- "I was doing all the work and Edison was getting rich. My name should have been on those patents. Mine!"
- ―John Thompson[src]
In February 1916, John Thompson was a dinner guest at the Jones residence in Princeton with his wife. Over the meal, he mentioned the perils of working in the private sector: Edison would take credit for his innovations, including his then current project, the battery for an electric car. After dinner, Indiana Jones asked him if he could help repair a Buggati car generator, and Thompson agreed to have his staff fix it in time for Jones to drive his girlfriend to the junior prom.
The next day, Thompson and his assistant were at his lab when Jones and Nancy Stratemeyer arrived with the broken generator. Before he had a chance to work on it, he was kidnapped by several men, who also stole two sets of plans, and thrown in the back of a truck. His kidnappers took him to a poultry farm, where they left him tied up in the upstairs of a barn.
Jones and Stratemeyer found Thompson and rescued him, and brought the police to the barn. He reported that his captors were German and their words, when translated by Jones, were about high and low tides. However, Thompson was actually working with his captors, and had stolen submarine plans and concocted a story about German spies to cover up the theft of the plans of his electric car battery.
That evening, Thompson met with his associates at the oil refinery, while Jones and Stratemeyer searched for the stolen battery plans, having realized that the German spy connection was a red herring. Thompson left before Jones and Stratemeyer stole the plans and escaped the facility.
The next day, Thompson was back at his laboratory when Jones and Stratemeyer returned the plans. Thompson appeared grateful, but when Stratemeyer realized his involvement in their original theft, the pair of teens confronted the inventor. After fighting his way past the two and his lab assistant, Thompson stole the aerodynamic test car and escaped from the laboratory, with Jones and Stratemeyer in pursuit. Jones eventually used a shortcut and drove Thompson off the road. Fleeing on foot into the wetlands, Thompson surrendered into custody when the police arrived and fired warning shots.
When asked why he had stolen his own plans to sell to the oil company, Thompson replied that it wasn't about the money, but about not getting credit for his ideas by Edison.
Behind the scenes
Doctor Thompson was played by Mark L. Taylor.