The Terror That Was Balloonfest ’86

Kevin Williams | March 23rd, 2019

In 1986, United Way of Cleveland in Ohio decided to put together a world record by blowing up and releasing the most balloons ever: over one-and-a-half million balloons were released. Of course, the event was put together for fun and was meant to be completely harmless, it was a fundraising publicity stunt. However, the balloons did not float up into the air as intended. Weather caused them to drift back over the city, and this is when the terror that was Balloonfest started.

junglecreations.com

Millions of balloons floated back over the city, over Lake Erie and dropped to the ground all over the surrounding areas. This caused huge problems for traffic and a nearby airport. Multiple car crashes happened and the airport had to be shut down, more seriously the event even interfered with a search and request mission by the United States Coast Guard who was searching for two boaters in a lake. The boaters were later found drowned, the coast guard had been unable to reach them due to the massive amount of balloons covering the lake making it impossible to see the surface.

Consequently, the organizers and the city of Cleveland faced lawsuits in the millions of dollars for damages. In fact, the lawsuits were so bad that the cost put the whole event at a loss. The stunt was coordinated and planned by a Los Angeles based company that had done this sort of stunt before, it was known as Balloonart. They even spent six months preparing for the stunt, an immense structure of woven mesh material was put together to hold all the balloons. The idea was children sold sponsorships for charity at the price of $1 for every two balloons.

Close to 1.5 million balloons were released on 27th September 1986, normally helium-filled balloons will stay in the air long enough to become fully deflated before dropping back down to the ground. However, the millions of balloons collided with a large front of cool air and dropped to the ground still inflated. They clogged up the land and waterways of all of Northeast Ohio, with balloons even washing up on the Canadian side of Lake Erie. Hundreds of car crashes were reported as drivers were left swerving around slow-motion blizzards of multicolored orbs.

Next Article
  • Puppy Dumped With TV And Chair

    It was such a terribly heartbreaking sight: on the side of a road alongside trash and discarded furniture was a little puppy. The hopeful little puppy was waiting—for someone, anyone to come get him from the chair. The sighting first took place when someone drove by and saw the little puppy on the chair on...

    Read More
  • Bill Gates and Melinda Gates have helped save over 122m lives

    Touted as one of the biggest philanthropic gestures ever, a partnership that could only be matched by Superman and Batman joining forces to fight crime. Just ten years ago, Warren Buffet, made a pledge to give most of his fortune to one of the only people that was worth more money than him: Bill Gates....

    Read More
  • Dog Crashes Church Service

    In a church located in the country of Brazil, all are welcome to attend services. But for one dog, that invitation was taken very seriously. In the middle of a church service, a surprise doggy visitor arrived with his tail wagging. Best of all, the priest leading mass that day was a dog lover and...

    Read More
  • The Story Of John Wayne Island In Panama

    Panama is undoubtedly a gorgeous country with magnificent coastlines, from Gorgona to Punta Chuma you can find beautiful beaches. And in the distance, you can generally see two islands, and one of these islands is known as John Wayne Island. You see in Panama, John Wayne is seen as a hero. Wayne was known to...

    Read More
  • Dog And Puppies Found In Box

    When someone was visiting the Puntzi Lake Landfill in British Columbia, Canada, they were not expecting to come across a situation where lives would be saved. The visitor, who soon became a Good Samaritan, came across a sealed box at the landfill. They soon realized it was a sealed box that had dogs inside. The...

    Read More
  • The Statue Of Liberty Was Crowdfunded

    If it was not for the concept of crowdfunding, America, may never have seen the statue of liberty towering in front of New York City. Joseph Pulitzer was able to effectively crowdfund what was needed to ensure the statue of liberty was put together and constructed in New York. Without Josef Pulitzer’s New York World...

    Read More