May 30, 2023

Lakeview Gazette

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They launched 1,500,000 balloons to enter Guinness and an unprecedented tragedy occurred: “They wanted to do something big.”

Noon September 27, 1986 A day the citizens will never forget Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The reason? What was supposed to be a festive day turned into a real tragedy. Hundreds of volunteers They blew up millions of balloons Under the expectation of achieving a world record destined to raise funds. however, A tragedy occurred that they still remember today.

in the name of “Balloonfest”A non-profit organization The United Way of America gathered more than 100,000 people To perform the feat in the public square of the city center. Once they were inflated with incredible amounts of helium One and a half million balloons Placing them under a net arranged in a rectangular structure 76 meters long, they set them free.

The moment they released the balloons

“They wanted to put Cleveland in Thread Guinness World achievementsThey wanted to do something bigger and better than anyone else,” he explained. John GrabowskiChief Historian of the Western Reserve Historical Society and Professor of History at Case Western Reserve University, in an interview with the US project Myfox8.

While everyone there was initially excited about the landscape unleashed in the sky, after a few minutes they realized their mistake: Caused irreversible pollution (due to the material the balloons are made of) and They caused great confusion throughout the city.

Balloons scattered all aroundFox 8

The weather didn’t help either, it was going to be a milestone, It was turned into a horror film.

“People thought that the balloons would reach a height where they would explode, but They are broken. The year before that, in 1985, Disneyland released 1 million balloons To honor Walt Disney on his 84th birthday,” the historian told the same outlet.

Balloon release in Cleveland

The main idea of ​​the organizers is that the elements of flexible materials rise, but Wind and rain spread over buildings, roads and forests. A few hours later the worst effect occurred and the victims were two men sailing on Lake Erie.

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Raymond Broderick and Bernard Sulzer fell from the boat When fishing through icy waters and urgently needing the help of rescue services. However, due to There were a lot of balloons floating in the area, but they couldn’t find them.

The helicopters were also invisible and could not fly. Although their relatives did not lose hope, no one could find them.

There was a situation where the two missing people could not be seen
There was a situation where the two missing people could not be seenFox 8

hours later, Emergency crews were finally able to reach the scene of the incident They saw an extraordinary sight: they could only see hundreds and hundreds of balloons of all colors on display It prevented them from distinguishing the faces of the missing.

After repeated efforts to clean up the area and other strategies they had to implement against the clock, the message they delivered to the members of the US Coast Guard completely shocked them: Both drowned and their bodies were found on the shoreA few kilometers away from the shipwreck site.

For his part, meteorologist Scott Sabol recalled what the weather was like at the time, and in detail in the aforementioned media: “After looking at the current conditions, a few minutes before launching the balloons, There’s no way to do that.”

A two-man ship
A two-man shipFox 8

In addition, he promised that he had the opportunity to speak with the pilot of the helicopter that searched for the men: “He told me It was like an asteroid flying through the belt and I couldn’t see. The balloons in the water looked like heads.”

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In this way, and as a result of an unfortunate event, The entire community reflected on the matter at hand And that fateful day is commemorated in a way Know this procedure Apart from harming the environment, It claimed two lives.

Although most people today are aware of the damages caused by pollution, decades ago other information existed Different types of habits.

Back then, the balloon release lived with anticipation and anxiety;  Currently, such an event will not be implemented
Back then, the balloon release lived with anticipation and anxiety; Currently, such an event will not be implementedFox 8

however, Nature still suffers the consequences of the wrong actions of individuals This is reflected annually in everything from deliberately set fires to the slaughter of endangered animals. This case is a clear example of how Collective irresponsibility is part of a tragedy marked in history.