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The name of the balloon which, in 1978, made the first transatlantic journey, lifting off from Presque Isle, Maine, and landing in Miserey, France after 137 hours, and 6 minutes in flight. The feat had been attempted by daring balloonists for more than one hundred years. Double Eagle II was manned by three American balloonists: Max Anderson, Ben Abruzzo, and Larry Newman.

Interestingly enough, for the first claim of a transatlantic voyage, you have to go back to April 1844, when the New York Sun published a detailed account of just such an accomplishment. This account supposedly came from the journal of balloonist Monck Mason, the leader of the eight men making the journey (among the others were British novelist William Harrison Ainsworth and American inventor William Samuel Henson). The balloon, named Victoria, lifted off from Penstruthal, North Wales, and landed on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina less than 75 hours later. Although the participants were well-known and the account was peppered with technical detail, the story was in time revealed to be a complete fabrication -- nothing more than a product of the fertile mind of prankster Edgar Allan Poe.

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