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Reward for finding lost Balloon Camera!
Yes, it's true. My Mustek DV5300 digital movie camera was lost, and I'm offering reward money for it being found. What happened was there was a tethered balloon experiment which it was included in, and everything was going well until... well, it was the "tethered" part that went wrong, a problem with the string! The experiment was last seen going off into the sky in the approximate direction of Amsterdam!
The digital movie camera is quite small and has three small batteries and an SD card. The camera was lifted by nine balloons full of helium, and had trailing a blue string which was initially 820ft long of which about 250ft was carried away by the balloons. It was last seen travelling East-South-East away from a small town in the East of England, and it is quite likely to have travelled over the English Channel and come down somewhere in Continental Europe.
So, if you find a crash-landed Mustek DV5300 camera with some remains of burst balloons and a piece of string, you may be interested to know that I am offering a reward for the recovery of the DATA in the form of the movie clip (probably with a filename such as imag2239.asf *). At the time of writing, I had not seen the movie clip, but I expect that it consists of the balloon launch and aerial footage of a small town. As the action begins, there's a garage, and a garden from which the balloon is launched, and there are two people standing there, and one of them has blue hair. The landscape is fairly flat, and the town has an unusual church.
The reward of 100 euros is for the recovery of the data (movie clip), and I believe the story will be worth it. So, if you've got the camera (or the remains), you may consider the possibility of sending me the file. If you'd care to return the camera, or the wreckage of the camera, or the SD memory card, I'm willing to pay extra for the souvenirs! Alternatively, you are welcome to keep the camera and just send me the data, either on the SD card or not. (I'm also willing to pay for the postage, for the SD memory card, camera wreckage, bits of balloon, string, etc).
It would be interesting to find out where the camera landed, in which country, where abouts on the map. It could have fallen on land, or in the sea. It could have got caught in trees, or fallen in snow. It could have landed on a field. Or it could have dropped out of the sky onto someone's garden in a city or town. In any of these cases, we are talking about the mysterious arrival, from the sky, of a small digital movie camera with a pop-up flat screen, connected by rubber and string to a set of strings which previously had the balloons attached. There were originally nine large latex balloons, creamy or white, with pictures of footballs and other sport balls. There may still be balloon fragments attached. The main string was blue, plastic, and was quite strong.
Predicted direction of travel: The apparatus was seen over Lincolnshire, and it travelled approximately due East-South-East and may have crossed over the water, then across Norfolk. If it continued flying, it would have gone over Norfolk, then over the sea, and would have arrived over Amsterdam, and possibly gone even further East, or maybe even North-East by then. With wind speeds and directions at different heights it is difficult to say with any accuracy where the (crash)landing point would be!
Remember: If you find it and return the data, a reward of 100 euros is available. So, if you have it, now's your chance. e-mail me
If you're in Norfolk, 100 euros is about £90 GB pounds.
* The filename could be imag2137.asf or imag2138.asf , and there may be a file imag2136.nul of zero length as well. It's also possible that imag2137.jpg exists. The reward is on offer for the movie file.
* Picture shows the proprietor of www.h2o2.tv (another affiliate website) helping with the launch.
Having lost the digital movie camera and then set up this page encouraging finders to get in touch, I realised the idea could lead on to other things, and so this has put me in the Message in a Bottle business!
It was also a matter of replacing the camera, and I would have supposed that Mustek would still make these, or some later improved version. I bought a Mustek DV316L, but oddly this seems to be without some of the special features of the DV5300, no interval-timer etc.