Factual error: The vents that Hunt and his sidekick crawl down at CIA Headquarters are standard galvanized iron box vents; they are very common in the building trade. Try walking or crawling down one - you'll make a noise like the sky is falling down. People will be able to hear you for miles. Every person in that building would know somebody crawling about in the vent system. (This error applies to dozens of films, not only this one).
Factual error: Near the end of the film Knox is flying a Huey helicopter and the Angels hitch a ride by shooting it with a spear gun and dangling on the line behind it. Suddenly adding about 200kgs to a Huey in flight like that is going to cause all sorts of problems with the trim and airspeed of the aircraft - the pilot would know immediately that something was wrong. (01:23:20)
Factual error: It is barely credible that a young Victorian woman like Elena would even think about wearing a goatskin miniskirt - exposing her legs in those days would be akin to walking about topless nowadays. Even if she did those bright yellow cotton knickers - gleefully visible in the scene in the beehive - are in no way from the 1860s. Her pants are a hundred years ahead of their time.
Factual error: Why is Hilts not wearing a uniform? A serving officer captured behind enemy lines in civilian clothing risked being shot as a spy. If a prisoner's uniform was too worn or damaged to wear, it was routine for the German authorities to replace it - a P.O.W. in civilian clothes is an obvious escape risk. He is wearing a pair of tan chinos, a cut off sloppy Joe sweatshirt, both ridiculously anachronistic - Sixties hipster fashions - and nowhere even close to a World War 2 uniform. He is also wearing Army Type III Service boots - something that would never have been issued to a fighter pilot.
Factual error: When Brendan Fraser & his son are running to reach the pyramid before the sun hits it, the sunrise line approaches the pyramid along the ground, but the sun would naturally have hit the pyramid at the top first and worked its way down to the ground. [Some people insist on trying to correct this - think of it this way. If the sun's illuminating the ground from way up in the sky, what's keeping something higher up than the ground in darkness?] (01:34:40)
Factual error: Trevor - a Professor of Geology - boasts about having an article published in Scientific American, and that is not something any scientist would do. Scientific American is looked upon with slight disdain by the scientific community, considered to be a populist crowd pleaser. It is not even peer reviewed. Considering that he has just turned the geological and archaeological worlds on their heads he would have been better off publishing in Journal of Geological Research or Geology, both prestigious professional journals.
Factual error: Listening to a radio broadcast, live, since no other indication is given, Joe Louis is completing the 12th round of a fight. This is December 6, 1941. Joe's last fight of 1941 occurred in September, his next fight was January 1942. (00:00:10)
Factual error: Towards the end of the film, Solomon is trapped in a small Plexiglas box and fires his gun into the bulletproof sides numerous times, but the bullets don't ricochet or get embedded in the glass.
Factual error: During the 31st year of the Avalon's voyage, the ship passes close to the star Arcturus, which is about 37 light years from Earth. Later in the movie, it was stated that the Avalon was moving at around 50% of the speed of light. The ship would not have reached Arcturus in the time allotted.
Factual error: When the fish tank has been cleaned by the newly installed laser fish cleaner, the machine states that the water temperature is '82°.' In Australia the Celsius scale is used; therefore, it should be about '28°.' Australia is 100% metric and has been since 1974! Nobody in Australia - nobody, anywhere, any time since 1974, uses imperial measures. There is absolutely no question of the dentist having an imperial thermometer or expressing himself in° Fahrenheit. It is actually illegal to import or sell any instrument using 'Imperial' scales. You couldn't buy a Fahrenheit thermometer if you tried. (01:14:30)
Factual error: 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.
Factual error: In the scenes where Gardner is messaging his Earth based female friend Tulsa from his Mars home, their communication is shown as being in real time. In truth, there would be minimum of a 4 min lag between messages due to the distance. (00:24:00)
Factual error: Tom Hanks is driving his car over a bridge in downtown Chicago in 1931. In the background is the elevated train structure. An aluminum bodied train passes on the trestel in the background. This aluminum bodied train is of 1980's contruction. In the 1930's the train cars were of wood construction and painted brown. They were still in service in the 1950's.
Factual error: It is roughly 120-135 dB inside of a C-130, especially one that hasn't been specifically modified. It is so loud that it is painful to be in the cargo hold without hearing protection (besides it being outside of military regulations) and you certainly couldn't have a normal conversation while it was in flight.
Factual error: Mel and Goldie board a ferry. A visible sign states 'Detroit-Racine Ferry'. Detroit is on the east side of the state of Michigan but Racine, Wisconsin is west of Michigan, across Lake Michigan. The only water route to get from Detroit to Racine would be to circumnavigate the entire state of Michigan.