Nov. 16, 2019


It's not unusual to find mylar balloons as one walks through the wilds these days. But back in 1945, three kids found a much bigger balloon in a field south of Grand Rapids. The Detroit Free Press just had a fascinating article by Keith Matheny. That balloon was from Operation Fu Go. The Japanese launched about 9300 hydrogen balloons, fire bombs attached, into the jet stream. Over 200 were found in the US and Canada. Some went off, like the one in a vacant lot in Farmington just after the Grand Rapids discovery. The War Department, not wanting a panic, kept it hushed up.
Fast forward back to mylar. In my working days I was called by our office security. An alarm was going off. I went to check, in the middle of night, along with another guy. We found a mylar birthday balloon waving in air currents over a desk. It set off a motion detector. The other guy pulled out a BIG knife and stabbed it, saying "If I knew who put this here, I'd get them too!" I decided not to tell him the guilty party was standing next to him.
So, I hope no panic comes from this, but I wonder if there are any undiscovered Fu Go balloons, unexploded bombs included, laying around in the wild? Maybe as I'm tromping around looking for turtleheads I could get a big surprise! He might get his balloon justice yet!
This fall image is near the alleged turtlehead site.