Universal Bizargo: American Shipping Human Body Parts from Bangkok
Today we take a break from blogging about all the things making the port congestion situation worse for shippers like ILWU job action, carriers’ congestion surcharges, and truckers strikes (yes, that’s happening again and we’ll look at the situation for Thursday’s blog) to look at a story in international shipping news that’s just plain weird.
That’s right, it’s time for another installment of Universal Bizargo, Universal Cargo Management’s series that spotlights the bizarre tales of international shipping.
31-year-old American tourist, Ryan McPherson was questioned by Bangkok police after he tried to ship preserved human body parts, including an infant’s head, a baby’s foot, and an adult heart to the United States, ABC News reported.
The body parts were stolen from the medical museums of one of Bangkok’s biggest hospitals, but McPherson claimed to buy the items from a Bangkok night market when questioned by Bangkok Police Col. Chumpol Poompuang.
The following is from the ABC News story by Thanyarat Doksone:
“He [McPherson] said he thought the body parts were bizarre and wanted to send them to his friends in the U.S.,” Chumpol said, adding that the man was questioned along with an American friend for several hours and released without charges.
Bizarre is right in the story itself. How could this not end up in Universal Bizargo?
The friend McPherson was questioned along with was 33-year-old Daniel Tanner. While the story of buying the stolen items at a Bangkok night market was apparently good enough to be accepted by the police and get the pair released, the two men did visit the museum from which the human body parts were stolen. That could just be coincidence, but it adds credence to the police’s several hours long interrogation of the two men. The ABC News story does say that “closed circuit television video did not show them taking any items away.”
There’s a good chance you haven’t heard the names Ryan McPherson and Daniel Tanner before, but this is not the first time they’ve ever showed up in the news for a weird reason.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of McPherson and Tanner’s previous business venture, “Bumfights”.
Yes, it seems that these same two men pitted homeless people against each other in fights, filmed them, and successfully sold the videos back in 2002.
The ABC News article said Bumfights had “sales of about 300,000 copies at $20 each…” If my elementary math skills are not letting me down, that comes out to about 6 million dollars in sales. I guess with that kind of money, you could afford to travel to Bangkok and buy human body parts at a night market. But would you?
To go from producing Bumfights to showing up again in the news some years later for trying to ship human body parts from Bankgog to the U.S. that police said were labeled as toys, according to the ABC News story makes it seem like there may be something bizarre going on in the heads of these men.
I’m reminded of the “You might be a redneck…” comedy routines Jeff Foxworthy did in the late 90’s. For this story, I would change redneck to weirdo.
If you give bums cash and alcohol to fight on camera… you might be a weirdo.
If you buy human body parts at night markets in Bangkok… you might be a weirdo.
If you ship said body parts to friends labeled as toys… you might be a weirdo.
I’ll just end with one more if. If your weirdo activity involves international shipping… you might find yourself written about in a Universal Bizargo blog.