BUTLER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The Tomaszewski family was having fun in their yard catching lightning bugs when they saw something in the sky.
“It came from over there in the sky and to me it kind of looked like a hot air balloon, not as big, but a hot air balloon,” Jason Tomaszewski said.
“Then, mom took the camera,” Four-year-old Aiden Tomaszewski explained.
“I followed it from in between these trees along here, then we lost it in this bunch of trees and then I caught it as it was descending downward over there,” Shannon Tomaszewski, the photographer, said.
“And then I called 911,” Jason said. “Just I didn’t know if it was an emergency, but I thought, ‘Well, if somebody’s crashing.’”
There were no reports of any crashes, so just what was it?
“It was not what I envisioned a UFO, but it was something that we’ve never saw,” Jason said.
“We thought it may have been like a deflated hot air balloon or a weather balloon,” Shannon added.
KDKA’s John Shumway took the tape to the National Weather Service.
“To me, it looks like our balloon that we launched last night,” Rich Kane said. “It’s called a radio son. It’s a balloon that goes up to 100,000-feet. It probably had a hole in it or something and came down more or less intact.”
The balloon launched at 7 p.m. Tuesday and followed the prevailing winds to Butler County, sending back important forecasting information as it flew. When the family saw the balloon, it was still high enough for the orange parachute to catch the setting sun.
Kane says they send up two balloons every day.
If you ever come across a National Weather Service balloon, they would appreciate if you use the prepaid envelope and send it back to them.