University of Chicago Receives Package Addressed to Indiana Jones

December 13, 2012
Source: University of Chicago

Indiana Jones Package

There's been plenty of marketing for films like The Dark Knight Rises, Pacific Rim and more this year, but perhaps the best piece of viral marketing (if you can call it that) comes in the form of a mystery package sent to The University of Chicago. The school's Tumblr page recently posted an update with the details of a package addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr. It was shoved aside for their student workers to sort through, but thankfully, one of them must have been a film fan, because they realized that this package was addressed to none other than the fame archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones. Mystery is solved!

Note: It has been uncovered that this was just a prop replica of the Indy notebook that accidentally ended up at the University even though it was sent by an Ebay member from Guam to Italy. More details below.

Here are pictures of the contents inside the package at the University of Chicago found via their Tumblr:

Indiana Jones Package 1

Indiana Jones Package 1

Indiana Jones Package 1

Indiana Jones Package 1

That last piece is a photo of the letter, in reference to the "handwriting". As some fans might remember, Abner Ravenwood, father of Indy's estranged former lover Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) in Raiders of the Lost Ark, worked at the University of Chicago and mentored the Junior Jones there. And for some reason, this package has attempted to recreate what would likely be the last package that he sent to Indiana Jones. Here's what the University of Chicago first had to say about the contents of the mysterious package:

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.

However, the university still hasn't determined where this came from (there are no real stamps on it). It seems to be someone who has done enough research to know that the address it was found at used to be the home to the geology and geography departments (whereas now it's the Economy building). The finders hypothesize that maybe an applicant sent it, but they don't know why. Maybe a huge Indiana Jones fan just had some free time on their hands and wanted to see what would ensue from this package's arrival. Still, this is a pretty damn cool story. Be sure to check out their post and we'll keep you updated on the latest.

Update! The mystery has been solved, unfortunately. The University of Chicago has posted a new Tumblr entry (via Wired) with details. Apparently it was just a prop replica made by Ebayer Paul "Ravenbar" that somehow got lost in shipping. They explain: "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." Aw shucks, too bad it wasn't actually a viral for something, but impressive work and an exciting Indy mystery while it lasted.

Find more posts: Cool Stuff, Feat, Viral Marketing



Hope this is something, but the more I look at the more I just wonder if it was not a fan doing something very awesome.

Raymond Morse on Dec 13, 2012


Whomever sent it can't spell Illinois.

yomandenver on Dec 13, 2012


He spelled... poorly.

castingcouch on Dec 15, 2012


Dang. Was hoping this was some kind of viral from Disney and they were going to give me a Christmas present...a makeup for Crystal Skull! I would love to see one more Indy without Lucas involved. That aside...this is very cool stuff. Hope they place it in the school's museum as a permanent addition to their archaeological materials. Who knows? In a thousand years, even it may be worth something...

Gohikeone on Dec 13, 2012


and that imaginative fan is currently sitting in his throne laughing triumphantly at his accomplishment to baffle them all....

Jericho on Dec 13, 2012


This needs to go into the book arts collection (or similar) at the University's Special Collections Research Center in the Regenstein.

Peter on Dec 14, 2012

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