After it was retrieved by the US government following its discovery by Indiana Jones and later use by René Belloq and Dietrich in 1936, the Ark of the Covenant was placed in a crate and taken to the government warehouse known as Hangar 51 in Nevada.
The full text stenciled on the crate read:
- TOP SECRET
- ARMY INTEL 9906753
- DO NOT OPEN!
In the 1950s, Jones discovered the location of the crate at the hangar, and wrote in his journal that he might want to return to see it, and sketched a drawing of the box, though got the number wrong.
Behind the scenesEdit
After the crate's appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark, references to either the crate itself, or having a valuable treasure locked away in an anonymous crate sealed in a giant crate-filled warehouse appeared in other movies, television shows, and video games.
When the crate is being prepared, the 'Top Secret' sign is shown to be printed on the crate across vertically laid planks. However, when the Warehouseman is transporting it in the next shot, the sign appears slanted across horizontally laid planks.
The number 990 6753 can be found in the queuing area for Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Disneyland.
While in the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull film, Indiana Jones isn't shown to have noticed the Ark inside its broken open crate, other sources including the film's novelization depict Indy seeing the artifact during his flight from the warehouse but the archaeologist doesn't have time to stop and examine it more, although it could be though that he deduced that the US government lied to him about the Ark's fate, which could explain why he wrote about this in The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (First appearance)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark Storybook
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novel
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull