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Old 12-31-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
mini-inferno
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Captain Blumburtt

Hope everybody's been enjoying the reruns of Indy on the BBC over Christmas, however, after watching TOD tonight, I couldn't help but wonder if, after Indy recovers the last Sankara, Captain Blumburtt woul have permitted Indy to take the stone back to the village. Given the era, I think it more likely Blumburtt would have confiscated the stone and taken it back to reside in the British Museum. What do other Indy heads think?
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
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Indy overcame his 'professional' urge to keep it and thus returned it to where it was needed. I'm sure if Blumburtt had tried to take it back to a British museum, Indy would have lent his professional weight against that decision.

Blumburtt was perhaps concerned over the issue, but his job was overseeing State matters within his jurisdiction. The Kali's existence and antics would have been enough for him to deal with rather than conspiring to filch something of minor 'cultural' value. Unless he thought of smashing them open to get to the diamonds!
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:00 PM   #3
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Hi Mickiana,
it didn't occur to me to break open the stone to get at the diamonds. This would probably make it even more likely Blumburrt would have kept the Sankara stone to win favour with the monarchy of the time. The diamonds could have been used for the embellishment of the Imperial state crown, which was reset with a load of diamonds in 1937 for the coronation of George VI. So its likely Blumburrt would have brought the Sankara stone back to Britain in triumph and won a new, more eminent commission, but at the expense of Indy's promise to the village from which it was taken.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:41 PM   #4
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I imagine Blumburtt couldn't care less about a rock.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lao_Che
I imagine Blumburtt couldn't care less about a rock.

That's right. He would be more concerned about it being stolen than what it was.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickiana
That's right. He would be more concerned about it being stolen than what it was.

Yes, and if he cares that it was stolen, he'd care that it was returned to its rightful owners - the people of Mayapore. Bumburtt seemed like a pretty stand up guy by the standards of the era.

And anyway, Indy took the stone back to Mayapore, so obviously Blumburtt allowed him to take it. The mere fact of the stone's safe return means the situation described by the OP is entirely hypothetical.

Besides; if a museum wants the other stones they can dredge the river. Ram seemed confident they could be recovered, so perhaps they can.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:43 PM   #7
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Lightbulb Captain Blumburtt & the Dazzling Diamonds - Part I

Splendid topic, mini-inferno! A thread dedicated to ol' Cap'n Blumby was long overdue and he is a character whom I can really sink my teeth into. Bravo. Been meaning to reply earlier but was busy until now.

First off, I'm well aware that the Indy movies aren't strict when dealing with historical facts & events so, please, bear with me...

---
I don't find it likely that Captain Blumburtt would have taken the stone for glory of The Empire. Perhaps he might have in the 1700s or 1800s but it's doubtful in 1935, as he was living during a different colonial era and much in India had changed. However, the thought is very intriguing so let's get down to the nitty-gritty details.

RETURNING THE SANKARA STONE / WHY?

1) The Captain obviously didn't take the Shiva Lingam because he was one of the good guys in the story. Right? Just like all of the 1930s Hollywood & UK movies dealing with the British Raj in India, people like him weren't the villains.

2) At the time of "Doom", the British Indian Army hadn't engaged in armed conflict for 14 years. Apart from the civil disobedience protests & occasional public riots, this period (1921-1935) was the longest stretch of peace in the British Raj's 200-year history. That's a remarkably long time when compared to the staggering amount of military campaigns in India throughout the previous hundred years (non-stop from 1837-1902). Furthermore, our fictional province of Pankot was located on the North East Frontier, a region that hadn't seen any armed conflict in *40 YEARS*! (There was the Second Mohmand Campaign in 1935 but that was far away in the North West and settled quickly).

Lord Kitchener's reforms stipulated that supporting police matters was one of the Indian Army's main obligations so, due to the relative tranquility at the time, the forces in the North East had long been accustomed to playing a police role. The movie reflected this as the troops were on a "routine inspection tour", much like a police patrol, and Blumburtt, at the dinner table, did inquire about Indy's accusation of theft. Therefore, it would've/should've/could've been part of the Captain's mandate to ensure that the stolen property was returned to its rightful owners (kidnapped children included).

3) With all the political/religious tension & cries for national freedom going on in India during those days, grabbing SACRED DIAMONDS away from POOR, INNOCENT PEOPLE would have probably been a bad decision. The news would've spread. Gandhi's calls for non-violence didn't always resonate 100%. Riots did happen, with police & civilians being killed by mobs so taking the Sankara Stone could have flung the flames of discontent even further, provoking more unrest. The British were trying to hang on to India and such a gamble wouldn't be playing their cards right. If the thought ever entered Blumburtt's mind, I like to think that he'd be aware of the possible consequences.



(If it's OK with the Mods, I'm going to split my reply into 3 parts to avoid one giant, monster post.)
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:18 PM   #8
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Lightbulb Captain Blumburtt & the Dazzling Diamonds - Part II

TAKING THE SANKARA STONE / WHAT IF?

Supposing that Blumburtt did indeed decide to take this gem-filled Shiva Lingam for fortune & glory, here's my take on the proposition:

1) How could the act be justified? Claiming the diamonds as a spoil-of-war wouldn't go over well (for reasons explained above) but I can think of an alternate excuse: TAXATION. During the 1920s, it became increasingly difficult for the Raj to collect land tax from the Indian people. The situation grew to a point in the early '30s where soldiers/sepoys started accompanying revenue agents when it came time for villages to pay up. This show of force soon became effective enough that it wasn't really needed in c.1935 but a little bending of reality does provide an imaginable scenario for Blumburtt to "confiscate" the item. (At the very least, he could've reported that the poor village of Mayapore wasn't so poor after all...and then stood back to see what happened next.)

2) Before beginning any talk of "triumph", the lingam would need to be examined (by cutting or grinding or X-ray) to see if it really contained anything precious inside. It's highly doubtful that the rock would have remained fully intact before leaving for England.

3) No matter how it was acquired, I cannot picture Cpt. Blumburtt being the one to personally bring the prize back to Britainnia. We are talking about something as large & priceless as the great Cullinan or Koh-i-Noor diamonds, both of which ended up in the Crown Jewels (which I'm sure you know). The stone would have been, most assuredly, taken out of his hands by his superiors and immediately brought to Eastern HQ in Lucknow or General HQ in Delhi. The Viceroy of India would've probably received a call and it would have been taken to England by political delegates & appointed guards. Like the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor, the main event would have been a fake/decoy with the real treasure being transported in secret.

4) Planning to cut certain diamonds from the rough can sometimes take years. Depending on what the Sankara Stone yielded, the finished gem (or gems) might not have been ready in time for the 1937 coronation.

5) Would Blumburtt have received a promotion for acquiring the stone? I could see him maybe getting a medal or an award...but promoted? Compare the situation to the guy in 1905 who found the Cullinan, the LARGEST diamond ever discovered. He was also a Captain (police) and received a reward from the company that owned the mine where he spotted it. Today, that reward is equivalent to $600,000 US but was that lucky captain promoted because of it? I don't know. (Although, if a promotion was deemed to be handed out, Blumby might have achieved Major for his action at the Pankot gorge, extinguishing an insurrection, etc.)


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Old 01-23-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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Lightbulb Captain Blumburtt & the Dazzling Diamonds - Part III

ACCEPTING THE SANKARA STONE / WHO KNEW?

One has to wonder if Blumburtt even knew that there were diamonds inside.

1) Glowing stones weren't discussed at the dinner table and the Prime Minister downplayed the lingam's importance as just a plain rock.

2) Blumburtt learned that Dr. Jones had a history involving theft of foreign artifacts.

3) It's entirely possible that Indy, the Maharajah, etc. kept quiet about the riches to avoid any hullabaloo. It's also possible that Blumburtt's sepoys knew about the legend of Sankara's glowing rocks and whispered about it amongst the ranks, with the tales/rumours only reaching the Captain's ears sometime later.

4) Our heroes arrived in the village unaccompanied by troops. The novel describes how the Captain provided a detachment of men to escort Indy & Co. back to the outskirts of Mayapore but they don't go in. Not one soldier entered the village to monitor the stone's safe return. If Blumby knew about the diamonds, why in blazes was Indy allowed to be custodian of the stone without any supervision? One would think that a lieutenant (at the least) would've been ordered to oversee the affair, ESPECIALLY because of Indy's shady reputation!

Picture this…

Cpt. Blumburtt: "Well, Doctor, the Sultan of Madagascar wanted to lop off your head, eh, old boy? Tell me, will you be so kind as to bring that fortune in diamonds back to the village you say it came from?"

Dr. Jones: "Trust me."

Cpt. Blumburtt: "Splendid. I have a polo match to attend in Jaipur the day after tomorrow. Can't miss the train. Farewell, Jones, and good luck."



---
And finally...

Lingams are common items. If Blumburtt believed that this one was just regular rock, what would make it special enough to take for the British Museum?
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:22 AM   #10
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Stoo continues to amaze. (Well thought, and well said.)

It does appear to be a regular rock. Who would even notice it in a museum? It's certainly not the Elgin Marbles. And as Stoo notes, there was no conversation with Blum where diamonds were mentioned. So he likely didn't want it.

Even if he considered taking it back to Britain, Indy would have refused. Koosh mentioned Blum "obviously allowed him to take it," but that seems a bit laughable. Indy doesn't exactly wait for permission from anyone. Regardless, there wouldn't have been a fight over it. It would have amounted to Blum saying, "Gimmee," and Indy saying, "No. I'm taking this back to the village. It's only an old rock. And I did just uncover and practically wipe out the Thugee uprising single handed. You owe me one."

Simple terms that Blum would gladly agree to. Indy gets the rock, and Blumburtt gets to go home talking about how he stomped out an uprising against the crown and returned hundreds of slave children to their families. More than enough for his promotion.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodeknight
Stoo continues to amaze. (Well thought, and well said.)
Cheers, Goodeknight, and Belated Happy New Year to you.

Firstly...
Jan 30: Today. Gandhi was, unfortunately, assassinated 66 years ago.
Jan 25: 5 days ago (2 days after posting my Blumburtt theory), the Cullinan diamond was found 109 years before.

I mentioned both of them before in my previous posts last week which is why I'm mentioning them again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodeknight
It does appear to be a regular rock. Who would even notice it in a museum? It's certainly not the Elgin Marbles. And as Stoo notes, there was no conversation with Blum where diamonds were mentioned. So he likely didn't want it.
In the world of the movie, perhaps some museum would want to proclaim/advertise/brag that they have 1 of the famous 5, legendary 'Sankara' stones? (Audio guide: Note the stone on the left with the 3 white, horizontal lines.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodeknight
Even if he considered taking it back to Britain, Indy would have refused. Koosh mentioned Blum "obviously allowed him to take it," but that seems a bit laughable. Indy doesn't exactly wait for permission from anyone. Regardless, there wouldn't have been a fight over it. It would have amounted to Blum saying, "Gimmee," and Indy saying, "No. I'm taking this back to the village. It's only an old rock. And I did just uncover and practically wipe out the Thugee uprising single handed. You owe me one."

Simple terms that Blum would gladly agree to. Indy gets the rock, and Blumburtt gets to go home talking about how he stomped out an uprising against the crown and returned hundreds of slave children to their families. More than enough for his promotion.
I've always imagined what might have happened during the week of the Pankot aftermath. I say, "week', because the novel mentions how the good guys rested at the palace for "a few days" and that it took another 2 days for the trek to the village. (While there's no evidence of this in the film, it's still the way things probably could've played out.) According to the book (& logic), the kids were collected from their hiding places and taken care of, with wounds tended to, etc. at Pankot Palace before being brought home to their various villages. Therefore, the task of documenting all of their names & homes, etc. would have been necessary.

During this time of paperwork & categorization, I can imagine that Blumburtt would have subjugated the stone to be put in his staff's possession, temporarily, in order to catalogue it for his report. This could have created a situation where the Cpt. had The Rock and Indy didn't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodeknight
It would have amounted to Blum saying, "Gimmee," and Indy saying, "No. I'm taking this back to the village. It's only an old rock. And I did just uncover and practically wipe out the Thugee uprising single handed. You owe me one."

Simple terms that Blum would gladly agree to. Indy gets the rock, and Blumburtt gets to go home talking about how he stomped out an uprising against the crown and returned hundreds of slave children to their families. More than enough for his promotion.
Indy & the Maharaja were both responsible for EXPOSING the Thugs...but "stomping/wiping out" was definitely thanks to the British Indian Army. If the Poona Rifles hadn't shown up in time, Indiana Jones might have fallen to the riverbed, full of arrows & bullet holes.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
This could have created a situation where the Cpt. had The Rock and Indy didn't.

Maybe the stone burned Blumburtt each time he tried to take it off Indy.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
Indy & the Maharaja were both responsible for EXPOSING the Thugs...but "stomping/wiping out" was definitely thanks to the British Indian Army. If the Poona Rifles hadn't shown up in time, Indiana Jones might have fallen to the riverbed, full of arrows & bullet holes.

You got me there, and I did think of that beforehand. But if credit was due to anyone, it was certainly Indy. And he did take out their leader, feeding him to the crocodiles, as well as a number of lesser baddies.

And Happy New Year to you, too, Stoo.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:28 PM   #14
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All excellent points but I stand by my interpretation of Blumburtt as a decent man who'd want to see the stone returned to its rightful owners (whether he knew of the diamond inside or not). He's not a greedy robber. He's a proper English gentleman! A little condescending, perhaps, but charged with keeping order. Seeing the stone safely returned is his job. He clearly showed (mild) concern over the accusation of theft during dinner (it caught his interest, if nothing else), so I still say he'd prefer to see it returned to Mayapore.

All things considered, Blumburtt had bigger things to deal with, like the resurgence of the Thuggee and seeing to it that an entire village's worth of children were returned to their parents. I think he left the return of both the children and the stone to Indy, because he had his hands full with all the captured Thuggee.

Also like I said, even if Blumburtt, or someone else, wanted the stones, they could still dredge the river for the other two. Sure, it's infested with alligators, but Mola Ram clearly said they could be recovered if Indy dropped them in. But who'd want them and why is something I'm not entirely certain of, especially if the fact their contain diamonds isn't generally known.

Discuss.

I say a potential TOD sequel could involve an effort to dredge the river, dig up the remaining stones from the mine (the ones the Thuggee failed to find), and, perhaps even taking Mayapore's again. Indy can team up with Blumburtt to find the culprit (possibly a returning Chattar Lal, or maybe even a corrupt British military officer or maybe even Belloq, if set before Raiders). Lots of possibilities.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodeknight
But if credit was due to anyone, it was certainly Indy. And he did take out their leader, feeding him to the crocodiles, as well as a number of lesser baddies.
The real credit goes to Shorty. He woke up both Indy & the Maharaja from the Black Sleep. Indy took out the leader and the Maharaja warned Blumburtt (as evidenced in the movie*) which might not have happened if it weren't for Short Round.

*I've been preparing some graphic images of Zalim Singh warning Captain Blumburtt in the surrounding hills. Stay tuned...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kooshmeister
All things considered, Blumburtt had bigger things to deal with, like the resurgence of the Thuggee and seeing to it that an entire village's worth of children were returned to their parents. I think he left the return of both the children and the stone to Indy, because he had his hands full with all the captured Thuggee.
Returning the children (& the stone) is where Blumburtt can be criticized for his dubious handling of the job. He entrusted this business to a shady, cagey civilian (and a foreigner, at that). As I mentioned before, the novel describes how troops dropped them off on the outskirts of the village but no military/police were around to oversee the matter after that.

This is why I think that Blumburtt never had any indication that the stones had diamond/s inside. To him, their value was purely religious (in my opinion).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kooshmeister
But who'd want them and why is something I'm not entirely certain of, especially if the fact their contain diamonds isn't generally known.
Because they were 2 of the 5 stones from the legend. Archaeologists, Indian & British, would probably want to look for them if they had such a precise location.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lao_Che
Maybe the stone burned Blumburtt each time he tried to take it off Indy.
Here's an imaginary scene, moments before Blumburtt would get burned by the stone for the 1st time:

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Old 09-19-2014, 10:32 PM   #17
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I imagine Blumburtt was a person who did not believe in "magic rocks" thus told Indy that if the villagers really thought it protected them to take it back to them.
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:40 PM   #18
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Via the IndyCast I learned Phil Blumburtt from Howard the Duck has the same name (and screenwriters). Figuring Philip was born around 1875 and Phil around 1955, maybe there's a generation between them born around 1915? Tim Robbins could play his own father, Professor Blumburtt, in Indy 5. Pretty much the same character from Anchorman.
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