The recent spate of attempts to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon was spurred by Budweiser's offer of a million dollar prize (half to the balloonists, half to charity) for the first balloonists to succeed. Unfortunately, the first Idea Futures claim on the subject had an expiration date before the deadline for the Budweiser challenge. This claim is intended to bridge the gap.
The claim: A manned ballon circumnavigation will be completed between January 31, 1999 and 12/31/1999. The awarding of the prize by Budweiser will be the deciding factor. If Budweiser extends the duration of the challenge, this claim will only cover the determination of whether a flight completed by 12/31/99 wins the prize.
Budweiser is likely to refer to the criteria posted by the FAI to determine whether a balloon flight counts. That's their business.
According to the 3/21/99 NYT, "the Breitling's crew has met the requirement by which they will receive $1 million from the Anheuser-Busch brewing company as well as the Budweiser Cup, offered to the first balloonist to circumnavigate the earth without landing." I'll now judge the claim.
I have created a page of links to stories relevant to this claim.
If Budweiser extends the duration of the challenge, this claim will only cover the determination of whether a flight completed by 12/31/99 wins the prize.
In that case, the following conditions apply:
The date of completion of the flight will be determined by Budweiser's descriptions of the flight. If no date determination by Budweiser can be located, statements by the flight team (on their web site, for example, or as reported by the press) can be used, and finally if no other source is available, independent reports by the mainstream press will be allowed. The determination of time zones shall be construed liberally--if it's still 12/31/1999 anywhere on earth when the flight completes, that will be accepted.