According to the Associated Press:
A Roman Catholic priest who floated off under hundreds of helium party balloons was missing this week off the southern coast of Brazil. Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats were searching off the coast of Santa Catarina state, where pieces of balloons were found. Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli lifted off from the port city of Paranagua on Sunday afternoon, wearing a helmet, thermal suit and a parachute. He was reported missing about eight hours later after losing contact with port authority officials, according to the treasurer of his Sao Cristovao parish, Denise Gallas.
Gallas said by telephone that the priest wanted to break a 19-hour record for the most hours flying with balloons to raise money for a spiritual rest-stop for truckers in Paranagua, Brazil’s second-largest port for agricultural products. According to Gallas, the priest soared to an altitude of 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) then descended to about 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) for his planned flight to the city of Dourados, 465 miles (750 kilometers) northwest of his parish.
Could he be gone to a better place? The Super Sargasso Sea?
AP: Brazil priest vanishes on balloon flight »
Hopes fade for Father Adelir Antonio de Carli »
Thanks to Heather for forwarding this one. It puts us in mind of some earlier stories, like that of Kent Kouch, the gas station owner, who last year flew 193 miles (311km) in a lawnchair held up by balloons. More on Fox News »
Thanks to Heather for forwarding this one. It puts us in mind of some earlier stories, like that of Kent Kouch, the gas station owner, who last year flew 193 miles (311km) in a lawnchair held up by balloons. More on Fox New s »
He in turn was influenced by Larry Walters who took off in 1982 “in a homemade aircraft, dubbed Inspiration I, that he had fashioned out of a Sears patio chair and 42 helium-filled weather balloons. He unintentionally rose to an altitude of 16,000 feet (3 miles or 4900 meters) and floated from his point of origin in San Pedro, California into controlled airspace near Long Beach airport. The account of his flight was widely reported in newspapers. The feat is noted as an urban legend, albeit one based on actual events.”
Update 30/7/2008: Ballooning priest’s ID confirmed
“DNA tests on a body found off Brazil’s coast this month match that of a priest who went missing trying to set a flight record, the authorities say.”
Kent Couch Movie