Staff at the University of Chicago admissions office wasn’t quite sure what to do when they received a package in the mail addressed to Henry Walton Jones Jr. They threw up their arms, as no one at the office went by the name - or had visited the exotic locales to receive the custom stamps covering the parcel. It only began to come together when they realized Henry Walton Jones Jr. is the real name of the cinematic hero Indiana Jones, but for the most part the answers went no further.
The admissions staff was as baffled as it was excited. “What we don’t know: Why this came to us,” read the Tumblr page devoted to the University of Chicago.
Along with post marks dotting the package it also was weathered and bound with twine, much like one that’d appear to the real Indiana Jones from a smuggler or authorities trying to stop the Nazis. It contained a dusty hand written copy of Abner Ravenwood’s journal (who appeared as Jones’ mentor in “Raider of the Lost Ark”), money issued from the era, and calligraphy that had evidence of hand writing throughout the maps.
“If you’re an applicant and sent this to us: Why? How? Did you make it?” the Tumblr reaction continued. “Why so awesome? If you’re a member of the University community and this belongs to you or you’ve gotten one like it before, PLEASE tell us how you acquired it, and whether or not yours came with a description— or if we’re making a big deal out of the fact that you accidentally slipped a gift for a friend in to the inter-university mail system. If you are an Indiana Jones enthusiast and have any idea who may have sent this to us or who made it, let us know that, too.”
The reaction to the post was so strong - and the tips sent to IndianaJonesJournal@UChicago.edu so overwhelming - that the admissions staff provided an update Thursday with some theories about the package’s source.
One possibility is that it’s a promotional stunt for an upcoming Indiana Jones movie, “We’ve emailed the only contact we could find at Lucasfilm, but haven’t gotten a response yet. **Update— we just heard back from Lucasfilm, they say: “We were just as surprised to see this package as you were!”
Another theory is that a student with his or her hopes set on the University of Chicago mailed the Indiana Jones package as an attempt to get noticed.