Brian Robson, who is now 75, wants to be reunited with the men to thank them and buy a drink — he only remembers their first names, Paul and John.
A Welsh man Brian Robson has issued a public call to help find two Irish men who had helped him return home from Australia in a mailing crate way back in 1965. Robson from Cardiff, who is now 75, wants to be reunited with the men to thank them and buy a drink — he only remembers their first names, Paul and John.
Robson has narrated his adventurous escape to the Irish Times, which has been reported by the Guardian. According to the report, Robson, 19, was working in Australia for the Victorian Railways when he wanted to return home, but couldn’t afford the £700 airfare as he was only making £40 a month. Unable to pay for the flight, he came up with a plan to buy a small wooden crate and have himself transported as freight.
Robson said the “quite horrific experience” took four days and he was repeatedly stored upside down.
In the interview with the Irish Times, Robson says, “Paul really was 100% against it… but John said, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ll persuade him.’ and so, they both went ahead and helped.”
Robson then purchased a box the size of a mini-fridge, packed with pillows, a suitcase, a book of Beatles songs and two bottles, one for water and the other for urine. The two men nailed his box shut and booked him as cargo on Qantas flight from Melbourne to London.
However, the Qantas flight was full, so the two put Robson was put on a PanAm flight that took him to Los Angeles.
Newspaper reports from Reuters and the Australian Associated Press from May 1965 said Robson had labelled himself ‘a computer”.
The then-acting minister for immigration, Leslie Bury said the Australian government would not take any action against him after another MP called for legal proceedings against “this apparently useless young man.”
When he arrived in the States, Robson was discovered by custom officials and interrogated by the FBI.
Guardian reports that he told the BBC that a man looked into the small hole in the box and their eyes met, “He jumped back a mile and said, ‘There’s a body in there.’”
After prolonged questioning, he was flown to London on a passenger flight.
Robson said he had written to thank the men but they never responded. “We got on famously, they used to come to my bedsit, or I would go to see them, almost on a daily basis” he told the Irish Times.
He admitted to the BBC that the idea had been stupid, “If my kids tried it, I would kill them. But it was a different time.”
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