About Stuart G. Hall

Making a positive difference one day at a time. #London #Leicester

What’s the strangest incident that’s happened on an airline flight? (extended version)

Love thy neighbouring passengers

I got on a Northwest Airlines flight from London to Memphis to cover the 30th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther’s King’s assassination, for the BBC in April 1998. I got sat next to the son of a Norwegian professor, who was himself a jet setting an international peace activist.

So for 7 hours flat I discussed the intricacies of peace, the psychology behind it, blah, blah…(sorry, I don’t recall the details!)

Towards the end of the flight I looked over my shoulder at our neighbouring passengers, only to see they had shrunk into their seats in recoil at the ‘uber’ discussion – I guess in hindsight it was both comical, and one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen on an airline flight!

The twist in the story

But there’s a final airline flight related twist to the story. Despite sending reporter Maurice Walsh to meet me in Memphis the BBC didn’t run the 30th anniversary story. At the time the big news from the US was the possible impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

So the reporter, on his flight back to Washington left empty-handed, or so he thought. As to his surprise, who sat down next to him for the flight, but the Independent CounselKen Starr?! I never did find out what they discussed…

The original version of this story appeared on Quora.