Can’t Afford Flight, Did Man Really Mail Himself From UK To Australia

Image: AP (from BBC News article)

Could this story really be true? If so it would rank up there as one of the craziest travel stories related to flying that I’ve come across to date.

Back in 1964 a world champion javelin thrower from Australia had to find a way home from the UK for his daughter’s birthday. The problem was, he couldn’t afford the cost of the flight.

After a night out drinking with a fellow athlete, they came up with a great plan…

The crazy plan was to build a wooden box and then ship it back with the javelin thrower, Reg Spiers inside! Sounds like quite the comfortable journey, right?

According to USA Today’s Road Warrior Voices, “Spears had been working in the cargo area of an airport, so he knew a lot of insider information. The pair built a 5′ x 3′ x 2’6″ crate (the maximum size that could be shipped)“.

This wasn’t any ordinary shipping crate, it was pimped out for the journey. Think of the luxury of straps to hold onto and a design so the crate could be opened at either end so Spiers could get out and walk around once loaded onto the plane.

Let’s not forget about a few inflight comforts- bottled water, canned spaghetti, some candy and a change of clothes. The article mentions that he used the empty bottles and cans to pee into.

Once aboard there were some issues. A 24 hour delay in London caused by fog. A flight from London to Paris to Bombay “where he was left on a tarmac upside down in the hot sun for hours“!

Spiers arrived in Perth after traveling for 63 hours and 13,000 miles from London’s Heathrow Airport.

After getting out of a cargo shed where his box was placed, Spiers hitchhiked home to Adelaide, surprising his family.

His wife had a hard time believing the story but eventually did since she couldn’t figure out how else he would’ve made it home!

Find out more about the story here.

(Road Warrior Voices writes the last name of Reg as Spears but the two articles they cite spell his last name as Spiers.)

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