The Terrible Adventure of an Aeronaut

Posted by on October 15th, 2009

Does this sound kind of familiar? From the Detroit Tribune in 1858:

We have learned the full particulars of the balloon ascension…on Thursday, its subsequent descent, and its second ascension and runaway with the aeronaut while beyond his control…

While internally at Weird Things we were calling the balloon boy story a likely hoax given our own personal experiences in building such crafts (and the credulous nature of the father), it should serve as a cautionary tale.

The long history of being an aeronaut (what they used to call people who flew before airplanes) is a dangerous one. In the Google news archives you can find stories of missing and killed in action aeronauts going back almost 200 years. Here are a few of the more interesting ones:

Journals: Fate Of The First Aeronaut

Terrible Adventure of an Aeronaut

BALLOONIST FALLS TO DEATH.; Aeronaut Drops 700 Feet


Here’s one of the earliest aeronaut adventures we could find: From a London Paper

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