A strange package addressed to one “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.” arrived at the University of Chicago’s Rosenwald Hall this past Wednesday and it has gotten a lot of attention on the Internet and elsewhere. Upon its arrival, no one thought too much about the parcel, although they weren’t sure who to pass it along to either. You see, the University doesn’t have anyone by that name on their faculty, to the large envelope went into the delivery bin to be sorted along with the rest of the mail. It wasn’t until an intern stopped by later in the day that the true identity of the person was revealed. You see, Henry Walton Jones, Jr. is better known by the name “Indiana,” the professor of archaeology made famous in the four Indiana Jones films.
The mystery of the package only deepened when it was opened. Inside the UC staff found a very detailed replica of Abner Ravenwood’s journal, along with numerous postcards and pictures including some of Marion Ravenwood, Abner’s daughter. There was also some old replica money and the stamps on the outside of the envelope also resembled those that would have come from the 1930’s, when Indiana Jones was going off on many of his adventures.
Now, who ever sent this package clearly knows their Indiana Jones lore and history. Not only did they know his full name, which isn’t given in the films and is shared only once in the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles television show, but they also know that as a young man he attended the University of Chicago. It was there that he met Professor Ravenwood and eventually his daughter. Ravenwood never appeared in the films either, but he was mentioned extensively in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first film in the series. Marion was played in that film by Karen Allen, who would reprise the role in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Who exactly sent the package, and why, remains a mystery. There is some speculation that it could be viral marketing before the announcement of a fifth film, although I personally don’t think that it the case. The contents of the envelope were painstakingly put together though and who ever did it sure has a keen eye for detail. The journal is said to have extensive writing and notes in it that are consistent with the stories on which it is based. Including photos and postcards from the era is a nice touch too, and getting them to look authentic couldn’t have been easy.
As a big fan of the movies (the Raider’s Theme is the ringtone on my phone) I found this story to be fun and interesting. Not sure what, if anything, it is leading to, but I would have loved to have found that package on my doorstep. I salute the fan who put it together, as it had to be a labor of love.
To read the full story, and get caught up in the mystery yourself, click here.
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