World Record Attempt Thwarted Because ... the Balloon Flew Away!

I still remember losing my grip on a balloon and watching it fly away when I was a small kid, so I can totally sympathize with Michel Fournier.

See, the French daredevil wanted to set the world record for free falling from the highest altitude. But his effort was thwarted when the $500,000 balloon flew away during the set up!

A mechanism that connects the balloon to three parachutes -- which are designed to carry the gondola safely back to Earth after Fournier begins his descent -- prematurely caused a separation. [...]

Observers who watched the translucent, jelly fish-like balloon float away over the prairie landscape were left guessing at what happened. [...]

"Everything seemed to be going according to plan. The team's chase helicopter had risen into the air and was hovering and suddenly for reasons no one can explain, the balloon slipped free and began to ascend," Oliver told Canada AM.

Link (Photo: David Stobbe / The Canadian Press)

Previously on Neatorama: Skydiving from the Edge of Space

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Can't help thinking that if someone wants to waste all that money and time on getting a thrillride for himself, this is just a very funny outcome. If I were in Africa, starving, and heard about a guy who blew half a million on something as egomaniacal as this and lost his chance, I'd probably feel a little bit better.
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