Balloon Race - Day 3

In this attachment are a pair of front page articles from the June 8, 1909 Indianapolis Star that report on the third day of the 1909 national championship balloon race of the Aero Club of America. The event was hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where it started with the ascension of five balloons in the national championship and three others in a secondary handicap race.
The article to left from your point of view looking at the computer screen focuses on the handicap race won by the Indianapolis piloted by a local surgeon by the name of Dr. Goethe Link with his assistant Russe "R.J." Irvin. Living in an age where news traveled at a much more leisurely pace than today the two men did not know they had won the handicap trophy for about 24 hours after they landed. Departing at 4:15 PM on Saturday June 5 they landed in Westmoreland, Tennessee at 11:15 AM the next day, June 6. It was not until they arrived in Louisville on June 7 did they see a newspaper sharing news of their success. They had covered 250 miles in their balloon.
Link and Irvin's story was another example of changing times. When they landed curious onlookers scrambled over each other chasing their basket as it plunged to Earth. Some from a church congregation were convinced the balloon was the second coming of Christ. An even more disconcerting greeting had started overnight in crossing Kentucky when farmers grabbed their rifles and opened fire at the giant objects they could not comprehend.
One great feature of this double article package is a callout box that contains the performance stats of all the entries that had officially concluded their races. This included the balloon name, pilot and aid names, start time, finish time and distance covered.
The other article that appears in the column to your right of this two column, 11 page PDF attachment, focuses on the developments of the national championship race, especially the fortunes of Indiana favorite son Carl Fisher and his assistant and mentor Captain George L. Bumbaugh in the balloon Indiana. Building on the controversy triggered by accusations of legendary balloonist A. Leo Stevens that poor quality gas had been used in inflating the Ohio and Cleveland, some balloonists charged that Fisher and Bumbaugh had disqualified themselves when they landed near Ashland, Tennessee on a pile of wood - some say railroad ties - on the morning of June 7. Fisher's supporters held that they had not technically touched the ground and in descending had sacrificed so much ballast and gas that they had incurred sufficient penalty for descending so close to ground that they should not be disqualified.
All the other competitors had retired from competition. Favored A. Holland Forbes in the New York had traveled into Alabama but reversing wind currents were erasing much of his progress by propelling him backward. He landed to prevent further erosion of his lead. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the short trip of another extremely experienced pilot, Captain Thomas Baldwin of the Hoosier whose journey duration amounted to slightly less than 12 hours when his balloon touched down a 5 AM Sunday morning in Green Brier, Tennessee.

BalloonRace060809.pdf2.56 MB