Story of a Now-Pensioner Who Traveled from Australia to London by Mail in a Box
A pensioner from Cardiff is searching for two Irishmen who had assisted him in traveling from Australia to London by airmailing him off in a crate.
Brian Robson,19, decided to proceed with what is regarded as ‘the stupid’ plan to reach home to Wales in 1965. After about eleven months Down Under, he was feeling desperate to go home. His earnings, £40 a month, while working for Victorian Railways definitely no where near being enough to cover a plane ticket, £700. But after long deliberation for about a week, 2 of his friends, also his colleagues who happened to be Irish, known to Brian as Paul and John, in the bid to render assistance packed him into a box, a size of a mini-fridge.
The box was nailed to get it shut and was sent off as a cargo on a Qantas flight from Melbourne, Australia to London, United Kingdom – that was what they planned, at least.
Brian said he actually needed them to help out as Paul had access to a typewriter which would be needed to fill out all paperwork required to get Brian sent off as post.
‘Paul was actually and totally against the idea…but John said I shouldn’t worry about it, he’ll persuade him” Brain said according Irish Times. So, both of them went ahead to help.
Brian actually brought in pillows with him in the small box, also a torch, a book containing Beatles music, his suitcase, and 2 bottles – one filled with water while the other meant for urine.
Now 75, Brian is not expecting an expensive trip, but what could had been a thirty-six-hour direct flight ended being a 4-day long severe experience.
At that time, Qantas flight was occupied, and so the crate, which Brian labelled as containing a ‘computer’, was placed in a much slower PanAm flight which ended up landing in Los Angeles.
Brian said the plane’s hold was both freaking cold and intensely hot and that he managed to breathe in the journey. When the plane stopped in Sydney and was was left upside down for twenty two hours, despite many ‘this side up’ labels he put on the crate. This resulted to a blackouts for him.
After taking off from Sydney and the plane landed again, Brian thought he had eventually gotten to London. But after he was carted off to a freight shed, he peeped through a hole in the box and saw a scary United State customs official who thought there was a corpse in the box.
Then, he went through series of interrogation with the FBI, who wanted to be certain that he was not a Cold War spy. Immediately they were okay and was convinced he wasn’t a threat, authorities decided rest the case, and instead got him to London on a normal commercial flight.
Brian’s legs got stiff while in the box so he had to be taken to the hospital first before he could be allowed to continue his journey.
Leslie Bury, the then-acting Australia immigration minister, said the government would not bother taking any action against him. Brian wrote to his friends, Paul and John, thanking them for the help rendered and making his desire come through, but sadly, he didn’t hear back from them. He remembers that both of them went to same school in Ireland, however, not really sure where.
Brian will love to see Paul and John again to thank them and at least buy them a drink. The union will definitely be fun, so if you can help Brain out, it will surely be appreciated.
So what do you think? 😉