A Skull Just Went Through Security at the Salt Lake City Airport

The TSA discovery led to a temporary evacuation of the area.

Photo courtesy of TSA SLC
Photo courtesy of TSA SLC
Photo courtesy of TSA SLC

Imagine you’re going on about your day as a TSA officer, and it’s Halloween week. You definitely expect to find some wild stuff inside a few travelers’ suitcases, right? Stuff that is TSA-banned, too, like prop guns and weapons or replica explosives. You might even find some scary masks and some spine-chilling Halloween props. But one thing is for sure-you don’t expect to find a skull.

That’s exactly what TSA officer Justin Buttars found inside a suitcase at Salt Lake City International Airport, the TSA reports. While he first thought it was a Halloween prop, he was soon after proved wrong. When the suitcase was scanned at the security checkpoint, the skull was bright and visible-and it looked like something else, like a battery and wires, was inside of it, too.

Before you start to panic, it was neither a real human skull or an explosive device. But it wasn’t a Halloween prop, either! After making the necessary safety assessments and tests-the explosive trace detection swab turned out negative-the owner of the skull, which was made of plastic and contained a black, sticky substance in a clear bag, was questioned by TSA agents.

As it turns out, it was a training aid for neurosurgery, and the owner was carrying it to a continuing education seminar and trade show in Cancun, Mexico. Yet, the traveler didn’t end up bringing it to its destination. TSA decided to bar the item from travel because of the skull’s unsure nature and potential threat, and the area was evacuated until the threat was properly addressed thanks to the use of an explosives detection dog.

If only the device was properly labeled and disassembled, though, TSA would’ve let it pass-so file this away as a cautionary tale! TSA officers take security threats very seriously (it’s their job!), and the agency is always reminding passengers dos and don’ts to go through security-you can check some of them right here for your next travels. And if you’re flying on or around Halloween, TSA has guidelines for that, too, which you can find here.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTikTokTwitterFacebookPinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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