Brazilian Priest Dies After Tying Himself To 1,000 Balloons And Floating Away

A Brazilian priest who was known for being a bit of a daredevil lost his life after tying himself to 1,000 helium-filled balloons. Father Adelir Antonio de Carli was trying to raise money for a chapel for truckers when he floated off. and was found dead months later in the middle of the ocean.

de Carli left the city of Parangua on April 20, 2008. He was equipped with an aluminum thermal flight suit, waterproof coveralls, and a helmet. He was attached to his balloons and a parachute and seemed to be ready to go. Given that he was very experienced as a skydiver, it seemed unlikely anything would go wrong.

Hoping to break the 19-hour record for the longest time in the air via balloon, he used his GPS tracker and radio to keep air traffic control up to date with his whereabouts. However, eight hours later, he ceased contact and was never heard from again.

A search party was sent out to look for Father Adelir Antonio de Carli, but no dice. However, two days later, a bunch of balloons was spotted in the sea off the southern state of Santa Catarina. His body wasn’t found until July.

“We were almost certain that it was the priest due to various elements, such as the clothes and material used in the balloon trip,” Daniel Bandeira, Macae’s chief of police, told reporters. “The DNA only confirmed our suspicions.”

de Carli was said to have reached a height of 20,000 feet and was planning to come down to about 8,2000 feet so he could head to Dourados. Sadly, it looked like de Carli was blown off course and eventually fell to his death.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill