'Indiana Jones' sued over missing crystal skull


63 Responses to “'Indiana Jones' sued over missing crystal skull”

  1. jerwin says:


  2. darkjayson says:

    Wait basically if the skulls are real and I’m not saying they are but if they are real don’t they belong to the Belize people and not these tomb raiders?

    They admit they found the skulls in Belize and took it away that’s theft i’m surprised the Belize government does not try and get this family extradited over relic robbery.

    • yes, in fact i’ve seen another documentary (not the one on the syfy) that put these tomb raiders under a pretty critical light.  Apparently they made up a bunch of hocus pocus stories to get the skull into more exhibits and to try to maximize profit/notoriety.


    • Brainspore says:

      They admit they found the skulls in Belize and took it away that’s theft i’m surprised the Belize government does not try and get this family extradited over relic robbery.

      Pretty sure you can’t charge someone for a crime committed by an ancestor, even in Belize. Especially if the law did not explicitly forbid that kind of thing at the time.

      • Robert Drop says:

        They’re going after the very people (well, the husband of the woman) who claimed to have taken the skull originally.  If it was illegal (which apparently such an act would have been), they could certainly go after the family to recover the item. (It would be nice if it forced the family to admit it was never in the tomb, but I suppose the people left alive don’t necessarily know that.)
        Oddly, they’re also going after Spielberg for using a prop designed to look like that sculpture.  Because: money. They certainly don’t have a case there.

      • Marc Mielke says:

        Even more especially if BELIZE didn’t exist at the time. 

      • darkjayson says:

        During world war 2 a lot of relics and art work where stolen by well everyone on both sides, decades later even when the original people who took the relics and art are gone the authorities in charge of finding and returning the stolen relics find and take them even from people who only inherited them.  Just because your ancestors committed the crime does not mean you can still profit from it especially if it is with stolen items you still posses.  They might not be charged with the theft but they can have the items taken of them.

  3. Brainspore says:

    So if I understand the sequence of events correctly:

    1. Ornamental skull made in 19th-Century Europe
    2. Skull is taken to (modern-day) Belize in 1920s and fraudulently passed off as a pre-Columbian artifact
    3. Skull taken to U.S. and England to display for profit, eventually lost
    4. Kinda-similar-looking skull used as plot device in a shitty movie sequel set in a completely different country
    5. Movie producers owe money to Belize?

  4. sagodjur says:

    The inclusion of the Hollywood studios in this is just an absurd money grab. The Indiana Jones movie had nothing to do with the theft of the skull.

    The claim of rights to the likeness of the skull is bullshit as far as modern intellectual property laws are concerned. You can’t copyright the likeness of ancient cultural relics and even if you could, they would have expired by now. You can’t trademark the likeness of the skull because its likeness is a historic fact rather than an artistic rendering that uniquely identifies a particular organization or brand.

    Not to mention that the movie popularized the knowledge of the skulls with the general public, so the money they want a chunk of wouldn’t have been available to them had the movie not been made. The movie didn’t unfairly compete with Belize’s ability to make a popular (if flawed) movie about the skulls, fictional or otherwise.

    • Brainspore says:

      You can’t copyright the likeness of ancient cultural relics and even if you could, they would have expired by now.

      Then again, the upside of such copyright restrictions is that the National Treasure franchise probably never would have seen the light of day.

    • Mordicai says:

      Ah, but what if it isn’t an ancient cultural relic but in fact TOTAL BS?

      • sagodjur says:

        If that were the case, it still wouldn’t be copyrightable. Same result regardless of the origin.

        Ironically, the movie studio might have the strongest claim to the likeness of the specific skull they created since it was a part of an artistic work in fixed medium.

  5. Jake0748 says:

    Hell, I got a whole boxful of crystal skulls around here some place…  you can have em.

  6. Should we also ‘give back’ the Holy Grail as seen in III

  7. adonai says:

    Interesting, suing the makers of a film that does not exist.

  8. Ian Wood says:

    Clever strategy. During the trial, the rest of it will come out. Then Lucas and Spielberg will go to prison where they belong.

  9. franko says:

    just direct him to the warehouse where it was probably put into storage by those top men. if he can find it, it’s his.

  10. John Smith says:

    Just go down to the liquor store and buy another one.

  11. feetleet says:

    Indiana ’500′ Bones – my dog’s name – is awesome.

    To wit:

    1. I can call him ‘indie’ even though everybody loves him. 

    2. As per Connery in the ‘The Last Crusade,’ that lion-tamer-turned-crystal-skullfucker Indiana Jones was, piquantly, named after the family dog. 

    3. The Indy 500 is a thing. I hear.

    4. I bone my dog. 

    So this was about, like, IP or something, right?

  12. peedee says:

    The ‘discoverer’s’ are from Indiana, and that tells you all you need to know.

    Here’s the real story. In the late 1990s, archeologists in Nicaragua, I believe, found a ‘Cave of the Crystal Skulls’. I happened to work with one of those who documented the find, rare natural crystals forming on human bones left in the caves, covering them over eons with a patina of shimmering calcium crystals.
    Very beautiful glittering ‘skin’ on the ancient bones, …but too fragile to move.

    Now comes AMH, and claims to have discovered ‘carved crystal skulls’ in Belize, conveniently close to Nicaragua, conveniently English speaking, so baggage easily slips in and out, conveniently timed to pre-release of Indiana Jones ‘Kingdom of Crystal Skulls’, also in 2008. 

    Now here’s where it gets funny. The same production director I worked with, who helped document ‘Cave of the Crystal Skulls’, also worked on Alien, and told me the ‘crystal skull’ was just an acrylic model they were going to use in the ‘vats of miscegenation’ that Ripley smashed.

    Look at that skull! That’s not human, that’s the same form-factor as ‘Alien’.
    AMH is just another Joseph Smith and his Magic Golden Scrolls. A con.

  13. Jardine says:

    Nicholas Ballard and his giant alien friends will not be happy.

  14. Ya, this is just about the money. There’s pretty solid evidence that this crystal skulls stuff is all bullshit (at least one has marks that could only have been made by a type of polishing rotary machine) and the people most intimately involved in the hoax smell cash, so they lawyer up. They’re probably hoping for a quick “shut up” settlement from Disney (which they very well might get).

    • mccrum says:

      I’m pretty sure Disney’s lawyers don’t earn their money by rolling over at the first sign of a BS lawsuit.

      • Adela Doiron says:

        They need to be feed fresh meat once and while to keep their teeth sharp. I would love to see Disney make an example of them because as a side result we could get a court judgment confirming historical art as uncopyrightable.

  15. Halloween_Jack says:

    I’m not even sure why people would make such a fuss over the things, even if they were authentic pre-Columbian artifacts. It might be unusual to get a piece of clear quartz that size, but basically they’re just rocks carved into the shape of skulls, with varying degrees of realism. Mostly of interest to eccentric but harmless types like Dan Aykroyd (although he’s also making a buck off of his vodka, I’d imagine).

  16. ffabian says:

    Not one of the 13 known crystal skulls is a real meso-american artefact. Most/all were probably made  between 1850 and 1950 in the region around Idar-Oberstein, Germany. Idar-Oberstein was (and still is) famous for it’s natural gemstone resources and skilled crystal cutters. In the 19th century it was so remotely located that probable rumors of the production of those crystal skulls didn’t spread very far.

    There is a ongoing exhibition called Schädelkult (Cult of the Skull) in the Archeology Museum Herne, Germany that adresses the issue (among other things): http://www.schaedelkult.lwl.org/
    (I’m part of the team that realized the exhibition.)

  17. They were discovered to be fakes were they not?, they analysed them and found they were cut using lasers and dated round the early 1920′s or that

  18. Maybe the judge will find that pretty much nobody had heard of crystal skulls before that abomination of a movie and that it increased the profitability of those skulls to the skull owners, so they owe Paramount some money.  OK, that’s silly, dismissed with prejudice would be sufficient.

  19. Funk Daddy says:

    I pictured that skull saying “I’ve never even been to Belize.” 

    And I believe the skull.

  20. Baldhead says:

    Here’s what I don’t get: we know what the Mitchell Hedges skull looks like. We know what the macguffin in the movie looks like. Aside from the description “crystal skull” they look nothing alike. The MH skull actually looks like it comes from a human for starters. So they did not use it’s likeness and Awe’s claim they look similar is a lie- or one hopes it’s a lie given his job.

  21. Dom says:

    Seeking the profits from the film – good luck proving that the studio made a profit. Hollywood accounting surely shows a loss for that film.

  22. Michael Collins says:

    We have lots of Crystal Skulls at ntrocks.com

  23. KrisM says:

    Hollywood has a long history of stealing, they can’t seem to come up with anything original.

  24. Soon Lee says:

    We have top men working on it.

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