WENTZVILLE, Mo. – A passion of one instructor turned into a project in the Wentzville School District. Pearce Hall lost their weather balloon after launching last Thursday.
“Weather is always something I have personally been passionate about,” Joe Radi, an instructor at Pearce Hall in Wentzville. “The launch went perfectly, everything went really good.”
Last year’s launch reached 90,000 feet and landed succesfully over Pinckneyville, Ill. This year, they weren’t as lucky.
“All of a sudden we stopped getting a signal from our GPS,” Radi explained.
The weather balloon went off-grid over 200 miles away near Metropolis, Ill. The word of the missing balloon traveled even farther on social media
“Chris Higgins picked it up and put it on his Facebook page,” Radi said. “And from there it just kind of really blew up.”
Eventually, the post landed on Zachry Bremer’s feed. Bremer scrolled right by the post until his phone rang.
“I didn’t think much about it until my mother contacted me the next day and she sent me a picture and said, ‘what do you think is in our pond?’” Bremmer laughed. “So I did a little more research and actually clicked on the picture with the weather balloon story and the track line actually goes straight over my mom and dad’s house.”
Bremer quickly gave his parents a callback.
“I was like well that’s gotta be a weather balloon,” Bremer said.
Jamie and Blake Bremer fished the balloon out of the pond the very next day. The weather balloon has not yet reunited with its rightful owners but will make the round trip trek this Monday.
“Once we get the balloon back, we should be able to recover the data finding exactly how high it went, how fast it moved, the temperatures that it experienced on its way up and down,” Radi said. “And most excitingly the go pro footage.”