TSA’s Instagram Showcases The Craziest Items Found In Luggage

Humor
This mallet was discovered in a traveler’s carry-on property at the Burlington International Airport, May 2014.
Photo via TSA Instagram

You may not be a big fan of the Transportation Security Administration, but you’ll get a huge kick out of its Instagram. The page — with a cool 445,000 follower base — showcases some of the craziest items TSA agents have discovered inside of passenger luggage.


Last year, TSA screened over 708 million passengers, 1.6 billion carry-ons, and 432 million checked bags, according to TSA. An average of seven firearms per day — 83% of which were loaded — were discovered inside of carry-on luggage across 236 airports. In addition to knives and guns, passengers attempted to carry on items such as tomahawks, mallets, and explosives.

You’d think that fear of missing a flight — or common sense — would deter someone from bringing illegal items past airport security. Nonetheless, many brave souls still shamelessly endeavor. Here are 10 of the craziest things passengers have attempted to bring onto planes.

1. This little baby was discovered in someone’s carry-on in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tomahawks are allowed inside of checked baggage, but not inside of carry-ons.

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on

2. Stay classy, Baltimore. Although these gun shoes and bullet wristbands aren’t actual weapons, you still can’t bring them onto an airplane.

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on

3. In Sonoma County, California, someone tried to hide an 8.5-inch knife in an enchilada. This Mexican delight didn’t make it past TSA agents, however.

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on

4. This massive, Paul Bunyan-worthy mallet is impressive. A Burlington, Vermont, traveler fit this bludgeon into their bag; however, it was not allowed on the plane.

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on

5. Although this artillery shell discovered in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, was inert, it could have caused massive panic and chaos on a flight.

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on

6. In Boston, someone tried to carry on a training landmine. This isn’t Halo, guy.

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on

7. Although it only looks like a little coconut and can’t do much damage without a cannon, TSA agents in Lexington, Kentucky, confiscated this cannonball.

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on

8. Even without the attachments, this FN 5.7 28mm runs about $1400. It’s impossible to know what the hell this Miami passenger (cough, assassin) was thinking with respect to anything. at. all.

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on

9. Usually what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… but this Las Vegas, Nevada passenger tried to bring a live smoke grenade onto an airplane.

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on

10. Helen(a) of Troy? In Helena, Montana, a passenger attempted to sneak fireworks into their carry-on with this tiny ceramic Trojan horse.

A photo posted by TSA (@tsa) on

Nothing says joint force battle management like a ride-sharing app. (Task & Purpose photo illustration)

The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.

The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.

Read More
The newly painted F-15 Eagle flagship, dubbed the Heritage Jet, was painted to honor 1st Lt. David Kingsley, the namesake for Kingsley Field, and his ultimate sacrifice. (U.S. Air National Guard/Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)

An F-15C Eagle is sporting a badass World War II-era paint job in honor of a fallen bomber pilot who gave everything to ensure his men survived a deadly battle.

Read More
The wreckage of a U.S. Air Force E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft is seen after a crash in Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, Afghanistan on January 27, 2020 (Reuters photo)

A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.

Read More
In this June 7, 2009 file photo Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) points to a player behind him after making a basket in the closing seconds against the Orlando Magic in Game 2 of the NBA basketball finals in Los Angeles. Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. He was 41. (Associated Press/Mark J. Terrill)

Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.

Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.

Read More
Jessica Purcell of St. Petersburg, a captain in the Army Reserve, was pregnant with son Jameson when she was told at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic not to worry about lumps under her arm. She now is diagnosed stage 4 cancer. Jameson is 10 months old. (Tampa Bay Times/Scott Keeler via Tribune News Service)

Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.

Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.

It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.

Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.

A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.

Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.

With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.

Read More