Is This in Our Travel Future?

Russ Steele

All the discussion about the latest terror bombs reminded me of this little bit of gold country history.  Miners working in local gold mines often found a loose nugget of gold, and devised ways to take it home. This practice was called high grading. One of the methods devised was to hide the gold in a body cavity, including the anal cavity. Of course the mine owners were always devised ways to thwart this kind of theft.

In his youth, my dad was a gold miner. I often show my grandkids he is in the  photos at the Empire Mine State Museum. Year laters he told us about some of his failed attempts at “high grading”  It was difficult, as miners were required to change clothes in the “dry.”  They took off their wet work clothes, hung them up to dry on hangers on ropes in the ceiling.  Then they were required to walk naked to the showers, then dressed to go out in public. Lunch pails were examined before leaving the dry.

According to my dad’s story, at one of the mines he worked at that walk to the showers included walking straddle legged over a trench. This made anything concealed in the anal cavity very hard to retain in position.

Terrorist have demonstrated an ability to develop anal cavity bombs. According to experts interviewed about the latest underwear bomb, the new scanners can detect these methods, but admitted they would not reveal an anal cavity bomb.

That started me to wondering, will we soon be walking naked and straddle legged over a pit on the way to our next airplane flight?  Interesting problem for the airport security screeners.  How would you detect an anal cavity bomb?


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

3 Responses to Is This in Our Travel Future?

  1. Dena says:

    it’s possible they may just start using the one tool that does work – profiling.

  2. Arthur M. Day. says:

    My Dad worked at the Relief Hill hydraulic mine, 1946 till it shut down. He brought home a high grade story. The sections of trees used as mine timbers often develop radial shrinkage splits. One of the miners would shove nuggets deep into the split and push some mud in after. When the timbers started to rot they would be replaced and he would take them home, dry them, cut them up for fire wood, burn them, and pan the ashes. This was a long term strategy so he stayed at the same mine for years. Just before he was to retire with celebratory dinner, gold watch, and all, someone ratted on him and off the Folsom he went.

  3. gjrebane says:


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