December 13, 2012 2:06pm PT by Seth Abramovitch
Mystery: University of Chicago Sent Elaborate Package for 'Indiana Jones'
Officials at the admissions department of the University of Chicago are baffled and amazed at a package that landed in their mailroom on Tuesday, addressed to "Henry Walton Jones, Jr."
[UPDATE: The mystery has been solved. See below.]
For Raiders of the Lost Ark aficionados, that name should ring a bell: It's the given name of Indiana Jones.
Jones was, of course, an archaeology professor at the university between his high-flying adventures, and the package is exhaustively faithful to the franchise mythology. Inside the manila envelope secured with string, school employees found a treasure of meticulously executed Jones lore brought to life, including a journal penned by Abner Ravenswood -- Indy's academic mentor and father of his Raiders love interest, Marion Ravenswood.
"The book itself is a bit dusty, and the cover is teal fabric with a red velvet spine, with weathered inserts and many postcards/pictures of Marion Ravenwood (and some cool old replica money) included," the school's admissions department writes on their official Tumblr. "It’s clear that it is mostly, but not completely handmade, as although the included paper is weathered all of the “handwriting” and calligraphy lacks the telltale pressure marks of actual handwriting."
The mystery deepens when you consider that none of the vintage stamps on the package are real -- rather, they are pasted-on photocopies. Nevertheless, the package arrived in the mail bin with the rest of their regular mail.
The university has thrown it out to the Internet, in hopes of finding out just who is responsible for this extraordinary stunt.
"If you’re an applicant and sent this to us: Why? How? Did you make it? Why so awesome? ... If you are an Indiana Jones enthusiast and have any idea who may have sent this to us or who made it, let us know that, too.... Any hints, ideas, thoughts, or explanations are appreciated," the school writes.
Anyone with any pertinent knowledge is prompted to forward what they know to a special email account set up in honor of the mysterious package: email@example.com.
UPDATE: The mystery has been solved: The creator of the piece was a man named Paul in Guam, according to the school's admissions office blog, who creates Indiana Jones artifacts for a living and sells them on eBay. The package in question was meant to be delivered to a purchases in Italy, but the package slipped out of its envelope and instead was delivered to the school address listed on the replica envelope.