10 Real-Life Archaeologists More Badass Than Indiana Jones

10. William Montgomery McGovern Fought Nazis, Found Artefacts

Unbelievable though the early life of Indiana Jones may be, William Montgomery McGoverns beggars belief to a even more ludicrous degree €“ and he's the one who really existed. By the age of thirty he had already explored the Amazon, climbed through uncharted parts of the Himalayas, survived the Mexican revolution, disguised himself to enter a hidden Tibetan city and studied at Oxford and the Sorbonne. It was after all those adventures that McGovern became assistant curator of the anthropology department at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, not unlike the stuffy lecturing job Indiana settled down in. Oh, but that's also forgetting his war time activities. No fighting Nazis to retrieve the Holy Grail, sadly, but McGovern was a correspondent in Japan during World War II, producing a top-secret newspaper read by President Roosevelt and the Joint Chiefs based on what he'd learned behind enemy lines. And like Indiana Jones, his progeny seem wholly disappointing in comparison to his exploits: his granddaughter is Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern.
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Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/