You might recall Sam Adams, the five year old boy detained at the airport for being a suspected terrorist. Recently, TSA targeted another small child, this time for his Christmas present. In St. Louis, Missouri, TSA officials confiscated a 15 month old boy's box of Play -Doh, even though it isn't on the contraband list. "You know," argued the boy's mother, "all you have to worry about is it getting in the carpet." TSA was not amused, and kept the young child's toy anyway. Unless your son is Stewie Griffin, it seems safe to assume that garden-variety play dough isn't part of some elaborate plot to take down an aircraft.
Perhaps Winnie The Pooh is on the no fly list, but honey was the cause of a serious hold up recently at a California airport. According to airport security, a passenger's luggage was swabbed positive for TNT and the bag was confiscated and searched. TSA reports that upon opening the bag, they found several jars of amber liquid, which must have appeared quite suspicious at first glance. However further testing revealed that these jars were nothing more than harmless honey. After hours of testing, including FBI investigation and bomb-squad chemical analysis, the sweet topping was deemed safe to fly.
Snakes On a Plane
In a move that would have made Samuel L. Jackson proud, a Swedish woman departing from a Stockholm airport was stopped by security and found to be smuggling a large quantity of snakes onto her flight. Suspicious of why the woman kept scratching her chest, agents discovered 75 live snakes stuffed into the woman's bra as she passed through the security checkpoint. This of course raises the question - How big was this woman's bra, and how large were these snakes?
Though four leaf clovers are supposed to bring good luck, passengers at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia outside Washington, D.C. were met with some misfortune when their packets of shamrock seeds were confiscated by TSA. The group was scolded by security, as a permit is apparently needed to grow shamrocks on American soil. No remorse was shown to the seemingly well-intentioned travelers and their seeds were destroyed by the security agents along with some confiscated meat that was also brought on the flight.
In 2005, Melbourne, Australia airport security confiscated tropical fish from a female passenger trying to smuggle them under her skirt. Alarmed by suspicious flapping noises coming from female flier's skirt, she was stopped and searched. Agents found bags full of 51 tropical fish taped to the woman's legs. Police are not sure what her intentions were, but it is suspected that these fish would be fetch a pretty penny at any pet store, assuming they survived the rough flight.
Upon leaving a Mexico airport in 2006, a man driving a pick-up truck was stopped by security for searching. The security checkpoint uses an X-ray machine to check out passing vehicles, and the machine flagged this truck for containing large, unidentifiable packages in the back. No doubt hoping to make a large drug or weapons bust, security proceeded to search the truck only to discover that the man was carrying forty 40 pounds of aged cheese. Not to be deterred, the cheese was further examined by officials, but was eventually deemed harmless.
Perhaps more than any other item on this list, this one surely takes the cake for the strangest confiscation by airport security. In November of 2007, a passenger was stopped at a UK airport security checkpoint and found to be carrying a jar filled with ten human eyeballs in her luggage. With so many eyes, it's surprising that she didn't see this coming. How she came into possession of these eyeballs was not reported, nor was it reported what she planned to do with them. Needless to say, the find was very alarming to security agents who detained the woman and questioned her for quite some time.
When planning what to pack for your next flight, consider leaving your sex toys at home. In 2004, Mackay Airport in Queensland, UK was evacuated in response to a vibrating noise coming from a suspicious package. "It was rather disconcerting when the rubbish bin started humming furiously," reports airport staff Lynne Bryant. The evacuation caused a lot of commotion over missed or seriously delayed flights, but security took no chances investigating the alarming luggage. Just before security notified the bomb squad, the item in question was identified as battery-powered adult sex toy.
In a move that seems shockingly Orwellian in nature, a London airport security search flagged a man for extensive investigation over a suspicious book located in his luggage. The passenger reportedly forgot to discard his hand cream, a known contraband item on most airlines, and was thus subjected to further searching by the officials. Suspicion was aroused when the agents located Murder in Samarkand, a book discussing Craig Murray's time spent as a UK ambassador in Uzbekistan. The official reportedly asked the man if the book was about terrorism, and then proceeded to take the novel back to the security office for further clearance, delaying the man for his flight and causing an unnecessary scene.
In 2008, the Olympic torch was confiscated by San Fransisco Francisco TSA authorities. Officially labeled as a "slow burning explosive device," the iconic symbol of athletic excellence and the man carrying it, Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, were detained by airport police and denied boarding. "We received a report of an individual bearing a large flaming object," claimed TSA officer Barney Napolitano, "We now have the instrument and its associate, that is to say the suspicious looking person of interest carrying it, in custody." Jacques Rogge, deeply offended by the ordeal, used his one phone call to alert the media of this grave injustice to the illustrious torch, and added that if someone could please notify his attorney it would be greatly appreciated.
About the Author: Chris Bennett is a freelance writer for Parks Edge Park City. A townhouse or condo at Park’s Edge makes a perfect Park City, Utah home. The Park City real estate value makes it a great investing opportunity, the views are fantastic and these Park City vacation homes offer a great value. The weather is great in the summer and the skiing is amazing in the winter.
· More TSA news [Jaunted]