In 1986, this giant cloud (?) was spotted hovering over the city of Cleveland, Ohio. The colorful mass hung in the sky, stunning locals and tourists alike. It killed two people, caused countless damages and resulted in chaos for an entire day. So what was it? Let the brilliant work of photographer Thom Sheridan demonstrate:
It looked completely surreal, as if it was out of another dimension.
This glowing cloud disrupted life in Cleveland….
It was just a bunch of balloons.
The United Way of Cleveland thought they would generate some publicity by releasing 1.5 million balloons.
Volunteers worked for days to gather together that many balloons. Once they were released, though, it was chaos.
A storm was moving over the great lakes, which pushed the balloons back down onto the city. Two people tragically died in an overturned boat.
It was too dangerous for the US Coast Guard to fly out to find them.
Not only that, but the drowning people were hidden amongst the balloons.
In one of the many lawsuits resulting from that day, a woman’s horse frightened itself and was badly injured. She sued for $100,000.
It was supposed to be a beautiful event… but it quickly turned into tragedy.
No one imagined such a publicity stunt would result in deaths, lawsuits and general chaos. The city of Cleveland recovered from the event and thankfully the United Way never attempted this again.
Cleveland rocks, but please, try not to celebrate with balloons.