People Who Outsmarted Security In Hilarious Ways

There are lots of incredibly sneaky ways people sneak past security. Here are some unbelievable ways people snuck past security!


Going through security checks at airports, concerts, and various other formal events can sometimes seem like a total chore, but the bottom line is that these precautions are only there to keep us safe. Still, that doesn’t mean security is always air-tight. From simple disguises to tightrope acts, let's discover the most unbelievable ways people managed to sneak past security!

Marilyn Hartman, The Serial Stowaway

First up is this sweet old lady who managed to board a plane heading to London from Chicago O’Hare International Airport in January 2018 without a boarding pass or even a passport.


66-year-old Marilyn Hartman was detained by customs officials when she landed in the UK having miraculously bypassed the Chicago airports security system without any legal documentation. This unbelievable act of stealth didn’t require any mission-impossible style planning, though, because Hartman basically just hid in plain sight.

According to reviews of surveillance footage, she used her hair to conceal her face from nearby officers, hid herself behind other passengers in security lines and even managed to sneak aboard the airport shuttle without presenting a ticket.


This isn’t the first time she’s pulled off such a stunt either, as Hartman has been arrested four separate times for illegal plane-hopping; earning her the nickname the ‘serial stowaway’. The sad truth is that this opportunistic getaway hunter doesn’t seem to know where she’s headed or why, simply claiming that she ‘feels the need to get on a plane and go away’.

A long record of homelessness could explain her need for a sense of belonging, and, having been let off the hook once again, it is unlikely this unusual compulsion will fade anytime soon. Before you rush out to grab yourself a free flight, consider it may have only worked for her because security doesn’t pay particular attention to ‘innocent’ old ladies.

Stranded Jet Skier Breaches JFK Security

In 2012, 31-year-old Daniel Casillo was out partying on his Jet Ski in New York City’s Jamaica Bay when it unexpectedly ran out of fuel forcing him to swim ashore for help. Little did he know he was about to penetrate a $100 million security system.

Slightly intoxicated and disorientated by the evening's increasing darkness, Casillo had found himself at the grounds of JFK international airport, which had recently had a state-of-the-art anti-terrorist system installed.


Remarkably, he was able to climb an 8-foot barbed-wire fence before walking undetected through the Perimeter Intrusion Detection System and across two active runways, straight into the airport where he was spotted by staff– mainly because he was dripping wet and still wearing his yellow lifejacket.


Although his intentions for breaching security were not criminal Casillo was still charged with criminal trespassing, but his unbelievable break-in crucially alerted airport officials to the faults in their security system; one counterterrorism officer even admitted that they probably owed him dinner and champagne.

Brussels Airport Diamond Heist

If you’re planning on staging a diamond heist, an international airport with its huge footfall and unique set of high-security systems is probably not the best place to start; although judging by the last two examples, why the hell not?

In February 2013, eight masked gunmen were able to successfully make off with $50 million dollars’ worth of diamonds which were being transported to Zurich via a Swiss-bound flight from Brussels Airport.


The robbers pulled the crime off by cutting a hole in the fence big enough to drive two fake police cars through, before stepping out of the vehicles and approaching the plane disguised as police officers. Armed with assault rifles, the gang retrieved the precious cargo from the aircraft hold in under 5 minutes before loading the loot into a van and driving away.

Although many have been tried for the crime, the actual perpetrators have still not been apprehended, and most of the diamonds have not been recovered.


Berlin Wall Great Escapes

In its heyday, the Berlin wall – which separated West Berlin from East Germany from 1961 to 1989 – was one of the most high-security places in the world. The wall was fortified with 302 watchtowers, 11,000 soldiers and guard dogs, and over 79 miles of electric fence to prevent people from illegally crossing the border, and yet there are some pretty inventive ways people managed to escape.

In September 1979, the families of a mechanic and a mason were able to build a make-shift hot air balloon from old propane cylinders and bed sheets which they used to float 8,000 feet over the wall to freedom, where they landed safely in a blackberry bush.


In December 1961, a German trapeze artist who had been banned from performing due to his anti-communist beliefs decided to plan an escape over the wall to reconnect with his circus-loving lifestyle.

Horst Klein climbed an electricity pole and used the taut cable as a tightrope to walk right above the guard’s heads and over the wall; he eventually fell from the cable and landed in West Berlin, breaking both arms but regaining his right to perform.


In a less subtle attempt in 1961, a train driver alongside 7 family members and 16 other people boarded what he called the ‘last train to freedom’ which he drove straight through the wall, allowing them to live freely in West Berlin.

Big Brother Break-in

Big Brother is a reality TV franchise where people are isolated from the outside world in a house for an extended period. The house is covered in surveillance cameras designed to keep tabs on the housemates at all times, but the house went into full lockdown in January 2018 when two viral pranksters were able to infiltrate the iconic television set from the outside.

British YouTubers Ally Law and Ryan Taylor planned the break-in attempt for a video and wore GoPros as they climbed the outer perimeter fence, scaled backstage walkways and staircases and eventually broke into the garden, outrunning security and giving the celebrity housemates an unexpected shock during a live eviction.

Watch on YouTube

Just a week earlier, the pair had also managed to breach backstage security by climbing fire escapes and filming themselves inside the loft. The prank came at a price, though, as the YouTubers were sentenced to 120 hours of community service as well as compensation fines of £1,235 each.

Dion Rich, the World's Greatest Gate Crasher

From primetime television to one of the world’s biggest sporting events, meet the man who has snuck into almost every Super Bowl since the NFL championship began in 1967. Dion Rich has earned a legendary reputation as one of the best gate-crashers in the business after successfully living it up backstage and on the field at 33 Super Bowl events; even famously managing to carry Cowboy’s coach Tom Landry off the field in 1978.

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Rich’s illegal escapades began when he owned a bar which was a popular drinking spot for NFL players and coaches, allowing him to overhear Super Bowl inside gossip. Before the first championship, Rich learned where the players' busses would be parked outside the stadium and made sure to turn up in full kit at the same time so that he could follow the team incognito into the locker room.


Since then, Rich has used every trick in the book, including dressing up as security and entering in a wheelchair, to gate-crash the event, causing the NFL league such frustration that they have reportedly spent thousands of dollars on private investigators to put a stop to this one man’s shenanigans.

White House Dinner Crashers

Blagging your way into a stadium packed with hordes of football fans is one thing, but this next gate-crasher managed to sneak into an event so high-profile that she could literally rub elbows with the president.

Wannabe reality star Michaele Salahi and her partner Tareq successfully managed to get past security at Obama’s first presidential state dinner in November 2009, where they freely mingled with a whole host of high-profile celebs including the president of India, exiting swiftly just before dinner.


To this day Secret Service investigators are still baffled about how they pulled it off besides perhaps some natural charm and half-decent schmoozing. Having spent a small fortune on clothes and pampering before the event the pair didn’t raise any eyebrows when they were waived through the first checkpoint by guards, but how they made it through the second security point without having their names checked still remains a mystery.


Michaele was even being considered for a spot on the Real Housewives of D.C. at the time and was filmed by producers all night, who were also under the impression she was officially invited, proving that she really did pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.

Buckingham Palace Intruder

Breaking and entering is a pretty common crime, but this next security-dodger successfully broke into the most famous house (or palace) in England and found himself face-to-face with the Queen herself.

On the 9th of July 1982, 31-year-old Michael Fagan broke into the impenetrable fortress of Buckingham Palace by scaling a 14-foot barbed-wire wall and climbing a drainpipe before sneaking in through an open window.


Slightly tipsy and high on adrenaline, Fagan tripped on two invisible security alarms which were quickly turned off by officers believing them to be a result of an electrical fault. Fagan then stumbled barefoot into Queen Elizabeth’s private quarters and pulled back the curtains of her four-poster bed to find her staring back up at him in bewilderment.

Without any security nearby, the Queen engaged Fagan in calm conversation until his request for a cigarette provided her with an excuse to summon a footman who alerted officers to have Fagan arrested. The whole debacle caused such national embarrassment that the home secretary Willie Whitelaw offered to resign, which the queen declined.


Comedy Terrorist

From one royal screw-up to another, this self-proclaimed ‘comedy terrorist’ gate-crashed Prince William’s 21st birthday in 2003, all while dressed outrageously. Wannabe comedian Aaron Barschak arrived at Prince Will’s ‘Out of Africa’ themed party in a pink Bin Laden outfit complete with beard and sunglasses and climbed the wall at Windsor Castle to gain exclusive entry.

Watch on YouTube

During his clumsy attempt, Barschak set off several alarms and was eventually spotted by guards, but he still managed to make it on stage in time to interrupt Prince William’s thank you speech, royally confusing some 300 guests who assumed he was part of the planned entertainment. This publicity stunt didn’t do much to further Barschak’s career and the royal family even faced backlash for requesting a ‘lighter’ level of security at the event.

Psy Impersonator Fools Cannes

Most of us recall Psy like a distant memory, but at the height of his viral career back in 2013 Gangnam style singer Psy was unavoidable. All this Psy impersonator needed to get his own fifteen minutes of fame was a pair of sunglasses as he successfully gained access to dozens of high-profile celebrity parties.

In 2013, this ordinary man even went backstage at the Cannes Film Festival and spent the evening posing with celebrities on social media, enjoying free champagne and even signing up for appearances at charity galas.

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His summer of fun came to an end when the real Psy took to Twitter to announce that there was an imposter wreaking havoc in the celebrity world.

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However, fake Psy seemed more than happy with his share of celebrity, claiming that it heightened his reputation as a professional impersonator. So all that other free stuff was just a bonus, then.

Naked Parachutist Drops In On Buckingham Palace

As if Michael Fagan’s run-in with the Queen wasn’t enough to tighten security at Buckingham, another breach raised more questions about royal safety on the 5th of February 1994 when a naked paraglider landed on the north-east roof of the palace.

James Miller, otherwise known as ‘fan-man’, had already been prosecuted for parachuting into a Vegas open-air heavyweight boxing match between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield the previous November, when he decided to take things one step further.


Wearing nothing but a skimpy red jumpsuit, Miller flew his illegal powered paraglider over the palace at around 7:30 am before landing on the roof and getting undressed to reveal he was painted green from the waist down.

Luckily the Queen was at her estate in Sandringham for the weekend and was not home to witness the bizarre event, although it’s safe to say she would probably not have been amused.


Bill Murray Party-Crashing

Sometimes gate crashing an event you’re not invited to requires careful planning, some serious blagging skills, or even a celebrity disguise. Other times, you can just waltz in wherever you like, if you happen to be Bill Murray, that is.


The beloved Hollywood actor, comedian, and writer has gained quite a reputation for turning up uninvited to a whole host of ordinary events, creating an unforgettable night for shell-shocked guests and whoever else happens to be around.

In 2006, Murray accompanied a student he’d met at a bar in Scotland to a college party where he drank vodka from a coffee mug before washing the dishes, while in 2010 he hopped behind the bar at the South by Southwest event and refused to serve anything but tequila shots.

He even showed up at someone’s bachelor party in 2014, giving some unforgettable advice to the groom.

Watch on YouTube

There are plenty of other stories of Murray's party-crashing escapades, and besides his fun-loving attitude, he revels in the fact that no one will believe them when they’re told – we should all be more like Bill Murray.

If you were amazed as well as shocked at these unbelievable security-dodging techniques, you might want to read this article about places people can't go but went anyway. Thanks for reading.

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