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Dec 10, 2012

Not a lifetime movie; NICH suing Indiana Jones

Dr. Jaime Awe, the Director of the Institute of Archaeology, is suing the makers of the 2008 Steven Spielberg film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. The claim, filed last Wednesday in the Illinois Federal Court, is described in the Hollywood Reporter as one of the most entertaining lawsuits of the year. Awe alleges that the movie’s plot was based on an actual crystal skull that was stolen from Belize eighty-eight years ago by F.A. Mitchell-Hedges and his adopted daughter, Anna while they explored the Lubantuun Maya ruin in the early 1920’s. The father/daughter treasure hunters returned to England with the skull and Anna regularly had it on exhibit after her father died in 1959. Awe is now suing Lucasfilm, the Walt Disney Company, and Paramount Pictures and demanding that the skull be returned, citing the 1928 “Antiquities Ordinance” which prohibited the removal of artifacts from Belize without government permission. Since the crystal skull was reportedly removed from the ruins illegally, Awe believes Belize is entitled to a share of the film’s profits, which was more than seven hundred and eighty million US dollars. Lucasfilm, according to Awe, never sought, nor was given permission to use the Mitchell-Hedges Skull or its likeness in the film.  But an article on says the lawsuit is not expected to go anywhere, since Anna’s story about finding the skull was a hoax. The report says that historical records show that F.A. Mitchell-Hedges purchased the skull from an antiquities collector named Sydney Burney in 1933 and he eventually sold it to pay off a debt. Anna reportedly bought back the skull and made up an adventurous story about finding it on her seventeenth birthday in the jungle ruins. According to Discovery News, there is also no record of the Mitchell-Hedges ever visiting Lubantuun or Belize.

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26 Responses for “Not a lifetime movie; NICH suing Indiana Jones”

  1. Louisville,Ky says:

    I am surprised and disappointed that it took this long for the relevant authorities to demand the return of the crystal skull artifact.
    After all this time, you better believe they will not give it up without a fight, if at all.

  2. Storm says:

    Did John McAfee come up with the idea for this lawsuit? It sounds like his thinking.

    I hope Dr. Awe reconsiders this action before he humiliates himself and, indirectly, the Jewel. It’s just a story, and I don’t think our nation can lay claim to it. Crystal skull legends have been around for a long time.

    A lawsuit like this might chase foreign movie producers away from our country, just when some of them have discovered the beauty of the Jewel, and just when we might have increasing movie production here. In my opinion, a bad idea.

  3. John says:

    Mitchell-Hedges WAS in Belize and did lead a very amateur excavation at Lubaantun. It was his daughter, Anna, about whom there is no record of being present in Belize and at the excavation site. This was attested to by the workers at the site — who said they had no recollection whatsoever about the expedition leader’s child being present at any time.
    The skull may or may not be ancient, but it was most likely NOT found at Lubaantun.
    Mitchell-Hedges in his writings about his expedition in Belize stated that he was the first white man to ever enter the village of San Antonio — this being about 30 or more years after a mission was established there by the English and American Jesuits, and was serviced regularly by them.

  4. belizeislander says:

    And what if Disney, Lucasfilm and Paramount starts suing Belizeans for all the pirated DVD’s in Belize?

  5. Embarrassed says:

    How embarrassing for Belize! If you will claim something, please have proof/evidence. You are not dealing with the judiciary system in Belize…you need proof!

  6. skully says:

    Has dr awe been taking McAfee Pills?

  7. nesher says:

    hahahaha funny skully…..idk wat dr. Awe was tinking wen he got dis brite idea of suing for sumting which were not evn sure came from Bze, NOW the JADE HEAD is an excellent display piece. Dr. Awe is jst throwing away his good reputation by taking on dis silly course of action

  8. belizean says:

    I agree with Dr Awe, if the skull belongs to Belize then it should be return!! it is a part of our history and besides our country has been raided of so many things in the past and in the present, we need to stand together and stop this draining of our resources. Whenever a foreign company goes into Belize it is not to our benefit, it it to their bottom line $$$$ and cheap labor, Belize gets zero. And Storm these company make millions of dollars and keep it all, what do we get?????????

  9. Tallz says:

    I’m thinking that he is under pressure to produce more funds to contribute to the GDP therefore hunting for income by any means.

  10. Common Sense says:

    LOL Skully, true dat!

  11. Belizean Pride says:

    since the concert was cancelled, so some how NICH is looking other ways to snach a few $$$$ from other sources, but really they need facts that can be used for this accusations if not NICH will look like Mcafee scandal.

  12. Bear says:

    Let’s hire some of the PM’s lawyer-relatives and ex-wives to handle the case, and make them a little richer with the people’s money.

    On the serious side, if there is a crystal skull that was stolen from the Jewel, it should be returned, but that has nothing with Dr. Awe’s crazy idea to make a buck from the movie. I think @Skully is right.

  13. Ixchel Pop says:

    Dr Awe’s reputation is on the line. My grandfather was one of the laborers with the Mitchelle- Hedges expedition;from his account no crystal skull was ever found her nor was he accompanied by a daughter.So for a very long time we know that it was a made up story. I hope that he extricate himself from this McAffeesque foolishness as soon as possible.

  14. joe says:

    Bring back our OIL also. Tell me who benefits? Sue who ?

  15. Elgin Martinez says:

    Belizeans we need to stand in solidarity with Dr Awe,Why do we always agree with everything that these foreigners do in our country?This is the reason why Mcafee is making a reality show and exposing unu corruption to the whole world.Di man got alla unu intimidated.Wake up Belize and get out of the colonial mentality.

  16. busha says:

    This is getting good, now everyone get out all your silly ideas before 12/21… let’s have it. This could be quite amuzing. Sue LucasFilm, LOL. THATS funny!!!!

  17. cayobway says:

    Since we are on the topic of suing, why don’t belizeans sue the barrow clan for signing oil concession with international companies who take or oil money and resources out of the country. that would be a big law suit for belize.

  18. Elgin Martinez says:

    Why are people lashing out at Dr Awe?Lash out at the man that came to Belize and stole our artifacts.This is exactly what Mcafee is writing about on his blog,how easy it is for any foreigner to go to Belize and manipulate not only the people but the entire system.”unu stop kiss @ Belizeans.

  19. islander says:

    Dr. Awe just lost all credibility in my book.

  20. Louisville,Ky says:

    @ Elgin Martinez….I agree with you. I just hope that the vast majority of these blogers aren’t Belizeans because if they are, then the Jewel is worst off than I imagined. For real….

  21. fakesaysawe says:
    Channel5 Belize had reported that the skull was a fake. If you check the archive, Jaime Awe himself said it was not Mayan, it was a fake brought to Belize. So News5 is evidence that goes against the case. Sup Awe?

  22. Common Sense says:

    Google “Turkish Artifacts and London Museum”. The Turkish Government to reclaim artifacts belonging to Turkey but housed in London Museums.
    Likely to open the “flood gates” to future litigation from other countries.

    I believe a South American Country (Peru?) is requesting return of its gold (Gold coins found in a ship wreck I think, again, google for facts) from Spain.

    Dr. Awe’s action is not unique.

    However……the crystal skull? LOL There appears to be quite a bit of evidence to show (again google is a friend here) that this skull is not Mayan or Belizean, but a hoax. I say – ICJ action for the return of our mahogany from the queen. That should be enough cash to pay the February installment of the superbond and late fees/interest etc.

  23. joe says:

    Dr. Awe has lost his marbles, the story about that skull is one big, fat myth. The lawsuit will go nowhere. I hope that GOB is not spending money on this ridicule ” Despite some claims presented in an assortment of popularizing literature, legends of crystal skulls with mystical powers do not figure in genuine Mesoamerican mythologies and spiritual accounts.”Aldred (2000, passim.); Jenkins (2004, pp.218–219). In this latter work, Philip Jenkins, former Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies and latterly an endowed Professor of Humanities at PSU, writes that crystal skulls are among the more obvious of examples where the association with Native spirituality is a “historically recent” and “artificial” synthesis. These are “products of a generation of creative spiritual entrepreneurs” that do not “[represent] the practice of any historical community”.

  24. Flabbergasted says:

    This is pure skullduggery!

  25. Seletar says:

    I was under the impression that Indiana Jones is fiction. If anything, I’m happy when the world learns about our nation and culture, even through fiction movies like that. Now GOB wants to SUE foreign moviemakers for making a story more or less about one or our legends or myths? We’re WAY off the tracks now!

    By the way, I like the movie, and it never mentions Belize.

  26. Genotu Rembiuos says:

    I don`t think Dr. Awe will have all the money necessary to pursue that law suit all they way to the end. And in America, they will stretch the case in order to crucify Dr. Awe.
    And after he loses he will have to pay back some heavy legal costs of the successful
    Dr. Awe gone Mcafeemonia !!!!

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