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The Doomed Cleveland Balloonfest of '86

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In September 1986, the city of Cleveland attempted to set a special record: the simultaneous launch of 1.5 million balloons. But fate intervened, and the result was both crazier and more tragic than anyone could have imagined. Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/562556/cleveland-balloonfest/ "Balloonfest" is directed by Nathan Truesdell. It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.
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1980Raffael (8 minutes ago)
ffs i was 6 yrs. old that day..... omg
Dat boi Roi (23 minutes ago)
Just imagine that your in that tower, look out the window, and see 1,500,00 baloons
Jaquí Knight (29 minutes ago)
One word Pollution 👎
ViktorNotRussian (56 minutes ago)
*mother nature will remember that*
Lorenzo Pagani (1 hour ago)
"At least we are not Detroit" Cleveland.
Patrick M Ryan (1 hour ago)
Couldn’t happen in California .. Oh the Humanity .
Dana Danarosana (2 hours ago)
Much of the 1970s was spent cleaning up the Great Lakes and its watershed from heavy industrial pollution. Cleveland decides to launch 660,000+ lbs of toxic butadiene and styrene back into the same ecosystem 6 years later for no reason! My head hurts!!!
Some random meme (2 hours ago)
But did they find Mary Allan's watch?
Jeff Polaras (2 hours ago)
32 years lator and Cleveland still hasn't gorren any better.
david hasslehog (2 hours ago)
Legend has it she's still looking for her watch
bienenpaps t (3 hours ago)
Yeeahh ...Put millions of plastic to the world...without any Sense ...stupid
Cyanide543 (3 hours ago)
so selfish of these people to release 1.5million balloons and I cant even get a fucking plastic straw without getting yelled at.
payton fontana (3 hours ago)
annnnnnnd now theyre your problem canada
KAIDO el de las pinches bestias (4 hours ago)
aerodicus (5 hours ago)
5:49 There's some logic right there....
Janos Sario (5 hours ago)
CLE is still & forever a butt of jokes. Entire state of OHIO
。ガッレット (6 hours ago)
J.A.M (6 hours ago)
LoL... the guy saying “Cleveland is HAPPENING “ now... “no longer the butt of the joke” 🤣🤣🤣yeah... cause the balloon fest 🤣🤣🤣, now it’s poppin’ (pun intended) and you should invest!!🤣🤣🤣
Caleb Mazac (7 hours ago)
Haha, stupid Canada.
LaughTooHard (8 hours ago)
After all of the build up I expected them to throw turkey's out of a helicopter. Wait, that was in Cincinnati.
EricaYE6 (8 hours ago)
Okay. I really wasted my data watching this? I thought the balloons were gonna cause a plane crash or something.
Murphis55 (8 hours ago)
Stupid idea.
shammy (9 hours ago)
Looking at the launch looks like kinda terrifying with the low resolution, it's just a mass obscuring the city.
Sharon Robinson (9 hours ago)
Назифа Сагатбекова (10 hours ago)
Колоссальный вред природе
Emiliano Neselis (11 hours ago)
In 200 years, this will be shown at school as a proof of how stupid the 20th century human was
Blinko (12 hours ago)
My question is did the woman ever get her watch back?
PAWAN (13 hours ago)
And they say our generation create pollution....
Just Facts (13 hours ago)
keep blowing honey
mrsgbee (13 hours ago)
Now they use chunks of metal in space.
Diana Brown (13 hours ago)
Oh boy...this was not thought out
plus ultra (14 hours ago)
what do you expect it’s cleveland lmao
Stealer9 (17 hours ago)
Why would the do that im dead XD
WonkaVator72 (17 hours ago)
Dude 1: "Cleveland's now a city on the move." Dude 2: "Really? On the move? How so?" Dude 1: "The balloons! Didn'chya see tha balloons?!" Dude 2: "I guess I must have been in the bathroom when that happened."
WonkaVator72 (17 hours ago)
3:54: "Think of that, Chuck! The Guinness Book of World Records! The Cleveland home of the... home of the... home of tha... Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! The... the... all of this in Cleveland, Ohio!!!!" Yup. Really put 'em on the map. Come see the place where one day back in '86 some unsung patriots released a bunch of balloons into the air. Forget The Alamo. To hell with Bunker Hill. Don't even mention Plymouth Rock in the same breath. Cleveland is like New York now, only without all of the pesky... culture, class and excitement.
WonkaVator72 (17 hours ago)
3:13: "It's completely covering the Terminal Tower!" Except that we can see virtually all of the Terminal Tower.
eri139 (17 hours ago)
So...if we die within the next few years because of pollution problems, everyone just blame Cleveland :)
anouk morrissy (20 hours ago)
how many brain cells would you have to lose to come up with an idea like this?
Sophie Alsbury2 (20 hours ago)
This is the most stupid idea.
NintendoFanBoy07 (20 hours ago)
Kids in 3rd world countries could've eaten all that rubber.
Vibes of Truth (21 hours ago)
We never forgave Ohio up here in Ontario for what happened that day
Sri Yantra (21 hours ago)
What a shitfest
Inathy Accabon (22 hours ago)
Ehh, mamà i caught leh American balloon on ze lake.
Ecthelion Felagund (23 hours ago)
It's a common sense that Americans are dumb
kay v (23 hours ago)
who the fuck thought this was a good idea?
Moose004 (23 hours ago)
"As God is my witness, I thought balloons were biodegradeable."
Kat Mack (23 hours ago)
30 years of dead sealife
Moose004 (23 hours ago)
Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached peak Cleveland.
floydboyy (23 hours ago)
This is such a strange event that I haven't heard of until today. Despite the pollution, this honestly is such a cool and surreal idea. Imagine being there and seeing the mass of balloons moving as a whole and taking up the sky, or being inside the building and watching a plethora of balloons run across your window.
suga kookie (23 hours ago)
So this is why earth is so polluted
0tube0user (23 hours ago)
Who was were the idiots that would do something so stupid, how did the local gov approve pollution and a public hazard of such proportions? Gad humans are stupid
Al Schafer (1 day ago)
Reminds me of the WKRP Thanksgiving Event when the station, threw live Turkeys out of a helicopter...……….Turkeys can't fly !
Adam W (1 day ago)
And if only there was one smokre or spark near it. How spectacular would it be. Amercians are still suprising me
Michael Alvero (1 day ago)
Long ago the Great Lakes lived together in harmony but then everything changed when Cleveland attacked
Mister Bag (1 day ago)
It looks cool tho
Jonathan F. (1 day ago)
Not the best idea...
Jonah Ortiz (1 day ago)
Cleveland: Lets release a bunch of balloons cuz that be cool Precedes to release a bunch of balloons Later that day... Cleveland: We fucked up hardcore
Julie P (1 day ago)
I would, srsly, like to punch the one who thought of this... in the face.
Jonathan Rocha (1 day ago)
When the balloons surrounded the building I seriously thought that they would take the whole thing down XD
Jake Reilly (1 day ago)
littering 100
Traversable mgtow (1 day ago)
5000000 Canadians left there water running while brushing their teeth this morning . Yep it happened .
Tyler joe Hanley (1 day ago)
Is this where Apple got the idea for that ad from?
Max Stevanus (1 day ago)
I’m dying!! This just got funnier and funnier as it went on! And I mean the end when it said that all the balloons ended up in Canada!! This is something out of family guy! Hahahahahahahahahahaha!
Shamic Entertainment (1 day ago)
Even though it's a waste... It still looked cool. Totally worth it
Lt Second in comand (1 day ago)
And they say turtles are still choking on latex to this day
Lt Second in comand (1 day ago)
1986 I got blisters on my fingers *lol* (parents applies Band-Aids as needed). 2018 I got blisters on my fingers (parents contacts an attorney and sues Cleveland for damages)
ninthundertow (1 day ago)
I've heard of bird strikes but imagine being in a plane and having a balloon strike.
Jessy Fred Ramirez (1 day ago)
Disgusting, ..
Bicks 84 (1 day ago)
Waste of helium
goober rownowsky (1 day ago)
Arrest those kids for littering!!
Jesse S (1 day ago)
Canada always dealing with America's shit... if it isn't shitty tariff's, it's balloons.
Nick Phillips (1 day ago)
We will miss that helium when it runs out.
anon wong (1 day ago)
Jus good ol humans doing their thing ~
Kron Staro (1 day ago)
how was this "tragic" again?
The Justicar (1 day ago)
The video is in error. This was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. It may be found, starting in 1988, under 'Stunts and Miscellaneous Endeavors' § Balloon Release, which credits them for having released 1,429,643 balloons. Further, on the opening pages of that year's edition, the release of "1.43 MILLION BALLOONS" [sic] was one of the selling points of that year's theme: 'the biggest ever' in service of its allegedly historic 'record smashing year at Guinness'. Have a nice day.
Havendale Blvd (1 day ago)
Oh... My... God...
Dreamer (1 day ago)
They were covering the terminal tower......I wonder how freaked out all the people were in there...
ᒍᑌᔕTᑌᔕᑕOᗯᔕ (1 day ago)
This is great, I laugh at all the hippie freaks in the comments. Pollution is not a problem, you're a brainwashed pig.
Nancy J (1 day ago)
+ᒍᑌᔕTᑌᔕᑕOᗯᔕ Piñata resembles a 🐖 oink oink😆
ᒍᑌᔕTᑌᔕᑕOᗯᔕ (1 day ago)
Google 'SCP-956'
Nancy J (1 day ago)
+ᒍᑌᔕTᑌᔕᑕOᗯᔕ It looks like one.
ᒍᑌᔕTᑌᔕᑕOᗯᔕ (1 day ago)
it's not a pig, ya twerp.
Nancy J (1 day ago)
Says the one with a pig on their profile 😂
Jos Meid (1 day ago)
You know, aside from the pollution, the violent crime, the economic stagnation, the bad weather, and the failed government policies, Cleveland isn't a bad city.
Craig Dallas (1 day ago)
You could write a eulogy for Hitler an make it sound good.
Daniel Goodall (2 days ago)
A plane would crash from the balloons because the balloons would get caught in the engines!
Skrt Skrt (2 days ago)
Skrt Skrt (2 days ago)
-4004040442244528383929929447213944 IQ
byronbee (2 days ago)
Yeah let’s dump shitloads of plastic into the air! Wtf.
Rasto Savak (2 days ago)
Stupidity at its best!!!!
ExtremeSeaFishing (2 days ago)
Pollution tho
Robert LaDrigue (2 days ago)
Completely idiotic!!!!!!!!!
PoundMeToo (2 days ago)
I don't even care about the litter, i'm more puzzled about the mindset that releasing a million balloons somehow makes your city not a joke...
Jun Micheletti (2 days ago)
Thought this was the movie, IT
xøantønia (2 days ago)
poor Earth:(((
Raindropp (2 days ago)
Other people must of thought there was a nuclear bomb going off or some shit
Raindropp (2 days ago)
Who comes up with this shit
MintUmbrellas or Zuzannah (2 days ago)
This seems like some idea a kid had and the parents were just like, " this seems like a good idea. I see no problems with it."
FlameWear D2DF (2 days ago)
another episode of everyone's favorite show: why is this in my youtube recommeneded
StationRussification (2 days ago)
Yeah that was a Nightmare for 3 weeks everytime I flushed my toilet a Water Ballon grew out of the Shower Head
Voldemort (2 days ago)
nothing even happened tho wtf was the huge tragedy?
Seokjin Banana Skin (2 days ago)
this is so bad for the environment! i feel sick just watching this footage
Mike Nolan (2 days ago)
An irrelevant city in an irrelevant state. Their response was to pollute the living shit out of the surrounding area...
Rob Lucas (2 days ago)
Take that Canada, eh!
Fucked Gplus (2 days ago)
Angel MSP (2 days ago)
*they ended up in Canada*