An amateur Indiana Jones (Indy-Ama Jones?) has eluded the Nazis long enough to dug up sufficient evidence to convince the UK Environment Agency to let him excavate what he claims is a crypt at the bottom of the Duke of Northumberland's River in West London. Is this a promo for Harrison Ford’s last sequel in the famed fedora, a last Monty Python sketch or the real final and puzzling resting place of the hallowed cup from the Last Supper?
“When I find it, it’s going to be one of the greatest finds in history — the biggest discovery of mankind. Now I’ve been in the water it’s made me more certain. It feels hollow. It feels right. There’s something underneath. Why not Hounslow?”
“Why not Houslow?” Well, "Why not Poland" was asked recently when the never-ending quest for the Holy Grail led to that country without success so far. “It feels hollow. It feels right” sounds more like something Indiana Jones would say while purchasing melons at a Middle Eastern market but that’s the key sound that convinced Barrie-Jon Bower that his life of studying the Knights Templar puts the location of the Grail they were assigned to protect in Housnlow Heath, an historic nature reserve in the London Borough of Hounslow that once bordered Via Trinobantes, the Roman Road, and has been used for centuries as a training ground for armies as well as a hiding spot for highwaymen and other criminals. While weapons and artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age have been found there, Bower’s theory that the Knights Templar also trained there is not supported by evidence … yet.
“Finally I am certain this is the right spot. I am certain there will be a vault beneath the surface, with the Grail inside and other treasures from the Crusades. I can’t wait to get started. There are some other reasons as to why I think the Holy Grail is here which I don’t want to reveal. I don’t want rival hunters to get that information. It needs to stay secret. All will be revealed.”
All will be revealed (or not – remember Geraldo Rivera and the secret vault of Al Capone?) as soon as the Environment Agency, which is responsible for ensuring that work done on British rivers does not damage the environment nor cause floods, checks out Bower’s plan to drain the manmade river and hire a geophysical equipment specialist to dig for the alleged hiding crypt of the Holy Grail in one particular “secret” spot under the manmade river. Yes, the Duke of Northumberland's River is manmade – built during the reign of Henry VIII to divert more water to mills from the from the Colne, a tributary of the Thames. Could its routing over this particular spot have been intentional? Is that one of Bower’s “other reasons”?
This quest has survived wars, Nazis, satire and other Indy-Ama Joneses who have searched far from the land where its use legendarily transformed it from an ordinary cup into the miraculous Holy Grail. “Why not Hounslow?”, as Bower asks. Well, for one thing, the only media covering his quest are British tabloids like The Sun. For another, modern-day Nazis seem to be focused in other areas. On the other hand, the plot for the forthcoming fifth installment of the Indiana Jones series has yet to be revealed. Will this be the opening scene? The ending? That may depend on who says this:
“It feels hollow. It feels right.”