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I paid $125 for this photo of Angela Merkel

I paid $125 for this photo of Angela Merkel

After five years of trying to get records out of the Harvard University Police Department, I ended up spending $125 on a high-resolution photo German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This is the story of how and why.

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Please enjoy this declassified story of a woman’s attempt to steal chicken from the CIA cafeteria

Please enjoy this declassified story of a woman’s attempt to steal chicken from the CIA cafeteria

During my time at MuckRock, I’ve written extensively about the triumphs and tragedies of the Central Intelligence Archive cafeteria(s), including such FOIA favorites as “The Jazz Salad Incident,” “Bacon Accounting,” and “That Scene From Animal House But It’s All The Guys Who Couldn’t Kill Castro.” Before I go, I wanted to share one of my favorite finds from the CIA archives: The description of an employee’s aborted attempt to smuggle chicken out of the cafeteria in her purse.

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The CIA classified a MAD Magazine gag for 30 years

The CIA classified a MAD Magazine gag for 30 years

With the recent news that MAD Magazine will be effectively ending publication after nearly 70 years, it’s worth revisiting the one gag that the Central Intelligence Agency liked so much that it became a state secret.

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The CIA and Jack Gregersen's exploding hat

The CIA and Jack Gregersen’s exploding hat

A letter in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives shows that in late 1959, the Agency received an unsolicited suggestion from a helpful citizen on how to best weaponize haberdashery. While there’s no record that the CIA ever followed through on the advice, or even responded to the letter, it apparently left enough of an impression to remain classified for the next 44 years.

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The FBI releases its file on Bigfoot

The FBI releases its file on Bigfoot

Shortly after lunchtime on what was shaping up to be a relatively uneventful Wednesday, the @FBIRecordsVault Twitter account - which posts sporadic updates to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s FOIA reading room - tweeted out the words “Bigfoot” and a link. And with that, the Wednesday officially became eventful.

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