"Competitor. He was good, he was very good."
Indiana Jones[src]

Doctor Forrestal was an archaeologist who taught history and archaeology at Princeton University. A professional rival of Indiana Jones, Forrestal's skills were held in high regard by Jones but the man was, on occasion, clumsy in his work.

Forrestal went missing around 1935 while searching for the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol in Peru. There, Jones would eventually discover his body inside the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors about a year later, killed by a spike trap.


In 1930, Forrestal was in Sweden searching for a pagan temple. The American archaeologist Indiana Jones initially believed Forrestal to be one step ahead of him but Jones and Dr. Theresa Lawrence reached the site first due to better research.[3] Forrestal went to meet too the French mercenary archaeologist René Emile Belloq, one of Jones' rivals, at some moment of his life.[4]

Four years later, Forrestal met with a man in Shanghai who wanted the archaeologist to assist his organization, the Brotherhood of the Eclipse, in finding the Calendar of the Sun, an artifact in two parts believed to have the power to control eclipses.[5]


Forrestal in 1934.

Drawn to the seemingly centuries-old organization, Forrestal agreed and the group set up a camp in South America near an area littered with the bodies of adventurers who had succumbed to the traps around the mysterious Moon Door which led to the Moon Temple and the Calendar's Lunar Component.[5]

The Brotherhood recovered the piece from its altar but betrayed Forrestal and left him to die in a trap when they flew out to Egypt. It was then that Indiana Jones arrived having fought off Brotherhood members to claim the Solar Component for himself. Jones, and a member of the Adventure Society who had been helping him look for the Lunar Component, rescued Forrestal and the grateful competitor revealed details of the Brotherhood to the pair.[5]

Forrestal also discovered a river flowing out from beneath El Dorado and informed the Adventure Society, which was excavating the area in and around El Dorado, as a "gesture of goodwill".[5]

Forrestal disappeared while searching for the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol in Peru in 1935.[1] In reality, as the Hovitos later informed Belloq, Forrestal rushed into the temple without checking for the light-sensitive booby traps, costing him his life.[4] Upon his disappearance, the National Museum contracted Indiana Jones to follow Forrestal's notes and research so that he could both find out what happened to Forrestal's missing expedition and, if possible, recover the idol. It was in the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors that Jones discovered Forrestal's body, speared by a row of sharp spikes triggered by a source of light. It was one of the many traps protecting the relic.[2]

Years later, Jones returned to the temple in order to further explore the site. When he entered into the temple's runner, he found Forrestal's carcass reduced to bones for which Jones remembered and lamented the fate of his competitor once more before continuing with his research and uncovering a second idol.[6]

Personality and traitsEdit

An archaeologist like Indiana Jones and René Emile Belloq, Forrestal used to scoure the globe for relics and structures of archaeological interest. As Jones noted after Forrestal's death, Forrestal was a very good competitor.[2] He was honorable and grateful, such as when Jones and one of his allies rescued Forrestal from a trap after being betrayed by the Brotherhood of the Eclipse, Forrestal thanked and rewarded the pair by revealing details of the Brotherhood to them.[5] As such, Jones lamented Forrestal's death once he became aware of it.[2][6]

Unfortunately, when Forrestal went to the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors in his search for the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol, he couldn't control his excitement about finding the relic and rushed into the temple without checking if there were any traps.[4] Such action costed Forrestal his life when a spike trap speared him, leaving his corpse to serve as a warning for any further adventurers.[2]

Behind the scenesEdit

Forrestal's was first featured, as a corpse, in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana Jones Adventures: Volume 1 erroneously spells it as "Forrestall" with a double L. Despite the man being mentioned a number of times in Indiana Jones stories, and Jones' respect for his abilities, it was not until 2011's Indiana Jones Adventure World that Forrestal was depicted prior to his death.

In the first draft of the film's script, written by Lawrence Kasdan, Indy was originally going to take down Forrestal's body from the spike trap and lay him gently to the floor. This idea, however, didn't make it to the final version of the film where Indy simply leaves Forrestal's body where he finds it.

Forrestal, though mentioned, is absent from Disney's Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!. In the show, there is no trace of a human presence at the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors when Indy appears alone to retrieve the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol.

He is also omitted from both LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures and its sequel (as in both games the spike trap isn't featured and Satipo never dies), but in the LEGO Indiana Jones set "Temple Escape", there is a generic skeleton minifigure attached to the spike trap as Forrestal was in the film itself. There were plans by Kenner in the 1980s for a Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors playset which would have included Forrestal's body. The set, however, went ultimately unproduced when the whole Indiana Jones toyline was abruptly cancelled, although some concept art was made.[7]



Notes and referencesEdit