Daily Dunklin Democrat
A mysterious balloon that crashed into a field Thursday afternoon outside Bragg City is what is known as a Google Loon. It’s a project Google started in June 2013 in New Zealand in an attempt to fill in gaps in Internet coverage, especially for people with limited or no access in rural areas. Hovering at 70,000 feet Thursday, the balloon lost its signal and crashed in the middle of the field just off Route A. The balloon originated from southern Nevada, and it had been in the air for 14 months. Pemiscot County sheriff’s deputy Anthony Dale spoke to a Google program manager from Mountain View, California, Eric Gore.
He says the Loon sometimes develops steering issues after being in the air that long. The programmer sends a code to the device so it will descend. At that point it deploys a parachute. On Friday, a Google team picked up the crashed Loon in Caruthersville and Dale said they were extremely pleased it was in such good condition, as Loons have been damaged during other rough landings. This was the first Missouri landing for a Google Loon.