Mysterious balloon over North Rhine-Westphalia – pilot provides extraordinary explanation

Mysterious balloon over North Rhine-Westphalia – pilot provides extraordinary explanation

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  2. North Rhine-Westphalia
A balloon over Herten.
A strange balloon has been spotted over Herten. © Julia Bremken/RUHR24

An unknown flying object has been spotted over North Rhine-Westphalia. It’s a very special balloon.

Update, Saturday (November 18), 4:09 pm: Dortmund – Yesterday, an unusual hot air balloon was spotted in the sky over North Rhine-Westphalia. Residents spread rumors about a weather balloon, but the DWD was only able to locate one in Essen. Now well-known gas balloonist Wilhelm Elmers from Aero-Club NRW is shedding light on the matter.

Mysterious balloon spotted over North Rhine-Westphalia – pilot provides extraordinary explanation

In a telephone conversation with RUHR24, he explains that the balloon rose from the gas balloon launch site in Gladbeck. According to him, it was an experimental balloon that was actually supposed to reach a height of 6,000 meters. There were two pilots on board equipped with parachutes. On the way there were technical problems with the radio system, which meant that the balloon had to land again.

So yesterday there wasn’t a weather balloon over Herten? “No,” explains Elmers. According to the pilot, this is an international project with the aim of launching a hot air balloon into space. “In the end, you want six people to look at Earth from the balloon,” says the pilot. But it could still be a while before that happens, he explains with a smile.

Strange flying object spotted over North Rhine-Westphalia – not a weather balloon

We are currently in the testing phase. The goal of reaching space also explains the balloon’s strange teardrop shape. “The air pressure is lowest at the top and the balloon then expands.” After that, it looks like a normal hot air balloon as we know it. And how are passengers supposed to breathe in space? A special pressure cabin is planned for this.

To achieve the goal of looking at the Earth from space, you still need to practice a lot. “People can expect to see the balloon over Gladbeck and Gelsenkirchen even more often,” said Elmer. He himself is a five-time winner of the Gordon Bennett Cup. In 1994, he was also the first person to fly a balloon from Germany across the English Channel to Great Britain and land in Ireland.

Balloonist Wilhelm Elmers.
Wilhelm Elmers is a well-known balloon pilot from North Rhine-Westphalia. © Oliver Mengedoht/Imago

Mysterious hot air balloons circle over North Rhine-Westphalia – why?

First report, Friday (November 17), 4:19 pm: From time to time, phenomena may occur in the sky that we cannot fully explain at first. The night sky in the Netherlands suddenly turned pink recently. There has now been an unusual hot air balloon sighting over North Rhine-Westphalia. Many people wonder: what is this?

The unusual balloon was spotted on Friday afternoon around 3pm in Herten at the Ewald coal mine. What makes it so extraordinary? Especially its shape. The balloon is elongated like a raindrop.

Gladbeck residents suspect a weather balloon over North Rhine-Westphalia

Local residents suspect the celestial phenomenon to be a weather balloon. This is used in meteorology, or meteorological research, to survey measuring devices. The balloon can be used to determine wind direction and cloud height (more news from NRW in RUHR24).


When questioned by RUHR24, the German Meteorological Service was unable to directly confirm whether it was indeed a weather balloon. A spokeswoman explains over the phone that it could also be something else. At the same time, the DWD announced that a weather balloon with radiosonde took off from Essen for the last time today at 1:28 p.m. “Based on the trajectory, the probe probably flew towards Wuppertal, and not over Herten,” explains DWD.

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