Indiana Jones: Mystery of University of Chicago package solved

Dec. 18, 2012 | 2:08 p.m.
Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford, makes sure the setting sun is in precisely the right position as he prepares to uncover the location of the Ark of the Covenant in a scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark." (Lucasfilm)

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” (Lucasfilm)

The origins of the mysterious package that showed up Wednesday at the University of Chicago admissions office addressed to Henry Jones Jr. (a.k.a. Indiana Jones) has been solved.

In the end, it wasn’t a prank or a promotional stunt on the part of Lucasfilm or even a bizarre trans-dimensional crack in the line between reality and fiction.

It was a simple accident.

The package, which contained an apparently handmade re-creation of Abner Ravenwood’s diary, originated with a man named Paul, an Indiana Jones prop replicator in Guam, according to the university’s admissions office Tumblr page.

Paul had recently sold the item on Ebay for $200 to a buyer in Italy, but while the package was in transit, the manila envelope containing the diary slipped out. Believing the faux Egyptian postage affixed to the outside of the envelope to be real, the United States Postal Service shipped the package to Henry Walton Jones Jr. at the University of Chicago.

Contents of the package addressed to Indiana Jones. (University of Chicago)

Contents of the package addressed to Indiana Jones. (University of Chicago)

Paul was informed by the USPS that there was a problem with his package and he got in contact with the university. Mystery solved.

The package and its contents will now be displayed at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago — Paul has said he’ll make a new diary for the original buyer in Italy.

Indiana Jones would be proud. As many Hero Complex readers (and comments on the university’s Tumblr page) have pointed out, “It belongs in a museum!”

– Patrick Kevin Day

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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