Byron Khun de Prorok was an entirely real person who wrote four books describing his globe-trotting archeological adventures in the 1920s and '30s. His efforts were very well publicized during his lifetime, although his reputation nosedived in following years and he is now pretty much forgotten. Some have suggested he was an inspiration for Indiana Jones, although he's more of a René Belloq. We first learned about him from a passing mention in a letter from Lovecraft, and immediately realized he must have crossed paths with Charlie Tower at some point.
Whatever his faults as an archaeologist might have been, and there seem to have been plenty, he really was a pioneer in the use of motion pictures and aerial photography in archaeology. Most of the films he made have been lost, but you can read about his efforts in that regard. Lots of the details in this episode came from his book Mysterious Sahara.