The tragic Cleveland balloon release disaster of 1986 presented in a short documentary

Originally published at: The tragic Cleveland balloon release disaster of 1986 presented in a short documentary | Boing Boing

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Had to laugh at the still where Guiness didn’t even recognize the event that was supposed to end all the Cleveland jokes.

I hope they continue to not recognize mass pollution events as world records.

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Deep Reboing?

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I’ve thought about releasing a bunch of balloons with LEDs hanging from them as some kind of UFO prank, but I live near the coast, so they would end up out at sea within minutes, and the ocean is already polluted enough.

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No kidding. I fairly recently learned that balloons are one of the top choking hazards for children and are virtually impossible to dislodge via the Heimlich maneuver.

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A time leak… @orenwolf ?

Susan Sarandon Dance GIF by IFC

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wtf were they thinking

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I can dimly remember this. As I recall, the Province of Ontario was NOT HAPPY with Cleveland. But then, who is?

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I’ve heard a lot of people chalk this up to attitudes in the 80s … but, as a Canadian who was around back then I can tell you that a lot of us were asking “wtf were they thinking” then too…

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Not this time, it’s a genuine repost. :slight_smile:

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When I was an elementary kid in Brooklyn, we would have a yearly PTO fundraiser where all of us got together on the gym yard and tied on the balloon a tag with address of the school, our name, and a note to send the tag back with your zip-code. After 1 month, the kid with the farthest away ballon would win something like $20 (it was a buck to buy a balloon). I think mine made it to Queens but the winner was somewhere in Maine. Now we know better, and don’t do that. And don’t use plastic bags; paper works fine.

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Alas, since (the TV series) “WKRP” (also in Ohio) was aired 1978-1982 and this balloon debacle was 1986 we cannot say that it was the inspiration of the famous turkey drop episode and we’ll have to stick with the more obvious assocation of the Hindenburg (~balloon ) tragedy. Allowing Les Nessman (Richard Sanders) to utter “Oh the humanity!” (“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”)

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If you’re in Cleveland and are uttering the words “There is no ‘Mistake on the Lake’ anymore!” about a particular event, it really seems like it should be an event in which the probability of a lake-proximate error is a lot lower than this one.

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I had the same association…

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were the missing fisherman found?

I think you have an error with the last word.

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were the missing fisherman found?

Sadly, they were not found alive.

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I was living in Cleveland at that time and have absolutely no recollection of this event. Weird.

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I love how that guy yells “we’re not the mistake on the lake anymore!”

I grew up in Hartford CT. It’s really nothing to be proud of, it’s like being from nowhere. We visited relatives in Cleveland one summer back then, and Cleveland reminded me of Hartford only bigger, so even more Hartford than Hartford…

I’ve heard Cleveland is nice now though. I guess the balloon launch did the trick.

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