Brazilian Priest Attempts to Fly with 1,000 Balloons for Charity, then Dies

Father Adelir de Carli was not your normal priest. An avid skydiver and adventurer, Father Carli first came to prominace denouncing human rights abuses in his native Brazil. But it was a stunt designed to bring attention to his program of building “spiritual” rest stops for long-distance truckers in the Parana port city of Paranagua that insured that this Father would live in infamy.

Father Carli decided that he would set the World’s Record for longest distance flight by party balloons. Yes, you read that correctly, party balloons. This form of ballooning, also known as “cluster ballooning”, consists of someone taking a chair and tying large groups of helium filled rubber balloons. The current record is a 19 hour flight. Father Carli’s first attempt had him strapping 600 balloons to a chair and traveling for four hours from Ampere, Brazil to San Antonio, Argentina.

Not satisfied with cheating death once, Father Carli decided to up the ante to 1,000 balloons April 20, 2008. According to CBS, Father Carli was equiped with a helmet, a thermal aluminum flight suit, waterproof coveralls, a mobile satellite phone, parachute, and a GPS tracking device. However, Father Carli seemed to have forgotten to learn how to use GPS, becasue somewhere off the Brazilian coast Father Carli reported on his phone that he was attaining a height of over 6,000 feet (much higher that anticipated) and that if he could have someone explain to him how to use his GPS, he could tell rescuers where to find him. That was the last anyone heard from Father Carli.

On July 4th, 2008 a “lower body” (waist and legs) were discovered by an offshore oilrig about 100 miles off the coast of Macae which was later identified as Father Carli.

Not surprisingly, Father Carli was awarded a “Double Darwin Award” for 2008.

Turns out, God isn’t that great a Co-pilot…


~ by herodotuswept on November 1, 2008.

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