In 1957, David G. Simons rode a helium balloon up 19 miles…
…tucked inside an aluminum capsule.
Just to see if it could be done. And peek out from on high.
He recalled the experience this way:
“I had a ringside view of the heavens, where the atmosphere merged with the colorless blackness of space … the sky was so heavily saturated with the blue-purple color that it was hard to comprehend. Like a musical note which is beautifully vibrant but so high that I lies almost beyond the ears ability to hear, leaving you unsure whether you heard it or just dreamed of its beauty.”
Aug 16, 1960 Captain Joe Kittinger…
…rode a helium balloon to 102,800 ft and stepped off the gondola. Free fall. Almost 20 miles up, or shall I say DOWN….
…with only a small drogue parachute to prevent a flat spin, he fell at over 600 mph. He managed to open another chute at 18,000 ft.
He recalls the fall this way:
“There’s no way you can visualize the speed. There’s nothing you can see to tell how fast you’re going. You have no depth perception. If you’re in a car driving down the road and you close your eyes, you have no idea what your speed is. It’s the same thing if you’re free falling from space. There are no signposts. You know you are going very fast, but you don’t feel it. You don’t have a 614-mph wind blowing on you. I could only hear myself breathing in the helmet”.
No miracles. No markers.
Neither man received much renown for these incredible acts.
Isn’t this the quintessential portrait of faith?
Nameless and invisible acts of courage.
Signposts invisible, unknown.
Eyes closed or eyes open,
all I hear is me breathing into the helmet.
Extremes of danger and of all things BEAUTY.
Ever feel that way?
WHAT ABOUT FEAR?
Have you been to the purple-blue place?
Jumped with only the net of prayer?
Oh, please share your story in the comments below! I’ve had some trouble with comments not posting. Please message me on FB if you have trouble.
Just before jumping from the balloon gondola Excelsior III at 102,800 ft, Captain Joe said, “Lord take care of me now.”
Twenty miles down, 614 mph. There it is, the miracle of no flat spin. And a view beyond words. Wooden Woman says, sometimes that’s all we get.