My Deepest Lightest Fantasy

Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed about drifting away on helium balloons.

About 16 years ago, I had a beautiful dream about floating all the way to New Zealand.

There was a terrific Australian movie about this called Danny Deck Chair.

I’ve been called very Danny Deck Chair.

Like the movie, I’m delightful and sweet.

The AP reports:

SAO PAULO, Brazil (April 22) — Searchers scanned the waters off Brazil’s southern Atlantic coast on Tuesday for a Roman Catholic priest who disappeared after floating into the sky under hundreds of helium party balloons.

Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats spent a second day seeking signs of the Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli, said the treasurer of his Sao Cristovao parish, Denise Gallas.

Carli lifted off Sunday afternoon from the port city of Paranagua, wearing a helmet, thermal suit and a parachute.

He was reported missing about eight hours later after losing contact with port authority officials. Authorities later saw pieces of balloons floating in the sea off the coast of Santa Catarina state close to where Carli last made contact.

"We have no reason at this point to believe he is not still alive. He may be floating in the ocean, on some isolated beach or on land somewhere," said Paulo Eduardo Neves, a commander of one of the fire departments searching for Carli.

The priest was trying to break a 19-hour record for the most hours flying with balloons to fund a spiritual rest stop for truckers in Paranagua, home to Brazil’s largest grain port. Brazilian truckers often spend days waiting to unload in the port, especially during the busy soy export season now under way.

Parishioners were maintaining a vigil for Carli, confident that he would be found.

"Without a doubt they will find him alive," Gallas said. "He’s alive somewhere out there."

A video of Carli posted on Globo TV’s G1 Web site showed the smiling 41-year-old priest slipping into a flight suit and being strapped to a seat attached to a huge cluster of green, red, white and yellow balloons. He then soared into the air to cheers from a crowd.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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