Recently released FBI documents show that Harland Sanders, better known as the Colonel of Kentucky Fried Chicken, received a threatening letter and a note warning that he was “in grave danger of being murdered.” Colonel Sanders, in grave danger? What, now?
The FBI documents redact the name of the person who told them the Colonel had received a letter that was “threatening in nature.” Following the tip, the Colonel was interviewed by the FBI in early 1974. And that friendly-faced, bespectacled old man couldn’t think of any events that could have thrown someone into a murderous rage against him. (You know what they say about the 1970s: It was generally all love, peace and chicken grease.)
(More on TIME.com: Colonel Sanders was real, not just an icon)
Other news outlets like USA Today have reported that a note released by the FBI, along with the description of events, was the threatening letter. But NewsFeed took a closer look at the case file and found that the threatening letter itself appears to be missing. Further intrigue!
The case file tells us that the threatening letter bears the date 12/4/73 and is typewritten. But the note in the case file is clearly handwritten and bears the date 1/14/74. The case file further distinguishes between “the letter itself” and “a note attached to the letter.” And the note, designated as from “U.S. Armed Forces,” sounds more like a friendly warning than a threat. It reads:
This is to inform you that you are in grave danger of being murdered. For details go to any recruiting station and call the Los Angeles Nike Missile Base.
It was signed, anonymously, “The General.”
It all seems tantalizingly fishy — both wanting to target the dear Colonel, beloved as he was by so many, and the don’t-quite-add-up case materials. Our expectations for the FBI aren’t too high, given that they didn’t even correctly spell the Colonel’s name on the case file cover sheet. So for now, NewsFeed will just have to file this one under Unsolved Mysteries (Poultry Division).
(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 unsolved crimes)