Electronics Assembly Knowledge, Vision & Wisdom
The Suspicious Bicycle
The Suspicious Bicycle
An employee left the plant on his bicycle looking unsteady. His bike seemed to weigh more than 100 pounds. Why was the bike so heavy?
Mysteries of Science
Dr. Gilleo
Mysteries of Science by Dr. Ken Gilleo
Dr. Gilleo is a chemist, inventor and general problem solver. Ken has been tracking industrial forensics and collecting case histories for decades. These cases are taken from the vast world of industry and commercial enterprise.

Check out Dr. Gilleo's eBook, 100 Mysteries Solved by Science. We hope you enjoy these case histories. You need not be an engineer or scientist to understand the problems and appreciate the solutions.
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Transcript
A large older chemical plant manufactured basic raw materials for many industries. It was considered a hazardous facility since the company made some dangerous chemicals, including chloride gas. 

For safety concerns, employees were required to pass through a guard station when they entered and exited the plant. One evening, one of the employees came riding out of the plant on his home made bicycle. The guards noticed that he looked a little unsteady.

The next evening, both guards again noticed the employee's unsteadiness on his bicycle. The third evening the guards again noticed that he was even wobblier and stopped the employee.

>One guard lifted his bike which seemed to weigh over one hundred pounds. Why was the employee's bike so heavy, and what was causing him to wobble more with each passing evening? 

Here's the rest of the story.

The suspect employee knew the game was up. As the guards called maintenance to come and inspect the bike, he confessed that had been stealing mercury.

Mercury is almost 14 times denser than water and very heavy. The employee had modified his bike frame turning it into a container for mercury. He used over-sized tubing for the frame that gave the bike an unusual appearance.

During his lunch he would bring the bike over to the mercury cell operation and fill the frame with mercury.

The mercury brought him a good price on the scrap metals market. The extra weight the mercury added to his bike made it difficult to balance revealing his scheme to a few particularly observant security guards.

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