The story of Apple and the lost, found, sold, and possibly considered stolen iPhone has the internet abuzz. But there are quite a few even stranger stories of people finding missing cell phones.
An Apple engineer left an iPhone G4 prototype at a bar, where it was picked up by someone else who sold it to Gizmodo, which blogged about its features way before Apple intended. Now police are investigating and seized computers belonging to Gizmodo editor Jason Chen. Anyone who has ever lost a phone knows how unnerving it can be. Here are more stories of cell phones that wound up in strange places. You may say that the Apple prototype was the most valuable, but sports fans may argue that the next phone is priceless.
Dave Checketts was president and general manager of the NBA’s Utah Jazz from 1984 to 1990. He has also been president of the Madison Square Garden Corporation, president of the New York Knicks, and vice president for development at the NBA. Around ten years ago, he lost his Blackberry. Just last month, a man bought an old cell phone in a thrift store in Provo, Utah, for 50 cents. When he charged the phone up, he was surprised to find contact information for the biggest stars in basketball and sports broadcasting, and even hockey star Wayne Gretsky! There were also saved email messages to the mayor of Salt Lake City and the governor of Utah. The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, did not call any of the stars listed in the phone, and planned to return it to Checketts.
Emma Schweiger of Janesville Township, Wisconsin, opened a bag of Clancy’s Ripple Potato Chips and started eating. She wasn’t looking at the bag when she reached in and felt something hard. It was a cell phone. The blue and silver Nokia phone contained a T-Mobile SIM card in it and grease stains on the outside. The chips were distributed by Aldi, who removed the rest of the lot from sales and said they would investigate. Schweiger was offered a replacement bag of chips, but passed, explaining that she’d lost her appetite for chips for the time being. She added that in the future, she would pour them out into a bowl before eating. Photo by Dan Lassiter.
Andrew Cheatle was playing with his dog at a beach in England when his phone slipped out of his pocket. He thought it was gone for good, but a week later, someone dialed his girlfriend from that phone number. Glen Kerley of Worthing, West Sussex, had caught a 25-pound cod and found the phone inside the fish! He retrieved the SIM card, inserted it into a dry phone, and found Cheatle’s saved numbers. When Cheatle retrieved the phone and dried it out, it still worked—but not perfectly. He had the circuit board replaced and still uses the phone, which has since lost its fishy smell.
A phone found in a taxi cab sounds like an everyday story, but in at least one case it could help convict a murderer. Taxi driver Brian Douglas Horn was arrested in connection with the murder of 12-year-old Justin Bloxom in Bossier Parish, Louisiana. A cell phone found in his cab contained records of text messages that were entered as evidence that Horn lured Bloxom into the cab the night he was killed. This is not the first time a found cell phone was used as evidence in a murder case.
Nero is a Great Dane-Doberman crossbreed. The rather large dog from Pretoria, South Africa, snatched a cell phone from his owner’s daughter’s hand and swallowed it in the blink of an eye. Nero was immediately taken to the veterinary clinic, where he was X-rayed and then had surgery to remove the phone. The vets found stones in Nero’s stomach along with the phone. Nero recovered, but the cell phone never worked again.
Some may say the strangest place to find a cell phone is in someone’s rectum, but this is actually pretty common. Even death row inmates have been caught hiding cell phones in their bodies. In one case, a prisoner had to have extensive surgery after the phone broke apart inside him. Then there’s the story from Pakistan in which 37 prisoners were found with phones stashed in their bodies. Seven of those men required surgery to remove them.
My children are constantly misplacing their phones, which is one reason they are required to always have them charged and turned on. We just call them and follow the ringing! Curiously, they are always under something they should have already looked under.