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2008: A Catholic priest recently 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 flight.

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 mistake.

(20 April 2008, Atlantic Ocean, Brazil) In homage to Lawn Chair Larry’s aerial adventure in 1982 wherein our beloved survivor of a Darwin-worthy attempt attached 45 helium weather balloons to his lawnchair, packed a picnic lunch and cut the tether a Catholic priest recently ascended to heaven on a host of helium party balloons. Larry, instead of drifting lazily above the LA landscape, was rocketed into LAX air traffic lanes by the lift of his weather balloons. Astoundingly, he survived the flight. Adelir Antonio was not so lucky. Paying a nod to Lawn Chair Larry, Adelir, 41, was attempting to set a world record for clustered balloon flight to publicize his plan to build a spiritual rest stop for truckers. 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 dwindled.

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 building.

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!

The rest of the Darwin Awards for 2008 can be found HERE!

DarwinAwards.com

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