I got a chuckle reading about Brian Schmidt’s encounter with airport security when he brought his Nobel medal back to the U.S. (C&EN, Dec. 8, 2014, page 56).
In 1986, I spent a couple of weeks in Europe on a plant start-up. When I departed, my hosts gave me a gift: a small crystal bowl made of leaded glass. When I went through security at Amsterdam-Schiphol, that gift-wrapped box of crystal went through the X-ray and showed up as an amorphous black blob. Just like Schmidt’s gold Nobel medal, the leaded glass soaked up all the X-rays. Fortunately, as soon as I unwrapped the bowl, security saw what I had and there was no further discussion.