Tucker Carlson's Missing Package

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Metabunk 2020-10-29 16-37-40.jpg
Source

A strange sequence of events. Tucker Carlson is in Los Angeles, needs some documents to incriminate Hunter Biden, so has them sent by UPS from Fox News headquarters on Oct 28th. They supposedly go missing, and Carlson says that at 3:48AM, in another state, the package was discovered opened and empty. He indirectly suggests some kind of deep state plot, echoed by others:
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Source

Weinstein, a self-confident member of the "Intellectual Dark Web" says this was done by "DISC", a "Distributed Idea Suppression Complex" - some kind of defacto emergent behavior that's basically a tendency to suppress alternative ideas.


Source: https://medium.com/@josephparrish/encountering-the-disc-in-democratic-party-da7df9efd7aa#
I'm not sure how that translates to UPS losing a package. Carlson says they use UPS all the time with no problems. Just this one time. How did the bind beast of DISC finger this one package?

Then the contents of the package were, apparently, "found"

https://www.businessinsider.com/ups-said-found-lost-tucker-carlson-documents-sending-back-2020-10
Responses have been somewhat skeptical, with some rather obvious questions, like why didn't they email them?

Metabunk 2020-10-29 16-55-21.jpg



Interesting. What's going on?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
And now Carlson is saying he wants to leave Hunter Biden alone?
Source: https://twitter.com/justinbaragona/status/1321973721461071872


https://www.thedailybeast.com/tucke...-to-leave-hunter-biden-alone?via=twitter_page
So speculation is that the documents he was being mailed (on a thumb drive - as if the internet does not exist) was actually this fake 64-page document.
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/securi...dwork-hunter-biden-conspiracy-deluge-n1245387
Here's the generated face. These have been practically indistinguishable from real people for a few years now.

201029-deep-fake-mark-aspen-al-0753_975a78b055604d3b3e698293add5f37e.fit-720w.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Speculation:
A big part of the conspiracy scene is secrecy: we've seen in conversations here that conspiracy theorists may claim that even simple documents like patent filings might be suppressed, or that there may be repercussions for possessing or sharing certain information. It's all untrue, but it adds to the glamour of the "conspiracy-busting" roleplay that these people are (unwittingly) engaging in. If you buy into that, you may be reluctant to have copies of "sensitive" copies around, or to send them through email; especially if you have no clue about encryption, or don't trust it.

If you suspect that this picture may be computer-generated, then think about the clothes that "Martin Aspen" is wearing there. I once saw a guide on how to identify fakes like these, but I can't find it again right now, alas.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
And now Carlson is saying he wants to leave Hunter Biden alone?

Hunter's personal business alone.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-missing-ups-biden-family-documents-hunter-biden
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
If you suspect that this picture may be computer-generated, then think about the clothes that "Martin Aspen" is wearing there.

the reasons given for this to be computer generated are given in the nbc article Mick linked. It might be helpful for someone to post those specific reasons here on a debunking site. unless we think that conspiracy theorists are going to go out of their way to prove their beliefs wrong.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
What specific, concrete claims are in doubt/question/play here?

It seems like a package was opened and its contents were removed/stolen. Then those same contents were found/returned.

UPS seems to be saying the whole thing is an inexplicable accident.

Is that the baseline scenario? I.e., is that what we end up with when this story has been properly "debunked"?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
What specific, concrete claims are in doubt/question/play here?
I think everyone agrees that a package was delayed for some reason, since UPS responded regarding that package, apologizing for the late delivery.

The question then is what this is evidence of. Eric Weinstein seems to think it's evidence of suppression of alternative ideas.

Tucker seems to think it was not an accident. Meaning it was deliberate. Which then raises the alternatives from idle curiosity, individual curiosity, or a conspiracy to surveil or sabotage.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
UPS told Tucker it is extremely rare that a machine would have damaged the package. But then they threw the envelope away so it couldn't be examined to determine how the flashdrive (fell out). Throwing an envelope out from a delivery service is a bit suspicious, i trust everyone here knows why.


It is pure speculation that an UPS employee tried to steal the flashdrive.
It is also pure speculation that it was an accident.
It is also pure speculation that the 'documents' were this "dossier"... which i have never heard of before this thread, and i find quite amusing (the troll-y set up of the dossier vs the steele dossier.. not that i first learned about it here).

I.e., is that what we end up with when this story has been properly "debunked"?
There is nothing to debunk. You can't prove a negative ie. an employee did not open the envelope. They are just trying to offer alternative explanations to show that there is no proof Weinsteins claims are true.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It's a "Current Event" (hence the sub-forum). Current events rapidly evolve, and much information about them is only easily accessible as it happens. Later, conspiracy theories form around these events and it's useful to have that information to hand. So, in part, it's debunk-preparation. Not debunking a specific claim, but since there's various insinuations flying around, it may well develop into something later.

There's more discussion on the purpose of this sub-forum here:
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/current-events-forum-guidelines.8262/
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
It seems like a package was opened and its contents were removed/stolen. Then those same contents were found/returned.
It's not clear to me that the "package" was opened.
It may have just become damaged, and if the information was on a thumbdrive, it may have slipped out.
And if you put a thumbdrive in a plain envelope, then having a small hard thickish thing in a soft flat envelope may cause it to become damaged in the sorting machine?

Do we have information (ideally pictures) as to the state of the empty container? What is the evidence?
 

Thomas B

Active Member
It's not clear to me that the "package" was opened.
It may have just become damaged, and if the information was on a thumbdrive, it may have slipped out.
And if you put a thumbdrive in a plain envelope, then having a small hard thickish thing in a soft flat envelope may cause it to become damaged in the sorting machine?

Do we have information (ideally pictures) as to the state of the empty container? What is the evidence?

I think everyone agrees that a package was delayed for some reason, since UPS responded regarding that package, apologizing for the late delivery.

[...]

Tucker seems to think it was not an accident. Meaning it was deliberate. Which then raises the alternatives [...]
I think the undisputed facts are a bit more detailed. Tucker and UPS seem to agree (I'm getting this from Tucker's accounts here and here) that a flashdrive was sealed in a UPS envelope (I imagine one of those tough cardboard flat "packages" that you also get small books/reports in -- i.e. not an ordinary paper envelope. That package wasn't just "delayed"; it was never delivered. Rather, the package was (inexplicably) opened and the flashdrive was removed. It was then missing for 24 hours and then found. (A long detailed search had come up empty, but then it was luckily found on someone's desk because a worker had found it somewhere -- basically by accident.) The flashdrive (but not the original package) was then returned to Tucker.

The package definitely seems to have traveled. (It was on a plane and was discovered opened in the early morning during an overnight delivery.) But the flashdrive was found in NYC, so may never have left.

To me, it seems clear that if these are the facts, then someone intentionally opened the package and removed the hard [flash]drive. Who, why, how (and exactly where and when) are questions that one imagines UPS is trying to determine, but may never reveal. So there's bound to be speculation. But the idea that someone was interested in the "Biden documents" (whether to delay, alter, destroy, or merely inspect them) strikes me as highly plausible.

Tucker's idea that this couldn't have been an accident seems to be based on UPS's statement that it's very rare for a machine to damage a package -- presumably if that had happened here they'd be able to identify the damage as the sort of thing one of their sorting machines could cause.
 
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Why email a thumbdrive through the normal post if it contained important info, I can understand if somewhat if you have to send something physical but data?

Whats wrong with sending it though the internet encrypted, much more secure.
The most plausible reason why they sent it through the post is a reworking of the dog ate my homework shtick
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I think the undisputed facts are a bit more detailed. Tucker and UPS seem to agree (I'm getting this from Tucker's accounts here and here) that a flashdrive was sealed in a UPS envelope (I imagine one of those tough cardboard flat "packages" that you also get small books/reports in -- i.e. not an ordinary paper envelope.
First, I'm embedding the tweets you linked (no-click policy). I can't watch Twitter videos on my tablet, but I'll look at them later.
Source: https://twitter.com/TuckerCarlson/status/1321608055549775872

Source: https://twitter.com/TuckerCarlson/status/1321975533786275847


I tried to find out what material UPS is using for the envelopes it sells, but couldn't find out anything. From the pictures I've found, they may just be ordinary paper, but I'm not sure.
Ideally, I'd like to see a photograph of the empty envelope that Carlson received.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
I'd like to see a photograph of the empty envelope that Carlson received.
As I understand it, he never received it. They just told him that it had been opened and was empty. Then they gave him the flashdrive when they found it.
 

DasKleineTeilchen

Active Member
But the idea that someone was interested in the "Biden documents" (whether to delay, alter, destroy, or merely inspect them) strikes me as highly plausible
so youre saying that someone at UPS who works there, knew the content of that specific package and knew what was on that specific flashdrive and had the will and opportunity to let it "disappear"? maybe I am lost in translation here, but I find that highly implausible. that tucker carlson thinks that way is in my opinion a given ;)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Actually the no-click policy says you need to transcribe videos and paste quotes from articles. vs. just paraphrasing.

For example i dont recall Tucker saying it was a UPS envelope (although i too assume it was since Fox News is a major company with a robust mail room... who would also know how to safely send a flashdrive).



https://www.businessinsider.com/ups-says-it-lost-tucker-carlson-documents-biden-claim-2020-10



https://www.businessinsider.com/ups-said-found-lost-tucker-carlson-documents-sending-back-2020-10
 
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Thomas B

Active Member
What is the evidence?
I'd like to see a photograph...
I'm curious to know what claims you need evidenced. It doesn't sound like UPS is challenging Tucker's account of the facts.


I find that highly implausible.
Does that mean you think the most likely explanation is that the package/envelope accidentally opened? I think most of us assume that this is very unlikely to happen to any given package, i.e., it's a rare occurrence. We assume that it is statistically less probable than a package simply getting lost for a while. And I think (assume) that UPS has a decent record on the latter.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
so youre saying that someone at UPS who works there, knew the content of that specific package and knew what was on that specific flashdrive and had the will and opportunity to let it "disappear"
I'm saying that sounds like a plausible explanation for what Tucker and his staff experienced. It does seem like it would have to be a "inside job" (i.e., "someone at UPS who works there" would have to have been somehow involved) but the "inside man" wouldn't necessarily need to know very much. (I know how that sounds, but I presume this is the theory that is being developed, so I may as well state it clearly.) It's possible that someone (or some machine) with no interest in the documents (or Tucker Carlson Tonight) interfered with it entirely by chance. But, like I say, that's unlikely.

Of course, the difficulty here is we're in any case dealing with events that are unlikely to happen to any one of the millions of packages that are handled by UPS. If this was a chance event, it's just an (very?) unfortunate PR moment for UPS. I wonder how they see it: as a security breach, a logistics error, or a "normal accident" with unfortunate (but predictable) PR because of the people and documents involved?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I'm saying that sounds like a plausible explanation for what Tucker and his staff experienced.
someone on salon.com wrote an article and said that Tucker texted them that he felt someone was monitoring texts from Fox News personnel. of course i trust salon way less then i trust Tucker (and i only trust him maybe 50% of the time). so who knows.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
thats exactly what I think happend, yes. and it saved tucker carlsons ass;
I'm watching Billions with my son these days and we compared this story to the intrigues in that series. Maybe the plan here was even more convoluted: the source (who was trying to discredit Carlson by getting him to report fake intelligence) knew the drive would be mailed and had it "intercepted" to give it more credibility (since why would anyone go through all that trouble if the documents weren't real?) That theory is probably already circulating out there somewhere too.

I really doubt anything will be settled about this story. It's just a fun diversion for a few days. And on the present state of the evidence I'm happy to grant that it could just have been an accident.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
And on the present state of the evidence I'm happy to grant that it could just have been an accident.

me too.

although what everyone is overlooking is that it could have just been a covid strapped person (businesses closing etc) working as a temp at UPS who saw Fox News on the label and thought they might be able to steal a story. up their Youtube clicks. ie. just a coincidence the drive happened to have Biden docs. (and i doubt it is this "dossier" as Micks links say it has been floating around the internet for a month.)

The real concern here is if they were business documents, then some unknown person likely has them. Or worse there might be more "private" docs on Hunter and they can be used to blackmail him or just used for Youtube clicks. The flashdrive was missing long enough for someone to upload the contents.

Whatever the situation, it is concerning that sensitive information isn't safe through the mail. That's the only real story.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Intercepting a specific piece of mail in the mail system, how would you go about that? In the old days, iit would impossible, but is there a law enforcement interface to this that would let them do that if they had a court order?

Re: thumb drives in the mail, I did a quick Google search that underscores that it's important which type of envelope was used:
Article:
Go to your local office supply store and purchase a small, padded envelope. Do not use a regular envelope to mail a flash drive, since the corners of the drive might tear the paper, and there is nothing to protect the flash drive from being damaged in transit.


Article:
On or about Monday September 10th, our office sent an unencrypted electronic copy (“thumb drive”) of a client file via US Postal Service. The envelope that the thumb drive was sent in was received by the recipient, damaged and without the thumb drive enclosed. We immediately contacted the USPS to investigate. A representative from our office spoke with a representative in the Claims and Inquiries Department of the USPS in Manchester, NH and learned that all items recovered from the mail processing center are sent to her department. She reported that because this was a common occurrence, she had several buckets of thumb drives that had similarly been torn free from their envelope in the mail sorting process.


Article:
VT2Ski
I find USB drives all the time (I work on the sorting machines). They usually end up in a small lock box along with car keys, key fobs, loose stamps and cash. Unfortunately, unless there is a name and address on the drive itself, it is usually sent to dead letter processing. We are not allowed to put ANY drive besides one provided by the post office in any postal computer. So, we cannot look on it for id.

(There are tons more results on that search, https://www.google.com/search?q=envelope+thumb+drive+damaged ).
So, improperly packeged thumb drives get lost all the time. There's evidence for that.

The alternate theory is that someone who knew of the drive being shipped had contact to someone who not only had access to an interface that could track items being shipped by UPS to certain recipients, but who could also physically find and intercept that piece of mail. I have never seen evidence of that happening anywhere on Earth.

It is remotely possible that if Tucker Carlson or someone in his office is suspected of major/organized crime, that there may be a secret subpoena that turns over all mail adressed to them to the FBI, and they'd not have been able to evaluate it quickly enough and so made UPS pretend it had gotten lost. There'd definitely have to be a court order for that, though; and it seems pretty unlikely that they'd be allowed to do it to a "journalist".

But the most likely event, from the data that we have, was that the thumb drive was shipped in a regular envelope and got mangled by a sorting machine.
 
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Thomas B

Active Member
But the most likely event, from the data that we have, was that the thumb drive was shipped in a regular envelope and got mangled by a sorting machine.
We don't have any "data". We have stories.

It is highly unlikely that the flashdrive was in a regular envelope. All your information pertains to processes with ordinary mail in the US Postal Service, not important documents sent through UPS. Let's assume that the producers at the top-rated news show in the country understand how to overnight-mail a flashdrive and didn't make rookie mistakes.

Tucker Carlson even addresses these things in the clips that are now embedded above (see transcript below). But I just wanted to say that Mendel's conception of the "most likely event" doesn't make any sense given the way the original story is being told. Not even UPS is disputing Tucker's claim that the package was shipped in the proper, carefully sealed package.

Here's what Carlson says:

And of course, we made a copy of those files before we sent them, because we're careful.

We get a lot of documents
from a lot of different sources all the time, but especially in election years
[...]
The envelope was securely sealed. We know that. Two witnesses saw our producer seal it and UPS does not dispute that.

Was the package torn open accidentally by a machine? That seems unlikely. UPS says that almost never happens.
Source: Fox News.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Bits of transcript:
0:14 Somewhere along the way, the contents of that package disappeared. Inside it was a flash drive that contained primary documents pertaining to the Biden family. [...] and of course we made a copy of those files before we sent them because we're careful.

1:31 [UPS executives] claimed that the flash drive was found on Monday night by an hourly employee at the UPS building on 43rd street in Manhattan. They suggested it might have been sitting on the floor there. [..] UPS said the employee who found the flash drive simply dropped it on top of a supervisor's desk.

2:24 The envelope was securely sealed, we know that, two witnesses saw our producers seal it, and UPS does not dispute that. Was the package torn open accidentally by a machine? That seems unlikely, UPS says that almost never happens.

2:50 It would be helpful to see the envelope itself, but UPS says we can't see it because they threw it away.

So, we won't see that envelope. Note that we don't know if the seal was broken.

We don't have any "data". We have stories.
And that is a problem.


It is highly unlikely that the flashdrive was in a regular envelope. All your information pertains to processes with ordinary mail in the US Postal Service, not important documents sent through UPS. Let's assume that the producers at the top-rated news show in the country understand how to overnight-mail a flashdrive and didn't make rookie mistakes.
Everybody makes mistakes. I'm not assuming that.

But I just wanted to say that Mendel's conception of the "most likely event" doesn't make any sense given the way the original story is being told. Not even UPS is disputing Tucker's claim that the package was shipped in the proper, carefully sealed package.
Well, yes. Tucker Carlson tells the story a certain way because he has an interest in spinning it a certain way. If you took the way a story is told for evidence, UFOs and aliens would be real.

UPS do not know for certain what happened. They also don't know if they're going to be litigated over this. I expect their legal counsel is advising them to say as little as possible. The information that they're not disputing something doesn't prove that it's true; it may just mean they don't know. And Tucker Carlson reports exactly that: that UPS told them that they don't know.

Tucker Carlson knows even less. What he could find out is what type of envelope was used by their NY staff, but he's not reporting on that.

Thank you for the link to the transcript. I had already sat down to finally view your clips and had transcribed the bits I'm quoting above, so unfortunately that wasn't as helpful as it could've been, but thank you nonetheless.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Not even UPS is disputing Tucker's claim that the package was shipped in the proper, carefully sealed package.
All we have there is that Tucker says they have not disputed it. This is not the same as them agreeing that it was in a properly sealed package.

Tucker refers to it alternately as a "package" and an "envelope." I'd presume the most likely type of envelope based on the context here would be a UPS Express Envelope or an Express Pad Pak.
depositphotos_169105346-stock-photo-envelopes-of-uinited-parcel-service.jpg

ddb8575df5b18dfcb121b4c7093390fc.jpg

It does not seem impossible that a loose thumb drive might come out of such an envelope (especially the Express Envelope). But it also seems odd that the envelope itself was (according to Tucker) thrown away.

I doubt that we are going to get more information here unless UPS decides it needs to clarify things.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
It does not seem impossible that a loose thumb drive might come out of such an envelope
Huh? These envelopes are designed to be sealed. Are you looking at a photograph of them and saying "it doesn't seem impossible that ... might ..."?
 
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Landru

Moderator
Staff member
Huh? These envelopes are designed to be sealed. Are you looking at a photograph of them and saying "it doesn't seem impossible that ... might ..."?
Things get damaged (including envelopes designed to be sealed) in transport all the time.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Huh? These envelopes are designed to be sealed. Are you looking at a photograph of them and saying "it doesn't seem impossible that ... might ..."?

No, I'm basing it on having seen those envelopes in real life, and I'm using photos for reference.

They are designed to contain paper documents, often in another envelope, as such, they don't seal all the way around and have a bit of a gap at the corners. The gap might be widened in transit. Thumb drives come in a variety of sizes.

Metabunk 2020-10-31 14-50-13.jpg
Metabunk 2020-10-31 14-54-25.jpg
 

Thomas B

Active Member
Things get damaged (including envelopes designed to be sealed) in transport all the time.

The gap might be widened in transit. Thumb drives come in a variety of sizes.
In the first clip Tucker says:

"Tuesday morning we received word from [UPS] that our package had been opened..."

Is this a fact that is now in dispute/doubt/question? Has UPS said that, no, it may just have fallen out of the gap? Is anyone claiming that the package was damaged by accident and that's how the flashdrive both left the package and later ended up on someone's desk?
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.

Things get damaged (including envelopes designed to be sealed) in transport all the time.
not that i care about how Fox News mailroom mail is handled at UPS, but technically it sounds like (from UPS) that an employee noticed an empty envelope. (UPS quote post #16). The only way you would know if the package was empty, was if it was open enough to see all the way through inside.

I doubt an employee sees a damaged corner, assume there might have been a mini harddrive in there and then ripped the envelope the rest of the way open to see if there was a smaller piece of paper or a smaller envelope inside. (Tucker didnt mention it, but what kind of a numb nut puts a tiny thing in a big package without putting it in a letter size envelope or something first? Tucker wasnt surprised at the claim it was found on the floor... so i'm assuming they didnt put it in something a bit bigger than a flashdrive.)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The only way you would know if the package was empty, was if it was open enough to see all the way through inside.
Which narrows down the options:
  1. The envelope was ripped open in transit accidentally, losing its contents.
  2. The envelope was opened by someone deliberately
  3. They weigh the packages at each step and flag them if the weight changes. (possibly comparing against a known empty package)
  4. Something else.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
In the first clip Tucker says:

"Tuesday morning we received word from [UPS] that our package had been opened..."

Is this a fact that is now in dispute/doubt/question?
It's in question, of course. It's an ambiguous paraphrasing. Was it opened before they found it, or did they find it damaged or with a different weight, and then opened it? Did they actually say it was opened?

What we know they said is: "The package was reported with missing contents as it moved within our network." Is that the same as "the package had been opened?"

The two things at the top of my (ranked) list are: it being opened accidentally, or someone opening it deliberately.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Giuliani has been trying since at least December to sell a story of Joe Biden somehow
being involved via Hunter in some sketchy deals. Giuliani could convince virtually no one.
Fox & Carlson tried to promote Bobulinski...but at the end of the day, his words only
convinced believers...there were never any verifiable e-mails that showed Joe Biden wrongdoing

I almost fell over laughing when Carlson announced Flash Drive-Gate: How perfect!
No evidence ever produced in this attempted smear has lived up to the hype. A missing
flash drive (and what motive for taking it would there be? Fox had back ups of the info),
with some intrigue is faaar more valuable than yet another nothing-burger.

So I was delighted when UPS quickly said "Oh here it is!" because I suspected that it
was yet more weak sauce that would convince no one...and was eager to see Carlson put his much ballyhoo'd evidence on TV, so America could see how amazing it really was or wasn't!

And then, what? A 180? Carlson actually says that he's found a soul and is too decent
a guy to slander the guy he's been slandering? Yeah. That must be it.

p.s. My first guess was that it was put in a loosely sealed envelope, in hopes it would fall out...as "dramatically missing" evidence is probably more valuable to them, in this case,
than more lame, unconvincing stuff...that Carlson, etc. are basically saying now
"never mind" about the "evidence" they were just hyping as crucial, supports the
nothing-burger hypothesis...
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
In the first clip Tucker says:

"Tuesday morning we received word from [UPS] that our package had been opened..."

Is this a fact that is now in dispute/doubt/question?
It's not in doubt that Tucker said that. Have you ever played "telephone" as a kid? Messages get altered in transit, especially if that is done orally, so "we threw the envelope away, it had a hole and was empty" could become "it was open and empty" and that could become "it was opened and empty". Carlson does not have first hand experience of the state of the evidence, and his retelling of what he got told would be dismissed as hearsay in any court room. I would accept testimony of someone who saw the envelope, or a picture of the envelope itself. Anything else, I'd be in doubt if it was opened by a human, or opened accidentally via a machine or just other packages rubbing against it.

In "telephone", what you think you hear is shaped by what you expect to hear. Tucker expected a conspiracy to suppress this evidence, hence he heard "opened [by a human]". I don't blame him.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
It's an ambiguous paraphrasing. Was it opened before they found it, or did they find it damaged or with a different weight, and then opened it?
Carlson does not have first hand experience of the state of the evidence, and his retelling of what he got told would be dismissed as hearsay in any court room.

I assume that both Carlson and UPS have a more detailed and accurate understanding of the basic facts than we do. In the original segment, Tucker says, "To their credit, the company took this very seriously..." Here's how it was reported on the Fox website (more or less the script he read on air):

"Tuesday morning we received word from the shipping company that our package had been opened and the contents were missing. The documents had disappeared."

The company immediately launched an investigation, tracing the envelope from the moment it was dropped off in New York, until 3:44 a.m. Tuesday, when an employee at a sorting facility in another state noticed that the package had been opened and arrived empty.

"The company security team interviewed every one of its employees who touched the envelope we sent," Carlson said. "They searched the plane, and the trucks that carried it, they went through the office in New York where our producer dropped that package off, they combed the entire cavernous sorting facility, they used pictures of what we had sent, so that searchers would know what to look for.

"They went far and beyond, but they found nothing. Those documents have vanished," Carlson concluded. "As of tonight, the company has no idea and no working theory either about what happened ...
Source: Fox News.

Notice the involvement of a "security team". You might say Tucker misunderstood something he was told on the "telephone" (cf. Mendel's post), but, like I keep saying, this account doesn't seem to be in dispute. The sorting machine hypothesis would, I assume, be part of a "working theory" that the state of the package caused them to rule out -- leaving them with no theory "as of [Wednesday] night."

To me, it sounds like UPS alerted Tucker Carlson about something they themselves perceived as a security issue, not just an unfortunate delay/accident. I assume that they have a way of deciding internally about whether a customer should be told that their package has been merely misplaced or possibly stolen. In this case, they decided they had an obligation to their customer to say more than "your package has been delayed" (while they searched). But they couldn't have known that Tucker would immediately go public with it and potentially embarrass them. I'm not surprised that they got much more measured and vague when the story went public.

When the flashdrive suddenly materialized (after that careful search had come up empty, and only after it had been mentioned on air), Tucker and his staff were naturally curious to know what else UPS had learned about what happened. But -- again, no doubt because it was now a public matter -- UPS was evasive:

Obviously, we had some questions about it, but UPS executives did not answer our questions:

"There are no more details. Security is returning it. Apologies again that we were unable to deliver it next day at the service level you requested."

Our exchanges went on like this for hours, and the main question never changed: How did our flash drive get separated from the package that we sent it in? That seemed like something worth knowing. The envelope was securely sealed. We know that. Two witnesses saw our producer seal it and UPS does not dispute that.
Source: Fox News.

The talk of "service level" is amusingly corporatese. It's now somehow just a delivery that didn't arrive on time. They'll probably give them a refund, etc., but they're no longer interested in helping Tucker solve the mystery.

That's totally understandable. But I don't think the reasonable conclusion for us to draw is that there was nothing to see here. Clearly UPS were originally much more concerned on behalf their customer than they would have been if the most likely hypothesis was a sorting machine accident. If Carlson hadn't played it up for his viewers, he might now know a lot more about whether someone was trying to interfere with his reporting. Unfortunately, he caused UPS to move the case from "Security" to "Legal" and "PR". They're a corporation. I don't think we have any more reason to trust their publicity machine than we have to trust Tucker Carlson.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Clearly UPS were originally much more concerned on behalf their customer than they would have been if the most likely hypothesis was a sorting machine accident.
I think seeing that the adressee was Tucker Carlson would be cause for concern, as that would clearly be a potential PR disaster in the making.

Additional thought: if they thought the thumb drive was stolen, as they would have if there were conclusive signs of the envelope having been opened by a human, then
a) UPS wouldn't have searched for it, and
b) they wouldn't have found it.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
I think seeing that the adressee was Tucker Carlson would be cause for concern, as that would clearly be a potential PR disaster in the making.
I think that's possible. I don't know how to decide whether that fits better with the story/stories we have. But I'm sure neither of us is losing any sleep over this. Cheers!
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I think that's possible. I don't know how to decide whether that fits better with the story/stories we have. But I'm sure neither of us is losing any sleep over this. Cheers!
Yes, there's no need to make that decision, for sure.

I'm going with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "Und ich habe […] gefunden, dass Missverständnisse und Trägheit vielleicht mehr Irrungen in der Welt machen als List und Bosheit. Wenigstens sind die beiden letzteren gewiß seltener." Misunderstandings and lethargy perhaps produce more wrong in the world than deceit and malice do. At least the latter two are certainly rarer.
 
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