How To Get Illegal Items Through the Airport – 1


There’s nothing here that the would-be terrorist doesn’t already know. There’s nothing here that isn’t possible to find elsewhere, by compiling and analyzing multiple on- and offline sources. Everything here is for informational and educational purposes only. In instances where techniques for execution of security checkpoint circumvention is described, these are only for theoretical purposes and “paper tigers“. Any and all attempts at such techniques may (and probably will) land you in jail – for a short, or quite likely, a long time. In cases of extreme “unluckiness”, they might get you injured or killed.

In short; this is for educational purposes only. Do not attempt.

All right, that’s the disclaimer done, now onwards.

1; Why try to get illegal items through airport security checkpoints?

There are lots and lots of reasons why someone would attempt to get something deemed illegal through the airport security checkpoints, past x-ray scanners, profilers, metal detectors, human security officers (screeners/TSA agents, security controllers…). The person might be a terrorist, of course. That’s the first one that comes to mind for most of us. They might be out to take over a plane for ideological reasons or for personal reasons – or for personal or organizational financial gain. Taking a plane hostage, and in turn its passengers, makes sense if you’re prepared to die for what you believe in. Impact on the public is high, and the law listens to the public.

Or, the person trying to bring something illegal through the airport might be someone who just bought a new perfume, or a bottle of 40 year old Scotch, and they’re just trying to avoid the liquid-restrictions. Somewhat more harmless, but still illegal.

Or, someone might want to carry with them some sort of weapon for personal protection, should that first scenario take place. A knife, perhaps, a pair of long scissors, a scalpel or just that extremely nice Swisstool with a hundred and three different thingamajigs on it. Or a gun. Or two. Maybe in pieces.

It’s far from impossible, and it’s being done every day, in more places than one. For years a Texas man would walk onto airplanes with a massive belt buckle on, that had two small derringer design double barrel pistols in it, in plain view. The thing would have passed through x-ray many, many times, but security officers believed them to be ornamental, and so allowed the buckle without much scrutiny.

Derringer pistol w/ ammo in belt buckle

Derringer pistol w/ ammo in belt buckle

Even with sensitive metal detectors, it is possible, even easy, to bring both knives, scissors and other sharp objects through the ceckpoint, by means of several different techniques and factors. We’ll get to that later. The point is that while a terrorist is uncommon, illegal items brought through the airport is not. The reason (and reasoning) behind them are as many as there are people who’ve tried it.

2; Detection Methods

In order to deter passengers and staff from bringing in illegal items, airport security has several methods of detection that are designed to bring to light items that have been concealed. We have a metal detector portal, which passively scans whatever passes through for the “critical mass” of metal that is needed to set it off. Any metal detector portal can be adjusted to various levels of sensitivity, something that is critical for the person needing or wanting to bring something through it that shouldn’t be there.
Metal detector portals use either sound or light or a combinaition of the two to alert the human operator of a possible hidden object.

Airport Security

Airport Security

The x-ray machine uses a high-voltage coil to generate low energy x-rays that penetrate everything up to the density of thin metal. The x-ray scanner’s outer shell of sheet steel is not penetrated. An image is then generated that will show the operator what is inside the item, be it a bag, box, suitcase or other, in a density dependent color scheme ranging from black/blue to orange and green. Metals are colored black to blue, plastics and composits turn out blue to green, and anything organic will be shades of orange. Shapes are clearly outlined and an experienced operator can in some cases even tell you how much the coins in your wallet add up to.

The system’s main vulnerability is the experience needed to operate it efficiently, and the issue of angles. X-rays go from bottom to top inside the machine in a roughly 45 degree angle, and this means the image generated is somewhat skewered. If a thin object is positioned so as to pass through the machine in an angle matching the x-rays, it will show up as nothing more than a thin line, in most cases invisible to the pressed-for-time operator.

Last in line is the human element. Any passenger can be selected for a hands-on “pat-down” or secondary screening. That goes for your bags too, mister. The human element is the step where most attempts to bring illegal items through security is thwarted, either by secondary screening based on a machine warning, or a random search on the whim of an officer at the checkpoint.

Usually, if one of the human operators catch you, you’re done for, but we’ll discuss that too later.

Next Page

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

jj August 30, 2014 at 4:01 am

I am flying for the first time tomorrow and have anxiety. My friend gave me some of her prescribed pills to help me. So with thatbeing said…. I want to take pills that I am not prescribed, what is the best way to get them through security? If I put them in my coin purse will they be detected or should I put them in an asprin bottle? please help!

Traveller August 22, 2014 at 10:31 am

Is it possible for the Xray machines at airports used for carry in/check in baggage/cargos to find out a particular metal out of other metals?

Pedro June 7, 2014 at 8:20 am

Hey is it ok to bring medical wax if you have a reccomendation?

SS February 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I think you mean “thine”.

Thee Royal Decree Maker February 20, 2014 at 4:32 am

To the royal subject known by the name of “eazy”

By royal decree thou comment has been sentenced to death for being ‘The most stupidest fuckin thang my royal mothafuckin ees has eva hud’. And thus ye are ordered to surrender thou comment to the just and proper authorities for ‘somewhat painful and outdated means of termination’

Eazy February 11, 2014 at 11:21 am


I really interested abt ur word’s Becoz of U r telling the truth.
On ur front page is asking its leagal or not .?-
How can be its illeagel,, No never Becz of you are talking abt the Fact .
So tell me, Wich way u r going to answer my question or doubt’s !

john mccormack January 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm

going out of country to iran need this info

john mccormack January 29, 2014 at 6:17 pm

I will try this

shippingexpertise November 16, 2013 at 7:16 pm


I am sorry to write here but as you seem expert and I cannot find a solution I dare to ask your help.

I would like to send a bottle of liquid by post but it is forbidden in my country and Xray always catches my parcel.

Do you know how I could do ?

Put some foil for example ?

And do you know if they see the bottle that I send because of its shape of they really see the liquid that is inside ?

Thanks a lot for your help.

PTI August 13, 2013 at 9:59 pm

This is all great and interesting. But I bet no one could make it through the PTI metal detector with these targets shown above. Its sensitive enough that it can see the zippers on someones jeans. I wonder if the TSA will ever invest into something like this or not?

alcohol lax December 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

Awesome! Its really amazing paragraph, I have got much clear idea about from this post.

SS November 28, 2012 at 7:58 pm

You should probably ask a customs officer about that… not security. ;)

Timmy November 28, 2012 at 3:07 am

How do you sneak a little meth? Lol

K - S September 27, 2012 at 7:39 am

How can we sneak Alcohol?? does the Colour of Alcohol differs from other Liquids say Shampoo?! will it help if we place the Bottle say half leter of Alcoho (Plastic Bottle that we buy from the Duty Free) upright help?? I need tips on how to sneak 1 or 2 liters of Alcohol.
Thx for the Tip.

lol loi August 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

how to pass malaysia custom with brining bb gun when coming back from hong kong.

Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }