At the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Ark is opened and Belloq and the Nazis are destroyed. Is there any explanation about how Jones and Marion Ravenwood get the Ark off the island?

The logistics are problematic, it's an island with a Nazi base, there doesn't appear to be enough escorting soldiers to account for the whole population of the base (or even a submarine) and as the Ark kills by sight, anyone not in attendance was unlikely to be harmed.

In addition, the Ark was also carried (by hand) to the location of the ceremony, presenting another practical issue.

  • I was wondering that while watching it last night. – David Stratton Feb 11 '12 at 21:15
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    Not canon, but I'd guess Indy had radio frequencies he could use to contact the agency who set him on this course. I'd also guess that the Nazi base was secret and lightly manned and most, if not all, of the Nazis were killed or frightened off by the depicted events. – jfrankcarr Feb 12 '12 at 0:10
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    On his magical red line, of course. – Jeff Feb 22 '12 at 2:18
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    Traveling by map! – Kyralessa Feb 22 '12 at 2:40
  • I believe there was a conveniently forgotten submarine docked at the island that they could have used. – Xantec Jan 10 '13 at 20:12

By boat. Too early for helicopters, and the island wouldn't have had a runway.

With all his opponents dead, he'd have to break free of his restraints. Find some equipment, radio the allies, they'd send a ship by. A landing boat is sent off, finds him, the sailors carry the ark back to it, it's stowed, and someone high up gives the order for it to set a new course to where ever the warehouse is.

What's so difficult about all this?

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    One thing we are all forgetting- the US obviously sent their top men. – Adele C Jul 8 '12 at 15:17

I do not think the ark necessarily kills people who look at it. It will kill evil powers that try to control it (hence it burns the Nazi flag strapped across it on the boat). When Indy and Marion shut their eyes it was a gesture of respect (like averting one's eyes) which is why they were saved.

Bearing this in mind transport would have been less problematic as it would be a case of arranging a ship etc. any force which tried to stop then would have been defeated as 'any army that carries the ark before it is invincible'.

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    The OT makes it pretty clear that you don't look at the content of the Ark. It doesn't do judgement, it smites more or less indiscriminately. Only the priests of the Temple could potentially look upon it (and I can't remember if they can either). – John O Jul 8 '12 at 18:22
  • Must have been a right pain in the neck to put that indescriminate killing machine in there! – Stefan Jul 8 '12 at 18:57
  • They probably had an UFO to beam the parts in there. Haven't you seen all movies? ;) IMO the more interesting question would be: Why didn't they use the ark on their own and instead stashed it? It clearly didn't harm anyone as long as it stood sealed (and IIRC it's not said it has to be open to defeat its opponents). – Mario Jul 8 '12 at 20:16
  • Possession of the Ark may itself have been enough to guarantee victory. I always got the impression that they were suggesting this is why the Allies won the war. – John O Jul 9 '12 at 13:43

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