Anti-hijacker trap door among loony Ig Nobel prizes

Ig Nobel prize winner Gustano Pizzo's 1970s patent drawing describes how hijackers can be trapped and ejected from airplanes.

(Credit: USPTO)

November, 1972. Unto this world, two great things were born. One: your humble scribe; two: Gustano A. Pizzo’s Anti-hijacking System for Aircraft, an insane system of trap doors on commercial planes to capture and eject terrorists.

Until now, the latter lived in obscurity as U.S. patent No. 3,811,643, its genius ignored by the world. But it has finally received what it so richly deserves: an Ig Nobel prize.

Handed out at Harvard University by the Annals of Improbable Research, the annual spoof Nobels honor “achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think.” In an appropriately silly word, it’s jocoserious.

“An anti-hijacking system for an airplane to be operated during flight,” reads Pizzo’s patent, filed in 1972 and awarded two years later.

“A partition or barrier located immediately aft of the… [Read more]

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