Priest shoots photographer out of sky

Larry Walters gained weird-news fame in 1982 when he tied 45 helium-filled weather balloons to a lawn chair and took an unscheduled flight over Los Angeles. However, he wasn't the first person to have this kind of aerial adventure.

On September 28, 1937, news photographer Al Mingalone was on assignment in Maine trying to get photos from a "balloonist's point of view." This involved using gas-filled weather balloons to lift him into the air. But with 27 balloons pulling him upwards, the safety line keeping him tethered to the ground snapped, sending him drifting across the countryside, towards the ocean.

He floated 13 miles before a local Catholic priest, Rev. James J. Mullen, who happened to be a crack rifle shot, managed to shoot enough of the balloons to bring Mingalone back to the ground.

Read a longer account of Mingalone's flight here.

The Kane Republican - Oct 2, 1937

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 22, 2016
     Category: Air Travel and Airlines | 1930s

Well, he wasn't too far off on his balloon calculation if the priest only shot two to bring him down.
What was he using as a tether, kite string?
Posted by GFinKS on 07/25/16 at 10:18 AM
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