Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Now, I've Heard Of The Flying Nun....

The following article was brought to my attention by Adrienne who saw it on PerezHilton, of all places. I thought I would share it with you.


Missing, the Brazilian priest who floated off under hundreds of helium party balloons

A Roman Catholic priest who floated off under hundreds of helium party balloons is missing off the southern coast of Brazil.

Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats were searching off the coast of Santa Catarina state, where pieces of balloons were found.

The Rev Adelir Antonio de Carli lifted off from the port city of Paranagua on Sunday afternoon, wearing a helmet, thermal suit and a parachute.

The smiling 41-year-old priest was strapped to a seat attached to a huge column green, red, white and yellow balloons, and soared into the air to the cheers of a crowd.

He was reported missing about eight hours later after losing contact with port authority officials.

The priest wanted to break a 19-hour record for the most hours flying with balloons to raise money for a spiritual rest-stop for truckers in Paranagua, Brazil's second-largest port for agricultural products.

Some American adventurers have used helium balloons to emulate Larry Walters - who in 1982 rose three miles above Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by balloons.

The priest soared to an altitude of 20,000 feet then descended to about 8,200 feet for his planned flight to the city of Dourados, 465 miles north-west of his parish.

But winds pushed him in another direction, and Carli was some 30 miles off the coast when he last contacted Paranagua's port authority.

Carli had a GPS device, a satellite phone, and a buoyant chair and is an experienced skydiver, said the treasurer of his Sao Cristovao parish, Denise Gallas.

"We are absolutely confident he will be found alive and well, floating somewhere in the ocean," she said.

"He knew what he was doing and was fully prepared for any kind of mishap."

Apparently he wasn't as fully prepared as he could have been.

I'll try to keep you updated if he's found.

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