Obscura Society LA: Visiting the Holy Land - Atlas Obscura
Join us on an Atlas Obscura Trip in 2019 »

Los Angeles, California

Obscura Society LA: Visiting the Holy Land

Join Obscura Society LA as we follow the path of the real-life Indiana Jones and go in search of the Ark of the Covenant

Hollywood would have you believe that the great Indiana Jones was a fictional character; his adventures to the Middle East and the great quest to find the Ark of the Convenant were just plot lines for a highly entertaining film trilogy (let's all forget the fourth Indiana Jones).  But this is not true. Indiana Jones was real and his great collection of artifacts are located right here in Los Angeles. 

The Australian-born Antonia F. Futterer went looking for adventure early in his life. In his early 20s, he sought riches in the Australian outback during the 1890s gold rush. While in the outback, he came down with a severe case of appendicitis. Near death, he made a deal with the man upstairs - God. He promised, if he survived, that he would commit himself to teaching the Bible to whomever he crossed. Futterer recovered and he upheld his word. 

Futterre made his way to Oakland, California where he developed the Eye-Ographic Bible; essentially a Cliff Notes way of teaching the Bible. His teaching method became a hit and he moved south to Los Angeles. Settling in the Glendale area,  he began to research the existence of the Ark of the Convenant, thought to hold tablets with the orginal written Ten Commandments.  Long-rumored to have been destroyed in 587 BC, Futtere concluded they were not destroyed and, in fact, hidden under Mt. Nebo in present-day Jordan.

In 1924, he went in search of the Ark of the Convenant, transversing the Middle East in search of this holy artifact. Despite several trips, he was never able to find the Ark, but he did amass a huge collection of Holy Land artifacts, including 5,000 year old oil lamps, a 2,700 year old sarcophagus, and many Middle Eastern jewelry pieces/tapestries. 

Today, all of Futterer's collection is housed in the Holy Land exhibition in Glendale, California for the world to see and observe. 

Join Obscura Society LA as we pay a visit to this unique museum and learn about the "real-life Indiana Jones." 

We will be given a guided tour of the museum, followed by refreshments. 


  • Street parking is available, though a bit limited. Car pool if you can.
  • We will all meet inside and walk in together. 
  • The museum is currently run by a small group of people. Please be respectful of them and their museum.

Visit here for more information:  Holyland Exhibition