[meteorite-list] Airport Security, Brenham, and Hammerheads (funny?)

From: Norm Lehrman <nlehrman_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon Feb 6 14:45:38 2006
Message-ID: <20060206194535.22730.qmail_at_web81006.mail.mud.yahoo.com>

Martin & list,

I had a related experience a couple of years ago. I
acquired a couple of 7 kg Campos in Buenos Aires, and
not wanting to push my checked bags over the weight
limits, I wrapped the meteorites in bubble wrap and
packed them in a heavy-duty carry-on. I then flew to
Chile, no problems. Then a couple of domestic legs in
Chile, no problems. Then Santiago to Dallas, no
problems. But it all ended in Dallas. They unpacked
them at security, passed them around, called in a
supervisor, and decided that they constituted lethal
weapons. Apparently they've had a lot of problems
with bad guys beating people up with big iron
meteorites. I had to check them, but since I already
had my full allowance of checked luggage, the
meteorites were over-limit and cost me $80 for the
final leg of the trip home!


--- Martin Horejsi <accretiondesk_at_gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi All,
> I had a funny thing happen as I was flying out from
> Tucson Sunday
> evening. Apparently one of the items banned from
> carry-on luggage is a
> hammer. I usually don't carry one with me when I fly
> so I was unaware
> of this restriction. However, I do agree with the
> TSA in their
> decision. You know, Maxwell and all.
> Anyway, it happened that I bought a hammerhead from
> Steve Arnold of
> Brenham Meteorite fame. The hammerhead was one of
> the non-meteorite
> artifacts that Steve extracted from the rich Kansas
> soil in his quest
> for rocks from space.
> Since I was saving my money for the Lang and Blood
> auctions, I passed
> on Steve's Brenham main mass and instead bought the
> hammerhead. Plus I
> figured, it would be easier to fly home with given
> the picky check-in
> clerks who weigh everything.
> So when my hammerhead lit up the airport x-ray
> machine, the frown on
> the security guy was enough to tell me that maybe
> these TSA folks in
> Tucson had not seen it all.
> I helped agent locate the hammer amongst other
> interesting objects
> including some large cactus pedals with extremely
> small and sharp
> spines courtesy to a visit to Geoff N's home. The
> agent unwrapped the
> hammer and studied it. Being who I am, I launched
> into an educational
> presentation about Steve Arnold, about the Brenham
> meteorite and about
> its amazing discovery. I would have used a
> PowerPoint on the nice
> white walls of the security hall, but the x-ray
> machines had used up
> all the electrical outlets.
> As I tried to explain the significance of the
> hammerhead, the agent,
> let's call him Mr. Deer-in-the-headlights, stared at
> me likely
> assessing my mental profile. He had never heard of
> the famous
> meteorite, Steve Arnold, nor it appears, meteorites
> in general. Lucky,
> the passengers surrounding me had, and were excited
> about it as they
> pelted me with questions straining see the
> hammerhead!
> The glaze over Mr. Dith's eyes lifted, and he
> referred my case to the
> head of security. It was at that moment that I
> played my trump card.
> When I bought the hammerhead from Steve, he wrote up
> a Certificate of
> Authenticity which I produced for the head security
> agent.
> This particular agent sat a desk and studied the
> hammer and the COA.
> After a minute or two, he pronounced the hammerhead
> not a hammer since
> there was no handle. Instead, it was a historic
> artifact and perfectly
> acceptable as a carry-on. I thanked him kindly, and
> wished I had given
> him one of Steve's postcards as a gift.
> So, should anyone be flying out of Tucson post this
> reading, and
> departing from one of the lower numbered gates, if
> you could leave a
> copy of Steve's fabulous postcard on the security
> desk, I would
> appreciate it.
> Here is a link to the hammer and COA.
> http://www.geocities.com/planetwhy/brenhamhammer.jpg
> Cheers,
> Martin
> ______________________________________________
> Meteorite-list mailing list
> Meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com
Received on Mon 06 Feb 2006 02:45:35 PM PST

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