SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — If you’ve ever sent mail to the federal government, you may wonder if it will ever reach the right person.
What you may not realize is what happens to mail after you send it to the government. It led to a strange experience for one Bay Area viewer.
For Lou Ann Bassan of San Francisco, it seemed like a page out of a spy novel. “It was really very surreal, like I cannot believe this is happening… maybe it’s a secret government program…” she laughed.
It began when Bassan filed a petition with the U.S. tax court to dispute a big IRS penalty.
To her amazement, it was totally blank. All the ink on her check had disappeared.
7 On Your Side learned the postal service irradiates mail addressed to government offices in Washington D.C. — ever since the big anthrax scare of 2001. That’s when criminals were sending envelopes with deadly anthrax powder through the U.S. mail.
Radiation would kill harmful bacteria and viruses in case of future attacks.
The postal service acknowledged radiated mail can become brittle or yellowed. The tax court tells us ink disappears from its mail “on occasion.”