It’s not the first time for titillations in the air…

I’m sure you’ve all read about this incident in Albuquerque during the past week — a drone with an offending sex toy dangling below buzzes around a candidate’s rally.

If you haven’t here’s the synopsis:

The controversial sheriff of Bernalillo County, Manuel Gonzales, was holding a campaign rally for his run for mayor of Albuquerque when an unexpected object in the air whizzed up to the stage where he was orating. The object began hovering nearby as members of the crowd came to an astonishing conclusion about what it was. 

It was a drone carrying a larger than life-size dildo swinging beneath it. Members of the candidate’s team were able to snatch the object from the sky by the dangling protuberance and remove the distraction. The owner of the drone, now dubbed the “dong copter,” tried to retrieve his device and punch the candidate, only to be met by police who arrested him for  violations of resisting arrest, evading and obstructing police. The drone has been kept as evidence.


Candidate Manual Gonzales tries to ignore “dong copter” over his right shoulder while staff member snatches the drone by the offending dangling appendage.

But it’s not the first time sex objects have been seen floating around the sky. I offer tales of two much earlier incidents.

The first involved a good friend of mine who, during a mass ascension of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, discovered a surprise attached to his crown line (the rope connected to the top of the balloon for use during inflation and deflation.) It seems some prankster friends had attached an anatomically correct and naked inflatable woman about halfway up the crown line that the pilot had not noticed until he launched. The announcer on the field was proudly introducing the pilot when he spotted the hitchhiker on the crown line. At first thinking it was benign, he was about to point out the object to the crowd below, complete with gawking kids and innocent bystanders. When the announcer realized what it was, he quickly switched his focus and announced the next balloon to launch — which thankfully did not have any obscene objects attached to it. 

The next incident involved a plan during the 1990s to fly an unusual balloon at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The balloon was named “I SAVE LIVES” and was in the shape of a giant condom. The Balloon Fiesta organizers debated about whether to allow a giant flying condom to appear at the family oriented event and ultimately decided it was not appropriate.

A representative of the organization which managed the balloon was also managing my commercial balloon program at the time and gave me a full accounting of the difficulties the balloon had experienced gaining acceptance at various rallies around the United States. She gave me a pin, which I still have on my balloon pin board, of the offending balloon.

I SAVE LIVES” hot air balloon pin on my pin collection board.

When I was researching this article, I could not find any information about what happened to this American hot air balloon. However, I found images of similar shaped and themed condom balloons used at various balloon and event rallies around in Europe, where I know they have a much more lenient approach to displays of this type. 

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