Reward offered for weather balloon missing since eclipse

An Arizona marketing company is asking for help finding its high-altitude weather balloon after the balloon disappeared mid-flight during the solar eclipse in eastern Oregon.

VALE, Ore. - The total solar eclipse has come and gone, and so has an expensive weather balloon used to track the event.

Now an Arizona marketing company is asking for you to keep an eye out for it.

SpiritVen, a marketing service company that came to eastern Oregon to try to capture a 360-degree video of Monday's total solar eclipse, launched a high-altitude weather balloon from just outside of Vale, hoping to get video of the Earth during the eclipse from about 100,000 feet in the air.

According to David Roman, co-founder of SpiritVen, the balloon was part of a marketing campaign for a natural history museum that is in the works in Arizona, and the video they captured was to be put on display in that museum.

Roman says all was going well until they hit about 20,000 feet and lost all contact with the balloon, including the camera and the GPS system attached to it.

The balloon's fate is still a mystery, and now the company is offering a reward of $1,000 to anyone who can find it.

Roman thinks, based on the balloon's heading and the winds at the time, it should be somewhere in Idaho.

"We think it's anywhere from north of Boise to Sun Valley, if it did hit that altitude (20,000 feet)," says Roman. "But it's most likely in the mountain ranges up there approaching Sun Valley if it hit 100,000 feet."

The balloon should have a yellow and purple striped parachute attached to it, as well as components and mementos, including a meteorite from the Arizona museum and a John Glenn action figure.

The whole system cost SpiritVen about $13,000 to deploy and they are hoping to get it back. If anyone should come across it they should call him at (480) 789-9829, or email him at David@SpiritVen.com.

 

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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