Looks like Abner Ravenwood's been busy.
Someone out there - the University of Chicago would like to know who - is such a huge fan of Indiana Jones that they've started sending him mail. You can see the pictures in the gallery below; every piece seems to have been hand-crafted, with a meticulous eye to detail.
"If you're an applicant and sent this to us," the University asks, "Why? How? Did you make it? Why so awesome?" The package has stamps on it, but those are faked, so whoever delivered it did so by hand. The artist behind the scheme even went so far as to send it to Rosenwald Hall, which has a different use today but, when Indy was a student, would have housed the departments of geology and geography. It's just the spot where someone like Professor Jones might have been found; though the fictional character is only known to have worked at East Coast colleges, Indy did study at the University of Chicago. Professor Ravenwood was his mentor.
The folks in Chicago are both delighted and puzzled. There's no clue in the packaging as to what the intent behind the hoax was. Clearly someone put a lot of time and effort into it, and the University would like to know why. A special email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, has been created to deal with what no doubt will become a flood of correspondence.
There are groups who specialize in prop manufactures like this; the HPLS is one, and had the package been more Lovecraft-related I would have suspected them of this. I asked HPLS guru Sean Branney to comment on what it would have taken to make something like this, and he replied:
I'll confess it is very much the sort of thing we might have done (though honestly this wasn't us). Putting together something like this really just takes some patience, some good computer skills, good document handling skills, a wide variety of paper types and some creativity. I especially liked that they describe the book as dusty. We have products we make here where applying dust to them is part of their preparation before they go out in the world brand new but seeming quite old.
Source: UChicago College Admissions