Inside Adam Savage’s Cave: The Bourne Identity Burn Bag

Adam has spent the past couple years assembling replicas of the contents of Jason Bourne’s “go bag” from the Bourne Identity’s Swiss bank scene. Learn how he recruited the help of other replica prop enthusiasts to identify the contents of the safe deposit box and what Adam would consider putting in his own go bag.

Comments (54)

54 thoughts on “Inside Adam Savage’s Cave: The Bourne Identity Burn Bag

  1. This is so amazing that I want to watch the movie and compare Adam’s bag to the movie bag. Immensely cool and I love the level of detail Adam goes to for authenticity. Probably my favorite movie prop video on the site, could listen to Adam go into minute details for hours.

  2. This is probably my favorite of these videos so far and as a huge Bourne fan I’m also incredibly jealous. I think I’m gonna watch the movies again.

  3. Seeing this made me wonder if Adam had gone to the trouble of getting the backs of the expired passports as well as the working ones, because they always struck me as something Bourne would probably have burned rather than stored.

    Personally for the gold I’d have gone for Sovereigns or Krugerrand.

    Is that the gun from Minority Report on the left or is it the Syd Mead blaster from Blade Runner?

  4. Not to be confused with the “bug-out bag” I presume? Man, I have so many types of bags to prepare.

    Awesome segment, one of the best prop videos yet.

  5. anyone know bourne’s watch model? i know the maker is tag obviously. but like adam said tag makes so many types of each style. so im lazy and its hard to find.

  6. There was me, harassing my French colleague to let me take pictures of her driving licence with my iPhone next to it for reference! I suppose its probably for the best she didn’t let me post all those details online. Spoilsport!

  7. A “burn-bag” specifically refers to the bags used in trashcans inside bank-vaults and similar institutions, where the contents are emptied and burned, since they might contain sensitive information. That is why it says “BRENNEN”, or “Burn” in English, and sits inside a trashcan.

    A “Go-bag” is what agents, operatives, etc. would have prestashed, being ready to go anywhere to do anything on a moments notice.

    Since Bourne’s “Go-bag” content wasn’t in an actual bag, he used the burn bag instead. =)

  8. My current French driver’s license is 221 x 106 mm (can’t explain the discrepancy vs. those saying 222). Only the front page (which includes the photo) is laminated, and the laminate extends 3 mm beyond the edge—except that there’s an L-shaped cutout at the bottom. So, the laminate extends from the top of the license down to 1 cm from the bottom, and then there’s an unlaminated rectangle 31 mm x 10 mm (lower right on the cover, lower left on the inside). This is to leave space for a signature, but you have to write really small to fit it into that space! The corners of the laminate (all the corners, including inside and outside of the cutout) are rounded.

  9. Wow, that’s some frightening attention to detail there, but hey, it’s an awesome hobby and everything associated with Bourne Identity is fantastic as far as I’m concerned.

  10. The Bourne Identity is actually the predecessor of Spartan. It came out in 2002, prior to Spartan which came out in 2004.

  11. Seeing that stack of 250 gulden bills made me smile.
    We had, before the Euro, amazing brightly coloured ‘funny money’ and those purple lighthouses are a perfect example.
    Beforehand I couldn’t see the appeal of this replica / prop but after seeing the video I’m quite impressed.

  12. I *think* the knife in the film also has a slightly different shape, with the sides being flat and then going abruptly into a bevel on the edges, at least that is what it looks like from the screenshot Adam posted on the RPF.

  13. Dear Adam,

    The green swiss army knife that you are looking for is not sold anywhere except for one place. I was recently on vacation in Switzerland and we stopped in a town called Lauterbrunnen. There was a knife shop that sold mostly Swiss army knives, and they had green swiss army knives. I asked the woman who owned the store about the knives because I had never seen a green swiss army knife before. She told me that Victorinox makes the green knives only for that one shop. So if you ever want one, feel free to take a trip there!

  14. Adam.. shouldn’t you get the actual saf-deposit box also? That could be the final touch… 🙂

    Nice work though. 🙂

  15. Great segment. I am also a tool kit fanatic. It’s so much easier to rush out and address a problem when you have everything, or at least close to everything, you need. About the French driver’s license. Look at minute mark 16.04. The license is laying flat on the US passport. You can extrapolate the size either from the passport or from the size of the font.

  16. Bags are burned and so are bodies. Just because a vessel is burned doesn’t mean that the name written upon it is forgotten. If you do not understand such cryptic “ramblings”, then perhaps you are not reading betweeen the lines to see what is written without being specified. Such is always the case for any crypto-analyst; that words must be hidden within plain sight that they who are wise may interpret, yet they who are foolish will not understand. Afterall, what is an identity if not a dwelling of the heart? Have you ever questioned the source of “sideburns”, derived from General Burnside, a famous civil war general? Sometimes what is written does not only mean one thing, but also reads literally, rather than being translated.

  17. ANNEX I


    1. The color of the Community model license is pink and its overall dimensions are:

    Height: 106 mm,

    -Width: 222 mm.

    2.The license shall consist of six pages.

    Page 1 contains:

    -The distinguishing sign of the Member State issuing the license

    -Mention of the name of the Member State issuing the license, which is optional,

    Next-the hallmark of the Member State issuing the license:

    B: BelgiqueIRL Ireland

    DK: DanemarkI: Italy

    D: Germanyl: Luxembourg

    GR: GrèceNL Netherlands

    E: EspagneP: Portugal

    F: FranceUK: United Kingdom

    -The word “license” printed in large type in the language or languages ​​of the Member State issuing the license, it appears in small print, after a suitable space, in the other languages ​​of the European Communities,

    -The words “European Communities model” printed in the language or languages ​​of the Member State issuing the license.

    Page 2 contains:

    1) the name of the holder

    2) the name of the holder

    3) the date and place of birth of the holder

    4) the designation of the competent authority issuing the license (including the place and date of issue and the stamp of the authority)

    5) the license number

    6) the holder’s photograph

    7) the signature of the holder

    8) residence, home or mailing address (optional).

    Pages 3 and 4 contain the (sub) categories of vehicles, the date of issue of the (sub-) category, its period of validity, the stamp of authority (duties, etc.)., The additional information or restrictions in code form for each (sub) category.

    Subcategories not provided for in the national legislation of a Member State may not be listed on the license issued by that Member State.

    The codes used on page 4 shall be as follows:

    -Codes 1-99: harmonized Community codes;

    -Codes 100 and above: national codes valid only for driving in the territory of the State which issued the license.

    The date of first issue of each class must be repeated on page 3 on any subsequent replacement or exchange.

    Page 5 may contain information such as:

    Them any periods during which the right to drive;

    -Serious offenses committed in the territory of the State of normal residence and taken into account in the monitoring system driver in force in that State.

    Page 6 includes:

    -Validations restricted to the territory of the State which has granted equivalence or categories of vehicles not covered by this Directive (including dates of issue and validity, etc..)

    -Spaces reserved for registration (optional) change of residence.

    3.The entries on pages other than page 1 shall be in the language or languages ​​of the Member State issuing the license.

    In cases where a Member State wishes to make the entries in a national language other than one of the following languages ​​German, English, Danish, Dutch, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and will draw up a bilingual version of the license using one of the aforementioned languages, without prejudice to other provisions of this Annex.

    4.When the holder of a driving license issued by a Member State has taken up normal residence in another Member State, the latter may indicate:

    It (s) change (s) of residence on page 6,

    -Information essential for administering the license such as serious offenses committed in its territory, on page 5,

    provided that include this type of information also permits it issues and that has, to this end, the location needed.

    Notwithstanding paragraph 2, of driving licenses issued by the United Kingdom shall not include a photograph of the holder for a maximum period of ten years after the adoption of this Directive.


  18. There is a tiny problem with Foma Kiniaev’s passport. The fact is that in “Bourne Identity” the name in the passport in cyrillic was written wrong. It was literally retyped “Foma Kiniaev” in cyrillic layout which is “Ащьф Лштшфум”. If you speak Russian it reads absolutely hilarious. However, in the Adam’s passport replica the name is written correctly “Фома Киняев”.

  19. I haven’t read through all the comments so this may be a repeat. My daughter and I just re-watched the Bourne Identity. At the end of the film, when Jason drops in on Maria at here business, did you notice that the burn bag is hanging there at a planter?

  20. Hey guys

    Wanted to see if u still wanted the exact demensions for the french drivers licence, im french and i have a 2013 Drivers licence so it will be one of the most accurate demensions.

  21. I don’t know wether you’re still searching for the size of a french driver’s license, but i found out that there are two different layouts: the first is the one which is only folded once, it’s size would be 120mm by 85mm. The second layout is one which is folded twice like the old letters (where you have a central part and a part folding out on either side), this one is 222mm by 106mm. following is the link where i found the information.

    Keep up the great work at

  22. Still my favorite video… It actually kick-started my own prop-collection (to my wifes chagrin…) 🙂 Thank you Adam for a very interesting talk, and also thank you very much for the tip on the shelves and lighting. Will definitely be used to display my collection 🙂

  23. Tag Heuer is a Teutonic name, so the “eu” is pronounced “oy”: Tag Hoyer. Europa is pronounced Oyropa in German. the Euro is pronounced Oyro

  24. Hello I was watching this episode and was surprised to see the bag my dad has the actual real bag from the movie with a certificate he has had it since the movie came out I thought it’s pretty cool its a big thing to someone else

  25. Awesome video! Great channel! I’m a big fan. Adam didn’t mention it in this video, but the burn bag makes a final appearance in the last 60 seconds of Identity. Sure everyone knew this but me.

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