View Full Version : OT: Godzrilla attacks! (w/pics)

David Eisan
07-28-2005, 10:52 PM
Dateline: July 28, dawn.

I was awoken by blood curdling screams this morning. I grabbed my digital camera and rushed outside in my housecoat to see what all the commotion was about. I could not believe my eye's, Godzilla awakening from his lair at the local power generation station behind the Humpy Dumpy chip warehouse!



I could see that even in the dim light of morning he had spotted me and was turning my direction,


Ohmigod! He was leaping over the power lines and heading my way!


I feared for my life and ran at top speed back towards my house. You can see the fear in the eyes of the small innocent children not quite aware of what horrible fates awaits them!


Godzilla continued to head strait for me and I don't think he was looking for a parking spot. Oh for the love of god, Oh the humanity...


This was the last photo I was able to take before the batteries died on my camera (blasted camera....),


Godzilla was chasing me down, and rapidly gaining on me! A kind soul keenly aware of my plight hurriedly invited me into their shelter. As we lay cowering in the cellar, I cannot describe the sounds of shear terror we heard as Godzilla rampaged through the neighborhood raizing everthing in sight to the ground. It seemed to go on for hours. When the chaos subsided, I emerged from the subterranean safe zone to find utter devastation. I would have liked to take some more photos of the absolute carnage I witnessed, but suffice it to say Tokyo will have to be rebuilt again....


Michael Ballent
07-28-2005, 11:04 PM
I think that you need to report this immediately to Art Bell ;)

Lee DeRaud
07-29-2005, 12:17 AM
Where's Raymond Burr when we really need him? :eek:

Vaughn McMillan
07-29-2005, 12:46 AM
As frightened as you must have been, you did well to keep calm and get some pics. ;) I've been involved in hot-air ballooning for years, particularly the special shapes, but I haven't seen Godzilla fly. (Growing up in Albuquerque, it's easy to get involved. I still go back there nearly every year to work on a crew.)

Here are a couple pics of another flying monster...one that I've crewed for, but not yet flown on. He's based in Madison Wisconsin, but he's been all over the world. These pics were taken a couple years ago in Switzerland by my sister. She and my BIL were given a trip to Europe by the owners, just so they would have a familiar crew. Putting one of these guys up in the air (and packing it up afterwards) is a LOT more work than your average "sport" balloon. Most balloons weigh two or three hundred pounds, but this guy is about 850 pounds if I recall correctly. That's just the envelope (the fabric part)...baskets and propane tanks add to the total.

Here's the big guy in a stadium of some sort, as the star attraction for a nighttime "glow" event...here's the "before" shot:


And the "during":


And here's a shot of him flying over a church somewhere along the Swiss countryside. To give an idea of the scale, each "claw" on his feet is nearly as long as I am, and I'm about 6' 2" tall.


Somewhere I have pictures of an 11-story Bald Eagle that I've crewed on, but I can't find them right now. Another day...another thread.

Lotta work, but a lot of fun, too.

- Vaughn

Bart Leetch
07-29-2005, 3:28 PM
Are you sure its no Barney

Lee DeRaud
07-29-2005, 8:24 PM
This thread keeps up much longer, I'll start having Pink Floyd flashbacks.:eek:

Pete Harbin
07-30-2005, 2:55 AM
Vaughn, that polar bear had always been one of my favorites, but we haven't seen him for the last couple of Fiestas.

Do you remember about 15 years ago (give or take) when the Godzilla Balloon made the front page of the Sunday Journal with a huge color shot of it's upper body above one of the downtown buildings?

Good catch on the pics David!


Vaughn McMillan
07-30-2005, 5:36 AM
Pete, the owners of the polar bear stopped doing the Fiesta a few years ago. It was too much work, risk, and expense. They still fly their balloons, but mostly for sponsored events. You'd likely recognize some of their other balloons too -- they also own the Famous Footwear Tennis Shoe, the Ray-O-Vac Battery, the Viewsonic Computer Monitor, and the Bald Eagle I mentioned earlier. I've been dragged, kicked, yanked, crushed, wowed and thrilled by all of these balloons over the years. Controlling the crown line on an 11-story bird can be an exercise in dirt skiing. Same story if you're attached to the toe of a tennis shoe that's 2/3 of a football field in length, and the wind is shifting on a balloon glow night. It's like being on the moving end of a very large weater vane. With a few hundred thousand of your closest friends.

As it turns out, the first year they stopped flying in the Fiesta was the same year I had to lay off crewing as the result of breaking my back in a fall (about a month before the Fiesta). I haven't been to a Fiesta since then, but I'll surely get back out there again. I still have family in Albuquerque, and my sis and her family are still involved with a few local balloonists. And if Drew and Judy bring any of their special shapes out that way, I'll likely be there for sure.

I'm not sure I remember the Godzirra picture in the Journal, but 14 years ago was one of the few Fiestas I've missed in the past 20 years. Maybe that was the year he made the front page. There are also a few of those years back then when I was crewing for an APD sergeant who was also flying commercial flights back before World Balloon took over the ride concession. Most of the crew and pilots were either cops or ex-cops, and they were a pretty hard-partying bunch of folks (after flying, of course). There are some mornings I probably don't remember seeing the paper too well. :rolleyes:

- Vaughn

Lee DeRaud
07-30-2005, 11:14 AM
You'd likely recognize some of their other balloons too -- they also own the Famous Footwear Tennis Shoe, the Ray-O-Vac Battery, the Viewsonic Computer Monitor, and the Bald Eagle I mentioned earlier.They the same people with the vertical "Mr. Peanut" balloon?

Bruce Volden
07-30-2005, 11:19 AM
David, you've obviously been listening to too much Bob & Tom radio. Godzilla isn't real.......is he??

Ken Fitzgerald
07-30-2005, 6:02 PM
Makes you wonder what glue he's using on his projects doesn't it? :rolleyes: Maybe somebody needs better ventilation in the shop! :rolleyes: :D

Vaughn McMillan
07-31-2005, 8:46 PM
They the same people with the vertical "Mr. Peanut" balloon?
No, not the same people. I can't recall the name of the owners of that one, but I've seen it a lot over the years. It's flown a lot, and in fact Mr. Peanut is one of the longest-running corporate balloon sponsorships in the world.

Doing corporate balloons is an interesting niche market. Some owners contract with the sponsor, then pay to build the balloon, and are then paid to fly it around the country (or world). Others build a balloon, then try to find sponsors for it. (It's kind of like building spec homes.) Some owners do both. The folks I've worked for generally get their sponsorship ahead of time, then build the balloon. The Polar Bear, for example, was originally sponsored by Klondike Ice Cream Bars. When Klondike decided they wanted to spend their advertising money elsewhere, the owners were left with 850 pounds of nylon that is expensive to fly. They have courted other sponsors (think Coca Cola Bears), but to date no takers, so they usually only fly the bear when a balloon event is willing to pay for it. (Many events sponsor a handful of special shapes to help draw a bigger crowd.) The Bald Eagle balloon was a spec balloon, and surprisingly, no corporate sponsors have been interested in it. (I really gotta dig up a picture of it. It's impressive.)

- Vaughn

Peter Gavin
08-03-2005, 2:01 PM

I live in Madison WI and I've never seen that bear fly...... but I have seen the Ray O Vac and Famous Footwear baloons. What company owns them?


Vaughn McMillan
08-03-2005, 8:48 PM
Peter, the company's called Sky Aces. Drew and Judy Rostentowski [sp?] are the owners. I believe they own one or more restaurants in the area, too. Since Klondike dropped their sponsorship several years ago, the bear hasn't been flown much, except for special (read paying) events. I wish I knew what the price tag was to take it to Europe and fly it in Switzerland. You don't just check it as carry-on luggage. :)

- Vaughn