Talk:Fire balloon

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early comments[edit]

This article is a mess. Things are repeated, others contradictory. It's badly in need of a rewrite.

--- go for it Trelvis 16:39, Jan 6, 2004 (UTC)

Much of this article seems to be plagiarized from a John McPhee essay called "The Gravel Page".

"size of a road map" needs phrasing in international units (need the original reference because I have no idea what roadmap is being referred to, whether it is opened up or not, etc). Mat-C 12:29, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

"Fuze" should be "fuse" unless it has a special meaning? Mat-C 12:29, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

"whose fingers were nimbler than any class of people" - this jars slightly - should it be "any other class" ? Mat-C 12:29, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Any info on the fact that if these bombs are still dangerous and could go off at the slightest touch, as mentioned in the acticle, why did they not blow up when crashing into the ground in the 40s?

Several points to consider: (1st) Since the bombs were transported by balloon, they may have descended gently, rather than "crashing into the ground." (2nd) Mechanical contact fuze function may be heavily dependent on axis of deceleration forces; and bombs contacting the ground (or trees) at unanticipated locations or angles may not function as intended. (3rd) Structural elements of fuzes may be weakened by corrosion. (4th) Some explosive formulations undergo chemical reactions and/or physical separation causing increased sensitivity.Thewellman (talk) 19:15, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Doolittle "sneak raid over Japan": Why is the Doolittle raid modified with the adjective "sneak"? War had been declared, and by the 20th Century it was common to plan and raid with secrecy--the intent, if you will, was to make all raids "sneaky". The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was called a "sneak attack" because war had not been declared. 08:22, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


What does the name "Fu-Go" come from? It doesn't make much sense in Japanese, I've removed it pending confirmation. Jpatokal 02:26, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Fu-Go(ふ号) is codename of Imperial Japanese army. Fu(ふ) is 1st letter of Fuusen Bakudan(風船爆弾, Balloon Bomb). See Japanese article for more detail. 06:25, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Culture Section[edit]

I doubt that the poem by Elizabeth Bishop had anything to do with the Japanese fire bombs. Launching small fire balloons to honor Saint John is a very common tradition in parts of brasil, that often causes fires when they land.

agreed! that culture reference should be removed --Tshannon0 22:37, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

At war[edit]

I changed the intorduction to reflect that Japan was at war with both the US and Canada, rather then just with the US —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lyynn (talkcontribs) 00:08, 30 April 2007 (UTC).

Other than a lone submarine attack in 1942 on BC, japan never attacked Canada, and not with Fire ballons. Please reword the intro, as you make it sound as if they attacked Canada with these. Superatrain (talk) 01:44, 27 June 2008 (UTC)


I find the neutrality disputable, as much of the article seems to be written from a clearly biased American point of view, where for example the balloons are called a "malevolent curiosity," both dehumanizing and demonizing the Japanese, as often done to U.S. enemies of war. Dramatic phrases such as "watched in terror" and "perished" also imply that the U.S. was more "innocent" than Japan in WWII, in effect depicting the U.S. as the traditional "good guys" stopping crime, "bad guys," (i.e. Japan), et al. 08:09, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

May I suggest WP:SOFIXIT? Go in, correct it, and see what other editors think of it. If you get reverted, it can be discussed; if they agree, it’s repaired. --Van helsing 08:37, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
"malevolent" reworded to "dangerous"; refers to the capability of the balloon's payload, not the people who launched them
"watched in terror" describes the emotions of the people who witnessed a horrible event, it has no bearing on good/evil or taking sides in WWII.
"perished" is merely another way to say "died"; no POV there
Since all of your concerns have been addressed, I am reverting the tag on the page. If you have any other objections, I suggest you rephrase it yourself. BE BOLD!!! — BQZip01 — talk 01:51, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Hanford Declassified Documents referencing the balloons[edit]

I have located two documents in the Hanford Declassified database, one of which may refer to Jan 1945 incidents concerning the balloons and another which does have to do with the March 10 1945 incident at Hanford. I have transcribed the first document in part and the second fully.

If this is of possible interest, the transcriptions can be found below and links to the documents in the Hanford Declassified archive.

Please don't suggest that I make additions to the Wikipedia article myself. I would prefer to leave it to the primary creators of the article.

Also, an individual named Tim Wendel has recently published a book, Red Rain, the inspiration of which is derived from these balloons.

Juli Kearns —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jmme (talkcontribs) 01:26, 19 November 2008 (UTC)


For the time, and though not tactically (unless of course they got lucky, in which case massive damage could be caused) sound, the ingenuity for these devices and the initial discovery of the jet stream is simply amazing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:12, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

1992 Alaska incident[edit]

This article casts some doubt on the 1992 Alaska find. Also it seems all references found on the web use the exact same sentence that is found on the wiki article. Seems dubious. Chromatikoma (talk) 18:14, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

over 9,000 vandalism[edit]

During the last year, or so, there has been a considerable amount of vandalism substituting "over 9,000" (or similar) for numbers. This article uses the number 9,000 and the words "over 9,000" and "over 9000". These appear, based on some references, to be valid. Someone more familiar with the facts should verify this number. Makyen (talk) 20:48, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

It was added on 27 June 2007 by a user with the IP address, probably as a reference to the meme, but on this occasion the meaning wasn't changed as it was previously "more than 9,000". It appears to have been copied from a source claimed to be in public domain when the article was created in 2002, but it is now a dead link. snigbrook (talk) 21:36, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Death toll[edit]

Parts of this article state that there were only 6 fatalities, all caused by one incident. However, the article also states that there was a death in the 555th battalion whilst fighting a fire caused by a baloon explosion. If this is true, parts of the article need rewriting to reflect this fact. LlamaLlamaLamp (talk) 14:23, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Title Image link broken[edit]

The University of Missouri has moved their website, so the link provided is no longer valid. Please update it with a working link. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, 28 April 2013 (UTC)