Unusual checked baggage

USA today article about human heads


As best I can understand is that Southwest Airlines discovered a package of 40-60 human heads trying to be sent on one of their flights. Because the package wasn’t properly labeled they discovered the contents and there is now an investigation into whether these were black market body parts being sold for science. Medtronics is a pretty big company and I can’t imagine there is that much of a cost savings for black market over OEM parts when it comes to people.


I’m also not familiar with research involving just human heads. I don’t think there would be much value in a cadaver head when it comes to implantable stimulators, etc. You would think a model could be used for practicing the procedures. Maybe Medtronics is working on a new Frankenstein? Or a new method of shrinking heads?


Talk about a bizarre story. I’m wondering what Medtronics’ official statement on this one will be.

2 Responses

  1. psych says:

    have there been any updates on this? What a weird story. maybe they were doing research on the brains and it was easier to carry around a bunch of heads than brains in suspension?

  2. Ima Cynic says:

    Interestingly there has been little in the way of updates. I did find this Reuters update:


    “The heads were being shipped to a Medtronic Inc facility in Fort Worth, Texas. They were for educational training for neurosurgeons studying ear, nose and throat procedures, said Medtronic spokesman Brian Henry.”

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