It’s not necessarily a prank. Perhaps a joke is the better description, or a bit of whimsy. However you want to classify it, though, this is just fun. Someone acquired or themselves made a replica of the journal from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” that sends Indiana Jones off on his first film adventure, and delivered it to the correct address at the school where Prof. Jones was said to teach in the movie. From the University of Chicago Admissions Office:
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.
Because the “stamps” on the package were not actual, legal postage, it seems someone must have slipped the package into the university mail system, but no one has a clue as to why. The university has posted about it online, and is hoping the resources of the Internet can help them find out. Read more about the story here.