A LITTLE boy released his helium balloon into “space” only for it to be found over 300 miles away in rural Oxfordshire.
Lucas Muir, four, let go of the balloon outside a Dundee fast food restaurant and watched spellbound as it headed for the heavens.
Lucas planned to use his telescope to find the precious balloon floating among the stars and planets.
But a week later the balloon was discovered 310 miles (500km) away as the crow flies on a farm outside Banbury.
Lucas’ mum, Rachel Smart, had written his name, age and home city on the balloon.
Banbury resident Bryan Tomlin found the balloon – still in remarkably good condition – and by using Rachel’s information and social media was able to track down its owner.
Bryan posted: “Found in field one frosty morn to the north of Banbury Oxfordshire please share to see if we can get this balloon back to Lucas Muir age four, Dundee.”
It has since been updated to say: “Thank you to everyone who shared this post. Lucas has been found thank you all once again.”
The blue balloon was given to Lucas as part of a McDonald’s ‘Happy Meal’ and on it Rachel had written: “Lucas Muir, age 4, Dundee. Mr Balloon Man. Rachael (mummy).”
Rachel saw Bryan’s Facebook post and shared her own status last Sunday about what had led to the amazing reunion.
She wrote: “So last Sunday, me and Lucas put our matching coats on and went for a little wander ending up and McDonald’s.
“Lucas had the idea to send his balloon to space so we can find it with his telescope.
“Little did we know someone found it on their farm this morning in Banbury.
“Took seven days and hundreds of shares! Thanks to Bryan Tomlin who found his balloon and all the shares to find us.
“Hopefully get his balloon sent back and pop it in his memory box. Thanks everyone! From Lucas & me!”
Unsurprisingly, Bryan’s incredible post received a lot of reactions from fellow Facebook users.
One of the first to reply was Lucas’ mum, Rachael, who wrote: “Hahaha no way! He’s so happy! He thinks Santa has found it.
“He’s so happy we can’t believe it’s travelled so far, thanks everyone for sharing.”
Bryan himself responded: “Well done everybody shows the power of Facebook.”
Another user commented: “In the midst of all the strife, it’s nice to know there is still some humanity about.”
Whilst one added: “I think this is amazing.”
Rachael revealed that Lucas will be reunited with his balloon – still inflated – in the next few days.
She said: “Bryan, the owner of the farm, has even collected and sent the balloon back up to Dundee for us.”
Describing Bryan as “lovely gent”, she added: “It’s coming in a box and is still inflated.”
Rachael said: “We were sure the balloon burst on the house across the road. Never did we expect it to turn up in Banbury 300 miles away on a farm.
“His nursery are doing a little exploring on it too so it’s been a great little thing for them to learn about. ”
Bryan said: “I was out walking the dog and saw this blue balloon in the middle of the field so was obviously drawn to it.
“I saw the writing and thought ‘I wonder if I can get this back to him?’ Then after putting it on Facebook at around 10am, I’d found the family by three that afternoon.
“It’s incredible and I suppose shows the power of social media.
“When I was at infant school back in the sixties, we let balloons go but I never heard anything back. So I thought it would be nice to make sure he got his back and least he’ll remember it and know where it ended up.”