back to article MYSTERY of vanished PARIS spaceplane, playmonaut

The Register's Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) team have been left baffled following reports from our Spanish ground pursuit unit, which has now reached the site at which the main PARIS supra-atmospheric balloon launch podule plunged to Earth earlier today. It appears that the balloon module performed precisely as …


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  1. Peter Simpson 1
    Paris Hilton

    So, PARIS has disappeared from the public eye?

    One could only wish that Paris would do likewise.

  2. Bilgepipe

    Oh My God

    That poor little plastic guy. *sniff*

    1. MrCheese


      We can't lose the first ever playmonaut to have taken to the skies!

    2. Code Monkey

      Won't somebody think of the playmonaut?

      Crossing em for you, brave plastic wee man

    3. Refugee from Windows
      Black Helicopters

      One of our aircraft is missing

      He'll be in the cantina by now, supping with the senoritas waiting to be rescued (eventually).

  3. Bracknellexile
    Thumb Up


    Woohoo! Congratulations to all involved at a successful flight! Now ya just gotta find the bugger....

  4. Tim

    Isn't this Vulture 1, here?

    Bit of a trek from the ground car.

    If not, what is that?

    1. Bracknellexile


      ...the signal from yesterday.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anomalous Cowturd

    Vulture Towers, we have a problem...

    Separation was successful, which was my major worry from the word go, but the electronics to go TU was not on my list.

    Looking forward to the pictures from the launch platform.

    Well done chaps, and here's to Vulture 2. My God bless her, and all who plummet in her!

  6. Nebulo

    Cue ...

    Vulture II ...

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Down to the Beacon...

    So any news on the battery life of the beacon? whats the deadline for finding a signal and triangulating a location? is it a tonight or tomorrow job?

    God speed the recovery of Vulture_1

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I think it's pretty clear what's happened here

    Ever seen This Island Earth?

  9. MnM

    there's a starrr-mannn, floating in the sky

    that was no glider, it was a riojet

  10. Llama


    Latest Tweet - "Radio Steve can hear the plane, but can't get a track, we must be close but only have a few hours of battery left "

    Fingers crossed they can recover the intrepid pilot and his kite before the battery fades.

    Megaphone so the pilot can tell us where he is.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No APRS on the way up?!

    Was there no signal from Paris on her way up? Or was it supposed to turn on after release?

    I'm not seeing anything since yesterday on that map site, I hope it's not that somebody forgot to switch it on before takeoff!

  12. Ian Ferguson
    Paris Hilton

    Google Maps?

    Can we start searching Google Maps? Maybe get the masses involved through Mechanical Turk, a la the Fossett search?

    1. Dave 64

      RE: google maps

      good idea - do you want to foot the bill for getting them to fly an o-demand photographic mission and updating the imagery on the google maps/earth server this afternoon?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ..... clutching a paper straw to my chest and holding a tear in my eye

  14. Wize

    Hope it didn't land anywhere too heavily populated...

    I'm thinking of an insurance claim form where someone hit a tree claiming they were swerving to avoid a paper aeroplane.

  15. Kurgan


    Maybe one day, some years from now, it will appear on ebay or on facebook, after being recovered by someone.

    Next time, use TWO tracking units, one APRS and one GSM.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Heres hoping that backtracking the balloons route will provide a trace from the beacon.. I'd start by heading on over to Piedralaves and then work back along the track....

  17. Lottie

    True hero

    I salute the missing pilot and raise a glass to him!

    Also, congrats and whatnot to the designers. I'm so glad that a) the plane detached as planned and b) didn't fall vertically, but actually seems to have zoomed off somewhere.

    Have you checked it's not defected to Russia in a reverse Firefox type gambit?

  18. serviceWithASmile

    did he eject before impact?

    In War There Are Some Lines You Should Never Cross.

    Prepare to cross the line.

    Mission: to evade and survive

    His only weapon is his will to survive.

    I'll wait for the dvd.

  19. Magnus_Pym

    Isn't this the little guy

    Looks like he wandered around the hills a bit yesterday and then went off line. Was this his bid to escape the Capricorn1 style hoax environment or a last walk on the good earth before he slipped it's surly bonds forever?

  20. Andrew Vickers

    To Infinity (almost) and then all the way back again

    Hey, chin up Bilgepipe. If he's gone and bought the farm, he's gone and done it the way he wanted - in a blaze of glory*. A shame we don't know his name, for the plaque that is sure to be erected on the landing site.

    * Obviously not literally, because he'd be quite easy to find.

  21. foolonthehill
    Paris Hilton

    Paris Perdu

    Tim, the tracker for Vulture 1 (G6UIM-12 the one with a plane icon) is still showing the last location transmitted yesterday morning; it has not sent any updates today.

    Has anyone on the PARIS away team owned up to forgetting to turn it on, perhaps? And is there any other way of finding it?

  22. Gusty O'Windflap

    visions of Blofeld in a secret base within a volcano

    viewing PARIS as it is gobbled up by his LOHAN (Lightweight Outer Homospheric Aircraft Nobbler) fill my mind

  23. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Please look after this playmonaut

    Does the mighty bird have a brown luggage label on with owners name and address (and offering a generous reward to the finder?)

    Fingers crossed....

  24. Llama
    Thumb Up

    They are closing in...

    From Twitter

    "We're up track in the woods, signal's getting stronger, we're definitely getting nearer...stay tuned PARIS fans "

  25. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland? Have they shot down the plane?

  26. Joefish

    I knew they should have gone with

    a LEGO pilot.

    1. Dr. Mouse
      Paris Hilton


      See title

    2. TeeCee Gold badge


      Careful. We burn heretics round here.

    3. Andus McCoatover
      Thumb Up

      LEGO Pilot??

      At least they had more sense than to go with a LEGLESS pilot. However, following this closely (in the interests of journalistic integrity, natch) and, in natural empathy, I drank a bottle at home of cheap red plonk.

      Now, like the little plastic fella, I'm kinda hoping no-one finds me real soon...

      Nice one, folks. Respect!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: LEGO Pilot??

        >At least they had more sense than to go with a LEGLESS pilot

        I don't know, maybe Douglas Bader could have done a good job.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PARIS has left the planet

    So go home

  28. Timo

    You may need to fine-tune your search plans

    Knowing you guys you'll probably start the search in every bar in central Spain, but I doubt that your plastic fantastic pilot is good enough to land Vulture 1 in a bar (waiting for you with a caña and a smile.)

    Or maybe your plasmonaut was so good that he did the risk calculation, bailed out, cut ties on takeoff, and that gave him more time to meet up with his tias in the nearest bar.

    at any rate: Buena suerte!

  29. Number6

    Where to look...

    It's obvious really, John Denver flew Elvis to the nearest landing strip, who drove out to pick up the pilot and the three of them have disappeared off to that mythical paradise island.

  30. K. Adams

    4... 3... 2... 1... Earth below us...

    ... Across the stratosphere, a final message: "Give my wife my love..."

    Then nothing more.

    Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning.

    They don't realise he's alive.

    No one understands, but Major Tom sees...

    "Now the Light commands."

    This is my home, I'm coming home...

  31. Anonymous Coward

    You may not wish to find him.....

    This has Quatermass Experiment written all over it. Rampaging playmonaut monster back in Blighty ahoy.

    1. lawndart

      Keep back, Quatermass!

      It's an ammoniac corrosive!

      Actually was my first thought on hearing the ground crew was closing in on a weak signal.

  32. DI_Wyman

    Buttock cheeks..

    tightly clenched and fingers crossed that you will have some good news soon.


  33. NoneSuch Silver badge


    One has to wonder if lax security was to blame. Did the pilot remove his shoes and get patted down before the flight? Was his helmet checked for explosive residue? Did he go through a body imaging unit? Was he profiled? Time for the Home Secretary, M and C to get involved I think.

    1. Bracknellexile

      Not the pilot

      The pilot was fine. It was the Lego terrorist on board that wasn't spotted. Everyone knows that Lego and Playmobil have been involved in the "War on Plastic" for ages.

      Lego plot to bring down Vulture One, Playmobil invade Legoland Windsor in retaliation.... Where will it end?!?!

  34. Mark Scorah
    Thumb Up


    let's hope the rest of the electronics worked, (or were remembered to be turned on)...

  35. foolonthehill

    Medals, a knighthood, a book deal

    Book in the ticker tape parade; Clear the chat-show schedules: The hero is coming home!

    "Vulture 1 recovered intact. Completely intact. Playmonaut safe and sound." (from twitter)

    A pint in recognition of his achievements.

  36. Brian Morrison

    Recovered intact?

    So, did it come down in a flat spin? Or fall off the balloon at low altitude as it was coming down?

    Inquiring minds want to know....

  37. Owen Carter
    Paris Hilton

    Name and address..

    I do hope you guys put your name and address on a 'if found' type label on all this...

    In Spanish?

    Or did you get all creative? Something more like the famous Nasa messages to aliens on their interplanetary probes?

  38. Dr. Mouse
    Paris Hilton

    Latest update

    Just seen on Tw@tter

    "Vulture 1 recovered intact. Completely intact. Playmonaut safe and sound."

  39. Stevie Silver badge


    You *did* remember to print contact info on the fuselage or wing surface, didn't you?

    Or was this piece of pre-GPS common sense from the 1960s-era balsa and tissue glider models not seen as necessary due to the deployment of foolproof modern technology?

  40. MnM

    Back for breakfast :)

    'Completely intact. Playmonaut safe and sound.'

    Flangetastic! Congratulations all round! That really is no small achievement - I'd say you all deserve a celebratory bevvy. And so do I.

  41. Patrick O'Reilly

    Don't Be Lost

    This never would have happened if you'd put all your faith, technical specification and soul into Google. The great Chocolate Factory would have rewarded you with Google Latitude and it's great ability to stalk friends who've forgotten to turn it off.

  42. Harry the Bastard


    "Vulture 1 recovered intact. Completely intact. Playmonaut safe and sound."

    can't wait for the pics

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "Vulture 1 recovered intact. Completely intact. Playmonaut safe and sound."

    He's gonna be a hero now!

  44. Samuel Williams


    Let's hope he had a majestic descent to Earth, and wasn't just knocked off the balloon by a branch.

    1. Bracknellexile

      How high?

      That's some branch given the balloon was still at about 17,000 ft when it passed over Vulture One's apparent landing site :O

  45. Andus McCoatover

    Now, the Conspiracy Theorists* start their diatribe..

    "Too much wind, didn't go anywhere"

    "Too pissed to operate the kit, so just chucked it in a forest while they had another bender"

    "No playmobil model can be trained to fly a paper aircraft that fast"

    "Flag didn't flutter" (what flag?)

    Yeah. I'll read them tomorrow.

    * Conspiracy Theorists - would you please use the "troll" icon. Ta muchly. Makes Sarah's work that much easier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      You forget the real story!!

      The whole PARIS program was nothing more than a sham to justify sending a few guys on The Reg staff on a free Spanish vacation. The video from the vehicle was shot on a sound stage (or maybe in a Reg staffer's closet)!! The gps transponder data was from a pigeon that the ground pursuit crew taped a gps to!!

      This would explain how the "ground pursuit team" was stopping at every cantina in Central Spain while they were supposed to be chasing down PARIS.

  46. bugalugs
    Paris Hilton

    Will the team

    be able to verify Vulture I 's release altitude etc to claim

    a record of some kind ?

    Paris, 'cos she's got a record of some kind

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