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Magician says he shipped himself from across US

Magician says he shipped himself from across US

A professional magician who claims he shipped himself by cargo plane on a cross-country flight from New York state to Las Vegas may find it difficult to escape prosecution from federal authorities who want to know if he really pulled off the stunt.
Wade Whitcomb said he folded himself into a cramped wooden crate _ stamped "theatrical equipment" and bearing red "Fragile" stickers _ for the 26-hour trip, first on a United Parcel Service truck then aboard a UPS plane. Seated on a wooden bench, he sipped water and ate cashews, potato chips and chocolate. His biggest complaint: Boredom.
Whitcomb, who goes by the stage name Wade Live, said he made the trip in November as a publicity stunt for a friend's Web site, videotaping the trip with four tiny cameras pointed out of the crate and another inside focused on him.
The Transportation Security Administration and the FBI are investigating Whitcomb's claim, said TSA spokeswoman Lara Uselding. She said the stunt would violate a number of laws but declined to specify which because the investigation is ongoing.
Dan McMackin, a spokesman for Atlanta-based UPS, said Whitcomb's claim may be a hoax.
"I can't verify it one way or the other. If you watch the video, you can't tell if it was real or not. To me, it seems like a publicity stunt, and therefore, I think it could be a hoax," McMackin said. UPS is also investigating.
McMackin said if Whitcomb did ship himself, he put himself at great risk because cargo planes can be very cold, with low pressurization that can make it hard to breathe.
Whitcomb said he worked for UPS several years ago and he and Breen made sure the crate would be shipped in a pressurized container.
When he was contacted by The Associated Press on Tuesday, Whitcomb said his lawyer advised him to stop talking to the media.
He told his hometown newspaper The Post-Standard of Syracuse last week that he worked with a friend on the stunt to promote the friend's new Web site, where videos purportedly showing the excursion are posted.
Whitcomb wouldn't be the first person to turn himself into air cargo.
In 2003, Charles McKinley, a 25-year-old New York City warehouse shipping clerk, shipped himself in a wooden air cargo crate from Newark International Airport to Dallas, traveling 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) by truck, plane and delivery van. McKinley said he was looking for a cheap way to visit his parents.
He pleaded guilty to stowing away on a cargo jet, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to a year of probation, including some house arrest.


Updated : 2021-07-24 17:00 GMT+08:00