Thursday, May 19, 2005

Truth is much stranger than fiction

There's a news story here about the real life Indiana Jones, and how he plans on finding the Ark of the Covenant by Tisha B'Av. He claims that the tunnels from the Temple led 18 miles south of Jerusalem, to the hidden place of the Ark. Maybe that will pass by Efrat...

While the story is making some buzz, I'm not too excited. I've already had my encounter with a real life character from a Spielberg movie. When I was in high school, we had a very small senior class (13 students) and an even smaller physics class (there were 3 of us.) I don't know exactly how, but the school hired a guy to teach physics named Jack Sarfatti. He wouldn't really teach us -he preferred to explain why he thought Steven Hawking was wrong. He would talk to us about his theories about time travel. This was odd, but it was San Francisco, so we weren't too shocked.

But what really got us was how he said he was the basis for Doc Brown in Back to the Future. He explained how he used to hang out with Spielberg and Coppola, and tell them his theories on time travel. There was certainly a similarity in appearance (not great from the photos I found online, but you'll get the idea)

Jack Sarfatti:

Doc Brown:

I've since then looked at his website, and here he claims that he and his friends were also the inspiration for Ghostbusters.

In any case, I prefer the movie character to the real person. It's simply easier to suspend my disbelief in a movie theater than in a classroom. And I assume it's the same way with Prof. Jones as well...