Return of the Anasazi

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The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
"Return of the Anasazi"
Episode no. H00616-94003
Airdate September 9, 1996
Chief locations Southeastern New Mexico 104.12W, 33.81N (N/A miles)
Vehicle(s) PBY Catalina
Writer(s) Glenn Leopold
Matthew Malach (additional material)
Guest roles Michael Banyear (Man / Shaman)
Frank Welker (Indian / Pilot / Policeman)
Irene Bedard (Alice Starseer / Young Girl)
Kathleen Freeman (Mrs. Evans)
Jim Meskimen (Chief Man in Black / Pilot)
Episode sequence Alien in Washington <--> The Alchemist
Other episodes

Holding an Anasazi beacon capable of calling the alien fathers of current technology, Alice Starseer is pursued by men in black and asks Dr. Quest for help, whose capture provokes a cross-country rescue by Jonny and Jessie.

Plot Summary


Alice and her grandfather

The story begins with a narration and scenes of New Mexico in 1947. The narrator, Alice Starseer, speaks of Native American legends talking of people who came to the earth from beyond the stars to share knowledge with humans, essentially putting them above other animals. They misused the knowledge, however, falling out of harmony with the earth and causing the ancients to depart the land. They periodically return, as they left a quartz beacon behind passed down a line of shamans. Alice's grandfather was one such shaman, but the night he received a message from them, the United States Air Force found the alien craft and shot it down near Roswell's base.

Act One

The crystal artifact

Dr. Benton Quest is examining a strange artifact in the living room of the Quest Compound with Jonny Quest and Bandit when he receives a phone call from Alice. She remarks that she needs help immediately and cannot explain, and that she sent the artifact. Dr. Quest, Race Bannon, and Hadji Singh pile in the PBY Catalina to head to Arizona while Jessie and Jonny are forced to stay behind thanks to term papers. Dr. Quest recalls 1967, when Alice and he were working on an archaeological dig at the site of Anasazi ruins, where Alice's grandfather spoke with the aliens. Alice tells Benton of the Roswell story, stating she was there; she then tells him that she cannot follow him back (presumably to his research institution), as she feels she must stay there. They hug, and Dr. Quest feelings unsettled on the Catalina. Back at the Compound, the maid Mrs. Evans accidentally knocks over the artifact given to him by Alice, breaking it open to reveal a strange object inside. Jonny and Jessie examine the pieces that night, finding that the crystal apparently housed something. They decide to glue it back together, and Jessie takes a few pictures for the file.

Jonny and Jessie research

That night, the object (still in the living room) begins glowing orange, and an orange unidentified flying object outside approaches the Compound. Bandit hits the artifact with his paw, deactivating it, but the flying vessel outside lands and its operatives enter the Compound. Bandit lunges at one of the entrants. Jonny hears Bandit yelp, and investigates to find Bandit lying hurt on the floor and the crystal stolen. Mrs. Evans calls the police, but they hardly believe the story of strange lights, and Dr. Quest cannot be reached by phone. As Jonny and Jessie look up the file on Alice in the laboratory, Bandit brings them the mysterious object inside, which weighs hardly anything and is made of a strange material. Jessie deduces that since Alice deals with UFOs, the object must have a connection, and that the burglars who stole the crystal may have been aliens. Jonny and Jessie try to book two seats to Arizona, but use of their Quest Enterprises credit card displays an FBI alert code meant for anyone connected to the company. They decide to head out on a snow machine to book a train in Lewiston for Springfield, Missouri (37.85N, 94.57W - 1,153 miles). En route, they fall asleep, and a man in black tries to take the object. Bandit scares him off, and Jessie finds that the object is radiating as a beacon. As they wonder if they will be found, bright lights shine through the windows.

Act Two

The team are held hostage

An orange craft is back; as Jessie tells Jonny to toss it, the train enters a tunnel and the craft, revealed to be a black helicopter, crashes into a rock wall. In Arizona, men in black are holding Alice, Race, Benton, and Hadji until it is confirmed that the beacon has been recovered from Jonny and Jessie. Race explains that they can be kept there indefinitely, as the men in black are above the law. He states that they've been using hybrid technology in their helicopters recovered from crashed UFOs, and will never admit to it. Meanwhile, Jonny and Jessie hitch a ride in the back of an old man's bug extermination pickup; Bandit rides in front with several hound dogs. They travel from Quinlan, Oklahoma (36.35N, 97.34W) to Sunray, Texas (35.01N, 103.24W), a trip of 367 miles. There, they find a small airfield named Rankin Air Service with the owner dozing in his truck. They break in and steal the airplane, intending to fly to Arizona. They land near her home, but Jonny flips the plane and they're confronted by the men in black. With no other option, Jonny seemingly hands them the object and they depart. Dr. Quest regrets that he gave them the beacon, as they will probably call the aliens down and then capture them. Jonny laughs and produces the genuine article, revealing that he gave them the airplane fuel tester. That night, Alice attempts to call down the aliens, but instead produces the men in black, who assault them at the Anasazi ruins. Race overpowers the attackers and holds the rest at gunpoint while the team flee. They find themselves surrounded by men in black, who are in turn driven away by strange, green archers dressed in Native American clothes. They are the aliens, who have landed and present Alice's grandfather. She invites them all to join her on a trip across space, but Dr. Quest decides against it, noting that it is earth where he must stay. She notes that she'll never forget him and departs.



  • Jessie - "Maybe those burglars weren't even human!"
  • Jonny - "Okay, time-out. This is too tall for TV, Jess. We've got to talk to dad."


  • Race - "And if you believe that, I've got a tin-plated mudcat with a gold vest pocket."


  • Dr. Quest - "Of course! When one acknowledges the existence of beings with superior intellects and technology, one also acknowledges one's own inferiority."


  • Jessie - "How many hours did you say you've flown with my dad?"
  • Jonny - "Hey, even monkeys fall from trees!"
  • Jessie - "What's that supposed to mean?"
  • Jonny - "Ask Hadji. It's one of his."


  • Hadji - "Oh Jonny! You are the proverbial fox with many tricks!"


  • Man in black - "You're supposed to be on our side. You were a government man."
  • Race - "You're right; I was...until they made those shades part of the uniform."


  • Race - "Oh yeah? I'm shakin', boss. You see me shakin'?"


  • Dr. Quest's hair is all brown and no gray.
  • The PBY Catalina is shown without its landing gear.
  • Most examples of the Quest Compound's navigational coordinates put it near Lisbon, Maine, while the game Cover-Up At Roswell places it near Portmouth. However, in this episode the Rockport police respond to Mrs. Evans call; Rockport isn't near either of those locations. Exacerbating the problem is their departure to Missouri from Lewiston, a town near Lisbon.
  • Quinlan, Oklahoma is on the western side of the state, not the eastern.
  • Sunray, Texas's coordinates put it in New Mexico.


  • Alice Starseer's home is near Third Mesa, an actual present dwelling site of Hopi Indians.
  • The Quest Byte features rules and guidelines for the Virtua Cycle.
  • A post on the JQML suggested that this was the pilot, but this is unlikely, as TRAJQ (a huge project) was greenlighted from the start rather than being developed from a third-party's upfront. Also, it's written by Glenn Leopold rather than Peter Lawrence, the season one architect and first writer.

From: Episodes