Having no money for a plane, the man decided to mail himself to Australia. What came of it?

Today I’m going to tell an amazing story about an adventure that flew all over the newspapers of Australia several decades ago. It will be interesting, watch to the end. 1964 brought great fame to the Australian javelin thrower Reg Spears, but not in the sports arena. It so happened that he was left without money in London, where he came to be treated after a sports injury. The athlete dreamed of getting to the Olympics in Tokyo, but his health finally did not allow him to do it.

The money was spent and in order to fly to Australia, it was necessary to save money for a ticket. Spears went to work at Heathrow Airport as a loader. He was collecting funds for a ticket, but when the required amount was not enough, he was robbed. It was impossible to find a large sum quickly, and even his daughter was about to have a birthday, which he could not miss. Then Spears came up with another idea – to send himself to his native country by mail.

He persuaded a London friend, John McSorley, to put together a wooden structure of the necessary dimensions: 1.5 x 0.9 x 0.75 m. In such a “container” a man could sit with his legs stretched out, or lie down, but then he had to bend his legs. On both sides, the box was easily opened from the inside by turning the wooden latches. In order not to get injured when moving the parcel, friends attached soft seat straps. The fee for sending such a heavy container was much higher than the air ticket, but the cargo could be sent by cash on delivery, that is, the addressee in Australia had to pay for it.

Given the heavy weight, they wrote “paint” on the outside so that there would be no suspicion. Spears took canned food, a flashlight, a blanket, a pillow and two bottles with him: one with water, the second empty – for the toilet. With deep emotion, he “barricaded himself” in the parcel, and a friend took the box to the airport. No one knew what would happen next. Because of the fog, the cargo stood at the London airport for an extra day, where the athlete did not have the slightest opportunity to get out. After the plane took off and headed to Paris, he got out of the box. As Spears himself recalls:

“I got out of the box between London and Paris, because I really wanted to go to the toilet, before that I peed in a bottle, and, getting out, put it on the lid of the box. While I was warming up, the plane began to descend, and I hurried to climb back in, but I forgot the bottle of urine.” When the plane landed, during unloading, the Parisian movers saw the bottle and took it for a mockery of their English colleagues. Having covered them with a choice mat, they did not suspect anything and reloaded the box with the guy into another plane. The journey continued.

Bombay was the worst. Spears spent several hours in the hellish heat in the open sun. The worst thing is that the box was placed so that the athlete turned upside down. He reached an extreme degree and barely brought himself to his senses when the parcel was transferred to another plane flying to Perth, Australia. When the plane landed, the swearing of the Australian movers seemed like real music to Spears. They dragged him in a box, mentioning with an unkind word the company that ordered such a heavy load.

Three days of travel passed, and the athlete barely got out, rejoicing in his athletic training. A warehouse in Perth was pleased with unexpectedly found tools suitable for cutting a hole in the wall. Fortunately, there was no security. Spears changed into a suit prepared in advance in a backpack and with a passing car moved to Adelaide. The athlete celebrated his daughter’s birthday with the whole family, but completely forgot about his friend in London.

And he was terribly worried about his friend and when he did not receive confirmation of his safe journey, he informed the journalists about the story. Reg Spears has become an international sensation. Australians were proud of him as a national hero. The airline did not dare to take a fine from him. The man continued his sports career until 1980. He twice received the title of champion of his country, but he never had to go to the Olympics. But his future life was not going quite smoothly. He was accused of drug trafficking.

So he fled the country. He was caught for the same cases in Sri Lanka, where he was awaiting the death penalty. Having filed an appeal, he won it and was extradited to Australia. He was facing a serious sentence, but thanks to the work of lawyers, he served only 5 years. For a long time he was engaged in various dubious cases, but always got away with it. Now he is 77 years old, and a few years ago the former athlete published an autobiographical book, which he called “Out of the Box”. But it’s worth remembering that not all such stories ended as smoothly.

Nowadays, according to experts, this is impossible or extremely dangerous. All airports in the world have powerful scanners that are simply harmful to living organisms. But even if a person is not detected, he can easily get into the compartment, from where the air at a height comes out completely. On many flights, the temperature in the luggage compartments is not much different from that outside.

Cold and thin air can have fatal consequences. No special punishments were applied to Spears, everyone was rather surprised by the man’s act, and the airline did not take any money from him. But if the same stowaway survives and is found now, he will be responsible under the criminal legislation of the relevant country.

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