Interesting start to my day

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OkieJoe72

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My wife and I were sitting outside having coffee this morning before the sun came up. She pointed at something in the sky and said “What’s that”. It was a dark blob in the sky that definitely looked out of place. When it started getting light, we could see that it was a balloon of some sort. We watched it for about 20 minutes before it started getting to far away to see clearly. I texted a couple of other folks and told them about it. The photo below is courtesy of @JEVapa. Apparently, it’s a long distance balloon race, but we were definitely thinking about other possibilities this morning. I ended up seeing a total of four balloons throughout the morning.
0E05354E-20A2-4B9B-9DD7-F7FAE58D9077.jpeg


https://www.kswo.com/2023/10/09/balloons-are-racing-through-southwest-oklahoma-sky/
 

OkieJoe72

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Didja make sure it wasn't one of dem Chinese balloons?
Being that we are only a few miles from Ft Sill, I did have some concerns when I first saw it. I could see it fairly clearly with my monocular for a few minutes. It appeared to be un-manned, and it was very plain looking. I didn’t really need the coffee anymore when I realized what we were looking at in the sky.
 

JEVapa

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I saw four total...the first one @OkieJoe72 told me about and where the pic came from, then two more in a row an hour or so later, and then one more after I got home shortly after that. They were all the same and the gondolas all appeared the same. Weird, but it might have been like those races they do in the pacific from Cali to Hawaii or some obscure place in the ocean in the little enclosed boats with instrumentation.

These were all right around 3000-5000 feet it looked like. I called the MP desk on Sill and they said it was GTG and they had permission to fly over post, which was the track they were on.
 

TerryMiller

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I love seeing the balloons, but most are just single ones seen here or there. However, when we were in Kanab Utah back in 2018, they had their balloon festival in February. The first day was a wash because winds were too high. Day two was great, and I was up on the side of one of their cliffs/bluffs taking pictures of the balloons.



This one was having issues gaining altitude. At one point, their gondola was immediately below me and touching the cliff. I called out to them asking if they were taking on passengers. They did finally get some altitude.





 

OkieJoe72

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I love seeing the balloons, but most are just single ones seen here or there. However, when we were in Kanab Utah back in 2018, they had their balloon festival in February. The first day was a wash because winds were too high. Day two was great, and I was up on the side of one of their cliffs/bluffs taking pictures of the balloons.



This one was having issues gaining altitude. At one point, their gondola was immediately below me and touching the cliff. I called out to them asking if they were taking on passengers. They did finally get some altitude.





I’ve been to a balloon festival in the Palo Duro Canyon area out in the Texas panhandle. It was an impressive scene to watch. The balloons this morning looked nothing like a typical hot air balloon. They resembled a smaller version of the Chinese spy balloons. It was a strange site.
 

TerryMiller

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I’ve been to a balloon festival in the Palo Duro Canyon area out in the Texas panhandle. It was an impressive scene to watch. The balloons this morning looked nothing like a typical hot air balloon. They resembled a smaller version of the Chinese spy balloons. It was a strange site.

When we lived in the RV in the Colorado Springs area back between July of 2014 and April of 2016, we could fairly regularly see balloons in that area. Someone had a business where they took people aloft of a morning for an excursion. They might have done something for those that just wanted to ride in a balloon, or it might have been something of a "romantic ride and breakfast" event.

They told us in Kanab that if one worked with a balloon team in getting the crafts ready to launch or recover, one could then get a ride in one if possible with weather and time. While I'd like to ride in one, I doubt I'd be much help in my condition.
 

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