Did you ever watch the Pixar movie Up? If you haven’t, first I recommend you do so. But in the meantime, let me tell you a little bit about it: it’s about a senior man whose dream was to travel to a beautiful waterfall. To achieve his dream, he manages to attach his house to hundreds, maybe thousands, of balloons.
This technique made the house fly. Whether the man reached or not his destiny is for you to find out. After all, that’s not what I’ve come to tell you about. Many of you may find this way of “traveling” fantastical. It was from an animated movie. Everything is possible in the cinema world.
But, as it turns out. In real life, some people might have considered it not only possible but effective to go from one place to another. This is the story of a Brazilian priest named Adelir de Calir who tried to travel from Brazil to Paraguay attached to 1,000 balloons. The journey was a good cause, but the finale wasn’t as expected.
Adelir de Carli was a 42-year-old Catholic priest who wanted to break a balloon flight record and raise money for a good cause. He attached his body to 1,000 brightly collared balloons and set flight at the port of Paranaguá.
His idea was to donate the money raised to Pastoral de Carreteras in the city of Paranaguá, where he lived, which assists truckers.
In order for him to break the record, he stated that he would be more than 19 hours in the air. De Carli thought this adventure was dangerous, so a few months before he experimented first and completed a test of flying 4 hours and 14 minutes. He managed to travel from the Brazilian city of Ampere, in Paraná, to Argentine territory.
This pilot test made him decide he would be fine and that he could achieve his goal. However, the adventure didn’t turn out as expected for when he was in the sky, the wind blew him away, making him disappear.
De Carli miscalculated the winds and traveled to the coastal area, where he lost contact with the land, since he had not charged the battery of the cell phone he was carrying. He had brought a GPS geolocation device, but from the air, through his cell phone, he had warned that he did not know how it worked.
Bad weather diverted him towards the coast of the neighboring state of Santa Catarina and he entered the sea to leave no trace. Before getting lost, the priest was able to ask for help by mobile phone from the port authorities of Santa Catarina.
“I need to get in touch with the ground staff so they can teach me how to use the GPS, it is the only way I have to publicize my latitude and altitude and know where I am,” were the priest’s last words before his trail was lost, according to Reuters.
The Air Force and Navy of the South American country put all their forces to try to find the priest who disappeared at sea.
Recently, De Carli’s body was found about 55 miles (100 kilometers) from the coast and 1,100 kilometers north of his starting point. The finding was made by a tugboat from Brazil’s oil company Petrobras when he saw pieces of balloons floating in the water.
Hopefully, his story will make people donate in his name to his project and make his death worth it.