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Fourth grader launched balloon that carried action figure to North Carolina


Fourth grader launched balloon that carried action figure to North Carolina

PHOTO: Ty Thorne of Spring Hill gets ready to launch his Christmas present into the sky on Saturday

BY ALEXANDER WILLIS

The identity of the person who released a mysterious balloon from Spring Hill that ended up in the yard of a North Carolina family has been discovered to be 9 year-old Ty Thorne, a fourth grade student at Chapman’s Retreat Elementary School.

The weather balloon was discovered on Monday by Sonny and Lori Joyner of Monroe, North Carolina, which is over 360 miles east of Spring Hill.

Released at 5 p.m. on Saturday, the balloon had a Transformers toy figure and a short note attached to it.

Ty’s mother, Jen Thorne, said a neighbor contacted her after reading the Home Page’s previous story on the balloon, assuming it was Ty due to his well-known love of Transformers.

PHOTO: Ty (Middle) and his parents, brother and sister

“My neighbor sent it to me this morning, she said [she] saw that it had a Transformer attached, and just knew it was Ty,” Jen said. “I was just shocked, I could not believe it.”

Jen said that the weather balloon was a Christmas present, and that Ty has always had an interest in science and technology.

“He is so smart and so curious,” Jen said. “He likes sports, but he’s not into sports like a lot of boys. I think it’s great, it’s another outlet for him. He just wants to learn, and he’s been that way since it was little. To us, this is just Ty.”

Ty, who is also a member of the STEM club at his school, had originally hoped the balloon would travel to outer space. Ty was excited nonetheless that his balloon had traveled so far.

Lori, the North Carolina woman who discovered the balloon, said she would like to attach something of her own and send it back into the sky, in the hopes that the next person who discovers it might do the same thing.

Jen said that both her and Ty were thrilled with the idea of having the balloon continue its journey into the unknown.

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