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Balloon Boy Saga Ends In Criminal Charges

Balloonboy So here's the thing.  I actually missed the whole balloon boy saga.  I was busy at my real life day job and got on twitter that night and was all huh?  Balloon boy?  WTF? 

So, for those of you like me, here is the two second recap: The Heene family, who had previously appeared on Wife Swap, which immediately brings their judgment into question, reported that their 6 year old son floated away in an inflatable helium flying saucer like thingie.  The nation and twitter becomes riveted.  Except: not so much.  Child was found hiding in a cardboard box in the rafters of the family's garage.

At first the public sentiment was "those poor parents, they thought their kid floated away and he was in the garage?  That is terrible."  And then it turned to "um, that doesn't really make sense."  And now it is at "LIARS.  HOAX.  CHARGE THEM."

And that is where we now are.

Evidence now suggests this whole stunt WAS a hoax to generate some publicity so this family could get their own reality show. (Perhaps to fill the void in our hearts left by the demise of Jon and Kate Plus 8?)  Colorado deputies searched the home of the boy's parents Saturday night, carrying away several boxes and a computer and then issued this statement at a press conference: (As an aside, I'm stunned this event garners a press conference.)    

"It has been determined that this is a hoax, that it was a publicity stunt and we believe we have evidence at this point to indicate that this was a publicity stunt in hopes to better market themselves for a reality show," Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden told reporters at a press conference.  "Needless to say they put on a very good show for us," Alderden said during the news conference Sunday. He said the first clues of the hoax came during the family's interview by Wolf Blitzer on CNN Thursday night. The young boy said "you said we did this for a show" when asked why he didn't come out of his hiding place. Falcon got sick during two separate TV interviews Friday when asked again why he hid.  "This has been a planned event for at least two weeks," Alderden said. He added that investigators had some serious doubts as to whether Falcon Heene spent the entire time in the garage, or whether he was elsewhere.  "For all we know he may have been two blocks down the road playing on the swing in the city park," he said.

Damn kids.  They don't lie very well, do they?

The charges against the parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene, include conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and false reporting to authorities. The parents are not currently under arrest.  The sheriff's department plan to meet with federal authorities to consider additional charges.  Some of the most serious charges each carry a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.  Child protective services would also be reviewing the case and determining whether the Heene children are in any danger.  That doesn't surprise me at all.  Committing crimes with your children normally results in a call to CPS.  The sheriff also commented about some concerns about domestic violence in the family, and that others may have been involved in committing the hoax, including some of the media outlets that reported on it. 

WTF?  Now our media is in on this nonsense?  Documents show that a media outlet has agreed to pay money to the Heenes with regards to the balloon incident, Alderden said. He didn't name the media outlet, but said it was a show that blurs "the line between entertainment and news." It wasn't clear whether the deal was signed before or after the hoax, or whether that media was possible conspirator.

The stunt temporarily shut down Denver International Airport and caused the National Guard to scramble two helicopters in an attempt to rescue the boy.  When the balloon landed without the boy in it, officials thought he had fallen out and began a grim search for his body.   The government is expected to attempt to recover restoration but the family is said to be almost bankrupt.  Some feel bad about this.  I guess the logic is you can't squeeze blood from a turnip.  I'm not sure I care.  THEY SHUT DOWN AN AIRPORT.  And doesn't the National Guard have something a tad more important to be doing?  Maybe? 

As for the Heenes, they say they found out about the impending charges while shopping at Wal-Mart, and heard the news conference there.  Richard Heene said he's "seeking counsel," though it was unclear whether he was talking about hiring an attorney.  Tears welled up in his eyes as he told The Associated Press "this thing has become so convoluted."  Heene said his wife is holding together better than he is.

David Lane, who identified himself as the family's attorney, issued a statement saying the Heenes were willing to voluntarily turn themselves in to face charges because they did not want to be arrested in front of their children. Lane said he advised the family against making public statements.  He was on the Today show this morning.

Too bad no one was around to give them advice not to pretend to put their kid in a balloon.  Wait, who would have thought anyone needed advice like that?

source, source

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Katie Kat

You know, the saddest part of all of this is the fact that underlying the whole thing is the father's obvious temper - perhaps even abuse. I know that when the little boy said he hid in the "attic" because his dad yelled at him earlier in the day, the first thing I thought was "he's THAT scared of his dad?" Later, when I read that the little boy had thrown up TWICE while answering interviewers about why he said it was all "for a show," I KNEW that poor kiddo was terrified of his father. Think about it - he knew that he had blown their cover and exposed the lie. I'm sure he thought his dad was going to beat the living crap out of him later and that's why he got sick.

I hope they DO file charges against these idiots and get those boys out of there as well.


I've always wanted to see a reality show from prison. They may have unwittingly got their big break! But where did that get enormous jiffy pop spaceship/balloon. Can you imagine the dialog at their home while they're glue-gunning that thing together in the backyard?

I, too, looked at the pics on the interwebz and said WTF!?? And never clicked on them to find out. But reading about it here, the way you lay it all out, with your clever aside, I can finally take it in and join the conversation at the water cooler. Very short conversation: WTF?


I recommend you try to find the Good Morning America tape of the first vomit (Friday morning?). The parents' faces - especially the mother - are freaky in that they are absolutely unfazed by their kid vomiting while they are on camera. She doesn't blink an eye. Does not move a muscle towards him. I rewound it 3x's in amazement.


My first thought upon hearing that the kid was found in the attic was, "Didn't the parents freaking check every nook and cranny before calling the authorities?" Then I began to get suspicious and really hoped against hope that it wasn't a hoax, just a 6yo being mischeivious.

These parents are just another sad example of people clamoring for fame in a society that pays people to do absolutely nothing of value or requiring talent in order to achieve fame. (getting off soapbox now.)

Although, Mr. Heene? The 80s called, it would like its hair back.


At the time I thought "hey, what a coincidence!" because their episode of Wife Swap had aired just a day or two ago on Lifetime. (Shut up, don't judge. I had Grey's Anatomy on while I was sewing, and didn't bother to change channels as Medium & then Wife Swap came on.) I remember thinking "wow, what a monster" in regards to the father; the wife who was staying with him was fairly horrified at what he considered "Woman's work" and she stated how sorry she felt for his real wife. I thought so too. . . until they showed her over with the other family, SCREAMING at the husband when he disagreed with her. It was just, unsettling. After watching that episode, NONE of this is surprising at all.


Meghan, No judging here as I saw that episode a few nights before as well and oh, I've never even seen Wife Swap (smirk). Anyway, I too thought the father was so over the top crazy and couldn't believe what I was watching. When he turned out to be balloon boy's dad my stomach just knotted up in fear for that little kid. The mom is just a full blown robot too. Who doesn't move a muscle while their kid is vomiting on live tv? Please.



Pretty sure that is a waste of resources all for a publicity stunt and it wasn't even Paris Hilton!!! Just some regular family. What is this world coming to??!


I use the term regular loosely.


I don't understand how they could afford to be making life size Jiffy Pop in the backyard if they were nearly bankrupt?


they were on wife swap not just once, but TWICE. 'nuff said.

Accidental Housewife

twice??? why in the holy hell would you put your family through that TWICE?!?! Though, yeah, I think we totally all know the answer to that.

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