Adelir Antônio de Carli

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Adelir Antônio de Carli (Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, February 8, 1966 – Atlantic Ocean, April 20, 2008), also known in Brazil as Padre Baloeiro or Padre do Balão ("Balloon Priest" in Portuguese), was a Brazilian Catholic priest, who died during an attempt at cluster ballooning on April 20, 2008. Carli, an experienced skydiver, undertook the exercise in order to raise money to fund a spiritual rest area for truck drivers in the Paraná port city of Paranaguá.[1]

Human rights advocate[edit]

In 2006, de Carli denounced human rights violations against beggars in Paranaguá.[2][3][4][5][6] These denunciations caused seven Municipal Guard agents and the municipal security secretary to be arrested.[7][8]

Previous cluster ballooning attempts[edit]

De Carli's goal for the cluster ballooning exercise was to break the 19-hour flight record and claim a new world record. His first attempt was on 13 January 2008, during which de Carli successfully completed a four-hour flight from Ampère, Paraná, Brazil, to San Antonio, Misiones, Argentina over a total distance of 25 kilometers.[9][10] Using 600 balloons, de Carli reportedly reached heights of 5300 m (17,390 ft).[10]

Attempt and disappearance[edit]

Course of the doomed balloon flight by Adeir de Carli. Red dot: departure. Red line: expected course. Red triangle: last radio contact. Red cross: body found.

On April 20, 2008, after taking off in a chair attached to 1,000 balloons, Carli was able to reach an altitude of 6,000 metres (19,700 ft) before losing contact with authorities. Pieces of balloon were later reported floating in the sea off the coast.[11]

Carli's flight equipment included a parachute, helmet, waterproof coveralls, GPS device, mobile phone, satellite phone, flotation device chair, aluminum thermal flight suit, and at least five days of food and drinking water. His training for the stunt included jungle survival and mountain climbing courses, but apparently did not include instruction on use of his GPS navigation device. On April 20, the priest's last contact with the military police happened during the night, when he was about 16 miles from the islands of Tamboretes, off the coast of São Francisco do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. The priest called from his cell phone to request help determining his coordinates and to ask them to contact the authorities. Two days after the flight, a Penha (SC) Fire Department commander familiar with the situation put the missing priest's chances of still being alive at 80%.[10] The Brazilian Navy called off the ocean search on April 29, saying the chances of finding de Carli alive in the ocean were "very remote".[12]

On July 4, 2008, the lower half of his body was found by an offshore oil rig support vessel. It was floating on the sea, about 100 km from Macaé, and it was initially identified by the clothing. On July 29, 2008, DNA tests confirmed that it belonged to Adelir de Carli. The comparison was made with DNA samples from the priest's brother.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Searchers look for Brazil priest carried away by balloons". Associated Press. 2008-04-22. Archived from the original on April 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  2. ^ Audiência pública vai discutir violência contra moradores de rua no Paraná
  3. ^ Padre apresenta documentos que comprovam maus-tratos a moradores de rua em Paranaguá
  4. ^ Denúncias sobre tortura de moradores de rua serão comunicadas à ONU e à OEA [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ OAB considera grave denúncia de tortura de moradores de rua em Paranaguá
  6. ^ Ainda estão foragidos três acusados de tortura no litoral do Paraná[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Notícias do Brasil e do Mundo no". Direitos Humanos (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  8. ^[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "'Flying' priest's balloons found". BBC News. 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-08-02.
  10. ^ a b c "Priest On Party Balloon Flight Missing". CBS News. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
  11. ^ Colitt, Raymond (2008-04-22). "Brazil priest flying party balloons lost at sea". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
  12. ^ "Brazil ends search for ballooning priest". Special Broadcasting Service. 2008-04-29. Archived from the original on 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
  13. ^ "Identification of Adelir de Carli's incomplete body (in Portuguese)". O Globo. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2008-07-30.

External links[edit]