Balloon boy hoax

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The "Balloon Boy" hoax happened on October 15, 2009, when a homemade helium-filled gas balloon shaped to look like a silver flying saucer was released into the air above Fort Collins, Colorado, by Richard and Mayumi Heene. They then said that their six-year-old son Falcon was trapped inside it. Authorities confirmed the balloon reached 7,000 feet (2,100 m) during its 90-minute flight.[1][2][3][4] Falcon was nicknamed "Balloon Boy" in the media.[5]

National Guard helicopters and local police chased after the balloon. After flying for more than an hour and about 50 miles (80 km),[6] the balloon landed about 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Denver International Airport. When Falcon was not found inside and it was reported that an object had been seen falling from the balloon, a search was begun. Later that day, the boy was found hiding in the attic of his home, where he had apparently been the entire time.[7]

Many people later believed the entire event was a hoax. After Wolf Blitzer asked why he was hiding, Falcon said to his father, "You guys said that, um, we did this for the show."[8] On October 18, 2009, Larimer County sheriff Jim Alderden announced his statement that the event was a hoax and that the parents would likely face many felony charges.[9][10]

On November 13, 2009, Richard Heene pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and ordered to pay $36,000, and Mayumi Heene was sentenced to 20 days of weekend jail.[11][12]

References[change | change source]

  1. Staff (October 15, 2009). "Boy trapped in "UFO-like balloon" floating over Colorado". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on October 18, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  2. "Missing "balloon boy" found hiding in attic". The New Zealand Herald. Auckland, New Zealand. October 15, 2009.
  3. "Boy said to have floated off in balloon found safe". Google News. Associated Press. October 15, 2009. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
  4. Johnson, Craig (October 16, 2009). "World watches odyssey of "Balloon Boy" in real time". CNN. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
  5. Cheney, Peter (October 15, 2009). "Balloon boy rescuers had few options". The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Canada. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
  6. Mitchell, Kirk (October 19, 2009). "Balloon boy saga "absolutely...a hoax," Larimer sheriff says". The Denver Post. Denver, Colorado. Archived from the original on October 21, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  7. "Feared lost in balloon, boy found at home". NBC News. Fort Collins, Colorado. October 15, 2009. Retrieved October 15, 2009.
  8. Ramachandran, Arjun (October 16, 2009). ""Balloon boy" hoax fears after Falcon says "we did this for the show"". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
  9. Whitcomb, Dan (October 18, 2009). ""Balloon boy" case a hoax, says sheriff; charges coming". Reuters. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
  10. Stelter, Brian (October 18, 2009). "Calling Story of Boy and Balloon a Hoax, Sheriff Seeks Felony Charges". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 29, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
  11. Balloon boy parents are sent to jail for hoax Archived December 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  12. Karin Devlin (April 21, 2010). "Balloon hoax dad must pay restitution". CNN. Archived from the original on April 24, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010.