Thrift shop MP3 player contained U.S. military documents

Chris Ogle, 29, of New Zealand bought an MP3 player in February or March last year for $18 dollars at a thrift shop in Oklahoma City.  When be plugged the player into his computer he discovered it contained U.S. military files with the personal information of American soldiers, Ogle told the Associated Press.

How many victims? Unspecified, but there were 60 military files on the player.

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers and telephone numbers of American soldiers and also which female troops were pregnant.

The files on the player also contained details of equipment deployed to bases in Afghanistan, including the main U.S. base of Bagram, and a mission briefing, most of them dated 2005. Some of the files included a warning that the release of the contents was "prohibited by federal law."

What was the response? U.S. Embassy staff took possession of the MP3 player and a copy of the files that Ogle made and exchanged the MP3 player for a new one.

Embassy spokeswoman Janine Burns told the Associated Press the player "will now be sent back to Washington where they will take steps to see what's on it."

Quote: "I was curious enough to keep looking and I guess the more I looked the more intense it seemed to me," Ogle said. "Each time I looked at it I became more convinced ... it was possibly something bigger."

Source:, The Associated Press, “NZ man hands US military files to American Embassy,” Jan. 29, 2009.

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