular reason for that to the case.


Didja Know?


In this novel and The White Witch, Indy has positions at both Princeton University (teaching Medieval Literature and Studies)and the University of London (teaching Celtic Archeology). 


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 skips over this adventure, going from a reference to 1926 events in The Seven Veils to 1933 and the repercussions of events in The Philosopher's Stone. Quite a large gap and a number of un-journaled adventures.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Christian Vlotman

train guards

Colonel Hans Stumpf

train ambushers

Captain Loerzer

submarine crew

Flugkapitän Erhard von Moreau (dies in this novel)

Franz Gottler (dies in this novel)

German merchant ship captain

Radioman Albert Stryker (dies in this novel)

Indiana Jones

Dr. William Pencroft

representatives of 10 Downing Street (mentioned only)

Frances Smythe (dies in this novel)

Deirdre Campbell-Jones (mentioned only, deceased)

Sally Strickland

Thomas Treadwell

the Pope (mentioned only)

Colonel Harry Henshaw

Brigadier Willard "Madman" Cromwell

British fighter pilot (unnamed, mentioned only)

Cromwell's squadron commander (in flashback only)

Dr. Gale Parker (real name: Mirna Abi Khalil)

Gale's father (mentioned only)

Sybil Saunders (mentioned only)

Tarkiz Belem (dies in this novel)

Rene Foulois (dies in this novel)

Henri DuFour

Mike Patterson

Jack Shannon


Dr. Filipo Castilano




Wright Field air traffic controller

army bus driver

army guards

Master Sergeant David Korwalski

Dominic Carboni

Del Vecchio waiter

Mr. Big

enlisted army men


Pyotr Buzau

Erick Svensen

Sam Chen

Yoshiro Matsuda

Jacques Nungesser

George Sabbath

Vladimar Mikoyan

Antonio Morillo

Tandi Raigarh

Rashid Quahirah

Gale's cousins (mentioned only)


Jocko Kilarney (dies in this novel)

Marcia Mason (aka Wilhelmina von Volkman)

Merlyn Franck






Veronica Green (mentioned only, deceased)

Captain T.C. Hampton

disc pilots

Konstantin LeBlanc Cordas

Halvar Griffin (revealed in The White Witch to be an alias of Cordas)

Group of Six

doubles of the Group of Six (mentioned only, deceased)

family members of the Group of Six doubles

family members of the Group of Six

Madelon Griffin (mentioned only)

John Scruggs

fighter pilots

Mike Hightower

two truckers

Jose Syme Chino

Acoma people

Navajo people

Zuni people

Guy Douglas

Captain Hans Ulrich Guenther

Second-in-Command Richard Atkins

Andrew Burgess

Weapons Officer Miller

Flight Leader Moldava

Captain in communications 


Didja Notice?


Chapter 1


As the chapter opens, a billion dollars worth of diamonds are being shipped by train along the southwestern coastal flank of South Africa, eventual destination Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Page 2 states that much of the diamond shipment industry is based on subterfuge, to conceal when diamonds were shipped, how they were shipped, and whether the shipment was actually something else, like gold (which is a less tempting target due to its bulk and weight). This is at least partially true, especially at the time of this novel.


Page 2 mentions Cape Town, Port Elizabeth (now known as Gqeberha), East London, and Durban as cities from which South African diamond shipments often originate. All but the last listed are coastal cities in South Africa. Durban is in Mozambique.


An armed cruiser awaits the arrival of the train in Alexander Bay, at the mouth of the Oranje River. This is an actual town at the northwest tip of South Africa.


On page 4, the diamond thieves use toxic phosgene gas on the guards on the train. Phosgene gas was one of the main chemical weapons used during WWI by both sides. 


   On page 6, the German submarine rises to the surface to meet a Rohrbach Romar of Deutches Aero Lloyd 74 miles west-southwest of Cape Dernburg. The Rohrbach Romar was a German long range flying boat. Deutches Aero Lloyd was a German aircraft company from 1923-1926 and merged with other companies to eventually become the modern day Lufthansa Airlines. Cape Dernburg is a small cape jutting out of Namibia. (Photo of a Rohrbach Romar to the right from Wikipedia.)
   Page 7 mistakenly refers to the Romar's triple props as powered by three BMW VLuz engines. This should actually read "BMW VI UZ" engines.


On page 7, Captain Loerzer shouts, "Schnell!" to his crew. This is German for "Quickly!"


On page 9, Flugkapitän is German for "Flight Captain".


The merchant captain's note to von Moreau on page 9 mentions Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa, occupying portions of the nations of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.


The German phrase hals und beinbruch on page 9 means "Break your neck and a leg", as stated here.


On page 10, von Moreau remarks to his co-pilot that they've crossed over El Agheila and the Golfo di Sidra to the Mediterranean Sea and soon over the Strait of Messina and Livorno on the path home to Germany. El Agheila is a Libyan city on the coast of the Golfo di Sidra. The Strait of Messina is a natural waterway between the eastern tip of Sicily and the western tip of Calabria in southern Italy, connecting the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. Livorno is a city on the west coast of Italy.


On page 11, von Moreau says, "Mein Gott..." This is German for "My God..."


Seeing a gigantic air vessel in the sky above their plane, von Moreau and Gottler at first speculate it could be the Graf Zeppelin, but this vessel is at least twice the size of the Graf Zeppelin and much higher in altitude than zeppelins fly. The Graf Zeppelin was a German transatlantic passenger airship offering service from 1928-1937.


On page 12, Radioman Stryker reports that transmissions are being jammed and he cannot reach Hamburg.


Page 14 mentions Berlin and Catania.


Chapter 2


Dr. William Pencroft, chairman of the archaeology department at the University of London, previously appeared in The Genesis Deluge and appears again in The White Witch.


Page 17 describes Pencroft as being flabbergasted when people from Number 10 Downing Street came to meet with him. Number 10 Downing Street is the traditional residence of the Prime Minister of England.


On page 20, Indy is reminded that his wife Deirdre died four years ago. This was in 1926 in The Seven Veils, indicating the current novel takes place in 1930.


Thomas Treadwell introduces himself to Indy as an agent of military intelligence, "Not Scotland Yard..." Scotland Yard is the name for the headquarters building of the Metropolitan Police of London. Treadwell later says he is from MI2, the name of Britain's military intelligence department before it evolved into MI3 after WWII.


On page 22, Indy hears Treadwell's incredible story and reflects on his own fantastic adventures: trailing Indian spirits in South America (I don't know that he could ever be said to be trailing spirits exactly, but he has extensive dealings with South American Indians in both The Seven Veils and The Interior World); crawled through the tomb passageways of the pyramids (this could refer to one or more of the following: "My First Adventure", Tomb of Terror, and Secret of the Pyramid); faced voodoo doctors and shamans who performed feats all science would consider impossible (it's hard to guess what this would refer to, though possibly some aspects of "The Yin-Yang Principle", The Lost Gold of Durango, The Child Lama, The Seven Veils, and The Interior World could fit the bill); seen the ghosts of ancient giants at Stonehenge (Dance of the Giants, though he also saw non-giant ghosts at Stonehenge in Circle of Death); and trod the thin vaporous lines that separate this world from other dimensions (The Interior World).


On page 23, Treadwell mentions Germany's Hermann Göring making the rounds of industry. Göring (1893-1946) was a member of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party at this time and he would go on to become president of the Reichstag (German legislature), including under Hitler from 1934-1945.


On page 23, Condor airlines (Syndicato Condor) was a Brazilian airline spun off from the defunct German airline Condor Syndikat and still largely run and heavily influenced by German business from 1927-1942, when Brazil joined the Allied powers of WWII and the airline was nationalized to expunge the German element. The airline was renamed Serviços Aéreos Cruzeiro do Sul. It ceased operations in 1993.


On page 24, Indy tells Treadwell that rumors abounded among associates at the Archeology Division at the South Africa university that some sort of incredible find may have been made deep in one of the diamond mines of that country. He may be referring to the University of South Africa, a system of universities in that nation.


    The object alleged to have been found in the mine is described as a cube with possible cuneiform markings. Cuneiform is a script that was in use from about 3500 BC to the second century AD. Indy tells Treadwell that the cube was found very deep in surrounding quartz that was anywhere from 100,000 to several million years old, from when "mankind was still climbing down from the trees." The earliest proto-humans (hominins) are believed to have originated 4-6 million years ago.

    Indy goes on to remark that some people in Rome seem to think the cube is about 2,000 years old, the time of Christ, and the Vatican is very interested in obtaining it. 


    Pencroft remarks that Indy taught at the University of London previously, before he was thrown out. This term was in 1925-1927, as detailed in Dance of the Giants, The Seven Veils, and The Genesis Deluge.

    Pencroft goes on to say that Indy himself would claim he became fed up with the overstuffed, overbearing academic versions of Colonel Blimp and left the university of his own volition. Colonel Blimp is a British comic strip character known for his pompous, jingoistic, and stereotypically British personality.


Page 29 mentions the Pope and his inner circle are in a dither about the artifact alleged to have been taken along with the stolen diamonds. The Pope at this time was Pius XI.


On pages 30-31, Pencroft expounds on Indy having discovered the Omphalos of Delphi, which had been searched for by other archeologists for decades. This occurred in The Peril at Delphi. In Ancient Greek mythology, the Omphalos was believed to allow direct communication with the gods.


On page 32, Treadwell is described as having almost a Cheshire cat smile on his face as he offers Indy a job he likely can't refuse. This is probably a reference to the character of the Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, though the idiom of grinning like a Cheshire cat predates the novel.


On page 34, Indy's secretary Frances realizes something is up with him after his meeting with the government man in Pencroft's office and grills him. Indy finally retorts, "Enough, Sherlock." This is, of course, a reference to Sherlock Holmes, the legendary fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930).


After escaping Frances' questions, Indy meets up with Treadwell at the Wild Boar Pub. This appears to be a fictitious pub in London at the time.


At their pub meeting, Treadwell remarks that Indy is very good at cloak-and-dagger dashing about and that his background suits the situation perfectly. This could be a reference to Indy's past as a secret agent for France in various episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles set during WWI, most notably "The Secret Peace", "Espionage Escapades", "Revolution!", "The Trial of Amadeus Schubelgruber", and "The Wolves".


Chapter 3


Indy and his colleagues in the hunt for the sky pirates (which is known in high circles as the Jones Project) rent an isolated farmhouse along the banks of the Maquoketa River in Iowa. This is an actual river in the state, a tributary of the Mississippi River. On page 66, Indy remarks that the farmhouse is about 100 miles from Dubuque.


Willard Cromwell is introduced as a former fighter pilot with the British Royal Flying Corps during WWI. The Royal Flying Corps was the air arm of the British Army from 1912-1918, when it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service to form the Royal Air Force.


Page 38: Kaiser was the term used for the emperor of the Austrian Empire from 1804–1918. Albatross, Fokker, Rumpler, and Sopwith were all airplane manufacturers in various nations during the war. The Sopwith Camel was a British biplane fighter introduced in 1917.


Page 39: Vickers was a British engineering firm whose foundries manufactured armaments for the Allies during the war.


Pages 39-40: In a flashback to the war, Cromwell's squadron commander assigns him command of a naval flying boat, telling him, "...see what you can do with a few of the Hun submarines, would you?" The "Hun" reference is not as well-recognized today, but "Hun" was a term sometimes used (especially in Allied propaganda) for the Germans during the two world wars, comparing them to the "barbarian hordes" of Attila the Hun, the 5th Century warlord. 


On page 43, Indy's team has a Ford Trimotor hidden beside the biggest barn on the property. The Ford Trimotor was a transport aircraft (nicknamed the Tin Goose) with three engines made by the Stout Metal Airplane Division of the Ford Motor Company. Page 82 reveals its three engines are Pratt & Whitney manufacture. The trimotor is pictured on the back cover of the novel (left).


Page 44: Gale's mother is said to be Sybil Saunders, a witch of the Wicca religion in England's New Forest. Wicca is a neo-pagan syncretic religion developed in the early 20th Century, although it did not gain the name "Wicca" until the 1960s. Practitioners of Wiccan rituals and spellcraft are often referred to as "witches". Sybil Saunders is likely a fictitious stand-in for the real world Sybil Leek (1917-1982), a well-known English witch, psychic, astrologer, and occult writer who was a friend of author Caidin. New Forest is a large stretch of forest in southern England and one of the places early Wicca was practiced.


Page 44: Gale is said to have been born in 1899, the same year as Indy.


 In a flashback scene on page 46, Indy tells Gale the bullwhip he just demonstrated to her has been his since he was a kid. In "The Mountains of Superstition", a villain breaks Indy's whip in two, but it's possible, though difficult, to repair such a damaged whip. So, the whip he has now may or may not be the same one he had then as a Boy Scout.


Page 46: Indy describes Gale's bow and arrow as a "Robin Hood outfit". Robin Hood is the heroic outlaw archer of English folklore known since the late 13th Century.


As Gale says on page 46, Acta non verba is Latin for "Deeds not words."


Page 47: Besides Wicca spellcraft, Gale tells Indy she has a comfortable knowledge of the black arts of gypsies. Gypsies are a nomadic ethnicity living mostly in Europe, now more properly called the Romani. The term "gypsy" is seen as pejorative by the affected population. The term "gypsy" was short for "Egyptian", as the population was believed by Europeans to have immigrated from Egypt, though their true origin is not known, even by themselves; modern research into Romani genetics and language hints at an Indian origin. Indy had a bit of experience with gypsy occultism as a youth in The Gypsy Revenge.


On pages 48-52, Indy's team awaits at the farmhouse for his return from Chicago.


Another member of Indy's team is Tarkiz Belem, a large Kurdish man. The Kurds are an ethnic group of the mountainous region of Western Asia, mostly modern day Turkey.


Tarkiz is said to have contacts even amongst the roving Bedouin bands. The Bedouin are an Arab ethnic group, formerly mostly desert nomadic tribes, now mostly settled. At the time of this story there would still have been numerous Bedouin tribes roaming the Sahara desert of Egypt.


French pilot Rene Foulois is a member of the French Foreign Legion (FFL), an arm of the French Army in which foreign nationals may serve. I have been unable to confirm an undercover arm of the legion with agreements with the national police of many countries to give them a reach almost anywhere in the world, as stated in the novel.


Page 50: One of the cover businesses of the undercover arm of the FFL is said to be International Wine Consortium, Ltd., with offices in Bordeaux as their headquarters. Although a company by the name of International Wine Consortium once existed (in Orlando, FL), I believe the one mentioned in the novel is fictitious.


Rene Foulois reflects that he was assigned to the Jones Project by Henri DuFour, the head of the French Secret Service. At this time, the service was officially known as the Deuxième Bureau (Second Bureau). This is the same division Indy worked for as a spy during WWI in episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Henri DuFour appears to be a fictitious head of the bureau.


Chapter 4


On page 54, Colonel Henshaw asks Indy why people don't call him Hoosier instead. "Hoosier" is a nickname used for people from the U.S. state of Indiana.


Page 55: Henshaw is driving Indy to the Nest nightclub in Chicago. The Nest was an actual jazz club at the time, and Indy's friend Jack Shannon was the owner (fictitiously) of it by the time of The Genesis Deluge.


Page 56: Henshaw tells Indy the taxi-disguised government vehicle he's driving is armored so thoroughly, including the glass, it could withstand a Thompson submachine gun. This is a real gun, famously known as a Tommy gun during the gangster era of the 1920s-1930s.


Indy continues to carry the Webley .445 he was given way back in Dance of the Giants.


This novel seems to ignore that Jack's brothers Harry and Jerry were killed in a gangster shootout in The Genesis Deluge and that the whole family had been involved in the mob up until that point. Indy also mistakenly seems to think that Jack has been strongly religious all his life as part of his upbringing, rather than having taken up the Bible only in recent years, as also seen in The Genesis Deluge.


Indy tells Jack he will need his partner's newspaper trucks and people to drive them soon when he arranges to hold up a train in Milledgeville, near the towns of Polo and Chadwick.


When Jack hears about Indy's planned hold-up, he jokes whether Indy has joined Jesse James and his gang. Jesse James (1847-1882) was a real world outlaw of the American old west.


Page 69: Indy tells his crew that they'll use their Hollywood paint to change the NC number and cover the Greatest Wines sign on the Ford Trimotor and change it to Department of Public Works. Hollywood is a neighborhood of Los Angeles known mostly for its film and television production studios. The NC number was the aircraft registration number on commercial and private airliners registered before 1949. "Greatest Wines" is likely a reference to the FFL's International Wine Consortium, Ltd. mentioned earlier; presumably, Indy obtained the plane from the FFL.


Page 71: When Foulois hears that Indy plans to use the team to rob a train, he retorts, "We might has well have stayed in England and become bandits in Sherwood Forest!" This is another reference to Robin Hood. Sherwood Forest is a royal forest in Nottinghamshire, England where the legendary figure lived and committed his banditry.


Chapter 5:


Page 73: The Office of Research and Confirmation for Antiquity Investments, Ltd. appears to be a fictitious company.


Page 74 reveals that Dr. Castilano is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, a former Italian Secret Service agent, and a member of the secret Six Hundred of the Vatican. The secret Six Hundred of the Vatican appears to be fictitious.


On page 75, at the U of L forum, Castilano announces the discovery of relics in conjunction with the National Museum of Egypt. He may be referring to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, founded in 1902. He adds the discovery was made near Habbaniyah, on the banks of the Euphrates River and are being moved to the Archaeological Research Center in the University of Chicago. Habbaniyah is an actual city in Iraq.


Castilano informs the reporters at the forum that the relics are being transported to the U.S. by the USS Boston. As far as I can find, this is a fictitious warship for the time.


Page 78 briefly tracks the passage of the relics by train from Waterloo, Iowa east to Dubuque, southwest to Savanna, Illinois, then to Milledgeville.


On page 85, Foulois says, "Mon dieu." This is French for "My god."


Chapter 6


The trimotor lands at Wright Field. This was a U.S. military airfield (full name Wilbur Wright Field, for the elder of the Wright Brothers, the bicycle repairmen who are credited with the invention of the airplane) near Riverside, Ohio from 1917–1951, now part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.


On page 97, Indy tells Gale that the trimotor's motors are being replaced with modified Wasp engines. The Wasp was the Curtiss 18T, an early trimotor plane developed in 1918.


On page 98, Cromwell exclaims the new engines could take the plane to the top of Mt. Everest. Everest, located in the Himalayan Mountains, is the tallest mountain on Earth above water, at 29,031.7 feet.


On page 101, Cromwell explains that an earth-induction compass is what got Lindbergh through the worst of his nonstop solo Atlantic crossing three years ago. Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) was a famed American aviator who made the first nonstop flight from New York City to Paris, in 33.5 hours in 1927. An earth-induction compass is one that determines direction using the Earth's magnetic field instead of a magnetized needle which pivots towards magnetic north.


Korwalski is going to install a new type of machine gun on the trimotor and Cromwell remarks he wishes he had it when he was mixing it up with Jerry, while Foulois agrees he could have doubled or tripled the Boche he shot down. "Jerry" and "Boche" are slang terms for "German".


On page 104, Korwalski mentions some special bombardment model airplanes the military is building called the XB-906. The XB-906 was a new bomber based on the Ford trimotor, first flown in 1931.


Chapter 7


On page 106, when Gale tilts her head while looking at Indy, he says he used to have a dog that did that. He also mentions the dog was a female. This refers to Indy's childhood dog named Indiana, an Alaskan Malamute (though called a German Shepherd in The Phantom of the Klondike), variously referred to as male or female in different sources. The dog was first seen in "My First Adventure".


Indy takes Gale in a Packard to an Italian restaurant called Del Vecchio in Dayton. Packard was an American luxury automobile manufacturer from 1899-1958. Del Vecchio appears to be a fictitious eatery.


On page 112, Carboni threatens Indy that he has some yeggs "who might not like your leaving without here without I say so." A yegg is an old slang term for a burglar.


On page 115, Tarkiz fires a modified, fully automatic Mauser at the yeggs. Mauser was a German arms manufacturer from 1811-2004.


On page 116, Gale holds the .25 automatic Beretta Indy gave her against Carboni.


Chapter 8


On page 121, the enlisted men on Indy's bus all carry .45 Colt Automatics.


On page 125, Gale reflects that she'd spoken to Castilano before at U of L and Oxford. "Oxford" likely refers to the University of Oxford.


For his meeting with an international cast of bigwigs at Wright Field, Indy is said to be associated with a company called Global TransAir. This is a fictitious company for the time, though there are today a number businesses using a similar name.


On page 125, the French representative to the international table is Jacque Nungesser, said to be a cousin to the great French fighter ace from the war. The fighter ace would be Charles Nungesser (1892-1927), whom Indy met in "Attack of the Hawkmen" and "The Fokker Agenda".


On page 127, Matsuda remarks upon the ineffectiveness of the League of Nations. The League of Nations was the predecessor of the United Nations as an intergovernmental global organization designed to promote peace around the world. The League of Nations existed from 1920-1946. Indy was present for what was essentially the "birth" of the League of Nations at the Paris Peace Conference after WWI in "The Gentle Arts of Diplomacy".


On page 128, Enterprises Ventures International, Limited (EVIL) is, of course, a fictitious organization.


    On page 130, Henshaw describes the freighter Empress Kali leaving Nacala, Mozambique on it's ill-fated journey as a target of EVIL. Nacala is a port city on the northern coast of Mozambique.

    Henshaw also remarks that the unknown cargo of the Empress Kali was insured for hundreds of millions of dollars by a Swiss carrier in concert with Lloyd's of London.


Hearing of the incredible story told by the three survivors of the Empress Kali, Buzau scoffs, "I would rather believe the stories of vampires from our old castles than what I am hearing." Buzau represents Romania, one of the countries that historically gave birth to the legends of vampires and which is said to be the original home of the fictitious vampire, Dracula, in Bram Stoker's eponymous novel.


On pages 133-134, Henshaw describes another attack by the EVIL airship on a British airliner near Dover. Dover is a port town on the southeastern coast of England.


Chapter 9


After the bombing test run of the heavily-modified trimotor, Foulois is said to be as calm and cool as if he were ordering a drink at a Paris club. Paris, of course, is the capital city of France, and is known for its many small nightclubs.


Chapter 10


On page 148, Foulois refers to Indy as mon ami. This is French for "my friend".


On page 149, Tarkiz remarks that if Allah had wanted them to fly, they would have airline tickets from heaven. "Allah" is the Arabic word for "God".


On page 150, Indy uses a handle for receiving coded messages. His handle is "Lone Ranger". The Lone Ranger is a fictional masked Texas Ranger of the American old west known from radio dramas, comic books, television, and movies.


The coded message Indy receives turns out to be from "St. Josef", aka Dr. Castilano, with a message of an offer from the Pan-Arab Archeological Institute of Jordan. As Indy explains to Henshaw, Joseph of Copertino (1603-1663), known after his canonization in 1767 as St. Joseph, was a Franciscan friar who was said to be able to levitate. The Pan-Arab Archeological Institute of Jordan appears to be a fictitious organization.


After receiving the coded message, Indy needs to get to New York City, but can't take the trimotor due to bad whether over Wright Field. Henshaw arranges for passage on the Silver Streak Special instead, which he calls the fastest train in the country. "Silver Streak" was the nickname of the train formally called the Pioneer Zephyr but, in the real world the train did not go into service until 1934.


On page 154, Tarkiz tells Indy that his fishing net studded with fishhooks is an old trick of the Romans and the Mafia. A mafia is a syndicate of organized crime in nations around the world.


Indy, Gale, and Tarkiz arrive in New York at Pennsylvania Station. Commonly called Penn Station, this was an historic railroad station in New York City from 1910–1963.


On page 155, Indy, Gale, and Tarkiz's prearranged ride in New York is Yellow Cab #294. Yellow Cab is a name now belonging to multiple companies across the United States that operate taxi services in their local areas under the name Yellow Cab.


On page 157, Indy's description of Potter's Field as a cemetery for the unknown or unwanted is accurate. "Potter's field" is a general term for such a cemetery. The Potter's Field of New York City is located on Hart Island at the western end of Long Island Sound.


Chapter 11


Indy uses a Leica camera.


Page 166: De Beers is a South African-British corporation in the business of diamond mining and exploitation, founded in 1888.


At the end of the chapter, Jocko tells Indy and Gale he can get them, via back roads and the 59th Street Bridge, to Long Island, where Roosevelt Field has a plane waiting for them. The 59th Street Bridge is an actual bridge onto Long Island. Roosevelt Field was an airport there from 1916-1951.


Chapter 12


Indy's plane flies from Roosevelt Field to Block Island.


On page 176, ETD stands for Estimated Time of Departure, ETE for Estimated Time Enroute, and ETA Estimated Time of Arrival.


On page 177, Cromwell refers to the plane's autopilot from Sperry Gyroscope as George. Sperry Corporation was an American equipment and electronics company from 1910-1986. "George" is the common name given to autopilot systems on airplanes. The origin of the name is unclear, though some say it is an acronym derived from Gyro Operated Guidance Equipment.


On page 184, Indy thinks he will have to follow up on Henshaw's tale of a French scientist named Henri Coanda (1886-1972) who had worked on a rocket gun during the war and had experimented with an engine that operated like a giant torch. Coanda was a real life Romanian inventor who did a lot of his work in France. As author Martin Caidin also explains in his afterword to the book, Coanda did invent a jet engine, a rocket gun, and even disc-shaped aircraft, all within the first 30 years of the 20th Century.


On page 184, Indy mentions some cave wall paintings and carvings in China's Hunan province showing cylindrical vessels moving through the sky. Although there are ancient cave paintings in Hunan, I've been unable to confirm any of the type Indy describes here.


On pages 185-189, Indy's crew tells of all the tales of extraterrestrial objects from history they've heard of. Most of them have some truth in them, a couple I've been unable to verify.


Chapter 13


The trimotor flies out of Block Island to Bangor, Maine.


Page 196 reveals that Jocko has degrees in geology from a university in Caracas and in marine biology from the University of Miami.


Jocko describes how his marine biology mentor, Veronica Green, was killed when they made the mistake of having hamburgers together at a beachfront joint in Miami Beach and were attacked by four white men who apparently disapproved of her eating with a black man. He remarks, probably sarcastically, that it must have been a meeting of the Klan. The Ku Klux Klan is an American far-right extremist organization that promotes ideas of white supremacy and anti-immigration, among other concepts of intolerance.


Indy tells Gale that Jocko also is a master of several martial arts and spent a year training with the Ghurkas. Ghurkas are soldiers of Nepal and parts of Northeast India known for their military prowess.


On page 198, the trimotor lands at Bangor Field. I've been unable to confirm whether an airfield by that name existed.


After Bangor, the plane lands in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada for fuel, then to a Royal Canadian Air Force field at Goose Bay in Newfoundland.


On page 200, Captain Hampton of the RCAF recommends to Cromwell and Foulois that they arrive at Narssarssuaq on the south lip of Greenland in daylight, insisting that going there at night is suicide. Narssarssuaq is an actual small town in Greenland.


On page 201, Indy tells Gale and Jocko that the Leica One-B cameras they will be using on the mission are a model not yet on the market. But, my research indicates the Leica I(b) model was released in 1926. I also have not found any indication that it had a battery-powered winder as Indy indicates here.


On page 203, Indy refers to the flying discs or scimitars of the sky pirates as "flying saucers". He uses the term with Gale and Jocko as if they would recognize it. But the term, as commonly associated with "unidentified flying objects" now, was not coined until after the June 24, 1947 sightings of disc-like objects flying in the sky by Kenneth Arnold in Washington state.


Chapter 14


Konstantin LeBlanc Cordas, millionaire owner of Cordas Mountain Industries, first appears in this novel as an antagonist against Indy. He shows up again in The White Witch


Cordas sets up a Donier Super Wal II flying boat with four BMW engines for his and his co-conspirators' doubles to take a spectacular (and fatal) vacation in to scenic spots around the world. The Donier Super Wal was a real world line of flying boat airliners manufactured by the German Dornier Flugzeugwerke company in the 1920s. (Photo from Wikipedia.)


On pages 213-214, the Chateau of Blanchefort and Rennes-le-Chateau are real world manor houses in France.


Chapter 15


Indy and his crew cross the English Channel from Portsmouth to Le Havre on the ferry Barclay.


On page 227, Treadwell states metaphorically that he and Indy had slipped the sky pirates a Mickey in tricking them into thinking the pyramid and cube artifacts were legitimate relics and that Indy was the mastermind of the counter-operation to the pirates. "Mickey" is a reference to a "Mickey Finn", a beverage that has been drugged to render the victim unconscious.


On page 231, Treadwell and Pencroft discuss the French town of Arques that some biblical historians were claiming was the final resting place of Christ. There are several small towns called Arques in France, but I've been unable to confirm any such stories about them.


The stories that Pencroft mumbles about Christ living out many of his years in England, possibly among the likes of King Arthur and Merlin, and Christlike figures appearing to the Mayans and Aztecs and the Chinese in later centuries are all actual fringe theories of history. King Arthur, of course, is the legendary (possibly mythological) British leader of the late fifth and early sixth centuries and Merlin was a wizard who became Arthur's confidant.


Chapter 16


On page 241, Henshaw tells the crew he spoke with Scottsmoor about the weather on their flight path back to the U.S. Since they are in Scotland at the time, it seems easy to assume that "Scottsmoor" is a place in Scotland, but I can find no city or base by that name there. There is a small farming community by that name in Florida.


As hinted at on page 243, the United States supplies the vast majority of the world's helium.


On page 243, Indy says the main source of helium in the United States is at Mineral Springs, Texas. This was an actual town in Texas at the time, known as a stage stop for its springs historically. It is now a ghost town. As far as I can find, it was never known for helium. On page 253, Henshaw says it is located just to the west of Fort Worth, but that is not correct of the historic town, which was near the eastern border of the state, some distance away from Fort Worth.


On page 244, Indy, contemplating what Castilano meant by messaging about a "city in the sky", references mythological cities such as Asgard and Mount Olympus, or even Eden. Asgard is the home of the gods in Norse mythology. Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and was the mythological home of the Greek gods. The Garden of Eden is the land of paradise created by God for Adam and Eve at the beginning of mankind as described in the holy texts of the Abrahamic religions.


On pages 245-247, Indy describes the Sky City of the Acoma Indians in New Mexico. The details presented here are all accurate.


On page 248, Indy mentions the names of three poison gases that were used during the war: lewisite, mustard, and phosgene. Mustard and phosgene gases were used during the WWI, but lewisite, while it did exist, was not used.


Page 249: The trimotor flies over the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic. These islands are an autonomous territory of Denmark.


Chapter 17


At the beginning of the chapter, the trimotor pauses in Quebec. Quebec is a province of Canada.


On pages 254-256, a litany of cities and other locations are named by Henshaw and Mike Hightower as they explain the routes that have recently been taken by tanker trucks on mysterious deliveries of helium to the Santa Fe area. These are all actual locations in Texas and New Mexico.


Page 259: Chino tells Indy he earned degrees in geology, meteorology and atmospherics, and agriculture at Montana, UCLA, and Texas A and M.


Chino's description of area around Acoma and the northwestern quarter of New Mexico on page 260 is accurate.


The Cubero Trading Company mentioned on page 260 was an actual business based in the Cubero, New Mexico area at the time.


Due to a staged upheaval of local Native American tribes in New Mexico, virtually all local law enforcement begin to converge on the Gallup area.


Chapter 18


At the beginning of the chapter, Indy and crew fly to Las Vegas, New Mexico and make use of an army testing ground near the Conchas River.


On page 271, Chino tells the crew he received a call from a tribal office in Acomita that the airship had risen over the cliffs in the distance. Acomita is an area of South Acomita Village, north of the Acoma Pueblo.


Pages 272-273: Chino rattles off a number of locations the airship will likely avoid due to storms and areas that will be much more amenable for flight east. These are all actual locations in New Mexico.


Chapter 19


Pages 275-276 list a number of locations along the flight route of the trimotor as Indy and his crew attempt to intercept the airship. These are all actual locations in New Mexico.


Now flying at an extreme altitude, Indy and crew don cold weather gear and use Sam Browne dress belts to sling portable oxygen bottles onto their shoulders. A Sam Browne belt is a leather belt sometimes worn over the right shoulder and diagonally across the torso by military and police officers.


Page 280: Indy informs Cromwell he has gunfire experience from the war in the Belgian Army in France and Africa. This refers to events in the wartime episodes The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, beginning in "Trenches of Hell".


Page 281: Cromwell, somewhat boorishly, remarks that Eskimos are able to keep warm due to having so much blubber on their bodies. Eskimos (Inuit and Yupik) are the indigenous peoples of the northern circumpolar region of the globe: Siberia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.


Cordas returns as a villain in The White Witch. It is revealed there that Cordas and fellow Group of Six member Halvar Griffin are actually the same man.


Unanswered Questions


Indy suspects there is a mole on his team who is feeding information to their sky pirate enemies. The leak is never revealed.


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