Nahant, MA – September 4, 1907

Nahant, Massachusetts – September 4, 1907


     At 8:30 p.m. on September 4, 1907, Boston aeronaut John J. Maloney, took off in his hot-air balloon from Nahant, Massachusetts, before a cheering crowd.  During night ascensions, Maloney liked to fly his balloon suspended from a trapeze.  On this occasion, as the balloon was rising, a sudden and unexpected foggy mist blew in and enveloped the balloon.  A current of cold air then carried it northwest over Nahant Bay towards Lynn and Swampscott.  The balloon came down in the water between Nahant and Lynn, about two miles off Fisherman’s Beach in Swampscott.  High winds then pulled it back and forth across the water with Maloney holding on for his life for more than an hour. 

     Maloney’s cries for help were finally heard by several fishermen at Swampscott, Massachusetts, a town next to Lynn, and they headed out in their boats to search.   Word was sent to the Nahant Lifesaving Station which also sent a boat.  Maloney was located clinging to the fabric of his half-deflated balloon, cold and exhausted, but alive. 

     Once on shore Maloney related that the balloon had collapsed sooner than he’d expected while drifting in the cold breeze, for he’d expected to be in the air for about an hour. 


     (Woonsocket) Evening Call, “Balloonist Fell Into The Sea”, September 15, 1907, Pg. 7   

     The Lake County Times, (Hammond, Indiana), Evening Edition, September 5, 1907 

     New York Tribune, “Aeronaut Near Death”, September 5, 1907 

     The Washington Herald, “Balloonist Falls Into Sea”, September 5, 1907

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