Story of a man who mailed himself from London to Australia in 1964
Reg spiers was penniless, not even enough for a plane ticket to travel to his home Australia.
He was a 22 year old javelin thrower. He came to London to try and recover from an injury in time for Tokyo Olympics in 1964. When it became clear he would not make it, he focused on raising money to get back home.
He took up an airport job to earn some money. But his plan was failed after his wallet with all his savings was stolen.
He was very desperate to get back in time for his little daughter’s birth day and eager to see his wife.
As he worked in an airport in the export cargo section, he knew all about the system of air freight delivery. Then he went to a friend, John McSorley, to ask in a favor. He explained his situation and persuaded him to build a wooden cerate he could send himself home.
The box was 1.5m by 0.9m by 0.75m. With that size his was able to sit straight or lie with bent knees. To avoid suspicion that a person was inside, the box was labeled as a load of paint to a fictious Australian shoe company.
Funny thing is, the cost of sending such a cargo was more that a plane ticket, but cash-on-delivery system was available and he figured he would worry about it once he arrived.
He was set to travel with some food, bottles, a blanket a pillow and a torch. The flight from London to Perth, Western Australia, was a 64 hour journey (Despite his wish to travel directly to Adelaide, his home city). To his bad luck the flight was delayed for 24 hour at the airport of London due to fog. But once the plane was in the air, he let himself out.
Another funny thing, during the flight, he had used a bottle to pee in. He put it on the top of the box, and then the plane suddenly started descending to land. The French baggage handlers in Paris airport found it and thought it was left as a joke by the British workers.
The next stop was in Bombay, India; where baggage handlers parked Reg upside down out in the sun for straight 4 hours.
After the last stop, he had finally landed. They took the box to a shed. He then cut out a hole in it and got out, to home sweet home.
However, his friend John McSorley was very worried about his pal. In an effort to find out what had happened McSorley alerted the media and it went viral. And the airport exempted him from the shipping fee. He ended up being famous. And now there is a book written about him called- “out of the box: the highs and lows of a champion smugger”