Suspicious device turns out to be a weather balloon

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suspicious device

On October 1, 2020, Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were dispatched to a suspicious device call for service on Cathy’s Creek Church Road. When officers arrived, they were advised by the reporting party that the device was a box that was attached to kite by multiple strings.

The reporting party stated that there was a warning sticker that they had seen which stated that the device may be hazardous and to contact your local police agency. The homeowner had placed the item into a container that did not allow deputies to view the item from a safe distance. Due to not knowing what the device was and being unable to safely examine it from a distance, Henderson County Bomb Squad was requested to respond and examine the package to ensure it was safe.

Images courtesy of Transylvania Sheriff Office.

Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad, as well as an additional Bomb Tech from Asheville Police Department, responded.

The package was determined to be a harmless weather balloon and weather instrument sent into the atmosphere by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This particular device was launched from Peach Tree City, Georgia on 07/29/2020 at 7 p.m.

These devices are routinely sent up by NOAA to gather atmospheric conditions and are completely harmless. Finding one in Transylvania County, however, does not happen very often so we want you to be aware that it is possible to find one here, and if they are found they are completely harmless as long as the balloon is deflated. If the balloon is still inflated the gas used in the balloon could be dangerous but there should not be a balloon on the ground still inflated.

If you were to find one of these devices there are mailing instructions on the instrument itself along with a prepaid bag for postage.

If you are ever in doubt about a suspicious device or package please call law enforcement so it can be safely examined.

Weather balloon had several strings attached to it.

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