It’s a giant hamster wheel! It’s an oversized COVID replica! It’s a UFO!
No, actually the strange red object found washed ashore last month on a beach near Hammock, Florida, was a hydropod — and a man was inside.
“Driver” Reza Baluchi told authorities he was attempting to raise money for charity by “running” on water from his home in St. Augustine to New York City by way of Bermuda, but his contraption ran into some problems.
Now the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has released body camera video of the unusual discovery on the morning of July 24.
The video starts with a deputy approaching Baluchi and asking him what is happening.
“I’m going to New York!” says the 49-year-old Florida man.
“Were you on a bigger vessel? Or is this all you have!?” the deputy says, sounding surprised.
Baluchi explains his trip is for charity and that he’s done this before.
No lie there. This is hardly the outdoorsman’s first rodeo. The Iran native made his initial aborted attempt in his bubble in 2014, heading north, before having to be rescued in the Atlantic Ocean.
His second foray two years later also failed when the trip was halted by the Coast Guard over safety concerns.
The money Baluchi was trying to raise was to go to first responders, he notes on his website.
The vessel, basically a metal cylinder with paddle wheels, is reportedly outfitted with GPS in addition to food and water that could last for days.
His travels doubtfully will slow down. The adventurer added that his long term goal is to “meet with our country leaders and have them sign their country flag that will be proudly be hung united as a symbol of peace in New York. A tree as a symbol of peace shall be planted so that he may be remembered.”