Nation: The Whole World To See

Three balloonists make history

The apparition that graced the skies over France last week looked rather like a giant exclamation point, which was entirely appropriate for the occasion. An enormous silvery balloon —eleven stories high—was sailing majestically through the air at 12 m.p.h., while in a red and yellow gondola below rode three bleary-eyed Americans, their excitement overcoming their exhaustion.

With elephantine dignity, the helium-filled balloon finally landed in a wheatfield in the village of Miserey, 50 miles west of Paris. By then, hundreds of cars had roared onto the scene, and villagers were...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!