The Weird Week in Review

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Anna Lear

Car Fire in Safari Park

Where would be the absolutely worst place for your car to catch fire? In the lion enclosure of a drive-through safari. And that’s what happened to Helen Clements and her two children when they visited Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, England.

Mrs Clements said she thought her car had overheated when it stopped inside the enclosure.

"Then basically, we thought: 'That's not steam, that's actually smoke'," she told BBC News.

"It was getting thicker and thicker and obviously coming into us, and then we saw flames."

She sounded her horn and both she and George opened their doors, before rangers came running towards them.

"Unfortunately they were shouting to us: 'Get back in the car, do not get out of the car'," she added.

The lions did not approach, because they are smart enough to know fire when they see it. Still, it was a frightening incident. Rangers moved the lions out of the enclosure before firefighters extinguished the flames.

Defendant Thinks Murder Tattoo Might Hurt His Case

Jeffrey Chapman’s trial on murder charges begins Monday in Benton County, Kansas. The crime occurred in 2011, and at this late date, Chapman is concerned that the jury may be prejudiced by the large tattoo of the word “murder” on his neck. Chapman’s lawyer requested that a tattoo artist he had contacted be allowed to come to the jail to do a coverup before the trial starts. Sheriff Brian Bellendir points out that it is against Kansas law for a tattoo artist to work anywhere outside of a licensed tattoo parlor, and the state is not willing to transport Chapman out of the jail. It is not clear whether the tattoo was done before or after the crime for which Chapman is being tried.

Porta-Potty Runs Down Street

The winds were a bit blustery in northern Utah last week, with gusts of over 70 mph recorded. The strange weather was evident in the town of Lehi when a portable toilet ran down the street by itself. Dan Pierce captured the incident on video

Stowaway Flies to Hawaii in Jet Wheel Well

An unnamed 16-year-old boy managed to sneak into Mineta San Jose International Airport in California and get into the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines jet. He was later found on the tarmac at Kahului Airport in Maui. The teenager survived the flight at 38,000 feet, enduring frigid temperatures, low pressure, and little oxygen. FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu said the agency questioned the boy when he was found wandering the tarmac with no identification.

“Kid's lucky to be alive,” Simon said.

Simon said security footage from the San Jose airport verified that the boy from Santa Clara, Calif., hopped a fence to get to Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 on Sunday morning. The child had run away from his family after an argument, Simon said. Simon said when the flight landed in Maui, the boy hopped down from the wheel well and started wandering around the airport grounds.

“He was unconscious for the lion's share of the flight,” Simon said. The flight lasted about 5 1/2 hours.

Okay, that’s the way to get into an airport without going through security theater -just go over the fence. The teenager was medically screened and found to be okay, and referred to child protective services. His flight home will be taken inside the plane.

Mother Refuses to Pay Son’s Ransom

Twenty-five-year-old Zachery Logsdon of Knox County, Tennessee, thought it was the perfect crime. He faked his own kidnapping and sent his mother a ransom note. For $200. His mother did not pay it. You can’t fool Mom -she said he’s tried a similar stunt before in order to get money for drugs. Instead, Logsdon’s mother called 911 and reported the drop-off instructions. The Knox County Sheriff’s department met Logsdon there, and arrested him.

Castaways Rescued from Island

Five stranded castaways learned their lesson from Gilligan’s Island and numerous comic strips. A small boat went missing off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The passengers had docked on a small island, and the boat drifted away, carrying their supplies and phones. The three men and two women scrawled a large SOS on a sandbar, and nine hours later were picked up by the crew of a rescue helicopter that had spotted their SOS signal. The five castaways were dehydrated, but otherwise uninjured.

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April 25, 2014 - 12:02pm
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