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Archaeologist sues: Indiana Jones crystal skull #453073
12/08/12 07:55 AM
12/08/12 07:55 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,262
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Archaeologist sues over use of artifact likeness in Indiana Jones crystal skull

The Crystal Skull as used in 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' in 2008.

A Belize archaeologist is suing the makers of a blockbuster ‘Indiana Jones’ film for using a likeness of a so-called Crystal Skull, which he says is a stolen national treasure.

Dr. Jaime Awe claims the skull was stolen from Belize 88 years ago, and that filmmakers had no right to use a model of it in 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In a lawsuit filed in Illinois this week, Awe is demanding the return of the Crystal Skull, which he says is a national treasure, from a treasure-hunting family who allegedly stole it, said the industry journal Friday.

But the legal action also targets Lucasfilm, its new owner the Walt Disney and Paramount Pictures which released the film by Steven Spielberg, for allegedly using a replica "likeness" of the skull.

Awe, head of the Institute of Archaeology of Belize, claims that the skull was found by the daughter of an adventurer named F.A. Mitchell-Hedges under a collapsed altar in temple ruins in Belize, and taken to the US in 1930.

The family is said to have made money exhibiting the skull, described as five inches high, seve inches long and five inches wide, which Awe says was used as a model for the Indiana Jones movie.

"LucasFilm never sought, nor was given permission to utilise the Mitchell-Hedges Skull or its likeness in the film," says the lawsuit, a copy of which was published by the Hollywood Reporter.

"To date, Belize has not participated in any of the profits derived from the sale of the film or the rights thereto," it added. The movie grossed about $786 million worldwide.

The skull is one of four valuable Crystal skulls seized from Belize - the others are on display in London, Paris and Washington.

"Belize was... an epicentre for nineteenth and early twentieth-century treasure hunters plundering the nation's Maya ruins under the guise of 'archaeology'," said the lawsuit.

The lawsuit is seeking the return of the original skull, which it describes as the "most notable" of the four. It added that Belize has a "right, title and interest in and to the Mitchell-Hedges Skull and its likeness."

The Hollywood Reporter described Awe as a "real-life Indiana Jones," and his legal action as "one of the most entertaining lawsuits of the year."

Neither Lucasfilm - which its founder and Star Wars creator George Lucas sold to Disney in October for over $4 billion - nor Paramount reacted immediately to news of the lawsuit.


Re: Archaeologist sues: Indiana Jones crystal skull [Re: Marty] #453112
12/09/12 08:08 AM
12/09/12 08:08 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,262
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Some discussion among friends....

hmmmm... anybody notice the suit was filed in Illinois, same location listed for Eyezzon and co? and Dr. Awe... same gentleman who rented out Xunantunich to the concert promoters is the one bringing suit?

I'd always thought the crystal skull was a hoax...

There is, in fact, strong evidence that skull was bought for £400 at a sale by Sotheby’s, London, in 1943, from Sidney Burney, the owner of an art gallery. Burney is recorded as its owner in an article in Man in 1936, when he was said to have owned it since at least 1933. Mitchell-Hedges mentioned it only in the first edition of his autobiography Danger My Ally, published in 1954, without giving an account of how he had acquired it, apart from hinting at mysterious circumstances. Mention of the skull was dropped from subsequent editions. Apparently, he had hoped to be buried with the object, but his adopted daughter Anna held on to it. It is now in the possession of Bill Homann.

The life of Mitchell-Hedges is shrouded in mystery. An adventurer and raconteur, much of his autobiographical work has been dismissed as invention (there are tales of wrestling with sea monsters, sharing a room with Leon Trotsky and the like) and he has been compared with Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr (Baron) von Münchhausen (1720-1797).

So far as is known, F.A. Mitchell-Hedges—a habitual liar and faker (Nickell 1988, 38; McConnell 1998)—made no reference to the skull at the time of his return from Lubaantun or in the years immediately following. In the 1930s he wrote newspaper articles and a book that discussed Lubaantun at length, but omitted the “Skull of Doom” in favor of relatively humble figurines.



this article's really interesting:

Next forensic artist Gloria Nusse had a look at the skull and came to the conclusion that it must have been made from a reference human skull as it was so accurate. She then made a cast of the replica skull and set about making a facial reconstruction to see if the had ancient American features.

The face turned out to be female and was clearly European so it can't have been created by ancient Americans 3600 years ago as it's claimed.

Dr John Morris explains that in attempt to find where Anna Mitchell-Hedges claimed to have found the skull in 1927, they re-mapped the site but they couldn't find any of the tunnels or passages she described.

You can find many, many scientific sources that clearly conclude that the crystal skull is a hoax. That's by far the accepted evidence in the archeological and scientific community.

What is bizarre to me is why Dr. Awe -- who generally has a very good reputation in Belize and elsewhere -- would, first, approve a concert at a Maya site that had the potential to do great damage to it, with little potential for anything positive for Belize, and then turn around and plan international (and doubtless very expensive) litigation on a phony if interesting bit of archeological history.

Agreed -- something strange going on here.

There has been a good bit of discussion about this over on The Belize Forums. Here is one of the best scientific articles debunking the Hedges skull, and the British Museum and Paris Museum skulls too.

I can't help but think Dr. Awe is way too good an archaeologist to not be aware of the general opinion in the discipline that large crystal skulls are fakes and it leads me to wonder about the true motivation for the lawsuit. Also, I think we have to be fair. I don't know Dr. Awe authorized the failed festival. There are bureaucratic layers above the Institute of Archaeology, at NICH and at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation where this idea could have been approved.

Over on the forums, Lan facetiously suggested filming a major motion picture about John McAfee's recent adventures as Belize's next PR move (credit where credit is due). I love the idea! Throw in some elements of 12/21/12 angst and I see a blockbuster. Carlos, I hope you don't mind, but I suggested you to write the screen play and I think Quentin Tarrantino should direct. Kayleon suggested Charlie Sheen to play John, a move I consider sheer casting brilliance. Who plays Sam? My favorite so far is Halle Berry. Now who are our other major characters? Gregory Faull, Dean Barrow, and Marco Vidal all come to mind, but how about Dr. Awe and the "mysterious promoter" of the show at Xunantunich too? Any other suggestions? We need a treatment and a storyboard people!

National Geographic...

One of the organizers from Eyez sent me a personal message on Facebook saying they were going to bring the Crystal Skull back to Belize as part of this event. Coincidence?

It's a shame to see Dr. Awe getting tangled up in this nonsense with these idiots from Eyez.

The same lawyer "TRACY, ADAM S" that created EYEZZON PRODUCTIONS LTD in 07/23/2012 is the one filing the lawsuit for Dr. Awe. He also created a interesting entity with a similar name just a month ago.

here's some links:

The lawsuit filed by attorney Adam Tracy attempts to make this claim by saying that Belize has a "right, title and interest in and to the Mitchell-Hedges Skull and its likeness" and that the film companies have participated in a civil conspiracy and tortiously interfered with its prospective economic advantage.

BZX1221 | The Concert | Xunantunich on Vimeo 6 days ago - 2 min
Eyezzon Productions, Ltd., headquartered in Chicago,
Illinois,... General Counsel / Secretary Adam Tracy ...

Re: Archaeologist sues: Indiana Jones crystal skull [Re: Marty] #453161
12/10/12 07:58 AM
12/10/12 07:58 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,262
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
from a friend....

here's my guess... a fast-talking lawyer visits Belize last year, gets an idea, and fast-talks Dr Awe into getting onboard.

hold a concert, benefit NICH, bring the skull 'back' to Belize, and make a buncha money?

my first clue was the word 'HOPING' in the initial press releases... as in... 'we are HOPING to book acts like Sarah McLachlan and Neil Young"

I don't know much, but I DO know that these things take a LOT of planning, advance notice, and the stars are lined up, committed, and booked etc. way ahead of time, with deposits, and so forth...

then, as others pointed out, there's no way to (smoothly, easily, safely) set up a massive stage and sat uplink onsite, via that tiny ferry...

so, I started mousing around the eyezzon facebook page, and looking at all the 'friends' and this deal started smelling like week-old FISH left in a ventilator shaft as a prank.

if it was a total scam (take the ticket-sales money and run) kinda deal, we would have seen a LOT more advance publicity, instead of a hokey come-on vimeo... this seems too lame to even merit attention.

add in the NOT-found in Belize crystal skull hoax, and mek ih wanda!

this, whatever it was... seems to be just a publicity stunt... as soon as people started questioning the deal (like Charlie asking Eyezzon why their video's down, Lisa asking why their site's gone dark, etc.) it all started to collapse like a house of cards.

of course, the vendors and guides in Succotz having a fit didn't help matters.

Re: Archaeologist sues: Indiana Jones crystal skull [Re: Marty] #453183
12/10/12 01:36 PM
12/10/12 01:36 PM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3,281
Barbara K Offline
Barbara K  Offline
too weird

Re: Archaeologist sues: Indiana Jones crystal skull [Re: Marty] #453230
12/11/12 04:18 AM
12/11/12 04:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 52
Indiana-Jones Offline
Indiana-Jones  Offline
Originally Posted by Marty
The Hollywood Reporter described Awe as a "real-life Indiana Jones," and his legal action as "one of the most entertaining lawsuits of the year."

Listen up people. There is no real life Indiana Jones outside the genuine one. That is me, and I will not share my glory or the crystal skull with an imposter.

Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers !!!

:- )

Re: Archaeologist sues: Indiana Jones crystal skull [Re: Marty] #453328
12/12/12 08:04 AM
12/12/12 08:04 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,262
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Director Of Archaeology Says He Wants No Part of Crystal Skull Lawsuit

It's been all over the international news these past few days that Director of Belize; Institute of Archaeology Jaime Awe is suing William Homann, the Estates of Anna and F.A. Mitchell-Hodges, LucasFilm, Walt Disney Co., and Paramount Pictures, in US Federal Court. Why? Because they possess or used Belize's Crystal Skull for commercial gain. Now, it does sound a little cock-eyed - since the Government of Belize has never possessed the Crystal Skull - and Awe himself does not believe it is a genuine Mayan artifact.

But, it seems that some over-ambitious promoters of dubious provenance want in on the Crystal Skull action - or the publicity. These are the same promoters behind the failed December 21st Concert.

It seems a part of their deal with NICH was to bring up this claim - but Awe told us today he never knew it was a lawsuit. He said they suggested that they knew that the person who had the skull lived in Chicago and would assist the GOB and NICH to try and recover it - but he never knew it would go so far.

Awe says he wishes to disassociate himself and NICH from the suit.

Channel 7

Re: Archaeologist sues: Indiana Jones crystal skull [Re: Marty] #453408
12/13/12 05:39 AM
12/13/12 05:39 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,262
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Archeology Attorney Says Jaime Awe Signed Off On Lawsuit

Last night we told you about the lawsuit filed against William Homann, the Estates of Anna and F.A. Mitchell-Hodges, LucasFilm, Walt Disney Co., and Paramount Pictures, in US Federal Court by Belize's director of the Institute of Archaeology, Jaime Awe.

He told us that he wasn't aware that it would be a full fledged lawsuit, and wanted to disassociate himself from it.

Well, this evening we got a release from James Reed the Director of a group called the Belize Archaeological Preservation Society Ltd.

His statement says that quote "We are in possession of an original copy of the Attorney Engagement Agreement signed by Dr. Awe and are, therefore, mystified by any assertions that the suit was unintended."

It adds that quote, "The basis of the suit was vetted over the course of several months and several meetings with various government officials at the highest levels of the Belize government."

It adds that: quote: "The law suit seeks to compensate Belize for the failure of LucasFilms to have gained permission to replicate objects of cultural and historical significance derived from Belize."

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