Roy Chapman Andrews is one of those guys that was so awesome he seems almost fictional. In the glory days of exploration and adventure, the early 1900's when science and action went hand in hand, Andrews was but one of many men who blazed trails through untamed wilds in the name of science. He did a great deal to bring paleontology into the public eye, namely by traveling deep into the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and retrieved fossilized eggs and bones.
He was one of those men that was adored in his own time and beloved by the public for being the kind of awesome adventurer most people wanted to be. And better yet, the discoveries he made were real! This was when ancient ruins in Egypt and South America were being discovered and fired up the public imagination. Even my beloved Edgar Rice Burroughs says that he was inspired by Andrews and his exploits. Wow, when your resume can say that you were the basis for one of the most influential authors of an entire century, you know that you're awesome!
I don't know about you, but I find it wonderfully comforting knowing that there was such a surprising multitude of genuine adventurers of this caliber that were real, living, breathing people.
Ahhh, and what did I discover upon poking around a bit on the web? None other than some of his exploits that he recorded! Okay, sure, some journals written even by the coolest trekkers can come across as kind of stale, but I certainly won't turn down this opportunity to check out things from the perspective of a man widely believed to have been the inspiration for Indiana Jones.
As a side note, I'd just like to voice my opinion that I do not believe he actually was. George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg both said that their character was not based on Andrews, and I believe them. They did say that they based him off of old action characters from serials and pulp from the 40's and 50's. Y'know, the era when creators were basing sodding everything off of real life and making it even more entertaining. I think the connections are circumstantial, simply basing Jones off of serial characters who were based off of Andrews himself. Simple, no?
I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to devour these two journals! I may even later on do a more in depth analysis on Andrews in the future. Who knows? It's kinda hard not to write about him!