A Thief is Just a Thief, A Sigh is Just a Sigh...
Watson, 37, appeared for his first day of trial this week, for a
caper he very nearly pulled off over three years ago.
In January of 2000, police say, Watson was smuggled by friends
onto a British Airways 767 at Heathrow, bound for Madrid. He
carried masking tape, rubber gloves, a drill, green fingernail
polish, and a pair of large boxes. He went into the heated and
pressurized section of the cargo hold and hid himself by slitting
the cloth lining; he hid between the cloth and the outer skin of
the airliner, doing an acceptable job of closing the slit with the
masking tape; the slit wasn't discovered.
rode to Madrid, where cash -- nearly $2 million in Pesetas -- was
loaded, and he waited for the return flight to take off. As soon as
it was airborne, investigators believe, he went to work: he planned
to load the money into one of the boxes, and himself into the
other; but he changed the plan when he saw that the nail polish
wouldn't adhere to the security tape used to seal the original
Watson, who is fighting the charges (grand theft
and damaging an aircraft in a way likely to endanger its
safety in flight -- he cut fire-insulation material), then put
about a quarter-million dollars' worth of the Spanish currency into
one of the boxes, climbed in, and sealed himself up, according to
what was said in court.
He had friends waiting at Heathrow to pick him up, still in the
box; but some weak (or sloppy) baggage-handlers dropped the box,
and he popped out. "Don't worry about me, I'm all right," was what
the handlers said they were told, as he sauntered off. He was found
and eventually arrested in October of 2002.