Last week I posted a story about how the University of Chicago had received mail that was addressed to “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.” otherwise known as Indiana Jones. The package contained some a journal that was written by Indy’s friend and mentor Abner Ravenwood, as well as some postcards and photos from the 1930’s era in which the first Indiana Jones films are set. At the time, it was a complete mystery as to how the parcel showed up in campus mail and who exactly sent it. Fast forward a few days, and the mystery as been solved.
It turns out, the replica props that were contained the package were actually created by a man named Paul Tabosa, who sells them on E-Bay. Tabosa has put together the package for a customer who was looking for the props for a personal collection, and as part of the experience, Paul puts all of the items into a large envelope and labels it for delivery to Henry Walton Jones, Jr. at the University of Chicago, were our favorite fictional archaeologist went to school. Tabosa then puts the package into a larger envelope/parcel and ships it off to whoever his buyer is. In this case, it was someone in Italy.
While in transit from Guam (where Tabosa lives) the outer package, the one with the real address on it, was destroyed and torn off. Revealing the replica package inside. When the U.S. Postal Service saw the fake package, they mistakenly thought it was the real-deal and immediately forwarded it on to the University of Chicago, not even noticing that the Egyptian stamps were not real either. When it arrived at UC, it was dropped in campus mail, where an intern recognized who the intended recipient was.
So, that bring an end to the mystery, although I have to say the story is still a cool one. The mere fact that the fake package would actually be sent to the University is great, even if there isn’t some deeper meaning behind it. It also says a lot about Paul’s work if it was able to fool the USPS into deliver it.
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