Visalia, California (KSEE) – A red balloon has apparently floated thousands of miles from California to Kentucky.
The balloon is being claimed by the West Visalia Kiwanis club. Every year the club blows up thousands of balloons and hands them out at the annual Visalia Christmas Parade.
Patrick Salazar with West Visalia Kiwanis said one day he got a Facebook message from a woman in Kentucky claiming to have found one of their balloons in her backyard.
Salazar said she messaged them one day after they handed out the balloons at the Christmas parade.
“I had no belief that this could be possible until she let us know,” said Salazar.
Salazar said Kristin Dukes messaged their Facebook page asking if the balloon was theirs.
“Kristin Dukes, a really nice lady sent us a really nice message saying that she found our balloon in her pasture, in her farm,” said Salazar.
What seems almost impossible can’t 100% be ruled out. Chris Mattarochia, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford, is skeptical but says it could happen.
“Well, it is highly unlikely but it can not be totally ruled out,” said Mattarochia, “But, I have never heard of that size traveling that far.”
Mattarochia said there are weather balloons that get released daily in Oakland. However, the balloons the National Weather Service uses are large and much more durable than a regular parade balloon.
In a phone interview with Kristin Dukes, she said her husband found the balloon bobbing in their field on Dec. 3.
“When I asked him about what the deal was with the balloon on the table, he notified me that he had found it floating across our field when he had gone out to feed our cows,” said Dukes.
She said they live in a very rural part of Kentucky and Greensville is 90 minutes away from the nearest airport.
“I mean our farm is almost at the end of a dead road and our neighbors haven’t been to California recently,” said Dukes.
There is a Visalia in Kentucky, however the city has a population of just over one hundred people and they do not have a Kiwanis organization.