From Steve DiNardo:
Dear Harford County folks,
As a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) project for the girls in three families, we assembled and launched a helium-filled, HIGH-ALTITUDE BALLOON Sunday morning, 6/19. The balloon trailed a small (1ft x 1ft x 1ft) Styrofoam container that contained a camera that would take photos of “near-space”, where you can see the curve of the earth, and the division between our atmosphere and dark space (such photos are supposed to be very cool, and breathtaking).
Our problem is that after the payload reached 110,500 feet, it descended by parachute as it should, and we followed its decent down to ~2,500 ft, where we lost contact. Its last position was just North-East of Fawn Grove, PA, quite near N. McDermott Rd and Buckwheat Rd. It is likely somewhere in nearby fields & woods, and possibly stuck quite high up in the tree canopy. We searched for a few days, meeting several of your nicest residents (and offering fresh-baked cookies to allows us to hike on their property), but could not find the package. There is nothing dangerous in this package. (I can describe all its contents in detail if helpful).
First, if any one reports finding a package – ours has clear identifications on the outside, but we worry they will eventually wash away – that might be ours, we’d appreciate being notified. But second, we wondered if there might be some way to post a one page notice about this to the community more broadly. The girls wrote up a description containing a few pictures, and I attached that to this email.
Let me know; Also, we are open to any creative ideas for making folks know about this, in case they are out hiking, or hunting, or walking and stumble upon it. Possibly you know of some community centers in that area to which we can send a note?
Our backup plan is to wait until the leaves drop in mid-Fall and hike through the prospective landing area, hoping to catch site of the payload caught way up in quite tall trees.
Thank you for reading through and considering this.
Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology
Chair of the Developmental, Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology Graduate Program
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania