Honoring those individuals who improve the human race...
by accidentally removing themselves from it!
Celebrate Charles Darwin's 200th Birthday on February 12, 2009.
2008 Darwin Award Winner: BALLOON PRIEST (Padre Baloneiro)
April 2008, Atlantic Ocean | A Catholic priest ascended to
heaven on a host of helium party balloons, paying homage to
Lawn Chair Larry's aerial adventure. Larry, the beloved
survivor of a Darwin-worthy fiasco, attached 45 helium weather
balloons to his lawnchair, packed a picnic lunch, and cut the
tether--but instead of drifting above the Los Angeles landscape
as planned, he was rocketed into LAX air traffic lanes by the
lift of the weather balloons. Astoundingly, Larry survived the
Adelir Antonio, 51, was not so lucky.
His audacious attempt to set a world record for clustered
balloon flight was intended to publicize his plan to build a
spiritual rest stop for truckers. But, as truckers know,
sitting for 19 hours in a lawn chair is not a trivial matter
even in the comfort of your own backyard. The priest took
numerous safety precautions, including wearing a survival
suit, selecting a buoyant chair, and packing a satellite phone
and a GPS. However, the late Adelir Antonio made a fatal
He did not know how to use the GPS.
The winds changed, as winds do, and he was blown inexorably
toward open sea. He could have parachuted to safety while over
land, but chose not to. When the voyager was perilously lost
at sea, he prudently phoned for help--but rescuers were unable
to determine his location, since he could not use his GPS. He
struggled with the unit as the charge on the satellite phone
Instead of a GPS, the priest let God be his guide, and God
guided him straight to heaven. Bits of balloons began
appearing on mountains and beaches. Ultimately the priest's
body surfaced, confirming that he, like Elvis, had left the
The kicker? It's a Double Darwin. Catholic priests take vows
of celibacy. Since they voluntarily remove themselves from the
gene pool, the entire group earns a mass Darwin Award. Adelir
Antonio wins twice over!
Obviously not a Jesuit priest...