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8-Year-Old Found Dead With Birthday Balloon Over Head

Emergency personnel spent nearly an hour trying to revive the girl

(Newser) - Just hours after a birthday party, an 8-year-old girl went to bed at her home in Portland, Ore., only to be found not breathing by her father 20 minutes later with a large Mylar balloon over her head. Now her devastated family is hoping to raise awareness about the dangers... More »

Released at Dad's Grave, Girl's Balloons Fly Home

Balloons with a letter fly 25 miles from the cemetery back to girl's home

(Newser) - This past Father's Day, not long after John Seibold lost an eight-month battle with cancer, his 13-year-old daughter, Saige, released a fistful of balloons from his gravesite in Sterling, Okla. Mother Sandy thought it might be helpful for her daughter to send balloons "to heaven," and the... More »

Balloonists Launch Japan-to-America Odyssey

The American and Russian pilots hope the journey will take just over 5 days

(Newser) - Riding in a 140-foot tall balloon filled with 350,000 cubic feet of gas, an American and a Russian have set off from Japan in the hopes of setting two balloon ride records at once. First, Troy Bradley, 50, and Leonid Tiukhtyaev, 58, hope to reach North America and break... More »

Vatican Gives Up on Doves

Animal-rights groups objected after last year's attack

(Newser) - A year after Pope Francis and a couple of children released two doves from his studio window in St. Peter's Square to disastrous results , the Vatican chose today to instead release balloons in the name of peace. The doves tradition begun by Pope John Paul II bit the dust... More »

Parade Balloons Will Fly After All

Winds cooperate with NYC festivities

(Newser) - Snoopy, Spider-Man, and the rest of the iconic balloons have gotten the all-clear to fly between Manhattan skyscrapers at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. There were fears the balloons could be grounded if windy conditions from a storm that snarled holiday travel along the East Coast picked up. But... More »

New Space Tourism Idea: Balloon Ride, No Rocket

Company plans trips 18 miles up in 2016

(Newser) - Companies like Virgin Galactic are working on rockets to blast adventurous tourists 60 miles into outer space. Now the Wall Street Journal notes another venture in the works that intends to send people up to lesser heights using a massive (think football-field-sized) helium-filled balloon instead. For $75,000 apiece, eight... More »

Google Launches Balloons That Beam the Internet

One balloon could provide service to New York-sized area

(Newser) - Wrinkled and skinny at first, the translucent, jellyfish-shaped balloons that Google released this week from a frozen field in the heart of New Zealand's South Island hardened into shiny pumpkins as they rose, passing the first big test of a lofty goal to get the entire planet online. It... More »

Balloon Ride Turned Deadly Just Seconds From Landing

Disaster believed to be deadliest balloon crash in history

(Newser) - Egyptian authorities have ordered all hot-air balloons grounded while the crash that killed 19 tourists in Luxor yesterday is investigated. The ban came as more details emerged about the crash that is believed to be the deadliest in ballooning history, the BBC reports. Witnesses say the balloon was seconds from... More »

NASA Balloon Gobbles Antarctic Data, Records

Cosmic ray detector spends 55 days aloft

(Newser) - A NASA scientific balloon on a mission over the Antarctic to detect cosmic rays has completed a record-breaking flight. The Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder—"Super-TIGER"—broke the record for longest flight by a balloon of its size 46 days into its mission and landed after 55 days,... More »

Wedding Party Survives Balloon Crash

It crash-landed moments after vows

(Newser) - A couple in San Diego almost had one of the shortest weddings on record after taking their vows in a hot air balloon that crash-landed soon afterward. The balloon, with the couple and 11 others on board, missed its landing spot and almost clipped a power line before the basket... More »

UTexas Minority Students Hit With Bleach Balloons

Summer incidents had gone unreported

(Newser) - University of Texas at Austin students and staff are protesting after four students were reportedly hit with "bleach bombs"—balloons filled with bleach—while off campus. The attacks on minority students occurred between June and September, but they'd gone unreported until the campus police chief began investigating.... More »

Greek Outages, Flight Delays Blamed on ... Errant Balloon

Helium balloon knocked out Athens' main flight radar

(Newser) - Greece saw a power failure over the weekend that caused Athens' main flight radar to go down, causing flight delays for more than an hour—and it was all thanks to a balloon. The "aluminized" helium balloon first caused a 13-minute power outage, and the radar shut down 40... More »

Wisconsin Balloon Assault Draws Police Inquiry

State employee allegedly popped balloon with knife

(Newser) - Wisconsin police are busily investigating a vicious… balloon stabbing? Strange but true: A pro-union protester says that a state worker popped her heart-shaped balloon with a knife yesterday, and then, when she asked for his name so she could complain, shoved her into a door and ran off, the Wisconsin ... More »

In Paris, a Dramatic, Monumental Balloon

Anish Kapoor's exhibit at the Grand Palais dedicated to Ai Weiwei

(Newser) - You've never seen a balloon like this before. Anish Kapoor's single, staggering 82,000-cubic-yard monster has taken over Paris's glass-roofed Grand Palais. Leviathan, which opened today and runs through June 23, lives up to its name in size, though its "skin" is PVC vinyl, barely thicker... More »

English Girl's Balloon Winds Up in Laos

Her note and stamp found by man 6,000 miles away

(Newser) - Before she let her balloon waft up into the sky, Abby Gardner tied a note and a stamp to it. The girl and her siblings, who live in Bolton, England, sent the balloon off on New Year’s Day, and promptly forgot about it … until they got a postcard... More »

NYC UFOs Were ... Balloons?

They escaped from teacher's party, says 4th graders

(Newser) - The unidentified flying objects that puzzled New Yorkers and even the FAA have been identified as party balloons by a class of 4th-graders. The kids and school officials say a parent was carrying a bunch of pearl-colored balloons inside the school for a teacher's engagement party when about a dozen... More »

Italy Ends Search for US Balloonists

'No hope' of finding Americans alive: officials

(Newser) - Italian police canceled the search for two balloonists who went missing six days ago while flying over the Mediterranean, the Telegraph reports, with authorities saying there was "no hope" of finding them alive. The pair, who are American citizens, disappeared while flying through a patch of thunderstorms during a... More »

US Balloonists Vanish During Cross-Europe Race

Coast guards searching Adriatic Sea for missing pair

(Newser) - The Italian and Croatian coast guards are searching the Adriatic Sea for a pair of American balloonists who vanished during the world's premier—and most dangerous—balloon race. Richard Abruzzo of New Mexico and Coloradan Carol Davis were last detected yesterday morning piloting their craft over the sea in rough... More »

Renegade Space Balloon Creams SUV

Bystanders narrowly escape as Outback launch goes wrong

(Newser) - Bystanders at a botched space balloon launch in the Australian Outback say they're lucky to be alive. Strong winds caused the giant balloon to break from its mooring as it was filled with air. The attached car-sized gondola full of expensive scientific equipment smashed into an SUV and narrowly missed... More »

Thanks for the Ride, Falcon

(Newser) - Just about everyone seems to hate Richard Heene, but the emotion just proves how powerfully the balloon boy hoax gripped our collective imagination. “Had Richard called 911 and reported that he’d last seen his son near a Greyhound bus station, almost nobody would have cared,” writes Brandon... More »

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