Suitcase full of bacon triggers airport bomb detectors


According to this article on German news site Nachrichten, as un-ablauted by Google Translate and turned into a slurry of humorous pidgin gobbledygook, a quantity of bacon is enough to set off hand luggage bomb detectors.

Apparently, the traveler — on his way to America through Linz — was stopped going through after a machine detected that a piece of bacon his wife had packed "had a similar molecular density to certain types of explosives."

Confronted with an X-Ray of the bacon and asked to identify it, the nervous passenger replied: "It's fat." In America, such flip would earn you a solid truncheoning, but the passenger was merely requested to open the package in a bomb-proof room and prove that it actually was bacon. Humorously, the traveler apparently seemed worried that the bacon might actually be an explosive, as it was packed for him as a lunch by his wife, whom he was on the outs with.

What happened to the traveler? The Nachrichten piece ends surrealistically:, ranting and raving about the Virgin Mary wanting to fly to Rome. It remains unclear at this time whether the bacon incident delayed the Holy Mother's pilgrimage, or whether the bacon was confiscated by customs officials for "disposal."

Bacon in suitcase triggers bomb alarm [Nachrichten via Google Translate]

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20 Responses to Suitcase full of bacon triggers airport bomb detectors

  1. pberch says:

    Google translates „Da ist Speck drinnen“ as “There is fat inside”, but Speck refers to any fatty meat, if my college German serves.

  2. hilbertastronaut says:

    #1: yup, “Speck” generally means “bacon” (there’s another word, “Fett,” for pure grease or the like).

  3. hilbertastronaut says:

    Let me translate the last paragraph and spoil the surreal fun:

    “The police need not only be concerned about some passengers because of their luggage. One lady, for example, wanted to fly to Rome to visit the Blessed Virgin Mary. The officials contacted a doctor in the Wagner-Jauregg Hospital and informed associates, who took the lady away. The officials are specially trained in dealing with the mentally ill.”

  4. zuzu says:

    So… if you want to cause false-positives in the chemical sniffers at the airport, then carry some bacon? The smell of swift justice against the TSA is… delicious.

  5. maus says:

    this is really rough and based mostly off of six years of learning german that’s never been tested in a native environment, and I’m not so sure what a shoeshine machine has to do with the whole kerfuffle, but I’d like to think I did a better job than Google (but not a better job than Hilbertastronaut!):


    LINZ – The baggage scanner at Linz Airport is set to be sensitive. Bacon in luggage sets off explosives alarms, as many a summer vacationer had to find out.

    Police officers confronted a passenger with an x-ray photo and asked him to identify the object in the image. The simple explanation, “That’s bacon in there”, didn’t pass muster. The owner of the ominious piece of luggage was summoned to the “Bomb Room”, a room fortified against possible explosions. He had to open his suitcase while the officers waited outside. The bacon is identified as such- just bacon- and everything is settled. “The baggage scanner goes by the molecular density, and bacon has a density similar to most explosives”, said an official.

    However, the x-ray photo displays two discs and a cable in the suitcase, tipping airport police off to the design [of a bomb]. “What is that?”, is what the officials would like to know. The passenger only shiftlessly explained that his wife packed it for him.


    The passenger hopes things don’t get worse, since he’s divorced due to domestic bickering. Next to the luggage opening in the Bomb Room, there’s an electric shoe shiner, like the ones in hotels.

    A package containing a doll with wires and batteries included was opened by members of the bomb squad after the sender couldn’t be traced. Afterwards, the experts established that it was harmless. However, upon first glance it seemed explosive, especially since it was destined for America.

    On the whole, spoke Wolfgang Katzer, Director of Baggage Scanning with the security corporation Group 4, the passengers of the Linz Airport “are due a compliment. They are very disciplined and know the majority of the security regulations. A great deal of the carry-on luggage we get is taken on with inattention.”

    The police have to deal with more than just the contents of passengers’ luggage. Take for example the case of the woman who wanted to fly the Virgin Mary to Rome. The officials contacted a doctor in Wagner-Jauregg Hospital (i.e. Bedlam) and consulted colleagues before detaining her. The officials are specially trained in handling mental illness.

  6. Harrkev says:

    Bacon: is there anything it can’t do?

  7. zuzu says:

    Since no one’s said it yet, I’m guessing it’s the nitrates and nitrites that are setting off the chemical detectors?

  8. fibreoptik says:

    Bacon is the new Heroin.

  9. markfrei says:

    Ok, maybe not a bomb – but still deadly.

  10. pullober says:

    i feel urgently the need to let you know: the site is written in german but (check the domain-ending) not a german but an austrian website. AUSTRIA is a german spoken country in EUROPE (like germany and some parts of switzerland). LINZ is the capital of the austrian district of UPPER AUSTRIA. AUSTRIA is not to be mistaken for AUSTRALIA.

    AUSTRIA is a country just below (south of) germany and known for being the home and/or birthplace of the trapp family, salzburg, vienna, mozart, arnold schwarzenegger, adolf hitler and other more or less historical or famous people. With mozart – there is some discussion with germany because salzburg was formerly a part of germany as mozart was born. Maybe we have to share mozart with germany a little. Especially when germans are around knowing this fact.

    SO: when you are going to tell a story about a german spoken website which has the top-level.domain-ending of „AT“, the proper wording would be:

    The austrian (german spoken) website ***.at …

    I think it is important to let everyone know this fact and not to forget about the whole lot of little countries our world is patterned of.

    Education does not end after high school.

  11. sisyphus says:

    Damn, Brownlee, don’t be so culturally insensitive. It’s a German-language news site.

    Also, this Austrian fellow’s explosive-bacon-planting ex-wife is proof positive that you’re better off with lager and a lone SIM card.

  12. nehpetsE says:

    Austrian bacon is amazing. You eat it raw like sushi.

    On the downside i was peeing out my ass for a month afterward, but it was worth it. i would eat more raw Austrian bacon today if i was at parytay and someone offered me some.

    btw this comment on the linked page is easily as good as the article

    The halt was still times when I many years ago with friends in London.
    In the photo bag, I had a piece of bacon, a knife and a course Doserl beer. And in Hyde Park I opened the photo bag to exercise a proper domestic snack to kredenzen and the friends laughed is broken. The knife has to check me and I habs declined again in London.
    In Canada, however it 20 years ago, not even with apples in the luggage entering. One might import worms.

  13. zuzu says:

    Austrian bacon is amazing. You eat it raw like sushi.

    I know this makes me sound like Piggy in Lord of the Flies, but what about trichinosis?

    (Not that mercury isn’t the sweetest of the transition metals when I eat tuna sashimi.)

  14. Downpressor says:

    {return “not bomb”};
    {return “bomb”};

  15. strider_mt2k says:

    Did you have some bacon today?

    It might not be too late…

  16. gilowyn says:

    Greetz from Hamburg, Germany.

    A) As has already been pointed out, it’s an Asutrian site.

    B) Here is the exact translation of the article:

    Bacon in suitcase causes bomb alarm

    LINZ. The machine used for luggage control at the airport in Linz is sensitive. Carrying bacon in your luggage will cause an explosive alarm, as many vacationers had to find out.

    Policemen then confront the passengers with the x-ray image and ask him to identify the object. The simple declaration “There is bacon in there” is not enough. The owner of ominuous suitcase is asked to enter the “bomb room”, which is reinforced for possible bomb explosions. He must open his suzitcase while the policemen waits outside. If the bacon is clearly identifiable as such, everything is okay. “The luggage control works according to atom density. And bacon has a similar density as many explosives,” says an official.

    But also an x-ray showing two discs and a cable in a suitcase brought out the airport police. “What is that?”, demanded the official from the owner. He looked puzzled and said his wife had packed for him.

    Alarm by shoe polishing machine
    He hoped it wasn’t anything bad, as he had left the house after a fight. When opening the suitcase in the bomb room, an electrical shoe polishing machine emerged, similar to the ones found in hotels.

    A package ccontaining a doll with wires and a battery was detonated by employees of the bomb defusion squad when the sender could not be found.

    The experts found it to be harmless afterwards. But it looked suspicious, especially since it was being mailed to the States.

    All in all, Wolfang Katzer, manager of the security firm Group 4 appointed with the luggage controls, compliments the passengers at the Linz airport. “They are very disciplined and mostly know the security instructions. Many things that we take out of suitcases have only been taken along through carelessness.”

    Many passengers required police attention not because of their luggage. For example a woman who was on her way visit Mother Mary in Rome. Officials contacted a doctor at the Wagner-Jauregg hospital and informed the woman’s family who came to pick her up. The officials have been specially trained in handling meantal health patients.

  17. tohoscope says:

    During World War II Americans were asked to bring their bacon grease back to the butcher were it was collected for the war effort and used to make munitions. The Disney short OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRING LINE has Minnie Mouse and Pluto showing how housewives helped fight the war by saving kitchen fat. A frying pan full of bacon grease means bullets for our boys!

  18. danegeld says:

    I think they do use nitrate compounds as meat preservatives, so there will be traces of `explosive’ compounds in bacon

  19. CraziestGadgetsdotcom says:

    was the bacon raw or cooked?

  20. V says:

    They can have my bacon when they pry it from my cold dead hands!

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