Sex aid give holiday flight a shaky start

Joachim Feise (
Sun, 02 May 1999 19:31:18 -0700

> RISKS-LIST: Risks-Forum Digest Weds 28 April 1999 Volume 20 : Issue 34
> ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy, Peter G. Neumann, moderator
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> This issue is archived at <URL:>
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> Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 06:26:07 -0400
> From: "Frank Markus" <>
> Subject: Sex aid give holiday flight a shaky start
> A pilot made an emergency landing when a suspect device was detected on a
> jet packed with British holiday makers -- but the threat turned out to be a
> sex-aid vibrator.
> The A-300 Monarch Airbus was two hours into a flight from Goa when the crew
> became suspicious about a piece of hand luggage. The pilot, Captain Dave
> Johnson, radioed a bomb alert and was ordered to divert to Bombay.
> The plane, carrying British-based passengers and crew, was taken to an
> isolated handling bay where 369 people were evacuated.
> Bomb disposal experts boarded the plane and examined the suspect baggage and
> identified the device as a battery-powered sex vibrator.
> A Monarch Air spokeswoman applauded Capt Johnson's actions. "We are looking
> into the incident to find out how it got on board," she said. The passengers
> later continued to Gatwick.
> I initially found this story in on Usenet. I followed
> the links in that message to the actual article (above, Tuesday April 20,
> 11:01 AM). The next message posted was from an airline ramp agent:
> "Actually, this kind of thing happens way too often.
> I used to work for a major airline as a ramp agent, and I'd put the
> number at 2-3 times per year, per airline.
> What happens is a bag (usually checked though) gets jostled, and
> vibrator switches on, bag starts buzzing or humming, employees alert
> security, and then the real fun begins.
> "Our SOP used to be offload pax, have them claim baggage on ramp, then
> swoop in on suspicious bag. have pax reveal source of buzz, worst
> embarrassment of life ensues, in front of planeload of angry, delayed
> strangers. It was ALWAYS the best part about working the ramp. And this
> should serve as a cautionary note, pack the batteries separate if
> traveling with a vibrator."
> I love this story. It has everything that is required for an urban legend
> but it is true. The original story is still available at: