Balloon makes appearance above Bethany

A hot air balloon that was seen rising from the parking lot of the South Harrison Middle School on Sunday morning created a mystery in Bethany among local residents who saw the flight.

Curt Fletchall, who lives in the Daily Addition, spotted the balloon from his deck and took a picture of it as it rose in the air. A crew in a chase vehicle was on the ground helping to launch the balloon at about 10 a.m. Sunday.

Fletchall did some research on Google and found an article in the Austin Daily Herald in Minnesota that told about the balloon flight.

The Austin newspaper reported that the balloon was piloted by Tim Cloyd who was on an “Extreme Flight to Find a Cure” as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Cloyd said he drove south from Minnesota to find a patch of clear sky in which to launch his flight. He said he originally intended to begin his flight in Indianola, Iowa, but found more cloudy weather. He finally arrived in Bethany where he took off from the school property.

“I had to go south to find the sun,” Cloyd told the Daily Herald. “But after that it was beautiful.

Cloyd’s balloon reached an altitude of 16,310 feet and headed east across northern Missouri to Illinois on a flight that took him 192 miles.

He recited the names of 59 persons who have dealt with cancer during his “Lifting Up a Loved One” portion of the flight, the newspaper said.