Join 3,376 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Raiders of the Lost Ark
May 19, 2005 6:57 PM   Subscribe

Raiders of the Lost Ark Dr. Vendyl Jones, the famed archaeologist, the inspiration for the “Indiana Jones” movie series, has spent most of his life searching for the Ark of the Covenant. The ark was the resting place of the Ten Commandments, given to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, and was hidden just before the destruction of the First Temple. The Talmud says the Ark is hidden in a secret passage under the Temple Mount. Dr. Vendyl Jones says that the tunnel actually continues 18 miles southward, and that the Ark was brought through the tunnel to its current resting place in the Judean Desert. Apparently he is about to find it this summer.
posted by Coop (67 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I hope this all works out.

I wonder if Revelations mentions anything like this.
posted by blacklite at 7:08 PM on May 19, 2005


Maybe this is why Lucas et al are waiting so long before Indy IV.
posted by Poagao at 7:13 PM on May 19, 2005


What a crock of shit.

There I said it. You can prove me wrong when you show me the ark.
posted by furtive at 7:13 PM on May 19, 2005


Kookfilter? Seriously, this makes the DaVinci code look absolutely reasonable by comparison.
posted by localroger at 7:14 PM on May 19, 2005


Just think of all the animal skeletons he'll find inside.
posted by fleener at 7:14 PM on May 19, 2005


It's "news stories" like this where I wish there was a rule about putting up or shutting up. Specifically, I'd be willing to bet good money (say, $1,000, offering 10-1 odds) that there is no such 18-mile-long tunnel, let alone that the Ark is at the other end. Somehow I doubt that whoever wrote the story would be willing to actually stake any money on its veracity.
posted by WestCoaster at 7:23 PM on May 19, 2005


I hope he finds it. That would definitely settle a bunch of crap. Like, about how it shoots out white fire and kills the enemies of Israel.
God, that's so lame. White fire.

They'll probably take it into battle and it'll break.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:25 PM on May 19, 2005


http://www.watchman.org/reltop/filmdig.htm
posted by fleener at 7:28 PM on May 19, 2005


No blasphemy, folks. Remember what happened to all those Nazis. . .
posted by rdone at 7:31 PM on May 19, 2005


In all seriousness, what do you think the effect would be on modern judeo-christian religions if this artifact were found?
Barring any apocalyptic mumbo-jumbo from the tinfoil hat crowd.
posted by nightchrome at 7:33 PM on May 19, 2005


fleener found the goods on this dude!
posted by reality at 7:33 PM on May 19, 2005


"Noahides are G-d fearing non-Jews who observe the seven laws of Noah..."

slight aside: anyone know why the writer didn't use the word "God" in this sentence? Taboo somehow?
posted by zardoz at 7:34 PM on May 19, 2005


zardoz: Jews don't use God's name lightly. I don't really know the details about why though. I do remember reading about some kind of festival in the old days I think once a year when His name was pronounced publicly and the effect was so overwhelming that people would pass out. I think its about not diluting the awe His name should command by overuse. But I don't know why that respect would be shown to the English word God.
posted by leapingsheep at 7:42 PM on May 19, 2005


The name of God is not to be said/written. sacred basically. Infact in hebrew, you'd say ha'shem, which literally translates as the Name
posted by dhruva at 7:43 PM on May 19, 2005


"No-one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle! ....Even if they do say Jehovah."
posted by gimonca at 7:44 PM on May 19, 2005


An unnamed Kabbalist has granted blessing to famed archeologist Dr. Vendyl Jones to uncover the Holy Ark of the Covenant.

In other news, Geraldo Rivera an unnamed journalist subject of millions of punchlines has granted blessing to the project as well.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 7:45 PM on May 19, 2005


To Orthodox Jews, it is blasphemous to say or write the whole name of the Deity. Hence "I am who am" and YWH, as circumlocutions. In English, G-d is usually used by the observant for that purpose.
posted by rdone at 7:45 PM on May 19, 2005


Beat me to it gimonca.
posted by nomis at 7:46 PM on May 19, 2005


Hehee, gimonca just made me laugh out loud. Off to the video store for me.
posted by furtive at 7:54 PM on May 19, 2005


I think the blasphemy stems not entirely from the utterance or the writing but includes the fact that it's also a sin to erase or destroy God's name. Writing the name on paper or typing it and committing it to a destructible surface (with ink, graphite, or magnets) renders the name of God vulnerable to destruction. Hence the circumlocutions.
posted by Jon-o at 7:58 PM on May 19, 2005


In all seriousness, what do you think the effect would be on modern judeo-christian religions if this artifact were found?

Thanks to the Queen of Sheba FPP, I wound up at wikipedia's entry on the Ark just this morning. There's all sorts of interesting repercussions outside of the obvious ones.

1) The Ethiopians would be pissed. So will Muslims if the Dome of the Rock mosque is damaged by excavation under it to reach the Ark.

2) Tesla might be proven even more right than history credits him for.

3) Kiss the Mediterranean goodbye, the Israelis are coming over.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:05 PM on May 19, 2005


I think the blasphemy stems not entirely from the utterance or the writing but includes the fact that it's also a sin to erase or destroy God's name.

Very true. Raised Jewish, I was always diligent as a young child to inscribe the name of my parents' deity as "G-d." One day, I accidentally wrote "God," and began to cry, thinking that I had just damned myself to Hell (notice how I conflated the hegemonic Christian belief system with the one in which I was instructed?). It was left to my parents or teachers-- I don't remember precisely whom-- to soothe me and convince me that I had, in fact, not imperiled my immortal soul. I believe that that was one of the earliest incidents that compelled my eventual journey into polytheistic paganism and deep distrust of all Abrahamic religions.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:09 PM on May 19, 2005


MetaFilter: hidden in a secret passage under the Temple Mount
posted by wfrgms at 8:14 PM on May 19, 2005


If anyone was the inspiration for Indiana Jones, I bet it was probably Roy Chapman Andrews.
posted by marxchivist at 8:16 PM on May 19, 2005


Jon-o's nailed it; religious Jews believe that it's forbidden to desecrate or destroy the written name of God. In fact, items containing said name are disposed of by burial, or genizah.

That said, from fleener's link, "Dr Smellfungus and Dr. Picklesheimer"? wtf?
posted by greatgefilte at 8:16 PM on May 19, 2005


In all seriousness, what do you think the effect would be on modern judeo-christian religions if this artifact were found?

Isa's right-hand man for the battle of Armageddon is a dork from Texas?
posted by queen zixi at 8:30 PM on May 19, 2005


I find it very hard to belive that anything left behind under the temple mount would not have been found by the Romans, or anyone else in the thousand or so years that the Isralis didn't control Israel.

Also, the Ark is supposed to be in Eithiopia.
posted by delmoi at 8:30 PM on May 19, 2005


Regarding God's name...

Isn't God one of the substitutions for his name so that you can write SOMETHING down or say SOMETHING? I mean, His name's not God, it's J-hovah. I-hovah, Y-hweh, etc...

I could be wrong, but to my mind writing G-d is like writing "I -m." You're only substituting for a substitution.

Also: Vendyl? No wonder he insists on the dog's name.
posted by shmegegge at 8:31 PM on May 19, 2005


nightchrome: In all seriousness, what do you think the effect would be on modern judeo-christian religions if this artifact were found?

They'd cash in on the publicity. The ones with interests in the area would be cash in for much longer by exploiting it as another tourist attraction.
posted by snarfodox at 8:39 PM on May 19, 2005


If in fact it is a giant capacitor as Tesla and others say, then wouldn't it be the ARC of the covenant?
posted by Eekacat at 8:55 PM on May 19, 2005


I don't believe a god damned word of this. From this radio program linked to in that article, Vendyl sounds like a bumbling, egotistical quack, and the announcer is an obnoxious, fanatical mook. Might as well have been Jimmy Swaggart on the air.
posted by Evstar at 9:13 PM on May 19, 2005


You know, I could take or leave all his Talmudic mumbo-jumbo. When *I* realized he was talking BS was when he claimed "Indy" was derived from his name.

All good geeks know the character was, in fact, named after George's dog.

And otherwise he was most directly ripped off of H. Rider Haggard's Alan Quatermain

(note: Not saying the Talmud is mumbo-jumbo, just that this guy's rantings are... And a googling of his name did nothing to dissuade me of this.)
posted by InnocentBystander at 9:33 PM on May 19, 2005


Now we'll have PROOF! PROOF I say!!

If we can just find the AotC, we'll PROVE the bible is true! If we find Noah's Ark, we'll PROVE the bible is true! If we can show the Shroud of Turin is real, we'll PROVE the bible is true!

I can't believe in this day and age people are still looking for pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:39 PM on May 19, 2005


Roy Chapman Andrews is generally thought of as the actual inspiration for Indiana Jones. Though my knowledge may be scewed because he is an alum of my college.
Satyagraha
posted by thebestsophist at 9:46 PM on May 19, 2005


The ark could be there, for all I know, but this guy is a raving nutjob who thinks that Israel's crimes against its neighbors are not only blessed by god but foretold in the bible. Furthermore, he thinks that Golda Meir was "evil" because she advised against conquering even more territory. That, my friends, is a fanatic.
posted by Clay201 at 9:50 PM on May 19, 2005


Hey, you go to war with the Ark you have, not the Ark you want.
posted by trondant at 10:06 PM on May 19, 2005


I'm so sad Indiana Jones is a nutter. I think I'm going to cry *sniff*
posted by mk1gti at 10:24 PM on May 19, 2005


The ark's not in Ethiopia. It's in an unmarked box in a government warehouse somewhere. Duh.
posted by fungible at 10:39 PM on May 19, 2005


Ethiopia.
posted by mwhybark at 11:15 PM on May 19, 2005


Didn't they already find it in Ethiopia?
posted by stewiethegreat at 11:21 PM on May 19, 2005


Drat - should have read all the posts...
posted by stewiethegreat at 11:22 PM on May 19, 2005


> I'm so sad Indiana Jones is a nutter. I think I'm going to cry *sniff*

Yes, same here.

> Noahides are G-d fearing non-Jews who observe the seven laws of
> Noah, which are obligatory upon all of humanity.

Obligatory? I'll do whatever the fuck I feel like doing and you keep your religion for yourself, thank you very much.
posted by NewBornHippy at 11:38 PM on May 19, 2005


I'll bet anyone here $100 in cold hard American cash that he finds Al Capone's vault.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:45 PM on May 19, 2005


Whatever happens, just keep your eyes shut.
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:29 AM on May 20, 2005


Not that this is news to anyone per se, but my friends in Israel tell me that this website is basically the "Weekly World News" of Israel. I.e. they specialize in the absurd and improbable.
posted by gen at 2:50 AM on May 20, 2005


Yeah, right. Next somebody on MeFi'll be telling me Jim Morrison's alive and a cowboy in Oregon.
posted by alumshubby at 3:43 AM on May 20, 2005


Thanks gen, I had been wondering the same myself.
posted by furtive at 4:22 AM on May 20, 2005


I wonder how much that thing'll fetch on ebay.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 4:59 AM on May 20, 2005


In all seriousness, what do you think the effect would be on modern judeo-christian religions if this artifact were found?

You mean, what if someone found an old box holding some tablets (or whatever) on which someone wrote the basic rules of a particular religious sect? And what if they could reliably date the box and contents to the approximate time when the Moses character from that sect's in-house history book is supposed to have lived? It would be another archeological artifact to evaluate.

Life would go on as usual. A few folk who have trouble with reasoning might think this would somehow validate their belief in certain supernatural beings, but believers will always believe, nonbelievers will always look on in disbelief, and this wouldn't change the numbers much. It would be an interesting archeological discovery, but, other than as that, its main value would be as a source of ready cash for the lucky town that got to keep it and display it to moneyed visitors.
posted by pracowity at 5:05 AM on May 20, 2005


my friends in Israel tell me that this website is basically the "Weekly World News" of Israel.

Bigfoot Finds Ark Of The Covenant In The Bermuda Triangle, Says Russian Scientist
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:20 AM on May 20, 2005


Fuzzy, you have missed your calling.

Quit your job today, and go complete your destiny.

Of course, if you already work for a tabloid, then I think you've just caught yourself up through lunch.
posted by Ynoxas at 5:39 AM on May 20, 2005


*holds index fingers close together to see the human energy*
posted by i_cola at 5:56 AM on May 20, 2005


its main value would be as a source of ready cash for the lucky town that got to keep it and display it to moneyed visitors.

If by "lucky town" you mean GoldenPalace.com. I mean, come on...
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:09 AM on May 20, 2005


Actually, gen, this site is worse than Weekly World News -- it is the far right religious version of Weekly World News. It is actually the sucessor to a pirate radio station based on a ship offshore in Israel that was shut down a few years ago, apparently, this is common. But it gets quoted on sites that don't know Israeli newspapers well, since they use the "Israeli National News" slogan. Ah the power of a good domain name! How much is business.com again?
posted by blahblahblah at 7:52 AM on May 20, 2005


In Soviet Russia, Bigfoot in the Ark of the Covenant finds you in the Bermuda Triangle!
posted by jackofsaxons at 8:42 AM on May 20, 2005


This is ridiculous! Ridiculous, I say. We all know that Elvis, Jimmy Hoffa, Lord Lucan, DB Cooper and that one from The Manic Street Preachers have it. And they live in Atlantis. And they have diamond spaceships that they fly to the sun. Jeez, everyone knows that.
posted by ob at 9:59 AM on May 20, 2005


I believe that that was one of the earliest incidents that compelled my eventual journey into polytheistic paganism and deep distrust of all Abrahamic religions.


Why go for one imaginary friend when you can get BUNCHES for no extra cost!
posted by norm at 10:09 AM on May 20, 2005


To Orthodox Jews, it is blasphemous to say or write the whole name of the Deity. Hence "I am who am" and YWH, as circumlocutions. In English, G-d is usually used by the observant for that purpose.

YHWH actually. And in English Bible translations that have removed the name it is rendered LORD (in all caps). Most Bible's translate the tetragrammaton in at least a couple of places. For example, the King James translates it at Exodus 6:3, Psalms 83:18, Isa 12:2 and Isa 26:4. But the other 6000+ times it renders it LORD. It is important to remember that it was there in the original but removed by the traditions of men.
posted by spock at 10:37 AM on May 20, 2005


I think the blasphemy stems not entirely from the utterance or the writing but includes the fact that it's also a sin to erase or destroy God's name.

Why would anyone conceive of a deity who was such a vain, petty bastard that he/it/she would actually be concerned about such nonsensical shit?

Devout Believer: I've fed and clothed the poor, donated millions to charity, saved 500 children from a burning schoolhouse, and never voted Republican.

Jehovah: Very good. However, you did once write my name as "God." TO HELL WITH YOU!
posted by Chasuk at 10:42 AM on May 20, 2005


"Why go for one imaginary friend when you can get BUNCHES for no extra cost!"

Definitely one of the beauties of religion, norm. You can make up whatever you want, and it costs you nothing. :)

Gods are free! Just like your imagination.

When I was a kid, I had my own massive star fleet and attendant troops as imaginary friends. I ruled the galaxy with a benign hand. Ahhh... those were the days. :)
posted by zoogleplex at 10:54 AM on May 20, 2005


“I agreed to help him write the movie,” Jones said, “as long as – number one – he wouldn’t set it here (in Israel). Some people believe the ark is in Ethiopia or Egypt, some believe its in Constantinople or Rome. I just didn’t want it to be portrayed as being here. The second thing was, 'Don’t use my name.' So he didn’t. My name is Vendyl – V-E-N-D-Y-L. So he just dropped the first and last letters and it ended up Endy Jones.”

Which of course is complete bunk, as the dog was named Indiana, not Harrison Ford's character. Harrison Ford's character's name is Junior.
posted by Snowflake at 10:56 AM on May 20, 2005


mk1gti writes "I'm so sad Indiana Jones is a nutter. I think I'm going to cry *sniff*"

For what it's worth, it seems pretty clear to me that this guy's claim that he's the basis for Lucas' character is complete bullshit. It's hard to tell whether he's batshit-insane or just a con man.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:19 AM on May 20, 2005


Why go for one imaginary friend when you can get BUNCHES for no extra cost!

Hey, at least my gods don't tell me to hate and kill people.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:06 PM on May 20, 2005


it should also be noted that arutz sheva is a fascist-embracing totally right wing ultra religious "pirate" radio station that even the likes of Sharon's government (and EVEN that freedom-lover Netanyahu) have discounted.
posted by yonation at 1:15 PM on May 20, 2005


Hey, at least my gods don't tell me to hate and kill people.

There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny.
posted by norm at 2:31 PM on May 20, 2005


Which of course is complete bunk, as the dog was named Indiana, not Harrison Ford's character. Harrison Ford's character's name is Junior.

The whole thing is bunk since the title of the movie was originally Indiana Smith, in homage of the Steve McQueen movie, Nevada Smith. Spielberg didn't like the name Smith and switched it to Jones. As for Indiana, it was Lucas's real-life dog's name. I think Vendyl's had too many drinks from the wrong chalice.
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:28 AM on May 21, 2005


Why would anyone conceive of a deity who was such a vain, petty bastard that he/it/she would actually be concerned about such nonsensical shit?

My understanding is that way back when the name was invoked for all sorts of rituals that had no connection to Judaism. To curtail this, believers were forbidden from uttering or writing the name.

The modern understanding of the third commandment--not taking the Lord's name in vain--is that one is not supposed to use God's name to swear. But I believe the original meaning of this commandment was to keep the faithful from calling upon God for unsanctioned purposes.
posted by Sully6 at 3:06 PM on May 23, 2005


« Older Yoga Death Match...  |  Will Wright's SPORE site onlin... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments