Good weather saw two guys heading outside to do some yard work. Unbelievably, while bustling about, they found something that had fallen straight out of the sky – and it landed without leaving a scratch on it.
For some, a blue sky means that it’s time to go outside and enjoy the weather. You might go for a walk, head to the beach or play outdoor sports. Then again, sometimes there are chores to be done and a beautiful day is the impetus needed to get down to work. This is especially true when it comes to yard work — sunshine makes the job far more enjoyable, after all.
That was the case when two men decided to take advantage of a perfect day by tending to the yard. They picked up tools and started trimming the bushes and raking up the debris that they created.
Little did they know, though, that as they raked up the brush from the flowerbeds, there was something hidden beneath the fallen leaves. It had fallen from the sky – and they would be stunned when they found it on that perfect summer day.
It would take a while for the men to find the camoflaged object, however. After all, they had no reason to expect to find anything unusual amidst the foliage.
But then one of the men happened upon the object. It was a smartphone. And for some reason, it was recording everything that the pair were doing. The man who found it, naturally, presumed that his companion had simply dropped his phone.
“Here’s your phone,” he says, handing the device to the other man. “Whoa, how the hell did it get down there?” responds his confused companion. After inspecting it, the second man says, “This ain’t my phone.”
He could be certain that it wasn’t because his smartphone was still in his pocket. Realizing that the phone didn’t belong to either of them, the two must have wondered who it did belong to – and why it was recording video.
They wouldn’t get an answer for a little while longer, though. With no other way to find the phone’s owner, they sent it back to the phone company. The company then figured out which customer owned the phone and sent it back to them.
However, it’s unlikely that the phone’s owner, Blake Henderson, was expecting to see it again. That was because of the incredible way in which he had lost it. On that sunny day, Henderson hadn’t been doing something as down to Earth as yard work.
Henderson, from Nashville, Tennessee, was an amateur pilot. Wanting to record the impressive views from his plane, he pulled out his phone so he could film what he was seeing.
But something went awry. While flying at perhaps 1,000 feet in the air, the phone was sucked right out of Henderson’s hands and out of the cockpit, sending it careening toward the ground.
Had the phone hit someone, it could have caused serious injury or even death. In a 2012 piece, Scientific American investigated the often-cited piece of information that a penny dropped from the Empire State Building in New York could kill a pedestrian on the sidewalk below.
They found that a penny flung from the skyscraper’s highest point – the building stands at 1,250 feet, not including its antenna – would only feel like a flick to the forehead. The real danger would be if someone dropped something like a pen, which would gain speed much more quickly as it fell. A ballpoint dropped from that height could in fact punch through a piece of wood – or your skull.
It’s safe to assume that a cell phone would cause far more damage. Luckily, though, Henderson’s Samsung Galaxy S5 only struck the ground – and it did so without cracking its camera or shutting off the video that it was recording.
So when Henderson got his phone back, he was shocked to discover the full footage of his phone’s fall from the cockpit to the ground. The footage is dizzying but incredible – which is probably why Henderson’s nephew, Robert Ryan, uploaded it to YouTube.
Since being uploaded on August 12, 2017, the video has already had almost 2 million views. It begins with clear footage of Henderson’s view. However, the device soon flies out of his hand and begins its descent to Earth. The video then appears to freeze or become stuck, with bars separating each frame of the recording.
But once the phone hits the ground, the picture clears up again – and the two men can be seen clearly. When they eventually discover the phone their confused questions to one another about the device are then recorded, as well.
Because the picture is so clear, many viewers thought that it might be a faked publicity stunt for the device. YouTube user Jonathan Chan summed up the internet’s collective suspicions. “I don’t know,” he wrote. “This seems like a viral video made to sell Samsung phones.”
Ryan says he can sympathize with these doubters, but he insists that the clip is all too real. In fact, he responded to commenters who were skeptical of the recording, saying, “If I weren’t the one who posted I would completely agree.” For even more proof, disbelievers can ask the two men who found the phone. After all, they know exactly what they discovered.