Fans of Indiana Jones are well aware that in addition to his whirlwind adventures stopping Nazis and chasing Crystal Skulls, Dr. Henry Jones Jr. was also an esteemed professor of archaeology at the University of Chicago. Now, more than thirty years after first walking through the university’s halls on screen in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the school has once again found itself part of an Indiana Jones mystery. Earlier this week, a strange package addressed to Jones himself arrived to the campus mailroom, but who sent it and why remains unexplained. Is this the start of a viral for a new movie? Is there more planned? Find out what we know after the jump.
The package arrived to the University of Chicago mailroom sometime Tuesday addressed to “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.” Sealed using string, a worn out mailing envelope and phony vintage stamps, the package is visually fitting for the 1920s era of the first Indiana Jones film. Inside was a near exact replica of Abner Ravenwood’s journal that jump-started the plot in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Found within the pages of the journal were photographs of Marion Ravenwood, Abner’s daughter and Jones’ love-interest, and some fake money.
The announcement of the package was first made at the official Tumblr for the University of Chicago admissions department, who were very forthcoming with pictures and detailing its contents, and plead complete ignorance over the source and their motives:
“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.”
With the internet, mysteries don’t tend to stay secret for long, which is why it’s exciting to have such an event occur, and still resonate one day later with no genuine explanation for it. I’d personally love this package drop to eventually lead to the announcement of a new Indiana Jones film, as it would stand as one of the best viral exercises ever. My best guess though, since this package was delivered without actual postage, is that a local fan (and possible alum) went to great lengths to initiate nothing more than a great ruse.
The University of Chicago took to their Tumblr again soon after their announcement to reiterate they were no closer to cracking the case, though they have heard from several followers offered their own theories. We’ll be sure to follow this story and report if and when this great mystery is solved.
Thanks to THR for alerting us to this story.