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"Now, we've got some information here, but we can't make anything out of it, and maybe you can. Tanis development proceeding. Acquire headpiece, Staff of Ra. Abner Ravenwood. U.S."

Colonel Musgrove was a US Army officer and intelligence agent for the United States of America federal government.


Musgrove's army career began prior to World War I. He then went on to serve as a low-level adminstrative aide on the staff of General John J. Pershing during the conflict itself, analyzing aerial reconnaissance photographs of the Allied and German forces on Belgium and France's front lines.[2]

When the war was over, Musgrove headed the photo reconnaissance division of United States Army Intelligence before his transfer to the European special operations division found him partnered with Major Eaton to follow up Adolf Hitler's international activities, including the Führer's interest in artifacts with supposed supernatural properties. Both men weren't popular among their departments, being assigned precisely Hitler's case because the Defense Department preferred to focus on cracking German codes or checking in the status of weaponry development.[2]


Musgrove and Eaton at Hangar 51.

In 1934, Musgrove and Eaton monitored the Adventure Society, a group that was collecting powerful artifacts across the globe.[3]

Believing that the members could be useful to them, Eaton and Musgrove arranged to have the artifacts stolen and left a trail for the protegé of Society member Professor John Allen to follow which led back to a warehouse in Nevada. When the Society member arrived, Eaton and Musgrove revealed their ruse and their true intentions: they wanted Allen's team to join them as "top men".[3]

The Ark of the Covenant[]

In 1936, after the war department intercepted a Nazi communiqué that mentioned "Tanis", "Abner Ravenwood" and the "Staff of Ra", Musgrove and Eaton sought out Indiana Jones at Marshall College on the recommendation of Captain Harrison to learn more.[4] After Jones and Marcus Brody made the connection to the Ark of the Covenant and mentioned the Biblical powers ascribed to it, Musgrove was distressed over Hitler's interest in recovering it. He and Eaton decided to hire Jones to recover the Ark of the Covenant for the United States of America before the Nazis found it. As part of the deal, the Ark would go to Brody's museum after it was recovered.[1]

After Jones survived the opening of the Ark on a secret Nazi island base in the Mediterranean, Eaton and Musgrove met with Jones and Brody once again, this time in Washington DC. Musgrove thanked Jones and Brody for their service to the United States. While Jones and Brody argued that the Ark needed to be studied, Musgrove remained quiet while Eaton told them that "top men" would be handling the further research into the Ark's powers. In fact, the Ark was put into an army intelligence warehouse as crate #9906753.[1]

The Hall of Records[]

In July 1941, Musgrove was contacted by Sir Reginald Brooksbank, who had discovered the Akashic Hall of Records on the Bahamian island of Bimini, and was seeking U.S. help in keeping it safe from the Nazis. Musgrove worked with Brooksbank, and had Major Nichols assigned to protect the British explorer. Unfortunately, Brooksbank was believed killed when Nazi agents sabotaged his car, despite Nichols' protection. Brooksbank, before his death, recorded a film instructing his friend Indiana Jones to find the new location of the Hall of Records.[5]

Musgrove tracked Jones to Peru, but was unable to find his site. Musgrove used wanted posters, using the name of the fake Peruvian Museum Council to have Jones eventually captured by Peruvian forces. Musgrove met up with General Delgado in the Peruvian-occupied city of Puerto Bolivar to arrange for Jones' release, but Jones had already escaped Peruvian military custody and discovered Musgrove with the general. Though Jones distrusted him, Musgrove eventually convinced the archaeologist to help him by mentioning Brooksbank's recent death. With Nichols, Musgrove flew Jones to a U.S. military base in Panama, and showed Jones the film from Brooksbank and a mysterious sphere, which convinced Jones that the Akashic Hall of Records could be real. However, at the Rio Hato air base, Jones was attacked by a Nazi assassin. Musgrove agreed to Jones' plan to pretend to be dead, and then assume the role of an army sergeant serving as Musgrove's driver to get off base. At the town of Santa Clara, Musgrove learned of Jones' suspicion that Nichols was the Nazi spy, but then discovered that Jones had played him into letting him escape. After working with Nichols to piece together Jones' probable flight to Costa Rica, Musgrove began a plan to catch up with Jones when he was shot by Nichols.[5]

Musgrove survived the shooting, but was unable to prevent Nichols from taking American soldiers to Palmar Sur where they nearly apprehended Jones and his pilot, Bert Brodowski, who escaped and reached the Hall of Records at the Pyramid of the Sorcerer in Uxmal. By the time Musgrove was well enough to travel, he met up with Jones in Merida after Nichols had been defeated at the pyramid, and the Hall of Records had moved again. Musgrove apologized for dragging Jones into the Nichols fiasco, but offered to keep Jones on the job of tracking down the Hall of Records before the Nazis could find it again.[5]

Afterwards, Colonel Musgrove proposed the archaeologist be funded — unofficially — by the U.S. government in ventures that conflicted with Hitler's interests. Jones agreed, and was directed to follow up the name of a Nazi named Mephisto believed to be connected with a search for supernatural weapons.[6]

Following Jones's success in August, Musgrove traveled to a meeting with the archaeologist in Port Said, Egypt and presented him with a top secret file he believed required more immediate attention than the Nazis: Japanese experiments with the supernatural codenamed "Tsuzumi Boshi".[6]

Personality and traits[]

A particularly not suspicious and more practical man, Musgrove preferred to find artifacts instead of hiding behind them. He treated Adolf Hitler's obsession with the occult with a particular measure of disbelief. By 1936, Musgrove wasn't as assertive as he used to be back during his World War I service, letting his fellow Major Eaton interrupt him constantly.[2] Unlike Eaton, despite breaking his initial promise to Indiana Jones and Marcus Brody over letting them keep the Ark of the Covenant for the National Museum, Musgrove did thank them for their services and stayed silent instead of harshly going back on his word like Eaton did,[1] eventually feeling some embarassment at having broken his promise.[6] Part of Musgrove's reason to not investigate it immediately was due to his doubts about the Ark unleashing "God's wrath", fearing to be branded to be "nuts" by his superiors.[2]

In 1936, Musgrove was a slender man with little brownish hair.[1] By 1941, Musgrove had thinning gray hair and Indy speculated that he had put on a few pounds as well as gained a little more authority. He showed himself to be nice to kids, given how he friendly patted the heads of Giovanni and Isabella, the two Italian kids who assisted Jones in finding Mount Sinai, after retrieving their parents alive and well and finding political asylum for them at the United States of America, which led him to ask the two siblings if they liked baseball, smiling at their cute shyness.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

Musgrove was portrayed by the late Don Fellows in Raiders of the Lost Ark.[1]



Musgrove in LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures


Notes and references[]