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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default The Day 1.5 Million Balloons Unleashed Total Chaos On Cleveland



    They say too much of anything is bad. That's even true of balloons, as the city of Cleveland learned in the fall of 1986.

    It all began with the awesome, but fundamentally disastrous, goal of setting the world record for the most balloons launched at once. Anaheim, which released 1.2 million balloons the year before, was the previous champion.

    On Sept. 27, thousands of volunteers worked for hours filling balloons with helium under a huge tent near Cleveland's Public Square. After 1.5 million balloons were inflated, the net was released and a surreal-looking balloon cloud started to rise over downtown, as seen in this footage.

    Photos of Balloonfest '86 were pretty incredible — reds, blues and yellows framed the sky like large-scale confetti. But what was intended to be a harmless fundraising stunt, ultimately led to two deaths, multiple lawsuits and general chaos.

    Just after the balloons were released at around 1:50 p.m., a storm began to move in from the Great Lakes. Strong winds pushed the balloons down over the city and to the ground, creating chaos on roadways and shutting down the runway at a local airport.

    As the balloons touched down on a pasture in Medina County, several prize-winning horses were spooked and permanently injured. The owner later sued for $100,000.

    The Coast Guard said the "asteroid field" of balloons also clogged the skies that day, stalling a helicopter search for two missing boaters. Tragically, the men died when searchers were unable to reach their overturned boat, Cleveland.com reports. When the Coast Guard crew finally could lift off, they said they had trouble differentiating the balloons covering the surface of the water from the missing men.
    In the days that followed, even Canadians reported impacts from the event, as deflated (and apparently biodegradable) balloons washed up on the Canadian side of Lake Erie.

    (MORE: Abandoned Theme Park May Get New Lease on Life)

    While the sight of 1.5 million balloons being released must have been amazing to see, the outcome was far from pleasant. Weather.com meteorologist Nick Wiltgen said a mistake like this probably wouldn't happen today, especially with weather data on smartphones and a much better understanding of the atmosphere's behavior.

    "Back then, organizers would have had to be in touch with a meteorologist over a landline telephone or amateur radio — or have someone watching The Weather Channel on cable — to know what was coming on radar," said Wiltgen.

    Even so, the event's organizers said they have no plans to ever do a balloon launch again. As a spokeswoman with the United Way told Cleveland.com, "We've learned a lot in the last 25 years."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Eruption
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    10.26.17 @ 05:29 PM
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    There is a reason Cleveland is called "The Mistake by the Lake". Afterall, this is a city whose river was so polluted that it caught fire.

    http://clevelandhistorical.org/items...3#.U55GUnbLL-0


  3. #3
    Good Enough wombattt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VHisback View Post
    There is a reason Cleveland is called "The Mistake by the Lake". Afterall, this is a city whose river was so polluted that it caught fire.

    Yes it did, but it isn't the only city that had a polluted river catch fire...


    http://www.slate.com/articles/health...ental_law.html

    http://www.amahttp://www.slate.com/a.../dp/1907132163


    It is the most well known, because of a Time Magazine article that was included in the same issue that covered Sen Edward Kennedy's mis-adventure at Chappaquiddick....on of the best selling issues of that year (1969)....the article is directly linked to the Clean Water Act. See above.
    Last edited by wombattt; 06.15.14 at 08:25 PM.
    "Always hopeful, yet discontent,
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    But change is!"

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombattt View Post
    Yes it did, but it isn't the only city that had a polluted river catch fire...


    http://www.slate.com/articles/health...ental_law.html

    http://www.amahttp://www.slate.com/a.../dp/1907132163


    It is the most well known, because of a Time Magazine article that was included in the same issue that covered Sen Edward Kennedy's mis-adventure at Chappaquiddick....on of the best selling issues of that year (1969)....the article is directly linked to the Clean Water Act. See above.
    Pretty amazing because Lake Erie is one of the best fisheries in the USA now. Walleye central.
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

 

 

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