In 1964, A Man Shipped Himself Back To Australia Inside A Crate

In 1964, A Man Shipped Himself Back To Australia Inside A Crate

Being stranded in a foreign country is a terrifying thought, but what lengths would you go to in order to get home? I doubt many would be prepared to sit inside a box and ship themselves, yet that’s precisely what Reg Spiers did in 1964 in order to get back to his wife and daughter in Adelaide.

Spiers story is a fascinating one — originally set to do his best in the javelin at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, his aspirations were cut short after suffering a leg injury. He went to London to recover, but his plans to get home were dashed when his wallet was stolen.

Over at the BBC, Jason Caffrey writes about the plan the cash-strapped Spiers hatched to get to Australia:

“I worked in the export cargo section, so I knew about cash-on-delivery with freight. I’d seen animals come through all the time and I thought, ‘If they can do it I can do it.'”

Spiers recruited his friend, John McSorley, to construct him a special crate to make his journey as comfortable as possible. The end result was a 1.5 x 0.9 x 0.75m box. It also had some straps so he wouldn’t jostle about while the crate was in motion.

Despite being stuck in London for a day and almost getting caught in Paris when he left a container of urine on his crate, Spiers made it home in three days:

“The accents – how could you miss?” says Spiers. “I’m on the soil. Amazing. Wonderful. I made it. I was grinning from ear to ear, but I wasn’t going to let them know I’m there now — I’ve almost pulled the whole thing off.

Hit up the BBC for the full tale of Spiers adventure… one that’s hard to recommend today.

[BBC, via Neatorama]

Image: Parée / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0