Fisher & Bumbaugh in Controversy?

This image was published in the Indianapolis Star on June 8, 1909 as part of the paper's coverage of the June 5, 1909 national balloon championship hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Captain George Bumbaugh was Speedway President Carl Fisher's ballooning mentor and was assisting him in his first race. Fisher's balloon was the Indiana. Fisher is pictured in the basket with Bumbaugh in the rigging above it. The photo was taken on June 5 just prior to the Indiana's ascension but was published in support of a June 8 article that discussed progress of the race. At the time the Indiana was the only balloon still competing but their efforts were controversial because they had twice landed briefly the day prior to replenish water. Although they did not technically touch the Earth they rested their basket on a pile of railroad ties on the second landing.

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