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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Who sent the mysterious package to the University of Chicago addressed to Indiana Jones?

mysterious Indiana Jones package

Oh wow. From UChicago College Admissions:

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.

So cool! (Indy, of course, attended the University of Chicago, where he studied under Professor Ravenwood.)

mysterious Indiana Jones package

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.

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.

Well, duh: It belongs in a museum. Clearly.

mysterious Indiana Jones package

I’m reposting more of this than I would normally, because:

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 indianajonesjournal@uchicago.edu (yes, we did set up an email account just to deal with this thing).

Though do check out UChicago College Admissions for a few more details, including another photo and larger versions of these photos.

Who sent the mysterious package to the University of Chicago addressed to Indiana Jones? Is it some sort of interactive art project or game? Is it a marketing thing… but if so, how could anyone have known that it wouldn’t just get lost or dismissed, that the U of C people would post it online? How could someone do something so incredibly full of awesome and then just give it away anonymously?

Maybe the larger question is: What is it about this movie that continues to capture our collective imagination 30 years later?

Via Mashable.

UPDATE: Mystery solved!

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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