Jan 23, 2024 - News

Creepy, cryptic notes pop up across Pennsylvania

A typewriter with a magnifying glass on it

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Creepy and cryptic conspiratorial notes showing up inside cereal boxes and state parks around Pennsylvania are baffling law enforcement officials.

Why it matters: It's a federal crime to tamper with food products, but so far no one has been caught planting the notes.

Driving the news: Many notes mention secret societies, name-drop celebrities like Bill Gates and Elon Musk and are riddled with spelling errors. The bizarre phenomenon has caught the attention of the FBI, the Food and Drug Administration and internet sleuths who dubbed the mystery messages the "Schuylkill Notes," per the Inquirer.

  • One Reddit user mapped out the locations where notes have been discovered. They include Walmarts, Goodwills, several points on the Appalachian and other trails.

What they're saying: "It's just a bunch of crazy stuff," Zachary Zimmerman, who was hiking Swatara State Park last month when he found one of the messages, told the Inquirer.

  • Another man in Luzerne County told WBRE/WYOU that he feared his cereal had been laced with something after he discovered a note tucked into a box of Lucky Charms he bought at a grocery store.

Of note: The FBI has declined to say whether it's opened an investigation into the origins of the so-called Schuylkill Notes, per the Inquirer.

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