Strange items turn up in carry-on bags at Will Rogers World Airport

A poorly-packaged deer head and a baseball bat-sized dog bone were among items that gave Transportation Security Administration agents in Oklahoma pause in 2013.
by Juliana Keeping Modified: February 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: February 9, 2014

Wayne Coyne's golden grenade isn't the only odd item confiscated from a carry-on bag at Will Rogers World Airport.

More recently, a deer head and a baseball bat-sized dog bone gave Transportation Security Administration agents pause.

The Flaming Lips frontman was traveling to Los Angeles in late 2012 when a TSA agent spotted what looked like a hand grenade in his bag at a security checkpoint, closed the checkpoint and began protocols for dealing with a live bomb. The grenade was inert, but there is no way for agents to tell the difference between a souvenir grenade and a live one, said Kim Wagner, a TSA customer service manager stationed at Will Rogers.

Coyne's grenade wasn't the first, and it probably won't be the last spotted by screeners at the airport.

“We've had several here,” Wagner said.

About 5,000 banned items are surrendered to the TSA each year at Oklahoma's largest commercial airport, a tally that doesn't include gels, aerosols or liquids, according to the agency.

Unless the item is a gun or potential bomb — like a grenade — passengers have some options in how to proceed. A traveler can check the item in compliance with federal rules, mail the item, return it to a vehicle or surrender it to the TSA, Wagner said.

A passenger won't have those options if suspected of criminal intent — like the case of a female traveler found in 2013 with a butcher knife in the back of her baby's car seat. The knife did not make the flight.

by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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