National Treasure

Corrected entry: The main characters in the movie time and time again touched the document without gloves. The oils on their hands would have caused this old document to crumble.

Correction: Actually, this is incorrect. Although the Declaration of Independence would have undoubtedly been more fragile than was portrayed in the movie, the handling of documents with bare hands do not do any damage to the document as long as the hands are relatively clean. In fact, the National Archives, when restoring antique and ancient documents actually use their bare hands because gloves eliminate tactile comprehension and actually do more harm than good since the wearer is less sensitive to the impact their hands have on the document. Documents much older than the Declaration of Independence, such as one of the original Magna Cartas (from 1215, more than 500 years before the Declaration was written) have also been held with restorers' and historians' bare hands with no damage.

Corrected entry: Ben, Abigail and Riley are able to escape by a stealing his father's Cadillac De ville. The Cadillac De ville has an on star system that would allow the FBI to track them and intercept them, ruining any chances of escape for the three. The FBI would ask Ben's father what kind of car he has, and he would tell them. On star systems are very difficult to disable, taking several hours. By then, the FBI probably would gotten to Ben's father's house before Ben, Abigail, and Riley could escape.

Correction: It is quite possible the onstar system was deactivated / disconnected long before Ben and the others took it. You unsubscribe, remove the fuse and disconnect the wires on the onstar box. Nobody would be able to track it.


So unsubscribing, removing the fuse, and disconnecting the wires on the onstar box doesn't take very long?

We have no idea when it was unsubscribed from, disabled or for what reason - could have been months earlier. Whether it's a quick or slow process is irrelevant if it was done in the past. Onstar isn't free as an ongoing service - maybe his dad didn't think it was worth the money so cancelled it ages ago.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Correction: By the time the FBI released Ben's father, they were far ahead of them, most likely ditched the car since we didn't see it later in the film, and the FBI did catch up with them. Ben got arrested.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Abigail and Riley are running from the bad guys, Riley bumps into some people but Abigail runs into traffic and drops the Declaration of Independence, which is in just a clear, plastic cover. In the next shot, after she's almost hit by a truck, Ian comes and picks up the Declaration of Independence, which is now in a white container; he even unscrews the lid to take out the Declaration.

Correction: I was watching this scene just as I was reading this entry, and wound it back several times. Abigail always has the white hard-shell container, and that is what she drops. She does not have the Declaration only in a clear plastic sleeve.

Corrected entry: When Ben, Riley, Ian and Shaw are on the Charlotte after Ben rolls the pipe with his blood on it in the notebook, somehow, the start of the clue is at the top of the notebook and it ends at the right place. How did Ben start rolling at exactly the right point on the pipe?

Correction: Pure coincidence. Not a mistake, just really good luck. And suspension of disbelief is a common film technique, so a lot of other great films would be wrong if this was counted as a mistake.

Corrected entry: When Riley writes "S,S,A,N,D" on the paper, the kid points out how odd his N's are. But when he looks over the whole message, there are two normally written N's.

Brad Premium member

Correction: The kid points out just the one letter "N", not any of the other "N"'s. It's just the one "N" that's unusual.

Corrected entry: It helps move the plot along so Ian can find Ben, Riley and Abigail but it makes no sense for Riley to go to where the Silence Dogood letters were kept, they simply could have googled them and got the answers they needed.


Correction: Because the Ottendorf cypher requires original documents or scans to work, Ben, Riley, and Abigail could not have made a Google search for the Silence Dogood letters unless Ben's father or the Franklin Institute posted scans online. However, Riley could have simply taken photos of the display rather than hire a child to repeatedly go in and out of the building.

Corrected entry: The Knights Templar are mentioned a number of times during the film as if they were part of Freemasonry. They were not. They were a Catholic order of Knights who were originally established in the 1100's to protect the Holy Land. They had nothing to do with Freemasonry.

Correction: Or so they want you to think. Actually there have been many theories that the Knights Templar continued on to form many modern day institutions, including the Freemasons. In any case this falls under artistic license.


Corrected entry: When Ben and company finally find the national treasure, among the artifacts present are what appear to be Egyptian statues. America was not involved in Egyptology at the time of the Founding Fathers. Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Egypt introduced Egyptology to Europe in the early 1800's, but there is no record of the United States acquiring Egyptian treasures at that time.

Correction: The whole movie is based on secrets and conspiracies. In this vein, the treasures the US got were kept secret.


Corrected entry: In a scene near the end, Ben sticks the bottom of the pipe into a lock device on the wall and is able to easily spin it counter-clockwise to open the door. This lock device has been deep underground for well over 200 years, and he's able to spin it with a flimsy pipe with one hand? Why hasn't it rusted?

Correction: While the locking mechanism is metal, it takes both moisture and high enough levels of oxygen to oxidize. Neither of which would be in significant quantities in an underground tomb which had been sealed for a couple of centuries. It also doesn't mean it was steel. It could just as easily have been aluminum or titanium - for both of which the mining processes were new to that period of time.

Corrected entry: When Ben trades the cashier the one-hundred dollar bill back for his watch, she doesn't put the money back in the register.

Correction: When they are walking away from the cashier, though it's out of focus a bit you can see the cashier replace the bill into the register.

Corrected entry: When Ben and Riley are trying to figure out Abagail's password to enter the room with the Declaration, Riley reads the result "Valley Frog", seen onscreen. Ben says it's "Valley Forge" and that she pressed the E and L twice. This suggests that Riley's password cracking program does not account for the fact that the letters can be used twice. If this is true, then "Valley Frog" should not have been a result in Riley's program because it has two L's.

Correction: This is not a mistake. The program Riley is using displays, "VALEY FROG, " not, "VALLEY FROG." Ben realizes it's Valley Forge because Riley said, "Valley frog, " but didn't spell it over their radio and Ben didn't actually see how it was misspelled. "She pressed the E and the L twice, " is what Ben says as he's figuring it out because of the fact that he knows Riley is reading a misspelled version of Valley because of Frog.

Corrected entry: When the whole group is underneath Trinity Church they give Ian Howe another clue. Patrick Gates tells him: "signal Paul Revere that the British were coming, one if by land, 2 if by sea." When Howe is gone, Dr. Chase asks: "what's going on? If the British came by sea was 2 lanterns, not one." That's exactly what Gates said, so no point for Chase to 'correct' old Gates. One of the two should have said it the other way round.

Ronnie Bischof

Correction: She didn't say "If the British came by sea was 2 lanterns, not one." She said, "the British came by sea, two lanterns." When Patrick Gates gave Ian the fake clue he said: "The Olde North Church in Boston where Robert Newman hung a lantern in the steeple to warn Paul Revere that the British were coming, one if by land, two if by sea, one lantern." He specifically said "one lantern" because there was one lantern hanging in the room ("the lantern is the clue"). When Chase corrected him, she was talking about how, according to history, there were in fact TWO lanterns hanging in the steeple of the Olde North Church, not one like Patrick had said.

Corrected entry: When Gates is walking towards the room where the Declaration of Independence is, he is wearing nothing on his hands, but when he is pulling the sheet off of the glass frame he is wearing white gloves.

Correction: Actually Ben has the white gloves on when he is reading off the letters of Abigail's password before he enters the preservation room.

Corrected entry: When describing the Ottendorf cipher, Ben says the groups of three numbers on the back of the Declaration represent words and mentions that the numbers stand for page-line-word, yet the child ends up reading individual letters from the Silence Dogood letters.

Correction: The Ottendorf Cipher used in the film is actually "the page of the key text, the line on the page and the letter in that line." He does say word a little earlier, but I think he's just being vague and goes on to clarify.

Corrected entry: When Ben meets Abigail for the first time in her office, he admires her collection of Washington's campaign buttons. In fact, there is no such thing as a Washington campaign button, since presidential campaigns (as we know them today, with a candidate declaring the desire to be president and actively promoting himself or herself) did not come into existence until the mid-1800's. Washington never "ran" for president. In fact, at the time it would have been considered very un-gentlemanly and arrogant to publicly express your interest in the office. There were however buttons made to commemorate his inauguration and his presidency itself (saying "Long Live the President", etc., but nothing like those seen in the film), and these are, indeed, collector's items.

Correction: There were never any buttons made up to commemorate Washington's military campaigns. Also, political campaign buttons were not seen until the presidential election of 1840. The buttons could have been referred to incorrectly by Ben; perhaps they were coat buttons from some of Washington's uniforms; which would make Abigail's collection very rare indeed. Unfortunately, they don't look like uniform buttons. Alternatively he might have meant inauguration buttons.

Corrected entry: Ben had digital scans of the Silence Dogood letters before ever having gotten the clue about "The key in Silence undetected". Obviously, he'd need the originals that his father had to get scans, and Ben seems surprised when his dad tells him that he donated the letters. Ben didn't meet his father between going to the Charlotte and the National Archives (as evidenced by Patrick's shock at the fact that Charlotte was a ship), so why did Ben have the scans of the Silence Dogood letters when as far as he knew, he didn't need them?

Brad Premium member

Correction: Ben is a history major and a collector. While he didn't know for sure what clues he'd need, I imagine he probably made sure to collect anything that came from the founding fathers hands as they were involved with this treasure and could be holding clues anywhere. It would also make sense to make scans that way he doesn't have to keep going back to his father who does not support his hunt for the treasure. He may have previously looked over the letters to see if there was any clue in those letters as to who "charlotte" was.

Corrected entry: When Ben is escaping from the National Archives with the Declaration of Independence, he has to pay for it at the gift shop. As seen later in the film, the gift shop does use bar codes. Why would the cashier not have scanned the real document for a bar code?

Correction: It is entirely possible to ring up a purchase without scanning a barcode. Especially if the item does not have one. There are plenty of explanations for why the cashier didn't scan a barcode for the real document: It's simple to assume that after noticing the sleeve didn't have a barcode, the cashier could have just entered the transaction manually... Some gift shops keep barcodes for commonly purchased items affixed to the counter or somewhere else easily accessible, in order to save time, instead of looking for one on the item, they just scan the code on the counter... Ben ended up buying an actual souvenir copy off screen. The cashier could have scanned the souvenir copy twice.

Corrected entry: Near the beginning of the movie, while inside the Charlotte, Ben says "on the back of a resolution". How does he know the secret coding is on the back of a document?

Correction: The last line of the riddle on the pipe's stem reads, "Mr. Matlack can't offend." As Ben says at the beginning of the aforementioned sentence, "And to make sure he [Mr. Matlack] could not offend the map..." This means that, had the map been on the same side that Timothy Matlack had written on, the map would have been ruined (offended). So it was drawn on the back.

Corrected entry: After cracking the clue of Silent Dogood letters, while leaving the shopping mall, Riley asks Ben and Abigail, "Who was the first to propose daylight saving time?". They reply "Benjamin Franklin". But, it was George Vernon Hudson in 1895. (Source: Wikipedia).

Correction: George Vernon Hudson is credited with proposing the modern system of daylight savings time. Ben Franklin initially suggested anonymously in a letter the idea of saving candles by rising with the sun.

Serious B Premium member

Corrected entry: When Riley uncovers the frozen seaman in his hammock, he gets scared/excited, starts flailing his arms and knocks both hammocks on either side of him as he falls backward. That would have left both hammocks moving/swinging a little. But in the very next frame where Riley is still making noises and turns over on all fours, we see the hammock on the left side of the screen as still as the dead.

Sheri Hartman

Correction: There are 2 levels of hammocks, one over the other, Riley actually moves an upper one to see the frozen seaman, and when Riley is scared he only hits the top hammock on his right on his way down. When you do not see it swinging it is a closeup and you only see the lower hammock that he did not hit.

Corrected entry: After Ben takes the Declaration of Independence in its case into the elevator, we see him start to remove screws again. When we see the back, there are two screws out in the two compartments next to the one Ben is taking a third screw out. There's no way he had time to take out 2 plus screws from the time he started while in the elevator and the time we see the back with the screws out.

Sheri Hartman

Correction: Ben was planning to take out all the screws in the preservation room so he could roll up the declaration and leave. He had unscrewed two when Riley lost his feeding, so he ran to the elevator, and continued unscrewing inside.

Corrected entry: After Ben mixes the solution, it shows him moving his fingers towards the beaker, in between his fingers is the pin he plans to give to Abagail. A second later it shows only his fingers going into the solution, and the pin has disappeared.

Correction: Untrue. We only see Ben's knuckles and the top of his hand as he moves towards the solution the first time (wide & full screen). Then we see him dip the pin into the solution after his smiley face blacklight check.

Corrected entry: Having recently visited the National Archives, I find it amazing that Ben and Riley entered the Archives as much as they did. Entry to the National Archives requires waiting in a very long line which takes hours and getting into the rotunda where the Charters of Freedom are requires waiting in line as well. I don't think that Ben and Riley had that much time on their hands.

Brad Premium member

Correction: I too have been to the National Archives and there was never a line for me. It depends on what time of year you go. You must have gone during vacation season.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: In the scene on the ship "Charlotte," the main characters find a pipe with a clue etched on the handle. The clue mentions the number 55 which Ben figures out to be the number of men that signed the Declaration of Independence. There are actually 56 signatures on it.


Correction: The fifty-sixth signature was not added to the document until 1781, by Thomas McKean of Delaware. The clue was written before this time; therefore, it is correct in stating that fifty-five men signed the Declaration of Independence.

Additionally, Richard Stockton-a New Jersey delegate-was captured in November 1776; he was tortured and repudiated his signature, forced to swear allegiance to King George 3. The other 55 signers never recanted, despite great hardship. Hence, there were the "55 men in iron pen..." who had signed, regardless of timeframe.

Corrected entry: While Ben has a well constructed plan to get the Declaration moved from the Display Case into the vault, including faking the thermal sensor reading so that the Declaration would be moved into the Preservation Room where he can access it with little or no resistance, Ian and his crew have no such plan. How does Ian expect to gain access to the document when to the best of his knowledge it still sits in the Display Case? Was he planning on breaking into the empty vault and then crawling up the vault shaft to the Display area? And BTW, the limited amount of C4 explosive that they did show would not be enough to breach the 4 foot thick, steel plate vault, which still doesn't matter because the document isn't in there anyway.

Correction: A movie does not have to explain every single detail of what its characters are thinking and doing. Suffice to say Ian did have some kind of plan, it is jut never explained on screen. For instance, it is, as you yourself say, entirely possible that Ian did plan to climb up the vault shaft and break out the Declaration of Independence from below. And just because the amount of C4 shown would be insufficient for this, it does not mean that Ian's gang didn't bring any more with them. For that matter, we don't even know that the C4 would be used on the case, as this is purely an assumption. There could be other uses for the C4, all depending on what Ian's plan really was.


Corrected entry: When they are searching the Arctic for the Charlotte, there are high mountains visible in the background. There are mountains in Antarctica, but not the Arctic, which is a frozen ocean.

Correction: The movie states that they are north of the Arctic Circle, but never specifies exactly where they are. While it is implied that the are on a frozen ocean, those mountains in the background could be on the coast of any of the landmasses north of the Arctic Circle, such as Canada, Alaska, Russia, Scandinavia or Greenland.


Corrected entry: When Ben is crossing the street to enter National Archives building for the Gala, the street is wet but the pavement, steps, etc. around the building are completely dry.

Sheri Hartman

Correction: There is no indication that it has been raining except that the streets are wet. Washington DC's Department of Public Works has street cleaners that operate on heavily traveled areas routinely or as requested by the public. It would not be unusual for the National Archives people to request a street cleaning before this big gala. The street cleaners operate by spraying a thin film of water on the street before sweeping the dirt, etc. into a hopper on the machine. It makes perfect sense as to why the streets could be wet. Also, they only suspend operations during the winter and this take place outside of that time.

Zwn Annwn

Corrected entry: When Ben Gates toasts the Founding Fathers with Abigail at the scene in the National Archives, the glasses are filled with Champagne. When Gates actually guzzles the drink, look closely - its water.

Correction: No it's not. It's still bubbly and has a slight color to it. It's either champagne or a substitute.


Corrected entry: When Ben is running through the graveyard from Ian's men in Philadelphia, he shuts a gate behind him to hamper his pursuer. The man tries to open the gate, but it is locked. However, the gate obviously bares a keyhole for an old skeleton key. In order for Ben to have locked the gate, he would've had to have the key with him. But we see no action of him locking the gate at all. In reality, it should have remained unlocked.

Correction: It can easily become locked when the door is shut. There are many doors that have "one way locks" (no matter how old or modern the door is), you can lock them by closing the door without turning a key. However you need a key to reopen it.

Ronnie Bischof

Corrected entry: The case that holds the Declaration of Independence changes throughout the movie. This might be explained away except for the fact that the last change, to the black case, would have meant that Ian would have taken it out of the gray/white case that he picked up in the street after Abigail falls and loses it and puts it in a nice, new black case that he just happens to have. The case was originally red with the gray/white case as an inner case or liner for the red case. Ian's character hasn't cared if the Declaration gets shredded to confetti, so why would he care that it gets a nice, new black case instead of the gray/white one he picked up in the street?

Sheri Hartman

Correction: Because it's his bargaining tool. Without it in pristine shape, he can't get Ben to cooperate. There's plenty of time between him picking up the white case and meeting up with Ben for him to pick up a new case for it, or he had it from when he'd planned to steal the document.


Corrected entry: When Ben leaps into the water and meets the SCUBA diver, sounds indicate that he immediately takes a deep breath from the respirator. If he had actually done this, he would have breathed in the sea water the respirator would have been flooded with. This, as you well know, would not have been very fun at all.


Julie Wegner

Correction: The diver was there waiting for Ben and would be aware of his immediate need for air. Purging a regulator second stage is as simple as pushing the purge button and holding it in a mouthpiece-down position. Some Hudson River water would likely be in it, but a deep breath would be possible without first needing to exhale to purge the regulator.

Greg B

Corrected entry: In the shot where Ben is telling Riley the passcode is "Valley Forge", he says "It's Valley Forge. You press the in L twice." What he should've said was, "You press the L in twice."

Correction: He actually says "It's 'Valley Forge.' She pressed 'E' and 'L' twice." Gates was referring to the keys that Abigail would have pressed when she entered her password earlier.

shortdanzr Premium member

Corrected entry: When Ben enters the big gala as a janitor, he has to go through a metal detector after putting his supplies on the tray. The problem is when he goes through the metal detector, he doesn't set it off. Later, in the bathroom, he takes off his janitor's clothes and is seen wearing a tuxedo underneath, and an expensive looking watch. The watch should have set off the alarm, but he didn't take it off when he entered.

Correction: We don't see Ben's every move after he enters the gala. He could have very easily had the watch in the toolbelt and just slipped it on after he got inside. Or it just might not have set off the metal detector. My watch cost me several hundred dollars, but I never take it off when I go through metal detectors because it doesn't trigger them.

Nick Bylsma

Corrected entry: When Ben is dipping his fingers into the glass before he tested the ink with the smiley face he made on the table, you can see between his fingers the coin he gave Abigail.

Correction: That's because he hasn't given it to her yet.

shortdanzr Premium member

Corrected entry: When Ben reveals to Abigail that there is a map on the back of the Declaration, she says she has seen it and there is nothing on the back but a notation that reads "Original Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776". Yet, later on at Ben's dad's house, when they turn it over to find the there is nothing written on the back.

Correction: Yes there is, if you look at the bottom of the document on the back, it says that, just like the real one.

Corrected entry: When Ben's grandfather tells him about the treasure, notice how when it flashes back to Egypt, the grandfather's left eye stays a little bit longer over the unfinished pyramid.

Correction: Pointing out things that can be easily seen in the film is not valid trivia.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: When we first see the campaign buttons in Dr. Chase's office, to the left (as we are looking at it) is a brown, cylindrical, leather bag, located close to the front and left side of the furniture it is sitting on. When Dr. Chase receives the other button from Ben, she looks up at her collection of buttons and the brown bag is now all the way at the back of the furniture and quite a ways away from the case that the campaign buttons are in.

Sheri Hartman

Correction: Since it is two seperate days, it is possible it was moved in the mean time.

James Storck

Corrected entry: During the chase scene when Abigail has been kidnapped by Ian and crew, both vehicles go over huge bumps, holes, etc. In Ian's vehicle, we see all the stuff go flying all over the back of the vehicle even hitting the people that are in the back of the catering van. But in Ben and Riley's vehicle, everything swings gently around and when Abigail is in the vehicle with Ben and Riley, we can see ropes, cables, boxes, etc. all neatly stacked, very high up the sides of their van with nothing out of place.

Sheri Hartman

Correction: Ben and Riley's vehicle is a normal panal van, usually used for holding tools, etc. Ian's vehicle is a catering van, which normally sits still. Pots and pans in the catering van weren't tied down, therefore they flew around. The van would also have better shocks than the catering van, therefore it wouldn't bounce as much. It is also lighter and not as long as the catering van, so it would handle better (and bounce less). I've been a passenger in an RV before, and the bumps are always bigger at the back of a large vehicle.

Nick Bylsma

Corrected entry: When Ben is carving out the brick with his knife at the Liberty Bell sequence, he somehow is able to carve into cement like it was clay. You can even tell it wasn't cement because it didn't crumble right away. It had more of a cutting look to it.

Correction: The brick was set in a way to make it easy to get it out. It's no biggie replacing the mortar with another substance that simulates it (so as to remain undetected for as long as necessary) while being easy to remove. In addition, over time the binding agent in mortar leaches out, and the remaining substance is actually very easy to scrape out.


Corrected entry: Dr. Chase gets the invisible ink on her hands from the campaign button Gates sent her. Several hours later, she attends a gala and leaves her nice and clear fingerprints in the invisible ink on her glass, where Gates retrieves them. Time has passed, and she has dressed up and gotten ready for a gala event - and she has not washed her hands even once?


Correction: The invisible ink was not meant for him to take her fingerprints at all, but to figure out what is her password to access the preservation room. He doesn't need any sort of ink to take her fingerprints - just the superheated Crazy Glue and the Ziploc bag which he uses in the restroom. The fact that she showered has no bearing on that, because she went down to the vault and entered her password much earlier in the day, soon after getting the button from Gates.


Corrected entry: When they search on Yahoo shortly after Ian talks with the kid, watch the computer screen closely. There's already a search up there, and instead of clicking 'enter', they select the first search entry.

Correction: The guy firstly enters STOW, that is also what it says, "top web results: 6903 search hits for the word "STOW". Then he enters STOW Declaration of Independence. and hits the search button with the mouse, when it shows him Liberty Bell as top result. The next click you hear after a short period of time when we don't see the screen, enough time for the guy on the laptop to move the mouse to the link and click it.

Ronnie Bischof

Corrected entry: In the scene when Riley sets off the sensors of the Declaration of Independence, to get it into the preservation room, it is broad daylight. Cage steals it much later, in fact its pitch black outside when he does. The Declaration would not be in the preservation room for that long.

Correction: Why not? A defective sensor (which is what they are suspecting) likely needs more than a cursory verification. Not only that they have exact replicas on display when working on the housings and the documents. So it is entirely likely that the orthogonal would be there for an extended period while diagnosing any potential issues.


She also says that she wants all the sensors changed out, which probably would take a fair amount of time.

Corrected entry: In the Charlotte, Ian has one of his goons point a gun at Ben. When Ben starts pleading for his life, he addresses Ian (Sean Bean) as "Sean."

Correction: Ban Gates addresses not Ian as Sean but the other guy pointing the gun as Shaw. If you read the subtitles this can be confirmed.

Ronnie Bischof

Corrected entry: Not really a mistake, but it always seemed weird to me. When Ben is reading the letters for Abigail's password to Riley, he reads them in alphabetical order. Considering the situation and the limited time he has, it seems strange that he would take the time to read them that way. Wouldn't most people read the letters in the order that they are on the keyboard?

Correction: He wasn't reading the keyboard the way you'd read a book. He glanced at the keyboard and knew which keys had finger prints and listed them off in the way most intuitive to him.

Corrected entry: When Ben is talking in front of the Lincoln Memorial, You can see between shots that the World War II Memorial (at the end of the long pool behind Ben) disappears and reappears.

Correction: On my (German) DVD Version I the WWII memorial is there all the time, I've checked it several times.

Ronnie Bischof

Corrected entry: "Valley Forge" cannot be used as a government password. All government passwords must include a special character (and asterisk, an underscore, etc) and a number. For example, "Valley_Forge3" would have worked.

Correction: Government passwords for computers do require symbols, letters and numbers. This is not a computer (per se) but a terminal granting entry to the preservation room. A computer will deny a password that doesn't have the correct symbols but a terminal to the preservation room may well not. Therefore, she may have been able to use whatever password she wanted.

Zwn Annwn

Corrected entry: When Ian abandons Ben and Riley at the Charlotte with no food, provisions or transport, how do they get back to the States so quickly? I know Ian mentions moving before any one sees the smoke from the explosion, but this does not mean anyone would come or did come.

Mad Ade

Correction: After being abandoned at the Charlotte, Ben points out that they are nine miles from a settlement frequented by bush pilots. They could have easily trekked that distance.

Corrected entry: When Ian unrolls the copy of the Declaration of Independence in the van, the price bar code is on the printed side of the poster, which is rolled inward. This means that the bar code couldn't be scanned in the gift shop, as it wouldn't be showing on the outside of the poster.

Correction: The copy of the declaration was wrapped in plastic in the store. There could easily be a bar code on that.

Corrected entry: At the start, four characters look for Charlotte on two caterpillar snow tractors. After the shoot out, the two good guys are left stranded, and the two bad guys leave. As the two bad guys enter the same tractor, they look at each other confirming they're in the same tractor, yet in the fade away shot both tractors leave. Who was driving the second tractor?

Correction: Ben, Ian, and Riley are in one tractor, while Shaw, McGregor and another one of Ian's men are in the other. When Ben and Riley are left for dead, Ian and Shaw ride in one tractor, while McGregor and Ian's other man {probably Viktor or Phil since they round out Ian's team throughout the movie} drive off in the other tractor.

Melissa Swanger

Corrected entry: After Ben steals the declaration he and Riley get in the van and Ian kidnaps Abigail. The driver of Ian's van shoots at Ben and Riley and shoots out the passenger side headlight. While driving it shows a shot of Ben and Riley's van in the bad guys' rear view mirror, but this time it shows that the driver side headlight is out. Then in a couple later shots you see that the broken light is again on the left side.


Correction: The headlight is correct. The shots where the headlight is on the right hand side are because it is viewed through a rear view mirror. The other shots are viewed as if looking head on.

Corrected entry: Throughout, the Declaration is fairly easy to read. However, in reality, the document is extremely faded, and you can't read most parts of it.

Correction: When showing the original Declaration in the movie, many times it is severely faded just like in real life, you can barely read signatures or much of the document.

Mark English

Corrected entry: It is doubtful that the Declaration of Independence says "Original Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776" on the back as Abigail states, because in fact no where on the front of the document will you find the phrase "Declaration of Independence." The founders of the USA referred to this document as "The Unanimous Declaration"

Correction: Well, considering that the true Declaration of Independence DOES have this written on the back you are wrong. No one says that this label was written in 1776. It might have been added later.

shortdanzr Premium member

Corrected entry: When Ian turns against Ben at the beginning of the movie in the ruins of Charlotte, he takes the pipe with the message engraved in it. This is still evident when Ben first talks to Abigail and she says "Did Bigfoot take it?" But when Ben finds the treasure room and the key to open the door is the pipe, Ben pulls it right out of his pocket. Nowhere in the movie does Ian ever give Ben back the pipe.


Correction: Ben gets it back after he escapes from the FBI, on the aircraft carrier, when he meets Ian, he gives it back to him then. He gets back both the pipe and the Declaration of Independence. Ian also states on the phone that he will "even throw in the pipe from the Charlotte."

Bowling255 Premium member

Corrected entry: In the scene where Ben Gates brings the Declaration to his dad's house, his dad says that previous generations have been chasing the treasure, and that one clue always led to another clue. He even theorized that the whole thing was a series of clues to keep the British occupied. The first clue given that started the quest was "The secret lies with Charlotte". That is the one that Ben solved. What are all these "clues" that everyone else has been chasing?

Correction: Ben Gates has followed one set of clues to the treasure, but the other clues that both his father and grandfather mention could be false so only a few knew what clue actually led to the treasure.


Corrected entry: When they are buying new clothes, Ben sells his watch to the clerk to get his $100 bill back. However, later, e.g. when he dives off the boat and when they find the treasure, he is wearing the same watch that he sold.

Correction: He doesn't sell it to the clerk: he's giving it as a guarantee that he just won't run away with the bill. The clerk gave him the watch back after he handed back the bill.


Corrected entry: Franklin wrote letters when he was sixteen containing "clues" (ie. capitalizing letters) to the location of the treasure. The clues referred to "Pass and Stow," the two craftsmen who recast the Liberty Bell. However, the Bell was not even ordered by the people of Pennsylvania until 30 years after Franklin was 16, so he could not have known that "Pass and Stow" would have cast the bell, or that their names would be on it.

Correction: When Franklin wrote the Dogood papers he did not embed the code in it. When the code trail was being constructed they used the Dogood papers by searching through them for the correct letters and noting their coordinates. You can do this with any document as long as it has all the letters you need. It just so happened that the last letter in the code was a capital; not all of them were.


Corrected entry: When the "evil" guys search the web for the word "STOW", they say that the liberty bell comes up the most. when you search it the bell comes up rarely, if ever.

Correction: They search for "STOW Declaration of Independence". Type it into Yahoo (without the quotes) and most of the results ARE for the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall.

Corrected entry: When the group enters the fake treasure room. All the torches are lit. No one did this. But when they continue on to the true treasure room, Cage must use his torch to light everything. How could the first torches magically light themselves?

Correction: They didn't. Before Ian leaves them alone, Gates lights the torches by the door, after Ian leaves them behind, the father lights the torches by the door in the 2nd room. Both rooms before the real treasure room are dark until they enter each one with their torches.

Corrected entry: When the group is descending down the massive spiral wooden staircase,all the close-up shots show each of the cast holding on to a railing. In the wider shots taken further away, there is no railing visible.


Correction: If you watch carefully during the far away shots you can see that the railing actually starts and stops as it goes down. There are missing sections. The close up shots where the cast is holding on to the railing there is actually a railing present. There are also close up shots that show the cast not behind a railing which is consistent with certain far away shots depicting sections without railing.

Corrected entry: At the end of the movie, at Ben's mansion, look closely at his brown sweater: you can see his microphone in the middle of his chest.

Joe Campbell

Correction: You can see a bump in his sweater, so it could be anything under his sweater. At no time can you see a mike and wires to prove it is a "microphone".


Corrected entry: At the end, when they've finally found the treasure vault, Riley Poole leans against a massive stone Egyptian sculpture. It ought to be quite immovable, yet as Poole presses against the statue, it jiggles a lot.

Correction: It jiggles just a little bit, as Riley leans against it to hug it. It's a life-size statue of a man, and since it would have been moved (many times) during its existence over 2500 years or so, it's entirely possible - actually quite likely - that the base has been chipped over time, making it just a little unsteady.

Corrected entry: When the treasure hunters have gone into the basement of the church they smash open a tomb and a bare skeleton comes flying out. Not even in an excessively dry area like Egypt could this happen, let alone a damp one like around New England, especially after a period of only 200 or so years. Even if the dead guy WAS in a stone tomb. I'd expect to see mummified remains.

Correction: To be naturally mummified, a corpse has to be kept in a very dry area. New England is a damp region, and the stone church would have exarcebated that dampness, thus accelerating the rotting of the soft tissue, leaving only a skeleton.


Corrected entry: On the 'Charlotte', the main characters find a pipe with a clue etched on the handle. Ben cuts his finger to wipe blood on the outside to see the letters,and when he rolls it onto the paper, the letters are red, when they should be white with a blood background.

Correction: The etched letters are raised, not the background with the letters recessed. If blood covers the pipe equally, the blood on the raised etching will touch the paper while the blood on the recessed background does not, creating red letters on white paper.


Corrected entry: When young Ben is "knighted" his grandfather wraps the cloak completely around him. Afterward, when Ben looks up, you can see the whole front of his shirt.


Correction: The cloak wasn't secured around young Ben's shoulders, so the cloak acted as cloaks do, it opened.

Corrected entry: When Ben decides to steal the Declaration of Independence before Ian, he plots to have it moved to the Preservation Room for easier theft access. Ian's plan is to steal it from the same room but how does he know that the document will be in the Preservation Room and not on display or in its vault?

Correction: Nowhere is it stated or shown that Ian was headed for the Preservation Room. He just catches up with Ben in the hall outside that room, probably on his way to the Declaration's vault. There are only a few extremely high-security areas within the National Archives as depicted here.


Corrected entry: When together, Abagail refers to Riley as "Riley," even though the only name of his she learned was the false one that he gave her during their first encounter.

Correction: Ben would've introduced Riley properly after he had admitted his own real name, probably during the drive to Ben's father's.


Corrected entry: Dr. Chase's password to get into the preservation room was "Valley Forge." With an irreplaceable, extremely important document symbolizing American history and the Founding Fathers, one would think that a high-ranking government official with free access to this room would have his password changed frequently and have it be a random series of numbers and letters, not a real word or phrase - especially one as easy to guess as "Valley Forge," the famous resting place of the Continental Army during a long, horrible winter in the Revolutionary War.

Correction: For all we know her password does change frequently. Because of that she may use words or phrases that she can easily remember. But that was the password she was using that very day when they put the ink on the button they gave her earlier. Her password last week could have been different. We just don't know.

Jack's Revenge

Corrected entry: Riley points out that Daylight Savings Time hadn't been established at the time of the Founding Fathers. However, neither was Standard time. The Founding Fathers used Mean Solar time, and although Philadelphia is close to the 75th meridian, the time on the clock tower would be off by at least a few minutes.

Correction: It may be a few minutes off, but since the shadow was just pointing at the wall it would still be close enough for Ben to know where to go. It was the Mason's symbol that told him exactly which brick to pull out.

Corrected entry: When Ben and Riley are viewing the Declaration of Independence, there is no guard to either side of the display case. But when they are in the Library, Riley makes note of the fact that the Declaration of Independence is guarded at all times while it is on display, and there is a sequence that shows a guard to the left of the display case.

Correction: I've been to the National Archives, and the guards do not just stand by the display casing with the Declaration of Independence. If there is a big group near it at one time, there is at least one guard nearby.

Corrected entry: When Mason is in the Bell Tower trying to find the answer for the clue, 2:22pm, the shadow points to a certain brick at that time. 2:22pm in June would show the shadow at a different angle than it would in October. How did they know what time of year the clue was taken from?

Correction: The shadow didn't show a specific brick, but a specific wall. When Ben got there, he knew which brick was important because it had the Free Masons' mark on it.


Corrected entry: When Ben Gates is arrested by the FBI, the FBI agent takes the glasses that can reveal the code on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Later, the FBI uses him as bait to catch the other villain. After Gates escapes, he has the glasses back. The movie does not show the FBI giving him back the glasses, and why would it let him carry them while he was being used as bait, since the glasses were evidence?

Allyson Premium member

Correction: The Deal with Sean Bean's character was that Ben was to have the glasses to read the map, or they didn't get the Declaration back. We didn't need to see the FBI physically give them back, because we know they were using Ben AND the glasses to get Sean Bean AND The Declaration.

Jack's Revenge

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FBI: Here are your options. Door number one you go to prison for a very long time, door number two you help us get back the declaration from Ian, and you'll still go to prison for a very long time, but you'll feel good inside.
Ben Gates: Is there a door that doesn't lead to prision?
FBI: Someone's gotta go to prison, Ben.



As Ben is clinging to the staircase while it is falling apart, there is a close-up of a nail being pulled out of the wood. This nail is round-headed, rather than square as it would have been over 200 years ago. It's also shiny instead of rusty, which indicates that it's galvanized. Galvanization as an industrial, metal-preservation process was not patented until 1837, and was not used in building materials until well into the late-1800s. Since the film states the staircase was made by "the Founding Fathers, " and there was no galvanization of iron nails in any industrialized nation in 1780s-1830's, this is a huge anachronism.



When Ben is talking to Riley in front of the Lincoln Memorial, you see a long pool behind them. This pool is filled with computer generated water, because the pool was drained at the time of shooting.