by Michael Walsh (New York Daily News)
The mysterious Indiana Jones journal will go in a museum — just where the fictional archeologist would want it.
The University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute will unveil a highly detailed diary Thursday that the admissions office received in a manila envelope addressed to Henry Walton Jones Jr. — the birth name of fictional archeologist Indiana Jones.
“It has captivated and enthralled a lot of the campus,” Garret Brinker, the director of undergraduate outreach for the admissions office, told the Daily News.
The journal has ancient maps and notes on mysterious artifacts — notably the Ark of the Covenant. It even bears the signature of Abner Ravenwood, Jones’ fictional mentor and father of his love interest, Marion.
“It has Ravenwood’s writing, maps, fake currency that looks very close to real currency … there are photos of Marion Ravenwood and Indiana Jones. So it is full of mementos from Ravenwood’s life,” Brinker explained.
The peculiar journal perplexed the admissions office from when they discovered it Dec. 13. until Monday morning when an eBay seller in Guam, Paul Charfauros, confirmed that he created it.
“The power of the Internet is quite compelling to solve mysteries like this,” said Brinker.
Charfauros made the prop replica and mailed it to a customer in Italy, but it fell out of its original packaging in Honolulu. The journal was still, however, in a smaller envelope — with string wrapped around it and canceled stamps — that Charfauros included to enhance the aura.
Despite lacking actual U.S. postage, the postal service shipped the package to the admissions office, where the Oriental Institute was located during the Indiana Jones era.
“It’s been very exciting for the entire university. The history of Indiana Jones has a close connection to the University of Chicago,” Brinker said.
Jones himself was not a professor at Chicago. He taught at two fictional schools — Marshall College in Bedford, Conn. and Barnett College in Fairfield, N.Y. — according to the storyline.
Jones was, however, a student at the university and his time as an undergraduate is portrayed in “Mystery of the Blues” from the Emmy-award winning TV show “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.”
The journal will be added to an exhibit about actual University of Chicago professors, Henry Breasted and Robert Braidwood, who some speculate partly inspired the globetrotting character.