Local authorities and members of the Coast Guard had either a mildly disappointing or unexpectedly nice time on Thursday, after receiving reports of a "mysterious object" that had fallen from the sky and into the waters off Atlantic Beach on Long Island. According to NBC 4, first responders expected to find the body of a downed skydiver, or at least something less frivolous than what they did find: Two mylar balloons, one green and one blue.
Investigators expressed ambivalence about the discovery.
"We're thankful but it felt little bit like a waste of time—bunch of grown men looking for balloons is a little funny if you think about it," Captain Chris Alianakian of the Atlantic Beach Fire Rescue Squad told NBC.
Around 6:30 p.m., two "credible witnesses" reported something green and blue falling toward the water. Thinking it was perhaps a parachute, the Coast Guard, Rescue Squad, Nassau County Police Marine and Aviation Units, and Long Beach Police rallied their resources to scour the area by land, sea, and sky. They dispatched drones, boats, and vehicles, only to trace the alarm back to two water-bound balloons. The 45-minute search may have cost a few thousand dollars, according to NBC 4.
Does that seem like an uncommonly high price to pay for balloons? Yes, it does, but keep in mind, the balloons could have been something far more ominous, as we learned from the end of Cloverfield. (Also, have you been to Balloon Saloon, Manhattan's premier and pricy destination for all things inflatable? These thrills don't necessarily come cheap.)
Asked about the investigation Friday morning, an official with the Nassau County Police indicated responders would "rather go out there for nothing than go out there for something bad that happened." Certainly, better balloons than bodies; heck, better balloons than most other things. Just ask Bill: