How One Person is Outsmarting the TSA with Things You Can Buy in an Airport
Disclaimer: The FBI and TSA are fully aware of his research project.
More now than ever, airport security is tight (remember the little boy who lost his Buzz Lightyear toy to the hands of the TSA?). Evan Booth—a programmer and self-proclaimed "security researcher"—is out to single-handedly prove that it's possible to get a weapon on an airplane. (Disclaimer: Booth's work is done completely in the spirit of research.) His method: assembling hazardous devices completely out of items that can be bought in the airport stores beyond security checkpoints. As horrible of an idea bringing any sort of a weapon onboard is—seriously: don't do it—Booth's research project brings up an interesting point. It wouldn't be hard to imagine such creations in a museum exhibit of sorts or research paper.
Booth has more than a dozen handmade weapons on his YouTube profile, ranging in complexity from the "Adorable Blowgun" and the "Cerrsberr Crossbow" (below) to the "Blunderbussness Class Break-Action Shotgun" that uses lithium batteries to heat and eventually ignite a can of Axe body spray. That being said, Booth takes great caution in alerting authorities of his work. According to a write-up on Fast Company, Booth sends the FBI and TSA reports before sharing any of his findings on his website, Terminal Cornucopia (which warranted an—unannounced—visit from a few FBI agents and resulted in a failed request for research funding).
The DIY weapons look intimidating, but what's the real damage? Booth runs through his Blunderbussness Class Break-Action Shotgun in the video below:
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.