Former first lady Michelle Obama tweeted out a 10-digit number on Friday at 12:23 p.m. EST. Her tweet was quickly deleted with no explanation as to what it was or what it could possibly mean.
The world was left with more questions than answers.
One initial concern was that the former FLOTUS had tweeted out her own cell phone number. So, of course, we wasted no time calling her! Instead of Michelle, we got an inactive voicemail response for one Duncan Wolfe. (Plus, the area code is for Laude, Missouri, so maybe that was a long shot in the first place.)
This brings us to our first question:
Duncan Wolfe is not a super common name, and a quick search brings up a Chicago-based filmmaker who worked on a documentary about Barack Obama’s final years in office. Wolfe has a personal website where this number is already publicly listed ― but the site also lists contacts for a content company called “Optimus.”
“Optimus” could be a reference to Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. But that seems like wishful thinking ... optimism, even.
This didn’t really get us anywhere. The website lists a few contacts for Wolfe and a link to an Instagram account. The link, @duncan, leads to a social media account for a Stephanie Duncan-Wolfe, who has only double-digit followers and no posts.
Another dead end.
But searching Instagram for that account brings one to the actual @duncan account, wherein is posted a photo that shows a gentleman shaking hands with Obama and discussing his involvement with the president’s campaign!
Probably a red herring.
HuffPost kept probing. Back to Twitter! There we found another Twitter account, @DuncanWolfeWH, is likely a false lead since it was created May 2017 and only sent its first tweet out on Friday. Suspicious!
Questions still remain: Who is Duncan Wolfe? Why did Michelle have his number? Is the former FLOTUS trying to get in touch with the Transformers? Was the number even a phone number at all?!
We wanted to exhaust all possible theories.
Then, we noticed the tweet was posted via a service called Cloudhopper. According to TechCrunch, Cloudhopper allows a person to tweet via SMS. The former first lady was at an event in Manhattan for College Signing Day, so perhaps she was rushing to send something on her phone?
Was Michelle trying to text or DM the number to someone without realizing she was texting to Twitter?
(Yeah, that was probably it.)
But maybe the number was a statistic or a coded message?!
A few theories were offered on Twitter:
We’re pretty sure that the launch codes get changed from time to time, so that theory is out the window. As for the number of people to die under the American Health Care Act, even the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t figured that out yet.
Yeah, OK, so probably the most reasonable theory out of this is that Michelle was trying to send someone Duncan Wolfe’s phone number. A direct message accidentally turned into a tweet and the internet lost its mind.