Rescuers in helicopters seach for Catholic priest taken to the heavens

Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats search for a Roman Catholic priest who disappeared after floating into the sky under hundreds of helium party balloons.

Parishioners were maintaining a vigil confident that he would be found. “We have no reason at this point to believe he is not still alive. He may be floating in the ocean, on some isolated beach or on land somewhere,” said a commander of one of the fire departments searching for the priest.

At one point the priest soared to an altitude of 20,000 feet (6,000 meters).

For the entire story, click here.

If they do find him, I know his intent was to raise money for some cause but he should be fined to pay for the rescuers who are risking their lives looking for him.

And if he is alive, evaluate his sanity. This is ridiculous! If he wanted to see how long he could stay aloft, he should have had a tether on him…some 1000 ft. high only so that he could be pulled down when he had broken the record.

The priest’s body has been recovered.
cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/07/29/brazil.flying.priest.ap/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

I wonder what happened? In theory this should work…

As you got higher, the air would be lighter, so you would become relatively heavy compared to the air. Eventually you would get to a height where your weight would be equal to the surrounding air and you would stop ascending.

However, the higher you got, the lower the pressure, and the more the balloons would expand, making them relatively lighter. That would make the equilibrium height higher. Unless some balloons started popping due to being overinflated, which would of course make the equilibrium height lower… hopefully not sending you on a quick descent.

Maybe he got too high up to have enough breatheable air and passed out. If that happened, then he would have simply fallen asleep before dying.

May he rest in peace.

Thank you for speculating on what may have happened. I hope his passing was peaceful.

When I first heard about him doing this I thought it was just a silly stunt. Now having read he did it to raise funds for a worthy cause, I can’t help but think God will bring some good out of this tragedy. May he rest in peace.

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