Unsolved Mysteries

U. Chicago Receives Weird Mystery Package Addressed to Indiana Jones

Prank, viral marketing scheme or annoyingly ambitious prospective student application?
(Photo: Tumblr)

(Photo: Tumblr)

Working in college admissions isn’t a typically fun job, unless you like wading through endless wannabe-introspective essays from overachieving high school students. But the admissions officers at the University of Chicago got a delightful surprise in their mailbox this week, and they’re hoping to use the power of the web to find out just who’s behind it.

The U. Chicago admissions office posted a description of the package on its Tumblr, which came in a tattered envelope addressed to “Henry Wilton Jones, Jr.” (a.k.a. Indiana Jones) and contained an impressively detailed replica of the journal kept by U. Chicago professor Abner Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark:

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.

The package does not appear to have gone through the U.S. postal system since it doesn’t have any real stamps on it. The whole thing has stumped the admissions office, leaving them to wonder if it was sent by some especially nerdy prospective student.

Overeager U. Chicago applicant wouldn’t be the worst outcome, though. A far more annoying possibility would be that it’s a viral marketing scheme for the recently released Indiana Jones Blu-ray boxset, or perhaps for the rumored new Indiana Jones movie (though whether or not that gets made is now up to Disney).

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it’s just some absurdly obsessed Indiana Jones nutter with a lot of time on his hands.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com