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University of Chicago Receives Mystery Indiana Jones Package

timothy posted about a year ago | from the cool-prank dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 65

First time accepted submitter VanGarrett writes "Someone at the University of Chicago went through a lot of trouble to baffle a few people, with an old timey package addressed to Indiana Jones. From the article: 'The package contained an incredibly detailed replica of "University of Chicago Professor" Abner Ravenwood's journal from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It looks only sort of like this one, but almost exactly like this one, so much so that we thought it might have been the one that was for sale on Ebay had we not seen some telling inconsistencies in cover color and "Ex Libris" page (and distinct lack of sword). The book itself is a bit dusty, and the cover is teal fabric with a red velvet spine, with weathered inserts and many postcards/pictures of Marion Ravenwood (and some cool old replica money) included. It's clear that it is mostly, but not completely handmade, as although the included paper is weathered all of the "handwriting" and calligraphy lacks the telltale pressure marks of actual handwriting.'"

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65 comments

Surprised the DHS didn't shut it down (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302287)

Mystery package? Everybody panic! I said panic! PAAAAAAAAANIC!

Re:Surprised the DHS didn't shut it down (3, Insightful)

akboss (823334) | about a year ago | (#42302777)

Surprised they didnt call in the bomb squad to blow it up, just to be sure.

If you want to be sure... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42304779)

You have to Nuke it from orbit.

THAT's the only way to be sure.

Re:Surprised the DHS didn't shut it down (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42305889)

A few years back at UGA, someone called in a suspicious looking paper bag was found outside a building and the bomb squad was called in.. IIRC, a remote-controlled robot was used to open it up to find someone left some muffins. I believe the two buildings and parking deck were cleared out.. want to say at least 20 or 30 classes cancelled (400+ students)

There were some people calling shenanigans on the whole thing afterwards, saying it was an over reaction.. but hindsight is 20/20. I think they did a good job regardless. Better safe than everyone dead.. as the saying goes, you know.

http://onlineathens.com/stories/102205/cops_20051022043.shtml [onlineathens.com]

Congratulations (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302297)

Looks like someone decided to turn a piece of fan art into performance art.
I am amused.
Nicely done.

Re:Congratulations (2)

VoidEngineer (633446) | about a year ago | (#42304503)

Performance art? It's obviously an application to the College (received in December, duh). Among some alumni, bets on the declared major range from Art Restoration & Museum/Library Curation to Archeology, Egyptology, & Paleontology. I almost went into Paleontology. One of my best friends has a B.A. in Egyptology. I have a half-dozen acquaintances I know who focused in various Museum/Library curator positions. It could be any.

At least they didn't blow it up. (2, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about a year ago | (#42302307)

That's standard procedure these days for unknown packages right?

Re:At least they didn't blow it up. (4, Funny)

jhoegl (638955) | about a year ago | (#42302695)

They couldn't.
It might have contained the antidote.

Re:At least they didn't blow it up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42303819)

No it belongs in a museum ...

Re:At least they didn't blow it up. (1)

Xeranar (2029624) | about a year ago | (#42306007)

You are correct. It does belong in a museum! I suspect the packages outer wrap was addressed to a real person or the department just was awesome and took a chance.

Probably just a mailing error (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302367)

It's more likely that the package from the ebay seller to the buyer got damaged in the mail, and the inner package fell out. The USPS then delivered the inner package.

Re:Probably just a mailing error (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42304493)

As a side note––

Every so often there's a story in the news about a letter that got lost in the post office for 50-60 years – seems like it's usually WWII era mail from a GI to his girlfriend or something similar – and the post office finally delivering it.

I happen to know that in the stamp collecting world there are literally tons of old, stamped envelopes, often with the original correspondence inside. I'm convinced that there's some joker out there who periodically drops one of these old letters in the mail just to see what happens. I can imagine a big, busy post office not noticing that one piece of mail has already had the stamp cancelled and just sends the letter onward to the sorting facility and the rest is history.

So I wouldn't be at all surprised if it turned out that someone dropped the prop in a mailbox somewhere and the post office blithely delivered it as addressed.

Re:Probably just a mailing error (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42306823)

If the inner package was stamped with historical accuracy, then it probably didn't have valid postage.

Well Damn... (3, Funny)

3seas (184403) | about a year ago | (#42302407)

... Guess they will just have to do a better job next time.

Re:Well Damn... (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#42304115)

> all of the "handwriting" and calligraphy lacks the telltale pressure marks of actual handwriting.

You fools! The "real ones" were identical to this as they were props!

Summary missed best part of article (5, Informative)

GODISNOWHERE (2741453) | about a year ago | (#42302413)

The article concludes with

Internet: help us out. If you’re on Reddit (we’re not) or any other nerdly social media sites where we might get information about this, feel free to post far and wide and e-mail any answers, clues, ideas, thoughts, or musings to indianajonesjournal@uchicago.edu (yes, we did set up an email account just to deal with this thing).

Perhaps not what it claims to be (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302509)

The poster perhaps misread the article url - http://uchicagoadmissions.tumblr.com.

They got it wrong (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302523)

"We’ve been completely baffled as to why this was sent to us, in mostly a good way, but it’s clear this is a neat thing that either belongs somewhere else— or belongs in the halls of UChicago admissions history."

No, it belongs in a museum!!!

Re:They got it wrong (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302585)

"We’ve been completely baffled as to why this was sent to us, in mostly a good way, but it’s clear this is a neat thing that either belongs somewhere else— or belongs in the halls of UChicago admissions history."

No, it belongs in a museum!!!

So do you!

Re:They got it wrong (4, Informative)

bsDaemon (87307) | about a year ago | (#42303017)

Out of mod points or I'd correct this... whoever modded this flamebait doesn't recall the ship-board fight at the start of Last Crusade.

Re:They got it wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42303735)

Out of mod points or I'd correct this... whoever modded this flamebait doesn't recall the ship-board fight at the start of Last Crusade.

Whoever modded me Flamebait needs to seriously turn in their geek card. :(

Re:They got it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42306647)

I don't know if I could "seriously turn in my geek card" or even "lightheartedly turn it it."

Seriously, what I think you meant to write was "...needs to turn in their geek card, seriously."

English is Tough Stuff.

And no, I'm not the AC that modded the OP as flame bait.

Re:They got it wrong (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#42304125)

"Weâ(TM)ve been completely baffled as to why this was sent to us, in mostly a good way, but itâ(TM)s clear this is a neat thing that either belongs somewhere elseâ" or belongs in the halls of UChicago admissions history."

You -- you're just passing through funny. This is funny!

Git rid of it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302653)

Get rid of it before the guys pretending to be Nazis show up!

Re:Git rid of it! (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year ago | (#42305005)

Get rid of it before the guys pretending to be Nazis show up!

There's no chance of that. Right now, they're on the other side of the state chasing a family who stole their HitlerMobile.

Disney? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302733)

reviving Indiana Jones franchise

Adam Savage, or one of his friends is a suspect. (5, Insightful)

MaxToTheMax (1389399) | about a year ago | (#42302747)

I happen to know did a limited production run of these replicas, and gave some away to friends. (NOTE: long interview.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3fLntnhlgA [youtube.com]

MOD PARENT UP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302987)

Obviously this is where it came from.

Re:Adam Savage, or one of his friends is a suspect (2)

pz (113803) | about a year ago | (#42305645)

To see the relevent bit of that nice interview, seek to about 30:00.

Wrong Dr. Jones. (1)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#42308999)

Adam Savage talks there about making a GRAIL DIARY belonging to Henry Walton Jones, Sr. - NOT the diary of Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr.

Say (0)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#42302783)

Do they still make that "Warehiuse 13" program? (I stopped watching the PsyPhi channel
Thats where it really belongs

Comcast / NBC Merger Disney (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302885)

Comcast / NBC Merger Disney they maybe.

Clearly, this was sent to the wrong location (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year ago | (#42302833)

It should have been sent to Las Vegas instead [quickmeme.com]

The Ebay seller is the mysterious gifter (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#42302889)

He wanted to prop up the Ebay bids a bid by drawing attention to it by
sending the mystery package.

Only US Postal Service ... as usual was late.

Updated tumblr Post (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42302937)

They have posted an update here [tumblr.com] ... I would say their most plausible explanation is probably the correct one judging from the original picture [tumblr.com]:

Most plausible, least exciting: someone purchased one from the replica-maker on Ebay that we linked to yesterday, and on its way to the recipient, it wormed its way out of an outside package. Thinking the Egyptian postage was legit, a wayward mail carrier wrote on our zip code and it hitchhiked its way to our office. Certainly less exciting than our other options, but would still be a hilarious end to our vexing problem. If you are the original Ebay seller of this item and have an angry customer who never got their package, please let us know.

Re:Updated tumblr Post (1)

VoidEngineer (633446) | about a year ago | (#42304537)

I don't buy it. The package is addressed to 1101 East 58th Street. That's the UChicago Administration and Admissions office address. No way. It's obviously a College application. And a good one too! Somebody has a sense of aesthetics. Probably someone wanting to go into Art Preservation or Museum Curratorship. Maybe Egyptology or Paleontology.

Re:Updated tumblr Post (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about a year ago | (#42304935)

It's obviously a College application. And a good one too! Somebody has a sense of aesthetics. Probably someone wanting to go into Art Preservation or Museum Curratorship. Maybe Egyptology or Paleontology.

Or maybe creative Forgery??

That's it! We've found it -- it's obviously a business school application!

Re:Updated tumblr Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42308635)

Look at the ebay posting:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Indiana-Jones-and-the-Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-Notebook-Journal-Prop-Replica-/261106904104?nma=true&si=Ph9R8Bf8%2FQy2bzyVyBMzKzjWFJE%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

It has a picture of the package that is identical to the one received by the admissions office, with the exact same address.

Clearly that is exactly what happened.

Re:Updated tumblr Post (1)

ottothecow (600101) | about a year ago | (#42311463)

And it makes quite a lot of sense. The post office does do its best to deliver everything.

I had a friend in school (at UChicago no less) get a postcard from their parents who were traveling somewhere out of the country. Their parents couldn't remember the address and literally wrote something like
Firstname Lastname
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

The card eventually made it all of the way to campus. They lived in on campus housing, so once the card made it into the university's mail system, they must have figured out which mailbox was hers and delivered it. A bit odd that they wouldn't realize the postage was fake (although it was foreign and if it fell out of another package, it would have already made it partway through the system), but figuring out the correct zip code and writing it down seems plausable.

As to the point about it being the admissions department and thus clearly an elaborate application...the original post notes that that building used to be the geology department or something and only became the economics and admissions offices in recent history. Also, if you were applying to the school correctly, it would help to spell Illinois correctly.

A follow up letter (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#42303195)

I'd appreciate you forwarding the journal since I'll be out of the office for some time. If any Germans, especially one with a burned hand, attempt to claim the journal please deny any knowledge of it's existence. Sincerely Indy

Sounds like a hack. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42303521)

UC students tired of MIT and Caltech having all the fun.

That could be true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42304031)

But, you know what they say about U of C. It's where fun goes to die.

Soak it up, Chicago! (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year ago | (#42303787)

If University of Chicago didn't already have a museum, it does now and one that would attract more visits than any Colbert exhibit.

Obvious Answer: It's an Application to the Colleg (4, Interesting)

VoidEngineer (633446) | about a year ago | (#42303997)

As a UChicago grad, I think the answer is obvious. It was delivered to the Admissions office during the month of December. It's an application to the college. The Admissions office would just like to know who it's from! :)

It's daring, if somewhat obvious. But to my knowledge, it hasn't actually been done before. It was bound to happen eventually, however. I'm just kind of surprised it took this long, in fact. Whoever sent it will obviously get in if they have a modicum of academic ability or talent. It's exactly the kind of nerdy stunt, with an appreciation for aesthetics, that UChicago appreciates.

Re:Obvious Answer: It's an Application to the Coll (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year ago | (#42304681)

Whoever sent it will obviously get in if they have a modicum of academic ability or talent. It's exactly the kind of nerdy stunt, with an appreciation for aesthetics, that UChicago appreciates.

As yes - Wed shakes and a pub with foosball, beer and white boards.

First time accepted submitter VanGarrett... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42304133)

...Self-promotes his work via Slashdot.

Such a thing has never been done before.

Slashdotters stand shocked and amazed.

Sender Solved. (1)

musixman (1713146) | about a year ago | (#42304463)

It was Adam Savage (Mythbusters) who sent it. He is a widely know collector & creator of movie prop's & he sent this for fun. It took me about 3 minutes to figure this out so I'm kinda surprised nobody connected the dots.

Safety Precaution when opening box (1)

Cito (1725214) | about a year ago | (#42305409)

Make sure you retreat to the nearest fridge after opening...

just in case...

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