Indiana Jones Mystery Package
We don’t really even know how to start this post. Yesterday we received a package addressed to “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.”. We sort-of shrugged it off and put it in our bin of mail for student workers to sort and deliver to the right faculty member— we get the wrong mail a lot.
Little did we know what we were looking at. When our student mail worker snapped out of his finals-tired haze and realized who Dr. Jones was, we were sort of in luck: this package wasn’t meant for a random professor in the Stat department. It is addressed to “Indiana” Jones.
What we know: The package contained an incredibly detailed replica of “University of Chicago Professor” Abner Ravenwood’s journal from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It looks only sort of like this one, but almost exactly like this one, so much so that we thought it might have been the one that was for sale on Ebay had we not seen some telling inconsistencies in cover color and “Ex Libris” page (and distinct lack of sword). 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. 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.
What we don’t know: Why this came to us. The package does not actually have real stamps on it— the outside of the package was crinkly and dirty as if it came through the mail, but the stamps themselves are pasted on and look like they have been photocopied. There is no US postage on the package, but we did receive it in a bin of mail, and it is addressed to the physical address of our building, Rosenwald Hall, which has a distinctly different address from any other buildings where it might be appropriate to send it (Haskell Hall or the Oriental Institute Museum). However, although now home to the Econ department and College Admissions, Rosenwald Hall used to be the home to our departments of geology and geography.
If you’re an applicant and sent this to us: Why? How? Did you make it? Why so awesome? If you’re a member of the University community and this belongs to you or you’ve gotten one like it before, PLEASE tell us how you acquired it, and whether or not yours came with a description— or if we’re making a big deal out of the fact that you accidentally slipped a gift for a friend in to the inter-university mail system. 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.
We know this sounds like a joke/hoax… it’s not (at least, from our end). Any hints, ideas, thoughts, or explanations are appreciated. We’ve been completely baffled as to why this was sent to us, in mostly a good way, but it’s clear this is a neat thing that either belongs somewhere else— or belongs in the halls of UChicago admissions history.
Internet: help us out. If you’re on Reddit (we’re not) or any other nerdly social media sites where we might get information about this, feel free to post far and wide and e-mail any answers, clues, ideas, thoughts, or musings to firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, we did set up an email account just to deal with this thing).
**Update: we have heard from Lucasfilm (nerd sidebar: OMG SO COOL) that this is not some type of viral marketing package for any upcoming Indiana Jones films or events. We have narrowed the likely maker down to the most-accurate Ebay match (seller “Ravenbar”) but have not been able to get in touch with the seller, nor do we have any sense of why this would have made its way to our office. More photos of the journal can be found in the Chicago Red Eye here. We will be placing this in the University of Chicago library’s Special Collections once our mystery has been solved, so to those who have asked if it is for sale, sadly, the answer is no. Thanks to all who have sent tips or ideas (and to all of the news organizations that found this cool enough to pick it up)— please keep the ideas coming!**
one - if it rains, they will not move
two - they cannot love
If you happen to be a creature of living stone… the perfect hiding place.
Oh, Jason deCaires Taylor, what have you done??
50 Book Challenge
35. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne
36. The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett
Reading right now: Vanity Fair and The Light Fantastic.
This was commissioned by Nick Offerman (and others), as a wrap gift for the entire cast & crew at Parks & Recreation. Really happy with how it came out, and stoked to be doing more work for those guys, I love um!
50 Book Challenge
32. American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang
Incredibly fantastic. Read it for uni and I’m glad that my course put it in my path. Great illustrations, great story.
33. A Woman of No Importance - Oscar Wilde
50 Book Challenge
Two small, brilliant books(/play..)
30. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
31. The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde.
25. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut.
Again. For Book Club. Worth it.
26. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Re-read, in an attempt to love it more. I’m sorry world, I didn’t.
27. Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox - Eoin Colfer
28. Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex - Eoin Colfer
Only recently discovered these two existed. Still not as good as the first few but thoroughly worth a read if you’re a fan. One more to go, I hear!
29. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K Dick
Oh, you strange, strange man. How did the ever make it into a movie?
Just, Oh, the toad. I need to read more happy books.