The Bizarre True Story Of The Man Who Was Airmailed Home

In 1965, a 19-year old Welshman was so, so homesick. He was in Australia and wanted to go home; however, he couldn't afford the plane ticket. To solve his issue, he airmailed himself home.

That story sounds like something you'd hear in a bar, and you might think there is no way that can possibly be true. But, as incredulous as it sounds, the story is legit.

Brian Robson was then 19, reported the BBC, and was working in Australia with Victoria Railways. He flew to Australia on an immigration assistance program from the government — a deal that required him to stay in the country for two years. Robson, though, quickly grew tired of Australia and was pining for home.

Instead of sucking it up or admitting defeat (and forking over a bunch of money he didn't have to break his contract), he thought of a hare-brained idea. At first, he planned to sail home as cargo. A relative in Australia joked that maybe he should just stow away on a ship. So he did, Robson told the BBC. He got a visitor's pass to board the boat and just stayed until it sailed away. Unfortunately, Robson got seasick, and his plan was foiled.

You'd think this would've stopped Robson, but no, he kept planning for his escape. He convinced two friends to nail him shut inside a crate and drop the box off at the airport. Robson labeled the crate as a computer and hoped he would be shipped off from Melbourne to London.

Things, predictably, did not go as planned.

He spent 22 hours standing on his head

Robson was inspired by Reg Spiers, an Australian athlete who successfully mailed himself from London to Australia (via Vice). Spiers, though, custom-built the largest box that airlines could deliver. Robson had no such experience.

His box forced Robson to sit against his suitcase with his legs folded to his chest, said the BBC. He only had with him five biscuits and a pint of water. His plan was to get from Melbourne to Sydney, and from there on to London. That's not exactly what happened, though.

According to, once the flight to Sydney landed, it was discovered that the connecting flight was full, and the box — complete with man inside — was left on the tarmac. Unfortunately, the handlers ignored the "this side up" note on the box and dumped Robson's crate upside down. He endured 22 hours standing on his head, in serious pain, and he passed out several times. He was eventually loaded on a new plane that took off for LA, and Robson had no idea that he was rerouted and thought he was in London when he landed. Robson tried to look at the time, but he dropped his flashlight, and that's when cargo handlers heard him. One of them approached the crate and, shocked, saw Robson's eye peering at him.

If you've ever flown a long-haul flight, you know air travel does things to your body. All told, Robson spent four days in the box, so when authorities got him out, they couldn't even straighten his legs.

American authorities decided not to press charges against Robson but did deport him to London. On that plane, though, he flew first class.