Indiana Jones journal mystery solved!

mysterious Indiana Jones package

That mysterious journal sent to, ahem, Henry Jones Jr. at the University of Chicago I wrote about last week? The thing no one could work out what it was all about? The mystery has been solved. From UChicago College Admissions:

Mischief Managed

For those of you who have wondered as hard as we have how we came to get this Indiana Jones journal: we have our solution.

As some theorized, this did turn out to be the work of “Ravenbar” (real name: Paul, from Guam) on Ebay. After several days we were able to get in touch with Paul, who confirmed with us on Saturday that this was, indeed, his work, but that he did not know how it had gotten to us. Paul contacted us late yesterday to let us know that he had just received a letter (originally we were baffled as to how he got mail on a Sunday, but then we remembered time zones exist) from the USPS sorting service in Honolulu, HI (from a guy who, coincidentally, is also named Paul) stating that the outer package of something he had mailed had been found without its contents at their facility.

According to Paul, this package was en route from him in Guam to his intended recipient IN ITALY (registered mail confirmation attached) when it must have fallen out of the package in Hawaii. Our address had originally been put on the manila wrapping of the journal just for cosmetic effect. We believe that the post office wrote on our Zip code on the outside of the package and, believing the Egyptian postage was real, sent it our way. From Guam to Hawaii en route to Italy with a stopover in Chicago: truly an adventure befitting Indiana Jones.

Paul has graciously let us know that he will make the intended recipient a new journal, and that we are welcome to keep this one— thanks, Paul! It will find its home either in Oriental Institute at UChicago because, as many have noted, “It belongs in a museum!”. We will post a link here when its exhibit is finished— we hear they’re working in some neat history about the men who inspired Indiana’s character, so it should be way cool.

Check out UChicago College Admissions for an image of the letter from the United States Postal Service to Ravenbar about the lost item.

This really is the most amazing story. It also boosts my already high opinion of the USPS. It’s the target of a lot of disparaging “humor” and outright angry attacks, but some USPS employee went to the trouble of ferreting out the missing zip code and sending the package on its way even though it didn’t even have real postage on it. Maybe that person was an Indiana Jones fan! (The handwritten zip code did stand out on the package. There were no zip codes at the time that Indy would have been a U. Chicago, so there’s no way that could have been part of any authentic-looking replica. As, clearly, it was not.)

Thanks to RogerBW for the heads up.

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