The traveling vibrator story…maybe not an urban legend, but not a new story either. Check this from 1999:
[/quote]Sex aid give holiday flight a shaky start
“Frank Markus” <[email protected]>
Sun, 25 Apr 1999 06:26:07 -0400
A pilot made an emergency landing when a suspect device was detected on a
jet packed with British holiday makers – but the threat turned out to be a
The A-300 Monarch Airbus was two hours into a flight from Goa when the crew
became suspicious about a piece of hand luggage. The pilot, Captain Dave
Johnson, radioed a bomb alert and was ordered to divert to Bombay.
The plane, carrying British-based passengers and crew, was taken to an
isolated handling bay where 369 people were evacuated.
Bomb disposal experts boarded the plane and examined the suspect baggage and
identified the device as a battery-powered sex vibrator.
A Monarch Air spokeswoman applauded Capt Johnson’s actions. “We are looking
into the incident to find out how it got on board,” she said. The passengers
later continued to Gatwick.
I initially found this story in rec.travel.airlines on Usenet. I followed
the links in that message to the actual article (above, Tuesday April 20,
11:01 AM). The next message posted was from an airline ramp agent:
"Actually, this kind of thing happens way too often.
I used to work for a major airline as a ramp agent, and I’d put the
number at 2-3 times per year, per airline.
What happens is a bag (usually checked though) gets jostled, and
vibrator switches on, bag starts buzzing or humming, employees alert
security, and then the real fun begins.
“Our SOP used to be offload pax, have them claim baggage on ramp, then
swoop in on suspicious bag. have pax reveal source of buzz, worst
embarrassment of life ensues, in front of planeload of angry, delayed
strangers. It was ALWAYS the best part about working the ramp. And this
should serve as a cautionary note, pack the batteries separate if
traveling with a vibrator.”
I love this story. It has everything that is required for an urban legend
but it is true. The original story is still available at:
This story, of course, has details like the airline to bolster its credibility. This kind of stuff is important in sniffing out urban legends. And don’t trust your local media 100%. Today’s Wash Post had a column on stories “Too Good To Check” - like that frequently circulated e-mail of ridiculous lawsuits, none of which exist. And the press loved that “Bush waved at Stevie Wonder” story, though that (sadly) wasn’t true either.
I’m not saying this is an urban legend, but it does have that feel.