Earlier this week, the University of Chicago admissions office received a package addressed to one Henry Walton Jones Jr. The package wound up in a pile to be sorted through later. No big deal; happens all the time with misaddressed mail. But apparently, no one in the admissions office recognized the name of one of the school’s most legendary, albeit fictional, former students. Henry Walton Jones Jr. is, of course, the true name of the Nazi-fighting hero better known as Indiana Jones.
Once a wily student employee realized what he was looking at, the package was opened to reveal a small treasure of meticulously recreated Raiders of the Lost Ark artifacts. Specifically, the package contained a replica of Abner Ravenwood’s journal, but everything from the journal to the packaging — including the stamps and postmarks — were made to look like they came straight out of the 1930s.
But why, if so much care was taken in the crafting of the bundle, was it delivered to the admissions department of all places? It’s not a mistake. The address — 1101 East 58th Street — is the location of the university’s admissions office in 2012, but a different department was housed there in 1936: geology and geography.
The package seems too detailed to just be someone’s joke or prank. It feels more like an elaborate art project. But the school doesn’t know what to make of it. They ask, “If you’re an applicant and sent this to us: Why? How? Did you make it? Why so awesome?” That last question is foremost on our minds.