Lost camera: Last seen 2,000 feet in the sky


Flip phone home! A video camera attached to balloons drifts over Plymouth. (Photo courtesy A.J. Sinker)


A group of pals in the Twin Cities used balloons Monday to send a video camera skyward in Plymouth.

But their plan to retrieve the camera — and what they hoped would be amazing pictures — went awry.

Now they’re asking the internet: Have you seen our camera?

Details are few, but here’s the text from a posting by ‘ghettosam3000’ on the social media site Reddit.com.

So my friends and I launched a video camera attached to a bunch of colorful balloons over Plymouth because it would be cool. Unfortunately our recovery system failed and it basically floated into the clouds. If anyone finds it, you can keep the camera, we would just really like to get that footage because it’s probably awesome. It’s heading east, so really anywhere in minnesota is a potential location.

UPDATE (12:07 p.m. Tuesday):

College student A.J. Sinker, 20, is the genius behind this endeavor. He called me after seeing this blog post.

Sinker, a Plymouth native who studies film-making at the University of Tulsa, said he and his friends wanted to make a cool video about sending a camera over the suburban terrain.

They rigged up a Flip camera to a light wooden box and attached the whole thing to about 30 helium balloons. Inside the box was a remote-controlled mechanism mined from a toy car.

The plan was to send the camera aloft and then use the remote-control device to release enough balloons to let the camera descend gracefully.

It didn’t work. Sinker said he suspects the strings on the balloons that were supposed to get cut free got tangled.

“Rather than coming down like it was supposed to, it just kept going up,” Sinker said. “We had a plan, it just wasn’t executed very well.”

Sinker’s friends Avery Henderson and Sam Black built the contraption. Gabe Brown, Grant Hahn and Jack Hendershott were part of the crew.

Sinker said he wouldn’t mind getting the camera back … but what he really wants is the video. So if you find the camera, he says, just post the video to YouTube.

And, of course, Sinker and his friends captured their exploits on YouTube. Sinker’s contact information is listed at the end of the video.


Perhaps these guys were emulating a group of Spanish students who last year managed to send an inexpensive camera 20 miles into the sky with a latex balloon. The Telegraph detailed their accomplishment.

One of the images four Spanish teens captured. (Image via Flickr).